Thursday, February 6, 2014

Happy Birthday, Everly!

Happy First Birthday, Everly Pearl! from Sierra Grahn on Vimeo.
It's hard to believe she is already a whole year old!
One year ago, we knew we were weeks away from moving into our brand new house we were patiently waiting to be built when I was almost full term with our little Everly Pearl.
In fact, the day she arrived, we were actually signing final loan documents.
It was about midnight when I started feeling the contractions, the obvious ones that you'd only know for certain if you'd ever been in labor before. My prior 2 pregnancies both came on their own at 37 weeks, so feeling these contractions again at 37 weeks was not at all unusual to me. I took a bath and we waited for my inlaws to come over to watch the older kids.

Soon after they arrived, the contractions were getting stronger. Both pregnancies prior, I was sent to walk for hours around the hospital to help the contractions along, so Jerrod and I decided to take a stop at our 24/hr gym to walk on the treadmill, knowing that if it wasn't real labor they contractions would stop.
Imagine an extremely pregnant woman walking 2 miles on the treadmill at 2 am. Yep. I'm crazy.
However, just as I had suspected, these contractions were the real deal.
We then decided it would be best to check into the hospital. They immediately admitted me.
Fast forward several hours later: The contractions were intense but doing little to dialate me. They decided to give me the labor inducing medicine- pitocin. This was the first time I'd ever had it, and I was not happy about it.
Within 2 hours of me resting my epidural had completely worn off and I felt the obvious need to push. They called my doctor and after what seemed like an eternity, it was time to push. She came fairly quickly, and we cried with excitement as we saw her perfectly round face. She was just stunning.
We noticed the nurses coming in the room almost immediately, telling us not to worry but she wasn't breathing as well as they would like as they got me situated.
Soon after, they took me to the recovery wing of the hospital. They said I could take a shower, and when I got out she was gone.
They had come to check on her and decided to take her to the NICU for more tests on her Oxygen levels. I figured she would be back in a couple hours... Boy was I wrong.
After being released and told that she wouldn't be going home with us, I can't explain the emotions I was overwhelmed with. The NICU was the saddest place I had ever been. So many beeping machines, tiny babies, and most of all, my poor baby being poked and prodded in her little isolette. Even the name made me shudder. They might as well have called it solitary... A tiny newborn not in her mother's warm arms, instead in a little plastic temperature controlled cube.
I had never been released from the hospital without being wheeled out to the parking lot with balloons and flowers and a baby in my lap, and I was now being told to rent a hospital grade breastpump and the hours that I would be permitted to hold my newborn. I had to go home to 2 very curious children and explain that their little sister was no longer in my belly, but still at the hospital. I had to go on about my day raising them as well as worrying and knowing that I couldn't help our baby girl, not the way a mother likes to think she can. I had to set an alarm ever 2.5 hours (day and night) to pump for 30 minutes so maintain milk supply for when she would finally be released.
It was... overwhelming, to say the least.
After 8 days of round the clock visits bearing pumped breastmilk, we were finally able to bring our little peanut home.
The chorus to the song by Mumford and Sons, I will Wait, spoke so much to me during this time. In February 2013, this was probably the most popular song... on the radio constantly while I traveled to and from the hospital during those 8 days. I cried every time I heard it, not knowing the original meaning of the lyrics to the songwriter, but knowing how I was very much waiting for the one thing I couldn't have at that time: our sweet girl.
I leaned on God during that week in a way that I don't think I had ever done before. He was my crutch and my refuge when all I felt like I was hearing was more bad news... knowing that His very words were to "Be Still, and Wait, and know that HE is God." Which, to be honest, became my anthem during that trying and exhausting week.
Now, a year later.. While I can still channel back to those feelings, I can't explain the blessings God poured over us for our obedience to Him and prayer for our sweet Ev girl.
She is the baby of our family, in every way. She is a little Irish spitfire, but as sweet as can be when you catch her in her cuddly moods. She in constantly moving, learning and trying to convince everyone she is as capable as her big brother and sister.
Caleb has taken on a role that is so beautiful to watch. He is so proud of his sisters, he loves them so dearly and is gentle and kind to them. Lily is just enamored with her, she truly is a little mommy. Sometimes she acknowledges Everly's needs before I do, and I just know she will be a wonderful mom one day.
Jerrod is experiencing fatherhood from the very start with his spitting image. She is just like him in every way (except the non-stop moving part, I'll take full credit for that.) Everything else though, is ALL Jerrod. She even wakes up in a bad mood, until she gets breakfast, just like him... I seriously told him I've never known a baby to wake in a bad mood in the morning, but she sure does.
She is everything to us and more... And she is getting more and more personality by the day.
I look forward to watching her become the person she is, and cheering her on along the way.
Happy Birthday, Everly girl.

Her 1 year photos taken at White Sands, NM.

Cake Smash Photos: