October 17, 2016, 8:49 pm – the absolute best day. The day our lives changed forever and we welcomed our sweet Harper Rae Blue into this world.
First of all, I wanted to thank everyone for all your sweet words and wishes about our little babe, she’s doing amazing and I can’t believe she is two weeks old today! Also, thank you so much for checking on me these past couple of weeks…I’m still in the hospital, it’s been almost ten days now [more on that below]. So many people have asked about our birth story, so I wanted to share. It’s been such an emotional two weeks, I’m crying as I write this post. My heart is overflowing with love and I can’t wait to be home with my little family.
It all started on Sunday night [Monday morning, really] about 3 am. I woke up with cramps, which basically felt like period cramps. My due date had been Friday, but baby girl was already fashionably late. On Sunday, Philip and I were trying to stay busy, so that we weren’t sitting around all day just waiting. We went to the Italian Festival and walked around and then went to the zoo and walked around a bunch there, thinking maybe all the walking would start labor. We got home that night, ate dinner, watched the Texans game, and went to bed. So I woke up with minor cramping, it didn’t hurt, was just really uncomfortable. I stayed in bed until about 6 am when I decided to get up and shower. Philip was up and he asked if he should stay home from work, I told him no, I was fine and would keep him posted. By the time I got out of the shower, the pains were getting more intense and I realized they were contractions. I told Philip there was a change of plans and he should absolutely NOT go to work. We called my doctor who told me to come into her office and she would check me before I headed to the hospital. We got to the office at 8 am and by this point, my contractions were 4-5 minutes apart and getting stronger. She checked me and I was only 2 cm dilated. So she told us to go get some breakfast, walk around for an hour, and if still having contractions, go right to the hospital. We went and tried to grab breakfast, but I couldn’t eat. We went to Nordstrom Rack and tried to walk around, but I was literally stopping in my tracks every 4-5 minutes, grabbing Philip’s arm in pain, and trying to handle the contractions. After about 30 minutes, we went to the hospital where we were put in a room in triage. Now, my contractions were PAINFUL. Like, had to grab the bed rails and curl up in pain, painful. After about an hour of this, I was still only 2 cm dilated. I was however, running a low fever which the doctor was watching. They came in to do a routine ultrasound and get measurements…and as that was ending, my water broke. I was sitting there talking to the nurse and Philip and all the sudden I said, “what does it feel like when your water breaks? Either that just happened or I’m so sorry, I just peed on your bed.” It had definitely broken and after she checked me again, I was all the sudden 5 cm dilated.
We were transferred to our room in Labor and Delivery and by this point I was in excruciating pain from the contractions! Philip was amazing and held my hand through it all, we were SO excited we were about to meet our baby girl! I finally got my epidural which was a LIFE.SAVER. I’m not the best with pain and I honestly couldn’t have done this without the epidural, it made the pain so much more manageable, and got to where I was having contractions, and didn’t even know! Philip was constantly watching the monitor and would be like “that was just a contraction, did you feel it?” Nope, nothing. Pure bliss, I tell you.
All of the sudden, I started progressing SUPER fast, in no time I was 8cm, 9cm, and then 10 cm dilated. It was seriously go time and time to start pushing. As it turns out, they definitely call it ‘labor’ for a reason, it was no joke. I pushed for about an hour and a half. The doctor started to notice that when I was pushing, Harper’s heart rate was dropping. My doctor checked me inside and noticed I was very warm, internally. They took my temperature and it was 102.5 degrees. I could see the panic in her eyes. Philip started to panic too and kept saying how we had to get Harper out of there because I was so hot. The doctor then told us that Harper had gone to the bathroom inside of me which is extremely scary, especially with the risk of meconium aspiration. At this point, they decided I had to have an emergency c section immediately. This was all such a whirlwind, I just remember I started crying and so did Philip, we were so scared. I had doctors and nurses rushing and running all around me, and within a matter of minutes, they had me wheeled into the operating room and were prepping me for the surgery.
I had never even thought about a c section, because had always just assumed I’d have a normal delivery. I’d had such a good pregnancy, I never expected anything like this. But all I cared about was getting my baby here safely and being able to see and hold her immediately after. Skin to skin was super important to me, its the only thing I knew I absolutely wanted to happen.
They began the surgery [I couldn’t see anything obviously, because they had a sheet up], but Philip was there with me the entire time. They got Harper out of me so quickly and I kept waiting to hear a cry or ANYTHING really, but nothing. I kept asking where my baby was and how she was and if I could hold her. It turns out, she didn’t cry or anything because she was having so much trouble breathing. They took her immediately away and my heart broke. As I laid there on the table for the next 45 minutes while they finished the surgery and closed me up, I was just bawling the entire time. We had no idea what was going on. They finally let Philip walk to the window that looked into the room where they had Harper…he said she was having so much trouble breathing, her little chest was moving up and down so fast. She was going to be taken right to the NICU. I was heartbroken. I didn’t get to see her or hold her. After they surgeons were done, they took me to my recovery room and all I cared about was my daughter. They let Philip go to the NICU to see her and he said it was so hard. She was hooked up to all the machines and still in distress. She wasn’t able to breath on her own and he said it was so hard to see. The doctor explained to him that she had also had a fever and been in severe distress inside of me. When they pulled her out of me, she was in shock which is why she didn’t cry. She had gone through a long and stressful labor, which is a lot for a newborn to handle.
I was in the recovery room for 2 hours, then we were transferred to our room for the rest of our stay. By then, it was 2 am and we’d had the longest, most traumatic day. We tried to sleep, but all I could think about was getting to see my baby the next day. That next afternoon, we got to go to the NICU to see her and I was an emotional mess. When I finally saw her, I was in tears immediately. All 7 pounds, 3 ounces of her was totally perfect. She was hooked up to breathing machines and had a feeding tube, but I was able to finally hold our little girl and my heart just exploded into a million pieces. I couldn’t believe she was ours! We were able to do skin to skin finally, which was amazing. I never wanted to let her go. Her breathing was better, but she still needed help. We spent so much time with her that day and the next, we were soaking up all the baby snuggles and I even got to breastfeed her for the first time. On Wednesday afternoon, she was so much better and was able to leave the NICU and be transferred to our room for our last night. It was amazing having her in there! Even though she cried and was a little fussy, Philip and I couldn’t be more in love and were so excited for this new journey.
We were released the next afternoon and able to go home as a family of 3! We were so excited to get home and get into our routine. On Friday I wasn’t feeling all that great, but kind of chalked it up to pain from the c section. On Saturday night, we had my parents and sister over for dinner, I was feeling pretty bad. I decided to take my temperature and it was nearly 102 degrees. I was also in severe pain…I could hardly walk, sit, stand, or do anything. I called my OB and she told me to get to the Emergency Room. After many hours and several tests, it was determined that I had a sever infection in my endometrium, caused from labor…likely the bacteria had caused a serious infection. I was on antibiotics in the hospital from Saturday until Tuesday late morning. I was home for a few hours and I spent every second with baby Harper, catching up on all the snuggles I had missed the past few days. After about 5 hours, I really wasn’t feeling great, so I decided to take my temperature. Yet AGAIN, it was nearly 102 degrees. I immediately broke down into tears. I couldn’t believe it. I had just been released from the hospital and gotten back to my family, and now this? I called my OB and she said to get right back to the ER. They ran tests and did scans and this time found that I had an abscess the size of a baseball, between my uterus and bladder. That’s what had been causing the severe pain and high fever. We couldn’t believe this was happening! I was immediately put on strong antibiotics via IV. For the past few days, the antibiotics have been shrinking the size of the abscess and helping to combat my pain and fever. The doctors tried to go in and drain the abscess a few days ago, but it had already spread and the fluid was already too thick to be drained 🙁 But at least the antibiotics have been working and I’m in less pain. If all goes according to plan, I’ll be able to go home today and continue my antibiotics there!
I just can’t wait to be home with my sweet Harper. My husband has been amazing through all of this. He has truly been ‘Super Dad’. He set up our iPads to where I can watch from here and see whats going on at home. I love watching her all day and seeing the two of them together just melts my heart. He’s picked up on the Dad role perfectly and it makes my heart so happy. My family has also been amazing through all of this, they’ve been switching off with Philip so that he can spend some time here at the hospital with me, too. I’m so thankful 🙂 They’ve been great with Harper and having them watch her gives me so much peace of mind knowing she is in great hands. Being a mom is the best feeling in the world, it’s definitely a love unlink any other.
I know this was a long read, I tried to keep it as short and sweet as possible. It’s been SO hard on me being away from Harper…no new mom should have to go through this. This has definitely been the most traumatic couple of weeks for us, but we have our little babe and she’s healthy and happy, and we are so grateful for that. We never knew a love quite like this was possible.
Now that I’m [hopefully!] going home, I definitely plan to get back to more regular posts, I know I’ve been MIA these last few weeks. This weekend, we will finally be shooting her nursery and getting back into fall outfit posts as well. I can’t wait to share her nursery with yall!
Thank yall so much for your love and sweet words through all of this! 🙂