Our baby girl was set to arrive on Friday, April 24. My pregnancy had been without any trouble except the usual suspects of nausea (which lasted most of the 40 weeks, but was put under control by a combination of B6 & Unisom every night), being tired & feeling large & in charge. We had decided to schedule a C-section as it seemed the safest & most predictable option (Keller had been an emergency C section). I was petrified Chad would be traveling for work as the time of delivery arrived & I would have no one here at our new home in Austin. Also – my Mom & Kimmy wanted to be here shortly after her arrival so a scheduled C-section was set.
My great friend Liz Wallis (from my work days at SUU) came to Austin (she now lives in Dallas) on Thursday, April 23 to help out shuffling Keller from school & to be here when Grandma & Kimmy arrived. I was set to check-in at the hospital at 10AM for a 12PM surgery slot with Dr. Mikaela Rush. About 9AM that morning I decided to have a quick piece of toast & small sip of juice to settle my stomach (having no real pre-op paperwork advising against eating or drinking). Chad & I arrived at Cedar Park Regional Medical Center – just 5 minutes from our house – at 10AM & the nurses quickly got to setting us up. I was asked if I had anything to eat or drink after midnight. Shyly I mentioned I had a small piece of toast. All work immediately was halted as Dr. Rush & the anesthesiologist were called. Apparently this was a big NO – NO. I didn’t know. I was a little taken back & tried to hold it together as calls were placed back & forth between doctors & nurses. Dr. Rush actually came in between surgeries & had initially thought we would have to re-schedule for the following Wednesday (5 days away). I was now near tears & trying to hold it together. Chad & I were so excited to meet this baby. This was horrible!
After about an hour, Dr. Rush came back to my room & explained she was able to re-arrange her schedule for the evening & the anesthesiologist had given the green light for a 4PM C-section. I now cried tears of joy & thanked her over & over again. And then … we waited. It was only 12PM so we had a long stretch of time to read, nap & watch TV to pass the time.
At 3:30PM, my nurse, Katherine, came in & started the final preparations to take me to the operating room. Chad put on his scrubs & just before 4PM I walked into the operating room. This was a much different C-section from when I had Keller because that was fast & a bit scary. This was calm, smooth & I was much more aware of what was happening. I sat on the table while the anesthesiologist put in my spinal block. Chad was waiting patiently just outside the OR until I was set. I was then laid down on the table & final preps were made. As Chad came in, my heartrate dropped suddenly & I had to be given a shot in my IV to stabilize. Everyone & everything was set & a final check was done before the procedure began. Chad sat by my head & talked to me. We talked about our excitement to meet our baby, how big or small she would be. In just a few moments time we heard the doctors counting, “1, 2, 3, 4 ….”. We didn’t know what to expect – Was this the sign that we would hear a cry? And then … We did hear it! Our baby girl was here. They immediately took her to a corner of the OR to the warming bed to perk her up & check her vitals. Tears of happiness from both Chad & I as our wait was over. In the midst of all the commotion I heard the doctors & nurses say that the baby’s cord has been loosely wrapped around her neck 4 times (thus the counting) & there had also been a true knot in the cord. How amazingly grateful I was we were able to get her out today & to us safely!
Just a few minutes after her arrival Chad was able to go see her in the warming bed & comfort her. He came back to me with details that she was perfect & had lots of dark hair. I was shocked – Keller had no hair at birth so I was surprised. A few minutes later, they wrapped her up & handed her to her Daddy. He was able to come sit right by my side as the operation was completed. I did have an adverse reaction to all the surgery & threw up just before I was able to really see her. She was beautiful & looked tiny in her Daddy’s arms.
Shortly after, the nursery nurse & Chad took our baby girl to the recovery room while the surgery was completed. I was then taken to the recovery room where they were bathing the baby & I was stabilized. After just a few moments I was able to hold her. Oh how wonderful it felt to have someone so little & longed for finally in my arms. We ooh’ed & ahh’ed over her tiny features, little feet & long fingers & fingernails. We were in the recovery room for about an hour & a half before being able to be released to the maternity floor.
Immediately after being moved to our room, we were joined by Keller, Grandma, Kimmy & Liz who had been excitedly waiting all afternoon. I was holding the baby as they entered the room. Keller immediately came over to the bed & looked over at her. I was introducing him to his baby sister & tears just streamed down his face as he had been waiting for not just days & weeks, but years to have a sibling. It was a special, special moment.
Our sweet girl was shuttled from friend to friend as she met everyone. It was when she was in Kimmy’s arms that we finally shared her special name – Lauren Dawn Marchant. Lauren had been on our ‘favorite girl names’ list & we felt for weeks that was her name, but needed to see & hold her just to make sure. Her middle name of Dawn actually comes from Kimmy’s middle name, also being Dawn. My middle name, Lynn, is after my Mom’s best friend so it only seemed fitting to carry on this family tradition.
Lauren was born on a Friday & we were released from the hospital on Sunday. We were greeted at home by Grandma & Kimmy. The next few days were filled with lots of baby snuggles. Lauren slept & slept & slept. Chad really wished she was more awake to ‘play’. Kimmy flew back home on Monday & Grandma was able to stay for a whole week. She was a huge help holding Lauren lots & lots and loading the freezer with meals.
It truly felt like a magical experience having a baby again in our home & our lives. We have waited & waited with a few heartbreaks & struggles along the way. Welcome to our family Lauren.