Thursday, July 25, 2013

she's here!!

Our sweet little Louisa Pia joined our family Thursday, July 18th at 8:05 am and our hearts are overflowing.
It's kind of incredible to me that we are now a family of four.
I have two girls. My girls.

Although a c-section was not my ideal in terms of a delivery, a planned c-section is about 1000% more enjoyable than laboring for 19 hours and then going in for a last minute c-section.
Even though Louisa was considerably smaller than Minnie was at birth, especially her head, my darn pelvis proved once again to be just be too odd of a shape so she never descended and I never progressed.
Planning a date and time to have the little bug was actually pretty nice because it allowed my sister to come into town to take care of Minnie and for Robert to get work off and spend the weekend with us.

Robert and I went into the hospital at 6 am Thursday morning, leaving Minnie with Julia and then later Robert's mom.
They got us all settled in at the hospital and then quickly went to work getting my IV set up and all of the pre-surgery stuff done.
I had myself a few little panic attacks here and there. The thought of being tethered to the bed and then not being able to feel my body just really had me going crazy.
It also didn't help that the room we were in was windowless and felt ridiculously claustrophobic.
I knew the panic attacks were coming and I'd tried to prepare myself for them but I was obviously not prepared.
The funny thing is that we had the same nurse this time as we did with Minnie, and unfortunately that was not a good thing.
The minute I saw her my heart sunk.
She had not been very nice with Minnie and she was not very kind this time around either.
At one point, while she was putting the IV in, I started having a major panic attack and I got quite clammy.
I told her I was getting really nervous and she said, "Yeah, I know. The IV tape isn't sticking to you because you're so sweaty."
She was totally put out.
In some ways I think my annoyance with her kind of kept me grounded a little I guess that's kind of a good thing, right?

Once we were all ready to head into surgery, I was actually able to stand up and walk into the operating room, which I think relieved some of my anxiety.
The anesthesiologist was amazing when I had Minnie and the one this time around was no different.
He was so easy going and reassuring and just made me feel comfortable.
My doctor was pretty sweet through the whole thing as well, and although I was still a ball of nerves in my head, it was nice to have them confidently talking me through it.
Robert was a champ and just stood beside me, knowing that I probably didn't want him to hold my hand or talk to me because I had to work through my craziness on my own.
But just to have him there by my side felt good.
Gosh, he's such a good man.
He's so patient with me.

Once the anesthesiologist gave me the spinal block my body was numb within a minute.
It kind of freaked me out, but once they laid me down on the table I just tried to get out of my head and go to another place.
I just zoned everything out and for some reason it felt good to put my thumb and forefinger on the bridge of my nose, which I did the entire surgery.

I honestly didn't even know they'd started the c-section when suddenly I heard a cry.
My baby's cry!

I'd made myself fall asleep during Minnie's delivery so to hear her first cry was pretty sweet.
Robert and I just looked at each other with tears in our eyes as he stood peeking over the curtain to take pictures.
That moment will be one I'll remember forever.
From then on I was in such a better place. She was here. She was safe and healthy and our new life was beginning.
Robert was able to go and see her get weighed and cleaned and then he brought her in so I could meet her for the first time as they finished the surgery.
Both of us were beaming.

From start to finish the surgery took 25 minutes.
25 minutes!!!
They moved me back to my bed and Robert placed Louisa in my arms.
And there it was...the moment I'd been waiting for.
I was at peace.

When we got back to our room all my siblings were there to greet us.
It was a sweet reunion, because I hadn't even seen my sister, Charlotte, who had come in the night before.
Although my parents couldn't be there, it felt good to have all of my siblings there with me.
Luckily mom and dad kept Skype up and running in Guam so that we could call them at the wee hours of the night their time to introduce them to Louisa (pictured above).

Louisa's body temperature was a little low so the nurse wanted me to do skin-to-skin with her as quickly as possible.
My body was still totally numb from the middle of my back down and as soon as she gave my Louisa I couldn't sit up.
I just kept tipping over and not being able to pull myself back up.
It was the weirdest feeling.
In the process, Louisa got a good hold on some of my hair, so as you can see in one of the pictures above, we had ourselves a little untangling party all while trying to keep me from tipping over.

Louisa is named after my mother's mother, Louise Pia Welch.
She was initially named Louisa Valeria Pia but changed her name as an adult to Louise Valerie Pia because she liked it better.
We, however, love the name Louisa and I'm hopeful she's ok with that choice.

My grandma was my second mom.
At least one day a week was dedicated as a "grandma day," and we'd generally spend it playing in her yard, often picking cherries or apricots from her trees or getting lunch at Wendy's.
She was a master at the hula hoop, splits and hand stands and worked hard to help us learn to do the same.
Much to our dismay, her flexibility far outweighed ours so she would always be better at the splits than us.
Grandma days were usually my favorite days.

Louise was smart, beautiful, funny, kind, faithful...just a classy lady through and through.
Even at an early age this was obvious to me.
Her hair was always set perfectly and her shirts were always neatly pressed.
I loved when she'd get in the car and the smell of Wind Song would float to us in the back seat.
Nothing ever smelled so lovely.
I kept her last bottle when she passed away and every time I smell it, it takes me right back to a hug with Grandma.
Louise wanted us to learn everything there was to know in this world.
She was curious and wanted us to be too.
She loved to record interesting snippets from shows like 60 Minutes to show us later and would always ask us questions so we could come up with our own answers about things.
She was the perfect amount of strict and sweet.

When she passed away in May of 1999, my heart was literally broken.
I'd never known sadness like that.
She was so much of my world and suddenly I felt like everything was crashing in around me.
Life changed quite a bit after she was gone, but I am grateful for the memories I have of her and the indelible impression she has left on me.
I've had dreams about her since and she's as vivid to me as she was the day I said goodbye to her.
I look forward to our reunion one day.
There's no doubt she still smells like Wind Song.

How I hope that our sweet Louisa Pia one day holds the grace, faith and life that my sweet grandma did.
What a blessing she will be to those around her.

It is a gift to be able to bring new life into this world but it is one of our greatest blessings to be able to remember lives well lived.
It is my hope that in naming our sweet girls after people we love so much that they will remember where they come from and live up to those names they have been given.

It has now been one week since Louisa came into this world and honestly, everything just feels right.
She is such a sweet, sweet little thing and Minnie has been so good with her.
A little rough, yes, but she's learning.
I'm so excited to see these two girls grow together and to see Louisa come into her own.
Life is a really lovely thing.


  1. This is so beautiful. Congratulations on miss Louisa! She's a beauty! And you look fabulous! Xoxo

  2. Totally just teared up! She's beautiful! ;)

  3. This is your brother. It was May of 1999.

  4. So sweet. How is Minnie handling? The group picture I think turned out really good. Didn't think it would.

  5. Loved reading Louisa's birth story. She is absolutely gorgeous, and you are probably the cutest, sweetest mom ever. Congratulations on your beautiful baby girl!