Our little honey made it here safe and sound the morning of March 15, 2018 and I can't even believe she's nearly three months old now. I haven't written a single thing about her birth in my journal or anywhere really, and it is killing me. I feel like the whirlwind of a newborn can knock me off my feet for a minute, but I feel think we are starting to get into a decent rhythm (depending on the day) and I need to remember some of the details of this day while they are still relatively fresh.
The night before William's birth was just one panic attack after another for me, and I was so nervous this time around would be the same. I was absolutely nervous, but the night before Hannah came I was actually able to sleep for a few hours and I didn't have a single panic attack, which was a total miracle in my book. Robert's mom came the night before to sleep over so we could leave the kids sleeping as we had to leave our house around 5:30 am to be at the hospital by 6 am. I don't know what it is, but I always get choked up leaving the kids in the morning as I'm going to have a baby. I think it's an end of an era four our current family unit but also for the baby of the family in some ways, so I rocked William extra long the night before, albeit a bit uncomfortable with my huge belly. I wrote the kids a note and stuck it on the fridge before we headed out the door, telling them how excited I was for them to meet their sister, and teared up as I wrote it, thinking about the them seeing her for the first time.
The drive to the hospital with Robert is always a peaceful one and I feel like it always calms my nerves. No on is on the roads, it's dark and quiet, and we just hold hands and talk about life and what it will be like with this new baby. It's the calm before the storm. It was a rainy and then quite snowy March day, but luckily the roads were clear.
My sweet friend Christine was kind enough to go back to work as an RN just for me. Ok, not really, but the timing of her going back to work was so awesome because it allowed her to be my nurse once more. She got me a great OR prep and recovery room with windows and lots of space and having her there, just like with William's birth, calmed my nerves. I had one mild panic attack as she was getting me ready, so I stood up (because I was so anxious about being numb for the rest of day) and Robert, Christine and I said a prayer. It helped a bit, but I just worked through the nerves and in a matter of minutes we were in the operating room.
The spinal block this time around really did a number on me. I started feeling like I was going to throw up and then I got super sweaty and felt like I was going to pass out. I'd never felt like that before and it was awful. The anesthesiologist was amazing, just like the three I'd had previously, and helped me get through it. Hannah was out in record time and seeing her little curled up body over the curtain and then hearing her little piglet scream was such a relief. That feeling of seeing them and hearing them for the first time will never get old. The doctors had me stitched up and ready to go within minutes and we actually had to wait until Hannah was ready to go to leave to go back to recovery. When they wheeled me in, Julia was there waiting and shortly after my dad arrived, ready to take a thousand pictures.
Hannah looked quite a bit like Lou when she first came out. She seemed quite fair and her hair looked a bit red. She had more hair than any of my other kids had, and it was also darker than any of my other kids. After a bath she looked a bit less red, but in certain lights to this day, she definitely is a bit of a ginger.
Everyone commented on how alert Hannah seemed right when she came out. Her eyes were big and bright and looking around for a long time after she was born, which was so different from the rest of my kids who fell asleep fairly quickly after birth. Even now she is extremely bright eyed and sometimes looks like a deer in headlights because her eyes are open so wide. Once she focuses on a face the bug eyes kind of soften, but generally they are quite big.
My mom arrived a little bit later after wrapping some stuff up with the substitute and I can't even tell you how much I love having my parents around for my kids' births. It's funny how even when you're grown, you can't help but want your parents around at big life events.
I had been so thirsty, so as soon as I was in recovery, Christine brought me some ice water. I drank the majority of what she gave me, and as I was getting wheeled back to my more permanent room, I started feeling really nauseous. I was holding Hannah and felt totally helpless. They quickly handed me a bag and I threw up. I thought maybe it was just motion sickness, but over the course of the next few hours I threw up three or four more times. I felt terrible! I'd never had such a bad reaction to anesthesia before, but I just could't keep anything down. I don't think I ate until later that night and they had to start pumping me full of more fluid to get things moving through me.
My mom went over to our house and relieved Vicky of the kids, and then they all came over to the hospital together to meet Hannah. Minnie and Louisa were so dang excited and fought over who got to hold her first. William couldn't have cared less, but it was just so fun to see them all together and to be all together. One of my favorite nights in the hospital was when my parents had to go to a wedding reception so they dropped the kids off to be with us for a couple hours and we at snacks and snuggled in the hospital bed and watched Lady and the Tramp. Life is busy and wild with all four of them, but life just feels so good when we are together.
Hannah is named after Robert's mom's third great grandmother, who was the first to join the church on the side and immigrated to the United States from England. We discovered as we were looking for a name that she actually lived in Bountiful, and soon after we found out we were having a girl we found out she was buried just a few minutes from our house. I went to see her grave and as I stood over it I had a strong impression I should name our baby after her; Hannah Mary Ann. I feel like it suits her well.
Life with Hannah has been so sweet. I love and loathe the newborn stage, but I am trying to soak it up because there's a chance this might be our last baby. I am so grateful Hannah is here safe and sound and feel so blessed to be her mom.