I've written and I've erased...written and erased...and its been an eternity since I've written anything anyway. I'm just not a writer and I haven't had time to write much these last 9 months, but it is so much easier to share a bunch of pictures from my blog. I struggle to find words to express the mixture of emotions...from the very beginning, the initial shock and attempting to adjust, to my OB saying levels aren't as high as he hoped they would be (meaning blood work wasn't promising for where I should have been early on in the pregnancy. But we now know why :) I was just way early), 3 months of morning sickness, unmentionable swelling, horrible calf cramping, (yes I'm whining about the joys of most pregnancies lol) breech baby for a little while, to watching contractions role across the screen every 2 minutes at only 32.5 weeks pregnant praying this wasn't the way things were going to turn out. I know I'm not in control, but I selfishly wanted a healthy baby with no interventions...and during my time at the hospital wtih pre term contractions on that Monday and Tuesday, and then the monitoring afterwards, I was reminded at what a gift "normal" pregnancy and delivery really is. I also selfishly wanted to be taken care of in the hospital where I worked, among friends (you learn a lot about people working 12 hour shifts together), and I wanted my Doctor to deliver, not some stranger, in a strange place, just to have Joseph taken away. I realize this happens, and I knew it was possible. I prayed and prayed, and we waited. We were given the gift of 6 more weeks, and even though I had signs of early labor a few days before, I still ended up inducing. This may not be for everyone, but my body was exhausted, swollen, contractions weren't regular, and honestly my older children have pretty big events at the end of the school year that I just didn't want to miss out on such as proms, graduations, and performances. So after discussion, we decided to go ahead and speed up the labor process a little. My sarcastic goal was to be able to have a natural labor and hold my camera. It soon became a strong desire...and again I just can't express in words what it was like. Not completely "natural", I did end up having to get Pitocin to keep contractions consistent. It wasn't easy, painful, but amazing how my body just took over at the end, and we were able to meet Joseph. Birth is a beautiful thing. The photos aren't perfect, but they are perfect to me, because I captured the birth of our child from my own eyes. From when I remember him being handed to me (I really don't remember the first time, just remember being asked to hold his leg and then if I wanted to cut the cord, which David captured) to him meeting family. But so much more importantly than that, even if I wasn't able to snap a single picture, our family was given a perfect little gift from God. The name Joseph means "God will increase" and He has definitely done that in our family. Joseph needed no interventions, no time in a NICU, and we are soooo extremely blessed to have him as a part of our family. And thanks to my husband, my dad, and my doctor for getting a few pictures with me in them :) I do want Joseph to know I was actually a part of all this lol.
I honestly cannot believe the experience is over. . . it went by soooooo fast. And again, I love our staff at ECM Women's Pavillion. I am blessed to call them friends. And while I appreciate all of our doctors and nurses, special thanks to those directly involved in my care and the intense moments of the whole process :) My OB, Dr. Hurd, was fabulous. . . I can't thank him enough for the way he took care of Joseph and I from the very beginning and especially during delivery. We discussed options, he allowed for an epidural free delivery, and supported my decisions. Great sense of humor...maybe a little off-color sometimes haha, but my husband and I so appreciate the way he took care of us. So thankful to Erica for getting me started :) even if I wasn't the best of patients at the beginning, and then Val for taking over. Val coached me through the most difficult part and again, allowed me freedom to move and willingly gave the extra support needed during delivery. I love the picture my husband took while Joseph was on my belly. Her smile is what it is all about and why we as nurses find joy in what we do. Knowing we helped bring another little one to meet his or her family and help them adjust the first few days...and I know I could not have made it through in the way I desired without her help. Emily was Joseph's nurse most of the time. Love her :) and her sense of humor. . . she's fabulous and a wonderful nurse. Christy was both mine and Joseph's nurse during our time there and I was taken care of by Brandi, Suzanne, and Debbie while Joseph also had Katie and Jennifer, Dr. Colvard, and Dr. Allen. I still have preggo brain so if I left anyone out I'm sorry. Everyone was wondeful. I love my nursing family...and I hope if you are in need of some fabulous OB doctors, pediatricians, anesthesia department, and fabulous nursing staff, you will allow our family at ECM to take care of yours :) We love what we do (most of the time lol). A huge thanks to my parents as well...David and I could not have made it without them either. They were on standby in Montgomery. I let them know things were progressing Tuesday (even though nothing happened lol) and they were here for almost a week. They are truly a blessing and selfless. . . they weren't there for delivery, but running around picking up children so that we could all be together shortly after Joseph arrived. Last photo...and I can't believe this week has gone by so fast...38.6 weeks pregnant (the day before I went to the hospital) to 6 days post partum...one week apart, and soooooo in love with our little blessing.