Averi’s Birth StoryFeb 22, 2020
It’s been nine magical months since we welcomed a brand new baby into this big, beautiful world. May 14, 2019 at 10:22pm, our lives changed as we became a family of four.
THE BIG DAY
I went to the doctor for my routine weekly checkup. At this point, I was four weeks from my due date. The doctor recommended I get a sonogram every visit during the last ten weeks of the third trimester, because I was high risk (due to my seizure disorder).
Immediately following my sonogram, the doctor came into the room and said, “Alright, your amniotic fluid dropped from a 10 last week to a 4. Have you been drinking lots of water?” I said, “tons” and he then said, “Okay…..(staring out of his office window for what felt like an eternity) you have two options: you can either have this baby today or you can go home, lie on your right side for 8 hours, then switch to the left (only getting up for water and using the restroom) and have the baby tomorrow.”
I just knew I didn’t hear him correctly so I said, “Pardon, what did you say? I think I blacked out for a second.” haha.
He then proceeded to tell me that I needed to walk over to the hospital (it was connected to his office) and go to the fifth floor for labor and delivery and that I was having this baby TODAY. That I needed to call my husband, and arrange for someone to care for Audri, my oldest daughter.
I felt faint. I was very confused. I was a month early. How could this be happening right now? What was wrong?
I asked him to be honest with me regarding risk and he mentioned still birth and respiratory problems. Needless to say, I grabbed my wallet and began to walk over to the hospital. I had no change of clothes, no outfit for my soon-to-be baby, no hospital bag, nothing.
I called my husband (who was in the middle of counseling someone). He answered the phone like this, “Is everything okay?” I replied quietly, “no…the doctor said I need to have the baby right now” and he interrupted with, “I’ll be right there.”
After checking myself into labor and delivery, I meditated on the news for about 10 minutes. By this time, my shock was beginning to wear off and I began to tear up. The nurse was kind. She put my mind at ease. She didn’t shame me or laugh at my tender heart. I assured her that I would have brought gifts and thank you cards for her and the rest of the nursing staff, but I hadn’t planned to have the baby this soon. She validated the severity of the situation and actually began to tear up while holding my hand.
I was soon comforted as I looked over to the left of the hospital room and saw a framed piece of wall art that made me smile. I believe God hand-selected that room for me. In that moment, he was whispering away my fear and replacing it with a hug.
Two precious sisters wearing their mother’s oversized clothes were facing each other – the younger sister was applying lipstick to the older sister. It wasn’t a profound photo, or totally original, but I got teary-eyed thinking of my oldest daughter and my soon-to-be daughter creating special memories one day together, playing dress up in my oversized clothes. I took this picture from my phone with tears in my eyes, peace in my heart, and anticipation for the years that would follow.
My body began to relax as I pray aloud to God. I prayed for a smooth delivery, for a healthy baby, for a quick recovery, for the doctor and the nursing staff (and for Paul’s safety as he most certainly drove like a maniac for 40 miles).
I had quick and painful contractions due to the sense of urgency the doctor placed on the nursing staff. The first round was at 4pm and the second round was a couple of hours later. I vaguely remember visitors coming and going. My daughter thought I was dying haha. I heard her crying as my in-laws rushed her back to the waiting room. My dad escorted himself out after noticing that I was in a lot of pain. One of Paul’s friends stopped by while I was having the worst part of my contractions. He got the memo though, because he kissed me on the forehead and saw himself out.
MEETING OUR BABY
Eight hours later, I witnessed a miracle. As Averi left my tired, shaky body and the doctor held her up in the air, I burst into tears, screamed unabashedly, and reached out to her. Her arms were outstretched and she was crying and wiggling around. It was love at first sight between a perfectly innocent, tiny, squirmy infant and an unworthy, exhausted, grateful mama.
Words will never express the beautiful moments that followed. I sang “Isn’t She Lovely” while snuggling her (which is what I sing to Audri every night at bedtime). I performed skin to skin and enjoyed every minute of it. I knew that I loved this baby just as much as I loved my first born and my other one in heaven – it wasn’t the same love – it was different. My love expanded. I looked at my husband and he was smiling from ear to ear. He was thrilled that the baby was healthy and that I was seizure free. Paul was able to cut the cord and that was that. Life, as we knew it, had changed.
When Audri saw her little sister for the first time, she began to tear up and walk forward with eyes wide open. She quietly leaned in and whispered, “I love her so much.”
I didn’t sleep that night, or many of the nights that followed. I’ve held her close to me, completely in awe of what God is capable of.