Tuesday, July 12, 2011

A Day of Grace

Tomorrow would have been Grace's 1st Birthday. As you can imagine, this has been weighing heavily on Holly and I lately. We've been reflecting a lot about what she would look like now or what milestones she would have achieved. I know deep down inside that's not healthy, but you can't help but wonder.

I remember this day one year ago like it was yesterday. It started with an 11:00 am pre-natal appointment at Kaiser. We met with a new nurse practitioner that morning. She proceeded to examine Holly to see if she was dilated. Being two weeks before her due date I didn't think she would be so I was surprised when she said she was 1-2 cm dilated. I remember afterwards teasing Holly about the nurse's man-hands. She had the hands of mechanic not a nurse.

After the appointment we walked downstairs to the health center to buy our breast pump. We waited until the last minute since the 1-year warranty starts from the date of purchase. As we drove home Holly kept saying she was cramping up. We figured this was due to the invasive exam and it would stop after a while... but it didn't.

Later that afternoon I suggested Holly get into the pool. I thought the neutral buoyancy might help. As Holly floated in the pool I sat at the patio table reading the 10,001 baby names book. I hadn't cracked it open since we got it and figured now was a good time. We had already been leaning towards the name Grace but we hadn't decided on a middle name yet. As I read through the book I would toss out names to get Holly's opinion. When I got to Elizabeth we both really liked it and no other names after really mattered.

By 5:00 pm we were tracking the contractions that were coming more regularly. We called Kaiser and kept them abreast of the developments. Finally they gave us the go-ahead to come in. We were already prepared so it was easy to load up the car and head out.

When we got to the hospital they whisked us away into the exam room. The nurse checked Holly who was at around 5 cm at that time. The nurse smiled and said we're going to have a baby. So Holly was admitted and we were transferred to her delivery room. It was a very spacious room with all the modern instruments you'd expect to find.

Within a couple of hours Holly had the epidural and was no longer in pain. At that point it was a long waiting game with occasional checks on how dilated she was. By around 5:30 am Holly was dilated to 10 and it was game time.

After maybe a dozen or so good pushes Grace came into this world at 6:00 am. We were so overwhelmed at the time. My immediate concern was Grace's lack of crying. I knew this wasn't normal but I wasn't overly alarmed at the time. The nurses continued to fiddle with her trying to get her to cry. After about 30 minutes they started to bath her and then she started to cry a little. Obviously in hindsight this lack of crying was more serious then any of us knew.

All we did know was we loved this precious little baby so much. She was so pure and innocent. We were honored to be able to hold her and take care of her. It was such a joyous time that we wish would have lasted a lifetime. Unfortunately our journey took an unexpected turn in the weeks to come.

1 comment:

  1. Thoughts and prayers will be with you and Holly tomorrow. I know this is hard, and I just wish there was something I could say or do. I will be lighting candles tomorrow to honor both Grace and my Father. Two angels born on a very special day.