Monday, January 18, 2010

Baby Girl is here! :)

If you had asked me a week ago what I would be doing today, my list would have probably included something about working out... or National Boards... or celebrating my 29th birthday. Well, as you know, God has plans that sometimes surprise the heck out of us, and now--instead of all of those other things--today I am rejoicing in God's goodness with the arrival of our baby girl! Adelyn Noelle is here, and I am just in awe of how amazing she is!

Here's the background of how she arrived so soon...

-Monday, January 11: That evening, I was more uncomfortable than I have been my entire pregnancy. I was a little nervous, but I just thought it was because I was about 7 months pregnant and being uncomfortable was part of the process. :) I woke up quite a few times that night with a lot of pressure in my belly, so I didn't sleep very much.

-Tuesday, January 12: My pain level increased when I got up that morning, and I knew I couldn't make it to work. Part of me wanted to "tough it out" and try to go to work, but another part of me kept saying that the health of my baby girl was at risk, so I arranged for a sub and typed out some plans... I don't even know if they made sense. :) My Mama happened to be on her way to see me because she was going to help me videotape some lessons for National Boards, so instead of meeting me at the school, she met me at the doctor's office. This was the first clue from God that He knew what He was doing... it was a major blessing that she was here. :) At the doctor's office, he discovered that I had an infection (a UTI, he thought), so he prescribed me some antibiotics. He said the pain was also because Addie's head was low and pressing on my bladder. Made total sense. He kept me there for a little while to monitor and make sure I wasn't having contractions and to make sure Addie's heart rate was fine. Everything looked great after 30 minutes on that machine. :) Mama and I went home, had some lunch, and rested for a few hours.

I rested fairly well... I wasn't totally comfortable, but I was at least able to relax for a while until around 5 that evening when the pain got increasingly worse. Mama started writing down how often the pain came, and it was nearly every 5 minutes. Every once in a while, I would have a good 10 minutes or so of pain relief, but for the most part, I was in some serious agony. I got sick for the first time around 6, and we paged the doctor. I hadn't been sick throughout the entire pregnancy, so I knew something wasn't right. Dr. Tom-Tom said to go to the hospital and let them monitor me for a few hours. He called ahead, so we headed to Baptist. Eric had just gotten home from visiting his dad at Williamson Medical Center, so the timing was perfect. He walked in and hopped in the car.

We made it to Baptist in record time :) and got checked in and hooked up to a monitor. I was sick again and in more pain than ever. The nurse initially said we would probably go home after a few hours (ha!). Then she checked to see if I was dilated. She didn't say anything about how far I was... instead she said, "Let me go call Dr. Thomas and see what he thinks." Yeah. Major clue to me that something wasn't right. She came back in and said he was on his way to the hospital and that she was going to get me checked into a room in Labor and Delivery. Dr. Tom-Tom arrived and told me that I was dilated 1.5 cm, so I was going to be put on some different drugs to make sure the contractions and dilation didn't continue.

-Wednesday, January 13: Happy birthday to me! :) My 29th birthday was pretty eventful! I woke up to find out that I was dilated to 5 cm. Dr. Tom-Tom ordered an ultrasound and pretty much told us that we would have a baby in the next couple of days. Holy cow. It started to sink in at this point. Mama and Eric had stayed with me the entire night before just watching the monitors. I slept thanks to Ambien. :) After we met with the doctor, Mama called my Daddy and he hopped in the car and headed to Tennessee.

The ultrasound showed that Addie was measuring about 2 pounds 13 ounces. They couldn't get a totally accurate measurement because she was positioned so low. The doctors were pleased with her size, so that was encouraging. This was the moment I was so thankful to God for being a person who makes big babies. :) Eric and I were both big babies, so I was very likely to have a big one, too. Thank God for that! She was only 27 weeks old, but she was measuring 29 weeks and 3 days. What a blessing!

I received another shot of steroids to help Addie's lungs develop. Tom-Tom said that ideally, the steroids need 48 hours to work to their greatest potential. He said if we could keep her in through that 48 hour period, Addie would have a much better chance of being developed... not only her lungs, but her entire body, too. He also informed us that baby girls develop faster, so the fact that she was a little girl was a great advantage to her. :)

Needless to say, the steroids and other millions of things they were pumping into me were taking a major toll. I was very swollen and really hungry. Clear liquid diets are not my favorite. :( The rest of my birthday was spent visiting with sweet friends and family and praying, praying, praying...

-Thursday, January 14: This was probably the longest day ever. I didn't do a whole lot on this day... the doctors didn't check me much so as not to dilate me more or trigger contractions. I relied a lot on God this day... more so than the others. I was so restless and nervous and tired and hungry. The good thing was that Addie stayed in this whole day. At the end of it all, I was so thankful. :)

-Friday, January 15: After cramping all night long and not sleeping at all, something changed around 5:45 that morning. I called for Eric (who had been sleeping on the oh-so-comfortable hospital couch :) and told him something was wrong. Apparently I was bleeding, so he ran and got Tiffany (our fave nurse who had been with me all three nights). She discovered I was dilated to 10 cm, so she immediately called in the troops. Dr. Tom-Tom was on his way and the NICU team went into full action. Eric started calling everyone, and Tiffany went into "calm Johnell down" mode. She was absolutely amazing. Eric and I were so, so thankful that she was there for Addie's birth.

Anywho, Tom-Tom arrived, and I started having contractions. I didn't have time for an epidural, so it was au-natural for me. Yikes. Never in a million years did I think I would have been able to give birth without any pain meds, but again, when God is in control, anything is possible. The anesthesiologist came in to give me the epidural, but I could not sit still long enough for her to give it to me, so it was no longer an option.

After about 20 minutes of pushing, Addie was here! It was the most magical, weird, amazing, crazy experience of my life! Eric was wonderful throughout the whole thing (naturally)! When Addie came out at 6:51 that morning, they wrapped her all up and showed me her sweet face before whisking her away to the NICU. She weighed 2 pounds 14.8 ounces and was 15 1/2 inches long. :)

They had warned us and prepared us for what could happen when she arrived. I've said to everyone... I know they say all of those things to other parents, but they have a way of making you feel like they are just talking to you. They were genuinely concerned with us and with the care of Addie. Whoo... I tear up just typing about it. We were told we may not hear her cry because of her lung development, but she did whimper a little right when she came out! It was the best sound to hear... even after all of the pain I had just experienced. It was really all worth it to hear her sweet little cry.

Ok, this post turned out to be way longer than I anticipated... I have so much more to tell about her progress over the past three days. We are about to go to the hospital, so I'll have time to type everything else while we are there.

I will say this... Eric and I are just completely overwhelmed at the support we have received over the past week. God has truly shown His face through each and every minute of this time in our lives. "Thank you" will never be enough. Our prayer is that God will bless each and every person for their care and concern for us and for Addie. :)

One more pic for the road:


JB said...

Congratulations Johnell!!!! Loved reading this post. You are so full of grace and strength - Addie is one lucky little girl! Now, we just have to figure our when those NICU nurses will approve a bow in her hair and a monogrammed onesie :) ha!

I will be praying daily for you, Addie, Eric and the NICU staff at Baptist.



Laura said...

I can't wait to see more pictures of her! She is so tiny & precious!

Karen said...

Congratulations! She is precious! When God is on your side, you can handle so much more than you ever thought you could. What a sweet blessing! Addie is so very blessed to have you and Eric as her parents. Enjoy every moment. We are praying for you all and the NICU staff daily!

Pamela Johnson said...

So excited and so relieved that all is well. Abi camed home on Friday and said Addie was here and I totally didn't believe her. I had to call Kyla and make sure. I didn't even know you had been in the hospital that week. She is beautiful and we will continue praying for you guys!

Anonymous said...

I loved reading your blog and learning all the little details about how you waited for your little miracle to arrive. She is so precious and a very lucky girl to have such wonderful parents! I am praying for all of you!


Nicole @ Four Real said...

Oh, Johnell! What a testimony! What a story! My nieces were born at 24 wks. They were 1 lb 10 ozs and 2 lbs. They had a long road but they were be 13 next month and we call them our miracle babies. They have no problems, except they are both small! But, as you can see our whole family is small! :) We will be praying for you and precious Addie. Selah keeps asking when you post new things. It is so wonderful to see how God brought you the husband you were praying for and they sweet baby you always wanted. LOVE IT! GOD IS GOOD ALL THE TIME!

Nonna said...

Oh, I just love reading this post...and refecting with you, my baby girl! My life changed forever on that January morning when you came into my life, just as your beautiful Addie has forever changed your life! I knew she would...I just never imagined it would also be on a January morning! I'm so thankful that God put me right here in the middle of this awesome experience! We should never be amazed at the perfect timing of our perfect God! I love you both! :)

Alyson Strong Pitt said...

Hi Johnell! I am so happy to hear from you and BIG Congratulations on your beautiful daughter. Addie is precious.
I am so glad you found my blog and were able to see the last updated entry. The NICU is a very special place for me and it is great examples like Addie's that make it so special. I will keep you and your family in my prayers and will check Addie's progress frequently. If you have any questions or just need to talk, I am on SKYPE and email.
Best to you and congratulations!

Unknown said...

I came across your blog from a pinterst post and after reading your story I just wanted to comment and even though it's been a few years it's an amazing thing. Our youngest was born in 2009 and was in the NICU at Baptist hospital and they are amazing people. I am so glad your little one is growing and she is beautiful!