Well, I am finally here to report on this sweet baby girl and her big arrival! I'm almost two months late and I'm typing one-handed, but I'm here. :)
Hannah Margaret Guymon was born Wednesday, November 21st at 8:25 am. I had been slowly going into labor since Tuesday morning, with the contractions gradually getting more frequent throughout the day. This was my first time going into labor on my own and I just assumed these contractions would go away like they always had before. It was late afternoon before my mom was able to convince me that I was really in labor! Then I started feeling a little panicky...I may have had two children previously, but I still didn't know what on earth I was doing!
I was laying on the couch while everyone else was eating dinner and I started having visions of my water breaking while I was still over an hour from the hospital. My contractions were coming 8-10 minutes apart, so I decided that was enough and told Bryan I wanted to go to Amarillo, just in case, even if we just stayed in a hotel. Joshua just took it all in stride, but poor Grace started bawling. I guess the idea of mom suddenly rushing off to the hospital was too much for her. She acted like I was never coming back and even gave me her noodle necklace to take with me. :) It was really hard to leave her when she was so distraught, but I knew she would be fine once we left, and she was. Grandma Henke took good care of her.
We drove to Amarillo and got there around 8:30 pm. I called my doctors office as they had instructed me. I got the doctor on call and she basically laughed at me for coming in so early, but told me I could go ahead and go up to labor and delivery to be checked anyway. We did all that and the labor and delivery nurses told me to walk for the next two hours. That was fun....ugh. :) Bryan and I walked the same loop on the third floor about a million times, it seemed. I was so glad he was there, that would have been a nightmare by myself. He kept me laughing when I just wanted to lay down and cry...or sleep. That was exhausting! The whole time we walked I had contractions every 3-4 minutes. When I was finished it was a little after 11:00 pm and the nurses said they had talked to my doctor and he had said to admit me to the hospital...yay!
The nurses came in and hooked me up to an IV and all the monitors. During this process my contractions slowed down a bit so they were only coming every six or seven minutes. The nurses said I could just rest through the night and then my doctor would put me on pitocin in the morning. I didn't know what they were talking about...I was in labor and I knew it and I was going to have a labor without pitocin, dang it! They finally had me all settled and left the room around 1:00 am. They had literally just walked out the door when my water broke....HA! Bryan went out and brought the nurses back and they called for the anesthesiologist. He got there about 45 minutes later and soon I had an epidural, which was lovely. :)
So then everyone was ready and waiting, thinking I was going to have our baby girl anytime. Unfortunately I got stuck at a six for a long time...like four or five hours. Those hours are a bit of a blur of nurses in and out of the room sand me falling a sleep a little here and there. We kept loosing Hannah's heart rate on the monitors, and every 20 or so minutes her heart rate would drop pretty low in reaction to the contractions. This happened when I was having Joshua, too, because he had the umbilical cord wrapped around his neck, so I wondered if that was what was happening with Hannah as well. It turns out that was the case, but she was also face up instead of face down. Those two things combined kept her from dropping for a long time. Finally around 6:00 am I was progressing again and by a few minutes after 8:00 it was time to start pushing!
Pushing was scary for me. Hannah wasn't reacting very well to the whole birthing experience, which was understandable considering her position. Her heart rate would drop really low when I would push, and there were a couple of times right at the end that I swear it just stopped all together. I was so exhausted I didn't know how I was going to find the energy to have a baby. As much as I hated hearing her heart rate do that, it scared me so bad that it gave me the determination to just get this baby born. I was really grateful for our doctor, he handled the situation so calmly, which I really appreciated and needed. I always felt like he knew exactly what he was doing and I could trust him to do what was best for our baby. Hannah was pretty purple when she was born, but he got the cord off her right away and before we knew it she was a beautiful, normal, pink color. In a matter of minutes she was absolutely perfect, looking just like our other babies had. It was such a relief to see her, alive and well. There was a part of me that just couldn't really believe I was going to have a healthy baby girl until I saw her for myself. It was amazing!
Now for the pictures!
Hannah is our biggest baby, weighing in at 8 lbs. 2oz. and measuring 20 3/4 inches long. She has a good amount of dark hair...more hair than Grace had but not as much as our crazy haired baby Joshua. Her face was a bit bruised from being face up, but it cleared up really quick. Like our other babies, she has long fingers and toes and chubby cheeks!
This next picture is my favorite. When they finally handed her to me she was still wide awake. She just stared at me and we totally had this connecting moment. It was like she was taking me in, figuring out who I was. I know that is what I was doing with her. I just looked at her and thought, "so you are the one I have been waiting for for so long." She is such a peaceful baby and I could feel that as we stared at each other. I also felt that she has a very wise spirit. It was amazing to be able to just look into her eyes that soon and for so long. She was actually wide awake for the first couple of hours after her birth. She was silent as could be, but wide awake, staring at us and everything around her. What I wouldn't give to know what she was thinking about during those first hours, so fresh from Heaven!
Our first family picture as a family of five! :)
Grandma meeting Hannah for the first time. We decided she looks a lot like Joshua, although I think she has a bit of a Grace look in her, too. So I guess she is a pretty good mix!
And that is the story of our sweet, miraculous, peaceful little Hannah. We are even more in love today than we were seven weeks ago. What a blessing it is to have her in our lives, a blessing that I thank my Heavenly Father for each and every day. I am grateful to have these sweet memories that I will treasure forever!