God’s plan may not manifest in your life as quickly as you hoped or with the timing that you desire (or anticipated), but nonetheless, in the end, His plan will always bring you the ultimate happiness and joy. The wait, undoubtedly, was worth every ounce that we once feared.
I love reflecting back on what life was like during some of our hard days. Where pain and heartbreak constantly presented themselves in and out of each waking moment. We are so thankful for those days, for our fight and our journey. Without our path that we’ve been gifted, we wouldn’t have our two precious children.
I’ll never forget the endless nights with Henry where we prayed for his sibling. It would break my heart when he would ask for a brother like James and a sister like Kiara (two of his best friends). Through our battle with infertility, we’ve found that although it’s broken us, it’s made us both extremely thankful and stronger (despite all the tears) than we’ve ever imagined. All along the Lord had a plan for us that was so much bigger than our infertility diagnosis. He had a plan to make us a family of four and give us our precious Olive Amelia… our greatest Christmas blessing. His timing never seemed so perfect.
We are so grateful.
“It’s not always in your success. But sometimes in your struggle. That God will show you who you really are.” – Steven Furtick
The Birth of Olive Amelia Thorne | 12.23.16 @ 5:51pm | 7lbs 1 oz and 19.5″
I have no words powerful enough to describe the last 13 days and the love we have for our daughter. She’s just the sweetest and I’m so thankful for this wave of calmness that has come over me. I’m truly soaking up every moment with her, leaving laundry in the basket, lunch in the sink, dust-bunnies in the corners and pink blankets scattered throughout the house.
My due date was yesterday, January 5th, 2017, but I knew she would come early… call it ‘mother’s intuition’. As much as I love pregnancy, this one was a little harder than Henry’s; still as special and just as thankful. Call it age, girl baby vs. boy baby, or just how every child is different. Throughout my pregnancy I had low blood pressure, low iron and intense swelling. I was sick past week 24, and in the hospital twice for complications. One of those visits occurred at 35 weeks and had me there from Wednesday through Friday evening. We had some scary times, but she made us laugh… a wrecking ball in her own way, just like her older brother.
On December 22nd, 2016…
I turned 38 weeks and had my weekly doctors appointment @ 8:45am. That morning as I was getting ready I drank Red Raspberry Leaf Tea. I’m not normally one to test fate, but so many of my mama friends swore by this tea (I also had 2 cups the day prior).
I kept Henry home from school – we had a fun day planned with our best friends, the Lunsfords, to go uptown and watch the singing bears perform. Before the appointment we dropped Henry off at their home while we attended my appointment. I normally don’t drag John along with me to these appointments, but the stars aligned and there he was by my side.
I made it to 1cm from the prior weeks visit. VICTORY! I don’t think I’ve ever smiled so hard. My doctor didn’t think she would come until after Christmas. We were all rooting for December 27th as my doctor and labor-&-delivery-nurse-turned-friend (who delivered Henry) were both working. I made an appointment for Friday the 23rd to have an induction massage to get things moving along…just in time for the 27th. Little did we know…
John went back to work and I headed back to our friends.
I showed back up at the Lunsfords’ home and our plan was to head uptown. It was a beautiful day, sunlight pouring into her kitchen, 3 toddler boys running wild through the house. It was going to be a great day! Plus I showered, got dressed and put on makeup – which was rare that late in the pregnancy game. My sweet friend, Mel, was multitasking between finishing work and balancing the little guys’ potty breaks, arguments, snacks and getting things situated for a fun day.
I was standing in her kitchen watching the madness go down. Too scared to mention what just happened to me… my water broke? Wait, is this my water? It can’t be, it’s too soon, I’m only 1cm dilated. What just happened. Could this be? Our bag isn’t even packed. Just a few thoughts as I gathered my words…
“Mel, my water just broke, will you look, will you feel my pants?! Is this my water, what is happening?”
Thank God for best friends… and humor.
The boys were doing circles around us as my whole world came to a complete stop. We were about to meet our angel who we’ve prayed about since the day John and I became husband and wife.
Mel confirmed that the gush was in fact my water (thank you Dr. Mel) and that I needed to hurry up and get to the hospital… we all know that second babies come much faster than the first. The initial gush didn’t end… it was ongoing and a lot!
I scooped up Henry and took him home with me to finish a few things around the house.
On our drive home I called my L&D nurse turned friend, Ashley. She was actually working that evening and confirmed that it was more than likely my water. I also called my doctor and got direction to come into the office before heading to the hospital.
At home I immediately began to vacuum, because what else do you do when you have a 3 year old and are officially in labor?! Ha! I vacuumed and dry-swiftered the entire house. Packed Henry’s bag to go back to the Lunsford’s. Tidied up a bit, called my husband at work and began to pack the bag.
“Babe, are you ready to have a baby?!”
His voice cracked, of course, and I could hear the emotion as I explained what happened! My sensitive hubs! Once John got home, together, we explained to Henry that we were going to the hospital to have his baby sister. We’ve been preparing him for months. Leading up to this day, he would even pretend that he was driving his Nana to the hospital to meet his sister, Olive. His reaction was so sweet and in that very moment he was calm. No tears. Just happy and excited questions. We dropped him back off at the Lunsfords’ and to my OBGYN we went.
We got off the 4th street exit from 277. We were at the stop light and John rolled down the window to give a homeless man money. The man thanked him and John started to tear up and told him that I was about to have his daughter. Again… my sensitive hubs!
We arrived at my OB’s office where he did an exam and confirmed that my water broke, but still only 1cm! Soon, we would meet our baby girl! My doctor wasn’t on call that day, but he was going to try to deliver her anyway.
By 1:00pm we were at the hospital, in a gown, hooked up to an IV, started on antibiotic for StrepB and the ever-so-lovely Pitocin was making its way through my body. We had the world’s sweetest nurse, Mandy, until 7:00pm when her shift would change and Ashley would take over. Shortly after checking into the hospital, the doctor on call came in to check on me. We were in such great hands.
We passed time by texting family and friends to let them know that Olive was on her way. We also placed bets with anyone and everyone who would walk through our door as to when she would come and her weight. We did the same during Henry’s birth and it was so much fun to look back on. John jotted everyones guesses on the white board and in his journal… his journal that he picked out by himself. He was very proud. I had a strong feeling she would arrive by 11pm and John was set on 8pm.
Again… little did we know!
My sister arrives… like a bull in a china shop. Full blown tears. Frantic that she missed something. A nervous wreck.
By 3:50pm, mild and spontaneous contractions were starting. My doctor came to check on us around 6:00pm. He was headed home for the day, but said he would come back to deliver Olive.
Throughout the day they would take the Pitocin from 10 to 20 units. Then stop it for 30 minutes, because my body wouldn’t react and pump it back up to 30 units to try to move the contractions along again. This pattern went on through my entire labor.
My sweet nurse, Ashley, was now with us and the doctor on call came in to check me. Unfortunately, I was still only at 1cm. Sigh… time started to crawl… and crawl! Shortly after that we laid down to shut our eyes. Well, the hubs closed his eyes. Thankfully, Ashley kept me entertained, we chatted and before I knew it my contractions were starting to pick up.
December 23rd, 2017
Epidural was on the way. Although I wasn’t dilating, the contractions from the Pitocin became more intense and painful. Also, it’s one of my biggest fears to give birth without pain meds. I just don’t have it in me.
The epidural was a lot more painful that I remember it being. The first epidural wasn’t successful, so they had to do a second. John held my hand and I buried my head into Ashley’s arms. Ouch, ouch, ouch! Soon after, I started to feel great, except it didn’t take on both sides, so there was a lot of bed adjustments.
At that point, they worked the Pitocin back up to 30 units and I was able to close my eyes for a bit.
I was checked and made it to 3cm!
Our goal was to have her by 7:00am…before Ashely’s shift changed.
Shift change – new doctor and nurse! Ashley’s shift was over, but she stayed with us until a little after 10am (she’s the best and so incredibly caring). Nurse Mandy, who I had the day before, was back on deck and we can’t sing her praises enough. I was checked again and still only 3cm. They decided to change up the Pitocin to see if that would speed things along. Sure enough, by 8:45am, the contractions were moving along and I couldn’t stop itching!
We continued to make bets as to when she would arrive and John probably made a million nervous trips to the cafeteria.
My doctor also came into our room to visit us and check-in! Still here, still waiting!
I felt gross. The last time I washed my face and brushed my teeth was 26 hours ago! Yuck! As I laid on my side to balance the epidural, I had John help me wash my face, brush my teeth and apply a fresh swipe of deodorant. I needed to feel like a lady again! I also reapplied makeup while laying on my side (a true skill-set!) and a little dry shampoo brought me back to life… and pass some serious time!
Time to celebrate, I’m 4cm! Showing good progression! Hallelujah!
The hubs journaled, “…slow and steady wins the race. Nothing new, but contractions continue and Lindsey can feel her drop every so often”.
They bumped the Pitocin back up to 28 units. Nurse Mandy stayed in our room for awhile and visited with us. John and I really enjoyed getting to know her and learning about her family. Other nurses who cared for me during my 2 night stay in early December popped in and out to say hello. Presby truly has some of the most caring staff members – we were so touched by all the love.
PROGRESS HAS BEEN MADE – 8cm – 100% effaced! It’s almost GO TIME! We called my sister and my friend Allison who was photographing the birth!
Before we knew it Allison arrived and shortly after Alexa came through the door in tears (God, love her).
The doctor from our practice called my doctor to let him know that I would be pushing soon!
I was 10cm and started to push with my doctor. Unfortunately, Olive was still too high so they had me “labor down” in bed. Throughout the day, my original epidural started to lose its effect, so they switched to another medicine… twice! ..to get me some relief. It never fully took on the right side, so my nurse continued to rotate me from side to side. Oddly enough, I started to feel pain in my back, down both thighs and lots of burning. I thought I had a high pain tolerance because I could take a daily progesterone shot, for months, like a champ… but jokes on me! Laboring down, with Pitocin set that high, and all the pressure and gravity taking its course was for the birds.
I was also starving. My last meal was from the day before on my way to my doctors appointment – a reduced fat turkey bacon breakfast sandwich from Starbucks, the 230 calorie one. I’ve been without food for 30 hours. Not only was I hungry, but I was exhausted. I literally have’t slept in months and if you follow me on Snapchat then you can attest to this. I had about zero energy, but was so anxious and excited to get my hands on my baby. I could do this!
I took a break from laboring down and they gave me some more meds. I fell in and out of a loopy state. I’m not sure what I said to Allison and my sister, but I remember John rubbing my back and trying to keep my eyes open to have a conversation with them. I remember thinking to myself… “did you just say that”. And soon, like that, all the pain was gone and I was a happy mama!
John had a ring for me during delivery. It was an olive branch ring that I get to wear on my right hand until our Olive is grown and then it will be passed down to her.
Test push! It was GO time, not only were we about to meet our baby but I was minutes away from eating – lol – is that bad?!. A wave of emotions came over me though – after 32 long hours, we were about to hold our precious baby! I think we all cried… well, I know we all cried. Before Alexa left the room and I began pushing, our incredible nurse Mandy gave me a pep-talk. She had all of us – Alexa, John, Allison and myself in tears. I remember Allison saying… “I think I could have a baby right now”.
Baby nurses arrived and the real pushing was underway!
It was such a peaceful birth. John was the perfect partner and we both cried between each push as we became closer and closer to seeing her sweet face. I’ll never forget the tears that filled his eyes and the joy that was written all over his face. He was one proud daddy and I can’t imagine a better partner to experience this with. I was so thankful that Allison was there. She helped me through pushes and I’m so incredibly happy that I got to share these special moments with her.
The pages of pregnancy were coming to an end and the next chapter of motherhood was about to unfold.
With one more push Olive was out and set on my chest, a moment that I never want to forget. Ever. Ugly cry and all. She was perfect in every single way and the best gift we could ever ask for. The exhaustion was brushed aside and I was in complete awe over this little Christmas miracle. I never-ever want to forget those first moments with her. I think I kept saying that to my husband. The nurses were so kind and allowed us to have a lot of time with her. Everything we had gone through…every shot…every doubt…every high and low…was totally worth it. This moment with her. Our baby girl Olive was finally in my arms.
After a few minutes, John texted Alexa to come in and meet her niece! Sharing Olive’s first moments of life with my sister was truly special. It’s times like this one that remind me just how special family is and just how lucky I am to have such an amazing family. We were also so lucky to have Olive’s Godparents, Tiffany & Rudy visit. Tiffany has been one of the best friends I could have ever asked for and was with me when my water broke with Henry.
Life since Olive has truly been bliss. We’re doing everything “wrong”, like co-sleeping. I’ve learned to ‘let go’ and haven’t done a chore (other than wash bottles and load the dishwasher) in several days. We hold her all the time, literally all.the.time! Most of the time she sleeps on one of our chests. I sniff her 18394850934 times a day and kiss her on the lips. We are soaking it up because we know these days are short-lived.
I thank God every day for the medical advancements that allowed us the choice to be the mother and father we had dreamt of being. Our hearts have grown a million sizes… there truly are no words. We are so thankful for all of you who have kept our little family in your prayers. So much love, friends!