Don’t mind the two week delay…she’s HERE!
Hartley Evans Calcara
March 2nd at 10:25am
7 lbs 9 oz
We are settling in as a family of five and just completely smitten with this little angel. Every day I realize more and more what a miracle she is and how blessed we are to have her.
Now let me back up and start from the beginning…okay?
I feel like everyone I’ve ever met knows about my platelet issue by now. Sorry about that!! Well as we got closer to my due date, the darn things started to tank. They went up slightly after a round of steroids, but were back down in the 60,000’s again the next week. That’s when the hematologist I was seeing recommended I do something called IVIG–an intravenous immunogloblin infusion. (Say that 5 times fast!!) There was no guarantee that this would boost my platelets, but I was willing to try anything. I knew I could do labor unmedicated (although I preferred not to), but I was slightly terrified about what might happen after the baby was born. I knew I didn’t want to feel ANYTHING if that happened again. So infusions it was!
The induction was scheduled for Thursday, March 2nd–which meant I would spend 4-5 hours hours on both Tuesday and Wednesday getting the infusions. When I left Wednesday afternoon, my platelets were still only 65,000. Most hospitals want you around 90,000-100,000 for an epidural, so I was feeling pretty defeated. I read somewhere that pomegranates could help boost platelets, so I hit up the grocery store and bought a gallon of Pom–and started chugging 😉 Meanwhile, I’d been having contractions all day long. They weren’t too painful, but they were close enough together that I told Chris to come home from work…just in case.
Things slowed down a little bit that evening, so we ended up ordering food and watching Trolls with the kids and my parents (little did I know I’d have to watch it 659 more times after the baby was born!!) We also snuck in one last picture as a family of four…
The contractions continued throughout the night, waking me up about every 30 minutes until our alarm went off at 4am. It was time to shower and head to the hospital! I was hopeful that things would move quickly since my body was already headed in the right direction.
When we arrived at the hospital, my platelet count was 72,000. I knew the odds of an epidural were pretty low at that level, so I started to mentally prepare myself for doing it without. Actually, I’d been mentally preparing for about 9 months, but now it was REAL. Shortly after, they started the pitocin and my doctor came by to talk about the plan and break my water. She was going to chat with the anesthesiologist and then send him our way–but we all knew it wasn’t up to her…or us!
About 10 minutes later, the resident anesthesiologist popped in. He said he didn’t want to get our hopes up, but he thought the head doctor was considering giving me the epidural because my numbers were trending upward. Chris and I just looked at each other in disbelief!! My hopes were definitely up! 😉 As we waited to see the anesthesiologist, my contractions were getting intense…but I knew from experience that it was only the beginning. Then we got the go ahead for the epidural and it’s like the heavens opened up and angels started singing. Okay, so that’s a bit much…but it was pretty glorious. Of course they asked how long I could wait and I told them, “awhile…I’m good right now.” Why I said that? I have NO idea. ZERO. Note to self: if there’s a next time (which there won’t be)–ask for it as soon as you get the all-clear.
We were just a little excited…
About 45 minutes to an hour later, the anesthesiologist came back–and I wondered how in the world I was going to sit still for him to do what he needed to do. My contractions were serious at this point and I was so ready for some relief! I squeezed my poor nurse’s hands so tight through the contractions until they told me it was in. Hallelujah!
I had mentioned to the nurse that my sister’s epidurals only worked on half of her body and we kind of laughed about how that would be my luck. Well what do you know?? 10 minutes after getting the epidural, I could still feel EVERYTHING on my right side. Noooooo!!!!! They tilted me on that side and then the doctor came back in to adjust my epidural. Still nothing. At this point I wanted to cry. I thought, “I’m going to be here all day and I won’t even be able to get up and move around to work through the pain.” I just closed my eyes and squeezed the heck out of the bed rail.
The nurse had been waiting to check my progress until I was comfortable from the epidural, but since that wasn’t happening, she decided to go ahead and see where we were at. Then she said, “Well that’s why. You’re complete. It’s time to push!”
I couldn’t believe it, but I was SO relieved to get the show on the road! I knew once I could push, the pain wouldn’t be nearly as bad. But then we waited…and waited some more. I’m pretty sure they called the wrong number for my doctor the first time (OY!!!), but once I asked my nurse to call again, our doctor was there in a jiffy. And three pushes later, so was our sweet Hartley 🙂
It was love at first sight…
Such a little miracle!
One of the first things all the nurses noticed were her dimples. And those long fingers!
Now I know what you’re wondering. What happened next? I’m happy to report that everything was normal and all organs stayed where they were supposed to. Praise God! 😉 I think this guy was as happy about that as I was…
I’m just so incredibly thankful that everything went smoothly…half epidural and all 😉 Honestly, had I known it was going to work out how it did, I would’ve passed on the epidural altogether. I know, I know…after all that work to get it! But I really think she would’ve been here about an hour earlier without it. Hindsight is always 20/20, right?!
The good thing about the epidural not really working was that I was up and moving shortly after…and the recovery has been pretty easy overall. So I’ll take that!
The kids had school the day Hartley was born, so both sets of grandparents picked them up and then headed to the hospital to meet her.
Does he look like a proud big brother or what? 🙂
The kids’ cameras were a hit–and we’ve got some great photos to prove it. Annnnd a lot of pictures of the floor, up noses, etc.
Our first picture as a family of five. I love them.
Just verifying the maximum occupancy of the room was correct…
On Saturday we headed home…anxious to be back with kids and starting our “new life”.
Two weeks later and I’m still pinching myself…still in awe of this precious gift we’ve been given. Getting pregnant without IVF was a miracle in itself…but a smooth delivery and a healthy baby too? God has been in control the entire time. And I know in my heart that Hartley’s Uncle Josh was involved too. He’s a part of her and that makes me happy.