Jun 25, 2015

Another "weird" name...

Micah and I struggled to name this beautiful second daughter of ours, even though we've kept a long running list of potential baby names for both girls and boys for quite a few years now. Zianne was always at the top of that list, but we have quite a few other girl names on it that I thought we loved too. Micah and I agree on lots of names and I've always said we could easily name at least ten babies together.


By the 24th week of pregnancy, we had a hunch we were having a girl due to the presence of a cyst in the baby's pelvis. The cyst later disappeared so we didn't let the doctors give us any details, but our elementary scientific reasoning told us it was probably an ovarian cyst and therefore the pressure was on to name a second daughter. And suddenly we felt stuck. Or rather, Micah felt stuck. I was happy to choose from many of the names on our list, but he suddenly found himself comparing each name to Zianne and it fell short in his eyes. I understand his point... it's hard to give a child your "second favorite" name.

Talitha was never on our official list, and I never mentioned it to Micah until halfway through this pregnancy when he vetoed every name from our girl list. I actually stumbled upon the name Talitha back when I was pregnant with Zianne. About a month before she was born, I read Mark 5 where Jesus raises Jairus' daughter from the dead. He says to her "Talitha cumi" which means "Little girl,  I say to you, arise." I thought to myself "Talitha would be a pretty name for a girl." However, at the time we were set with Zianne as our girl name and I never uttered Talitha to Micah. In fact, I hardly thought of it again until just a few months ago.

With the impending arrival of another baby and no girl name at all, I mentioned the name Talitha to Micah one day. I watched him ponder it. This was the first name I had suggested that didn't receive a hasty "no." He told me he liked it. He wasn't certain about it, but it was pretty and he appreciated the Biblical meaning behind it. As we talked about the name Talitha over the next few weeks, Micah came up with one stipulation. If we were going to give our child another "weird name," she had to have a really "normal" middle name to go with it. We threw around some ideas such as Ruth or June, but finally settled on Joy. Joy is a family name on Micah's side. It's the middle name of both his grandma and his sister Kayla, who has lived with us for the past three years. Kayla is such a special part of our family and she is leaving in just a few days to serve on an 11 month mission trip around the world. We are so sad to see her go, although we are excited for her trip and the ways God will use her this next year. She is truly a woman filled with joy and such a loving aunt to Zianne. We would love for our both our daughters to follow her example in the way she loves and serves others with her whole heart. {Plus, we are secretly hoping if we name our offspring after her, Kayla will come live with us again after her trip is over.}


Our prayer is that Talitha Joy will be a girl, and someday a woman, who arises with joy each day. We hope she loves others well and serves God's kingdom sacrificially. May she be a shining example to others as she clings to the hope of Christ in all circumstances.

Jun 23, 2015

Talitha's Birth Story

I was fairly accurate on most of my predictions about Talitha’s birth, except I never would have guessed she would arrive a day before her due date. All my mom’s babies were {very} late and Zianne was nine days late, so I didn’t think it was possible for women in my bloodline to have a baby before its due date.


Up until Wednesday I was telling people I thought baby #2 would arrive the next weekend. My due date was Saturday the 13th, and I thought the baby would come between the following Thursday and Sunday and nice, healthy 5-8 days past due.

However, on Thursday I felt… different. I didn’t necessarily think labor was imminent, but looking back I wonder if I was subconsciously preparing for it. Physically, the baby felt lower and heavier than ever before. I don’t think she dropped necessarily, but I felt like she was pressing down on my pelvis for the first time ever. I ran some crucial last minute errands on Thursday morning, including picking up our cord blood donation kit and getting my pre-labor pedicure. It turns out I did both of these tasks JUST in the nick of time.

As I bustled around town on Thursday, I started wondering when I would go into labor instead of just assuming it was still a long ways off. I ran into Walmart that afternoon to pick up a few items, and I remember thinking as I pulled into my parking spot, "It’s funny you don’t know when your labor story is going to start. You could be doing something totally normal {like shopping} and not realize it’s about to be part of your birth story.” As I was walking around the store, I thought to myself, “What if my water broke in here?” I’m so glad it didn’t, but I had no idea my water would be breaking in the next 12 hours.

I headed home for a busy afternoon and evening. I worked on my dissertation for a bit during Zianne’s nap and then my friend Shalyn brought her twin boys over to play. We let our three toddlers destroy the house for a few hours while we chatted. Shalyn’s husband had to work late that night so I insisted she stay for dinner. We joked that if only we were eating wings maybe the baby would come that night. My last meal before going into labor with Zianne was when Micah and I brought wings for dinner after the Baker’s twin boys were born.

After dinner I rushed off to our community group. Micah stayed home to watch the NBA Finals (because “it only happens once a year”) and he kept Zianne with him, as she was overtired and having a rough night. In retrospect, we wonder if Zianne sensed the baby was coming (they say mammals have this biological ability). While I was at community group, our generally good spirited toddler who loves spending time with dad was whiny and kept crying and asking for “mommmmy.” I heard her call out for me a few times from her crib later that night as well.

I got home and Micah and I cleaned up the toy explosion in our home. Micah decided to go to bed soon after, and I stayed up to finish some laundry. I watched Call the Midwife while folding {appropriate, yes?} and finally headed to bed around 12:30am.

I crawled into bed next to Micah, laid on my side, and a minute or two later I felt the tiniest little drip. It wasn’t anything drastic, but just enough to catch my attention as I was trying to drift off to sleep. I continued to lie there and about two minutes later I felt another tiny drip. “This feels familiar,” I thought. I jumped out of bed and leapt for the tile of the bathroom just a few feet away. As soon as I landed, I felt a gush. “This is happening now” I whispered to myself.

I didn’t wake Micah right away but instead enjoyed a leisurely shower, washing my hair and shaving my legs slowly, just like I did when my water broke with Z. It was fun to be the only one in the world that knew this baby was on its way, and I was filled with excitement. I spent my time in the shower praying over labor and delivery.

By the time I got out of the shower, I was starting to feel my contractions. Micah was still slumbering peacefully, so I decided to pack for the hospital before I woke him up. Although I had procrastinated on packing, I  had gotten out my suitcase and printed a packing list, so I took those items, along with some clothing and baby supplies, out to the kitchen where I folded and organized everything and checked each item off my list. I then dried my hair in the guest bathroom and at 2:30 am I decided to wake my husband.

Micah had been saying for weeks he hoped the baby would arrive on a Friday, so he could have the weekend off, take a full week off work, and then have another weekend to maximize his PTO. Now, as I tapped him awake at 2:30am, I whispered, “You are getting your wish. This baby is coming today… but you are going to have to wake up.” He smiled and proceeded to fall back asleep. I set his alarm for ten minutes later and left to room to finalize my packing.


By 3:30am, we were headed to the hospital. We left Z with Kayla at home and my mom came to get her in the morning when Kayla had to go to work. At this point I was having contractions every 3-5 minutes but they were only lasting 10-20 seconds. We arrived at triage and got checked in quickly. The nurse took my vitals and checked my dilation. I was at 4 cm. With Zianne, it took me over 12 hours to simply dilate to 3cm, so I considered 4 in just a few hours a roaring success. However, this is when my triage experience stopped being fun…

The nurse sampled my fluids to make sure my water had really broken. She returned and informed me that my water had indeed ruptured {as if I was unsure}, and that they had a room ready for me… but I would have to wait in triage a while longer because they didn’t have a nurse available to transition me to my room. I asked how long it would take and she said “maybe 30 minutes," which sounded absolutely miserable. I told her I would probably want an epidural once I was out of triage, so she was super nice and put in my IV for me and started me on some fluids so the anesthesiologist could come right away when I got to my room. That helped pass the time a little bit, but eventually I was all hooked up and there was nothing left to do but wait. And wait. And wait.

There is nothing worse than laboring in triage. You are lying on a tiny table and your husband is sitting in a hard plastic chair next to you. There are fluorescent lights overhead and you have to walk out into the hallway to use the bathroom. Micah started timing my contractions and they had stretched to 45 seconds. When at least 25 minutes had passed with me groaning on the table, Micah went out to get an update. The nurse returned and said she thought it would be at least another 15 minutes. She checked me one more time and I was at a 5. By this point, we had been in triage for almost two hours total, so when she offered to give me something to take the edge off the pain, I gave in. I was pretty sure they were just throwing time estimates at me and it might be another whole hour until I got to my room. When she came back to give me the drug another nurse accompanied her. I figured it was just someone assisting her in administering the medicine. She shot the Stadol into my IV and within 60 seconds I felt loopy and dizzy. As soon as I reached this state, the second nurse rolled a wheelchair up to me and told me I was going to my room. I looked at her in disbelief. If they would have told me my nurse was ready to transition me, I never would have taken the drug, but off I went to my room thinking “Is this what an acid trip is like?”

We got my room around 6:15am and I had my epidural by 6:45am. I don’t remember much during this period as everything was a blur from the Stadol and all the staff members I met were about to get off shift never to be seen again. I do remember the anesthesiologist was a woman with an accent who was going a on a vacation to Europe the following day. I’m pretty sure we both made some jokes as she jammed that big needle in my back.

Once those sweet drugs relieved the pain, I was able to lie on my side and rest. Micah started napping on a bench in our room. Our delivery nurse, Cathy, came on shift at 7am and introduced herself. She was a sweet woman and I was thankful to have her for delivery. She noticed the baby’s heart rate was starting to drop a little, so she put me on oxygen and told me to nap while she prepped the room. She said I was probably at a 7 or 8 if the baby’s heart rate was being affected. I tried to sleep but I couldn’t actually drift off with a mask strapped to my face. And if I was truly at a 7 or an 8, I knew it wouldn’t be long before the baby arrived.

Around 9am my doctor came in with a resident. They checked me and said that magic word… “ten.” The doctors prepped for delivery and I did some practice pushes with our nurse and Micah. When everything was set up, I pushed for about ten minutes. Suddenly the resident stopped me. Talitha was coming at an awkward angle, and it was making her descent difficult. The resident gave a little twist on her head while my OB pushed gently on my abdomen, and just like that she turned into just the right position. With ten more minutes of pushing, she was out!


They held her up for Micah to reveal the gender, but the doctor was blocking his view. I, however, had a clear shot, and I smiled as I said, “I can see what it is…” They laid the baby on my chest and she gazed at her dad the whole time as the doctors were finishing up {just a few small stitches this time around}. I actually cried a little as I held her. With Z, I was too overwhelmed by the whole labor experience to feel emotional when she was born. This time was the complete opposite. The labor and delivery went so smoothly, and I was able to delight in the moment of birth.

Then came the hardest part of this whole labor story… naming our child. Although we didn’t find out the gender, we had a strong feeling it was a girl because the doctor found a pelvic cyst during our anatomy ultrasound. The doctor never revealed where exactly the cyst was located, so we wouldn’t have to find out the gender, but we figured it was most likely an ovarian cyst. You would think with this scientifically based hunch, we would have a girl’s name ready to go, but we just didn’t. Micah struggled to find a name he loved as much as Zianne. We went into delivery with three completely different sets of first/middle names. One set was Biblical, one set was super unique and playful (in the Zianne Eileen genre), and one set was Norwegian, a heritage Micah and I share.

When the baby came out, I found myself thinking of her as a Talitha and apparently Micah felt the same way, but when all the doctors and nurses finally left our room so we could discuss it, we actually started leaning toward one of our other name options. But after discussing it for an hour or so, Micah suddenly changed his mind and said “I think she’s Talitha Joy.” Right then, we got transferred to our recovery room. When we got settled in the new space, I asked “So is that really her name?” Can we tell our families now?” Micah confirmed and we started texting our families and closet friends to tell them Talitha Joy had arrived safely and smoothly into the world!

Jun 22, 2015

Newborn life...

I had forgotten how squeaky newborns are... how they guzzle milk and spit all over and squeak and squawk as their lungs, esophagus, and reflexes work out all the kinks.

I had forgotten how their legs make a perfect "M" shape from being folded up so tightly for weeks on end. Around here we call them "womb knees."


I didn't understand when they warned me, "Your toddler will seem SO huge to you once you hold a newborn baby again." Zianne has always been a giant to me, but since her sister was born it feels like she gained at least 20 pounds. I look at her body and watch her mannerisms and feel like she should be in second grade already.


I had forgotten I would have to change my clothes at least three times a day because baby bodily fluids abound!

I had forgotten how newborns look and sound like little dinosaurs when they are hungry for milk.

I didn't fully believe them when they said delivery and recovery would be easier the second time around, but I'm so glad they were right. I'll take nine hours of labor over twenty hours any time.

 

I am quickly remembering that a babe sleeping on your chest is the best.
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