Lila Faith: A Birth Story
You guys, Wilburta is here!! Except her name isn't Wilburta... ...it's Lila Faith.
And as one would expect from this pregnancy, Lila came into the world on her own terms.
We had recently heard good news about Lila's growth. However, after a later biophysical profile showed that my amniotic fluid was once again on the low side, we decided it was best that I start my maternity leave a little ahead of my scheduled c-section so I could rest and attend the last few doctor appointments before the big day.
On the morning of Monday, March 23rd, we sent Charlotte to daycare and I took advantage of the time to myself to take a long shower, use the hairdryer that had been collecting dust in my bathroom, and do my hair and makeup. This is going to sound so shallow, but I wanted to practice curling my hair- like a teenager!- to see how long it would take me. We were the incredibly fortunate recipients of a hospital photography session (I'll be sure to share!!) and I thought maybe, just maybe, I would try actually doing my hair. Yes, 48 hours after birth- HA HA HA HA! I must have been delusional! Anyway...
As I swiped on some mascara, I looked up at Lila's ultrasound taped to our bathroom mirror and the word 'Believe' written in lipstick. I had to smile. When I originally stuck the ultrasound on the mirror, we were so afraid and so worried about this baby girl. She had come so far, surprising us all, and it would only be a few more days until we got to see her cute little face. I couldn't wait to hear how much she would actually weigh at birth.
Our bags were semi-packed, but I didn't bother to put my toiletries into the hospital bag before leaving for my doctor appointment because I thought the biophysical profile would go just fine like the others. I had a list of last minute to-do's and another doctor appointment to attend that afternoon, but I guess Lila had a different plan that day!
At the maternal fetal specialist, the ultrasound technician checked Lila out, told me all looked well, and sent for the doctor to review everything. As he reviewed the notes, he started to talk about how everything looked good and how we would proceed as planned with our c-section on Thursday, March 26th but then when he took a look at Lila himself he got drastically different measurements for her fluid levels. After taking them several times, based on his measurements, he did not feel comfortable with allowing me to wait a few more days and sent me straight to the hospital for delivery.
I felt a little nervous about suddenly having to deliver our little one in a matter of a few hours and felt a bit unprepared even though we had been warned of this possibility continually throughout the pregnancy. I texted John and said, "Don't freak out, but I have to go straight to the hospital. Today's the day.", which of course is exactly what you say when you want to freak someone out. ;-) He rushed out of a meeting, grabbed our half-packed hospital bags and met me at the hospital right as I was arriving.
It was a long afternoon of hurry-up and wait but eventually we headed down the hall to the OR and once again, I felt Callie's calming presence with us there. I remember asking if they had started yet and they all laughed and said, "Yep! He's almost to your uterus!" which is just crazy to me because I could not feel a single thing.
Before I knew it, little Lila Faith was out and was carried to the warming station. She took a few seconds to give a cry which made me so nervous as I asked, "Is she ok? Is she ok?" but she was! She gave little bitty kitten cries and was folded completely in half like a taco, with her feet up by her head since she was frank breech for the entire second half of the pregnancy. Lila will definitely be skilled at the sit-and-reach in PE one day! After what seemed like an eternity, they finally put her on the scale for the moment of truth...
...5 lb. 14 oz.!!!
She was a peanut for sure, but she was a perfectly healthy little peanut. Technically, anything under 5lb. 8oz. is considered low birth weight so after all the worrying and waiting and praying, Lila came into the world squeaking by as a 'normal' sized baby, officially out of the 'runt' status that had earned her the nickname Wilburta. And wouldn't you know it? There was a picture of a sunshine and a rainbow right there on the monitor of the scale shining over her weight like a little wink from God.
A while back, I made some predictions about Lila:
- “Wilburta” is FINE and because of our history and her little lag in growth back in December they have decided to watch us like a hawk to make sure she doesn’t become NOT FINE. Which she won’t, because she is FINE!
- “Wilburta” will be born on her scheduled C-section date.
- She will be between 6-7 pounds.
- She will be healthy and perfect in every way.
Ok, so I was wrong about a few of them- but not by much! She was born three days before her scheduled C-section date at 38 weeks and 1 day and she missed the 6 pound mark by 2 ounces. Not bad, not bad at all.
As with Charlotte's birth, we had an amazing nurse who let me breastfeed Lila right there on the operating table and I cried as I watched this teeny little bundle of perfection hungrily nurse. While pregnant with Lila, we just tried to get from one appointment to the next. We never really got to think much about what it would be like when she was finally here. Once she arrived, the relief of having her safely in our arms was so satisfying and fulfilling. She was a dream realized and a prayer (or millions of prayers!) answered. It felt so good to do all the little joyful acts of being her mommy and daddy...finally!
Once again, we were surrounded in the hospital by the most amazing nurses, many of whom had been there with us with Callie, and then again with Charlotte. I am so thankful for their loving care of us, especially to Nurse Cindy again...our special earth angel. Our family and friends were there to help us celebrate with another rainbow party for our second rainbow girl. Watching Charlotte meet her baby sister for the first time was such a surreal moment. All of a sudden, Charlotte seemed so grown up and big! She was a little freaked out by all the commotion, but with time she is coming around to the idea of having a baby sister. ;-)
With the roller coaster that we have been on throughout this pregnancy, I fully expected Lila to be a total handful, but she has surprised me with how easy-going she is. She is totally like "What was all the fuss about guys?" just like I hoped she would be.
Thank you for following along in our journey and for all of your support and prayers. We are so thrilled and relieved to be able to hold Lila Faith safely in our arms and to grow our family once more.
Blessed doesn't even begin to describe it.