July 18, 2014

Olivia's Birth

Olivia's story starts all the way back in July 2013. Rich and I had been trying to conceive since May 2009, and if you can do the math, that's over 4 years of trying to have a baby. When we started trying I thought it was going to be this magical experience and I would be pregnant within a few weeks. Weeks turned to months and months to years. We tried lots different fertility medications with no success. I kept on telling myself that this year was going to be the year and when Christmas came around of that year, I always felt an emptiness. Despite not being able to conceive for almost 5 years, Rich and I remained positive and had faith that we would be parents someday. So finally in May 2013 we decided to talk to a fertility specialist.  We did 2 unsuccessful rounds of IUI and then decided it was time to start the in vitro process.
After lots of medications, injections, ultrasounds, blood work and tears, they did our egg retrieval on our anniversary, August 21st and I think it gave us some good luck. Five days later they put 2 embryos in and put me on bedrest for 3 long days. Then the waiting game began. Two LONG weeks later, on September 5th we found out we were pregnant and due on May 14th 2014. It was one of the happiest moments of my life.

When we found out we were expecting, Rich and I were both sure that our baby was a boy. Whenever we would talk about the baby we would refer to it as "him."  I was even ready to start buying baby boy clothes because I was so sure that we were going to have a little man running around here! We of course were dying to confirm what we already believed so at 14 weeks we went to Fetal Photo to find out the gender. The ultrasound tech told us almost immediately that our baby was a girl. We told the tech to check again and he said he was 300% sure it was a girl. We were stunned to say the least! We told our families and friends with the gender box filled with pink balloons. We got a pink sky that night too!

My pregnancy went pretty smooth. I was nauseous the first trimester but that mostly got better after about 14 weeks. I had heart burn off and on my entire pregnancy. The only craving I really got was chewing on ice and then the occasional cheeseburger. Thank goodness I'm in the medical field and had access to ice chips whenever I wanted! I worked full time as a RN for my entire pregnancy so I was on my feet a lot and my hips would be in constant pain after a few hours of work. Sometimes after a 12 hour shift, I could barley walk because my hips were so sore, but overall, I feel like I was blessed with a pretty great pregnancy. Feeling her kick inside me was the best. 
On May 3rd, while I was at a baby shower Rich's family had thrown for me, I started having contractions about every 15 minutes. I wasn't too concerned, I thought they were braxton hicks at first because I was still 11 days before my due date. After the shower, Rich and I got in the car and I told him that I had been having contractions. We started timing them and they were about 5 minutes apart. We decided to head to the hospital. Our nurse checked me and I was dilated to a 3 and 90% effaced. They told me to walk around so we walked and walked and walked for about 3 hours straight. The nurse checked me again and there was no progression. Dr. Barney came in and talked to me and did an ultrasound. He said my amniotic fluid was slightly low but it was nothing to be worried about. They told me if my contractions got worse to come but in but for now there was nothing they could do for me so we went home. I was so disappointed that I wasn't progressing despite my consistent contractions.

When we got home, I finished packing my things for the hospital just in case and went straight to bed and had the best nights sleep I had had in months, I guess that was God's way of preparing me of what was to come. At 5:30 AM on May 4th I woke up and went to the bathroom. My water broke in the bathroom and I yelled to Rich. It was the first time real fear set in that this was really happening. I was really scared. We quickly grabbed our things and went to St. Mark's Hospital. On the drive there my contractions were getting increasingly more painful. When we were walking in the hospital, I had to stop a couple times because my contractions were so intense. The nurses at St. Mark's brought us to a room and checked me. I was dilated to a 4 and in so much pain. The nurse told me she had to do a test to ensure that my water broke and that after the results came back I would be able to get my epidural. 2 excruciatingly painful hours later, they told me what we already knew, that my water had in fact broken. They called the anesthesiologist and he got my epidural going (thank goodness)! They checked me about 10 minutes after my epidural and I was dilated to a 9. Let me tell you that progressing from a 4 to a 9 in 2 hours without an epidural in extremely painful! The nurses were really surprised that I was progressing so fast since I was a first time mom. When Dr. Barney got there, the nurses told me to expect to push for about an hour at least. I pushed for about 15 minutes and then our sweet Olivia was born. The first time I saw her I just felt so much love. She had her eyes wide open and she looked right at me. After that first moment of holding her I knew life would never be the same. She was 7 lbs 12 oz, 20 inches long and so beautiful. I love Rich's face in the picture below. Seeing him as a dad has been so incredible and has made me love him even more than I ever knew I could.
Having Olivia was the most spiritual experience I have ever had. Holding her for the first time was pure heaven. Now that Olivia is here, it is very evident to me that she was born at the perfect time for both her, and  Rich and I. She is an absolute angel and makes every day so special. Rich and I love every new phase and are absolutely loving being her mom and dad. We feel pretty lucky to have gotten such a sweet baby.  I did not know I could love like this. She is so amazing. 


Erica said...

I'm crying! haha I loved this so much and I am sure glad you have this sweet little angel.
Love you!

heather griggs said...

Mari I had no idea what it took for you both. I know the infertility thing is a process and a painful and hurtful one at that. Going on 4 years of trying ourselves and hoping our first IUI will be successful but congratulations on getting your miracle baby.