It gives me great pleasure to finally introduce to all of you the newest member of our little family – Miss Allie Claire Michel!
She was welcomed into this world on July 5, 2017 at 9:49 pm weighing 7 pounds 2 ounces and stretching out 20 1/2 inches long.
The past two weeks have certainly been an adjustment for Brett and I, but nothing short of amazing at the same time. As expected, Allie has truly captured the hearts of so many. It has taken me quite a while to sit down and write this post since I have so many incredible words to describe how I am feeling. So, I’ll simply just start at the beginning.
On July 4th, 2017, after falling asleep for about an hour, I woke up to my water breaking. After rushing to the bathroom and finding a new set of bottoms, I headed outside to call for Brett since he was socializing with a few neighbors while popping fireworks. Once Brett made it inside I told him what happened and that I wanted to quickly shower before leaving the house – since I knew I probably wouldn’t be able to shower again until after our baby was delivered. He agreed with me, and he too also showered before leaving. Fortunately, I had my hospital bag packed up two weeks ago, so we were able to leave right away once we were both clean.
On the way to the hospital, I called my parents and also texted my colleague to let her know that I was not going to make it to our agent caravan the next day since I was currently in labor. Once we got to the hospital, we were surprisingly quickly admitted. I was then hooked up to an IV and monitor. I was also relieved to find out that my baby was doing just fine. The nurses then checked me to see how far I was dilated. After examining me I found out that I hadn’t progressed any since my last doctor’s appointment. At this point I was only dilated one centimeter. Since I was contracting, the nurses decided to see how I would progress on my own…and so the waiting game began.
Since I was hooked up to a bag of fluids I had to bother Brett every hour or so to help me to the bathroom. We were both trying to rest as much as possible, so this was the most annoying part of the entire labor process. The most painful part of labor was actually receiving penicillin through my IV. I had to receive this medicine since I tested positive for Strep B.
The next morning I was given Cytotec orally to induce labor. Then after a few hours, once the nurses confirmed that I was not progressing, they started Pitocin. Once the Pitocin was in my system I started to feel heavier contractions – and an hour later, I asked to receive an epidural to ease the pain. I was a little nervous to receive the epidural, but it wasn’t nearly as painful as the penicillin that ran through my veins. My nurse Kyle was also an amazing coach throughout the procedure. Once the epidural was done, we continued to wait. I used a peanut ball to encourage my cervix to open, but only progressed another centimeter by that afternoon. Kyle checked me one last time before her shift ended. She confirmed that I had dilated to three centimeters. Before leaving she told me that she was hopeful that I would deliver vaginally. So, the nurses on the next shift decided to up my dosage of Pitocin. After three hours, my nurse checked me one final time to find out that I hadn’t progressed any and that my cervix was starting to swell. Since my regular doctor was out of town, the on call doctor had been popping in and out of my room the entire day. Once Dr. Harper learned that my cervix was swelling, she ordered a cesarean delivery.
This news was heartbreaking to me since I wanted to avoid surgery due to a longer recovery period. I always imagined myself having a vaginal delivery, so in a way, a c section made me feel like less of a women. And even though I tried to prepare myself for a cesarean delivery prior to going into labor, I was terrified. But, like always, my husband and parents were there to encourage me. In the end, I knew I had no control. So, I lifted my baby and myself into prayer and asked Mother Mary and her angels to watch over us – especially my baby girl.
I entered the surgery room alone since Brett was taken into a separate room to prep for surgery. I was trying so incredibly hard to control my emotions, but the tears just continued to flow down my face. I was so relieved to feel Brett’s presence once he entered the room. The warmth of his hand and his reassuring words helped ease my nerves. Brett did his best to walk me through the entire surgery, promising me that the entire process was safe and controlled. He also encouraged me to pray the Our Father prayer with him right before the surgery began.
After about five minutes, once the first incision was made, I heard the most amazing sound – the sound of my baby girl’s cry and my husband saying “she’s perfect” through his own tears of joy. At this point, I thought my heart was going to burst in two with happiness. Then finally, they took my girl around the curtain so that I could see her – and in that moment she totally consumed me and took my breathe away. I finally felt a mother’s love, and I knew from that moment own she’d be my everything.
After delivery, Brett left the room to recover with Allie while Dr. Harper finished up. I thought the next hour would never pass, but finally, I was sewn up and taken to Brett and Allie to join them in recovery. I’ll never forget seeing my husband holding our baby girl as I was rolled towards them. Brett told me that she was more than ready for her first feeding. Throughout the entire surgery and about two hours afterward I was shaking uncontrollably – which was a side effect from the epidural. Since I couldn’t control my arms, Brett and the lactation nurse helped me nurse my baby for the first time. I was amazed how well my girl latched on and completed her first feeding. After I recovered for an hour, I was rolled to my room where my mom, dad, and mother-in-law were waiting. They all welcomed Allie into our family with snuggles, kisses, and enough love to last her a lifetime. Although I was completely exhausted, it was honestly the happiest I have ever been in my entire life.
Because of my surgery, I had to stay at the hospital for three days. Allie’s pediatrician also wanted to monitor her for a few nights since she was prone to infection because my water bag had ruptured on its own. We made the best out of our stay, but we were constantly interrupted by nurses who needed to give medicine or check vital signs.
After the first night, I was finally able to use the bathroom on my own and stand for the first time since the epidural had been administered. That first walk felt like I was stepping on pins and needles, but it felt so good to get out of bed. Later, once I was detached from my IV, I was able to take a shower. It was a difficult task alone, but I embraced every second since I felt so miserably dirty. After my shower, I put on some makeup and finally felt like myself again.
Even though we were interrupted quite a bit throughout our stay, I have to take a moment to thank the incredible nursing staff at Lafayette General. Every nurse that we interacted with was absolutely comforting and supportive – especially as I learned how to breastfeed. I honestly couldn’t have imagined a better hospital visit – interruptions and all.
On Saturday, July 8th, 2017, we were finally able to pack up and head home after being discharged.
Allie wore the same yellow dress that I wore home from the hospital as a baby.
It was so refreshing to step through the front door of our home, but entering with a newborn was quite unfamiliar.
Since I was completely sleep deprived, I asked my mom to come over to watch Allie and help me with laundry while I took a power nap. Then later that evening my mother-in-law stayed the night so that Brett and I could get a good night’s rest. Our sleep was finally only interrupted by feedings. Even though we were well rested after that first night home, I still felt so foreign to our new lifestyle. Each day certainly gets easier as we figure out our own routine and schedule, but it’s definitely still peculiar – which is to be expected.
One thing I do know for sure is that we’re so in love with this tiny soul and thank God everyday for bringing her to us.
Some days all I want to do is stare at my beautiful baby and smother her with kisses.
I had no doubts that Brett would be an amazing father – and he has certainly lived up to that expectation. He helps me with diaper changes and also bathes Allie every single night. It warms my heart to see him interact with Allie – you guys should see how hard he loves on his little girl. She’s definitely got him wrapped around her heart. He’s mentioned to me more than once that life is so much better now that Allie is here – and I couldn’t agree with him more.
I can already feel time quickly passing, so I’m doing all that I can to hold tight to these first moments and memories. Thanks to everyone for the many well wishes. I hope to continue doing blog updates on our sweet baby as we continue to adjust to our new lifestyle.
Our family has grown by two little feet and one amazing heart!