Wednesday, February 11, 2009

January 15 Part 3

As soon as Emma was born, her teeny tiny body was placed immediately on a blanket that was on my belly. I don't think I can accurately describe how absolutely beautiful she was. I just got to hold her while the doctors did the stuff for the Duke Study (they had to get her cord blood, but leave the placenta inside of me while doing it, etc.). Besides the anomaly on her head, there was absolutely nothing wrong with her. She had beautiful long fingers and toes and her whole body was very slender. Also, her anomaly was only on the top of her head. Besides that she actually had a nice round head in back with the traditional dark hair that my babies thus far are always born with.

Many people who had gone through similar experiences told me that all you would see was your baby’s beauty when they were born, but it was a hard thing to believe until it actually happens to you. But that sure was the truth with Emma. Also, despite the fact that she hadn’t been alive for 13 hours already, her coloring wasn’t bad at all.

Once they were done with the Duke Study stuff, we had Emma measured for weight and length. Then we swaddled her and tried to put a cap on her head. The hardest part was that there was nothing for the front of a hat to grab onto unless we wanted the hat covering her eyes. So we would put the hat behind her head like a normal hat, but then it was just rest in the front right above her eyebrows.

Then our families came in. At first they all just looked on while I was holding Emma, it almost seemed as if everyone was hesitant as to what to say and do. Then I offered to let others hold Emma. She first was held by her grandmothers, followed by her grandfather that was able to be there (due to health, my dad couldn’t make it out here). Then the aunts and uncles all got their turns as well.

I hate to admit this, but as soon as Emma started getting passed around, my focus became food. I was soooo hungry. Luckily the nurses were able to bring me in several snacks and some juice and my family had saved a little pizza for Tim and me. I felt much better after I got some food into my system.

Some memorable moments from that time with family:
- Gerald (Tim’s dad) thanking Emma for being a part of our lives
- Benjamin saying “Emma” (Peter did too, but we already knew he could say Emma)
- Benjamin holding hands with Emma
- The love and spirit that filled the room

After everyone got a turn or two at holding Emma, she was given back to Tim and I to bathe her. Heather, the bereavement specialist from the hospital (who we previously met through Angel Watch) came in to show us how to do this. This was when we really noticed how long and slender she was. It also reconfirmed to us how beautiful she was. It was harder to bathe her than I thought it would be, but I guess bathing any newborn is not that easy, but add in the fact that you are trying to keep on a hat that isn’t on all the way and it makes it just a bit more difficult. Also, Emma pooped! I was so surprised when we tilted her on her side and that black tar stuff was there. We put a super tiny diaper on Emma which in my mind was so adorable.

After we bathed her, we put on the beautiful white dress that my mom had bought. Then we took more pictures! I am so grateful for all of the pictures that everyone took. At this point it was starting to get late, so everyone said their goodbyes to Emma and our families left. I am so grateful to have those wonderful people in our lives.

Tim and I spent a little more time with Emma and then Heather came to get molds of her hands and feet, take some more pictures, and also do some imprints. She took Emma over to the side and started to get everything ready and you know what? I fell asleep! I guess I was so exhausted that I just couldn’t lay in my bed and not fall asleep.

I woke up when the nurse next came in. Heather was about done at this point. I asked the nurse how much longer I had to have my IV in (it was in a really uncomfortable and inconvenient spot). She told me that it would probably be ready to come out after I first went to the bathroom. I was excited because I needed to go the bathroom! So she and Tim helped me to the bathroom and then I came and got back in bed. I then asked the nurse the same question and she said that it would probably be ready to come out when I was ready to go to bed. Yes Please! It was probably 10:30 pm at this point and I was exhausted. Long story short (or not so short), she took it out for me even though I think she probably was supposed to leave it in for longer. Oh by the way, this is a new nurse now. Shortly after Emma was born, Marilyn went off shift. Also, our nurse from the entire night before stopped in to say hi and thank us for our example to her as she was back on a shift again.

Heather gave Emma back to us and said that she would bring the molds back when they were dry. Tim got a roll-away bed, Emma got a bassinet, and we all went to sleep.

I slept wonderfully! I did have to get up several times to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night (I think because I drank so much after Emma was born), but I kind of liked it because after every trip I would stop and spend some time with Emma before going back to sleep.



I know I say this over and over but this is so beautiful and you share it so well.

Nicole said...

Thank you for sharing Emma's story.

I was also surprised at how beautiful my son was when I saw him for the first time. It was like nothing I had ever imagined. Nothing like the awful pictures I had seen while googling anen.

I wish it was our pictures that were shown when someone goes searching for images of babies with this defect.

Nicole Mommy to Logan Quinn

Celia said...

Tiffany, thank you so much for sharing about your time with little Emma. I know this may sound strange, but the more detailed the story, the more of an idea I have about how it will be like when my baby Noah is born (and a hope as well). To know that you had peace (like all the others have mentioned) helps so much as well. You are sharing your story so beautifully. Thank you again. You and your family are in my prayers.

Kim said...

Thanks for sharing this experience so openly. You are super woman. Love ya!

Jennifer said...

Thank you for sharing Emma with us all. She is beautful and will be in my heart always.

Holly said...

Reading your story helps me so much. Thank you!

Jennifer Rose said...

This is beautiful and brought me to tears. Thank you.

heidiabe said...

Thanks for sharing this sweet story with us. What a wonderful experience you had with your little girl.

elesa said...

Just wanted to tell you that I love your blog. Thank you so much for sharing.

Leslie Smith said...

Tiffany, i just wanted to let you know how much i love reading your Blog. It is so full of love and trust in the lord. Thank you .