Now for the rest of the story … (see the first part HERE) (there is a slideshow at the end of this post).
We headed for the hospital about 2am on Sunday December 2, 2001. I was excited and nervous thinking about the arrival of my precious daughter – Hannah Diane – or as I had already been calling her for months, my “Hannah-bear”. We lived in South Carolina in 2001 and had to travel to Columbia to Baptist Palmetto Hospital. Just a week earlier for a check-up at the OB’s office, we were backed up in traffic due to an accident and I was concerned that we would be delayed on this trip. Thankfully the road was clear and we arrived without incident.
I guess the first room they took me to was kind of a “clearing house” for women in labor. It was the tiniest closet/exam room I have ever seen. The nurse in here was quite gruff and impatient with me. I was quite sorry that other women were in labor and that my being there was just more than she cared to deal with, but when babies are ready, there’s not much that can be done to hold them off until a more convenient time!
Finally they moved us to the labor/delivery room. Much more spacious and peaceful. Nurses were more patient as well. Also saw my OB which made me feel better. He strongly suggested a saddle block which I approved and regretted 10 minutes later and ever since. Some time I’ll write about that injection, but today is for remembering the joy of my precious girl’s birth.
The next many hours are kind of a blur. I wasn’t progressing. They broke my water. I was progressing. The baby wasn’t dropping – she was in the right position, but not moving toward the birth canal. Contractions. Waves of nausea. Really cold. Really hot. Nurses, shift changes, and my OB on a 24 hour shift decided to stick it out a little bit longer to see me through delivery (a really excellent physician and human being).
About 4:30pm (more than 36 hours since the first contractions started), I was exhausted and the doctor was concerned because Hannah was not moving at all into the birth canal even though everything was ready for her. In a matter of minutes a decision was made that a C-section needed to be done quickly. There was a flurry of people and activity, and running my bed to the OR. Next thing I know I’m on oxygen and my OB is singing White Christmas (Bing Crosby he was not), and all I could think was he’s got the words wrong and I couldn’t tell him!). In just a couple of minutes, I heard this tiny little “uh, uh, uh” and then they let me hold her. My little Hannah-bear. I remember feeling such joy and such panic all at the same time – I loved her so much, but what did I know about being a mom.
The next hours were excruciating because I had to be “in recovery” from the surgery and I couldn’t see Hannah. I kept sending my husband to be with her because she was just little and should not be alone. Finally, some time late in the night (I suppose it was December 3rd by then), I was moved to a room and they brought Hannah to me. All I wanted to do was get her home and just be her mom. We had to stay a couple of days because of the C-section. The hospital stay was unpleasant – the first night a nurse came in while I was asleep and shook my water pitcher to see if there was anything in it – there was, it was full of ice water which she spilled all over me while I was asleep. I was quite shocked at this and then she yelled at me for being inconsiderate. I was so glad to get out of there and on the way home with my little daughter. She rode great in her carseat – she has been a great traveler ever since.
Arriving at home was such a relief as we were all exhausted and everyone had a long nap. Some folks arrived from our church and brought food. In a couple of days we brought Max home and Grammy (my mom) out to see her 8th and final grandchild.
I cannot fathom that 12 years have passed already. My mom’s been gone for just over 10 years now. Max has been gone for almost six years. We’ve moved four times. I got to stay home with Hannah for almost 8 years, and while I’m grateful to the Lord for employment to keep our family together, leaving her each day is still the hardest thing I have to do.
On this day I celebrate the birth of my only child – Hannah Diane (“precious gift of God”) – my most precious girl, and as always, the reason I am OneMom.