Friday, December 9, 2011

penelope noel darling harrison

Penelope came into our lives at 2:53 on Friday, December 2nd, 2011. the picture above was taken 20 minutes after she was born and that is how she entered the world, wide eyed.

last wednesday i had a doctor's appointment and the decision was made to have me induced on Friday. we called friends to figure out who would watch beatrix and micah and matt made arrangements with his school to have a substitute. everything was in order. except for my nerves. i barely slept thursday night. i got up early, before everyone else, took a shower and just stood there looking at my belly, watching her roll around under my skin, knowing that in a matter of hours she was going to be out. outcome unknown, but she would be out.

matt was a ball of nerves and excitement. it radiated off of him. i was beyond thankful for his quiet optimism, evident by a squeeze of my hand, or a knowing smile. he gets me, i remember thinking to myself, he really and truly gets me. we woke up the kids and got them dressed, bags had been packed the night before. they were excited to go to friend's house to play all day. i knew micah was aware of what was going on that day. i was thankful they had each other. we dropped them off and drove to the hospital. we parked. i wished again i could run away. the fact that running would trigger labor anyway is what kept me walking into the hospital. we showed our IDs and took the elevator up to labor and delivery. it was so very familiar even though it had been three years that we had made the same trip for our little beatrix.

forms to fill out at the front desk and once i was in the room, clothed in an ugly hospital gown. (who designs those gowns anyway? surely not a pregnant woman! otherwise they would be prettier to look at, knowing that they would be in your baby's very first pictures!) we arrived in the room at 7:30 and the pitocin was finally administered at 9:00. my doctor made an appearance soon after that. he not only checked me but also broke my water right away. i asked him just how fast he wanted this birth to go, since it was my fourth and i was on pitocin. he responded with, i was thinking by lunch time. i looked at the clock and said that's in 3 hours. he grinned and said, i take my lunch at 1:00.

my contractions started very quickly after that. matt and i played phase ten for an hour or so and then by 11:30 they were every 2-3 minutes and i was having to breath through them. the nurse came in to check me and i was dilated to 3 1/2. she told me that she was going to call anesthesia to see if i could get the epidural early. she popped back into our room a few minutes later and said that it was a go and they would be in our room by 12:15. i looked at matt and said, "this really is happening fast!"

matt excused himself from the room while two wonderful ladies came in and gave me sweet relief via a huge needle in my back. i was sitting on the bed with my face in a pillow feeling very nervous since the epidural with beatrix hadn't gone very smoothly, my nurse daisy was standing across from me watching the baby's and my pulse on the monitor. i raised my head up from the pillow and said in a scared and shaky voice, "daisy? would you hold my hand please?" her beautiful brown eyes softened and she grabbed my hand and whispered, "of course baby. you are doing great!" the epidural went without a hitch! in fact it was pretty much painless. the ladies who did it were so sensitive and tender.

after that matt came back in and we watched the rest of mission impossible, i dozed off and on for an hour or so. around 2 i noticed that the baby's heart beat had dropped down into the 100's. i called daisy just to talk to her about it. she came into the room and told me that would start happening because as the baby got lower her heart beat would slow down. she told me i was going to have a baby soon! she asked me if i was feeling any pressure yet and i told her i wasn't feeling anything. she smiled and said to let her know when i was. i apologized for calling her in and she told me that i could call her every two minutes if it made me feel better. i think matt and i fell in love with that woman! i sat back and tried to relax and not let my mind wonder to all that could still go wrong, when two minutes after daisy left i said, WHOA! matt asked me what was wrong and i told him that i knew what she meant by pressure. i called her in again and said i am feeling crazy pressure now. she checked me right away and told me i was at a 9 1/2. she left the room quickly to call the doctor. then she came back to our room and asked me to lie on my side with my legs together. i guess when it is your 4th time delivering a baby the chances are a little higher that the doctor won't make it in time.

several things happened very quickly. the baby's nurse came in and started prepping the area for the baby. they wheeled in the instruments for our doctor. matt stood up and moved the large chair he had been sitting in out into the hallway and the reality hit me hard that in a few minutes time we were going to have a baby. i don't know why after being pregnant for 9 months i still hadn't grasped the fact that we were in fact adding to our family. the pressure was getting so intense that i had to concentrate on not pushing. and just in time Dr. Andarsio walked in. they put my legs up and matt said, "oh my gosh lydia" he covered his mouth and laughed, "her head is right there!" i looked at the doctor's face and sure enough he said, "yep, it isn't going to take much to get her out." daisy was on my left and matt was on my right side and just like that i was pushing. the time had come to push. i looked at the clock it was 2:50. i was going to have a baby in a matter of minutes. i pushed once and daisy said, "no no honey! push down! push down!" i took a deep breath and pushed again, down this time. i could feel her coming. i took another deep breath and pushed with all my might. she slid out and the doctor put her right on to my chest. i just laid there crying and looking at her. she was here. penelope was here. the cord was wrapped up and around her neck but it wasn't wrapped totally around which we were thankful for. i looked at matt, he was crying too and looking very relieved. in fact he kind of went against the wall and slid down onto the floor. i asked him if he was alright, the nurse did too. he nodded his head yes and just took some deep breaths.

after they cleaned penelope up the doctor looked me over and said well done mama and then he headed back to his practice. the nurses finished cleaning up the room and matt and i and penelope were left alone. it felt so surreal. i looked at matt sitting across from me with her in his arms and we just kind of laughed. then i started to cry because this was the first time in 4 births that we were able to just sit in the room holding our baby after delivery. every other time our babies had been rushed out of the room to intensive care. it felt good and healing. we both knew that God was allowing us to experience the very best this time around. it was a gift and we were thankful, so very thankful.
our friend kate brought micah and beatrix up to see us later that night. the kids were excited to see us and micah requested to hold her right away. our friends nicole, ashlea and quinn were there too and the room felt Holy. before micah and beatrix got there ashlea started to sing....nervously at first and then we all joined her. we sang God is was a precious time.

little pips...a little package with a large name. here is the story of her name.
penelope is a character in one of matt's favorite stories, the Odyssey. Penelope was the faithful wife of Odysseus, who kept her suitors at bay in his long absence and was eventually reunited with him. the name has come to be associated with a loyal, capable and clever woman. we thought these were admirable traits.

Noel is because we wanted something christmasy since her birthday was in december. matt also liked that noel is french.

Darling is the part of her name that we have gotten the most questions about. i was adamant that darling be included in her name. ...after finn passed away i read the book peter pan. matt had already read it and was planning on teaching it at his school. we were both struck with the fact that like peter pan we had a son that would never grow up. he would always be a baby in our minds. i wanted penelope to have darling because that is the last name of the children in peter pan that did grow up. they played with peter pan, even went to his never neverland but they came home, grew up and had adventures of their own. there was something redeeming to me about giving her that name.
penelope noel darling
a week out from her birth and i am happy.
i am so thankful and beyond ecstatic that she is here. we are enjoying the baby smells in our home and the baby sounds.
it is a blessed christmas season and one that we are rejoicing over.


Rachel said...

Oh, Lydia and Matt, what a moving birth story. God IS good! Penelope is so beautiful and I can't wait to meet her someday soon! Thank you for sharing. Love, Rachel.

Anonymous said...

oh the tears... thank you so much for sharing her birth story... i think the part that i'm most happy about was that you got to have the quiet peace-filled time with her after her birth.. .finally! there had to be something healing about that. she's just beautiful... and so are you my sweet friend! love you -karyn c

Anonymous said...

More tears - you always make me cry! Thanks for sharing that blessed story. God bless little Penelope Noel Darling and God bless you!
Sarah Parler