Wheat and I are beyond blessed and our hearts have never been so full. Adella Grace Kirbo entered the world on May 4th, 2016 and ours will never be the same. God is so good.
Wheat, Adella Grace and I are adjusting to life as a family of 3 quite nicely. We want to thank everyone for all the well-wishes, love, meals, visits, gifts, flowers, and everything PINK! We still can’t quite believe we got to bring home a perfect baby girl, and we are so grateful for her health and safe arrival.
I wanted to share our story – without any gory details, but if you’re not into a good birth story, ya might as well scroll on by. :) I debated whether to share our birth story, but I found other blog posts I read in the days leading up to delivery so very helpful and reassuring that I thought it would be good to share.
I’m also not ashamed to share that I spent the night before she entered our lives and this world having an anxiety attack.
I left myself the day before I was scheduled for delivery to spend alone. I did all the laundry I could possibly do, unpacked and repacked my hospital bag yet again (a post on that coming soon, too), and attempted to relax. My mom was coming up that evening to stay the night before Wheat and I checked into the hospital early the next morning. Instead of relaxing though, as the day went on, I let fear creep in. I know of so many people who have had babies that didn’t make it, whose babies didn’t arrive 100% healthy… babies who came into this world only to immediately be in danger of leaving it again, Mamas who have had their hearts doubled and broken all in the same day. It got to be too much and I ended up having to leave our table at the restaurant we ate at that night and hyperventilated the entire way home. I took a hot bath and calmed down a bit, then found a scripture card tucked in my Bible from our Social : Studies group at Maiden South and prayed it over and over and over our baby.
Oh give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; for His steadfast love endures forever. Psalm 118:1
I took the Scripture card to bed with me, and then I took it with me to the hospital the next morning. It stayed by my side our entire stay there. Praying that verse over and over is what calmed my nerves and gave me peace. I slept better that night than I had for months!
The next morning, May 4th, we checked in to the hospital at 5:30 am for our planned C-section delivery. Baby K was frank breech nearly the entire pregnancy and was very content in said position, with her little head tucked snugly under my ribs and her feet up by her head… hence the planned Cesarean delivery. They plugged me up to multiple monitors, drew blood, and listened to Baby K’s heart beat for an hour or so. Around 7 am, they wheeled me back to the OR while Wheat waited anxiously outside the doors. They first gave me a local anesthetic, then a spinal tap. After that, things happened VERY quickly!
They helped me lay down as my lower half went numb and paralyzed, and Wheat was ushered into the room where he took up his post by my side (behind the curtain). He watched the process from a safe distance. :) The entire process of a C-section is so strange – you are numb and paralyzed, but you can still feel them tugging, pushing, and pulling you around. It’s pretty disconcerting. I was pretty queasy the entire time from the drugs, but they made sure to give me plenty of anti-nausea meds any time I felt sick. The entire team of doctors and nurses at Bainbridge Memorial Hospital was beyond amazing – they were happy and fun that morning, joking around with each other and talking me through the process without making it scary, and were all so excited about our surprise baby! Dr. Moye did the cutting, and Dr. Robinson did the talking, and he talked me through the entire delivery and told me everything they were doing as they did it, which I appreciated (although he did ask if I wanted him to – I would imagine not every woman would want to hear exactly what scientific term they were cutting and when!). Finally, Dr. Robinson said, “Now, you’re going to feel a big push on your abdomen,” and I felt them pushing down hard from the top of my belly, right under my ribs (so strange!). Seconds later, I heard Dr. Robinson say, “And it… is… a… little Natalie!” and before he could finish his sentence I heard her start crying.
I presume they wiped her down and cut the cord and swaddled her up next, but since I couldn’t see anything but the sheet, the lights, and Wheat’s and Katie, the anesthesiologist’s, face, I’m just guessing here. :) Wheat went over and got to hold her, and then he brought her over to me to see her for the first time. No words can explain that feeling, and I never could have imagined it before having her. It’s the most magical, amazing, happy, sad, joyful, grateful, relieved I have ever felt. She was perfect. And she was a SHE! I couldn’t believe my gut had really been right and we actually had a little girl!
After what felt like just a second or two of looking at her, a couple of pictures, and a big kiss from Wheat (not to mention an awful lot of happy tears from me), Wheat went with the nurses and our baby girl to the nursery where they cleaned her up, gave her a bath, measured her, vaccinated her, etc. etc. and on the way he got to pop out and announce to our families that it was a baby girl. I heard my mother-in-law scream from the OR table! Everyone was completely shocked except my sister – I had convinced her baby K was a girl, too. :) In fact, the Monday before we had gone to get pedicures and gotten OPI’s “It’s A Girl” polish on our toes! They were able to watch through the nursery window while our girl was poked and prodded and warmed up, which was pretty neat.
Meanwhile, the doctors were sewing me back together and I was finally wheeled back into my hospital room after another round of nausea meds (pain meds don’t sit so well with me!). After being along in our room for what felt like an eternity, Wheat came in and waited with me for a bit. Then they FINALLY wheeled our sweet baby into the room and handed her to me to nurse, and I literally thought my heart would explode right out of my chest. She was perfect in every way and I’ve never felt more complete or more sure of my purpose here on earth.
We already had names picked out before we went to the hospital. If the baby had been a boy, he would have been Bruce Wheat the IV – but we struggled with what to call him. Although we had talked about it the entire pregnancy, the night before we went to the hospital we seriously discussed it finally – good thing we waited until the night before! – and had pretty much settled on either Bo or IV (pronounced eye-vee). We figured we would really need to see this baby to figure it out though. Nothing really felt right. I told Wheat that I thought nothing felt right because I was pretty certain that it wasn’t a boy and we wouldn’t have to worry about it.
Since I didn’t have a say in the boy’s name, I chose a girl’s name way back in the pregnancy: Adella Grace. Adella Golden was my mom’s dad’s grandmother (my great-great-grandmother) and Grace Whitman Bristol was my dad’s dad’s grandmother (my other great-great-grandmother). Both beautiful family names, not to mention “grace” was my word of the year for 2015 and got me through some very tough emotional times. And fortunately for little AG, I have inherited quite a few pieces of Grace Whitman Bristol’s jewelry that will now be passed on to her. :) Both are very special names, and we plan to call her by both of them as a double name.
We spent the next couple of days in the hospital, recovering, gazing on all the PINK flowers that were delivered to our room, practicing our swaddling skills (well, just my super-dad of a husband’s skills – I wasn’t able to get in and out of bed yet thanks to surgery), and enjoying our sweet little girl.
All our nurses were wonderful, but our night nurse Betty was especially amazing. She taught us to swaddle really well, she helped me with any questions about breastfeeding that I had (she’s a certified lactation consultant), she was kind and motherly, and she even took our girl to babysit her for a bit the first night so we could get some rest, which was most appreciated. We had the very best experience at Bainbridge Memorial, and I am so grateful for that.
I can’t think of a better word to describe the past three weeks, actually. GRATEFUL. I am so, so grateful to be Adella Grace’s mama, I’m grateful to have the very best husband God could have given me, I’m grateful for a wonderful birth experience (C section and all!), I’m grateful we both have supportive, loving families for AG to grow up in, not to mention a loving and supportive Church family at Bainbridge FUMC, and I’m grateful that even three weeks in to parenthood, AG is a growing, happy, healthy, beautiful, SLEEPING baby. I count my blessings every morning and every night. I still can’t wrap my head or my heart around how big my love for her is, but I’m trying. Above all, I am so grateful.
And Happy (3 weeks) Birth Day to our sweet Adella Grace!
Note: Except for the pictures during and immediately following delivery, the photos in this post are by our sweet friend and photographer Nikki Hopkins Photography. I’m so grateful that I got out of bed that Thursday morning and put on a little makeup, and pulled myself together for a quick photoshoot in our hospital room. (My sister Anna Jo, a senior hair stylist at Haute Headz Salon in Tallahassee, blew my hair out prior to hospital check-in! Dry shampoo is my BFF these days.) Adella Grace will never be one day old again, and she’s already changed so much in just 3 weeks! I’m already so thankful to have these pictures, and I know the feeling will amplify as the years pass. Soon-to-be Mamas: I can’t recommend having a photographer come to the hospital enough! And for local soon-to-be Mamas, Nikki is sweet, soft-spoken, and loves babies more than almost any gal I know. She was the perfect photographer to let into our room to take these precious first photographs. I can’t recommend her enough, either. :)