Sunday, May 18, 2014

Dear Chloe: Today Is Your Due Date {Part 2, Your Birth}

May 18th, 2014

Dear Chloe,

Your amazing Daddy already wrote of your birth, the unexpected date, but as you will learn as you get older, boys have a way of telling you what the garden looks like, but not describing the flowers blooming ;). This is your Mama's attempt to fill in the blanket of colors over the garden that was planted that day. This will probably be long, but I don't want to forget a single detail.

We thought you were coming on Monday, April 28th. We already had your Grandma Sherry and Papa John on the way to stay with Abi and Isaac. Daddy and I packed the bags for a month away. We even had a bag just for you, filled with onesies, your taggy, some swaddle blankets we hoped to hold you in. The van was packed down. I remember standing out there, Thursday the 24th, as the sun faded into beautiful hues and the darkness and stars set in and praying for the days to come. Grandma and Papa got in late, but we'd stayed up watching movies with your siblings waiting their arrival and putting finishing touches on all of the packing, lists, and to-do notes.

Abi and Isaac camped out on the living room floor, and your Daddy and I slept on the couches so that Grandma and Papa could have our bed. I laid there sleepless most of the night, thinking of how hard it would be to leave your brother and sister for days on end, and yet also in excitement for getting to meet you soon. I texted friends at 2am for prayers. I cried for the unknown. I think I slept 4 hours.

My alarm went off at 6am, but I woke minutes before and quieted it so it wouldn't wake the rest of the still house. In the silence of the morning sun rising, I prayed for the day ahead. I begged the Lord to watch over us, watch over our family, and prepare my heart for all that was to come, that He would be the cloud by day and fire by night leading our way, and thanking Him that you were nearly here, and thanking Him for all He'd brought us through. After getting ready I took a few more bags out to the car. The sun was nearly up and awake, and the morning birds were singing songs to their Creator. I remember standing there and taking it all in, knowing life in the city would soon become our normal and my eyes wouldn't see our beautiful Flint Hills for some time. I remember, somehow, thinking that if you were by chance born today, it'd be a beautiful day to be welcomed to this world. I left the lyrics to a beloved song in our family as our facebook status, without realize or knowing how true they were, "The sun comes up, it's a new day dawning, it's time to sing Your song again. Whatever may pass and whatever lies before me, let me be singing when the evening comes. Bless the Lord, O my soul, worship His holy name. Sing like never before, O my soul, I worship Your holy name." {Matt Redman, 10,000 Reasons}.

We hugged our little family. There's something so bittersweet for any mama feeling the little arms wrapped tightly around her neck as she says goodbye to one child while heading off to welcome another into the world. I was so excited for them to meet you. But so sad to leave them. I got into the van and cried so hard I nearly got sick, and with your Daddy's crazing driving on Plymouth Road, I nearly made him pull over to get sick from the nausea. We only made it a few blocks before I begged your Daddy, with my window rolled down for fresh air, to just go to church so I could see if you were really going to make me sick or not, and take my nausea medicine. Eight in the morning and already the day was unpredictable and off schedule.

8:20am. Didn't realize that when I looked at the clock before we grabbed food that I'd need to remember that time later. After grabbing a breakfast sandwich and skinny vanilla latte at Panera, we headed on our way. The conversations between your daddy and I on our way to Kansas City danced between fear and joy, comedy and theology, with an underlying excitement the entire way. I nearly phoned my doctor when we hit the Kansas City city limits to say, "You're off the hook-we made it to KC," so no more worries of the 'what-ifs' that surrounded us, should she have come early in Manhattan.

We talked on the way of what we'd spend our time doing that weekend while we waited for Monday to come. In my mind, I pictured freaking out about the surgery all weekend. In your Daddy's mind, he wanted to walk the plaza, go to dinner, and take in a movie to pass the time. Upon arriving at the hospital for our last ultrasound, we left everything but my bag in the car. We only had the quick ultrasound, then were were off for our date day.

Our appointment was scheduled for 11am. We got there at 10:30am and decided to just go ahead and wait, thinking maybe they'd get us in early. 11am arrived and went. 11:30...11:45...finally at noon they called us back. We had our fun-loving, easy-going sonotech that we'd grown to love. She joked with us during the ultrasound and shared stories back and forth. Then the very last thing she measured was fluid. And things got quiet. Finally she sighed a heavy sigh and said, "Guys, the fluid is really low. It's 3.9. I'm not sure what the doctor will decide to do, monitor you over the weekend or what, but I'll give him a call." Things got heavy. We knew this most likely meant delivery, and we weren't shocked, but we were nervous. We wanted to be sure you were ok, and most importantly here safely. A nurse came in to ask a few questions and lead us to a labor and delivery room. I was still a bit naive thinking they'd just monitor me over the next day or so, until she handed me the clear bag and said, "Go slip on this gown and put any belonging in this bag." Then I knew things were getting real and fast. My knees were shaking from nerves as I changed.

After getting situated with all of the monitors, a team of three doctors came in to discuss delivery. While doing so, nurses were already drawing blood samples, asking when the last time was that I ate (and somehow remembered 8:20am), getting IV started, and taking medical history. All the while, the room was getting colder and colder, and I was shaking harder and harder, again, partly in fear of surgery, and partly the nerves of knowing we would finally meet you soon. I was crying due to both. Your daddy was holding it together SO well that I finally interrupted the nurses questions to ask him if he was freaking out like I was. He calmly smiled and said no. Liar. He was playing with his ring-dead giveaway at his nerves.

The doctors agreed that since delivery was planned for only a few days away as it was, that the best thing to do to ensure her safe arrival was delivery. They left to get ready, and I was left to hear all of the possible anesthesia options from the anesthesiologist. After the list of questions and info from the OB that'd be assisting, who I might add walked over to me and gently put her hand on my shaking shoulder and reassured me that this was His timing and He was with us in this, looked at Alan and said, "...and at that point they'll come get you and give you a gown, and, OH-make sure you have your camera!"

"Camera!? We didn't bring anything up from the car! We have nothing in here. We only came up for an ultrasound!"

The OB looked at her watch, then frantically looked at your daddy and said in a thick and beautiful accent, "You have just enough time! Run to your car and get your camera!"

We had only enough time to call or text a few people to ask for prayers, and then the show was on. Your daddy couldn't be with me while I got the spinal, so to take my mind off the pain, the anesthesiologist talked and asked questions and once figuring out I was from Iowa, and that he had attended University of Iowa, we quickly made friends, which made me trust him a bit more with jamming a needle in my spine, though I also knew the small talk was to distract me.

Your daddy came in to sit beside me and reassure me, and at 3:08pm, it was announced that you were here. I had dreamed of, and then worried about, this moment for so long. Would you cry? Would you be ok? I waited for a cry and didn't hear anything for what felt like forever. Your daddy was already with you in the other room so I asked the doctors and they said yes, you cried, it was just so petite and quiet that I couldn't hear it. About that same time I heard you cry from the other room. The most beautiful sound in the world, and the moment I feared would be filled with worry and concern for you was actually filled with the most amazing joy. I remember watching the clock to take in what time you were born, and smiling and crying, knowing you were here. Your daddy came back in to show me your picture since you were whisked away so fast. You were perfect. My heart swelled. Our family had just grown and our hearts beat louder with love than they ever had before. And we rejoiced!

It took five nurses to hand you to me for those precious first few minutes. Little did we know we wouldn't get to hold you again for nearly a week. 

Chloe Elizabeth
3:08pm  Friday, April 25th 2014
3lbs 7oz 15.75in

Perfect. Beautiful. Loved. You are our MIRACLE that many said would never happen. 


  1. She is so precious! We continue to pray for her healing & growth and for your family to thrive in spite of the ups and downs in the NICU.