She's here! Welcome to the world, Estelle "Stella" Anderson Devereaux!!!!!! Stella was born a week and 2 days ago, Tuesday, June 1st, 2010 at 10:59am via c-section weighing 7 pounds, 10 ounces and measuring 19 inches long!
Whew! It's been one world wind of a week and I can't believe Stella was born 9 days ago!!! I truly understand the meaning of the statement "time flies"...it surely does and I wish I could pause each moment to enjoy it more clearly and seal it away in my memory. Though I frequently blog and use words to describe our life, I feel certain that words cannot describe this stage of our lives and how utterly blessed and in love we are with our Stella. I try to find an adequate way to describe becoming a mother or her first moments of life or the second I felt her in my arms for the first time and I am speechless and teary eyed each time. Even now as I sit and blog about what has consumed my life for the last week I am brought to tears - just looking a few feet away at my daughter rocking gently in her swing moves me...and I just sit and smile and soak it all in:)
As for her birth story, as everyone knows we were scheduled for a c-section Tuesday afternoon at 1pm. We spent our last weekend at home resting (or trying to) and getting last minute details squared away. Mom came in Monday evening and we had a great "last meal" at Hibachi 21 - a Japanese steak house and hibachi grill, which is one of my most favorite meals! Mom went into "mother mode" and spent a few late hours cleaning our house and getting ready for our 4 day stay in the hospital.
Tuesday morning came and the hospital called around 9:15 saying my doctor was ahead of schedule and if I was just sitting around not eating (fasting since midnight - boo!) I could check in early and come on to the hospital ASAP. Of course we were thrilled with this idea - we were getting this show on the road!
So we go to check in about half an hour ahead of schedule and wait for the rest of the support team to arrive - including Mae Mae (my grandmother), Michael (my brother), Megan (Matt's sister), Poppy and Jen Jen (Matt's parents), and Mary Catherine, David and Millie (my sister, brother-in-law and niece). What we didn't know was that we were heading for surgery immediately - not waiting until 1pm to go into surgery! Matt and I checked in and went to the hospital room and the nurse told the guests who were already there to wait in the waiting room. We assumed I'd be admitted and set up in the hospital room and then the rest of our family could come back and hang out with us....WRONG! The nurse was dressed in scrubs and a mask and started getting my IV hooked up, had the anesthesiologist come talk to me and then let us know that we'd be going into surgery within the next 30 minutes! We were so surprised and excited that we were going to meet our daughter so soon...but also anxious that the rest of the family hadn't made it in town yet! They allowed both of our mothers in the room before they wheeled me into surgery, and of course the goodbyes and sniffles started flowing.
Before I knew it, I was wheeled into the surgical room without Matt and was being prepped for surgery. I'd worried a bit about how it would be to get the spinal for the surgery and always assumed Matt would be there next to me to hold my hand if I got scared, but he wasn't allowed in until right before surgery began because it was a sterile environment.
The spinal was NOT as bad as I imagined. I am not good when it comes to needles, so the nurse and I became pretty close as I gripped her for dear life and put my head on her shoulder and started doing Lamaze breaths once the anesthesiologist started to administer the spinal. It all went smoothly and I started loosing feeling in my legs as I should have. When I was certain they'd already started the surgery without Matt, I started to ask where he was and when they'd let me see my husband, and in he walks - I instantly felt relief! A few moments later (after some tugging and moving) we heard the doctor say she's just broken our water and then she yelled "She's got a head full of blond hair!". We knew it was only moments before we'd hear her sweet cry.
After a few minutes of jabbering about nothing with Matt to keep my mind off what was going on below the curtain, we heard the most glorious sound in the world...one loud whimper followed by 2 cries...cries made by our sweet angel! She was here in the flesh and we couldn't believe it! They held her up for me to see and through my tear-stained, swollen face, I saw my daughter for the first time. Matt got to go where they cleaned the baby and took the most precious pictures of her...there are photos uploaded to our Picasa web albums and our Facebook page. Then he brought her over to me and I got a close up of her and we knew what her name should be...Estelle Anderson Devereaux - Stella for short!
The names are both family names - Estelle is my great-grandmother Nannie's sister's name - Lily Estelle. Anderson is Matt's grandmother Nannie's maiden name. Estelle is also the middle name of my childhood best friend Sophie. As little girls we both loved each others' middle names and said we'd name our daughters after each other! No pressure, Sophie! I promise!!
...and the rest is history! I spent the next hour or so in recovery dying to hold Stella while the rest of the family got a good look at her in the nursery. The moment they brought her to me I was in awe. She was the most gorgeous thing I'd ever seen...a part of me and a part of Matt - I could see Matt in her immediately. I hope she has his eyes.
We stayed in the hospital from Tuesday to Saturday where I spent most of my time nursing, sleeping and then learning how to actually nurse. For a while it was difficult because my body wasn't fully ready to nurse, but the lactation specialist we worked with was wonderful! Thanks to her we are nursing 100% now and Stella is doing great! (We were concerned for a bit because towards the end of our hospital stay Stella lost too much weight from solely nursing - most women's milk supply comes in fully on day 3-5 and by day 4 mine was still a no-show. This caused Stella to lose more than 10% of her original body weight of 7lbs 10oz. When they told me she'd lost another ounce and weighed only 6 lbs 13 ounces the day before we were supposed to leave, I got nervous we wouldn't be able to breastfeed after all. I was very upset, because breastfeeding was and still is SO important to me! The next morning she'd gained close to an ounce and the lactation specialist explained how to supplement with a tiny bit of formula until my main milk supply came in 100%. The pediatrician told us at today's appointment that Stella gained 3 ounces since Tuesday so we are 100% sure Stella is growing like she should and my milk supply is fully in and supporting her growing body! Thank goodness!
The last two weeks are really better told in pictures, so I do hope you'll check them out in our Picasa web album or our Facebook page. We've been home for close to one week and Stella is currently a week and 2 days old. We are utterly in love and can't wait for the rest of our friends and family to meet her!