March 17 was the big day. Well, the day the ball would start rolling anyway. We wanted to give Henry the proper send off for his week away at Grandpa and Grandma's. Leaving him was the part I was most worried about, leading up to everything. Thankfully, we had taken a little "babymoon" getaway at the beginning of March and left him for the weekend (the longest I'd ever been away from him) and it went so smoothly that my fears were completely relieved. Thank you, Lord!
I had to start fasting at midnight and my doctor had advised me to eat around 10 p.m. so we decided to meet my family at Hickory Park for our last meal at 5 and then I would plan to eat again later. We enjoyed a great meal and then drove on to Boone to help Henry get settled in. He was happy to be there (as always) and didn't really care at all that we were going to leave, so that made it much easier. Before we left, Dameon, my parents, and I gathered together and prayed for what would be taking place in the next 12 hours. Henry joined the prayer circle, too...but only for a minute. We kissed him goodbye and headed back to Winterset around 8:30. We still needed to tie up some loose ends, so when we got home Dameon took the dog over to our friends' house (thanks, Bonhams!!) and I packed a few more things and cleaned up around the house. Trying to keep my mind busy, of course! We finally went to bed around 11, but I was up again and 12:30 and didn't really sleep much the rest of the night. Our alarm was set for 3:30 a.m. because we needed to be out the door by 4:30. I had Dameon snap this picture of me right before we left:
As we pulled away from the house (at 4:35) it was starting to snow! This had been in the forecast but it seemed iffy, so we didn't really expect it to happen. But, sure enough, all the way to Methodist Hospital it was really coming down. We started to wonder if it would affect the roads for our families who would be heading that way in a couple hours.
When we arrived at the maternity ward, they led us to our room. The nurse was already in there preparing everything and I remember the first thing she said was, "Are you ready to have a baby today?" And suddenly...nerves!!! This was such a different experience than we had with Henry. It was so planned out this time, which is good but also so strange! We went through the normal routine of changing into a gown, finding a way to cram our suitcases into a small wardrobe and wondering where in the world Dameon was going to live for the next four days (those csection rooms are tiny!) and going to the bathroom about 20 times. The nurse started my IV and then we sat and waited and watched the snow. Our friend and photographer, Missie, arrived sometime after 6:30 and told us the roads were a little treacherous. We were glad she made it! She would be joining us in the operating room and recovery to capture it all in photos. (Check out the slideshow on my facebook page! She did an AMAZING job!) I think it was around 7:00 when the anesthesiologist came in to talk me through everything he would be doing and have me sign several papers. And that's when my nerves hit an all-time high. I could not wait to meet this baby, but that meant going through something that I had been nervous about since the day I found out I was pregnant. It is hard to face knowing how mentally focused I was going to have to be because, while I'm so glad I get to be awake and witness everything, it's really scary to go through surgery awake. It is so crazy how the anesthesiologist talks through everything in such a matter of fact way. Hard to explain unless you've been there!
Anyway, he and his medical student left and said they'd be back shortly but I still hadn't seen Dr. Lehman (my OB) so I asked to quickly go to the bathroom one more time. Then it was time to go. Dameon hugged me and prayed in the middle of the room and I could feel his nerves, too. Then I we walked to the OR and Dr. Lehman arrived just in time to take the walk with us. I think it was just after 7:30 when I entered the room and they started prepping me and at 7:51...our amazing miracle was born!
Warren Christopher Place
8 pounds 1.5 ounces
The first thing I heard was him give a little cry and then Dameon announced that it was a boy! He was so surprised that he said it twice!! That was shock #1 because we were both expecting a girl. Shock #2 was how big he was!!!!! Dr. Lehman said, "Lots of dark hair. Wow, that's a big baby! You poor Mommy!" I couldn't believe he was over 8 pounds. My final prediction was 7 pounds 4 ounces. Dameon's was 8 pounds 6 ounces. :) I was able to look over my shoulder and catch glimpses of him getting cleaned up, Dameon cutting the cord, and him getting weighed and measured. After that Dameon was able to bring him over and hold him next to me so I could touch him and kiss him. After the took me to recovery, I was able to hold him and feed him almost right away.
The rest of our hospital stay was filled with lots of snuggle time and visits with our loving family. Of course the best visit was when Henry came the next day!
(Our little boys on Easter Sunday)