(February 19th, 2013: 37 Weeks Pregnant)
Pregnancy was getting a little intolerable, what with the 10 weeks worth of bedrest and antenatal homecare. It was time to meet the adorable little parasite that was destroying my body...
So, that night we handed Sammie off to his Mamelie for his first sleep over and, after a long and stressful sleepless night, we awoke the next morning ready to meet our littlest bebe-bear.
The surgery was schedule for 830am, so we needed to be at the hospital by 630am so we could be prepped for it. Blood work was drawn, but they tested for the wrong thing which pushed the surgery off by almost an hour.
Grampa Jim, excited to meet his newest grandchild, joined us at 8am. He didn't realize that Daddies were able to go into the surgery rooms now. But he waited patiently when we were taken away for the surgery.
Everyone- Doctors, Nurses, Anesthesiologist, Jason- was so supportive. It was truly the opposite experience from my c-section with Samuel. While I was scared and stressed, I knew that I was in good hands and was very happy to be alert and aware the entire time.
Sadly, Charlize decided to take after her brother and had some breathing issues after the birth. As such, she was taken to the ICN instead of being allowed to come to the recovery area with me. But I did get to see her beautiful face before she was whisked away.
(Charlize, minutes after her birth on February 20th, 2013)
There are few things sadder in the world than when mother and baby are separated at birth. Thankfully, this separation lasted only a few hours, and by 3pm that afternoon I was reunited with my beautiful baby girl.
(Mommy holding her baby for the first time)
Overall, the birth and surgery were extremely successful. Unlike the first time, I had no issues with bleeding or infection, and from the second day I felt very strong. A typical hospital stay after a c-section is usually 3 days/nights. My doctor was so pleased with my quick recovery that he let me go after only two.
Those two hospital days were spent getting to know Charlize a little bit, and attempting to get some sleep in the few hours that she decided to nap ;)
Charlize sleeping on day one
Charlize sleeping peacefully after one of her first nursing sessions on day one.
In her daddy's arms on day two.
We were extremely lucky that Sammie was able to spend a few days at his Aunty Heidi's and a few nights at his Mamelie's. I missed him like crazy, but I did get to see him every day, and he was able to come in to visit his new sister too! He wasn't quite sure what to make of her but did very gentle stroke her hair when she cried.
Busy Sammie plays with his new train while snuggling (ish) with his Mama.
Meeting her brother Sammie on Day One. :)
Sammie and his daddy, playing on the 'cool bed'.
In her first few days of life, Charlize got to meet her awesome family. Gramma and Grampa Lockhart drove up from Stettler. They and Aunty Cristan were there the first day to meet her. Mamelie, Antoine and Aunty Heidi also made sure to come and give kisses and hugs to the new addition. Finally, godparents Conor and Erie welcomed their goddaughter into their lives.
Grampa, Jason, Cristan and Gramma Lockhart beaming with pride and joy. :)
Charlize with Oncle Antoine.
Charlize with Godmother Erie, her Spirit-Ginger. ;)
When it was time to go, we dressed Charlize up in her very first baby outfit and headed off with her to her new home.
It's hard to believe that it's been five weeks already since she joined our lives. Somehow it seems like such a short time, but also its hard to imagine that she hasn't always been here. I think that she has somehow been a part of us all along, waiting for the perfect time to make her appearance into our lives.
With Charlize's birth, I bid farewell to a huge chapter in my life. As pregnancy is simply too dangerous for me at this point, Jason and I decided to take the extra precaution and move forward with having my tubes ligated. This marks the end of my "child bearing" years, of the struggles with infertility and pregnancy loss, and of the pain and sorrow that accompanied them.
I know that many people feel a sadness when they reach the end of their "pregnancy" journeys. Surprisingly, I am not feeling any hesitation or sadness at all. In fact, I feel a tremendous sense of release, as if I've finally been freed from a burden that has been hovering over me for years. I have felt within my heart that I was meant to be a mother of two beautiful children. Now that I am, I have nothing in my heart but gratitude...and tremendous excitement and anticipation for what this new chapter in our lives will bring.
Welcome to the world, Charlize Andree-Anne. You are a dream come true and we are all beyond blessed to have you.
Charlize at 1 week old.
She has the most soulful eyes I've ever seen- as if she was born with the kind of depth that some people take a lifetime to achieve. I can't wait to discover what thoughts lie behind them.