Norah Mae. Our last little girl. If there were two words to describe you so far, it would be 1) easy and 2) scary. The entire 9 months of my pregnancy with you, I kept forgetting that I was pregnant. I was pretty much always comfortable, you never tortured me with your kicks like your sisters did, and for the most part, I slept like a baby.
Like any third child though, you did not want to be forgotten. I had the most ultrasounds and E.R. visits with you, my girl. From our first scare at 10 weeks when I came home from work and saw I was bleeding. I swore we had lost you then. The doctor sent me to get an ultrasound right away, and because daddy had to watch your sisters, I had to lay on that table alone, all the while thinking you were gone. As the minutes went on, I silently cried thinking how much I really wanted you, even though getting pregnant with you was a total surprise.
Finding out we were pregnant
Daddy had just mentioned earlier that week, as our friends joked about us having another baby, that he would be crawled up in a corner crying somewhere if that were the case. A few days later, I made a visit to an Urgent Care, thinking I had an ear infection. When the nurse asked me when my last menstrual cycle was, I told her, realizing only then that I was a few days late. It took me a few days more to actually summon the courage to buy a pregnancy test. Logan was only ten months old at the time- I couldn’t actually be pregnant could I?? I talked to my mom on the way to work that morning, saying Dave would die if we were pregnant. When I got home from work and took the test, all I could do was laugh when within seconds of taking it, the lines showed up clear as day: positive.
I waited until the girls were in bed that night to tell Dave the news, and he stood dumbstruck in our bedroom. After a few minutes of letting it sink in, and me assuring him everything would be okay (words that are usually his, not mine to tell), he came over and gave me a hug, and we laughed as we thought about how crazy life was about to be.
It wasn’t until that day we thought we’d lost you though, that we truly realized how much we already loved you. The nurse assured me you were okay, and that the bleeding was just a minor tear in the placenta- very common at this stage of pregnancy.
We went through the months, another ER visit on New Years Eve with some heartburn I had never experienced before, and a few months later, when the doctor heard an irregular heartbeat at my scheduled appointment. I was 36 weeks at that time, and had no idea what an irregular heartbeat meant for you or my delivery. But as I sat in OB Triage, hooked up to monitors and waiting to hear the verdict, I thought “Let’s just do this now! I’m all dressed and ready to go!”
They sent us home after assuring us you were okay, and we kept a close eye on your arrhythmia for the next four weeks. Even as I closed-in on your due date, I never felt that super-uncomfortable, I-want-to-kill-someone-unless-this-baby-comes-out-now feeling. I was still sleeping pretty well, and felt like I would probably end up being late, like I was with Logan. On my doctors appointment the day before I turned 40 weeks, the doctor said she’d schedule me for an induction in just two days. Sweet! I could handle that! I’d finish cleaning my house and make some meals, and we’d have a baby by Wednesday!
I went for a non-stress test later that day so we could monitor your heartbeat and make sure you weren’t in any distress. During that visit, I was having some light contractions and you spiked the monitor a few times with an above normal heart rate. That doctor, who was scheduled to be on-call that night, said “Want to have this baby today??”
“Want to have this baby today?”
Uh, sure!! I headed home, got my bags, Dave packed his, and as soon as my dad arrived to watch the girls, we were on our way! We got to the hospital and started the process. It was all pretty undramatic- I never got to intense labor before receiving my epidural. I was only about 4 centimeters and still able to talk through them without much pain. The epidural kind of stunk though. This particular doctor was known for giving “strong epidurals” and I really didn’t like how this one made me feel. I felt out-of-control, and I started shaking uncontrollably and crying. Once I got a grip, the nurse told me and Dave to get some sleep as I continued to dilate with pitocin. I was progressing surprisingly slowly, for it being my third baby, but after they broke my water, I went from 4 cm to 10 cm in just one hour!
Time to push!
Unlike the other deliveries where pushing was the scariest part of the process, I was so pumped to push with Norah! I knew I was going to do a great job. I could visualize what I needed to do and as soon as I started, I remembered how to push effectively. Fifteen minutes later, there you were! No tearing, no cutting, no stitches. But for one last scare, you came out with the cord wrapped around your neck not one, not two, but three times. You didn’t give us much of a cry, and they took you right over the the table to rub you down and “un-stun” you. In less than a minute, you were pink, crying, and ready to be snuggled.
You still had your irregular heartbeat, but only for a few more hours. Like magic, your heart found its rhythm, and from then on, you have been an angelic, perfect little bean. A pound less than my other babies, you seem so tiny, but your daddy and I know you are going to be one tough kid.
While Riley is our sweet, patient, rule-follower and Logan is our fearless, stubborn spitfire, we think you’re going to be our quiet, but not-to-be-forgotten risk-taker, always keeping us on our toes but being oh-so-sweet and lovable in the process.
We all love you already, and it’s amazing the way you’ve completed our little family. Having you home is so much less terrifying than I imagined it being, and as I look to the future, I know our home will be even more fun and silly with a third girl to dance around us. There is sure to never be a dull moment, and daddy and I are ready for that. We certainly do not take you for granted sweet child, and what a miracle you are, just like your sisters. God has blessed us abundantly and continues to do so with the amazing people He has put in our lives to love you and help us raise you. What an honor it is to be a parent. To be responsible for little lives is a huge responsibility, but with a constant return-on-investment. With every smile, hug, and snuggle, we are soaking up these days to the last drop.
Thank you to everyone reading this, for your well-wishes and support. It is not lost on me that we are incredibly lucky, as so many of my close friends have been wishing for a baby of their own. Know that we are praying for you, and that God will bless you with a family one way or another. I truly believe that. Those that long to take care of a child will be given that opportunity. It is a noble task, and one we don’t take lightly. Anyone with a heart to do so should be given that chance. In the meantime, thank you for following along with us, and supporting our family!!
Photos by: Serena Rose Photography