Love at the End of the Rainbow: A Birth Story

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It’s been nearly two weeks since our sweet baby girl officially joined our family. What a whirl-wind of emotions it has been. Thursday February 8th, just minutes before midnight, Alan and I arrived eagerly at the hospital, suitcase and pillows in tow. We were immediately led back to our room and the induction process quickly began. a quick cervical check revealed I was still just 1.5cm and was given a dose of cytotec to help “ripen” the cervix. Then we waited. 4 hours passed. 4 hours of laying in bed just listening to our sweet Iris girl’s heartbeat. I waited for contractions but they never came. At the 4 hour mark (around 5am) they did another cervical check and I was still the same, so another dose of cytotec was given and this time things began to progress a little rapidly.

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Within an hour of the second dosing I immediately began to feel contractions. I hadn’t realized it, but everyday after my 40 week due date I began to increasingly worry something might go wrong and I so wanted to hold my baby. These contractions eased my mind, my body was beginning to do what God had intended it to do. My doctor showed up around 7am and I was dilated around a 3-4. The anesthesiologist showed up as well just as my doctor broke my water. There was some talk of whether or not I would be able to receive an epidural. I was diagnosed with ITP last summer which is a rare bleeding disorder characterized by a low amount of platelets in the blood. While most people’s platelet count is in the 150,000-450,000 range, mine like to hang out between 70,000-85,000. My first labs when we arrived showed my platelet count at 70k and the anesthesiologist required my platelet to increase for the epidural on the second draw. Oh how I prayed and second blood work revealed an increase to 74,000!

My contractions began to progress- closer together, stronger. Around 10am my mom, stepdad and girls arrived and my contractions were about 2 minutes apart and reaching over 100 on the monitor. My sweet girls walked in as I was crying through one of the contractions. Stella wanted to comfort me in bed, while Amelia was really shaken up and wanted to leave the room- seeing your mama in pain is tough stuff, so she left until Iris was born. Stella stayed awhile until it was time to begin pushing.

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The epidural was given as I breathed/cried through the contractions and then they eased up. About another hour passed and my contractions were about a minute apart, and I was dilated to a 10… time to push! With mom at my back, the nurse and Alan at my knees it was time to meet Iris. I was so grateful that while my epidural was dulling the pain, I could still feel what was happening and could feel when to push, which is something I couldn’t feel when the girls were born. After about what felt like 45 minutes of pushing, the head had crowned and my doctor was called. She arrived quickly and in about 10 pushes at 1:39pm, our Iris Joy had made her way out and was being placed on my chest, all 7 pounds, 11 ounces and 19 & 3/4inches of perfection.

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I held the child I had been praying for, for the last 9 months. In truth, she is who I have been praying for since the girls were about 10 months old. I dreamed of having more kids, but thought we would not have the chance to parent again. When we lost both Joy and Ezra in 2015, I gave up that dream and embraced what God had marked out for us with total contentment and peace. When I found out I was pregnant again, and the initial shock subsided, nothing but the promise of his love and joy remained. Iris means rainbow, so it’s fitting that after our two miscarriages she is the rainbow, the promise, after the storm. Oh what joy she has brought our family. She has also brought sleepless nights, exhaustion, and some tears too, but in the end it’s all worth every bit of it for one snuggle with her. Looking deep into her eyes I see the Father’s love for her and our family and I weep at this frequently. I’ve always believed he was a good God, even if things didn’t go as I planned, but today I sit amazed at the story he is writing… beauty from ashes.

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After some bonding, nursing, and sweet cuddles, the nursery nurse got our gal all cleaned up. I had a sizable and scary post-partum hemorrhage and my time in recovery was a couple hours longer due to the hemorrhage but by 4pm we were in our room where we’d stay with Iris for the next 24 hours. Immediately we could begin to see the little personality God has given to Iris. She is all sweet, snuggly, with the tiniest cry (unless she is really hungry, but even then, no high pitches here!). We love every little ounce of her and loved introducing her to her family.

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Papi is in love with his newest daughter, and Amelia and Stella are absolutely smitten. Stella’s line is “she is just too cute, I can’t handle it mom.” She loves being a “big sister” to Iris and Amelia is proud of her “big big sister” status. They even made Iris a birthday cake!

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We’ve loved introducing her to the rest of our family too- Nana, Opa, Grandma and Grandpa!

My Mom brought the girls to the hospital before we were discharged so we could all leave the hospital together, a family of 5, just 36 hours after being admitted!

Thank you for all the prayers, support, love, and encouragement our friends and family lavished on our little tribe. We are blessed indeed. Here’s a few more swoonable pics of our love.

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