I started writing her birth story and the result was three long, very detailed pages. I will keep that for myself and describe Henley's birth in a nutshell.
The day before she was born was quite normal. I worked a full day and Rich went to school and took an exam. We figured we should get a picture of me nine months pregnant and what better way to do it in Iowa fashion in a cornfield. We also went out to eat and pigged out until we could barely walk out of the restaurant. Below is also a picture leaving our apartment for the last time.
I have to be honest...I was scared the morning of the c-section. It was hard to believe that by noon we would have a baby of our own. We arrived at the hospital at 9:30 am. They were ready for us. First they had me change into one of those potato sack gowns that I learned to love by the end of my stay. I was hooked up to the fetal heart rate monitor immediately, given an IV and pumped up with numerous fluids, drank the really tart antacid crap, had an ultrasound (to make sure she was still transverse), and last but not least – had a catheter inserted...yipee! 11:30 approached slowly as we watched The Price is Right and Live with Kelly & Michael. As it got closer and closer I began to get more and more nervous. They took Richard to get scrubbed in (I didn't like being separated) and my nurse walked me to the OR. As I sat down on the table I started to shiver uncontrollably out of nervousness, fear, Rich wasn't there with me, and it was cold in there. My nurse and anesthesiologist were amazing and helped me relax as I received my epidural. Which by the way, was less painful than the IV in my hand. Shortly after 11:50, everyone was there and we were ready to begin. Everyone in the OR kept the conversation going through the entire procedure which helped my nerves. At 12:07 pm, Henley Ada Bell was born. Healthy, pink, and a head full of dark hair. There is no better sound than your baby's first cry. I thought my heart was going to burst when Richard brought her over to me. At that moment Richard and I were both extremely emotional and the circumstances couldn't have been more perfect.
After lots of shoulder pain (deferred from the c-section) and throwing up numerous times all over myself, the nurse brought Richard and I our baby. She is perfect and so sweet. She is a little cuddler and her favorite spot is on either of our chests. We love her little raspy, cat cry and the way she stretches her whole body when she is full. She smacks her lips while she is sleeping, purses her mouth into a perfect O, and raises her eyebrows often as if she is questioning us. We have turned into those parents who can just stare at their baby for hours and be entertained which I never understood before having a baby. We have taken about 1000 pictures that are all similar but somehow look different to us. Yes, we are lame but are okay with it.
Overall we had an amazing experience. The nurses and Dr. that assisted us were fantastic. Henley's birth was one of the best/most emotional days ever. We feel extremely lucky to be blessed with such a good baby and are ecstatic to have her be a part of our family. It already feels like we have had her for forever.