Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Happy 10th Birthday Sarah!

I originally posted this here. But today, I am adapting the post a bit & including some different pictures.

On June 29, 2000 I found out I was pregnant for the 3rd time. I wasn't thrilled. I wasn't immediately excited. I was in shock. After all, baby #2 had turned 3 months old on that same day. Surely the test was wrong. Since I had just had a baby, certainly my hormones were still out of whack & THAT's why the test was showing positive. I took 3 pregnancy tests that day. I took several more over the course of the next week. All in all, I think it took about 10 of them to convince me that I REALLY was pregnant. (Yes, I know...it was not economical, but I needed it for my sanity!) Of course, 2 weeks later when the morning sickness hit, I knew it was real for sure!

The phone calls began. The first one was to my OB/Gyn. I needed to cancel the birth control appointment I had planned & schedule an OB visit. We had to call family members & close friends to share the news & listen to the reactions of shock & giggles over & over. True, it was sweet news, but it was almost embarassing to listen to the questions that were asked from our closest friends & family. "Don't you know what causes that?" "I guess we need to buy y'all a TV for your bedroom...sounds like you're bored & need something ELSE to do." After all the teasing passed, our family and close friends were thrilled for us & let us know that they'd be there to help & support us. And help us they did! With babysitting offers & food & fellowship & shoulders to cry on, they were really there for us during the pregnancy & beyond.

me & Sarah (in my tummy) at about 34 or 35 weeks--she was delivered at 37 1/2 weeks, so this is about what I looked like when she was born

The months passed quickly. Before we knew it, it was February 2001. On the night of February 14, I drove Savannah (4) & Samuel (10 1/2 months) to my parents house. I would be induced the following morning. It was just about 2 1/2 weeks early, but due to the fact that Samuel weighed 9 lbs & had to be delivered by C-section [something we wanted to avoid doing again, if possible], we were making the choice to deliver Sarah a little early. I was already dilated to 3 cm, so we knew it would not too hard of a delivery. I dropped the kids off with my parents, took one last picture with Samuel sitting on top of my pregnant belly, and left to drive home.

I cried most of the way home. After all, how was I possibly going to ever function with 2 babies under a year old? I mean, I realize that people with multiples do it all the time, but my 2 babies would be far enough apart in age that their napping/feeding/diapering schedules were bound to collide. Would I ever sleep again? How would I go to the grocery store with three itty-bitties in tow? They would both be using bottles to eat. Could we put them on the same type of formula? Would I get their bottles mixed up if it was a different kind of formula? How would we pull this off? The concern & questions was exhausting. I was in a total panic.

I had spent most of pregnancy feeling a little ambivalent about this new baby. I was really enjoying Samuel's babyhood & now, this "intruder" was going to change all that. I felt like I was never able to really indulge him the slightest bit because I knew that we would have to break any bad habits early to make room for baby #3. I had not been able to let him sleep in our room (or bed) much at all because I knew that before long, baby #3 would take over that spot & we couldn't have 2 babies in our bed. Honestly, that was a really tough one for me. I love sleeping with my babies part of the time & when we couldn't do that with Samuel, it was sad.

All the emotions of the pregnancy...the shock in the beginning, the fear & nerves, the ambivalence, the worry......it all came to a head that night on my drive home from my mom's house. I spent that 30 minute drive in tears. Not long before pulling into driveway, God gave me a Scripture.
Proverbs 3:5-6: Trust in the Lord with all your heart & lean not on
your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths.
Wow. I felt like I had been knocked off my weepy pedastal & reminded to just trust God to handle things. I pulled into the yard, blew my nose, wiped my tears, pulled up my big girl panties & decided to get myself together & go have a new baby!

On the following morning, we drove to the hospital & checked in about 7am. I was having contractions, but not painful ones. I have an irritable uterus, so I have Braxton Hicks contractions with all my pregnancies from about week 16 on. When they hooked me up to a monitor, the nurse seemed surprised that I wasn't feeling (hurting!) from the contractions I was having. About 9am the doctor broke my water. We waited an hour & then started pitocin. By 11am, I was having really good contractions. And by "good", I mean true labor contractions. I refused to lay in bed & do nothing while I labored. I'm one of those crazy pioneer women who don't do drugs or pain medicine for labor. I wanted to be up & moving around, walking down the halls or at least around my room. SOMETHING other than just laying in bed. Luckily, the nurse was accomodating & said to do whatever felt best. I sat in a rocking chair for a while, talking to whomever came to visit. (Sorry folks, it's been 8 years, I don't really remember who all came!) I sat on a ball for a while & rocked some. I walked around the room & sang along to the praise music I had brought with me. At around 12:30, my doctor came over to check on me and another patient. She checked my cervix. I was dilated to 6 or 7. Birth didn't appear to be imminent, but we knew I was getting closer. I was getting uncomfortable but it was still tolerable. My doc left & told the nurse to call her when it was time. She went down the hall to see her other patient & ended up getting held up in that room for some reason. Of course, I'm sure it is because God knew I was "this close". Over the course of the next 30 minutes, I went from 6 or 7cm to 10cm. Sarah's heartrate dropped & we panicked at the idea that I could possibly need another emergency Csection (like I had with Samuel). It turns out that her heartrate didn't actually drop much....SHE DID! The monitor just reached a point where it couldn't pick up her heartrate because she moved down into the birth canal. The nurse came in to put on a scalp electrode & we realized I was ready to push. Funny thing...just about that time, my doc stuck her head back in to tell them she was going back to the office. Instead she told the nurse to call & tell them she was staying to have a baby. At 1:36pm, after just a few pushes, Sarah was born weighing 7lb 8oz.

Sarah & I shortly after she was born, before the family came in to meet her for the first time.

Savannah, me (holding Sarah) and Samuel, about 2 hours after Sarah was born. Their first time to meet their baby sister. I was both overjoyed & overwhelmed at the time my mom took this picture of us.

All in all, I was in labor for just about 4 1/2 hours. The pushing stage (which had always been my longest stage of labor with the other kids) lasted 10 minutes versus several hours! I pushed 3 or 4 times versus a hundred times. It was truly the simplest & best birth ever!

I stayed an extra day to have my tubes tied after Sarah's birth. We brought her home on February 17, 2001 & began our life with 2 babies & a preschooler. While most of that first year is one big blur, looking back on it now, I can't IMAGINE doing things any differently. Samuel & Sarah are very close. (They might not tell everyone that, but they ARE!) They've never known a day without each other. When Savannah goes away to camp or to spend the night with a friend, Samuel & Sarah play together and sleep in the same room (sometimes the same bed!). They adore each other. Their sweet relationship has always touched my heart and made me smile. Sure, we put up with a lot of crazy looks & unusual questions for the first couple years. (Good grief, people can be NOSEY!) We were asked if they were twins a lot in those first several years & finally tired of having to explain things all over again, so we just learned to say yes & keep walking.

As time has gone by, I've learned (over & over & over again!) that God is in control & knows EXACTLY what we need in life. And I most definately need my sweet Sarah. I can't imagine my life without her. She is the most gentle spirited, kind hearted, tender & sweet little girl. She is the child that you just give a dirty look to discipline. She is a bundle of tears & weepiness if she thinks someone is upset with her over any little thing. She is the most compassionate & loving little girl I've ever met. She prays for her friends & for strangers & just about anyone who she feels needs it. She worships God with her little hands raised without the slightest inkling of care about what anyone else thinks. She is absolutely precious!

Happy Birthday my sweet girl! You are just what this mama needs. I love you, beautiful!


Tara and Ryan said...

Somehow I missed Sarah was a surprise!?
Do you realize our lives are carbon copies?
I love that sweet girl and soooooo thankful
God decided to make her:) You wouldn't
be the Reeve's without that "tell it like it
is" Sarah. Happy Birthay!!! PS-Why did I
cry during this post???? yah, I love yall!

Rachel said...

Happy Birthday Sarah! I always wondered how the two youngest were so close in age. I would have freaked out a little too if I found out I was pregnant with a 3 month old!

Jalissa said...

Cute Photos! Happy Birthday Sarah! Maybe 10yrs old be the best year yet.