While I’ve been working hard at getting my book ready for publishing, an exciting event occurred… the arrival of my second daughter.
The last few weeks have been busy. At the end of August, I finished writing the first draft of my novella. That is exciting enough as it is, but more on that later. The biggest news is what happened over this past weekend. My second daughter was born.
Yes, that’s right. On October 2nd, just before midnight, Sophia Marie, was born via C-section birth. She measured at 21 ¾ in length and weighed in at 8 lbs. even. She was a little early, with her mother only being about 37 and a half weeks into her pregnancy. The past few days have been surreal, and I have barely gotten any sleep. Mother and baby are doing well, despite Sophia having to stay in the NICU.
The Birthing Story
Her mom, Lexy, had been having Braxton-Hicks contractions for a few weeks now. She had mentioned that it wasn’t painful, but there was just a lot of pressure that would go away. On Saturday, however, she was complaining that she was having pains. I had just got home from my work and was helping. Lexy’s mom and sister was coming down and they were planning on spending the day together. By noontime, her mother had arrived, and I was heading to bed to get some sleep as I had to go to work that night.
At about 5, I woke up when they returned to the house. I went out to use the bathroom and Lexy was complaining that the pain had gotten worse… much worse. So I got myself ready and took her to the hospital. We went in and they processed her and got her into a triage room while I parked the van. When I caught up, they had her hooked up to the monitors for the contractions and the baby’s heartbeat. An exam showed that her cervix was still closed and that she was NOT in labor. The pains, however, were taking a toll on Lexy.
Lexy was about to surrender. If she wasn’t in labor, she wanted to go home. Finally, a doctor came in and began asking her questions. Of particular interest was her blood pressure, which was elevated. Of course, the elevation could be attributed to the pains, but they decided that it was enough of a reason to go ahead and take her early for the C-section birth.
We were excited. We began making calls to family and informing them what was happening. It was reported that my daughter, Savannah, began crying when she heard that her sister was arriving soon. The doctors and nurses came in to prep Lexy. Finally, they had me gown up, took us to the delivery room and had me wait in the hall while they gave her the final preparations.
While standing in the hall, I could hear Lexy scream as they gave her the spinal tap anesthesia. After an excruciating wait, they finally called me into the delivery room. I sat by her arm, camera at the ready, as they started their work. I could see them working this scissors and clamps as they operated. I didn’t have a direct view, but it was enough. The anticipation was high for both me and Lexy. She kept asking me what was going on. After an unknown amount of time past, I watched the table get flooded as they broke the amniotic sac and released the fluid. Then, they began to pull my daughter free.
It was unreal… I was watching her leave her mother’s body. Almost immediately after getting her out, she began crying. They held her up and I was able to snap a picture. They then took her over to the warming table while the doctors began closing Lexy up. They cleaned her up and suctioned her out, hooking her up to the monitors attached to the table. They called me over and I welcomed Sophia to the world. When they offered me the opportunity to cut the cord, I took it immediately. I didn’t get that chance with my first daughter. With little sleep and the rush of excitement, I was on cloud 9.
I was then taken to recovery and Lexy soon followed once they finished stitching her up. They brought Sophia in briefly for us to see, but they had to take her up to the NICU as her Oxygen Saturation was not at good levels. They took her up and said that I would be able to go up there in about an hour. Being that I hadn’t eaten anything besides a sandwich 12 hours before, I went out on a quest for food. The café was closed at this time, so I had to settle on Cheese-its and a soda from the vending machine.
After my snack, I went up to visit my daughter in the NICU. She was all clean and sleeping well. This was the first of many visits over the next few days. I bounced around during those days between the NICU, Post-Partum with her mom, and home with our first daughter. Taking her to school in the morning and picking her up in the afternoon. I look forward to their official introduction.
I was running on little sleep. I gave my family and friends updates as I could, video chatting some while in the NICU with Sophia. Lexy was finally able to come up and visit her later Sunday afternoon. As Lexy recovered from her surgery, I spent the most time in the NICU, changing her diapers, feeding her, holding her, singing to her, and even reading to her.
On Monday, the took her off the oxygen and we were so excited. Unfortunately, when Lexy and I went up to see her, they had to put Sophia back on the oxygen as her desaturation levels were dipping. This was a blow to my excitement and had me upset. Everybody kept assuring me that it was fine and common. But I felt so powerless. I just wanted her with us. So that night, after a visit home and spending some time with Savannah, I returned and stayed most of the night in the NICU. Thanks to my father and Lexy’s sister, Ashley, for aiding me with Savannah.
Tuesday faired much better as they took her off oxygen at 11 am and she was now holding strong. Despite my worries, I cherish the bonding time that I had with Sophia during her stay there. I continued my visits, changing and feeding her. Her mom was even able to get up there a few more times and take her turns. We dressed her in some of the outfits we brought along (the doctors and nurses got a kick out of her “Storm Pooper” onesie). Steadily, she has been improving.
Lexy was released on Wednesday afternoon, and we went home. Sophia must be off oxygen for 48 hours before they will release her. The nurse suggested that we come home, get some rest, and do last minute preps at home for her homecoming. That’s what we did. Now, as of the time that I am writing this, we are preparing for her release today. The nurses and doctors have been pleased with all her other checks (just a bit of jaundice is the only other issue) and she is on track for being released by this afternoon.
In other news, the progress on my book is going well. Thanks to BetaBooks.co, I have been receiving great feedback. Many helpful grammar corrections, insights, and reactions. If anybody would like to assist, let me know.
The Road Ahead
I plan on stopping the beta read phase at the end of this month then moving forward with the process. The next steps after that would be to find an editor (if I even decide to go that route at this time, the beta reads have been helpful and I am considering skipping that step this time… we will see), work on starting my publishing company, and maybe secure an audio narrator (or two… hint, hint Michael Kramer and Kate Reading). I have already commissioned the cover art from a very talented artist.
It has been an exciting week and the next few months look to be even more exciting. With a new baby in the house AND a new book in the works, I have a lot to look forward to. Many thanks to those who have supported me with both Sophia and the book. A special thanks to Lexy for all that you went through. The payoff is well worth it. I love you and look forward to spending our time together, watching our daughters grow.
Regarding the above video, the book I was reading to Sophia is called Spiders in my House by A. M. Horst. I know her better as my sister. It is a lovely children’s book focused on counting and the theme is perfect for this time of year. Check it out if you get a chance: