Friday, March 20, 2009

Jenna is here!

Jared and I are pleased to introduce our daughter, Jenna Elizabeth Ahrens, to you! She was born on March 7 at 6:25am. She weighed in at 7 lbs 15 oz, and measured 20.5 inches.

Jenna will be 2 weeks old tomorrow - it's amazing how time flies! Before more time passes, here is an account of Jenna's birth:

Thursday, March 5 - I went in for my 39 week appointment, and Dr. Keith said that I was 4 cm dilated (Praise God! I'd been waiting for this for a long time!). She said that I could check myself in to the hospital the next day at 4pm (unless things progress overnight, in which case, I'll be at Good Shepherd a lot sooner...but this didn't happen). She was going to break my water then to begin the labor process, and hopefully I'll be able to do a VBAC as I had intended.

Friday, March 6 - Both Jared and I were extremely excited! We were hoping to have the baby that day (03/06/09 had a nice ring to it!). Before we went to the hospital, we dropped Joshua off at Elmhurst, for he was to spend the weekend with Jared's parents. It was an emotional time for me (what's new?), as I realized at that moment of saying goodbye to Joshua, it would be the last time that we would be a family of 3. Things will be different the next time we see him. We even took one last picture of the 3 of us. Knowing that he was in good hands, we headed off to Good Shepherd.

We checked in at 4pm, and I was given the lovely hospital gown to put on, and was strapped to all these monitors. The nurse started an IV, and at 5pm, Dr. Keith came in and broke my water. So then, we played the waiting game. We had an awesome nurse, Dawn, who is a Christian and we were able to have some great conversations with her (in fact, that's one of the reasons why we chose to go back to GS because we loved the staff there. They're just very personable, and have a way of making us feel important, like we were the only ones there!). Anyway, I started to feel contractions - I know that I've mentioned in the past to most of you that I don't know what contractions feel like. Well, now I do. Not pleasant at all. Dr. Keith had told me that I could get an epidural at anytime. Being the whus that I am, and having stated that I don't need to be a hero, I decided to get the epidural sooner than later. By 7:30pm, the anaesthesiologist had come and gone, and I was able to relax and even get some shut eye. Periodically, Dr. Keith would come in to check my cervix to see if dilation had occurred. At 11:30pm, I was dilated to 8cm and 100% effaced. A good sign, and I was praying that everything would move fast now, and that I'll be able to deliver soon (even though it didn't look like we'd have an 03/06/09 baby - oh well!).

Saturday, March 7 - It was difficult trying to fall asleep because the nurse would come every half hour to help me turn to my other side, so that the epidural would work on both sides of my lower extremities. Also, I was anxious to see how far along I'd be. When 5am rolled around, I was getting discouraged because I was still at 8cm. At 6am, Dr. Keith said that the baby's head is having difficulty dropping because it was just too big for my small pelvic cavity. If I waited too long, the baby could go into fetal distress. Although I really wanted to try a VBAC, I was okay having another C-section. I just wanted the baby to be healthy. So, I consented to having a c-section. Everyone on staff was very encouraging and said that I had made a valiant effort to try the VBAC. I'm just so thankful for modern science and technology - that we have the resources available to help both my babies. I shudder to think what would happen if we didn't have the option of a c-section. Soon after I gave my consent, both Jared and I were prepped for surgery. Jared was by my side. I have to admit, I was scared - I don't know why. It's not like I haven't been through this before. My hormones were out of control! I was in tears one minute, and then in full-out excitement the next. I won't go into details about the surgery. Let's just say that I could feel everything (I would have rather that they knocked me out!).

At 6:25am, Jenna was born. I heard a cry, and we also heard Dr. Keith say something like "Whoa! You're a lot bigger than we all expected!". I vaguely remember seeing her, and soon after, the drugs really kicked in, and before I knew it, I was in the recovery room.

The nurse brought Jenna to our postpartum room (341) about an hour after surgery. When I held her in my arms for the first time, I was filled with so much love for this tiny human being whom I had just met. How is this possible? How is it that I am ready to do anything for her? To lay down my own life for her? Again, I'm reminded of how much our great God loves us. And how I feel about Jenna is but a fraction of how God loves us. Amazing!

After 5 days in the hospital, we were able to bring Jenna home. So, there you have it! Jenna is here. We are now a family of 4. And we are so blessed!

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