My Baby Girl Is One Tomorrow

I have a lot to be grateful for today.  My heart is absolutely full!  Tomorrow is the first birthday of my little girl, Olivia.  What a joy this first year has been.

As I sat, reminiscing [if you will], about where I was at at this exact moment one year ago, I couldn't help but remember what was going through my mind.  Excitement, fear, anticipation.  I was in the beginning stages of labor.  My contractions had started around 7:30 pm while I was on my way home from work.  I had made a trip into the hospital the night before, only to be sent home, so tonight I was going to wait it out at home as long as I could.  I didn't want to be sent home twice.  There's nothing worse than seeing a janitor cleaning the hallway in the hospital on the way in and being told, "Oh, that stinks!"  As you pass him on the way back out a few hours later.

I sat at home until around midnight and, as soon as I began to feel so nauseous that I began to throw up, I knew it was time to leave.  I remember getting in the car and driving off into the dark night.  We were going to have our baby!

When we got to the hospital I remember going up the elevator and feeling my heart beating really well, now.  Adrenaline rush!  I remember dressing into my gown and getting into bed.  Oh, how uncomfortable that bed was.  I don't remember the times as well as Craig, but I think it was about one o'clock when the doctor came in and broke my water and gave me an epidural.  The epidural was painless and not half as bad as I thought it would be.  In fact, I think the worst part was just having my IV put in my hand.  It might as well have been the first day on duty for the first nurse that tried to put the IV in my hand.  My vein kept jumping and she couldn't get the needle in.  It hurt surprisingly A LOT and I tried to play it all tough, but tears were running down my face.

My mom used to joke about how weird the epidural was and having to holler at my dad to help her slide her legs back on the table.  I had no idea how funny this actually was until I lived it.  Maybe our legs really aren't sliding at all, it's just a combination of the drugs and the fact that we can't feel or control anything at all from our waste down.

After several hours of having the epidural I was very ready to be done.  I was nauseous, uncomfortable, and tired.  I don't know how people can sleep in a hospital bed or even relax enough to fall asleep while you're in labor for that matter.  My attempt at obeying my doctor and sleeping was not very successful.

I must have fallen asleep, because my doctor woke me up at nine o'clock and told me that I was fully dilated and ready to go.  I panicked and my initial reaction was, "I'm too tired."  I was scared out of my mind.

The next few minutes were not half as bad as I thought they would be, though.  My doctor joked with me that I couldn't tell anyone in Relief Society about how easy the actual delivery was.  Phew! 

There's nothing more magical than the first moment with your baby, though.  I will never forget when all of the doctors had left and it was just our little family.  The spirit testified to me so powerfully that my baby was truly a daughter of God.  Her spirit was so strong and beautiful.

She's finally here!
One of my favorite things of this day was watching the proud dad show off his little girl.  I think I have never heard of a prouder Dad, flaunting and showing off his little girl in the nursery after she had taken her first bath.  My family couldn't get over how much they loved Craig holding Olivia up like a scene out of Lion King while they all stood, ecstatic, behind the glass wall of the nursery.

Olivia and Daddy right before we left the hospital.  Bundled up in the quilt her great Aunt made her.

Craig loved the cafe' in the hospital.  He was one happy boy at this moment.

Over the next few hours and days I can't express enough gratitude to the friends and family who came to visit our new family in the hospital and showered us with your love, support, and beautiful gifts for Olivia.  It truly meant the world that you all sacrificed time out of your busy lives to celebrate the birth of our baby girl.  What a special moment that we will never forget.

My new baby and me!

So little!