She's HERE! Grey Danelle Erwin was born on World Water Day (I LOVE the details set before the world existed by our wonderful Creator), March 22, 2012, also known as the best day of our entire lives. She entered this world SCREAMING at 5:28pm, weighing 5 pounds 2 ounces and stretching 19 inches long. Grey Danelle shares a middle name with her Aunt Charys, someone who has loved her since the moment she existed.
If every book on earth contained words about love, there would not be enough written words to describe how we feel. I have never had time and life move around me like they do now. All I can think about is how blessed I am to be Grey's mommy.
I do not have time to type out every detail, since the only thing on earth that seems to matter is being with our precious Grey...but I do want to share her 'brief' birth story, since I love that so many friends and family have been praying for her, and I want to share her story with them.
It was decided that Grey was going to have a birthday on Thursday, due to her not tolerating contractions for two days. We were set to have a repeat amnio to check for lung maturity that morning, but after her heart rate decelerated with early signs of labor, our doctors agreed it was safer for her to just come meet us, even if her lungs were still a little immature.
The day went by much quicker than I thought it would, waiting on our 5pm c-section. Nerves hit about one hour before the big moment, but otherwise we felt very calm. The surgery went perfect, and both of our doctors were there to deliver Grey. Tisha was allowed in the room, and captured Grey's arrival with breathtaking photographs! I am so ridiculously stoked to share the photos soon! I get CHILLS every time I see them... Our doctors told us that they could see Grey kicking and punching in my uterus, even before she entered the world. God's handiwork is so astounding!!
The BEST sound on earth happened at 5:28pm, when we heard Grey screaming as she entered the world. My whole world changed forever. Our little Grey was healthy, pink and perfect! We were given time to love on her before they took her to the nursery.
Chet and Tisha left with Grey to be with her and photograph our little beauty while I was in recovery. She found her thumb within 30 minutes, and we have a great iPhone movie of her noisily sucking it. Auntie Charys was able to watch Grey in the nursery too. However, an hour or so after birth, our little girl started "grunting" and showed signs of labored breathing. Her pulse-ox also clued the doctors that she needed to be transferred to the NICU.
Grey was wheeled by my recovery room on the way to NICU though, so I was able to see her and love on her again before she was whisked away. This was a very emotional moment for me, and if it weren't for Chet, Tisha and Charys by my side, I would have been a wreck.
In NICU, she was given a feeding tube and put on a c-pap machine for oxygen, so that all the energy in her body could contribute to making her stronger and healthier.
I was not able to hold Grey until about 1:30am, but oh my was it worth every moment of waiting in the world when I could finally hold our daughter. She is PERFECT! She has the most gorgeous deep blue-ish green eyes, fuzzy brown hair (lots of it) and looks so much like Chet! :)
Grey's health has improved each hour of her life. We were told she could be on oxygen for a week, but was off her c-pap in less than 24 hours. She was given an iv the first day - due to her labs showing some dehydration, but that was already removed this morning as well. She is now under a bilirubin light for at least 24 hours, since she is a tad jaundice. The prodding and poking of my poor sweet baby has been the toughest part of being a mom so far. I would take a thousand iv's in my arm to spare her sweet hand that horrible thing.
Grey LOVES to eat and LOVES to hold our hands. She insists on holding something with both hands, all the time. Her grip is crazy! One of my favorite moments was when Chet and I were giving Grey her first bath last night: she did not like the water too much, and as I was washing her, she held onto her Daddy with both hands. She had the sweetest, "Daddy make them stop this!" face as she held onto him for comfort. She is a cuddler and wants to snuggle up as close and tight as she can. She is always reaching for our hands or faces.
Grey took her first bottle like a pro last night, so we attempted breastfeeding today. The staff here is fabulous and encouraging, and we are getting better at it with each feeding. Her feeding tube may come out for good tomorrow, Lord willing, since she is doing so well with learning how to suck.
Due to her stint in NICU, we have not been able to have any visitors see Grey. The NICU here is serious about their babies' safety, meaning even Auntie Charys was never allowed to hold her. I love that they care so much, and I know God had planned for Grey to be safe and sound in NICU though. Grey's NICU nurses are amazing. Just like my nurses have been on the antepartum floor, Grey's nurses make us feel like there is no better place for her to be right now!
Chet is the best Daddy on earth to Grey. I knew he would be, as he is the best Daddy I have ever known. He has sat in NICU for hours holding his daughter, even when I have not been able to. He has changed diapers (even poopy ones), fed her, checked her temp and loved on her 24/7. He is a natural at being a Daddy...it's as if he has been Grey's Daddy his whole life. I love the sense of calm he has around her. He even napped with her one afternoon, while I was busy pumping and talking to doctors. Seeing Chet become a Daddy to a baby on earth has made me love him in such a new and amazing way. It's an honor to call him my husband and father of the most beautiful girl on earth! He has also assisted me in everything "fun" about childbirth, never complaining or leaving my side. Because of Grey being in the NICU, and me pumping or being with her every waking moment, Chet has helped me with the tough job of letting our sweet friends know how difficult visits are right now.
Charys was here until yesterday. It was beyond special to have my twin with me for this time. She loves Grey in the most beautiful way, and helped me with everything. Her presence brought so much peace into my life during the crazy last couple of days.
Tisha just left this afternoon...wow. I can't even imagine where I would be without her help. I do believe a mother's touch and help is what made us get through these last two weeks. Tisha assisted me in every duty and task, and made my healing a hundred times easier. Tisha relieved so much stress that could have been on Chet and I, I just can't thank her enough.
We did not realize this level of exhaustion even existed. I am so honored to be allowed the privilege of being Grey's Mommy. I thank God over and over and over for this life. Physically I am healing well. We were moved back down to the antepartum floor, right next to the NICU. It is so nice to be able to just take a few steps and be where our daughter is. Also, the third floor nurses are EPICLY caring "family members". It's become home in many ways here. Everything about Grey's arrival has been the perfect plan from God.
My favorite thing on earth is to be with Grey. I have not been able to answer almost anything - emails, texts, messages - anything. I am so grateful and humbled by all the love we have been shown, and hope to get everyone answered soon.
This blog was typed out of delirium (excuse the typos), and I am about to go love on Grey again...but I just wanted to send out a blog birth announcement.
I have never been filled with this kind of joy. The relief and happiness is more than I can say. I am speechless and breathless every time I gaze at my daughter.
Door hanger from Ashley M
First time to hold my daughter
After our first bath, all cozied up (feeding tube replaced after this)
Litte hands and feet - about 1/2 the size of big brother's
Getting a bili tan
Thanks be to God for His unspeakable gift... 2 Corinthians 9:15