NOTE: This account has so many point of view changes, one minute I'm talking to Henley, one minute, I'm talking to others. Sorry. It's too much work to make the changes. I mean, it's not really. I'm just lazy.
I have such a horrible memory that I know bit by bit the details of the day Henley was born will float away. I wanted to document them here. During the time you were born, we lived in Boerne. My school was in Pipe Creek and the drs office and hospital were in New Braunfels. We were driving an hour and a half once a week to see Dr. Blair, but he was so great and we wanted him to deliver you.
Your official due date was December 15, 2009. I went to school on Monday, December 13, but was pretty slow. I remember wearing one of Mamie's snowman sweatshirts since I didn't have any holiday garb. We had a Christmas concert and I definitely sat down in the back and was feeling pretty much huge and pregnant and uncomfortable. I left early that day to go to the doctor, but was determined to come back the next morning, as my kids had their Christmas party on Wednesday and I wanted to be get the room cleaned up and ready for the party. When I went to Dr. Blair, he said I wasn't very far along, dilated but not too close. I think he did a little something so that I would progress more rapidly but I don't really remember. Scraping something. Gross- TMI. (Well, if that's TMI, don't read more.)
When I got home, I decided to make banana bread for my teammates for their gift: banana bread, homemade jerky and a big block of cheese. As I made the bread, I kept having to sit down because I was having contractions. Finally, the bread was finished and I went home. I laid in bed and tried to time my contractions to see how far apart they were. Part of my worry was that we lived 45 minutes from the hospital and I definitely wanted to be there in plenty of time. Well, I waited as long as I could and made Davey drive me to the hospital, leaving around 5:00. I remember calling Mrs. Burns, my teaching partner and saying, "We're on the way!" And she was like, "Yay! No problem, we'll get everything taken care of!" Thank goodness to not worry about that. We got to the hospital and they hooked the fetal monitor up to measure my contractions and guess what- go back home and wait longer. I was pretty embarrassed. Molly had even started her drive home from Houston and didn't want to turn around and tell her school- false alarm.
So I went home and laid around most of the day. I guess the contractions weren't terrible. But I wasn't getting very much accomplished around the house. I downloaded a contraction app and tried to use that, in case it was more accurate. I kept falling asleep so it wasn't. Finally, I thought I couldn't stand it anymore. I woke up David and told him I wanted to leave. And then he fell back asleep while I got ready. Thanks, honey. I got a little freaked because I had started bleeding- not bad but enough to make David move much faster. We left pretty early this time, maybe 4:00 and drove in silence there both worrying, wondering. We went into the emergency room and it was empty. I waddled to the desk, "I'm here to have a baby and I'm bleeding!" I was freaking out at that point. My wheelchair wheeled me up to the delivery room and nurses calmed me down and helped me get all ready. We met with Dr. Blair who came along, checked me out, said "Yep, today's the day!", broke my water and said he'd be back later. We called all the family and said "Get your motors running, Henley's coming today!" Or something like that. David made the calls.
I had a wonderful nurse named Florence all day. She was pretty quiet, matter of fact and all around great. I got an epidural around 1 o'clock and then things were much happier for all involved. People trickled in to say hi and we'll be listening to your screams from the waiting room. David's boss, Keenon, even came in. Kinda weird to be in a hospital gown having contractions with the ole boss man. Eventually, the big pushing part came and Florence, David and mom helped me as I pushed for about an hour. It was HARD and I know I thought I would give up and finally, after some good screams, this cutest little girl pops out. Everyone in the room teared up, especially David. For some reason, I kept looking at these beautiful long fingers with fingernails!! It was amazing this little beauty was perfectly formed inside of my belly, just waiting to come into this world.
After you were born, I was starving and we ate Chik-fil-a. Just like I had after every dr. appt. You were BORN for those little nuggets, lady! You had a little bit of jaundice and we were worried we wouldn't be able to leave- we were so excited to get out and get back home and show you off.
They brought a big stocking on your bassinet and wrapped you up in a Christmas blankie. Our stay was pretty good- just learning the ropes of nursing and pooping. Your first poopy diaper was terrifying. There happened to be a nurse in the room and we asked her if she would change it. She said, NOPE. And so we were left to try to figure it out, while simultaneously trying to be sooo careful. Also terrifying was putting your outfit on to leave the hospital. It was a pink ruffly nightgown from Miss Val. You were so teeny and it seemed like we were hurting you. And it didn't help that you were hollering up a storm. On the day we were going home, we realized the car seat was at home and your daddy had to go buy a new one from Target. He rushed to assemble it and we drove out of there with me hunched over you all the way home. I was so worried about this teeny one in our giant car on a fast highway. The first of many, many worries!
You are such a wonder to me, little girl. You are so smart and curious and fascinated with so many things. You are so full of joy that people smile at you as you sing and bounce walking around. You changed my life, little lady. I hope you know you are loved by many, especially your daddy and me.