Stella Marie was born November 3, 2009 weighing 6 pounds 6 ounces. She is everything I hoped for and more. We scheduled a c-section and it was great. I was able to get a good night's sleep the night before and we woke up excited and totally freaked out that Tuesday morning. When we got to the hospital my blood pressure was through the roof. The nurse kept saying "Laura, you MUST calm down". I was so scared! The worst part was definitely the epidural. He had to do it twice and it wasn't fun but luckily it didn't take too long. The procedure itself was pretty crazy. It took no time at all, I felt incredibly sleepy and I just remember laying there thinking if I closed my eyes I would fall asleep and would miss the whole thing. I heard the doctor say "Wow! Look at all that hair." Then I knew she was here but I heard nothing and started to freak out. The nurses were all telling me how pretty she was but I still never heard her cry. They popped her over the sheet for me to see her for one second and I remember thinking, holy crap that baby is dark. Turned out the cord was wrapped around her neck which is why she wasn't crying and why she was so dark (blue). They worked on her for a minute and I finally heard the most beautiful sound in the world. My baby was crying. I couldn't believe she was here. Martin left my side to watch them give her a bath and do the measurements. I was so desperate to get a good look at her. When I finally saw that precious face I think I experienced every emotion you can have. I looked up at Martin and I will never forget his face - he looked so happy and SO proud. The moment you see this little creature that you helped create is something nothing can prepare you for - it's truly amazing.
They rolled me out of the operating room to go to recovery and I saw all my family in the waiting room. I gave them a wave as I rolled past them but I just wanted to hug all of them. I was so excited to share this moment with my family that I love so much. It was a very emotional day. I was just so happy. Watching each of my family members hold my daughter for the first time was such wonderful thing.
The rest of the hospital stay was fabulous. We had an awesome suite, great nurses and I recovered from the c-section surprisingly well (seriously, it was nothing!). And yes, it's true, you will simply stare at your new baby for hours for at least the first month!
Bringing home baby was exciting. I couldn't wait to get her in our house, see how the animals reacted to her and get her in all of those adorable clothes we had waiting for her. Turned out nothing fit her because she was so petite!
The first night home was horrible. She cried well, screamed, the entire night. My milk had not come in and she was starving. I was exhausted and miserable that I couldn't fix it and make her better. We took her to the pediatrician the next morning (thank goodness their office is open on Saturdays!) and they gave her some formula which made her immediately happy and me immediately burst into tears. That's what hormones, exhaustion, frustration and relief will do.
The first month was pretty rough. Stella didn't sleep more than two hours at a time at night, slept very little during the day and breastfeeding was very painful and difficult. Most days I never got out of my pajamas and went days at a time without a shower. It was the hardest thing I have ever done and yet the most wonderful thing at the same time.
These days Stella is sleeping 6 to 7 hours at a time, breastfeeding is actually an enjoyable bonding exercise and she is an absolute joy. She is smiling and cooing and getting prettier and prettier every day.
When I hear her cry early on and Saturday morning and thing "I do NOT want to be up" all it takes is for me to see her face and I'm immediately happy to be awake, sharing those early hours with her.
Stella is the most wonderful gift imaginable. I spent my whole life wanting to be a mommy. I can honestly say that being Stella's mommy is the most amazing thing that has ever happened to me and so much better than I ever could have imagined. It's like every day is Christmas morning. I wake up excited to see her, to see that toothless grin and to get those special snuggles.
Motherhood is not for everyone. You have to be willing to be pooped on, peed on, thrown up on and let's not even start on what it does to your body. But it is for me. I feel like this something I was made to do. I am so proud to be Stella's mom!