Beautiful miss Bethany Hope made her appearance on Wednesday, August 3, at 11:14am. She let out the sweetest, although brief, cry when she was born. Our priest was so generous with his time, arriving early to pray with us and staying through the delivery and beyond. He baptized her as soon as she was born. We were blessed to have over an hour with her, which is more than we expected, and then we still kept her with us through the night and into this afternoon, when I finally let her go. That is so difficult. I remember it with Peter, although it was a different situation, because we delivered him to the funeral home after he had passed. But leaving your child, or watching her be rolled away, even knowing it's only a body, is a unique kind of pain.
We had a wonderful photographer from Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep come. I think she got some beautiful shots, and I can't wait to see them. She did a mini newborn session, with her curled up in blankets, and I think they're going to be darling.
The surgery went as well as it could, and recovery is also going as well as can be expected. I'm about 36 hours out from surgery (at the time of writing) and my pain is well controlled but I am on a lot of medication. I am spending the vast majority of my day sleeping, although in 10-20 minute increments. I may go home tomorrow, but it's so quiet and peaceful here that I just may stay until Saturday. The doctor will begin weaning me off of the epidural pain relief in the morning, and see how I do on oral main medication alone.
We were very torn over the decision between c-section and vaginal birth, but I am at peace with the choice. Knowing that she was born alive, without the pain and straign of vaginal delivery, made it worthwhile. It's also likely that it would have been a long and difficult labor and delivery. Maybe she still wouldn't even be here as I am typing this.
This pregnancy has been one so mixed with emotions. The pregnancy itself was a surprise. Then finding early on that she was so sick. Living daily wondering if she would die in utero. Having her beat the odds and make it to 30 weeks, and to be born alive. It's been a real roller coaster of a year. And now we will finish off the year mourning the daughter we lost, but knowing we have another saint in heaven, and that she's up there with Francis, Sarah, Peter, and Molly, living a life of joy, free of pain, sadness, death, and sin.