Thursday, March 05, 2009

Charleigh (pronounced like Charlie)

I have the great privilege of announcing the arrival of my brother Keith and his wife AD's little girl. Charleigh (pronounced like Charlie) Elizabeth Huisman joined the world on March 5th weighing in at 9 pounds 5 ounces and 21 inches long. I hope to post some words from Keith later but for now, here are some pictures of my parents first granddaughter. Below, is Keith's rendition of the delivery.

On Thursday, March 5 at 1:33 PM, Adrienne and I (Keith) welcomed our little girl into the family. While her arrival was eagerly anticipated, it wasn't expected to be quite so soon. Here is the story of the days leading up to her birth as well as the main event.

Adrienne was initially listed as due on March 21, but as the ultrasounds and tests took place, Dr. Bernick (best MD in the world...ehh, after John that is) felt she was measuring large from the get-go and bumped her due date up to the 15th. I will take credit for the over-achiever in the size department standing 6'10" and weigh 11 pounds at birth, which was a natural one I might add (when you see my mother give'r a hug and a "bless your heart" she deserves it). As the pregnancy progressed, Charleigh continued to grow off the charts. With four weeks left till her delivery, she was on pace to be between 10 and 11 pounds. Adrienne was looking to try a natural delivery, but with those four weeks left, Dr. Bernick felt it had too much potential for risk. He said it was our decision, but his concern grew with each passing appointment. We had several friends deliver with Bernick, and we found that he was not pushing for c-sections because of their convenience to him (that really is an awful stereotype to think the OB's do). It took a few days to adjust, but our prayers became that even if the baby was under the projected size, there was still a good reason for her to be taken by c-section. We scheduled her delivery for March 9 at 12:30 PM. Since I am writing this prior to the 9th, you are probably aware that Charleigh does what she pleases and when she pleases.

Adrienne became restless early Thursday morning around 1:30 am. By 2:30, she got out of bed and lounged on the chase next to the sofa where I had been relocated to around week 35. She was having some irregular contractions, but wasn't sure if they were the Braxton Hicks (spelling???) or the real deal. She hadn't had any contractions of any kind before. At 3:30, she whispered, "Keith, Keith, I don't know what to do" with her cute, coy little smile. "I think my water broke, but I'm not sure." Needless to say, it took me about twenty seconds to fully comprehend what she was saying. Adie did not have the infamous gush, so she wasn't sure if her water had truly broken or if other things were just getting themselves ready to go. We hung around together, breathing through contractions. I had fun timing them on my iPhone (I told her it would come in handy) using the lap timer to measure her contraction intervals. They were still irregular occurring anywhere from thirty seconds to six minutes apart. They were not building with intensity either, so I wasn't sure if this was something that would settle down or if it was time to grab the suitcase Adrienne packed a week after she found out she was pregnant (not really, but she packed it at least six weeks ago). At 6:00 AM, we decided to call our Doctor's office. The on-call told us to come to the hospital and get checked.

We were in the car for the thirty second drive to the hospital (I mean that literally) by about 7:00 AM. I dropped Adie off at the Maternity doors and drove off to park the car. Adie went upstairs and was in a room before I could get to the doors. As the elevator doors opened to the maternity floor, I was greeted with a scream of labor pains coming from somewhere off down the hall, which started the nervous pit in my stomach that would not leave until...well, I guess it is the indefinite nervous pit, it just changes into different forms. The nurse pointed me to room #2 and I was soon helping my wife into her new uniform and on into bed.

The difficult part of the day came as the nurse who was assigned to us was also a nurse who taught a couple of our birthing classes. During those classes (when we wanted to deliver naturally), she made her feelings known about c-sections, especially scheduled ones. So here comes nurse Helga (ok, so her name is not really Helga, but it sounds so much meaner than Janet). Anyways, in comes Helga to check us in and get Adrienne's information into the monitoring systems. We told her we thought Adrienne's water had broken, but wanted to check. She confirmed that we had a scheduled c-section coming a few days later, and then the verbal battery began. I have italicized the words she emphasized so you can get an idea of her tone. If you can't figure it out, try to say it in the most condescending of tones.

"I see that you had a c-section scheduled, are you STILL going to have one?" she asked.

"Yes," I replied."You aren't going to EVEN TRY to push," Helga said to Adrienne, but I answered.

"Well, there are just some medical issues that make it necessary to do a c-section."

Helga rolled her eyes and said, "You came to that decision REALLY fast."

"We aren't going to be able to do the natural delivery," I responded.

"YOU can change YOUR mind at ANY time."

I didn't answer, but there was so much eye-rolling going on I was ready to go outside and ask for a new nurse. If I weren't so scared of offending anyone, I would have, but she laid low from that point on.

Adrienne had a small glass of juice in the morning, so the anesthesiologist didn't want to go right in until her stomach was cleared. This brought us to snag number 2. Adrienne would have to labor until 1:00 when the surgery would take place. In the long run, it wasn't a terribly big deal, but contractions are not the most fun experience and if you can have a baby without them, you might go for that. Adie's parents and grandma came over along with my mother. Our sister-in-law, Erin, stopped by to offer some encouragement. Adie appreciated the group as they distracted her through many of the contractions, which did escalate throughout the morning and into the afternoon.

At about noon, Michelle, the crazy OR nurse came in to give us the skinny on what was going to happen. I loved her. She talked to Adrienne like it was story-time in the kindergarten classroom and gave us great advice. She covered every facet of the procedure so this new process would be less intimidating for us rookies.

At 1:00, they were just finishing getting the room ready, and we were sitting together as Adrienne was to walk into the OR. They brought us into the sterile wing and I stood outside the window while Adrienne got her spinal, and the doctors and nurses prepped the room and mom's belly. I was drifting off looking around and almost didn't hear them call me into the room, which is the last thing they do before they begin the actual surgery. I came and sat on a little stool by Adrienne's head and hung out with her. I did not look over the sheet once through the whole procedure, nor did the thought ever cross my mind. The surgical team was placing their guesses on what the weight was. Most of them were in the seven pound range because Adrienne was not carrying excess weight anywhere else but her belly, and they didn't think her belly was that big. I was a bit thrown off as the doctors were engaged in small talk while they were operating. They talked about their kids, their weekend plans. You name it, they probably talked about it while their hands were literally inside my wife. I was getting a little annoyed until I realized they probably do this as much as I do a scorebook at a basketball game, so it was kind of second-nature.

Once they were getting into her Uterus, I sensed a change in conversation to a more business-like fashion. Though I didn't understand a lot of what they were saying, I did hear a few phrases.

Michelle, the crazy OR nurse, came around the sheet and said, "You are all baby, she is just crammed up in there."

I heard Dr. Bernick say, "Do you see the cord?"

The anesthesiologist was looking from our side over the sheet and said, "this one's ready for kindergarten."

At 1:33, Adrienne and I heard Charleigh's first cries, and I saw one of the nurses walk over to the corner assuming she had Charleigh. A few seconds later she tentatively asked me if I wanted to cut the cord. I think she was a little concerned that I might pass out, and she would be crushed. I kept my eyes on the incubator so as not to see any of Adrienne's lower half as I walked across the OR. Being a Huisman, I tend to think cutting a cord when it has already been cut is a bit trivial, but I wasn't going to pass up the opportunity if it was given to me.

The nurse took my picture and I tried to get back over to Adrienne pretty quickly as she was left alone while the doctors closed her up. The nurse brought Charleigh over a few minutes later and we took our first family photo together.

Here is where God is awesome. The comment Bernick made about the umbilical cord turned out to be that the cord was wrapped around Charleigh's neck. He later told us that Charleigh was so high up in Adrienne's abdomen, that it didn't look like she would drop, and if she did, the cord wrapping would have put her in such distress, she probably would have needed an emergency c-section. Part of me wanted to track down Helga, but I chose just to praise God and his infinite wisdom.
From the onset of the thought of a c-section, I wanted to stay with Adrienne through the whole thing, and we could eventually meet up with Charleigh later, but the doctors said I should go with the baby. I wasn't a fan, but I wasn't going to even let on that I was annoyed when the doctors are standing above my wife with a scalpel. The nurse rolled Charleigh into the nursery while I took pictures of the grandparents (less my dad) and Great Grandma Betty as they caught their first glimpse of the new addition.

Adrienne was in recovery for about a half-hour before I got out to see her. I went in to check on her and quickly brought in the happy bunch. She was a little loopy early on, but that soon faded. She struggled with nausea for most of that first day. I was the official dish-cleaner. The first eight hours were the toughest for Adrienne, but she came out pretty well. Charleigh is a little over two days old at the time of this writing, and the pain is really starting to kick in, but the OR nurse gave us really good advice about how to stay ahead of the pain (Every shift-change, ask the nurse what pain meds Mom can take and how often, then make sure you ask them for it a few minutes before the time.)
The biggest struggle has been feeding, but the Lord sent us an angel several weeks ago. She did not work until today, so we weren't sure if we would get a chance to see her. The first two days were pretty frustrating for both mom and baby. I could tell Adie was starting to get upset, but she tried to stay with it. Nichole Salisbury is the wife of Scott, who went to FLCS and graduated a few years before my sister. He is a youth pastor nearby. While a few nurses worked with us and a different lactation consultant, Nichole was awesome. I wasn't there for much of it, but when I came in this afternoon, I saw a completely different look on Adrienne's face when it came to feeding. Just a few minutes ago, Charleigh spent fifty minutes with mom, and both ladies looked entirely different. It has been fantastic.

I could go on and on and I think you may understand why. I'm sure Wendi will give you updates as we go.


Anonymous said...

Cousins! FUN! Congrats to your family!

Edward Charles said...

Yeah! So glad she is here and everyone is doing well. Please give our congrats and loads of hugs to the Huisman Family!!!
The Pleasants

Anonymous said...

Woohoo!! How exciting-can't wait to see her! Congrats, Keith and AD-you are going to be terrific parents:) Much love and prayers for all of you and all the new grandparents!!
Mary and Ray

Anonymous said...

Congratulations Auntie Wendi and Uncle John!
love tante Jan and Oom Ed!

Anonymous said...

God is soooooo good. Congrats Keith and A.D. and all the extended family. I am so thrilled to see this family grow so rapidly!

Much love,

Julie Edgar

Anonymous said...

How do you pronounce her name ?

Keith said...

I can't believe I forgot to include her measurments.

Charleigh weighed 9 pounds 5 Ounces, and was 21 inches long.

Her name is pronounced like the boy's name (Charlie), which is a family name of Adrienne's. Her grandfather and brother have that name, but she did not want to name a boy that. Elizabeth comes from the names of her two best friends. Both are Elizabeth. One is called Liz (college friend) and one is called Beth (High School friend).

Anonymous said...

Keith, you are truly a Huisman. You are a wonderful writer first of all and so funny! Nurse Helga! Ha!

Your daughter is so beautiful. I am so happy for you and AD!

Julie Edgar