On May 30th, 2017, we welcomed our sweet Isla Charlotte into the world. For nine months we anticipated her arrival and wondered about this little person that God was bringing into our family. The other night I sat down to write the beginning of her story. Although I am consciously entrenching myself in this stage of newborn snuggles and smells, I am eager to see how God crafts the rest of her story as she grows into a woman of Christ. For now, here is my letter to Isla describing her birth.
This is the story of your birth.
Your father and I wanted to be surprised about your gender so we opted not to find out your sex during our 20-week ultrasound. Your daddy heard the doctor say “he” during the ultrasound and a picture he took of you from inside the womb left us pretty convinced you were a boy—the umbilical cord fooled us! Adeline eagerly and incessantly told us stories about her “sister” and we were sure she would be disappointed.
You were due to arrive on May 26, 2017. Grandma arrived in New York one day later, but still, you showed no signs of coming into the world. Four days after you were due, we all went on a long walk and it must have done the trick. While we were at lunch afterward, I felt my first painful contraction. In the next four hours I had four more contractions and then they started to come regularly, ten minutes apart. At 5:30 P.M. we dropped Adeline and Lincoln off at the Rigney’s house and Daddy, Grandma and I went to the hospital. Almost as soon as we arrived my contractions moved to three minutes apart. The nurse examined me right away and I was four centimeters dilated. About an hour later the anesthesiologist came in to give me an epidural. The medicine only worked on my right side, leaving me in excruciating pain on my left side during each contraction. The anesthesiologist came back in to administer an additional medicine for pain relief. That, coupled with turning on my left side, brought the pain relief I needed. Shortly after, Dr. Socher came in to break my water.
Around 8:45 P.M., I felt intense vaginal pressure and knew it was time to start pushing. The nurse examined me and called the doctor back in to begin the delivery process. He stood back and watched while the nurse guided me when I felt the urge to push. With the epidural, it was hard to feel contractions, but I could feel slight stomach pressure to signal the contractions. I pushed for about 30 minutes before you arrived, pushing three times during each contraction. Although my labor was short, I was so exhausted and struggled to find the energy to push. Right before you came out the doctor finally suited up and took his place to deliver you. While you were crowning he noted you had a little bit of dark hair. When you came out the doctor announced that you were a GIRL! Daddy’s face lit up with surprise. We were both shocked! I was elated because I knew Adeline desperately wanted a sister and her dream came true upon your arrival.
The nurses put you on my chest while they cleaned you off and examined you for about 20 minutes. You were perfectly healthy, thank God. You weighed 8 pounds 14 ounces (our biggest baby yet) and measured 20.5 inches long. Once you were done on the warmer you began to breastfeed and nursed for about 40 minutes. Everything went so smoothly!
The next morning, Grandma came to visit with Adeline and Lincoln. Adeline was over the moon and couldn’t wait to hold you. She lovingly admired you in her arms and could hardly allow herself to share you with Grandma. Lincoln was very curious, noting that you weren’t in my tummy anymore and gently rubbing you. When it was time for your siblings to go home, Adeline was heartbroken to leave you.
We stayed in the hospital for a day and a half before returning home, actually leaving before naming you. We were pretty certain we were having a boy, so we didn't seriously discuss girl names while I was pregnant. After your birth, we narrowed down our favorites and debated between two names for days. Daddy preferred Emelia and I (along with Adeline and Lincoln) liked Isla. Four days after you were born, Daddy gave a toast around dinner, announcing your name--Isla Charlotte. Your middle name was given to you in honor of your maternal great-grandmother.
You are a treasured blessing from the Lord, Isla Charlotte. Welcome to the world, Baby Girl!