Thursday, February 15, 2007

A Longing Fulfilled

Our longing to see our baby has been fulfilled!!
SHE was born Monday, February 12 at 12:23 p.m. after a long but highly satisfying labor and delivery. Her name is Isabela Claire Almengor, and she weighed 8 lbs. 5 oz. at birth, and is 20 inches long. She has a full head of black hair and is absolutely beautiful. We can't wait to show her off.

I know this is so strange to some, but I longed for a natural/vaginal birth with Bella. I desired this for my labor/delivery with the boys as well, but God had other plans, and they were for my ultimate good. It was the Lord's kindness to allow me to have the labor and delivery that I desired this time. Not that labor is desirable really, but it was such an amazing experience that I have already and will continue to draw upon for other difficult trials and temptations life brings my way.

I saw the first signs of labor Sunday morning before church, but having been induced with the boys was uncertain whether I was really beginning the labor process or not. After confirming with a couple of the girlfriends and my mom, I was sure that the baby would most likely be arriving some time this past week. As Lawrence and I settled down for the night around 10 p.m., it quickly became obvious I would not be settling down for the night as contractions heightened, and I became a bit consumed and even anxious at times about going through labor and delivery. Around 2 a.m., we called our dear friend and labor coach, Karen Coleman, to come and help me labor at home. By 3 a.m., I was convinced I needed to go to the hospital. It was 5 a.m. by the time we arrived there.

I was convinced that I did not want to continue without the help of some pain medication, but my coach, who knows me well, kept giving me opportunities and motivation to put it off for just one more contraction. One contraction at a time took me to 10 a.m. when I was checked for the first time. I had made it to 8 cm and was thrilled to be that far. Within a half hour, I began to feel the urge to push even though I was completely dilated. My midwife and nurse were amazing, encouraging me to cooperate with what my body was telling me to do yet not push too hard as I needed a little bit more dilation yet.

I pushed for close to two hours, but it only took one push, the last one, to see Bella fully emerge into our world...head and body all at once!! She was plopped onto my belly, and I couldn't believe I had gotten her out in one push after all that time trying. As a result, however, Bella most likely swallowed some of the amniotic fluid that came behind her in that rush out of my body. Soon after delivery, it was determined by the nurses and pediatrician assessing her that she was experiencing respiratory distress. After a brief time holding her, she was whisked away to the nursery where she has been ever since.

My good friend, Laurie, offered to post some pictures and details about Bella's situation on her blog since I was having a difficult time getting to updating my blog. Please click on her name to go to her blog for further details and pictures of my beautiful baby girl.

I have been able to hold Bella only once and have not been able to nurse her at all yet. It is for her best that I not nurse her right now as that would most likely exasperate her already very difficult breathing. Lawrence and I are soon heading out to the hospital to see her and get some update on her condition. I will try to post updates on our little girl as often as I can as we are very desirious to receive your prayers on her behalf.


Suzanne said...

Congratulations on the birth of Bella! I understand the feelings of not having your baby(ies) with you. I will pray that go with comfort you as you go through this difficult (and probably short) season!

Anonymous said...

I'm so glad to hear that your labor/delivery went so well! Will continue praying for Bella's lungs and for you, Lawrence, and the boys!

Suzanne said...

Let me fix my type:
I will pray that GOD will comfort you as you go through this difficult (and probably short) season.

peg said...

We're praying for Bella and all of you. love you!

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on the birth of your little girl!

Anonymous said...

She's here! As Emily was speaking with you on the phone she began tearing up, I mouthed: "Are you crying for Livi (we were waiting outside the transplant clinic, definitely not a fun place) or for Bri"? It was for you. We will surely pray that lovely Bella continues to improve each and every day. GLA
P.S. DO sign up for the Letterman show!!! You are so unique, and that is why I love are one of the best.

Anonymous said...

what a beautiful little girl!!!!

i just saw the post that she has been transferred. praying for all of you. please tell your little men that my girls send their love. emma is especially happy that you had a girl :)

love you, beth

Zoanna said...

We are so thrilled for the blessing of your little GIRL, Briana and Lawrence. She is a beauty, just like her name. I have been praying and will continue. I feel God wants me to tell you that He is fashioniong those lungs for singing loud and long songs of praise. Be encouraged. "When I was in distress, You rescued me," says the psalmist. The psalmist. I see your Bella being a psalmist, a singer and songwriter!--Zoanna

Audrey said...

Congratulations Briana!!!! We are praying for Bella and all of you...

Damien, Audrey and girls