If you want the Cliff Notes version: She's here safe, sound, healthy and cuter than any other baby I've ever seen.

Now, if you want the full story, keep scrolling. :)

A little

his

HERstory-since Gerard has been somewhat open about it, I will be as well, that it took us awhile to add a little person to our family. I've done my best to be conservative in how much of Baby Krupke's journey we share here because I know what it's like to struggle with The Wait and it is still my intention to keep this blog for my photography business. Though, I'm sure she will make an appearance every once in awhile. If you, or someone you know is struggling with trying to add to their family, I'd be more than happy to share our experience, because if our Wait can be encouraging to another person, I'm happy to help.

But, I want this post to be full of rejoicing-because that's what we're doing! So here's the fun stuff.

Speaking of fun, Gerard made a comment in the hospital that there's nothing "fun" about a woman's "fundus". "Dus ist not fun." As he said. I'll explain that one later...

May 2nd, we'd had an additional ultrasound because I was measuring 2 weeks too small and our midwife wanted to make sure Baby was still ok. Everything checked out great, so neither of us were worried. Life kept trucking and I kept gaining weight off and on in the weeks to come.

May 22nd, I hadn't gained any weight from the previous week so our midwife wanted to double check that things were still ok and we scheduled it for May 28th to be immediately followed up with a regular weekly appointment. Back on May 2nd, Baby was measuring in the 25th percentile for growth and if she was lower than 10th percentile at this next ultrasound, we'd need to deliver her.

We got to the ultrasound and I could see on the screen the gestational ages for her different body parts. Head, stomach, femur, brain...they all

looked

healthy, but they were all 2-3 weeks too small. Baby was supposed to read at 39weeks 2 days and she was around 36 or 37 weeks for everything. The ultrasound tech was encouraging-reiterating that everything looked healthy, but we'd speak with the midwife right after we left the tech room.

Our midwife calmly walked into our exam room and just as calmly and lovingly said, "Ok guys, Baby is measuring in the 1st percentile for growth. So, it looks like we need to deliver Baby and get her here. She looks really good today, but I can't guarantee tomorrow." Gerard & I looked at each other in shock. We knew she'd read small, but not THAT small. We were going to be parents in a matter of 24 hours. This happened at 4:00pm.

I was so glad I'd packed my hospital bags. I'd forgotten Gerard's. Oops.

In the drive to change parking lots (midwife's office is right next door to hospital), I called my parents, my colleague at work, texted my sister and Gerard did the same. We walked into the hospital at 4:10 while I scarfed a protein bar and yogurt cup then said to the front desk, "Long story short, it looks like we need to induce me today. My name is Carrie Krupke." I'm not one for great social interaction let me tell 'ya.

They had everything ready for us by the time we'd arrived. (While we'd been making our phone calls, they'd gotten one from our midwife.) By 5:00, the hospital gown was donned and I was hooked up to a monitor for Baby's heart rate and a petocin drip. Gerard raced home to grab his bag and let our pup out one last time. When he got back to me at 6:30, contractions were coming every minute and difficult to relax in between. Social interaction is a cake walk for me compared to dealing with pain. I requested Fentanyl. And the room started to spin. "Bucket" became the only word I would get out though I never (praise God!) used it. I try to avoid messes whenever possible.

By 8:30, Fentanyl had worn off and contractions were still coming every minute, sometimes less. My body was shivering and my teeth were chattering uncontrollably though I was far from cold. I'd progressed by 1cm and 10%effacement in that time and still couldn't relax. At this point, I was really thankful that I had kept an open mind to pain management options because so far, nothing had gone according to the "open-minded plan" I'd laid out in my head. Being the "Prove-it-to-You" girl that I am, I wanted to try to go without drugs, but knew I probably couldn't. So, whenever asked in the weeks leading up to this, I would reply, "Whatever gets her here safely."

I highly recommend that attitude

.

The anesthesiologist arrived around 9:00pm and asked me if I knew why I was receiving this drug. "I'm in labor." He asked me if I knew why I was in labor and I must've given him a look like, "Seriously?!" When he explained, "You have an InterUterine Growth Retardation baby. An IUGR." "What??" No one had explained it to me like that. No one refers to my baby with the word "retardation" in the sentence and gets away with it. "It means your baby has stopped growing." Oh, got it. Give me the drugs.

By 9:30pm, the drug was in, the room was cleared, lights were off, and Gerard and I prayed and then closed our eyes to try to relax. He was out and snoring while my thoughts jumped from "impending doom" to "motherhood" to "I hope she's OK".

At 10:30pm, the room began to wake up with the midwife and a nurse to come check me. Justine had a grin on her face as she looked up and said, "You're complete!" "

What does THAT mean

?" "You are 10cm, 100% effaced, and she is at a 4 station-I can see her head! Let us get suited up and don't sneeze!" Gerard sprang to his feet from the couch and immediately held my hand, showered me with kisses, and stayed close to my face. The next time I saw Justine, she looked like a metal worker with a plastic mask across her eyes, face mask on her mouth. I thought she should be wielding a firebrand torch and told her so. The room laughed and I realized that there were more nurses with us.  2 regular nursery nurses and 2 NICU nurses just in case Baby needed respiratory assistance.

Justine briefly taught me how to push, working with each contraction (1 big breath, 3 big bear-down pushes) and the next time I felt pressure (I'd been given a "half" epidural to enable me to still feel

something

and work with my body) to give 'er the ol' heave ho! Each contraction, I'd ask, "Is this one?" All eyes would go to the monitor to confirm and when given a "yes", I'd go to work, channeling my inner Venus Williams (hey, we used to share the same last name...) with a loud "gah!" at the end of each push. I don't know how women do this silently, by the way. . .

Gerard could see that Baby had really dark hair and I made the comment, "I hope she doesn't have your nose. It looks great on you honey, but not so much on a girl..." The nurses politely busted a gut. Later, on one of the contractions, my push wasn't very productive and the nurse said, "Must be that nose that's got her stuck!"

Answer to prayer

: I was able to be nice to Gerard and the room was as relaxed as it could be with laughter.

At 11:12pm, Baby was on my chest. 30 minutes of pushing and as Gerard tells me, "She popped out!"

In the rush of everything, with her on my chest, she started to cry so strongly. I told her, "Good job Adelaide! Keep going! Keep crying!" And with that, her name was revealed. We successfully kept a secret for 7 years. (that story is for another post)

Answer to Prayer:

I could still think clearly. As the nurses were looking Adelaide over, I was giving Gerard camera manual mode settings to take photos. {insert pat on the back here} We got the settings down and the nurses got these awesome images:

(note-none of these are edited. I'm embracing any lack of perfection and just want to show off my perfectly made daughter to the world!)

While all these images were being taken, I kept asking if she was OK and the response every time was that she was doing great. I was fully convinced of that only when the NICU nurses left, showing they weren't needed and they brought her back over to me:

These next several photos were taken in the two days we were in the hospital. Daddy skin-to-skin time, first diaper change (for both Gerard & Adelaide), feetprints, and first bath.

First real outfit (hat made by hospital volunteer)

 First family photo

A lot of this time is a blur. Hospital clocks move really fast especially when you don't leave a room from 4:10 Tuesday until 6:00am Thursday. Literally, the pain was so terrible on Wednesday morning (the "fun"dus comment from earlier) and we were so consumed with trying to get that under control, that I didn't feel remotely close to human until after a good long soak in the whirlpool Wednesday evening and had some narcotics steadily in my system.

However, there are so many things throughout pregnancy that were surprisingly comfortable to me. All 5 pillows it took trying to fall asleep at night, 5 minute chiropractor appointments when I got to lay on my stomach, elastic waist pants, and to top it off: a whirlpool. I've never in my life really enjoyed a dip in one until now. oh! it was heaven.

Now that Adelaide is already a week old (gasp!) people have asked me if it was all worth it. The length of time we tried, the discomforts of pregnancy, the excruciating pain of labor and after labor, the healing that my body is still undergoing....is it all worth it? I used to respond, "I'm a little fresh to answer that one."

(taken just minutes after we arrived home, Adelaide let us know that her GI tract was working really, REALLY well. Please note, I still had loads of drugs in my system at this point in time.)

But slowly, steadily, our Leading Laidy is worming her way into our hearts and I might soon respond with an unhesitating "YES!"

Gerard was asked his perspective on it all by a colleague and he couldn't admit to falling head over heels with her (in his sleep deprived delirium), but that he was more impressed with the knowledge of a Creator who has created us in His image and Adelaide is so fearfully and wonderfully made. The words: "The heavens declare the glory of God."  come to mind. The way our Lord has designed our bodies to do something this miraculous-truly is a glory to behold. And we wholeheartedly rejoice in what He has accomplished in our family.

(Adelaide, 4 days old)

Happy 1 week Laidy Leigh!

Love,

Mom & Dad

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