Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Harper Kate's Birthday

  We woke up in the hospital Friday morning waiting for the doctor to come in & tell us what the monitors had shown overnight.  She came in and wanted the ultrasound tech to come down to the room and do another ultrasound just to be sure, but at this point we did finally hear that they were leaning toward taking Harper Kate early.  At 37 weeks, it wasn't too dangerous and felt that inside the womb was causing more stress than it would be outside the womb.
  Waiting for the tech to come seemed to take forever.  When she finally did come, we saw that Harper Kate's lungs still were not moving the way they were supposed to, therefore we knew at that point that we would meet our little miracle that day. We immediately called our moms and they were both ready to come.  Jarod's parents jumped in the car to head to Atlanta.  They had about 3 1/2 hours to get there as the c-section was going to take place at noon ET.  My dad had surgery & patients scheduled that day.  He called his nurse, Jan, who was a hero that day!  She canceled all patients, all surgery & he left the office, ran home, packed and headed to meet his first grandaughter.  All 4 grandparents made it just as we were going into the surgery.  We didn't get to see them before hand, but I knew they were going to make it.  The rest of our family was getting things together and were headed our way.  We are incredibly blessed to have siblings that would drive up to 8 hours in 1 day to come see us even if just for a night.
  The minute Jarod and I realized that we would be meeting Harper Kate, it became a bit surreal.  See, with a c-section, things are a bit different.  The nurse came in, started getting me ready and I had a couple hours before she would wheel me down to surgery.  I got my hair washed, put my make-up on so that I at least looked decent after surgery. :)  It was pretty calm.  Jarod and I were able to spend some time together talking before things got started.  Then, the anesthesiologist came down, gave me my epidural and numbed me up so I wouldn't feel anything.  We left the room and headed down to meet Harper Kate.  I remember wheeling into the room, Jarod had to wait while they prepped me.  Then, he came in, sat down by my head and the surgery began.  I must say it's pretty strange being awake while you're under surgery, but it seemed very quick & then, they announced "she's here."  I think I remember getting tears in my eyes when I heard that, but at this minute things began to blur & are still surreal to me.
  At this point, Harper Kate began to struggle.  I got a VERY QUICK glance at my baby and then the nurses and NICU doctor took her to the crib area.  I didn't realize what was going on, but apparently she was blue & they were trying to wave oxygen in front of her face to get her to breathe.  Jarod remembers thinking he wasn't sure that she was ok, but made sure to tell me that "yep, everything is fine."  They quickly took her to the NICU and that was it.  I didn't get to hold her, I saw her for about 3 seconds and then as quick as she had come, she wasn't there.  Jarod left with them to go register her in the NICU.  I finished up surgery and was taken to recovery.  There, as I heard the other families with their babies recovering, I lay there by myself while Jarod was making sure our daugher was ok.
   As I'm writing this, I think I am finally experiencing the emotions I never really let myself feel.  While I was lying there I was still tired, I wondered what all was going on, I was thinking about family.  I didn't really feel "disappointment" or "worry" at that point.  Yes, it's hard that I didn't experience the birth of my child in a normal way.  It upsets me that I didn't get to hold my daughter really until 12 hours after she was born. After surgery, you have to stay in your room until 12 hours after the surgery to make sure everything is ok.  So, I couldn't go to the NICU to see Harper Kate until midnight.  It's hard that my family members saw her really before I did, but what is the hardest is that as a mom, I couldn't be with her in the NICU while she was tested, poked, prodded and examined by all of the doctors.  Jarod was torn by being with me and checking on our daughter.  I know she was taken care of by the wonderful nurses in the NICU, but as a mom you want to be there making sure she is ok.
  Holding her at midnight for that first time was the greatest feeling in the world.  Jarod said that throughout the day as he had gone to visit her with our family members, she just would lay in her bed still.  When I went down to the NICU, and she heard my voice, Jarod said she started to move.  What an amazing thing that was for me to hear.  She knew her momma's voice and knew that I was there with her.  I was incredibly thankful to God for allowing her to know who I was at that point.
  Up until now, I really never wanted to share the first pictures that I saw of my daughter.  I don't know why and thought I would never share them with anyone, but since you all have seen what our precious angel looks like today, I thought I'd leave you with a couple pictures of our daughter from the first days we met her.  Of course, we thought she was beautiful, but what a blessing it is to see just how far she's come! 
  To this day, I stand amazed at how much God loves my daughter.  This past Sunday, we sang  "How He Loves."  I sat there with tears stinging my eyes realizing that although Harper Kate does have struggles, God allowed her to have those struggles.  That doesn't mean He doesn't love her as much as someone else.  In fact, I think that means He loves her more.  I don't understand why, I wish He wouldn't have allowed them, but He loves her just as she is and that love is incredibly powerful.  If anyone reading this blog doesn't know or understand the powerful love of Christ, I pray that you would come to discover it.  It is an amazing feeling to know you are loved by the creator of the universe!!  Today, I leave you with pictures of our angel and the song about God's love.  Have a blessed day!
Love, Courtney

This is a picture I got in my room of Harper Kate in the NICU.  I looked at this picture ALL DAY until I could go hold that angel!!! 
This was a picture taken the day after she was born.


  1. Wow, beautiful post Courtney. It is so amazing to see how God has worked and is still working in your lives! Love those precious first pictures of HK, thank you for sharing!

  2. Harper Kate was as beautiful then as she is now! I am just so blessed to be getting to know you! Your story is so powerful and I'm so thankful that you've chosen to share it. It's amazing to me how much our emotions have been intertwined even though our circumstances are so different! You spoke so beautifully about how much God loves Harper Kate and each one of us. It brought tears to my eyes! It's ok, though, because I rarely wear mascara anymore for that one reason! :) I am thankful for your precious friendship and I pray that one day Hannah and Harper Kate will be friends, too!