By the time the doctor arrived to check the size of my cervix, the baby's head had already passed through the pelvis and was coming down the birth canal. About 20 minutes later, we had a beautiful baby girl.
I was nervous, naturally, during my contractions but my dear sweet husband helped so much. For those that are not familiar with my religion, we believe that men who live the commandments of God to the best of their ability can pronounce blessings through the power of the priesthood (or Power of God), much like the apostles and early church members were able to do. These blessings include blessings of healing and strength, just as the disciples modeled for us. I hardly dare utter the details of the sweet blessing my husband gave to both me and to Brynn--and could not even attempt to describe the Spirit that settled in the room--but it will suffice to say that I still have every confidence Brynn will be just fine at the end of this long fight ahead. Although Matt was worried his blessing would be biased, rather than pronouncing the will of God as he should do, the Lord clearly calmed his nerves and I got to see him become a bigger man than I've ever known him to be. I'm so lucky to call him my husband.
Currently, Brynn is expected to be in the NICU for approximately 3-4 months but of course everything depends on her. She is already surprising all the doctors and nurses. For example, every baby is given a score to "grade" their color when they are born as an indication of their health. 10 is the highest and is practically NEVER given--even to very healthy full term babies. My NICU nurse said she's only seen two full term babies ever receive a 10. Brynn, however, at only 25 weeks, got an 8! She pinked right up after a tiny, precious little cry--a cry that no one thought she'd have the lung power to make.
Even still, the nurses are quick to remind us that most new babies do pretty well for the first three days or so and then after the "honeymoon" period, as they call it, they'll show their true colors. Usually the road is long, uncertain, and has lots of ups and downs before any ups become permanent. So, I guess we'll just have to be content at this point to take it one day at a time.
I am doing well, also. I felt pretty crummy immediately after the delivery but this morning I have much of my normal energy back. I had no idea what to expect in the way of breastmilk at this early stage, either, but my nurse reassured me that sometimes it takes even full-term moms three days to really produce more than a few drops. After 15 minutes, however, I had over 40 ccs, which was more than an ounce. When the nurse came in to collect my "drops" with some tiny syringes, she exclaimed, "Oh my goodness! These little syringes definitely won't do! I'll be right back!" I only wish I could describe the look on her face. Needless to say, with the rate that little Brynn is eating, I've already produced enough to feed her for several days, or maybe even weeks.
Again, thanks for all your prayers. We all feel like Brynn has angels watching over her, and God has given a gigantic measure of peace to Mom and Dad, too. The emotions we've experienced, the closeness we feel, and the overwhelming love we've had have all made this an indescribably sweet time in our lives.