Well let’s start from the beginning… it was a much easier time then. I was a day away from hitting 39 weeks and the whole week before I was trying to induce myself with pineapple cores, raspberry leaf tea, spicy foods, and dates… hella dates. I was trying to induce myself for two reasons, one, my doctor told me they would induce me at 39 weeks due to the Covid-19 filling up hospital space and the fear of my husband not being able to be in delivery with me because of all the visitor rules changing. Second reason was simply because my mom wished for our baby to be born on her birthday.
Feeling zero contractions the night before Easter, I simply gave up on the whole inducing myself plan and I marinated a giant prime rib, prepped hard boiled eggs for our traditional creamed egg breakfast and hid candy filled eggs all over the house for Pia. I woke up, stood up, and felt my water break like the movies. As I screamed, Matthew frantically started getting ready like we were going to a party (he took forever). I told Pia it’s time for mommy to go to the hospital so she needs to put on her shoes. She said, “Okay!” Walked out to the kitchen and goes, “wait… is that an Easter Egg?” I cracked up laughing as I’m spilling water all over the floor helping her hunt for all the damn eggs I hid the night before and our dog following behind me licking the floor (sorry.. TMI). It was a $#!@ show but a hilarious one. I wasn’t having any serious or consistent contractions so it was a pretty weird and calm drive to the hospital.
I walk in with squeaky shoes and tell the nurses I’m in labor, my water broke. They look at my calm, un-pained face, and debate with each other whether they should check me into triage to “make sure I’m in labor”, then ask “are you sure honey?” Sort of annoyed, because at this point I’m standing in a puddle of water, I shout, this is my second baby… MY. WATER. BROKE! They notice the puddle on the floor and bring me to my room. We finish Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire and still no tough contractions. My doctor comes in and says, “you need to do some laps around the halls to get this baby going” After an hour of laps we come back to the room and things start to get heated while Harry Potter and the Order Of The Phoenix plays in the background (thank goodness for the Harry Potter marathon that day). It felt like I wasn’t feeling any pain, my dilation was just creeping up slowly and then BAM back to back to back contractions with maybe 30 seconds of rest in-between. My nurse asked if I wanted to get the epidural now since I’m getting three contractions back to back each time. I thought I politely said “yes please” but Matthew said I screamed it. Twenty minutes later (yes I said twenty) I went from 6cm to 10cm dilated and it was go time.
No time for the epidural apparently. I looked up at Matthew and asked where my epidural was and with the most panicked and worried look, he goes “umm.. I don’t think that’s going to happen now… let’s push” Two and a half pushes later, Penelope Wyn Harvey makes her first appearance to the world (Happy Birthday Mom). I must say that now having two deliveries one with an epidural and one without… I’d go without. You just feel like a superwoman afterwards. Like damn… yeah you did that sis!
She cried, she cuddle up on mommy and daddy, she latched right away. She was perfect. The pediatrician came in to evaluate and said “she looks great, but going to check on some rashes on her skin… could be due to low platelet levels, but nothing to worry about” She said all that with a smile on her face so with all the adrenalin pumping and happiness holding our new baby girl, we simply shrugged off that comment. Several hours later, after sending texts, photos, family FaceTimes to everyone, we get a knock at the door and the nurses say, “We’re going to take your baby to the NICU now, her platelet count came back very low but the doctor will call you to explain what is going to happen next.” Both in shock we just watched them wheel her away and that’s when the tears started and didn’t stop until the month of May.
There are very few times I’ve seen Matthew cry, this was one of them. As we prayed and held each other, we let our minds race and the tears pour out. Neither one of us knew what a platelet even was before this day. I know so much about platelets now that I feel like I went to med school. Each day was disappointing news after disappointing news until the 11th day. After lots of tests and labs were sent out we waited and waited for results. Each day we received more labs coming back negative which meant we still didn’t know the cause. After three platelet transfusions (including my own donation.. That’s a whole other story) countless blood tests, many sleepless nights, long sobbing drives back and forth to the NICU, we finally received the cause of her dropping platelets. The doctor came over to me to let us know my body didn’t like the platelets she received from daddy and so much so it created an antibody to attack them. The positive about this… she can go home… it will go away… and best of all, she will be okay. Each week we take her in to test her platelet levels and they’ve still continue to go up and down over the next couple months, but it’s all part of the process. Praise Jesus!
We can’t thank the nurses, doctors, friends, family, coworkers, and prayer warriors that helped not only Penelope, but our entire family. We’ve never felt so overwhelmed with love and we will forever be grateful for you all. God Bless!
We documented our journey in the NICU in a separate post you can read here. It was too life altering, too big of testimony, too much to not have its own blog post.
P.S. Read about our NICU Journey here. Compare this to Pia’s Birth Story.