Saturday, August 9, 2008

Samantha Pictures

After the epidural
I finally arrived
First picture with Mom and Samantha together
I picked the little green bow - it fell out not too much later

So far, Samantha loves to sleep by Mom

Of course the only picture where she is crying, I am holding her.

Our first family photo

Ashy holding her new baby sister

Samantha and Grandma Hansen

Samantha and Amanda

Samantha and Matt and Amanda

Samantha and Grandpa Hansen

Samantha and Grandma Talley

Samantha and Grandpa Talley

Samantha and Kyle and Hayden

Stef had to go through the hard stuff, she still looks way better than I do.

Samantha Colleen Talley

I never thought I would nearly miss something like the birth of our little girl. I am lucky that I didn't miss it. This past week I have been going back and forth between our cross country running camp in the Uintahs and home with Stefanie and Ashlyn. The doctor assured us that it would be safe for me to be in the mountains without cell phone service because Stefanie was going to go to her due date (next Saturday) or beyond. I was positive we would at least make it until Monday when we had planned to induce. Just to be safe, and to help Stef not to feel too worried, we decided it would be best if I came back from camp in the middle of the week.

We went up to Marsh Lake (20 miles south of Mt. View, WY - back into Utah) on Monday morning. I called Stef a few times Monday and a few times on Tuesday, even though my car had broken down and Brad so kindly drove me the 15 minutes down the road to cell phone service. I came home on Tuesday night and spent Wednesday and Wednesday night with Stef. We saw the doctor on Wednesday and he once again assured us that going back up to the mountains would be safe.

Well, my car had been fixed in Mt. View, but it broke down again when I got it home. I should have taken it as a sign, but instead, I borrowed Stef's mom's car and went back up to camp early Thursday morning. After a 25 mile hike/run on Thursday, I went back down and called Stef. She was still doing fine, and we decided I would call again early on Friday morning. I never made that call.

I went to bed around 11:30 on Friday night and quickly fell asleep. The next thing I knew, I heard an unfamiliar voice outside my tent, "Corbin, are you in there?" I wasn't used to being called 'Corbin' at camp - it is always 'Talley' or 'Coach Talley'. Plus, this voice was a lot deeper than any of my kids'.

I was a little shocked, but I said, "Yeah, I am in here."

The voice said, "This is Sheriff Taylor from the Uintah County Police Department."

I immediately began to wonder what the boys had done to get the sheriff up there. Then I heard Steve Petty's voice, "Caleb really did it this time." Steve was one of the adults up at camp with us.

I asked, "Are you serious?" But I could here the joking in his voice.

I looked at my watch and saw that it was 3:35 in the morning.

The sheriff asked if I could come out of the tent, and I started wondering if it was about Stefanie, but hoping that one of my kids had done something wrong. I would even rather have heard that I was getting arrested or something than hear that Stef had had the baby without me.

In a daze, I slipped my pants on and stepped out of the tent. The sheriff said, "Corbin, your wife is in labor, and she called the sheriff's office to have me come and get you."

I couldn't believe it, I kept saying, "You've got to be kidding me." But I immediately threw my stuff in my bag and started down to my car. I asked the sheriff if he knew anything else about it, but he said he didn't. He did say that Stef had called the Mt. View, WY police, but they had dispatched it to the Uintah County, UT sheriff and he had driven over from Kamas. I couldn't understand why they had sent someone from 2 hours away instead of driving up 25 minutes from Mt. View. At any rate, I was in a panic.

Steve and Sheriff Taylor walked me to the the car. Steve said, "We don't have to tell you to drive safe." And the Sheriff added "Safe and fast."

I started down the dirt road and the sheriff was driving down behind me. I wanted to go 80 miles per hour, but I was worried and kept it around 40 through the bumpy part of the road (the speed limit was 30).

All kinds of thoughts were racing through my mind. What time did she go into labor? I hope she isn't in too much pain without me there. I hope the baby isn't born yet. I can't believe I am missing this. Is Stef ever going to forgive me? I really want to see this - I want to cut the umbilical cord. About the only positive thought I remember having was that she would have a lucky birthday - 08/08/08. I was getting pretty frustrated and realized I maybe shouldn't have risked missing the birth. Maybe I shouldn't have been so confident that the baby was going to wait for my schedule to be ready. As I drove down the mountain I was hoping that I could still make things right. That I could still get to the hospital in time.

Although the road remains dirt most of the way down to Mt. View, it opens up into a wide, smooth dirt road where I knew I could drive pretty fast, but I wasn't sure how fast the sheriff would let me go. I was driving 55 by this point, and the speed limit is 35. I was relieved when the sheriff came racing by me and flipped on his lights for a second as a sign for me to follow. Pretty soon we were racing down the mountain at 75 miles an hour. This was more like it.

As soon as I was in cell phone range I called Stefanie. She answered on the 1st ring. It was just after 4am. She sounded like she was okay, just anxious for me to be there. She was surprised it had taken them so long to get to me, but I explained the whole Uintah County Sheriff's office thing. She was at the hospital with her mom, Colleen. They had been there since 2:00am. Steve, Stef's dad, was asleep at our house with Ashlyn. The contractions had started not too long after I had talked with her and began getting really painful around 10:00 or 11:00pm. After calling the doctor they had decided to get to the hospital, so Stef had called her mom at work and both of her parents headed up to help. She couldn't figure out how to get ahold of me and had thought about calling one of the kid's parents to drive up and tell me, but then they had the idea of calling the police department in Mt. View. That was at about 1:00am. Stef knew which camp site we were in because we had driven up together 3 weeks earlier.

I was just relieved to hear her voice and grateful that the baby had not been born. She had received the epideral and was feeling a lot better at this point, but described the contractions from earlier in the night as the worst pain she had ever experienced. My heart sunk because I wasn't there to support her through this.

The sheriff escorted me down to Mt. View, but I was on my own after that. I drove as fast as I could to Evanston and had to stop there to get some gas. I stopped at a truck stop and decided to take a quick shower. I didn't want to show up smelling like camp fire mixed with sweat and dirt and rain from the run the previous day. I felt disgusting. I wanted to show up fresh and clean. So I bought a razor and was in and out of the shower as quick as possible, then back on the road. I bought a pack of gum because the only thing I could remember Stefanie asking for was that I made sure I had a pack of gum with me because she doesn't really like gum enough to have her own whole pack but she might want a piece or two during the process. How pathetic is that? My wife is in labor without me, and all I bring to her is a pack of gum which she may or may not even want. I had plans to do so much more for her, but I figured I had more time. (Lesson learned).

I pulled into McKay Dee Hospital just before 6:00am, and ran up to the labor and delivery floor. It was so good to see Stefanie. She looked beautiful laying there in her hospital bed with all sorts of tubes running into and out of her. She also looked happy to see me. I really was surprised how understanding she was. Most women would have probably killed me for missing the roughest part. She figured I would beat myself up and that was punishment enough.

The monitor showed her contractions and the baby's heart rate. The contractions were coming every 3 or 4 minutes. Stef said she could feel when they came, but it wasn't really painful any more. She was diliated 4 centimeters, but her water had not yet been broken. They were waiting to hear from the doctor on how to proceed. I was still shaky after the intense drive. It had been a fast drive, but felt like forever before I got there.

At about 7:00am, Dr. Julia (our doctor's partner) showed up at the hospital. We had a casual conversation about running because she was on her way up to Weber State to do some running and we knew she had run marathons. She broke Stef's water and was gone within a couple of minutes.

The following contractions were a lot more intense, although still not painful. I could just see that they shot up really high on the monitor. With each contraction the baby's heart rate would drop for a while then climb back up. But after about 15 minutes, the baby's heart rate was dropping too low - she (the baby) was in a lot of stress. The nurse came in and seemed worried, so I began to get really nervous. It was funny because Stef was so calm, and the nurse looked over at me and said, "Quit looking so nervous." I think my eyes were as wide as they have ever been.

I called my mom because I hadn't told her yet, but that phone call only lasted a few seconds. The baby's heart rate was down in the 90s (it had been steady in the 160s). I told my mom I would call her back. The nurse and 2 other people quickly rushed into the room. They gave Stefanie a consent form to sign and in 2 minutes we were in the C-section room preparing for surgery. I got to wear some scrubs, a hat, foot covers, and a mask. Colleen had to stay in the other room. I bet it was hard for her.

Stef and I were both pretty scared at this point, but she kept her cool really well. The nurses were quick at getting her ready. The anasthesiologist gave her a higher dose of medicine through the epideral, and the doctor showed up - he was glad to see I had made it back from the mountains. I wondered if he thought about how he had told me I would be fine to go only 36 hours earlier, but I wasn't mad at him - he has been a great doctor the entire time.

It all went so quick after that. They strapped her to the table, set up a sheet so she couldn't really see what was happening, scrubbed her stomach, then started cutting. I could see, but I didn't really want to watch that much. Stefanie was shaking quite a bit and I was doing my best to comfort her. They were stretching her out and jamming instruments into her open stomach. Within no time I looked over and saw a head coming out and the body was right behind. She started crying - Stef and I were both already crying. I didn't get to cut the cord because they cut it and then rushed her into the other room.

I did get to see the doctor pull the placenta out, and that was not the most pleasant sight, but I didn't seem to care. They immediately started sewing Stefanie back up. Besides the shaking, she was in good shape - strong and alert and not complaining at all. I know she was just happy to have the baby here. I was just so glad I didn't miss it.

I got to go into the other room with the baby as they washed her up and did some quick evaluations. She weighed in at 6 pounds, 6 ounces, and measured 19 inches long. I felt so blessed and so proud to be a new dad, and it was a sweet feeling to carry Samantha in to see her mom.

It is now Saturday afternoon, and as I sit here typing this, Stefanie and Samantha sleeping peacefully in the bed next to my couch. I could sit here and watch them all day. The last 2 days have been tiring but amazing. It has helped me realize how much I love Stefanie and how lucky I am to be with her. I am so proud of how strong she has been through all of this - not just the labor and the birth, but the pregnancy and the 8 years of infertility and deciding to adopt and Ashlyn's adoption and then finding out we were pregnant (our own little miracle) and everything else we have been through.

Stef's mom brought Ashlyn over to see us last night. Both Stefanie and I had commented on how much we missed Ashlyn yesterday. Ashlyn was still a little unsure about everything, but she was soft and loving with her little sister and said she wants to bring her home. I really am glad that things have worked out the way they have for us. We are now blessed with 2 beautiful girls. I couldn't be happier.

Thank you to all of our family and friends for your support and your love.

Next post (hopefully tonight) - some pictures of Samantha and Stef.