Elora Kathleen Miller

I’ve thought over this blog for some time.   If I should post or not.   I tried for the majority of my pregnancy not to be boastful or over sharing as I too have felt the pangs of doubt in my fertility.   That wonder if “I’ll ever get that lucky”  that worry shifted into "Is my body ready to carry to term, Am I doing this right, it’s 24 weeks why haven’t I felt her move, is she  A positive blood type and we won’t be compatible."  As she grew and her kicks got stronger my worry eased.   I shared more, I talked about it more I got excited instead of being in fear.  Elora’s life has given me so much joy and has been a focal point for my friends and family after the Camp fire. She’s everything I never knew I was missing.  

I was very fortunate with my pregnancy, I didn’t have complications just worry.  I spent many nights watching her move in my belly, being excited for each kick wondering what she’d look like, who she’ll become.  Just knowing I was carrying a miracle, one that would better me, challenge me and one I love beyond measure.  As the days got closer to my due date I grew anxious, and nervous.  I am so grateful we chose to have a c section because the anticipation of a traditional birth would have driven me crazy.

Friday April 5th 2019 3:30 am.  

The alarm clock sounded as any other morning, just a few hours earlier.  Will and I got ready, we came out to the living room where my mom and sister were ready to go.  Mom braided my hair and it was go time.  We checked and double checked to make sure we had everything and we made our way to Midland Memorial hospital.  Mom rode with me.  We listened to Chris Stapleton  and chatted about life and how it was going to change.  When we got to the hospital we checked in at about 5AM.  As I got prepped for surgery it was very light hearted and at some bits quite funny.  I had no nervousness just excitement to see my baby girl for the first time.  At about 6 Will put on his dad scrubs and cap then fidgeted for an hour before they were ready to take us back.   Before we went back my  anesthesiologist met with us.  She was very business in the beginning but as we chatted she lighted up and she was by far my favorite medical professional in the surgery room. ( I’ll get to why later).  Soon she rolled me back into the OR and we got started.  My anesthesiologist was very clear in what to expect when I got my spinal block, this eased me so much because everything we spoke about happened and I didn’t panic at all.  The plan was right there in front of me I just had to follow it (in stressful situations this is the best way for me to cope. I appreciate a good plan). She made sure I was comfortable and made it very clear if I were to feel ANYTHING I needed to speak up.  I felt nothing.   Once I was all numbed up they prepped me and then brought Will back to join me.   The doctors chatted about their day,  Fleetwood Mac was plating in the background and it was just moments before we heard and saw miss Elora for the first time.   As my doctor was pulling her out he chuckled and said “Hey Emma, It’s a good thing we’re doing it this way,  I don’t think she would have came out the other way,   she’s big and healthy.”   

Seconds later I hear her first cry, Will is standing at my head petting me telling me “she’s here, she’s big”.  Some one calls out 

 "Birth time 7:52”  Birth weight “8 pounds 3 ounces”  As they take her to the table for respiratory to check her out and clear any obstructions Will just watched her so intently.  Meanwhile I was sorting out this tidal wave of emotions.  My eyes were instantly flooded when I heard her for the first time, watching Will walk over to her was a literal blur.  My anesthesiologist was there ( seriously the MVP) giving me the scoop on everything they were doing, telling me it's normal, that Elora was beautiful and she even let me peek around the curtain to see her.   I fought my fears and worries when I couldn’t hear Elora crying,  when I saw her purple skin.  I had so much worry but I knew we both were in capable hands so I dialed into the music playing and sang along to Rocket man.  Soon enough Will and the nurse came over carrying her to me.  I was already crying so I couldn't really see her well,  Them my amazing anesthesiologist came over with tissues and blotted away my tears (SHE'S SERIOUSLY THE BEST).  For the first time I clearly saw my daughter.  I wanted to touch her, kiss her.  But my arms were so numb I couldn’t lift them…. (Again I didn’t feel anything)  I think I muttered "she’s so cute, that’s my baby” or something along those lines.  Then I hear “dad can I have your phone to take pictures for you” ( YES!  That was my anesthesiologist). She snapped a few photos and then Will and baby went to recovery as they stitched me up.  That took the longest.  I started to get control of my arms, they were still heavy but I could lift them.  The nurse rolled me into recovery where Will was holding this little bundle of blankets and baby.  His smile when I came in the room was one I’d never seen before, or maybe it was just my emotions and how great it was to see them both again.  I wanted to hold her, to look at her but I knew I couldn’t do it safely on my own.  Soon the nurse came over and put Elora on my chest for skin to skin and then tried to get her to breast feed.  I don’t remember much of that nurse… I think I blocked her out because what I do remember is that she was very assertive and meant business.  They kept us in recovery for about an hour and then we were transferred to our suite.

Once we were settled in my Mom and Jenna came up to see us.  They too fell instantly in love telling me how she looks so much like me as a newborn.  They day was relaxed with baby cuddles, nurses here and there but quiet. Will’s dad came up from near Austin to greet his granddaughter and get newborn cuddles.   Later in the evening the boys joined us, they had gone to school as normal and our friends brought them down.  Brody was excited through out my pregnancy he was very interested in feeling her kick and asking questions where Tommy was more reserved.  When they finally met her they were both so excited however Brody was like “oh cool she’s here I love her now what else are we doing”. Where Tommy sat with her, not lifting his gaze, loving every second he got with her.  

While I missed being home, missed all the people who I wished could have met her in her first few weeks. My dad, my nephews, the great grandparents, aunts, uncles and all the friends who have been a part of Will and I’s journey; I have to admit I really loved the quietness in the room,  just being able to cuddle and love on my new baby without having to give her up every 20 minutes.  I just got to hog her!  

The first night was difficult I struggled with breast-feeding.  One of my nurses had to come in and give me a peptalk because I was so emotional about not being able to give her what she needed and that I wasn’t able to breast-feed correctly. I struggled with my incision being very painful as I didn’t want to take any opiate medications, the second evening I broke I had to get something a little stronger than Tylenol.

When the second evening came I had a bit more of everything handled, I knew what I was supposed to be doing and it went a lot more smoothly.  We were release the third morning, my sister drove Elora and I home she was nervous but I had plenty of confidence in her driving even in a different state.  The next few days we were in and out of the hospital is getting Elora‘s bilirubin tested as she was a little jaundice when we were released.  This was also difficult for me because I felt like I was failing her.  While I knew rationally I was doing all that I could I worried about the worst case scenarios. There was a couple breakdowns along the way but overall we got through it and everything ended up just fine.  The last two months have been some of the best moments I’ve ever experience, if not s tad emotional, sleepless and busy. 

Without further ado here are Elora’s newborn photos.   Some were taken her first week and some were taken her 3rd  week