Hollyn's COVID-19 Birth Story

Thursday, August 20, 2020

If you would've asked us a year ago that we would be having a baby in a pandemic, I wouldn't have believed you. First of all, Hollyn was a surprise baby, and second of all, a pandemic sounds like a movie situation more than real life. But here we are!


We officially found out about baby #3 a few weeks before Diesel's 4th birthday. I had been denial about being pregnant for about two months because we were *finally* taking Diesel and Maverick to Disney World for the first time and I wanted to ride ALL the fun rides with them. I know, I'm silly. But rest assured, fun was had, and sweet memories were made. I am already wanting to go back!


But back to the story of Hollyn. :) This pregnancy was different than the others. I was sick for almost 20 weeks, I was so much bigger, and I was literally just exhausted all.the.time. It was so miserable! I admit I did not have the greatest attitude, and looking back, I wish I would've had a better outlook. But when you're in the thick of struggles, it is just hard. Thank you Lord for your grace and mercy!


At our gender appointment, we found out that we were having a GIRL and I was in complete shock. Suddenly my stinky attitude dissipated and I let myself dream big about all things pink. My heart was excited and while I LOVE my boys, I was excited to change it up and add a girl to the mix. It was in that moment I knew our family was really going to be complete. God knew. All these thoughts flooded into my mind while waiting in the private check-up room with Ben, Diesel and Mav post sonogram.


When the doctor came in, she low-key shattered our joy, telling us that Hollyn's nuchal fold was thicker than it should be, which could point to birth defects. 

My heart sunk, but I kept it together, asking questions in a daze. Thankfully Ben was in there taking notes (bless him) on his phone as she threw out a bunch of terms that I'd never heard of.


Weeks after that appointment were spent in earnest prayer, and peace filled our hearts. Only God. I poured myself into the present, soaking up moments with my two kids while I could, and I just had this feeling that everything was going to be okay. We opted not to go to a specialist to get a more detailed sonogram for the issue. Instead, we just rested in Him, and gave it to him. We knew we would love Hollyn no matter what, birth defect or not. 


At the next routine sonogram, everything was PERFECT (praise God!). We celebrated and all the concerns we had officially melted away. God heard our prayers. He was looking out for our little Hollyn. I am so grateful each day He hears us and sees us.


A few weeks later, COVID-19 started becoming a thing in the United States. I didn't take it seriously at first, and thought it was this distant flu-like sickness that only affected older individuals. And then things started to get REAL.


Suddenly I had to go to doctor's appointments alone. Diesel never got to go back to school after Spring Break. We started worrying about whether or not we were going to have toilet paper. Ben's office closed and he started working from home indefinitely. Church shut down. I started having to make dinner *every* night. I had to stake out on my grocery apps just to snag basic things like eggs and milk.


Then things got even weirder. As it got closer to time to delivery, they canceled the frequency of my doctor's appointments. I had to wear a mask to appointments. Chairs were removed from the lobby. People's eyes shifted above their masks, and it was uncomfortably quiet. If anyone choked on their spit, you'd get death stares. It was so awkward.


I was always wondering about my progress and growth because of the infrequency of appointments. And then I was afraid I'd pick up COVID when I went to the doctor. They opened up a testing center in the parking lot of my doctor's office, and it was so freaky to see a line of cars getting tested in such close proximity. I was used to seeing pictures of it on the New York Times, but not in person.


As it got to be super close to Hollyn's due date, I was power-waddling all over the neighborhood trying to naturally induce labor, but to no avail. I showed up the week of my due date, and due to my concerns, we did a sonogram to check her size. Baby was over 9 pounds! I had gone too long, and probably should've been induced sooner.


Against my well-voiced wishes since DAY 1, my doctor told me we'd have to do a c-section. My biggest fear was getting a c-section, and I truly think if I had had my routine appointments, I wouldn't have been in this situation. Thanks COVID! 

So my birth plan was thrown to the fire, and I was scheduled for a 5 a.m. surgery the next day (what was supposed to be my induction date) — my first surgery ever. I was terrified.


On top of all that, I had to get tested for COVID before being admitted to the hospital. You see, I'm one of those "let's just get this over with" people. I got it done the week before so that I'd be all ready for my induction. 


Turns out, there were a lot of tests in the pipeline, and they were behind schedule. I got a call that night saying that I would have to postpone my surgery until they got the results back. Thanks COVID! Wait, did I say that already?


I called almost every hour through the night to see if they'd gotten my test back. Finally, at midnight, I heard back and my test was negative. All the praise hands! I had been super quarantined and only went to the doctor. But still, I was a little anxious about somehow testing positive because they would have to put me in a different part of the hospital and separate me from Hollyn as soon as she was born and I did NOT want that. I prayed so much about that, and again I feel the Lord did give me peace through that and I felt heard.


The anesthesiologist on staff called me that night as well to pick up some special surgical soap to wash with before I came to the hospital. They want your skin to be completely clean where the incision will be, so the scrub is necessary. But thanks to COVID and all the hoarders, that soap was completely unavailable everywhere! My parents had to pick some up in the boonies of Arkansas four hours away at a Walgreens. Bless them.


Then dark and early at 5 a.m., Ben and I headed to the hospital masked and as ready as we could be.


Check in was weird, and silent. We had to get special tags and temperature checks before entering. 


They led us down a dark hall, and to a desolate maternity ward waiting room. I was soon given all my hospital garb and set up with fluids in a temporary room. A nurse came in and noticed I had my wedding ring on still. I couldn't get it off so they had to cut into with pliers. I wasn't used to surgery guidelines, so that was new to me.


Then, it was time and they took us to an incredibly bright surgery room and Classic Rock was blaring. I guess the surgeons get pumped up for their surgeries, but my heart was racing and it gave me SO much anxiety. I felt like a crazy person, freaking out, terrified, crying, all the emotions. The entire experience was completely traumatic, and I'm so glad it's all over and I have a sweet, healthy baby. 


Our little Hollyn was born the morning of May 13, 2020 with a perfectly round head covered in dark hair. She was 9 pounds and 14 ounces. Complete perfection.


The rest of the hospital stay that week (the longest I've ever stayed in a hospital), was a complete blur, filled with tons of masked hospital staff, and new pains I'd never experienced before. C-Sections are no joke, ya'll. Recovery is a process.


Little Hollyn was completely healthy, and we were out of the woods — for the most part. We found out that she had a tongue tie, and I had a HARD time with that. I was SO done with surgeries, but we went the week after we came home from the hospital to get that one too. I cried big tears and so did she. But I'm glad we did it. It really wasn't an invasive surgery but the sheet they had me sign talked about death and it freaked my hormonal self out.


Throughout this entire process, I'd like to thank my husband who saw me at my actual worst multiple times for 9 months straight. Thanks for sticking with me Ben. And a big thank you to my two little guys, who have become such GREAT helpers and amazing BIG brothers to Hollyn. It's true that in difficult times, it really brings everyone together in a good way.


And that, my friends, is sweet Hollyn's dramatic COVID-19 birth story. God is so good ya'll. Props to you for reading all the way to the end! :) 


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