First, I should say that Atlee has been worth every obstacle we have faced. And second, I will say that there sure were a lot of them. It’s a good thing the girl is super cute 😉
So here’s a little bit of back story. This pregnancy was a roller coaster ride. Subchorionic hemorrhage (which my body reabsorbed, thankfully). Unexpectedly found out it was a girl at 15 weeks (without Matt there). Gestational Diabetes (what?!) which I was able to control with diet and exercise. But for the record, that was 0% fun. Oh, and she hid her face at pretty much every ultrasound. We didn’t have a clue what she would look like. She was also breech for a while but thankfully flipped. On top of all of that, COVID. I know we’ve all heard so much about that, so I’ll spare you. It was just weird…different…scary…lonely. All the things.
Starting at like week 35, I had my bags packed. I kept a hospital bag in the car for Matt & me. I had a bag in the car for AJ too, since he would be staying with the grandparents while we were in the hospital. I also had a laundry basket. The purpose of the laundry basket was to have the things that we were still using currently but would also need for the hospital (phone charger, iPad, pillow, etc). I put that laundry basket in the car EVERY time we left the house and got it back out every time we got back home. I’m a little bit obsessive with organization. If we took Matt’s truck somewhere, I would move all of the hospital stuff to his vehicle. I now accept the fact that I am just a crazy person, and I know I drove Matt insane asking constantly if we’d loaded the “hospital basket.” He would say “Katie. (you know they’re over it when they start saying your name with a period at the end) If we have to go to the hospital, I’m sure there is someone who could come to the house and get the ‘hospital basket’ for us.” So then, in an attempt to be more chill, I started sneaking the basket into the car without making a big deal about it or I would set everything RIGHT by the door so whoever we potentially had to send to the house would practically trip on it. LOL. We were overly prepared this time, so of course Atlee arrived just as we had planned and not a minute before. Not the case with AJ, of course, since we were definitely unprepared with him. 🤣
We had AJ during week 37, so NATURALLY when we hit 37 weeks with Atlee it just felt like she was coming any minute. My favorite memory was one night when I was running circles around the coffee table while I watched a show in the living room. My gestational diabetes girls get it. 🤣 I came running into the bedroom where Matt was already in bed (my guy is happiest when he’s in bed before the sun sets) and told him I was pretty sure my water had broken. Y’all, he’s so funny when he’s low-key stressed. He said “WELL, that’s what you get for exercising!!!” and he just stayed in bed reading a magazine while I ran around cleaning the house and filling up the “hospital basket.” I proceeded to text my mom to tell her to have her phone on loud and I put AJ to bed, telling him he might be getting a little sister super soon. After hours of googling I finally accepted the fact that it was a false alarm. OOPS. 😬
Due to COVID + gestational diabetes, we ended up scheduling an induction during week 39. I had a COVID test on Monday, which was negative. Matt, AJ, & I quarantined at home until early Thursday morning, when we would be heading into the hospital. That was the rule, so that I didn’t contract the virus after I’d already tested negative. I am actually really grateful for those last few days with my guys before Atlee arrived. We had a movie night the night before we went into the hospital. AJ requested Shrek & he wanted “popcone.” He was so excited! We all snuggled up close, and I’ll never forget that feeling. Weirdly enough, I didn’t feel nervous at all. Just happy. 🥰
Intermission to say, okay sorry. I know this is supposed to be the birth story and I’ve already written a book before I’m even in labor. My bad. I just want to remember it all.
Thursday morning. We had to be at the hospital at 6 AM. We met Matt’s mom in the parking garage and loaded AJ into the car with her. I gave him tons of kisses, told him we couldn’t wait for him to meet his baby sister, and started crying the minute I turned away. Not knowing exactly how long before we would see him + not having him there to meet his new sister + the fear of something going wrong. All of it just felt like a lot. And I know it sounds silly to say about a 2 year old, but he just always makes me feel better. Anyway, crying again. I’ll move on.
We headed around to the ER entrance and the security guard/covid temperature scanner man looked at my belly with a blank expression and said “y’all are at the wrong entrance” NBD. Only 9 months pregnant. Let me hike to the other side of the hospital. 🤔 We had a good laugh about that. IDK why. It wasn’t even that funny. But we needed that little laugh, so it was nice.
We got through all the security hurdles and we were in. I actually had to do quite a bit more paperwork than expected, but we eventually got into our room. We were pretty giddy. Matt was rolling his eyes because I already had a photo request before the day was even started. LOL. He loves me so much. 😬
At 7 AM, I had dilated to “a good 2” and was hooked up to Pitocin. My doctor told me that she anticipated that everything would move pretty quickly so I should ask for an epidural right when I got there. I asked, but I had to wait my turn. At 9:15, I had dilated to a 4 and my doctor came in to break my water. She gave me the option to stop my Pitocin to wait on my epidural, but I said I would just try to stick it out until it was time. WHEW. I was trying to be really tough, but turns out I’m just not. 😬 Zero fun.
In the meantime, there’s a knock on the door. A man peaks his head in and says he needs to change the air filter. The bed is in the chair position so I guess I looked like I was just chilling. I’m not the kind to be rude to anyone so I’m like “okay” (WHY AM I THIS WAY? ) Maybe it was his first day. Maybe he didn’t know he was in the L&D unit. Maybe they told him I was only a 4 so it would be a while. What an awkward job, though, amiright? Okay, YALL. This man climbs up his little step stool, has his hands in the ceiling, and is just going on and on chatting about this and that. We’re trying to nod along and I turn my head to face the other wall & hold my breath each time a contraction hits. “I’d hate for y’all to be in here breathing dirty air,” he says. No, sir please. We like dirty air. Love it, in fact. 😅 This man, y’all. He pulls the filter out of the ceiling and holds it out for us to see. I will NEVER forget what he said next. “Well, look at that. It wasn’t that bad after all.” LOL LOL LOL. He left and Matt said, “Not gonna lie, that made me mad.” But then we just laughed. It still makes me laugh every time I think about it.
Anyway. At this point, I am HURTING. It’s 10:00 and I call the desk to ask for my Pitocin to be turned off. And right at that moment, in walks the anesthesiologist. YES YES YES! At 10:30, Im dilated to a “4-5.” At 11:15, I’m a “good 5” and she comes in to put me on the peanut ball thing (There’s something about me and the peanut ball, y’all. Refer to AJ’s birth story if you haven’t read it yet). I’m only a 5, so it should be a while, right? I’m feeling pressure, but I literally didn’t even realize what it was. I had never felt pressure with AJ. I figured I was just being crazy. The nurse came in to check on me at 12:08. Right before she left I mentioned that I was feeling a little pressure, but it probably wasn’t a big deal. She said she’d check me just in case. Well, YALL. I recognized that look in her eyes. It was the same one that my L&D nurse with AJ had. SHE’S COMING! Call the doctor! Don’t push! 😬
My doctor arrived and 4 pushes later…
There she was. At 12:34 PM. Atlee Kate Holloway. 6 lb. 13 oz. 20 1/2 inches long. Our little piece of perfection. Looking like AJ’s twin. 🥰
My parents dropped off Johnny’s Pizza at the door of the hospital that evening, and I don’t know if I’ve ever had a better meal. I missed having our family there, and I missed AJ so much. Sending pictures & FaceTime just isn’t the same. We were released to go home within 24 hours. Despite everything, that day in the hospital ended up being so sweet. We took some pictures with the tripod and soaked up our time with sweet Atlee. She only ever made little tiny squeaking sounds and was just the sweetest thing. Turns out she’s a little stinker, but we love her anyway. 🤣🤷🏼♀️
She finally got to meet AJ, and he’s been smitten ever since.
The days to follow were full of obstacles. A spinal headache, mastitis, colic, a hurricane, a car wreck, more COVID craziness. But I said it once and I’ll say it again, I’d do it all a million times over to hold our sweet girl. She’s been our sunshine in 2020. And for that, I’m so grateful.
Atlee Kate Holloway, you are something else, girl. We sure do love you! ❤️