Sunday, October 5, 2008

Welcome to the World!

Hello family and friends! I'll try my best to tell the story of Sierra's arrival, but it was a whirlwind. Kelly called me at 4pm in the afternoon and said she had an upset stomach. "I have to come home, I'm not feeling so good," she told me. Thinking that this could be it, I finished up my work in the IDEAL offices at Denver Seminary and darted home. When I arrived, she was just hanging out on the couch. We talked about our day for the next couple of hours until she began to complain of "back pain." Although this wasn't uncommon, we began to time her "back pains" starting at about 7pm. "Honey, this just may be it." In a severe state of denial, she told me that they would probably go away and she'd be teaching tomorrow to finish up her year (she only had 2 days left at school!). I encouraged her to prepare sub plans for the next day as if she wasn't going to be there. And so, as contractions started to get more frequent, Kelly was calmly making sub plans in the "outside chance" that she'd have to miss the next day. Pausing every 5-15 minutes or so for a contraction, she kept on working.

At about 9:45 she took a shower and got cleaned up for bed. "I'll just ride out the night and go in tomorrow," she told me. "Maybe you should at least call the doctor and tell her what's happening," I retorted. She reluctantly agreed, and called Dr. Heidi Oster. "It sounds like your in labor. Why don't you come into the hospital." And so Kelly finally sent in a sub request for the next day (still in denial) and we got our bags packed for our 15 minute trek to Sky Ridge Hospital.

We arrived at the hospital at about 11:30 p.m. We checked into the ER, and Kelly calmly gave her the needed info, pausing every 5-10 minutes for "back pain." We checked into the maternity ward upstairs. Jessica, our nurse, did the preliminary exam. As she checked Kelly's cervix, she gave us a look. Kelly thought she was going to send us home. False alarm. Try again. "Well, it looks like your 6cm dialated. Let's get you ready." Already? We were prepared for hours and hours of labor with books, cds, and dvds. Not needed here. We got into the delivery room, and the contractions intensified. While trying to ask 1001 questions about Kelly's non-existent medical history, contractions started to pick up in frequency and intensity. Passing up 8cm, she now finally started to complain. After about a half hour of intense contractions, Dr. Oster gave her the go ahead. "You know that feeling like you have to poop? Well, just go ahead. You'll be pooping out a baby." After about 5 hard pushed in 20 minutes, out came our little daughter--Sierra Noel.

Dad was aghast with emotion. I simutaneously wanted to save my wife from the pain she was going through, but I also knew there was no going back. While holding her left leg, I just kept her covered in prayer, and did what I could to encourage her. And then, to my utter surprise, out came not just a head, but an entire human being. Not fully comprehending the marvel of what just happened, I broke down in tears. I knew that one of the most significant events of my life had just taken place...

Sierra was born at 1:32am, only 2 hours after arriving to the hospital. Here are some of the pictures I took...only after a kind nurse reminded me to get the camera.

Here are her first moments of life. Whisked to mom's chest, and then to in-room incubator, here she is getting cleaned up. Fluid out of the mouth and umbilical cord clipped, she wasn't too happy to be outside of that nice-warm room. But even when she was crying, I couldn't help but melt with love for her.

Here are the first minutes of mom and baby. Kelly was a champ. I couldn't believe how much grace and humor she displayed in the most intense moments of her life.

8lbs 3oz, and 20 inches long. One of the nurses made the comment, "Look at those hands. Those fingers are huge." Yep, she's a Haanen...


Brad said...

Congrats you guys - we're all VERY happy for you - let the good times start for the expanded Haanen Family!!!!

Brad, Sara, Grant and Dylan

Audrey said...

Jeff & Kelly...You have been blessed with a great gift...Sierra.
And Sierra has been blessed with great parents.
Is she blond? Perhaps her hair will be curly like Daddy's. Long fingers but you never mentioned the feet...I am sure they'll be adequate for playing soccer or whatever she chooses!
Heaps of Blessing on your family of THREE!
Jim & Audrey

Jerry & Jane said...

Congratulations Jeff & Kelly! What a beautiful girl! You have some great times ahead of you. Thank you for keeping us updated. I imagine Grandma Lynn is anxiously waiting to be with both grandchildren in a few weeks!

Jerry & Jane

James, Lisa and Brady said...

Congratulations Jeff & Kelly! She's absolutely beautiful. I agree with Jeff - sounds like Kelly was truly awesome throughout delivery. Thanks for creating the webpage so we can all enjoy your memories as they happen and join with you in your bliss. Enjoy parenthood - there's nothing like it :)

Lynn Haanen said...

Oh my goodness....I just have to clear my tears to be able to write this. Thank you so much for describing the details of this awesome blessing! I absolutely can't wait to meet your wonderful, beautiful little girl.
Congratulations to Mom and Dad!!
I'm going to love being a grandparent!!!!

Tim said...

Jeff and Kelly, simply amazing! That is one cute little girl. I am so excited for the new journey God is taking you on.

Those are some crazy long fingers. Think about how well she will be able to play the guitar!

-Tim & Katie