Lindsay Sledge

a blog about life with Micah, Denver, Everett, and Savannah

Category: Letters to Savannah (Page 1 of 2)

Savannah’s Birth Story

I have procrastinated writing this story, because it reminds me of a very scary time in my life. This story must be shared, though, because it is how I met the most beautiful girl in my life. Savannah, I couldn’t love you more and be more thankful that you are here and safe. Getting you here and safe, though, was a true battle, and I am thankful every day that God delivered us through.

Your pregnancy was really stinking hard. I had a subchorionic hemorrhage at 10 weeks, thought I was miscarrying, and spent 18 weeks on activity restrictions. I bled on and off for months, prayed that the hemorrhage would resolve, but it only started to shrink at 24 weeks. I don’t know if it ever resolved entirely.

Because of a global pandemic, I went to every appointment alone, covered in a face mask, doused with hand sanitizer, and praying that we wouldn’t catch the Coronavirus, a deadly virus that put the entire world into quarantine. I was lonely, scared, and so very worried that you wouldn’t make it. Your dad lost his job, your brothers were very young, 2 and 3, and my body was in bad shape by the time I delivered. The veins in my leg swelled uncontrollably, my entire left leg turned black and blue, and I had to wear compression socks through a hot summer. Further, my tailbone got turned to the side, and I was in excruciating pain until I was able to start physical therapy at 29 weeks. I gained 40 pounds and felt every ounce every second of every day and night.

When the fall arrived, I started walking, enjoying the cooler weather, and feeling much calmer since you were viable. So many people prayed that you would stay in until November, and once November arrived, I was ready for you to come on out. You took your time, though, waiting until your due date.

I had a doctor’s appointment the day before 40 weeks, and my blood pressure was higher than normal. I have always trusted by body to birth my babies when they were ready to arrive, but I wasn’t as sure that you were going to come on your own. I had prodromal labor from 37-40 weeks, the bloody show, and thought repeatedly that it was time for you to arrive. I think that you were in a position that was causing difficulty for us both.

My doctor pressured me to induce the following day, and I pushed back. When I came in the next morning, my blood pressure was better, but a non-stress test showed that you weren’t having the heart rate fluctuations that the doctor was hoping for. We had an ultrasound, saw some very chubby cheeks, and you were ultimately doing just fine on the scan. The doctor still wanted to induce, though, and scared me into thinking that keeping you in was worse than letting you come out. So, your dad and I headed to the childbirth center to induce on the afternoon of November 13.

I was tired. I was stressed out. I sobbed for a while. The nurses in the hospital were the loveliest support group I could have asked for. They told me everything would be ok. They wrote “Happy Birthday, Savannah” on the white board. I didn’t understand how you were going to come out, but they were calm and confident, and it helped me immensely. One of the nurses was named Hope, which is your middle name.

A different doctor was on call, and she came to visit me. She explained why we were inducing, and she agreed to deliver you. I felt so much more peace with this doctor. When she checked me, it turned out that I was already 4cm dilated and having contractions. I felt so relieved. I had a feeling that I was already in labor, and this made me so glad that I waited as long as possible to come to the birth center. The doctor broke my water, and I was started on the lowest dose of pitocin possible. Contractions intensified immediately.

I labored while walking around the room, and Dad and I watched Hamilton. It was hard to be up and moving since I was attached to the IV, but I did my best. The nurses brought in some jello, which was delicious.

The problem is that I didn’t eat much that day because I’d been so stressed out and feeling sick, so I started to get really tired. When I hit 6cm, about 3 hours after they broke my water, I realized that I wasn’t going to have enough energy to push you out when the time came. I was also in a lot of pain. The nurses in no way pressured me. They listened and talked me through options. Then, I asked your Dad if I should have an epidural, and he said he thought my body needed the help. We decided to go for it. You, my darling, are my first and only medicated childbirth. I’ve always done the hard work to push my babies out on my own, and this time, I asked God to get you out. He provided so incredibly.

The nurses changed shifts at this point, and I was initially upset, but the new nurse was a mom of three who’d had three epidurals. She called them her best friends. She held me so tightly in her arms as the anesthesiologist administered the epidural, and I will always remember her kindness and comfort. After months of Covid restrictions and isolation, it was amazing to be held so tightly and intentionally in a moment of fear. I felt like God sent her to me in that moment.

It took some time for the epidural to kick in. I was laying on my left side, and still feeling pain. The nurse checked me again, and I was 8cm. I was clearly in transition when the epidural process started. The nurse then laid me on my right side and placed a peanut ball between my legs. It is so rare that I lay on my right side when I am pregnant. I had surgery on my right kidney years ago, and when I’m pregnant, the pressure on that area is too much. Since I had the epidural, I couldn’t feel anything, and for the first time in months I felt warm and calm and relaxed. Your Dad and I started watching The Great British Bakeoff, and it was a very peaceful point of labor.

Not 30 minutes later, the nurse came in to check me since the heart rate monitor was having trouble finding you. I was so comfortable that I didn’t want to move. The nurse didn’t even do a finger test. She took one look, said, “Oh girl,” and called for the doctor. You were right there, crowning, and I had no idea. I had an idea that you had moved down, because I could feel pressure, but I had no idea that you were basically coming out on your own!

The doctor came in and had an urgent look on her face. I knew then that you’d be here soon, and I started laughing. The doc told me to stop laughing because you were gonna come out! Everyone rushed in, told me that you had lots of hair, and I couldn’t stop smiling. I have never been so happy during the pushing stage of labor, and that is the beauty of an epidural. The doctor asked me to push when I was ready. It took two small pushes, through one contraction, and then you were in my arms. You were born on November 13 at 9:03 pm, weighing 7 pounds, 12 ounces, and 20 inches long. Oh Savannah, I’ve never been so relieved in my entire life. You were very purple, very tiny, and absolutely perfect. I double checked that you were in fact a girl!

Micah and I both smiled and laughed and enjoyed meeting you after a long 9 months. The doc stitched me up, and the nurse told me that I was having more bleeding than normal, likely due to the pitocin, even though they never used more than the smallest dose. After a tense half hour, the medicine they gave me kicked in and the bleeding calmed. You latched like a champ, and I was finally able to eat some food. I remember you crying for a while. Micah walked you around to calm you, but it didn’t work. He handed you to me and I kissed your nose and you immediately calmed and fell asleep. I can still feel your nose on my lips and am thankful for that moment.

Savannah, my love, it is nearly a year later, and I am so grateful that you are here and healthy. Thank you for being so strong for so many months of pregnancy, thank you for staying in until your due date, and thank you for being such a sweet and calm baby girl for this last year. I thank God every day for your life.

Love,

Mom

11 Month Letter to Savannah

Dear Savannah,

We are closing in on one year, and I can’t seem to make time slow down! I’m both delighted and devastated, if I’m being honest. You are a truly lovely baby, sweet, silly, and so much fun. Baby years are always challenging for parents, and it’s a relief to be nearing your birthday, but I am feeling all the feelings as you are definitely getting bigger each day.

You cut two more teeth this month, bringing your total to six. I still can’t get enough of your toothy grin! You have the biggest cheese face, love smiling ear to ear when I say “silly,” and get this scrunchy nose expression when you’re delighted, which is often.

You are also a walking machine, now. It took about two weeks for it to click, but now you are walking all over the house, running away from us so that we’ll chase you, and getting into lots of trouble! Your baby walk is adorable, and you seem much happier now that you’re able to walk.

Some of your favorite things this month include dancing to Halloween songs, laughing at the “1812 Ofarture” with your brothers, and kissing touch and feel pages of books. You also really love when Dad makes animal sounds, and it’s sweet to watch you two snuggle and laugh together at story time.

One of my favorite things this month is your ability to stick out your tongue and point to your teeth when I ask you to. You have become very interactive, and Dad and I are enjoying watching your interests develop a bit more each day.

I had surgery this month to fix an injury that I got from pregnancy and childbirth, and it has been a hard recovery. Fortunately, Nanny and Pappy took turns visiting to play with you during my recovery. You and Nanny have a special bond, and you enjoyed being snuggled up in her arms for most of her stay. Pappy taught you how to knock down blocks, and you spent a good majority of the time laughing at him.

Savannah girl, I love you to the moon and back. I am so excited to celebrate your birthday next month. You are so beautiful and loved.

Love,

Mom

10 Month Letter to Savannah

Dear Savannah,

Happy 10 months to my beautiful baby girl! This was a big month for you! Two days before the 10 month mark you took your first steps. More importantly, it was right at bedtime, so Dad, your brothers, and I all got to watch! We even got you on video, which I’m super happy about. I was wondering all month when you’d get the courage to start stepping, and I’m so proud of you! I still think 9 months is incredibly early to walk, but I am going to enjoy watching your tiny baby steps for the next few months.

Also, you got your two front teeth! They have been ready to arrive for months now, but never came through. I now see why. Sweet girl, you have big teeth, just like your mom! I think your mouth needed to get bigger before the teeth could come in. They are big and beautiful and your smile is just the cutest smile in the world. Nursing has become a bit more challenging, though, so I am glad that it took 10 months for the teeth to arrive.

Sadly, this was another month of sickness for the family. Since the boys are in school, I think colds are going to be the new norm around here. When you are sick, you like to be held all day long. It is very snuggly and also tiring when Dad and I get sick as well.

You are still an eating machine. Your favorite foods this month are oranges, eggs, and dinner rolls. Dad and I are truly shocked about how much food you consume. You are so content at meals, as long as your faves are on your tray. When you get tired of eating, you play peekaboo with the curtains, which is pretty adorable. You also really love drinking water out of sippy cups. You’ve certainly got an independent side to you, which I appreciate.

Savanah girl, you are a sweet, snuggly, wiggle bear. I love your bright, sunny heart and big baby kisses. Keep laughing and growing. You are so loved.

Love,

Mom

9 Month Letter to Savannah

Dear Savannah,

Happy 9 months! I cannot believe that you have been on the outside as long as you were on the inside. You are the snuggliest baby girl, and I am so thankful that we both survived a very long pregnancy. I need to write your birth story, so that’ll be up next, but it was the end of a very hard period for us both, and I so glad that God carried us through it.

This month you have started cruising. You love your walker, the same walker that your brothers used, and you stand up and walk all around the play room. You practice standing on your own and get right back up when you fall down. It’s interesting to watch you practice skills before putting them into action. You are smart and methodical, and it’s fascinating to observe in a person so young.

You’ve added a few new words to your repertoire, including “bye bye,” “all done,” and “yeah.” You are always listening intently and quick to minic what you’ve heard.

You have also added in a very bossy yell to your skillset. I think you get tired of being patient and talked over by the boys. Our house is very loud, at dinner especially, and when you are tired of eating, you start yelling until we pick you up. It’s a bit dramatic, but I love that you can advocate for yourself.

This month you had another cold, and this time Dad and I got sick as well. I think we’re headed for a very long season of colds, and I’m not thrilled about it. I do love the extra baby snugs, even if I could do with sounder sleep at night.

Your absolute favorite things right now are Presley’s dog bowl, which we have to put up so you don’t dump the water everywhere, and the stairs. That’s right, you can easily climb an entire flight of stairs, and we have to keep a close watch on you. Your least favorite things right now are hair bows, diaper changes, and when your brothers don’t share their toys. I am so bummed about the bows, but at least we had a good run!

Last but certainly not least, we took a big trip this month, to Virginia Beach! The boys drove down with Aunt Los, and you and I flew. You were a champion baby on the flights, sleeping for a good portion and flashing smiles during the other portion. You loved meeting your great grandmother, seeing your aunts and uncle, and getting passed around from person to person for an entire week. We visited the aquarium, zoo, beach, and Great Grammie’s pool. You are a super flexible traveler, and your dad and I are so thankful!

Savannah, you are an absolute blast, and I love watching your personality develop a little more each day. You are such a sweetie baby girl. Happy 9 months, my darling!

Love,

Mom

8 Month Letter to Savannah

Dear Savannah,

Happy 8 months baby girl! Time is flying by, and I can hardly keep up with you and your brothers. This month was another busy one. You learned so many new skills. You love to wave at everyone you meet, and you have the sweetest little princess wave. Everyone smiles when they see you because you engage so easily with people around you!

Mischief making is at an all time high in our house since you started crawling, sitting up from laying down, and pulling up to stand. Seriously, one day you were sitting on the floor happy as can be, and the next day you were on the move. I’m so proud of you and your newfound freedom. Your brothers think it’s adorable to watch you move all over the house, but they miss the days when you would sit in their arms.

Another new development is that you’ve started talking! This month, you’ve said “dada” once, “hi” several times, and “mama” often. Way to show me the love, sweet girl!

Since you’ve learned so many new skills, you’ve had a bit of a sleep regression. Naps are short again, and you’re sometimes waking up at night. I know this is a stage, but I miss those long morning naps and hope we’ll be back to them soon! You’ve been a bit fussy since you’re tired all day long, and I’m a bit fussy as well.

I knew it would happen eventually, but you had your first cold. It hit you and your brothers hard, and it was my first time taking care of three sick kiddos at once. I was thankful to be at home taking care of you each day, and I’m glad that the cold is behind us!

Finally, you are now big enough to fill out the swing in the backyard, and you absolutely love swinging! You especially love when I tickle your toes and boop your nose. I know, it sounds silly, but I promise you that baby Savannah loves my silliness.

Savannah girl, you are so loved. Thanks for being such a happy people person with such a big smile and sweet wave. Your family loves you to the moon and back.

Love,

Mom

7 Month Letter to Savannah

Dear Savannah,

Happy seven months! This was a busy month for you. We started off the month with rolling boot camp. I read online that if you sing a song and roll baby over, eventually baby will hear the song and roll on their own. This was great advice and worked perfectly. I sang “Row, Row, Row Your Boat” to you over and over, rolled you over, clapped and cheered. You picked up on the game quickly. After a few days, when I sang the song, you would roll over on your own. I would cheer, you would smile big, and what was once something that you were afraid of is now something that you love! I’m so proud of you!

Since there was so much clapping and cheering involved in rolling training, you have started clapping on your own now! Savannah, you have the sweetest clap and are so proud of yourself. You also have the sweetest smile, and I love how it spreads across your entire face when you learn something new.

When you’re not smiling, you’re crying. This month has been a fussy one. You are so ready to crawl and cannot figure it out. You absolutely love sitting up, and when you try to crawl, you end up on your belly. This is incredibly frustrating to you, since you can’t sit back up on your own. I think watching your brothers run around all day is especially upsetting, and I hope that next month you will master this skill.

Even though you are not crawling, you are stretching yourself as far as you can in each direction to grab everything in sight. Your brothers are big into arts and crafts right now, so there is a lot of paper on the floor. We’ve nicknamed you baby goat, since you love putting paper in your mouth. “Maaaaaa,” baby goat!

Our family took a trip this month, to the mountains of Georgia, to a beautiful cabin where we met up with Pappy, Los, Aunt Hannah, and Uncle Paul. While you were not enthused about the four hour car ride, you were a really happy and flexible travel buddy. You slept well in the pack n play, loved all of the attention from family, and charmed everyone with your calm and gentle demeanor. On the trip, we visited the Chattanooga Aquarium. You loved the penguins and jellyfish, and talked loudly at each of those exhibits. We went hiking, and you slept on me, and we visited a very beautiful but chilly lake. Your brothers went swimming, and we played on the shore. I am so thankful that the trip went well, because we have another one coming up in two months!

Savannah, every day feels like an adventure with a baby, and I’m so thankful that God gave me you. I love your sweet face, your baby giggles, your blonde hair, and your bright blue eyes. I love watching you laugh at your brothers, and I love when you snuggle in each night before bed. I love you to infinity, and it is a joy to hold you close each day.

Love,

Mom

6 Month Letter to Savannah

Dear Savannah,

Happy six months baby girl! You are halfway through your first year, and I am so grateful for this milestone. I spent six months of the pregnancy thinking that you might not make it, and here we are six months on the other side. Every time I look at you, I am reminded of God’s goodness and how fitting your middle name is, sweet Savannah Hope.

You have developed a big appetite and love eating solids! You eat oatmeal for breakfast, fruit for lunch, and veggies for dinner. Your favorite foods are carrots, peas and spinach, and you’re not so keen on fruit. You eat quickly, smack your lips, and make yum sounds. It’s hilarious and adorable. You also love mum mums and devour them while the rest of us are eating meals. It’s so fun that you can join us at mealtime now.

This month we had some big breakthroughs with sleep. You started sometimes sleeping through the night near the middle of the month, so we decided to night wean, and you’ve done beautifully. When you consolidated your nights, you also lengthened your naps. It was a fussy few weeks trying to navigate the three to two nap transition, but after a few weeks of an early bedtime, you’re officially on a two nap schedule. I love this new schedule, and I’m so delighted to be sleeping through the night again myself!

Savannah girl, we are still waiting for your teeth to come in, and we’re also waiting for a breakthrough on rolling. You used to roll tummy to back and back to belly. Lately, you refuse to roll, preferring to lay on your side. I am starting rolling boot camp with you, and I have some ideas to get you moving again. So get pumped, because next month you’re going to roll again!

You are still a sweet, snuggle bear. When you’re upset, all we have to do is pick you up and hold you close. You especially love Dad, and reach for him when he’s in the room. You love to eat his nose, which is so goofy, and you put your hands on his face to see him closely. I love watching you two interact because it’s so affectionate, quite different from your brothers who mainly want to wrestle with Dad.

Finally, we started going to church again this month now that Covid numbers are coming down. It’s a bit crazy sitting with three kids in the pews, and you enjoy talking while the pastor is preaching. It’s joyful and loud, and I am grateful to be around people again. I’m especially enjoying dressing you up in dresses and bows.

Happy six months, beautiful and lovely Savannah! I love you to the moon and back.

Love,

Mom

5 Month Letter to Savannah

Dear Savannah,

Happy five months to the happiest baby on the block! You are the sweetest baby ever, smiling and laughing from dawn to dusk. You especially enjoy laughing at your brothers, when they slide on a slide, kick a soccer ball, and jump up and shout silly words. Most of your hysterical laughter occurs outside, and I think it’s because you are experiencing sunny, warm days for the first time.

You’ve been my first fall/winter baby, and it’s been a very cold, indoor start to life. You are now sitting up independently, so while the boys run around the yard, we sit on a blanket and play with your toys. Our dog, Presley, enjoys laying next to you in the sun. You two are pretty adorable together.

Savannah, you are such a chunky baby, my little chunky monkey! You nurse six times a day, and you’ve started oatmeal for breakfast. You keep trying to steal food off of Dad and my plate during dinner, so I think you’re really going to enjoy trying more foods next month.

You are getting stronger and love jumping to music in the jumperoo. Your favorite songs are “Rockin’ Robots,” “I Like to Move It” and “Bust a Move.” You also think it’s hilarious when the boys dance to “Spooky Scary Skeletons” while you jump. I’m enjoying a break from constantly carrying you now that you are sturdier, and the boys are enjoying you more now that you’re upright.

Savannah, you absolutely love your feet. You are constantly playing with your feet and putting them in your mouth. You have two pairs of sock rattles that you love to wear and chew on, and they occupy a good portion of your day. Speaking of chewing, you are teething so hard right now, and anything you touch immediately makes its way to your mouth. The drool is out of control, and it’ll be interesting to see when your teeth appear.

Pappy came to visit for Everett’s third birthday, and you had such fun playing with him! It is always a joy to watch you interacting with others, and it’s especially fun to see Pappy play with you, since it reminds me of my childhood.

Finally, we celebrated your first Easter! I tried so hard to get a picture of you in an Easter basket, but you have outgrown all the baskets we own. Consequently, you look grumpy in the basket picture, and it’s really kind of funny. Easter is extra special to me now that I have children, because I love sharing the news of the greatest gift in the world with you and your brothers.

Happy five months, sweet Savannah girl! We love you so very much and are so thankful for each day with you!

Love,

Mom

4 Month Letter to Savannah

Dear Savannah,

You are a third of the way through your first year, and I can’t even believe it! The first year with a baby is seriously the fastest and slowest year ever. I wish I could freeze time when you are sweet and snuggling, and I also wish we could speed up to when you sleep through the night! I’m tired.

Tiredness aside, your sleep is back on track, for which I am grateful. The four month sleep regression was brutal, and you started waking up three times a night! Right around 16 weeks, though, the regression ended as suddenly as it started. You’ve moved to three naps, lengthened your nights, and sometimes only wake up once to nurse! What a relief! This was a very tiring month for me, and I’m grateful for longer stretches of sleep for us both. Taking care of three kids under the age of five is exhausting.

This month Nanny came to visit, and you absolutely loved having her company. Since we’ve been in quarantine, you haven’t met many people and have serious separation anxiety. You easily warmed up to Nanny, though, and she fell in love with you! She danced you around the kitchen, sat you up on her legs for staring competitions, and enjoyed your big smiles. I love introducing you to others because you brighten up every room that you enter with your sunshiny personality.

As I mentioned last month, we had a huge ice and snow storm that began on Valentine’s Day. For several days, ice poured from the sky. There was a two day break, and then we had several more days of snow! It was so cold, I kept you inside to keep you warm, but the storm is worth mentioning because it’s very unusual to get a week’s worth of snow and ice in Nashville.

After the snow cleared, it warmed up immediately, and we’ve been enjoying outdoor time. Dad set up your baby swing in the backyard, and you’ve tried it out a few times. You’re still a bit small for the swing, but we wrap blankets around you, and you mostly try to fall asleep whenever we push you.

You went through another big growth spurt this month, and you had a major developmental leap. Now you can roll from your back to your side, and you occasionally make it all the way to your tummy. You also love to talk. Savannah, you make all kinds of sounds and legitimately have conversations with people. You are really loud and animated, especially with Dad before bedtime. You laugh a ton, particularly when the boys play peekaboo, and you think the word “pickles” is hilarious.

Last but not least, we took you to the zoo for the first time, to celebrate Aunt Los and her birthday! We tried to push you in the stroller, but you preferred to be worn in the wrap, and you slept soundly as we walked for an hour and a half. It was sweet and adorable, and I loved every minute of it.

Savannah my love, happy four months! Keep smiling, laughing, and growing. It is such a joy to spend our days together. I’m thankful that God answered my prayers for a sweet baby girl.

Love,

Mom

3 Month Letter to Savannah

Dear Savannah,

Happy three months Savannah girl! You are sweet and special, and I am so very grateful for you. It is such fun to have another girl around the house, and I enjoy getting to know you more each day. You have a sweet and gentle personality, and you bring a calm to our chaotic house.

This month, you decided to tackle tummy time! For the last three months, you would pretty much lay on your tummy and try to fall asleep. One day, you picked your head up, propped yourself up on your arms, and rolled over! It was amazing. Tummy time is now a regular activity, and I love seeing you get stronger each day!

Now that you have more muscle, you love sitting up. A neighbor let us borrow a baby seat, and you enjoying reclining and playing with toys. Your favorite toys are the Paw Patrol and Mickey Mouse figurines, which you swat off your seat, one by one. The boys like lining them up for you.

You also love playing with Mr. Potato head! It’s interesting how much you gravitate towards toys with faces. The boys preferred toys that move, and you are much more interested in looking at toys with eyes. I think it’s part of the reason you are a very content baby, because there are so many people in our house for you to stare at and give the Savannah love eye.

This month you started putting on the pounds, and I love every little baby roll. I think you’re getting ready for a big growth spurt next month, because you now nurse on both sides, and your cheeks are getting even cheekier! I love snuggling you close and kissing your sweet face dozens of times a day.

Speaking of kisses, you love kisses. When I say “kiss,” you open your mouth and give big, wet, smoochies. It’s pretty adorable.

We celebrated Valentine’s Day early this year, because we are expecting a big ice and storm tomorrow! Aunt Los came over for the holiday, and we had special treats and dressed you up in a cute little heart onesie. You, my love, are the sweetest little valentine.

Savannah girl, thanks for being such a calm and easy-going baby. You are truly a delight to be around, and everyone in our family loves you so. Happy three months!

Love,

Mom

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