The Vanderhorst Family

The Vanderhorst Family

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

To All My Pregnant Friends

A couple days ago I was reminiscing about the night that Andrew was born and I wanted to document some really tender moments that I wasn't expecting to have, but I think every woman has them after they give birth. So after Andrew was born, I held him for about a minute, and then they took him down to the NICU to get an IV in him and check his vitals and what not. Grant went with him, and I was just caught up in the whirlwind that just happened that I was grateful for some peace and quiet with my mom who had just gotten into town. I was also starving, so I talked to my mom while I ate, and waited for the bleeding to slow down a little bit before they could take me downstairs. It was about an hour before I was able to see Andrew again. When it was happening I didn't really think much of it, but looking back I wish I could've been there with him.

I'm sure Andrew was wondering what on earth was going on. I think every baby feels this way. They are snug as a bug, and then all of a sudden they are put into a completely different environment. For Andrew, I'm sure it was quite the shock because he was 6 weeks early, and the first hour of his life was probably not the most pleasant. They had to try 4-5 times to get the IV into his little arm, and being around voices you aren't familiar with I'm sure is a little scary. I'm grateful that Grant was there, because I knew Andrew recognized his voice.

So after an hour I was able to go downstairs and be with him. When I got into the room they were able to give Andrew a bath, which was mostly scrubbing off all the sticky white stuff (I can't remember the technical term). Any who, Andrew did not enjoy it at all! I'm sure he was sick and tired of people bugging him, putting wires on his chest, putting needles in his little arm, etc. so he was crying quite a lot. I felt helpless! No mother wants to hear their newborn crying! I had a little voice in my head say "start talking to him" so I did. Within about 10 seconds the crying stopped, and his head was turned toward my voice. The thing I love about this is that babies can't see any color--they are drawn mostly to black and white patterns. They can't focus on images that are more than about 8 inches away from their face, so Andrew couldn't see my face. But he didn't have to--he heard my voice (one that he head heard for 8 months), recognized it, and knew that he was by his mom. I reached out my hand to grab his, and he instantly clutched his little hand around my finger. That was the most tender moment I had with him.
This is in the middle of his bath. The nurse put him down to go get more water, and he was so calm. I just kept talking to him for the rest of his bath and didn't hear a single peep out of him.

Right after his bath. It was such a tender time to finally be with my baby boy!
In the weeks that followed when he was in the NICU, every time either me or Grant would show up and start talking to the nurses, he would pop his eyes open. He had people talking around him all day, but he always knew when his mom and dad were there. This still sometimes happens. If Andrew is asleep during Sunday School, Grant and I have to think twice before raising our hands to make a comment, because most times Andrew wakes up because he hears our voices. People around us can be commenting and even talking loud, but it isn't until one of us starts talking that he wakes up.

So, to all my pregnant friends, you have tender moments to look forward to! Your babies already recognize your voice, and sometimes in the midst of all the commotion, hearing your voice is the only thing that will calm them down. They know who you are, and you know what is best for them. Don't think that you don't know what you're doing--motherly instincts are very real. I personally believe that they aren't just instincts, but promptings from the spirit. These children are God's children, and so of course He has a vested interest in their well being. Enjoy these tender moments! Write them in your journal and take pictures of them, because they make the 9 months of pregnancy and labor and delivery totally worth it!

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