(This is part 7 in a series of posts detailing the events leading up to our move from Ithaca to Dublin. You can read the whole series here)

Méabh's first day was a bit crazy.

Méabh’s first day was a bit crazy.

Throughout March we drove to Elmira each week to have the baby’s lungs tested.

We’d drive down on Tuesday, and by that afternoon hear if she passed or failed (she never passed). If she had passed, we would have gone back to Elmira the next day and have a c-section. (well, we would have gone back…Liz would have had the c-section)

About 10 days after our St. Patrick’s Day dinner, around midnight on March 27th, Liz woke me up and said we need to go to the hospital.

I did what I normally do in that situation…I went back to sleep.

A few moments later she came back in and said, “I’m bleeding.” An instant adrenaline rush with a double shot of espresso.

We left a note for the kids and drove to the hospital in Ithaca (only about a 12-minute drive from where we lived.) They got Liz hooked up to all types of gizmos & gadgets (very different from the home birth we were imagining…but we’re so thankful to be in a hospital at that point!) and began monitoring her and the baby.

Méabh & Hannah

Méabh & Hannah

Everything seemed good for mom and baby and the plan was to perform a c-section in less than 90 minutes…but they were ready to move it up if anything changed.

Elizabeth is pretty tough. She did the first 3 births with no drugs. This time that wasn’t an option.

They dressed us in our surgical garb, wheeled Liz in…Liz got in a conversation about Vineyard Music with the Obstetrician, who was a fan.

The surgery was quick, and they handed the baby over to me to hold…took her away quickly, gave Liz a peek and then grabbed her back. The Obstetrician and the Neonatologist were whispering and eventually put the baby on a cart, waved me to follow, and then took the baby to the NICU. (I began to stress)

They began hooking her up with sensors, IVs, oxygen. It was scary.

Méabh & Brenna

Méabh & Erin

They then explained that there seemed to be a hole in the baby’s lung, and they may need to operate. They also explained that it was not something to be concerned about (yeah right).

Of course, a while later, they explained that since they caught it early, they did not believe that she suffered oxygen deprivation, and did not believe she would have any brain damage.

Up to this time, I thought her name was going to be Siobhán. The doctor came in after talking to Liz and told us her name was Méabh Siobhán. Méabh was the favourite of the kids & me, but Liz really loved Siobhán…but once she was born, she decided to go with Méabh. (Thankfully for Méabh, we were moving to the one country in the world where everyone knows how to pronounce it!)

The Neonatologist was amazing. He stayed with Méabh for hours. He watched her very closely because he was hoping that the hole in her lung would heal naturally and he wouldn’t have to cut her open.


Méabh and Brenna

As you can see from the picture above, it was sad to see her laying there. However, by day three, she was doing great and was off of oxygen. Liz and I had thought about having another child for several years and went back and forth on why or why not. We both agree that this was one of the best decisions we ever made! While Méabh’s birth didn’t have an impact on the decision-making process about Ireland, it was clearly the big thing going on in our lives & was able to push a move to another country off to the side for a few days.