Just over a month ago on August 1st, 2019, we welcomed our sweet boy, Shiloh Hayes Nichols, into the world! We have fallen in love with him. Today we want to share a little bit of the story of how he got here. And as a bonus, we are also doing a little photo tour of Shiloh’s nursery as we go along!
It’s been a long road.
At least, it seemed long to us. To our God, a thousand years is like a day. And we wouldn’t be so naive to think we’ve had the longest possible road. We have close friends who are still traveling long roads in life when it comes to children. There are many struggles tougher than the struggles we have faced. But when you’re on a road that has even a few bumps, it can seem like a path that never ends. But we are so thankful for Shiloh’s entrance into our lives!
The four photos above are from our time in the hospital! In one of the photos above, you can see that I (Alyssa) am wearing a ring on my right ring finger. That’s a ring Ryan had made for me in remembrance of our first little baby that is currently in heaven. It’s an aquamarine stone since March is the month our baby was going to be born. It’s a reminder to us that life isn’t a guarantee. Our time on earth is short and we need to make the most of it. And it makes us even more thankful for our rainbow baby, Shiloh!
Shiloh was born August 1st, 2019 as we mentioned. He came in at a whopping 5 pounds, 15 ounces! He’s a little guy!
We checked into Greenville Memorial Wednesday, July 31st at 9pm. They gave me medication to get things going overnight, and by 1:30pm Thursday, August 1st, my water broke naturally. Ahh! We were transferred to Labor & Delivery, where the OB on call said this could be a 24 hour process, after which we mutually decided I’d get the epidural since I knew I couldn’t handle 24 hours of contractions. Within 3 hours of getting the epidural, I was fully dilated and our baby was in position. But… labor stalled. Contractions essentially stopped. At 10pm, our OB put me on Pitocin to try to ramp up the contractions. Ryan & I napped for about an hour, and were forcefully awakened by our delivery team rushing into the room, placing oxygen on my face, and trying to turn me from side to side. Unbeknownst to us, Shiloh’s heart rate dropped into the 60s, and they couldn’t get it back up. Our OB said “we’re having this baby right now!” And sure enough, at 11:42pm, Shiloh made it safely without any interventions. If we’re being honest, it was a shock to go from sleeping to having a baby within 30 minutes, but our team took great care of us! 10 hours of labor, 30 minutes of pushing, and our world was forever changed.
(A few notes on the art in Shiloh’s room. Ryan created the art with Shiloh’s name above the crib. The piece above the chair says “I will praise Him for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” It has special meaning to us not only because we are Christians and we fully believe it, but because it’s a piece of decor from one of Alyssa’s baby showers. One of our dear friends, Anna, created it for us and it fits perfectly with the plant theme of the nursery!)
Before we go any further, we just want to go back a little bit. A lot of you know the story, but allow us to put it into words so that, if nothing else, we can reread it later on as a memory.
At the end of May, I was almost 7 months pregnant. To be honest, looking back, we couldn’t have had it any easier to that point of the pregnancy! In our minds it was God’s way of saying, “I sent you through the miscarriage and I know that was hard. I love you and I’m going to have mercy on you and make this pregnancy smooth and simple.” Whoops! We knew nothing! While the Lord may have had plans to give us an easy first 6 months, He definitely had plans to bring us closer to Him in the last 3 months before Shiloh arrived…
(Enjoy a few more images before we continue!)
At the end of May, my left leg started to swell. At first it seemed like nothing. But one day, I looked down and my left leg was twice the size of my right leg, and walking was incredibly painful. I told Ryan and he said we needed to call the OB right away. We hopped in the car and headed to the OB’s office where they took one look at my leg and sent me to the hospital for an ultrasound. They wanted to see if I had a DVT which is a dangerous blood clot that can lead to death. Ok cool.
We sat through the ultrasound impatiently praying that everything was ok. We had gone from a smooth pregnancy to a high risk one in a matter of a few days!
The doctors ultimately determined that they couldn’t be sure whether I had a blood clot or not. It was either that, or our baby putting an incredible amount of pressure on the vein running up my leg. Super helpful, right?! But they truly did the best they could. And because they couldn’t determine if I had a blood clot, they decided to treat me as if I had one. So I didn’t end up getting one if I didn’t have one already. Unfortunate, but probably the right thing to do… (you can read more of what we shared on Instagram about this!)
(Ok, more pictures to keep the mood light! By the way, Ryan made the shelves for Shiloh’s room and they look FANTASTIC don’t they?)
Even more unfortunate for us was that the treatment required for me entailed two shots. In the stomach. Every day. Until 6 weeks after Shiloh was born.
That hit us like a ton of bricks.
Who wants shots in their stomach?! I certainly wasn’t going to be able give them to myself which meant that my sweet, loving husband had to do it. Sound like no big deal? Maybe to you. But with all of Ryan’s strengths, one of his few weaknesses is…let’s call it “medical-related items.” Falling under this umbrella are blood, hospitals in general, drug administering of any kind (even on TV), and yes of course…shots. So the fact that he was going to be giving me over 200 shots was seemingly beyond his ability. It was beyond his ability. But the Lord has given him grace. He almost passed out when the nurse showed him how to do it in the hospital. But since then, he’s been Ryan, M.D. and I am so proud of him!!!…
(We have loved the plant theme from the beginning of planning the nursery. We both loved the idea of a natural feel and something that didn’t scream “This is a boy’s room!” But Ryan wanted a few touches of “man.” He loved this half-leather pillow and I think it fits right in. He also wanted the shelves he made to be manly. So the dark brown finish and industrial brackets made that a reality! We love the balance of soft/natural and rugged/manly. A great combination for any good man!)
If you made it this far, you either really love us or you have nothing better to do! We tried to make it fun to read and we hope you enjoyed the nursery tour as well!
If you are doing the math, you know we still have one more week of 2 shots a day. We are so close! And we both agree, if we had known it would take 200 shots to get Shiloh here safely along with me, we would do it all over again. He’s worth it! We are so grateful for him. We are so thankful for the support we have gotten all along this journey. God is good.
Finally, we want to say a huge thank you to our friend Sabrina Fields with Sabrina Fields Photography for capturing Shiloh’s newborn session images you see above. She was fantastic to work with and she’s an incredible person!