Two things I know for sure..........She was sent here from heaven, and she's Daddy's little girl.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012 they began the process to induce my labor. I had a million things running through my mind. I wasn't ready to delivery, but at the same time I wanted to hold my sweet baby. Either way it went it was hard. Dr. Peeler was now the doctor on call at Ruch Clinic. He made it very clear that ANYTHING I needed medication wise for pain it was available. Dr. Pickens who had been my doctor from the very beginning of the pregnancy came by every chance he could and visited with us. God led us to an amazing group of doctors at Ruch Clinic. Forrest contacted Dr. Schneider's office and made sure he was informed of what was going on. His nurse Lin came by and checked on us and let us know that she was praying for us, and later on that afternoon Dr. Schneider came in and visited with us. There was nothing that anyone could say to ease or take away any of the pain, but knowing that people were taking the time to come by and show us that they cared for us, loved us, and were praying for us meant more to us than you could ever imagine. Every 3 hours I got more medicine to help bring on the labor. The anesthesiologist came in to ask us questions for the epidural. I answered all the questions and allowed him to tell us what he needed to, but told him I would not be getting an epidural. He made sure I knew it was available if at any point I were to change my mind.  About  5-5:30 Dr. Peeler came in again and gave me another dose of medicine. I could tell he was wondering why I was not taking advantage of any of the medicine that he had ordered. I finally broke down and told him that this was the very last time that my sweet little princess Mary Martin was going to be inside of me and that I would never get to feel anything with her physically ever again. I wanted to savor every single labor pain and enjoy it. Some might think that is more torture on myself, but I was already numb from knowing that she would not get to stay with me, so I really felt no pain at all. No one could fully understand my reasoning behind it, I was not trying to be tough, I was not trying to be a hero, I was simply being a mother. I will never get to feel the pain of her kicking me off my own bed, or the pain of her throwing a ball to her daddy and missing hitting me in the head. I will miss out on all of that.  At 6pm Dr Chauhan came on call for Ruch Clinic. I wasn't due for my next dose of medicine until around 9. She said that she was going to try a different approach to see about speeding things up a little. She was going to insert something that would expand causing my cervix to open. Most of the time the other method would have worked but in my case we were basically having to trick my body into going into labor way sooner than it was ready to. At around 9pm she came in and inserted it. I'm not going to lie it was very uncomfortable, but once she was done I was fine. They were not able to get any accurate contraction reading on the machine because I wanted to lay on my side and the monitor kept flipping. They were fine with it as long as I was comfortable. Forrest layed down on the couch and I rolled over on the bed and we both dozed off for a little bit. I believe it was about 11:30 when I woke up and knew that I was contracting hard. I woke Forrest up and asked him to come rub my back. He got a chair and rubbed and rubbed my back. I couldn't talk, all I was focused on was breathing and staying calm. Finally about 12:05 I told Forrest to go and get "Faith" our nurse. She came in and I told her it was time. She went to check me and couldn't. She quickly left the room and went to get Dr. Chauhan. Forrest was by my head and held my hand the entire time. They got prepped up and told me to take a deep breath and push. On the very first push our sweet little Mary Martin was born at 12:19 am and weighed 6 ounces. We were fearful of the placenta not delivering and having to have a DNC, but on the second push the placenta came out. It was the most perfect labor and delivery. The doctor and nurses cleaned everything up, I sat up in the bed and they handed me my daughter. She was the most beautiful little girl that I had ever laid my eyes on. She looked like she was just sleeping in my arms. The nurses gave us a few minutes before they came and got her to clean her up and dress her. When they left Forrest and I sang "Happy Birthday" to her. I couldn't take my eyes off of her. Every single thing about her was beautiful and perfect. She was truly an angel. When me and Forrest for married we never had a "First dance" at our wedding. As I sat there on that bed we both held her and I turned my iPod on to the song "Marry Me" by Train and we shared our first dance with our first daughter. It was amazing. Having that moment with my husband and daughter is something that I will never forget and will always cherish. After she was cleaned up and dressed in a beautiful pink smocked dress and her headband that was made out of a ponytail holder with a flower clipped on we let my sister, his sister, and a dear friend of the family come in to take pictures. We had someone lined up to come at any time to take nice pictures for us to keep. We took picture after picture and both of the Aunts got to hold her and kiss on her. Around 3am everyone had left and they took us downstairs to a regular room. They said we could keep her in the room with us as long as we wanted to. I remember holding her and falling asleep with her on my chest. We slept for about a hour and Forrest woke me up and said it was time. I know I couldn't keep her with me forever but letting her go was the very hardest thing I have ever in my life done. The nurse came in, and I asked her if she could please keep my baby wrapped up in her blanket until the funeral home came to pick her up, and then return the blanket to me so I could keep it. I also wanted her to keep her pretty pink dress on even after she was picked up. She promised to take care of everything and she did. That morning as we handed over the tiny body of our daughter Forrest pushed the couch over to my bed and held my hand as we both fell asleep. We only slept a few hours. At 9am Dr. Long came in to check on us and asked if we were ready to go home. I was but was't ready. I wanted to be out of the hospital but didn't want to go home without my little girl. As she got all of the discharge papers together we started packing everything up. Dr. Pickens called the room one last time to check on me and Dr. Peeler came by to let us know that he was thinking about us. With a list of medication and a broken heart we left the hospital and headed home. We didn't even know where to begin on making funeral arrangements. You are not suppose to bury your children, you always think that you will die before they do, but God had other plans for our Mary Martin. With the help of friends and family we have everything planned. Our sweet little daughter will be laid to rest Friday, July 13, 2012. Her services will be at Brantley Phillips funeral home in Hernando, MS. The visitation will be held at 9am, services at 10am, followed by a graveside service. All are welcome to come and celebrate the short life of Mary Martin Dunlop. We are asking in lieu of flowers that donations be made to the "Mary Martin fund" at any First Tennessee bank, or to the Down Syndrome Association of the Midsouth. Our family definitely needs prayers as we lay our sweet angel to rest. She is a child of God now smiling down on us!

"These are my footprints so perfect and so small. These tiny footprints never touched the ground at all. Not one tiny footprint, for now I have wings. These tiny footprints were meant for other things. You will hear my tiny footprints, in the patter of the rain. Gentle drops like angel's tears, of joy and not from pain. You will see my tiny footprints in each butterflies lazy dance. I'll let you know I'm with you, if you just give me the chance. You will see my tiny footprints, in the rustle of the leaves. I will whisper names into the wind, and call each one that grieves. Most of all, these tiny footprints, are found on Daddy and Mommy's heart. 'Cause even though I'm gone now, We'll never truly part."

Our journey is not over it has just began......God is good!

Daddy and Mommy with Mary Martin