Friday December 21, 2012 – I woke up feeling ill. Anxious, scared, excited to finally see her, and a complete wreck. I got the bags packed the night before so all we had to do was drop Liv off at grandmas and head to the hospital. I didnt have the strength to go with Dustin and drop Olivia off. I was terrified. I didnt want to let Olivia go. She had never been away from me for more than one night, and that was only once or twice before, so the thought of her having to be away from me for a few days was upsetting. When he left, I went in our room and laid down on the bed and cried. I sobbed. I was NOT ready to have Allison be forced out of my womb where I was keeping her alive. As long as she was in there, to me, she was ok…but she wouldnt be for long at the point we were at. I knew it was best to bring her into the world living. Had I not made that choice, I would have always wondered if she knew how much we loved her. Having her get to feel my skin on hers, having her hear me tell her over and over, “I love you so much”, having her get to feel her daddys kisses, those all were things that I needed for her to experience. It was time. Dustin got back and I had gotten dressed and was “ready” to go. As ready as I was going to be. I had realized the night before that we had NO preemie clothes for her. She needed some outfits! We stopped at Target and Wal Mart on the way to the hospital, and found nothing. No preemie clothes at all. I cried on the way to the hospital because I didnt want her to be naked wrapped in blankets. I called my mother in law and put her on the job to go to Kohls and find something (which, there was nothing there either, more on that later). We got to the hospital, and I was just strung out. When we checked in, our fetal care nurse Shannon was behind the desk. It was reassuring to see someone familiar who knew our story and knew what we wanted. We were told that there were so many women having babies that there were no rooms available yet so we had to wait a bit for someone to be moved to recovery. I was just fine with waiting. A few more hours with Allison safe on the inside was ok with me. My husband and I took a seat in the waiting room and spent our time talking about Allison, praying she would be living when we delivered her and enjoying the last few hours of pregnancy. We were also entertained by some people who got into an argument in there, although we pretended not to be watching them like it was a sitcom on TV (when we actually were LOL). Finally, a nurse comes out and finds us. Another familiar face! It was Joanie. Joanie is a great friend of my aunt’s and had been very familiar with Allisons story (in fact, she got an Allison fundraiser bracelet from my aunt). She told us she would be getting us started. I was relieved to have someone who I felt was emotionally invested in our family and our well being, as well as Allisons. I went in and got my ugly hospital gown on and made myself comfortable in my delivery bed. I had some paperwork to fill out, so I did that and waited for the start of my induction. First was the IV, not my favorite thing, but it had to be done. (I dont like the taste you get when you get an IV, or the feeling of the coldness of the fluids going in – not my thing at all). Next was the first round of Cytotec. Its a pill they break up and put near your cervix to help you to dilate. I had been induced once before, with Olivia, and my body just didnt respond. After 2 days in the hospital trying to get my body to begin labor, they just sent me home. I was worried this was going to happen again, especially with me only being 35w5d pregnant. After the first dose was administered, I just laid back and started calling our family to give them updates. Soon, my room was filled with family and friends coming to hang out with me until labor started. My sister, my sis in law, my pastor, my friend, many people came to visit with us. When we told my sister in law that Allison didnt have any clothes, she called my brother in law and sent him to babies r us to pick out some preemie clothes for Allison. (knowing my brother in law, this was funny to picture for me). After a few hours they came in and checked me, I had progressed a little, so they started the second round of Cytotec. After that, I started contracting pretty strongly. For some reason, when I am in labor, I decide to wait until I just cant stand any more pain to ask for the epidural (if i was smart, i would ask for it at check in). In the middle of the induction, we had a nurse swap. Joanie was off and Megan took over. Megan was incredible. After a LOT of contracting and quite a bit of discomfort, I finally decided to get my epidural. It was done around 1030 or so (if I remember correctly). By this time, the hospital was full of people there for us. My in laws, Olivia, my parents, my uncle, my sister and sister in law, our pastor…tons of people. Since it was getting late, we sent everyone home for a while, it didnt appear Allie would be making her appearance until Saturday morning. Our pastor stayed at the hospital that night. We didnt know how long we would get with Allison and if she only lived a few minutes, she had to be baptized ALIVE. We are so grateful to our pastor for staying there and waiting for Allison. Several hours went by and we tried to rest. Later that night, I could feel my contractions coming back. They got stronger and stronger. My epidural wasnt working!!! Poor Megan was probably called to our room a million times before anesthesia came in to see what was going wrong. I knew I was a tough woman, but I could NOT start pushing without my epidural working. Finally they got me comfortable again and Megan got a break from my constant button pushing. Around 230 or 3 in the morning, we knew we were getting close. We called all of our family back and called our photographer Ed with NILMDTS. (NILMDTS is Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep, a free photography service for people delivering terminal infants. Ed, a photographer at Faller Group in Edwardsville happens to be a volunteer for NILMDTS and made himself available to us for the night) and called Dr S. Shortly after everyone was there, it was time to start pushing. I broke down and started crying, I told Dr S I was scared. I wanted my baby to be alive so badly. I didnt know what to expect, but the time was here. I was going to be meeting my blessed little angel in just a few short minutes. With Olivia, i only pushed for 33 minutes. With allison being so much smaller, I didnt expect it to take very long, and it didnt. After a few pushes, she was close…I was falling apart inside but staying so strong for her. My husband was anxious, I was anxious, but we were about to meet her. After one more round of pushes, Allison Ann Scheller was born at 4:10 a.m. December 22, 2012. I heard a few moments of silence…everyone was quiet and I remember asking “Is she alive?” And then I heard it, the sweetest sound I have ever heard in my life…after being told she probably would not ever cry, SHE DID. My daughter was here, she was alive, she was crying and she was a MIRACLE. If I could have, I would have hit my knees and thanked God a million times. She was ALIVE.