During pregnancy, I always loved reading other people's birth stories and towards the end of my pregnancy, I just was just so desperately ready to know MY story.
WARNING: This is incredibly long. I was going to do several parts but know that I am just not that efficient of a blogger to do that. I have been working on this for several weeks and it has taken me much longer than I thought!
Without further avail....here it is. :)
After trying pretty much everything to get him to come for weeks, Grayson just wasn't quite ready to come into the world yet. :) I was drinking raspberry leaf tea, taking evening primrose oil, walking, doing the thing that married people do ;), eating spicy food, you name it....I tried it. I am here to say that I don't believe any of those things actually work and that your baby will come when he is good and ready.
Anyways, Grayson's due date was Sunday, September 30th. Matt and I were so hopeful and were both thinking that he would come the night of his due date because it was a full moon (which we later realized was actually the night before on September 29th) but to no avail, I woke up the next morning on Monday, October 1st and had a doctor's appointment bright and early at 8:00 AM. We had talked with her the week prior about inducing soon after my due date because at my 39 week ultrasound, he was already measuring at 8 lbs 4 oz (which is EXACTLY what he weighed at birth!) and because I am not the largest person she really didn't want me to wait much longer which I completely agreed. So we scheduled an induction for Wednesday, October 3rd at 5:00 AM. I felt much better knowing that there was an end in sight, even though we had to coax our little muffin to come out. :)
The night before the induction was very surreal. Even though we had waited and were SO ready to meet our sweet boy, it was hard to imagine how our lives would change forever the next day. Matt was super sweet and said it was my night and we could do whatever I wanted. So, we went for a walk, ordered yummy pizza, and relaxed in our bed playing games on the ipad together and watched a movie. It was perfect. I will always remember and cherish the last night we had when our family was just the two of us.
We set our alarms for 3:30 AM and were off to the hospital by 4:30. We settled in and I put on my pink and white polka dot gown that was the talk of the labor and delivery unit. :) My sweet friend Sarah had let me borrow it and I am so glad I did because the gown that they wanted me to wear was pretty disgusting. Okay, so not the point. :) I had a super sweet nurse named Tracey who sadly was leaving at 7 AM, but she got things going for us. She started me on pitocin and we waited for my doctor to get in and she was going to break my water. The monitor showed that I was having contractions, but I could hardly feel them. Dr. Arona, my sweet and wonderful doctor, arrived around 9:30 AM and checked me- I was at 2 cm and 70% effaced. She broke my water which was the weirdest sensation ever! It literally felt like I had peed everywhere and just kept peeing. I felt like I was leaking for a while! My doctor encouraged me if I wanted to walk around the hallways for a bit and that it might progress things a little faster. I had to go off the pitocin in order to walk around and Matt and I walked for 45 minutes around the tiny halls and saw the same nurses and people. It got a little old but we were high tailing it to try and make labor go a little faster. I was having regular contractions at this point but they still weren't bad yet. I would have to slow down a little when I had one, but didn't have to stop for them. One nurse saw us and said that I should have gotten a speeding ticket for how fast I was going. :) I was thinking, "Great! I am going to be at like a 4 or a 5- I can feel it." Oh how wrong I was! :) We got back in our room and my nurse checked me to find I was exactly the same spot I was before but my contractions were less regular. Back on the pitocin I was!
My mom and dad arrived about 15 minutes after we got back into our room at around 12:30 PM and it was SO good to see them. Matt and my dad went to Chic-Fil-A to grab lunch and my mom and I chatted except during a contraction when I had to close my eyes and deal with the pain. I definitely started having MUCH stronger contractions at this point, but just felt like a wimp for getting the epidural when I was only at 3 cm. My nurse came in at about 2:00 PM and said that it would take about 30 minutes from the time I said I wanted the epidural to the time I got it so just to keep that it mind and let her know. Fifteen minutes later Matt was calling her on the phone telling her I was ready for it. I looked over at him and told him I was sorry for getting it so soon, but he was the sweetest and said that I was doing such a good job and he was proud of me. The anesthesiologist came in and administered my epidural around 2:45 PM and boy was I happy to see him. I had to lean over pretty far and I remember him asking me if I was a gymnast because I was so flexible and could bend so far. That made a huge pregnant woman feel pretty good but he probably says that to everyone. :) Matt was in front of me and was there for me to squeeze his hands as the needle was going in. I had a contraction right as the needle was being put in and freaked out because my nurse kept saying, "Whatever you do, just be as still as possible" but I just squeezed Matt's hand as hard as I ever had to make it through. It took about 30 minutes for the epidural to make it's way everywhere, but when it did I was feeling good. It's so awesome to watch your contractions increase and strengthen and not feel a thing. I tried taking a nap but was woken up by two nurses coming in and frantically moving me from one side to the other and putting an oxygen mask on me. Matt was sleeping on the couch-bed next to me and woke up to see me wearing an oxygen mask and several nurses in our room. He was out of it and in his sleep induced state looked really worried and said "Is everything okay??" Thankfully, I had an epidural at this point and didn't feel a thing because apparently my body is crazy and I had a 4 minute long contraction that little Gray baby didn't like so his heart rate dropped and stayed down for several minutes. I was so thankful to the nurses who were monitoring him even when they weren't in the room because when they rushed in that was a very scary moment. Grayson's heart rate came back up and was stabilized but I needed the oxygen mask on for he next half hour.
After that scare, my mom and dad came back in the room after being in the waiting room for a while to let me sleep. The nurses took me off the pitocin and thankfully I didn't have to go back on because my body really took over naturally and my contractions were regular and looked intense. I was checked again around 6 pm, after 12 hours of labor, I was only at 4-5 cm. I tried not to be disappointed but inside I was very disappointed. I started to get a fever and nauseous and was just tired and ready to meet my baby but felt like that was still so far away. My mom and dad went out to get dinner and I got a new sweet nurse Dana. I felt more and more nauseous and I told Matt to get the nurse and that I needed something to throw up in STAT. Dana brought me the bag and pretty much as soon as she left the room, I got pretty sick. My sweet husband wasn't grossed out in the least and was there by my side. I didn't really know it, but getting sick meant my body was going through transition. Dana came back in and checked my fever and told me that I needed antibiotics to make sure my fever didn't turn into an infection and also asked if I wanted medicine to help with my stomach sickness. She added two bags to my IV and I felt like I was being pumped to the max with so many different things. She then said while she was in my room she was going to check me. I tried not to anticipate anything but at this point I was pretty exhausted and so hoping I was at least a little bit further along than a 4. Dana's words were music to my ears because she said, "Girl, you are fully there!!" Oh my gosh I was SOOOO excited! I wanted to make sure I heard her correctly so I asked, "You mean I'm 10 centimeters??" She smiled and said that I was but I still had a small lip so she said that this would be perfect because we could wait for a little bit while my body did the rest of the work. At this point I learned some pretty interesting information. She preceded to say "I knew this was going to happen! Dr. Arona and I have another patient across the hall who is at a 10 and ready to start pushing." Matt asked her, "So you think it will be about an hour until we can start pushing?" and she said yes! I would be meeting our little man so soon and there was an end in sight! My mom and dad came back right after we heard the good news and we were able to all share in the excitement!
Fast forward an hour later and my doctor and nurse are still across the hall with the other woman. By this point it was about 10:30 and I was feeling veeeery ready to start pushing. I had Matt keep going in the hallway and every time he came back he would give me the thumbs down and say that she is still pushing and there is no baby yet. One of the thousandth times (it seemed) that he went out there he came back with a disturbed look on his face and said "She is saying she can't do it." Well to someone who feels as though my baby just might come out with one push that just wasn't working for me and I started to get frustrated with this chick I have never met and yelled, "Well tell her I CAN!!" I was half joking, half serious but I tried to just remain patient and calm and pray that she would have her baby soon so I could have mine! About an hour later I told Matt I felt like I really needed to push and to go get someone! Dana kept coming in to check on me and she said that it wouldn't be much longer (yeah right- it had already been 2 hours!!) and she introduced me to the charge nurse who I could start pushing with. I tried not to get upset but this was pretty disheartening. Will this woman who is not friendly AT ALL actually be delivering my baby while another woman gets my doctor and nurse?? My doctor is seriously the sweetest, kindest, most encouraging and experienced doctor I know and I wanted to make sure that she would be delivering my baby, not some lady I just met. I think I said a little prayer just asking for God to work everything out according to his plan but I was really hoping his plan was for Dr. Arona to come in my room and deliver Grayson. So I started pushing with Mrs. Not Nice Nurse ( I honestly don't remember her name- that is horrible) and was doing some serious pushing. After every set my precious husband would say so sweetly "Great job babe! That was awesome!" and the nurse was silent. At one point Dana came in the room to say that the woman across the hall had her baby (hallelujah!!!!!!) and asked the nurse "How's she doing?" And she just nonchalantly said "Okay". I kind of wanted to kick her with my leg. Okay?? Just okay?? Lady I am pushing with all of my might and that's all you can say? Anyways, praise The Lord Dana told her pretty much that her work was done and Dana took over. She was so encouraging and said that Dr. Arona would be in very soon and we were going to have this baby! I looked at Matt and we were both relieved that things were going to work out. Dr. Arona came in and her smile along with her "How's my girl?" were just what I needed. Dana said I was doing awesome but the baby just wouldn't quite come out. He was right there but my even my hardest pushing just wasn't cutting it. After an hour and a half of pushing, Dr. Arona said to me "I know we can get this baby out if I just make a small cut...are you okay with that?" I had heard about episiotomies and before would have not wanted one but everything in me said "Yes, that is fine! Do what you have to do!" I was BEYOND ready! Literally right after that, I pushed twice and my sweet baby boy, the little man we had prayed for and couldn't wait to see was on my chest.
Everything was playing out differently though than I had imagined it because as soon as I saw his beautiful self, they whisked him away from me and I heard Dr. Arona call for a team of nurses. Five nurses come rushing in and started working on my sweet baby in the corner of the room. My heart sank. I didn't hear him cry. For two long minutes I didn't hear him cry. I was crying uncontrollably and looking over at these women working on Grayson who were yelling out things like "Pulse- zero. Appearance- one." I knew what that meant. They were doing his apgar test and I literally think most everything I heard were zeros. I remember I just kept crying and yelling "Why is he not crying?? Why is he not crying?" This is when my husband stepped in and with tears in his own eyes, became my rock. He looked at me and with such a calm voice kept saying over and over "He's okay. He's going to be okay." Finally I heard the most beautiful sound my ears had ever heard- his precious cry. Oh my tears were flowing at this point and I just praised Jesus. Even though none of the nurses answered me when I asked if he was okay, things were slowly becoming more calm and Grayson was crying more. I was so out of breath and couldn't really catch my breath from the shock and Dr. Arona said "Sweetie, he's okay. I need you to breathe." Matt kept his eyes glued to mine and just calmly repeated "Breathe" and allowed me to calm down. One of the nurses said "Dad, do you want to come see your son?" and Matt went to look at him. He was grinning from ear to ear and I just couldn't wait until I could hold him. Finally the moment that I had been waiting for was here. My sweet boy was brought to my arms and as soon as I said "Hi" his little eyes looked right into mine. He knew me. This little person that God created perfectly that was half me and half Matt recognized my voice and knew I was his mom and was going to take care of him. The feeling is one I will never forget and one that brings tears to my eyes just thinking about. I instantly fell in love. I had already loved him from the moment I first found out about him but this was where everything connected. This is where I forgot the 20 + hours of labor and everything up to that point. This is when I look at my amazing husband and precious baby and just thank my Heavenly Father for blessing me so much. I later learned that Grayson's cord was wrapped around his neck and that his apgar score at one minute was a 1 but at 5 minutes was a 9, could have been a 10. Our God is so amazingly faithful and has a great plan and purpose for Grayson's life. I pray that our Father would pursue his little heart and guide us to raise him to know Jesus.
Our little Gray baby is almost 1 MONTH old and I can't quite believe it. On one hand, I can't remember what life was like without him and on the other, it feels like it's hardly been that long at all since he's been a part of our lives. He's SUCH a sweet baby and life with him is pretty wonderful. There have been a few trying moments, a difficult few things for me to get through like surgery and an infection afterwards, and times where I think, "What the heck am I doing?" but all in all, the Lord has richly blessed us with our precious baby and we just want to praise His name!
I will be back to blog about my ONE MONTH OLD in a few days! :)