Thursday, May 03, 2007

Grace's Birth Story

I waited patiently for the Lord;
He turned to me and heard my cry.
He lifted me out of the slimy pit,
Out of the mud and mire;
He set my feet on a rock
and gave me a firm place to stand.
He put a new song in my mouth,
A hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear
and put their trust in the Lord.

Psalm 40:1-3

We got to the hospital right at 7:30. I had eaten breakfast and drunk my really strong pint of raspberry tea, which always helps my labors not be too painful. I was anticipating a routine labor, since I had already had an induction with Jonathan which wasn't much different from any of my other labors. Instead, this labor was like none of my other ones whatsoever, but praise the Lord, He was faithful.

The pitocin was started at about 8:30, and at 10:00 the doctor came and broke my water. I figured at that point (I was about 4 cm dilated) that I would probably deliver around 12:30 or 1:00 at the latest. Grace had other ideas. For some reason she just never really moved down, and so I dilated very, very slowly. The nurse kept upping the pitocin, time kept dragging on, and I could tell I still wasn't even in transition! My nurse went off-duty at 3:00, and I was really getting so discouraged. I never ever dreamed it would take so long! By 4:00 I was thinking that I was just going to be in labor forever, and for the first time the thought of an epidural tempted me, although I did realize at that point that I was finally in transition. But even transition didn't play out as it had for the others. I sort of hung out at 8 cm for awhile, instead of dilating the last few cms in a few contractions and being ready to push.

Finally a little before 5:00 I was fully dilated and ready to push. I pushed a contraction or 2, and the doctor said that the head was about here--one more sustained push should do it. So I gave a mighty big long push, and out came the head. One more push and that should be it, right? Well, all of a sudden I went from sitting up and pushing to being practically flat on my back, with the nurse on one side, lifting my leg back to my ear and Bob on the other, trying to do the same thing. "WHAT IS GOING ON?!! THAT REALLY HURTS!! IS SHE OUT?!" I said, trying to figure out why I was being a pretzel and it felt like the doctor was pulling me up in the air. "NO--KEEP PUSHING!" yelled Bob, and the nurse called for help. At that minute, however, Grace popped out. Her shoulder had gotten a bit stuck, hence all the commotion. Although it was only a few seconds long, it was plenty of excitement, and it guarantees that I will never get Grace's birth story mixed up with any of the other 5! I was just so thankful that she was out and that my long day was over. I was so ready to eat something!

One reason the doctor wanted to induce was because she was afraid of my risk for hemorrhaging, and she wanted the birth to happen during the day, so all sorts of people would be around if needed. Ironically, since this induction ended up taking so long, the lower quadrant of my uterus did not clamp up right away, so it was a little harder to stop the bleeding, although nothing too drastic. To be honest, I did not expect that the induction would take so long either, so that is why I didn't argue too much about scheduling it. I was more concerned about having a big baby. And Grace was fairly large, at 8# 13, but she was not my biggest baby at all. Caleb was 9# 5, and Jonathan was 9# 6, and I had no problems whatsoever pushing either of them out. It seems obvious in hindsight that Grace was simply not ready to come out, and I will definitely make a big stink about scheduling any future inductions.

Fortunately this was my 6th baby, and not my first, and so even with all the contortions and whatnot, I felt pretty good the next day. Grace is a sweet little girl, and we are so enjoying snuggling with her and rubbing her fuzzy little head! Bob spent both nights with us in the hospital, while my parents kept the home fires burning back home with the others. It was like a little retreat for us! We laid around and caught up on our magazine reading. We enjoyed visiting with Elizabeth and Amy P. We watched lots of HGTV. Very relaxing! But we were missed at home, and so we came home this morning before lunch. Here is one last hospital picture of Grace.

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