This post will just be about her actual birth, and at the end of her first week, I will write an update (and add tons of new pics, I am sure!!)
It all started Wed night. I had a couple of incidents where I thought that maybe I had either accidentally peed myself or that my amniotic fluid might be leaking. After two more incidents the next morning, I called my midwives and they had me come in to test the liquid.
Sure enough, my waters had ruptured, but since it had been over 12 hours at that point and labor had not started, I had to go pretty quickly to labor and delivery at the Reading Hospital. The urgency was because I was positive for Group Beta Strep, which is common and unharmful to pregnant women, but needs to be treated with antibiotics during labor to prevent baby from getting sick. Having ruptured membranes increases the chanc eof baby being infected (she is fine though!!)
We got there around 5 pm, and they started an IV and penicillin and gave me prostaglanden gel to see if things would progress on its own around 8 pm.. It did!! Around 1:50 am, I began having intense contractions, and from that point on, things were in full swing. I went into the hospital 2 cm dilated, 30 % effaced, and Gracie at -2 engaged. By 5:30 pm, my body was pretty ready, physically- I was dilated to 6 or 7 and fully effaced with good strong contractions, but Grace was till at -2.
It was around then that the midwife suggested that I start preparing for the possibility of a c-section, because although my contractions were great, they weren't pushing the baby down at all and she was beginning to get distressed, although nothing yet to be worried about. At 7:30, she suggested we try an epidural as a last ditch effort to move things along for a vaginal birth, and that way I would be prepped for a c-section if needed. She was not hopeful it would work though because it appeared that my bones were not working for the shape of Grace's head to come down, and while you cna relax muscles, you can't really change bones. Also, although she was still not in the danger zone, Grace was beginning to have swelling on her head due to pushing so hard. Little girl REALLY tried hard to come down!!
Getting an epidural was horrible...to those of you who strongly advocated it, I think you might all be crazy...but I think that part of it was that the way it made me feel is what I suspected, and I don't like not feeling in control of my body. Also, it was very difficult to receive a spinal shot while having a strong contraction and not move. This is the part I would like to forget soon:o)
Moving on...so Dr. Cammarano came in to check me around 8 or 8:30, and decided that I could try for a little while to labor or get the c-section now. I decided to have the c-section though, because of both his/ the midwife's concern over the baby's heart rate, and also realizing that while my dream was to have a natural birth, I couldn't do anything in my power to get Grace down in the right position. God was very kind to meet me there in the decision, because I knew that it would be best for Grace- she was already trying so hard and my body was doing what it was supposed to, but we weren't able to do it together, so I just wanted to get to meet her.
The c-section operation went very quickly..I was in at 8:55 am, and she came out crying at 9:08 am. Brian was able to cut her cord and hold her, while I was being stitched up, and my mom was there too. Within the hour the nurse brought Grace to me, and I was able to hold her and start nursing. ACTUALLY, GRACE started nursing...I was about to try some of the coaxing techniques as the nurse handed her to me, and she just leaned her head forward and found what she was looking for!! The nurse called her a little piranha, I think she just practiced sucking her thumb a lot in utero...she is quite the pro!!!
So now, we are all doing well, and home...Grace has been very impressive with her eating, sleeping and bowel movements. Also, while she has her occasional moments of a meltdown (usually once a day, somewhere between 2 am and 4 am), she is over all a very content and alert baby!! We are so blessed by her:o)
Finally, we wanted to share about why we chose Grace Elisabeth for her name. As soon as I saw the positive pregnancy test, I asked Brian if we could have Grace somewhere in her name, and he thought it was great and the first name he suggested when I asked what other name he liked was Elisabeth....So Grace Elisabeth because it reminds us of God's unmerited favor towards us at the cross. We deserve nothing and he gave us everything. We have seen additional blessing through Grace...who I did not think I could have...like John the Baptist's mother, Elizabeth, I was so surprised to find out I was pregnant due to some medical difficulties. But God allowed me to carry her to term and have a healthy little girl...We specifically chose the spelling of Elisabeth with an S because Elisabeth Elliot's name is spelled that way and we hope she will grow to be a Godly woman just like her.
Thank you to Dr. C and my midwives, Jennifer and Kate...you guys were awesome and made my baby's birth, which was NOT the way I planned, sweet better than I had hoped given the various circumstances that were arising!!
Can't wait for all of you to meet Gracie!!