Wednesday, June 13, 2012
Gretchen's Birth Story
Randy had left early on the morning of Thursday, June 7th, leaving the tv on for the kids to watch so that they would not wake me. I got up around 7 and found both kids in the living watching tv. We snuggled and watched tv for awhile, like we usually do until we are ready to eat. While I was preparing cereal for the kids, I had to stop to catch my breath during a powerful contraction in my stomach. We finished eating without incidence. I was feeling extremely tired, so rather than go outside to play, I convinced the kids to go to the basement toy room to play so that I could rest on the couch. The kids kept trying to ask me questions and show me things, and I answered incoherently and watched with one eye open. I felt another contraction or two, but they were very far apart. Eventually, both kids ended up getting their pillows and blankets and lying next to me just watching cartoons. I felt horrible because it was Reese's birthday and I wanted her to have a special day, but I just could not stay awake! Around 10:30 I decided that I needed to start getting ready for my doctor's appointment. Reese and I took a shower and got dressed. Then I prepared some lunch. When we had finished eating, I packed the kids into the car to drop them off at grammy's while I went to the doctor. I dropped them off a little early so that they would have time to play with their cousins rather than just going straight to nap. I drove into town as I had a little bit of time to run a few errands before my doctor appointment. As I was walking the aisles, I noticed that I was hanging onto the cart more frequently to get through a contraction. Time went entirely too fast and before I had finished my list, it was time to head to the doctor. I checked in and left my urine sample and waited to be called back. When I was called back, I had trouble keeping up with the nurse as I had a contraction walking down the hallway. She took my vitals and asked how I was feeling, and I revealed to her that I had been having contractions. She gave me a gown and told me that the midwife would definitely want to check me. So I put on the gown and waited what seemed like forever for the midwife to come in. When she finally came in, she asked, "Are you ready to have this monster baby?" in reference to the large size baby we were expecting from the previous weeks ultrasound. I said yes and told her that I was having irregular contractions. She checked my belly and listened to the heartbeat and said that she could see the contractions in my belly, which was very reassuring to me. When she checked me, she said that I was dilated to a 4 and about 80% effaced. I asked her when I should call to go to the hospital as I wanted to make sure that I had enough time to get in the antibiotics that I needed for the Strep B which I carry. She said to wait until the contractions were stronger and taking my breath away, because I was able to breathe through them during our visit. She also said that she would warn the midwives on call that I would probably be in in the next day or so. She gave me a check out sheet with instructions to set up an appointment for the next week just in case. While trying to schedule the appointment, there were some difficulties finding a time for an ultrasound, so I called my mom while I waited. I informed her that I was dilated and having contractions and expected to deliver that night. I told her to go ahead and head to the hospital when she was finished with work. When I hung up with her they had finally scheduled a time for an appointment for me the next week. I had planned to stop at a few other stores on my way home, but decided to go straight home to get my things together for the hospital. I called my husband on the way home and informed him that he needed to head home soon or I was likely going to be heading to the hospital by myself. He promised to get home as quickly as he could, he was still 1.5 hours away from home! I called my mother-in-law and asked her if she could drop the kids off at another family members house as I was in labor and headed home to go to the hospital. She agreed and then asked if I needed a ride to the hospital. I told her that her son was headed home to take me, unless I felt that I needed to go before that. When I got home, I finished packing all of the items that I thought I would need for the hospital. Then I gathered a few different things (clothes and swimsuits) to drop off for the kids. I gave the house a final once over to make sure everything was clean and put away. Then I wrapped a gift for a shower we were to attend that weekend. Finally, I sat down to check my email and watch some tv. My husband finally got home around 4:30 and jumped into the shower. By 5 we were in the car and driving to the hospital. I called my mom and she was on her way, she had taken off an hour earlier and was about on pace to beat us there. I called the midwives office and told them that my contractions were 3 minutes apart and much stronger and I was headed to the hospital. The nurse began to question me and made a comment about my previous labor being 10 hours long. I argued back that I needed the antibiotics and barely got them in before my last delivery. She immediately responded that I should get to the hospital and good luck. We pulled into the hospital right behind my mom and entered the emergency room to check in. Though I had pre-registered, they asked me all of the registration questions again and then sent me on to the labor and delivery floor. We made our way to the 5th floor and got stuck behind several visitors before finally making it to the triage room we were assigned. Once I changed the midwife came in to introduce herself. She revealed that they had not been able to find my chart, so she began questioning me about my previous deliveries and hooking me up to the monitors. Finally, a nurse came in and began filling out my information on the computer. Unfortunately there was a glitch and we had to start all over again. We were just about finished when the midwife came in and asked when I was going to tell her about the strep B? They finally moved me to a delivery room and started my IV, stating that they like to have the IV in for four hours before delivery. I was about ready to push and they were talking about making me wait 4 more hours! Then a technician came in to draw blood. He took what seemed like forever! While he was there they talked amongst themselves and realized that the baby would need a heel stick to check blood sugar because of high birth weight anyway, that another stick for Group B strep would not be a big deal. So the midwife said as soon as the technician was done she would break my water. Time seemed to stand still as the technician finished his job and had me check and recheck my name on several vials of blood. He finally left the room and the midwife prepared the hook to break my water. After they broke my water, I shifted to a kneeling position on the bed for a couple of contractions until I felt ready to push. I settled back into a lying position on the bed and began pushing with the very next contraction. After the head came out, they asked my mom if she wanted to catch the baby. She did, so she turned to begin putting on gloves. As she was turned I began to push and she turned back, pulling on her glove just in time to catch the baby and slide it onto my chest. They turned to Randy and asked him if he wanted to announce the sex and he said, "It's a boy!" It was what I expected to hear and then the midwife told him to check again. From his vantage point looking at her from the backside, he mistook the swollen labia as a scrotum and the umbilical cord for the penis, we actually had a girl! Then they wanted to know the name. I looked at Randy to make sure that we were on the same page as we had had second thoughts in the last few weeks, then I announced that she would be Gretchen Lauren. Everybody began to congratulate us and went on and on about what an easy delivery it had been, I only pushed for 12 minutes! I got to hold her while everyone continued their work around us. We got a quick family picture! When they had finished they took her away momentarily to get her measurements, she weighed 9 pounds 8 ounces and was 21 inches long! Finally, everyone left the room and we were alone to just be with our little girl and take in all of the events of the evening. I feel totally blessed with my two guys and my two princesses!