okay so this is 6.5wks late... but here is the story behind abby grace's entrance into this world!
note: if hearing the words 'dilation', 'cervix', & 'effacement' gross you out... please stop reading now. :)
my due date was november 16th, 2010. i was always thinking i'd be late - i wasn't measuring ahead & abby grace was measuring more around the nov. 18th mark. but i had my hopes up. 5% of babies are born on their due dates... i would be in that lucky 5%, right? well not quite.
@39wks: i was only 1cm, 60% effaced, baby barely engaged.
@40wks (nov.16th): i was 1cm, 70% effaced.
agh! every prego lady dreams that she would go to her dr appt, miraculously be 5cm dilated and rushed to the hospital. not only was that NOT the case - but i had barely even progressed from my last appt! oh the frustration. thankfully, you have to be 1cm dilated to get your membranes stripped. decided to go ahead and do this to try to get things going. i will spare you the gory details, but essentially getting your membranes stripped helps progress labor IF your body is ready. so it a natural form of induction. helps your body along if its ready - if not, no real harm. at this point in time, i had experienced zero contractions. tons of braxton hicks contractions but no real low, crampy contractions.
unlike my good friend, kendall, i did not make the most of the last days before abby grace arrived! i pretty much pouted and did everything i could to promote labor. i never would've understood it pre-pregoness, but when you get close to your due date, a madness comes over you & your life easily revolves around a get-this-baby-out-now mentality. it really is insanity. im grateful michelle was due just 1wk after i was so we both could relate to this due date insanity that beset us.
i made the mistake of running to the post office & to speedway to get my beloved coke icee & a guy in front of me in the line says 'oh when are you due?' me: 'uh. today actually'. insert look of shock by said male. yeah so i decided to avoid public places the rest of week. yup, i became an insane prego hermit.
@ post 40wks (tuesday-thursday) i walked a million miles, bounced a million times on my exercise ball, & did whatever else i could think of to get abby grace to make her entrance. to no avail.
@40wks 3 days (friday) i had my next appt. again, dreams of being rushed to the hospital bc i was in labor frequented my mind. so i get checked.... and i am 1.5cm, 80% effaced. i almost slapped somebody! i was trying to be grateful - yay i progressed a little bit - but i was getting worried my body did not know how to function. got the membranes stripped again. got an ultrasound to make sure abby grace was doing okay since she was post-term. all looked good so the plan was an induction set for tuesday morn. ugh the dreaded word... induction. the thing a natural birth mommy does NOT want to face! it is much harder to avoid pain meds when you force your body into labor and it's not ready - plus pitocin contractions are known to be a killer.
so im bummed and my fam is in the air on their way from tx to meet the unborn abby grace. so trent & i decided to do what anybody would've done in our shoes... we went to see harry potter 7 in the theater. it was the perfect 'let's get our minds off labor' sort of thing.
alright so here comes the actual birth story...
my contractions started halfway through the movie. i hadn't really experienced real contractions so i just tried to ignore them 'no this couldnt be it' said i to myself. well they got to the point that i couldn't ignore them anymore & i started timing them at 2:30pm with about 30min left of the movie. they were 4-6min apart. they stayed strong and consistent and within the hour were 3-4min apart. we picked up the fam from the airport, took tylenol, drank lots of water, went on a walk and they were about 2-3min apart. decided to go on to the hospital.
@triage, 5pm: certainly with this being my 1st experience of contractions, they would progress my body quickly, right?? wrong! i got checked and (gasp!) was 1.5cm & 90% effaced... why i oughtta! my contractions were getting more intense but i wasn't really dilating more - not fun. well they monitored abby grace and suddenly the triage nurse came in & said "i spoke to the dr on call and due to the 6 minute descel, we need to get this baby out of you within the next 24hrs". uhh... what?? we had no idea what was going on and to this day i dont know what 'descel' is or if thats how you spell it but i do know that she was exhibiting distress during my contractions. oh but i did find out that a 10 minute descel = an emergency csection - yipes! so i couldn't go home & i had to be continuously monitored to make sure she was okay.
7pm: contractions kept up and the plan was that my dr was going to break my water @9pm - 2hrs later if i hadn't dilated since my water was broken, pitocin had to be started. contractions kept on. i tried using the telemetry monitor so i could walk around through my labor but it didn't pick up her heartrate well so i was bound to my bed (not a good thing if you're trying to stay natural). my hopes were pretty dismal bc i was bound to my bed, was being induced, my body wasn't progressing... all negative things!
yeah, this was before my contractions got really intense
how trent coped through the labor
oh the lovely look of labor
9pm: dr nett checked me - i was 4cm! yay!!! praise God my body was progressing and i was actually in labor before being induced! my water was broken (which didn't hurt at all - thought it would). contractions picked up in intensity. the monitors were so stressful bc every time i moved, it couldnt find abby grace's heartrate so i had to reposition the monitor and couldnt move much at all. dr nett made the prediction that abby grace would arrive at 5am.
11pm: i was checked & was 5cm! i didn't have to start pitocin just yet since i was progressing. this is where things really picked up. i said to trent over & over 'i dont know how im going to stay natural'. he was amazing at encouraging me and reminding me what all this is working towards. it was getting exceptionally hard to breathe through the contractions. i had it in my head that she was arriving at 5am and i had no clue how i could endure 6 more hours of the pain i was experiencing. the policy was for me to be checked every 2hrs.
12am: i was in so much pain that i asked the nurse to check me. i was at 6cm. great, but i was ready to get this baby out of me. i went to the restroom and felt the urge to push. which was weird. i was only 6cm, i shouldn't need to push until i was 10cm. so then a couple more contractions went by and i felt the same urge to push but also a burning feeling. trent kept saying 'maybe youre in transition!' - which was only discouraging bc i was like 'how in the crykee can i endure a 5hr long transition if thats the case??'
12:15am: tons of pain. urges to push. burning feeling. asked nurse to check me. she looked at me like i was stupid and was like 'well i checked you 15min ago'. yeah, i know, i was there, check me again, woman! but i didnt say that. but she did. and her response: "uhhh i cant find your cervix... let me go get another nurse". another nurse comes in: "yes, you are complete. you are 10cm, baby's head is low and you're ready to have this baby" - score!! by God's grace i went from 6cm to 10cm in 15min - hallelujah! so then the nurse said "whatever you do, dont push". awesome. this was almost as hard as enduring the pain of contractions. i had to have oxygen to help me through this and trent was firmly telling me to not push. so hard to do! but he didn't want to deliver the baby and we had to wait until dr nett arrived.
dr nett arrived! i pushed through about 10 contractions and...
@ 1:11am abby grace was born! pushing her out was the least painful part compared to the labor and fighting the urge to push. she was 5lbs 11oz, 19in long, cute & healthy. i was certainly in shock for awhile bc it all happened so fast.
here are some shots of abby grace in the hospital with her visitors:
my mom ('nina')
trent's mom ('lolly') & step-dad ('poppy')
lolly & trent's grandma mimi
isnt she a doll? sleeping in my her aunt natalie's arms.
yay we got to leave the hospital after staying there for only 1 night!
excited to be home with abby grace!
trent's dad ('doodah') & his stepmom visited as well!
my dad ('big daddy') & aunt meg met abby grace when she was 3 days old!
that first week after her birth whenever i thought about my labor & delivery i was brought to tears with gratitude to the Lord for His grace that sustained me through it and allowed for it to progress so quickly. all glory to God!