After finding out that I had polyhydramnios (too much amniotic fluid) and hearing that there was a chance our lil Sissy G could have a birth defect we decided to set up a Level 2 ultrasound in St. Louis. It's weird how a mother's intuition works...it's almost hard to believe until you experience it yourself, but I had a strange feeling that something wasn't right. I was at peace believing she would end up being okay but I still felt like something wasn't quite right and I was hoping that going to a Level 2 ultrasound would calm my fears....and it did. We met with a high risk doctor and after the ultrasound and having the baby take a stress test we found out that everything was okay with Sissy G. There were no signs of distress and no obvious birth defects and so I assumed my worries for her were just common at this stage in the pregnancy. I told the high risk doctor that my midwife was planning to sweep my membranes the next day and he told me that he recommended I didn't do that until I was at least 39 weeks along....at that point I was 37 weeks and 4 days.
That night I had a decision to make...whether or not to trust my midwife or the high risk doctor.
The next morning, June 19, was my appointment with my midwife. Even though my ultrasound and the stress test came back good I still had a feeling that something was right and I decided to go with my gut and have my midwife do the membrane sweep. I figured if my body wasn't ready for labor then it wouldn't work. So I went with my gut, had the membrane sweep, did a lot of praying, and believed God would take care of our lil Sissy G.
The membrane sweep hurt. It was comparable to a bad contraction but it only lasted about a minute. Up until this point I had been having lots of contractions off and on but nothing consistent. Our midwife told us that I was 3 cm and 60% effaced and she was predicting that I would have her by the weekend. The rest of that day I had contractions that were around 20 minutes apart and lots of back pain and even some weird hip pain. I was certain this was the start of my labor.
The contractions continued into the night so I stayed awake trying to keep things going. The contractions weren't getting any stronger and they were still 20 minutes apart so I went back and forth from walking around for 15 minutes to laying down for 15 minutes hoping this would speed the process along. By 4 am I gave up and was able to get a little bit of sleep.
The next day, Thursday June 20, I woke up still having contractions every 20 minutes. I was convinced that I would continue to have contractions every 20 minutes for the next 2 weeks. I got my hair done that morning by a very nervous hair stylist. I walked into the salon and said, "There only 20 minutes apart so I think I have time to get my hair done." You should've seen the look on his face.
That afternoon I called a friend of mine who is a doula and I explained about my contractions and pain and I asked what she thought I should do. She asked me if I felt energized or worn out. I quickly responded, "I am exhausted." Her advice was to rest. She said to take the rest of the evening and try to catch up on sleep. She recommended taking a long bath, maybe going swimming to relieve my back pain, and propping my feet up. Then I was to call her in the morning and we would talk about how to get my labor going. I told Mr. G what she said and he decided that he would take Bubby G out on a father/son night. They went to the school nearby and played on the playground equipment, then went out to eat at Bob Evans, and finished the night by going to see my nieces play softball. While they were gone I took a very long bath. While I was in there I had a very long talk with God and a very long talk with Sissy G. When my bath was done I felt a huge amount of peace. I then took a seat in my recliner with my feet propped up and spent the rest of my night trying to rest. I noticed my back pain had gone away but my contractions were still 20 minutes apart but not any stronger. I had concluded that I would be fine waiting another 2 weeks, and that I could handle it.
The night went on with contractions every 20 minutes and then around 3:45 on June 21 I got up to go potty for what seemed like the 20th time that night. I then realized that I lost a huge part of my mucous plug but I had been losing it for days so I didn't think much of it. I went back to my recliner but then got hit with a very strong contraction. Much stronger than any other contraction that I had had up until this point, and it last for what seemed like a very long time. I tried to move myself around to get more comfortable and I couldn't so I decided to get up and move to the couch to see if I could get comfortable there. I remember looking up at the clock and it saying 4:04am and then I started to lay down when I felt a gush of warm water go down my legs. I sat there for a few seconds a bit in shock then once I realized what had just happened I yelled out for Mr. G.
And I yelled out again for Mr. G.
Not sure how many times it took me but it was a lot before Mr. G finally woke up and came running into the living room. I told him my water broke and that I don't feel like I can move because each time I move a ton more water comes pouring out. Then my sweet, darling husband says to me, "Are you sure your water broke?" At that point I didn't care if water went every where....I stood up and it sound like a waterfall as the water hit the ground. Let's just say he believed me after that. He called my folks and told them the news and my dad then headed our way to stay with Bubby G while we went to the hospital. Mr. G then called the hospital and told them we were on our way and to have them page our midwife.
Luckily I was already packed because after my water broke my contractions were instantly around 3 minutes apart and pretty strong. I still needed to change clothes and get my toiletries together for my hospital stay. I also took time to go into Bubby G's room and give him a kiss before I left even though he was sound asleep. I was so excited for him when I was kissing him and telling him I loved him because I knew how much he wanted Sissy G to get here and it was finally happening.
After my dad got to our house and we informed him not to sit on the couch, we headed to pick up my mom and then went to the hospital. Now, I have told you how the days leading up to going into labor went....they were miserable....and I couldn't wait to go into labor, but now....as I'm driving to the hospital, I remember thinking to myself, "I'm not ready for this...." and I was instantly very nervous. We arrived at the hospital a few minutes before 5am.
The walk up to the labor and delivery floor was very slow due to the contractions and lots of pressure. Mr. G parked the car while my mom took me up. If you know my mom very well at all you know that she is very claustrophobic and there are not very many times that she will take the elevator. She looked at me with a scared look in her eyes and said, "I guess taking the stairs is out of the question, huh?" We just laughed but I knew she was partly serious. The ride up to the fourth floor was filled with my mom singing Christmas carols to take her mind off of the fact that she was in an elevator....and luckily it took my mind off the fact that I was in labor....for a little bit anyway.
They put us in room 4105 and checked to see if my water did indeed break. They use a test where they put some special q-tip up there and if it turns blue then it is a positive sign of your water breaking. My q-tip was so blue it was almost black.
After being in the hospital for just a little bit and dealing with the contractions which were now 2 minutes apart and very intense....and after days of contractions and very lil sleep.....I decided that I wanted an epidural....and, of course, I wanted it NOW.
The nurse informed me that I would get my epidural but first they have to do some blood work and get an IV going and once I've done a full bag of fluids through my IV then I can get an epidural. This was not good news. This was especially not good news since by an hour later I still didn't even have my IV started, and by this point I was throwing up from the contractions and I wasn't getting much break at all between contractions. I would get a minute break and then get two super duper strong contractions right in a row and then get a minute break. My mom went to ask what was taking so long on the IV. They then informed us that they couldn't find me in their computer and they can't give me an IV until they find me, and I can't get an epidural until I have an IV. Talk about being frustrated. At this point my mom told me that I was gonna have to be strong because there is a good chance that I wasn't going to get the epidural in time. Her and Mr. G started coaching me and talking me through contractions. Finally, things started rolling with the computers and the IV and at 8:30 I was given my epidural....at 9:00am I was fully dilated. They gave my midwife a call.
Around 10:25 my midwife and nurse came in the room and said they saw something on my computer that might indicate that the baby is almost out. At that point my lil man and my dad went back out in the hallway and we got set up to begin pushing.
It was the most amazing thing to be a part of. With Bubby G's birth everything was chaotic and crazy because his heart rate was dropping significantly with each contraction and they wanted him out immediately. But with Sissy G everything was very relaxed. It was only the midwife and the nurse in there with us and one nurse ready for Sissy G. My midwife told me that whenever I was ready I could give a little push...we did about 3 little (and I mean little) pushes and....
She was absolutely perfect. I got to be the one to pull her out and lay her on my chest. She instantly started crying and it was one of those moments where time just stood still.
After Sissy G was all cleaned up I got a chance to nurse her skin to skin. She wasn't too interested in eating right away but she was definitely wide awake.