The doctor appointment went well. Mr. G and I had discussed having him scrape my membranes because of how miserable I was at this point but without us even bringing it up to the doctor he did it anyway. He said he could tell by my face that I would be in labor with in the next few days and that I needed to stay close to town. When he had checked me I was 3 cm and 50% effaced. We decided to stay at my folks house just in case Little G was gonna make his arrival soon. The weather was supposed to get bad the next few days and we didn't want to be an hour and a half from the hospital.
The day after my appointment I was VERY uncomfortable, but wasn't really having contractions. I would get pains in my lower back and lower abdomen but nothing that felt like tightening the way a contraction does. And it wasn't intense pain, but just very uncomfortable. I couldn't tell if this was going to be an uncomfortable next few weeks or if this was the start to something.
I had hired a doula, a good friend of mine, to be in the delivery room with me to help me deliver naturally. I also used her to bounce lots of questions and concerns off of during the pregnancy. She had recommended going to a chiropractor to get me ready for labor. I called someone she recommended and remarkably they could get me in right away. We knew that Mr. G couldn't take off work forever and that it would be better if this baby made his arrival soon so anything I could do to help that along sounded good to me.
I went back to my folks house and explained to Mr. G that apparently I'm a few weeks away from labor. I said that we might as well go back home for a bit and he can go back to work because nothing is going to be happening any time soon.
Luckily, we didn't pack up right away because just a few hours later I started getting contractions. Nothing super strong, in fact I couldn't tell for sure if that's what they were, but they began getting closer and stronger as the evening went on. I tried taking a bath, laying down, walking around, and with everything I did the contractions continued on a regular pattern. They stayed around 10 minutes apart for quite awhile and we called my parents who were down in Mt. Vernon at a doctors appointment to tell them that we think I'm in labor.
By about 7:30 the contractions were consistently 5 minutes apart and a bit stronger but nothing like I remembered with the last two babies. I also started bleeding which was the tell-tale sign that this was for sure the real thing. We decided to wait until it was Bubby G and Sissy G's bedtime and then we would head to the hospital. I think my hubby and parents were a bit more concerned about making it to the hospital in time because of how close my contractions were getting but I knew that they weren't intense enough to be making much of a difference. Around 8:45 we left my folks house and headed to the hospital. It was about a 35-40 minute drive, although Mr. G probably cut that time way down with his speed-racer driving. The drive wasn't terrible but it did seem to make my contractions closer together and by the time we were at the hospital they were 3 minutes apart. I felt so blessed on the drive down that I had my hubby and my mom with me. With Mr. G working so much and so far from the hospital that I wanted to deliver at, I was worried that he wouldn't make it to the hospital in time when I went into labor. And my mom had been through so much the last several months with her crushed wrist and then surgery following. I didn't know if she would be able to be in the delivery room with me or not. Again...God was with us and allowed both of them to be with me.
We got to the hospital and was right away put in a room where the nurse checked me. I was amazed at how unbelievably painful it was when she checked me. She said I was 4 cm and still about 50% effaced and the reason it hurt so much when she checked me was because the baby and my cervix were still very high. She said they would give me 30 minutes and if I made a change in those 30 minutes then I would stay, but if I didn't make a change I would be sent home. The thought of being sent home when my contractions were 3 minutes apart, and we lived 40 minutes away, and it was the coldest day of the year, scared me. We went out in the hallway and I walked. I walked FAST. The whole time I was praying that God would have my body make a change so that I could stay. The doctor passed me in the hallway and was shocked at how fast I was walking. I would even push myself to keep walking through my contractions hoping that it would make a change in my cervix and by God's grace it did. She checked me at exactly 30 minutes later and I had progressed to 5 cm. And even though the checking of my cervix still hurt really bad I was relieved especially when she said they were gonna start an IV and that I would be staying.
It had only been an hour and the nurse wanted to check me again. You better believe this did not excite me. I was hoping to go through my labor at my own pace and without interventions. When she checked me I was still at a five and she explained that if I didn't change in an hour that the doctor would want to break my water. I was not thrilled. So for the next hour we walked and I rocked in a rocking chair and on an exercise ball. The hour went quickly and before I knew it the doctor was there. He checked me and I'm not even sure if I had progressed at all but he went ahead and started trying to break my water. Because my cervix was so far back the process was EXTREMELY painful. It took him several minutes to get back to the right spot mainly because I was arching my back in pain and that made it more difficult for him. He first thought that he had broke my water and he saw a lot of blood which was a big concern. He explained that he needs to go back in and check to make sure that he did indeed break my water. I was bawling at this point from the pain and was trying to relax to make it easier for him but it wasn't easy. He went back in and this time he for sure broke my water and everything looked good. Praise God. He left the room for a bit to give me a chance to calm down. You can well imagine that during that whole process my mom had to leave the room. She couldn't handle seeing her little girl in so much pain.
After a few minutes the doctor came in and explained that after breaking my water my contractions will now get stronger and more intense and will help my body progress more quickly. It took a bit before it actually did get stronger but by God's grace my contractions stayed around 3 minutes apart which made it easier for me to handle. With Bubby G and Sissy G my contractions were one on top of the other for several hours and I couldn't handle them as well and would end up settling for an epidural. I felt very blessed and often through out labor would thank God for giving me that break. However, the doctors and nurses were not as thrilled that I would get such a big break in between contractions because it meant I wasn't progressing as quickly.
We had been at the hospital for 4 hours or so and at this point they started talking about giving me Pitocin to intensify my contractions. I was again was no excited. I was getting my cervix checked every hour and was feeling the pressure about not progressing quickly enough. We talked to the doctor out in the hallway at one point when I had been walking and he said that he would hold off on Pitocin and let me progress naturally. I was so very thankful.
From that point on I felt more relaxed and was able to focus better. I got in the shower for probably 45 minutes to an hour where Mr. G pointed the shower head at my stomach to help with the pain of contractions. Apparently, the shower head was a bit heavy and Mr. G's arms were getting very tired. He would accidently move the showerhead too much and end up spraying me in the face. He was also sharing with me several made up songs that would make me laugh. We laughed so hard, and even though it hurt to laugh I couldn't help it. My hubby was being exactly what I needed him to be at this point. To say that we had fun in the shower while I was still having intense contractions every three minutes sounds crazy...but we actually did. That's when you know you married the right guy.
When I got out of the shower I then laid down on the bed and shut my eyes for probably another 30 minutes or so. I actually think I may have even fallen asleep in between some of my contractions. Being so relaxed helped my body progress and when I woke up and sat in the rocking chair everything changed.
I was given a new nurse at this time, so that makes me think it was about 7 am, and this new nurse right away started talking to me about the next stage of labor. She explained in detail what I would be going through and what I needed to do to deliver this baby. While she was talking my contractions got closer together and way more intense. At times when the contraction would reach its peak I would lose focus and start to let out a noise or a cry and that's when my family and my doula would be there to remind me to breath and focus. After a while I moved back to the bed and the nurse informed me that she just got a call from my doctor and he wanted her to check my cervix to see if I am getting close to delivering. I started crying and did not want to be checked. I eventually told the nurse "No" that I don't want her checking me. She said okay and informed the doctor. I was very appreciative that the nurse and the doctor listened to my wishes.
It seemed like it didn't take long and the doctor was there to check on me. He explained that since I was starting to feel some pressure he needed to check me. Unfortunately, the baby was still very high and I was at 8 cm. I was in the process of transition and was getting nauseous and feeling like I couldn't do this anymore. The doctor believed that I still had a couple of hours before the baby would come so he headed out to do a surgery across town believing he would make it back in time.
It sounds crazy but during these intense contractions I had focused my eyes on this number 2 on the wall. And I would actually say in my head, "Come on number 2...we can do this." While I was looking at the 2 everyone was helping me breath and stay focused. It was a very intense time. The nurse then decided to put me in what was called "fire hydrant position." I was supposed to roll onto my side and put my top leg up in a stirrup. I told the nurse that I didn't think I could move and this nurse went into superwoman mode and flipped me over herself and within a matter of seconds had me in position. This position is known to get the baby to turn and drop down. This is when the pain went into ultra high gear. It only took two contractions in that position and on the second contraction I felt the baby turn and drop. I yelled out that I needed to push. And with that the nurse flipped me again and started putting me in the stirrups. The room quickly started filling up with nurses.
This was by far the most pain I have ever felt. The nurse told me to not push or else I would tear. At this point it was not me pushing but my body taking over and pushing anyway, and I was having to try to stop it. They were telling me to breath quick shallow breaths to keep from pushing. I would do this but occasionally my body would bear down and push anyway, and everyone would yell, "No, No, No." What I didn't know was that the reason my body was pushing was because the baby's head was coming out. And the reason they were telling me not to push is because there was no doctor there to catch the baby. I remember not being able to look at Mr. G at this point because he was crying. He kept whispering to me amongst his tears how proud he was of me. I knew if I looked at him that I would break down crying too and I needed to stay focused. I remember hearing my mom cheering me on in the background telling me I can do it and to ride the wave (meaning to stay on top of the contraction). Eventually there was nothing more I could do... my body was pushing the baby out and the nurse looked at me and said that the head was out. Don't be deceived in thinking that I was being all calm about everything especially when I wasn't allowed to push. I know I let out at least one blood curdling scream. And I remember saying often, "Lord, help me." I wasn't saying this flippantly, but was seriously crying out to God for help and he definitely was my strength when I had nothing left. The next contraction I was finally given the green light to push and with that push I had the baby out and Little G was finally here.
They were all about it.
Here is Bubby G actually getting to wash his brothers back. Precious.
After a while I got some snuggles from my Sissy G. She was enjoying all the people that were there that she knew and didn't seem to notice the baby too much after that.
Here's a video link to see Sissy rocking her baby brother.
Video of Sissy Rocking Little G.
Here's a link to a video of Bubby singing to Little G to calm him down. Bubby was cracking me up.
Video of Bubby G singing
It has been 10 days since our little man was born and we feel so blessed as a family of five with the wonderful new addition of Little G.
"Every good and perfect gift is from above"
- James 1:17