Sunday, March 1, 2015

Little G's Birth Story

Things were getting ready to change and everyone was acting a lil bit different around the house.  Marley was still attached to my hip, Mr. G seemed a lil stressed about when labor was gonna start and where he was gonna be at when it did, Bubby G was getting more and more excited about his new baby brother coming, and Sissy G....she was needing lots of time snuggling with Mama.  Usually if she has the choice between running around with Bubby or snuggling she will choose running but lately she was wanting as much time with Mama as she could possibly get.  It was as if she knew.
Tuesday, February 17 when I was 37 weeks and 6 days pregnant, I had a doctor appointment so I loaded up the two kiddos and headed down south.  Along the way I kept getting texts and phone calls from a worried Mr. G.  He wanted to be down there with me.  I had been having contractions on and off for a few days and he was certain that I wasn't going to be coming home anytime soon so once I gave him the green light he left work and headed down south as well.
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 was a bit intimidated by what I saw when I entered the room.  This chair did not look like fun....especially for a woman who is GREAT with child.  After discussing my thoughts to the chiropractor he started to get to work.  But after just a few seconds he changed his mind and checked the position of the baby just to make sure.  He started laughing and said that the baby was still very high and that I wouldn't be going into labor for another 2 weeks or so.  I was shocked.  I had been so sure that my body was in the process of getting ready for labor that when he said 2 more weeks I'm sure my jaw dropped to the floor.  I quickly wrapped my head around the idea and decided I was going to do my best to enjoy these next few weeks of pregnancy and take time to relish every moment. 

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. 
This was the beautiful sunrise that we saw as I was moving to the rocking chair.  I asked Mr. G to take this picture for me so that I could remember it.

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.
I was so thankful for my doula who was on top of it and ready with the camera to take these first shots right after the baby came out.  I think our faces say it all.
It was an unbelievable moment to say the least.
I was so relieved to have our son with us and for the pain to be over.  I do remember one of the first things I said to Little G was, "I love you....but I don't like you very much right now," as I smiled down at him.  I hope he doesn't hold that against me later and takes into consideration what I had been through.
It was an experience that not only effected me but everyone in that room.  Everyone had worked so hard and was so relieved that it was over.  About two minutes later a doctor walked in realizing he had just missed the delivery.  Thankfully, I had an amazing nurse who did an awesome job catching my baby.  Of course, with the other two deliveries I had an epidural and don't remember delivering the placenta and this time it wasn't terrible but it was like pushing out another mini-baby.  And then there was the 5 huge shots that I got before they could sew me up.  But having Little G in my arms made it easier.  Although I do think that I might have said a few times to the nurses and doctors to please not hurt me anymore. 
Mr. G getting to cut the cord.
Getting to really get my first look at our son. 
There's my doula all smiles and excited that he was here.
There is something special about the first time your baby looks up at you.  It completely melts you.
Spending our first few moments alone with the little guy.
His daddy was beyond thrilled to have his lil boy here.  We were in love.
Then it was time to measure the little guy.  He was 20 1/2  inches long.
Getting his footprints.  It's gonna be proof that he has his daddy's big toe.
And he weighed in at exactly 7 lbs 7 oz.
A little alone time with daddy.  He was still a bit choked up.
Nana getting to hold her 8th grandchild for the first time.  I was so glad that she could be there.  You can tell just how bad her wrist is but she wouldn't of left my side for anything.  That's when you know you have the most amazing mom ever.
It wasn't long before Gampa got to the hospital with the two kiddos.  They were so excited.
Gampa got a little time to meet his grandson.  He is always a bit nervous when they are so little but he was pretty excited.  He might of had a tear or two in his eyes that he worked hard to not let anyone see.
A picture of all of us.
A little bit later Grandma and Papa came to see their fifth grandchild.  Very excited grandparents.
It didn't take long and Bubby was ready to hold his baby brother for the first time.
He was beyond excited.
Anytime anyone would hold the baby then Bubby would come up and ask if he could hold him now.  He was a bit of a baby hog.
We were blessed in that the nurses let Bubby and Sissy help give Little G his first bath.
They were all about it.
Here is Bubby G actually getting to wash his brothers back.  Precious.
Little G had a lot of people watching his first bath. 
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.
The proudest big brother ever.
After his bath you can get a better look at his long blonde hair.  This is our first baby born with the blonde hair and it is adorable.
We got moved into another room and Little G was checking it all out.
We got some neat pictures of family getting to hold Little G.  This is one of my nieces.
And another one of my nieces.  They both are beyond excited about having a new cousin.
My brother even got in on the action.
Little G seemed to enjoy every bit of it.
Another sweet picture of Bubby loving on his brother.
The first day Sissy wasn't very interested in the baby but the second day she was a bit more excited and was even wanting to hold him.
The second day we didn't have very many visitors and we got to spend most of the day together as a family of five in that small hospital room.  It was special getting to all be together.  At night Mr. G would take the two kids to my parents to sleep but then once they got ready in the morning they would head to the hospital to see me and this sweet little face.
The kids did so well and it even felt like we were home.  Sissy and daddy fell asleep on the couch. 
I mean they really conked out.
Bubby didn't want to sleep.  This is all he wanted to do.
After two nights in the hospital it was finally time for us to go home.  Little G was a lot like his sister and didn't like the bed that the hospital provided for him.  So I propped him up while I went and got ready. 
Little G's doctor came in to give him one last checkup and then to discharge the little guy to head home.  He looks healthy and strong.  All the nurses were surprised at how well Little G was eating. 
This was the weather outside on the day we were being discharged.  We had lots of freezing rain over night along with a little snow.  It was beautiful but not the weather you want to take your newborn out in.  We ended up deciding to go stay a few nights at my folks house because up where we lived they were getting 8 inches of snow. 
Mr. G came to pick us up.  We got Little G dressed and ready to go.  The hat he was wearing was the same hat that Bubby G wore when we took him home from the hospital.
Little G didn't seem too thrilled about the hat.
On our way out of the hospital we ran into our favorite nurse, the nurse who delivered Little G.  We fell in love with her and will always appreciate what she did for us.
Buckled and ready to go on his first car ride.
These were the first sweet faces we saw when we entered the door.
They were so excited to have their brother home with them.
They spent some time just staring at him....
But it didn't take long before they wanted to get their hands on him.
And you better know that Bubby G immediately wanted to hold him.
I have never met a better big brother than this guy.
I have a feeling these two will always be very close.
Snuggled up nice and warm.
Sissy finally held her little brother but it went so fast that I couldn't get a good picture of it. 
But the next morning she was instantly all about the baby.
I was so glad to see her bonding with her little brother and enjoying him.  I know these two will be really close too as they grow up.  It's gonna be so much fun to watch.

Here's a video link to see Sissy rocking her baby brother.

Video of Sissy Rocking Little G.
After a couple days at Nana and Gampa's house it was time to head home.  It was a neat feeling looking in the back of our van and seeing our three kids.
The roads were good but we were definitely surprised by the amount of snow piled up.
Daddy carrying Little G into the house for the first time.
And, of course, Bubby G wanted to hold his baby brother right away.
Snuggled in at home.
Big yawn.
Sissy G really likes Little G's chair too.  She climbed in and covered herself up.
You can see Bubby holding Little G and in the background Sissy G sitting in Little G's chair. 
As the days have gone on Sissy has grown more and more in love with her baby brother.  She covered him up with his burp rag and then patted him with her sweet lil hand.  She is going to be such a good big sister. 
When Little G starts crying Bubby G will usually sing him a song.  He even sometimes breaks the piano out and will try to play Little G a lullaby to help him stop crying.
We were in the kitchen and Little G started fussing and here comes Bubby with the piano.  I definitely have some good help.

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

Since we have been home we have gotten back into our regular routine.  We are blessed in that Bubby G is a good baby and we are able to continue doing what we always have.  It's lunch time and the kids are right where they wanna be.  Sissy is doing the dishes and Bubby is making himself some waffles.
And Little G is in the baby carrier on my chest enjoying the ride.
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

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