Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Grace Michele Armstrong: The Real {Birth} Story Part Two

Don't miss
{PART ONE of Grace's birth story}
Easter 2014 - sister matchy-matchy Easter dresses

So by 12:30PM on my birthday I was all checked into the hospital,
Isabella was safe with Grandma, my wonderful friends
were going to make sure JT made it from school to Grandma,
and we were ready for the baby party to start.

Except it wasn't going to be much of a party.

Since I was going to have to be induced again, I was worried I was
going to have a repeat of what happened with Isabella.
However, my nurse called my OBGYN and they had a new plan.

(Oh! Along the party lines, I did get popsicles, so that was awesome!
Since my blood sugar was low and I had gestational diabetes,
I got a couple of popsicles with REAL SUGAR to boost it up.)

Instead of just starting pitocin and trying to start labor from nothing,
and it was pretty much nothing -
I was dilated to maybe a 2 and my cervix was high and firm,
they were going to do something I hadn't heard of before.
They decided to insert a Foley balloon catheter into my cervix and inflate
the balloon with saline.
The balloon simulates the pressure of the baby's head and helps make the
cervix dilate.
They told me to it could take anywhere from 3-8 hours for the cervix to
open enough (to about 6cm) for the balloon to fall out
and then my cervix would be at a good point to start pitocin.
Ocenview from my L&D room taken by JJ - March 21, 2014
Fast forward to about 2 hours later and bam, my water breaks,
I take a trip to use the bathroom and the balloon catheter falls out!
I was so excited, because this means things were rolling along at a great pace.
I was already at 6cm, they were going to start the pitocin, it wasn't even 3 o'clock
 and I was going to have this baby quick and easy.

Ha. Pride cometh before the fall.

Fast forward to about 5:30PM that evening and I'm still at a six.
I was having contractions, but they weren't really organized or at regular
intervals. Blech.
My nurse comes into tell me that if I want an epidural that I need to do it now,
or the anesthesiologist won't be available until about 7:00PM because
he is going in to do a cesarean and we won't be available until after it is done.
I was still trying to be strong and do it au naturale,
so I waved the nurse away and told I would be fine!
I could do it.

I should have taken the epidural.

First pool day - April 15, 2014
Fast forward to about 6:45PM and I was DYING.
The contractions were fast and hard.
I couldn't do it. I was beat and I wanted my epidural!
I kept asking JJ what time it was, hoping it was 7:00PM.

At 7:00PM on the dot I had JJ call the nurse and tell them I was ready.
Of course, it was shift change, so a new nurse rolled on.
When Brittney walked into the room I thought,
"Oh my heck! Are you even 20 years old? 
What can you know about delivering a baby?"

Lucky for me, she knew a lot.

Since it was a shift change, a new anesthesiologist rolled on too
and I was first in line.
Even though I had been nervous to have an epidural because 
last time it is where everything started to go horribly wrong, I didn't care.
I wanted the drugs and I wanted them NOW!

Bright eyes - April 5, 2014
Fast forward and the quirky and hilarious anesthesiologist gets me all hooked
up with the epidural and I am feeling fine.
And then everything started to go wrong.

I had to stay on my left side because Grace wasn't tolerating my contractions very well.
My blood pressure was bottoming out and Brittney seriously spent over
an hour getting it stabilized.
The "chills" and chattering teeth from Isabella's labor returned.
And to add insult to injury, I was still hanging out around 6cm. Boo.

Then, I was finally stable, but Gracie wasn't fairing quite as well.
She was already on an internal monitor because the external wasn't cutting it.
Brittney kept having to turn down the pitocin or turn it off completely, 
because she just couldn't handle my contractions.
I started thinking in my head - Ok, time for a cesarean.

Baby in distress - Mama don't play that.

But the amazing doctors and nurses had a plan.
They were going to do a amnioinfusion to replace the amniotic fluid
I lost when my water broke over 6 hours ago.
They thought that maybe she was resting on the umbilical cord
since there wasn't was much amnio fluid inside and that was causing
the problems with her heart rate and my contractions.

Instgramming that baby isn't coming tonight - 10:25PM March 21, 2014
The amnioinfusion worked!
So I was finally stable and she was finally stable,
but I was still only dilated to about 6cm.
They decided to leave the pitocin off because they wanted
to see how Grace responded.
By now it was about 10:30PM and Brittney tells me I'm probably
not going to be having this baby on my birthday.
So I Instagram a picture of all my lovely bags fluids and say:

"Baby Watch Update: No baby yet. We probably won't share the same birthday. 
We're both doing fine. #stubbornlittlegirl #justlikehersister #nowihave4bags #babyfpg"

And then I started feeling uncomfortable.
It wasn't unbearable, but it wasn't as sweet as when I'd first gotten the
epidural about 3 hours ago.
I asked Brittany if she could push my button so I could get some more drugs.
I didn't realize it at the time, but Brittany had taken my button away.
I was supposed to be able to push my button and get just a little bit of happiness.
However, when the problems with my blood pressure happened,
Brittany stealthily took my button away.
She said she would, but she was afraid to give me too much because
she didn't want to start all over with my blood pressure.

I understood, but it sucked.

First Outing - March 26, 2014
She said she was going to leave me for about 20 minutes and then
we could ask the anesthesiologist about more happy meds.
She said to let her know if I started feeling pressure, but that I was still about 6cm.

Brittany left and I was uncomfortable and then about 10 minutes later
 I start to feel REALLY uncomfortable.
It wasn't like with JT, like I need to take a big dump, and I need to take one now.
It was a weird sensation. A painful sensation. A something is happening sensation.

And it was ALL me baby!!!!
The pitocin had been off for almost an hour.
I'm not even sure I was receiving much of the epidural and since
Brittany had taken away my happy button pushing privileges.
Since I had to stay on my left side, I couldn't see the monitors, but I was sure
I was having major contractions, so I say to JJ,

"AM I HAVING A CONTRACTION???!!" - through gritted teeth.

He's like, Oh, yeah. You are.
I told him to push that call button and get Brittany in there.
He pushes the nurse call button and sweetly tells them
I'm feeling some pressure.
I'm ready to shout, "Get that freaking Justin Timberlake lovin' nurse in here!"
But Brittany appears with the baby nurse and they both check me
and I am almost complete.
They both agreed I was like 9.5cm, so the baby nurse
sticks her hand WAY UP THERE, and helps me become a 10.


First Photo Shoot - April 4, 2014
I am now back curled on my left side, gripping the bed,
and I exclaim,


I am feeling the contractions and the pain and I want it to stop.
Brittany stops what she's doing, gets down in my face and says,
"The more you feel, the quicker this baby will be born. Got it?"

So I shut up and get ready to have this baby.

They grab Dr. Flora, who is just about to go home,
because Brittany has just told her that it's going to be hours
before I am ready to deliver, and she isn't on call the next day.

They break that bed down, Dr. Flora walks in and says,
"I'm here. I'm ready. Push whenever you're ready."

And boy do I push.

One push, two pushes, and JJ says,
"You did it! I can see her face!"
I give one more little push and at 11:09PM on my 35th birthday,
 little Grace Michele Armstrong LITERALLY comes shooting out.
(It's funny because we had a whole conversation with the anesthesiologist about how
babies do not just come shooting out.)

Grace Michele Armstrong - March 21, 2014 11:09PM
 They shout at me to stop pushing!!!!!!!
The cord is wrapped pretty tightly around her neck a couple of times.
JJ didn't get to cut the cord, because Dr. Flora acted quickly and cut it to
get it off of her neck.
She later apologized and we both said in unison, WE'RE GLAD YOU DID!

They immediately laid her on my chest and she was purple/blue
and she hadn't cried yet.
I kissed her and then the baby nurse said,
"I'm just going to take her and get her cleaned off
and get her to make some noise."

JJ and I both exclaimed, "PLEASE DO!"

Five seconds later and she was screaming and pink and my
body relaxed and my soul rejoiced.
Grace Michele Armstrong - 7lbs 2oz - 20 inches

She is the best birthday present I could have ever imagined for myself.

In the weeks leading up to her birth, JJ and I were divided on her name.
I wanted her to be Charlotte Grace and JJ wanted her to be Grace Charlotte.
I wanted Charlotte Grace, not because I liked Charlotte better than Grace,
quite the opposite, Grace was actually my favorite of the two.
But I felt like Charlotte Grace flowed easier off the tongue than Grace Charlotte.
I had even told all my friends and family that she would most likely be
Charlotte Grace, because after labor, JJ always let me pick.

But as JJ and I sat in the hospital in the early afternoon waiting
for things to get started, JJ said,
"What about if we give her your middle name since you'll share the same birthday?
She can be Grace Michele."

And in that moment, I knew that was her name.

coming home
All ready to go home - March 23, 2014
I am so grateful for amazing doctors, attentive and fantastic nurses,
a super star husband, and a loving Heavenly Father
that made having this little miracle possible.

Thank you for joining me for Grace's birth story.
If you missed {PART ONE} you can find it here.


Our Hopeful Home said...

Congrats! believe it or not, my first L&D sounds almost exactly like yours but I did need the emergency C-section. Boo. It was scary and awful but my daughter turned out fine. Two more C-sections later and I have three great healthy kids. I never would have wanted the surgeries if I had a choice. But you know what they say....Life happens while you're out making other plans...:) Enjoy your beautiful baby.
xo Kathleen


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