Thursday, April 5

getting gracie

And this is the tale of how we got our Gracie.

(You know, for those of you that are into this sort of thing.)

I knew from the get-go that I wanted to try for a VBAC delivery (Vaginal Birth After Caesarean). Everything had been normal with Addy’s delivery up until I pushed for 3 hours and the girl was just painfully stuck in the face-up position, making us opt for a c-section. We had every reason to believe Grace could come the ol’ traditional route, and my doctor agreed.

After quite a bit of research, I also came to a few conclusions:
  1. I wanted to go into labor on my own (the usual dosage of Pitocin for a VBAC can lead to uterine rupture) (UTERINE. RUPTURE.)
  2. I wanted to go without an epidural for as long as I could (that way if Grace was face-up too, I could be more mobile and try different positions to see if she’d turn)
When my mom came into town the day before Grace’s due date, we made it our full-time job to get Grace to come. Whether she felt like it or not. I walked, jumped, danced, swayed, and walked some more. I drank herbal tea, scrubbed floors, took a warm bath, and had Doug massage acupressure points. And I was this close to taking castor oil. But even after all that, I didn’t feel so much as a weak sauce contraction.

Eventually we decided to go with my doctor’s offer to break my water and give me a small blast of Pitocin just to start things. I really felt passionate about going into labor on my own, but Doug gave me a blessing and we felt like it was the right thing to do. (It didn’t stop me from trying a few last ditch efforts to go into my labor the night before. But no dice.)

At long last, the big day came.

Zero o’clock: Doug and I report to the hospital. I have the ideas I liked for natural birth written on the back of a receipt (seriously).
7:10 am: After getting situated, my doctor breaks my water. I start the day at 3 cm. Doug and I walk the halls for the next hour. We do some fist pumps when I start feeling some mild contractions.
8:15 am: They start giving me the small dosage of Pitocin. I request some comedies on the TV to distract me. Fresh Prince really helped me through those early pains. So did standing next to the bed rocking back and forth like a crazy person.
9:00 am: My doctor checks me and I’m at 4 cm and 80% effaced. By this point we’re watching Psych, and I’m rocking AND moaning through the pain… double the crazy points. Doug is standing next to me comforting me, although I did have to give him a death glare during a tough contraction when I caught him watching the TV instead of tenderly caressing my face.
10:00 am: My Mom arrives and I can tell by her face I don’t look so hot. I’m in the fetal position on the bed. They turn off the Pitocin.
10:20 am: The contractions are mega uncomfortable and close together. The nurse checks me and I’m 7 or 8 cm. She brings up an epidural because originally I told her I might want it. I ask if she thinks it will be over soon, and the kind soul told me she couldn’t say. But really it could all be over soon. I decide to have her just start to prep some things in case I want it.
10:30 am: The contractions, to put it kindly, SUCK. The nurse checks me again and I’m still at a 7 or 8. I say, “I WANT AN EPIDURAL.”
10:45 am: The nurse checks me and I’m at a 9. We all realize there’s no point in getting the epidural now. My doctor had run back to his office when things looked slow, so now they were frantically calling him.
10:50 am: I want to push. And I’m begging anyone in the room to let me push. Still no doctor.
10:55 am: I’m fully dilated. My doctor comes huffing and puffing into the room, throws down his keys, and yanks on a gown. They let me start pushing within a few seconds. Hallelujah.
10:56 am: I realize pushing REALLY hurts. The doctor does some helping along, but now I’m begging them to let me NOT push.
11:00 am: The pushing hurts so badly that I stop pushing well. The doctor patiently reteaches me how to push. The doctor, Doug, my mom, and the three nurses are all cheering me on. Really, it sounded like a pep rally. "Come on Jackie! You can do it!" They reassure me that she’s facing down and everything looks great.
11:05 am: All the pushing pays off… Grace is born! They lay her on my chest and I immediately melt back into the bed. I'm in love with that baby girl and SO glad it's basically over.

The rest of the day is kind of a blur. I was just so shocked that it all happened in 4 hours. It felt fake for a while. It was so great to spend the rest of the day holding sweet Grace, introducing her to Addy, and eating Easter candy.

Looking back, I feel really happy with how everything went. I was able to have a successful VBAC at a hospital I love with a doctor we love and trust. Even now a week later, Doug and I can't stop saying how grateful we feel that everything went so well.

I loved that day.


KevandChels said...

super cute baby! super cute origami birds on your door! super glad grace's birth was so great!

heather said...

Hooray!! So happy for you all - she is perfect, and beautiful!

Jessie said...

Oh my gosh Jackie you are incredible! I'm so happy you got your VBAC! We need to come meet Grace very soon...

Alicia said...

What a great story (and I love the way you tell it). You are amazing!

Karisa and John said...

You are! What a woman! GREAT JOB!

And look at all that hair. (On Grace. And I guess on the rest of you guys too.) Grace is adorable! Snuggle her up and kiss those chubby cheeks as much as she allows!

Brittany said...

Grace is so precious and I'm so glad you got to have a VBAC (I'm kinda jealous, actually). I'm happy it all went well for you.

The Fox Family said...

I think you left out something about "cursing like a sailor" at a certain point! Just the rumor! ;) haha! I would PAY to hear that! Glad it all worked out for you. Your tough!

Mortensen Baby Farm said...

Cute little chubbers!

Emily said...

As a birth junkie, I LOVE this story. :) So happy to hear things went well for you. And your descriptions bring back so many vivid memories from my last birth. (Ouch!) :)

Rachel said...

Hooray for VBACS!!! Nice work! She is beautiful!

Furniss Family said...

That was fun to read. I am so glad that your V-back went so well and and that your precious little girl is here :) Such a blessing!

Lindy said...

She is ONNNNEEEE chunky monkey! I love her! Wish I was there to hold her and pet her head like Addy.

Michal Thompson said...

I am so glad you had a successful VBAC. It is hard work to get that VBAC! You did awesome and she is gorgeous. The "getting by" stage will end!

Joy and Ted said...

How did I never read this post before? Well, thanks for the blast to the past. I love your writing style, because it is how you talk. Love you guys!