Gracie's Birth Story

This story has been nearly 6 months in the making, but I'm ready to share it. It's a story I love. Not that I don't love my other birth stories, but this one is especially special to me. :)

Tuesday Sweet Pea and I went to the park to play with friends while Honeygirl went to VBS at a local church.  At the park, a friend asked if I had "hit the wall" yet.  You know, when you are so ready to be done being pregnant.  I remember thinking, "what wall?"  I mean, I was getting there, but definitely wasn't quite there.  Then Wednesday morning came.  And I smacked right into that wall.  Hard.  I woke up to contractions.  Some made me stop what I was doing, others were just annoying, but no big deal.  But the most annoying part was that they never got closer than 10 minutes apart.  Was I heading into the hospital?  NO WAY!  I'm a labor & delivery nurse afterall.  Ten minutes apart?  That's pathetic.  So I carried on.  All. day. long.  By night, I was definitely wondering what was going on.  They were stronger and I had to stop what I was doing, but that has been happening consistently since lunch. Honey girl had even asked if I was okay (she can be so compassionate!). But when they spaced out to 30 minutes, I said forget it and went to bed.  I woke up here and there with a contraction, but was always able to go back to sleep.  And I slept solid from midnight until 2:40.  That's when I woke up with another contraction, and felt some strange leakage. No huge gush, but I could definitely tell my water had broken.  It was go time!

I woke up David, called my doula, then called my mom.  My mom made it to our house in less than 15 minutes.  By the time she arrived, we were packed, I had written her a note with info for the morning, and we were ready to go. While in the house, contractions were super intense and every 2-3 minutes from the time my water broke. Once we got in the car to head to the hospital, I got about an 8 minute break. Just long enough to make it to all the speed bumps. Jeepers! 

When we pulled up to the hospital, David dropped me off at the entrance and I dashed to the nurses station before giving in to another contraction. And this is where it pays to be a labor and delivery  nurse: my sweet coworkers took one look at me and knew it was the real thing.  When I said my water broke, they ushered me straight into a room and got down to business. Sweet Dani was standing at the desk and remembered I wanted a water birth, so she whipped into action getting everything set up for me. It was great! 

I didn't realize things were moving as fast as they were, but my coworkers could see it in my face. So with some quick work, the tub was set up, it was determined that I was already 9cm dilated, and my nurse Briana said I could get in the tub. Because I just couldn't seem to turn my nurse brain off, my first question was whether I could really get in even though my midwife wasn't there. They still let me get in and I am so glad they did. I never made it farther into the pool than the first step. I remember feeling like my body was opening and her arrival was impending while sitting on the edge of the bed right before splashing into the pool, but once I was in, I realized she was coming NOW. A quick thinking nurse grabbed one of the sweet doctors in the hall to stand by, and with the next contraction (only my second in the water) my 8 lb 4oz precious baby girl emerged, deliverer by myself. Wow. It was so amazingly empowering. I brought her up to my chest and proceeded to spend the next 10 minutes enjoying the warm tub. I figured that since I didn't get much time in there during labor, I would at least enjoy it afterwards! By then the midwife had arrived and was able to help with the afterbirth and whatnot. So Gracie made her entrance at 3:54am, on Thursday August 1st, less than 1.5 hours after labor actually kicked in. 

Every birth story is special, but I am so glad this particular story is mine. I feel like I got my dream birth, which I didn't even realize was my dream birth until part way through this pregnancy. My dear friends had heard me talk about water birth and really encouraged me to to pursue it if it was something I thought I wanted. That was exactly the push I needed. I'm so thankful for that. The more I looked into it, the more I realized it really was something I wanted to pursue. And in the end, although I hardly made it into the water, and no midwife was present, I would pick this same senario all over again to experience delivering my own child. 


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