Gracie Belle's Birth Story

This post is long LONG overdue. I had planned to hand-write her birth story in her baby book while I was still in the hospital. However, I did not feel the least bit able to do much of anything while at the hospital (more about that on down). So, here it goes...
Monday night, June 13th, we were at the greenway doing our best to walk Miss Gracie out. I had been checked at my midwife's office and was 0 % dilated and effaced. No contraction. No signs of ANYTHING. NOTHING. My midwife was concerned because according to the ultrasounds she was weighing in at almost 8 pounds. She did not think I would be able to deliver a baby of that size vaginally. This was the dilemma. Wait until she comes on her own, and possibly have a C-section because she is too big, or go in for an induction, and still possibly have to have a C-section if things don't start happening and I do not progress. After walking and getting frozen yogurt we went home. Nothing happened.
While at the doctor's office the next day, Tuesday. I was still at ZERO! We made the decision to go in for an induction thinking she would schedule it for a few days to a week away. She came back to the room and said the only opening was TONIGHT! I just about had a heart attack when she told us that. I was so not prepared to have this baby. Actually I was absolutely terrified. Steven of course was calm as a cucumber as usual...(thank goodness for that). We went home, got to packing, (yes, you are correct, I was STILL not packed), and headed back to town to get supper before checking into the hospital. We took one last "bump" picture together in the mirror.
We pigged out at Olive Garden before going to the hospital. Looking back now that probably was not the best choice lol!
This picture was actually in the middle of a contraction. Our "hospital selfie"!
My feet were seriously SO BIG!
Tuesday night after we got checked in I was given cytotec, and then we attempted to sleep (Yeah Right!). The next morning on Wednesday they started the pitocin. I had contractions all day and was checked that evening. Guess what? NO DILATION!! They took me off of the pitocin just long enough to shower and eat some supper. I received cytotec again that night, and we tried to sleep. The next morning the pitocin was started again. More dilation. My midwife checked me and decided that I had an inner AND outer cartilage ring that was most likely preventing me from dilating. The plan was then made for her to massage the outer ring to see if she could soften it in hopes of starting dilation. She said I HAD to have an epidural for this because it would be extremely painful and I would have to be very still. I really was so determined not to have any type of epidural or pain medication, so this news really bummed me out. However, if I did not dilate before 6:30pm Thursday night, we were going to have to have a c-section. I did not want a c-section at all. So, I chose epidural in hopes of a vaginal deliver versus c-section and having to get the epidural anyways. I was so scared of the epidural, but honestly it was not bad at all! After I was back in the bed with the epidural in we had our family in the room talking and hanging out. I thought I felt some wetness and what do you know my water broke! The midwife was called and they checked me and I was 2 cm dilated and she could not feel any cartilage rings at all. My God is seriously amazing. This was an answer to many many prayers. My midwife had told me that since I had an inner and outer cartilage ring that most likely I would not dilate and it would be a miracle if they went away. Well guess what? We got our miracle! She continued to check me the next few hours and I was dilating fast! We called our birth photographer and our family to tell them that baby was on the way!
We all just hung out and very impatiently awaited Gracie's arrival!
My little brother (not so little really..) made Gracie a build-a-bear! He brought it to the hospital. I just think it is the sweetest!
I started to feel really nauseas, and ended up taking some zofran. I think it helped a little.
TIME TO PUSH! (Look at that smile!!)^^^^^^
I did not have to push long at all, and actually pushing was the easiest part out of the whole process!
My crazy and wonderful midwife and nurse!
And...SHE IS HERE!!!!
They immediately let me do skin to skin. That was something I really wanted to do. I also wanted to start breastfeeding within an hour...well that didn't exactly go like I had planned. After about two minutes I started feeling really bad and felt like I was going to pass out. Come to find out I was actually hemorrhaging. 
7 pounds
19 1/2 inches long
Apparently it was a much bigger deal and a lot worse then what I realized or remembered. I really should have my husband write this part because I only remember bits and pieces. I felt like I was seriously dying. I threw up. They gave me cold wash cloths to put all over me. I remember someone asking me if my leg was numb and then they gave me a shot in the leg. I am not sure exactly what the nurses were doing, but it was EXTREMELY PAINFUL (and I still had an epidural). My midwife was holding pressure inside of me to stop the bleeding, and the nurse was basically up in the bed with me massaging my uterus. Steven got some major one on one time with the baby during this time because honestly while all this was going on I did not care where she was or what she was doing. I felt THAT BAD.
Steven kept talking to me and showing Gracie to me, and eventually I started to feel better. My midwife said it was a good thing I had been taking the iron pills or else I most likely would have had to have a blood transfusion. After a while I found my blood pressure cuff on my leg! I had no idea they had moved it. Steven said my diastolic dropped down to 30.
I could hear everyone outside wondering what was going on. They had already heard the baby cry, so I am sure they were worried. AnnaLea, my niece was knocking on the door. The doctor and nurses got kind of upset until we told them it was our 3 year old niece hollering for baby Gracie lol!
Gracie got a little photo session with daddy while I recovered.
AnnaLea had to give her sweet!
Daddy gave the first bath and changed the first diaper. At the same time!

I think she likes her.

This was her coming home outfit. It was way too big! Next time I think I will go with something comfy for him/her instead.
We got to come home Saturday night. Daddy had to change a poopy diaper as soon as we got there. He is alright I guess :)
Breastfeeding...hmm...hardest thing I have ever done in my entire life. I did not have much help at the hospital, and it was just problem after problem from there. I am so glad we made it 2 1/2 months. I wish we could have made it longer, but I know that I did my best, and that my sanity and being able to enjoy my baby is more important. I will have a post up soon about my breastfeeding experience.
That Monday we went and visited my great grandmother and Gracie's great great grandmother. She had been very sick, and this was the last day she was able to sit up on the couch and really have a conversation. I think she was waiting for Gracie to get here safe and sound. My grandmother passed later that week. I am so very grateful we got to get all FIVE generations together. I loved my grandmother very much and I miss her everyday. We will tell Gracie all about her someday, and we will see her again someday as well.
Thank you Samantha Coleman for the birth photography!

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