Windows in My life

Monday, December 19, 2011

Grace's Birth Story

A little background: I am a mother of a two and a half year old named Arabella, after an induced labor and 23 hrs to get me to a stage of pushing and 4 hrs trying to push her out. I ended up having an Emergency C-Section to have her on June 12, 2009. Then seven days later I was hospitalized for fluid in my lungs and a heart beat rate of 27 bpm (low I know).

With this pregnancy it was planed and thought of. We had just moved into a new house and just started to put Bella in her own room. In April of 2011 got a few positive pregnancy tests back and confirmed it with the MD's office. Estimated Due Date December 9, 2011. During the pregnancy I made it clear to myself and to my MD that I wanted a V-BAC (vaginal birth after Cesarian) or as the medical world calls it "Trial of Labor".

I also was not kidding myself as I knew if I went 41+ weeks again waiting for my body to spontaneously kick in I would be miserable, closer to Christmas and maybe ending up in the hospital for fluid in my lungs again. So I made my MD schedule a repeat C-Section for my due date, hoping that I go into labor before that happened.

36, 37, 38 weeks past and still no signs of labor. Braxton Hicks (false contractions) kept me up at night. At my 39th week appointment I knew if I didn't go into labor soon, I would go under the knife. I made peace with that. And so the date that would be the Estimated Due Date became the Birthday of the newest addition to our family.

On December 9, 2011 at about 7:45 am I get a call from Labor and Delivery saying that I was to come in at 6 am that morning to be prepped and delivered by 9 am. I told them that my MD stated that I needed to show up at 11 am and no one called or sent me an email with other instructions. (the nurse at that point was huffy). She asked me if I could get there ASAP and I said I would try as my husband was dropping off our daughter at daycare. She asked if I had any food. I said no as I know not to eat or drink before any major surgery.

I contacted my SIL as she was going to be in the OR with me. Last time my husband opted out because he is not so good with blood especially loved ones in pain. I told her the update and then called my husband to tell him what was going on. It took another 20 minutes before we started driving to Kaiser San Francisco. I drove as it would be the last time in a while that I could be behind the wheel of any vehicle.

Finally made it at 9 am in the parking lot and started the walk up to the main hospital. I really wanted to go to Grace Cathedral to light a candle before the operation but made a note to do it after as thanks for a happy and healthy baby and delivery.

When i got to the 3rd floor, I rang the nurses station and told them i was the 9am surgery. The nurse asked another nurse "Are we expecting her?" and I was placed in the waiting room for 10 minutes. Then placed in room 6 for the show to start. After hooking up the IV's and cross checking every i and t; I was walking to the OR saying a small prayer for a smooth delivery and for me not to pass out.

View from the hospital room

After getting the spinal and listening to Christmas music on the radio that was over head; my SIL walked in and the surgery started. The pressure was horrid. I felt that they were trying to collapse a lung and for a few minutes I felt that I could not breath and was gasping for air. Also holding on to my SIL's hand for dear life. I think I was given something stronger for the C-section of my other daughter because I do not remember the pressure being that bad. I just remember shivering because I was cold and frightened. I couldn't tell how many minutes had passed or what was playing on the radio when the surgeon said do you want to see the gender? Of course I said yes, and as I looked up from the blue drape she stated its a GIRL! Waving the lower half of the baby over the drape.

And to be honest my heart sank a tad. I wanted a boy as this little one would be the last baby out of me. My husband and I right now can only afford two extra mouths to feed right now. I am thinking adoption in a few years. At least with adoption we can choose the gender. And I want a boy!
"I want to be put back in"

I with held the name from the nurses and my SIL because I felt my husband should know as well what name I had chosen for her. My SIL got to take pictures of her in the first moments of life unlike my first when I was alone. I also got to spend more time with her as SIL got to hold her for my inspection longer than I got to see Bella.
Meeting Grace for the first time

SIL and I after birth. (She's smiling under the mask)

After they patched me up I was crying of happiness and relief the surgery was over. I was glad and thankful that my SIL was able to be there and to cut the remainder of the cord that was not needed. I was glad that my husband got to hold her skin to skin in the recovery room and I was finally able to say her name. Grace Ellen.

Grace Ellen 10 fingers 10 toes
Grace is a family name from my step dad's side. Aunt Grace lived till she was 97 years old and also after Grace Cathedral is where me and my husband got married (one of the oldest churches in San Francisco; besides Mission Delores which is the oldest church in San Francisco). Later I found out that my husband's side had a Grace too. Ellen is after my mother, that was her middle name. She passed away in 2007 due to natural causes. I didn't have a great relationship with her, but from early on I thought it would work with Grace. Another choice was naming her was Grace Kelly; after the actress turned princess. However it was decided in my head that Grace Ellen would be a better choice since it was in my head the longest.

- Posted using My own words... Well some of them