Gracyn's Birth Story

Even though I'm {almost} 14 months late on this one, I wanted to make sure I typed up Gracyn's birth story on the ol' blog for future reference. I wrote a little bit of it down in the off-line journal I'm keeping for her but figured I could take a jog down memory lane once more before any more time passes and I end up forgetting everything. I'll spare you the gory details (because there aren't any, really) and try to keep it short (yeah right...).

I should start by saying that I had a very easy pregnancy. I know, I know - hate me now - but I want to remember that part because I am certain that any future pregnancy will come at me full-force. A girl can only be so lucky and I'm pretty sure I used up every ounce of luck I had when I got pregnant with G. I was mentally prepared for nausea and extreme fatigue and more nausea but I had none of that. The only reason I took a pregnancy test was because we were going out to dinner with friends and alcoholic beverages were going to be consumed and I thought I should be responsible and take a test just in case. It came back positive in, like, 2 seconds and I spent the next 37 minutes trying to comprehend how that was even possible because I felt so "normal".

Fast forward to my due date. I never felt any Braxton Hicks contractions and at my 40 week appointment I was "maybe" 1 cm dilated. Baby girl was goin' nowhere fast. That was a Friday (the 18th) and I was scheduled to be induced the following Tuesday evening. I spent the next few days waddling around the house, baking cookies, cleaning and not going into labor.
whoa, mama
We had to be at the hospital by 8pm Tuesday (the 22nd) and I knew I wouldn't be able to eat after that so beforehand, Justin and I went out to dinner and stuffed our faces with glorious sushi rolls and edamame. We checked into the hospital and got situated in our room. I was given some medicine that would work overnight with plans to start pitocin in the morning.
40 weeks, 4 days
My pitocin drip was started around 7:30 the next morning (23rd) and we waited for contractions to start. And waited. And waited. I'm not sure what I expected. Maybe I irrationally thought contractions were supposed to start immediately (I have no idea, I've never done this before!) but they didn't. In fact, I wasn't really feeling any different than before. The doctor broke my water around 8:30 am and we waited some more. I think I noticed my first contraction around 10 or 11 that morning but they were really irregular. Some would be only seconds long, others seemed to go on for a minute or two and they were coming at weird intervals.

By 1pm they were stronger but still irregular. I was checked for the first time around 1:30 (I think) and I was only at 1 cm. Hold up. I was 1cm 5 days ago. No progress. Sweet.

I'm all about pain meds so I was given some medication so I could try and take a nap. I rested awhile and was still feeling pretty good about myself. Contractions intensified and at 3pm I was dilated to 2 cm. At this rate, baby would be born in approximately 137 hours. Only a 2!? Ok, then...

The lovely nurse offered up the epidural and I happily obliged. I sat up for the anesthesiologist, swung my legs over the side of the bed, hunched my back and proceeded to pee my pants. Not literally but I felt this huge gush of water...

"Um...I think I'm peeing? But I can't stop... What's going on? So sorry, but it's getting on your shoes..."

Apparently I had a "second" bag of water break when I sat up. The nurse saw this as a good sign - now that it was out of the way, baby girl would have plenty of room and could come on out. It won't be long now! I hit the button on my epidural drip a few times, waited for it to kick in, sat back and relaxed while an internal monitor kept track of the timing and intensity of the contractions.

The next few hours looked like this:

4pm - 3cm
5pm - 3cm
6pm - maybe 4cm
7pm - 4cm
8pm - 4cm

The doctor came in around 8:30 pm to check on me. According to the monitor, my contractions were strong and regular which theoretically should mean that labor was progressing. I was stuck at 4 and it didn't seem like I was going to get further than that.

The doctor gave us two options:

  1. Wait it out to see if baby girl would come on her own. We'd have several more hours of labor, at least, with an even longer night ahead of us that might end with in a c-section - OR -
  2. Move ahead with the c-section now and still have a long night ahead of us but with an adorable newborn to cuddle and love(!)
My doctor would support us either way so Justin and I talked about it for a few minutes to weigh our options. We'd been at the hospital for 24 hours already and I wasn't even half way there yet. I know the 2nd half of labor sometimes goes faster than the first but my body seemed to just stop at 4cm. Even though I hadn't had a hard labor or anything like that, I was tired and ready for the next part. We decided to move forward with the c-section right away.

Instant. Tears. As soon as I told the doctor our decision, I started crying an ugly cry that you never want anyone to see you cry. I wasn't sad that I had to have a c-section - honestly, I went into this whole childbirth thing with zero expectations. I didn't have a birth plan typed out or anything like that - obviously both my doctor and I wanted the safest delivery for me and the baby and that meant doing whatever had to be done in order to keep us both healthy. If a c-section had to happen, I wasn't going to fight it. I was so nervous about having surgery - hence the tears. I'd never been in the hospital before now, let alone have surgery. Combine that with raging hormones and what do you get? The ugly cry.

We called our parents to let them know what was going on and by 8:45 pm - 15 minutes after we decided on the c-section - I was being rolled back into the operating room. It's about to get real, folks!
Justin was with me the whole time, looking fine in his scrubs. He was armed with the camera and I told him that, no matter what, as soon as the baby was born to stay with her the whole time. Assuming she was 100% healthy, I knew she'd be in the room with us the entire time but I was crazily demanding that Justin not leave her side. Who cares about me - stay with the baby!

Justin was a little nervous too. He didn't want to "see anything" - meaning my insides - so he was instructed to stay behind the curtain. Once the baby was born, he could move to the front of the room while they cleaned her up. Surgery was ready to start and by this time I was shaking pretty badly due to the epidural. My doctor did some test "pokes" to see if I was numb. I swore to them that I could feel it and to please wait a few more minutes but she was already cutting. So..ok, we're having a baby!

At 9:37 pm on January 23, 2013, our precious Gracyn Alyssa was born weighing in at almost 8 pounds and 19.5 inches long.

Even with the c-section, the doctor still had to use the vacuum thingy to get her out. Apparently she was very comfy in the ol' womb and was trying her best to stay put. 

Justin went over to Gracyn as soon as she came out and would then run back to my bed to make sure I was OK and to tell me what she looked like. I kept shooing him away to go take more pictures so he didn't miss anything. He later admitted that while going back and forth, he caught a glimpse of my innards and almost freaked a little bit but he did so great throughout the whole thing.

She was finally here! We had to force her out but she was here! The next few days in the hospital were spent recovering and loving on our girl.

I will wrap this up, seeing as how I've written a novel. Gracyn's birth story is a rather uneventful one (thank goodness!) and I'm glad I finally took the time to write type it all down. The last 14 months have been a whirlwind but we are the luckiest people in the world to have this little lady for a daughter.


  1. I love this story and your attitude about birth - I get so annoyed with crazies who think they can plan everything. The baby will do what it wants to! I also love remembering how awesome it was to see the text message and see her for the first time - and all that hair!! <3

  2. One of the longest hours of my life waiting to hear of G.'s safe arrival. Didn't she grab your doctor's finger? Doesn't matter ... she grabbed mine and will forever have a hold on my heart, just like her mama did 20+ years earlier. Love your story!

  3. Amazing. Beautiful just like you and gracyn (and Justin) can't wait to finally meet her!