Monday, October 12, 2015

Grace’s birth story.

In order to get the full story, I need to start a couple of weeks before Grace was actually born. I wrote this on 9/23/15, just eight days before she was born.
“At my last appointment with my midwife, I told her that I was feeling huge and that I “felt like I do when I’m overdue.” I’ve only gained 25 lbs. this pregnancy and I’m 35 weeks along. Anyway, she measured me at 43 cm! She said “no wonder you feel overdue! You’re measuring overdue!” up until this point I had measured right on my same week. I gained 10cm in 4 weeks! She, of course, scheduled an ultrasound to see what was going on.
I went in for my ultrasound on Monday and they found that, in fact, the baby is rather large their estimate is 8lbs 14oz (3630 g) at 35 weeks and 3 days. They also discovered an excess of amniotic fluid I think they said “25 cm. That is far above average. They were concerned about the fluid as they really only see that with gestational diabetes. Luckily, I had eaten just one hour before this, so they took my blood sugar to check and it was good at 119. I also passed the GTT (glucose tolerance test) with flying colors. So they don’t think it is GD.
Anyway, after talking with perinatologist and my midwife, they are both extremely concerned about this macrosomia (large baby) especially because the baby is in the 99th percentile at this point and could easily be well over the 4000 g. (10lbs) by the time delivery comes. Nobody thinks I should go over 39 weeks at this point. They are both recommending I schedule an elective cesarean. I’m not dismissing it outright, and I know the dangers of both delivering vaginally and C-section with a macrosomia baby. I’m feeling very much pushed into this and I have loved my last births so much! They’ve only lasted 4 hours or so and I’ve successfully hypnobirthed with no issues, no tearing, and the recoveries thus far have been so incredibly easy even with my 9lb babies! I don’t know, I usually fight for the birth I want. I know this time is a whole different ball game and I don’t want to fight because of my pride or to the detriment of my baby. BUT, I still fully believe that I can successfully deliver a large baby. I don’t want to choose to have major surgery because I’m afraid of what COULD happen.”
As you can see, I was feeling very overwhelmed and having a hard time deciding on how to proceed. Luckily for me, the Lord heard my prayers and mercifully took it out of the doctors and my hands.
On October 1st at 1:30 am, I got up to go to the restroom. After going to the bathroom, I got back into bed.  I started contracting (witch was nothing unusual at this point) it kind of felt odd and then all of a sudden a large gush of water came out! I jumped out of bed and said to Randy in surprise “My water just broke!” and the amniotic fluid just kept coming! I gushed all the way on the carpet to the bathroom and then continued to drain into the toilet for another minute or so. The sheer amount of fluid was unbelievable! Randy asked me “What does that mean?” and I smiled and said “It means we’re having a baby today!” Randy was up and putting all the bedding into the washing machine while I took a shower and let the fluid continue to drain. After I got out of the shower, Randy looked at me and said “Wow! You look a lot smaller!” I really did. I couldn’t believe the noticeable difference in the size of my belly. I decided I should eat something and get things ready to take to the hospital. I was having contractions at this point, but they were pretty mild. They were coming about ever four minutes or so. Since my previous labors have been so fast (4 hours or so), I decided we shouldn’t delay in going to the hospital. We called my mom and had her come over to watch the other kids and we headed to the hospital. We arrived at the hospital at 3:30 am. I was admitted because my water had broken, but I was only dilated at a 1 and I was not contracting very much at all. Randy and I walked around the hospital and the hospital grounds till about 5:30 and then came back to the labor and delivery room to have the baby monitored for a while. I still wasn’t contracting very often and was not having to concentrate or breathe through them anyway. We, unfortunately, continued this cycle of speed walking throughout the entire hospital every couple of hours and coming back to be monitored over and over again. At about 9:00 my midwife called me and said she was starting to be concerned about infection because my water had broken eight hours prior. She said she would like to let me labor for another hour or so and if my contractions didn’t change, or I didn’t dilate, she would like to discuss medications to intensify/speed up the labor process. We speed walked again. No change.
After discussing the medication options, I decided to take a medication called cytotec. They gave me this tiny pill to dissolve under my tongue. It was rather tasteless, but had a chalk like consistency. Supposedly, cytotec helps to soften the cervix as well as help your body contract. Since Pitocin doesn’t soften the cervix, but only helps with contracting, I decided the pill would be a better choice for me. About a half an hour after I took the cytotec, I noticed my contractions were much stronger and a lot longer! They were pretty intense and I had to actually concentrate through them. The contractions were still pretty far apart though. I walked around some more, this time outside in a loop around the fountain. The contractions were not close together. After three hours, we decided I should take another dose. I was concerned that the contractions would be more intense and that I wouldn’t be able to handle it, but my midwife assured me that they wouldn’t get more intense, just closer together. My nurse checked my dilation and told me that my body had indeed been doing something and I was dilated at a 3 or 4. Sheesh!
After the second dose of cytotec, there was a notable difference in the labor. It had me wondering what on earth I had thought I had been doing so far. This was the real labor I remember from the other births! The contractions were really intense still. I had to concentrate on my breathing and Randy had to apply counter pressure to my back through each surge.  I turned on my hypnobirthing CD and tried my hardest to relax and breathe through the contractions. I could not believe how long the contractions lasted. I swear, they seemed to be never ending. I don’t remember my other births having contractions quite like this. They were incredibly long and strong! I was feeling the intensity and asked that my nurse check me because I felt ready to get into the Jacuzzi. She checked me and said I was dilated at a 6 or 7 and was 90% effaced.
My midwife gave me the go ahead to get into the tub. It was a bit surreal. I have followed this pattern of laboring and getting into the tub for the last 3 births. But this one was very different. I had intense back labor, like the others, but the contractions were still so far apart! They were coming about every 6 or 7 minutes and were so unbelievably powerful and lengthy. My midwife Lindsay was there at this point and we would chat about this or that for a few minutes. Then, a contraction would come and I would really have to concentrate. She was very helpful telling me things like “Relax your shoulders” or “breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth.” Guiding me through the process. I also loved that during contractions, she would push on my knee, which applies pressure to my back against the tub. It was very helpful. Randy was also right there by my side and was quick to tell her when I needed to get out of the tub. I guess he can tell by the weird moaning sound that comes out of my mouth during transition. I had a contraction and the midwife said ok, let’s do one more. Randy was a little apprehensive that it would be one more too many! I had another one and knew the baby was just about to come.
I got out of the tub and my midwife had hot blankets ready to wrap around me. Randy walked me to the bed and Lindsay asked what position I would like to birth the baby. I typically lay on my left side, so I opted for that again. I lay with one leg up and felt the baby crowning. My midwife reminded me to go slow and deliberately. It was hard, but I did the best I could. It felt like it took forever for the baby to come out! I pushed and breathed the baby down. My body contracted, but then just stopped. I had to wait to push till I had another contraction. It was so weird. It burned, but I waited and then pushed “long and strong” like Lindsay suggested. I pushed three long and strong pushes and her head came out! Usually at this point, the baby just slides right out, but I heard Lindsay say something about “shoulders” and that I needed to push really hard. I did the best I could and she came all the way out! She said “shoulders” again and then “oh, nope, it’s out!” (She obviously wasn’t talking to me). They put the baby on my chest and Lindsay told Randy to announce the sex of the baby. I looked down at the baby and looked for boy parts. I didn’t see any! Randy got really emotional and said breathlessly in practically a whisper: “It’s a girl.” I said loudly “It’s a girl?” in surprise. I really thought it was a boy. I would have bet anything it was a boy! She was born at 6:02 (just 16 and 1/2 hours after my water broke!)
While I snuggled up to my new daughter, my midwife was pulling out the umbilical cord. She said “Heather! It is SO long! It just keeps on coming!” When the whole thing finally came out, she had Randy cut the cord and then said “this is the longest umbilical cord I have ever seen!!” She talked with the nurses about a world record and then everyone decided we should lay it on the table and measure to see how long it actually was. It was hilarious! I told Randy to take a picture of it and he thought that was the weirdest request. It turned out to be 44 inches long! It was crazy. The nurses were making jokes about the baby being a roping cowgirl who came out with her rope. Everyone was equally surprised that it hadn’t been around the baby’s neck or hadn’t been tied in a knot considering the sheer length of it.  By the way, the average umbilical cord is around 20 inches long. Anyway, it was kind of an interesting find.
My midwife was also impressed that I had no tearing, so no need for any stitches and she said I didn’t even have any bruising associated with the delivery! Now that makes for an awesome recovery! I am so grateful for that.
                Not too long after she was born, we asked my parents to bring the kids to the hospital. I was still in the delivery room when they all came in. I was nursing the baby and they all wanted to know one thing. Was it a BOY or a GIRL? When I told them it was a girl it was so fun to see the individual looks on everyone’s faces. Tyler just smiled and looked at the baby. Jacob was slightly disappointed, but was happy she was here. Lily was beaming and I mean beaming with excitement. Alyssa was happy it was a girl, but seemed a bit confused as to everything else going on. My dad smiled and watched the baby. My mom was just as shocked as I was that it wasn’t a boy! It was a really fun moment to announce the sex of the baby.
We were so glad that she came early. Looking back, I am amazed at the Lord’s tender mercies all along the way. This pregnancy was so incredibly difficult for me. But even so, I knew that Heavenly Father was by my side each step of the way. Whether it be through the bishop listening to the spirit and releasing me from my calling as the primary president, small and simple answers to prayers, help through those around me, advice from friends, priesthood blessings or her coming on her own so I wouldn’t have to make that difficult decision of how to bring her into the world. I am so thankful; not only that this pregnancy journey is over, but that I was able to draw closer to the Lord through the difficult trials along the way this past year. Grace Eileen Bremner is a blessing from God. He has told me as much. I couldn’t be happier, or more thankful for this blessing. Welcome to our family and welcome to the world Gracie!

Weight: 8lbs 7oz (nowhere near the over 9lbs they said she was a couple of weeks ago)
length:19 1/2 inches


Amanda Bremner said...

Wow, quite different than your other births. That is a crazy long umbilical cord. Welcome Gracie!

Heidi Skowhede said...

So where is the picture of the umbilical cord?