After 41 long weeks of pregnancy, my baby girl has finally arrived into this world! I’ve blogged about my entire pregnancy; from finding out I’m preggers to wondering if my baby was ever going to be born being that she was a week late! So folks, I’m super excited for you to finally meet my Stage 5 Clinger – little Ms. Life Changer – Annabelle Grace! She was born on Monday, July 25th at 8:56am, weighing in at 7 lbs and 5 oz and is 19.5” long. She’s a total baby doll. Precious as can be – sweet as pie – and cute as the cutest button! There’s so much to say right now that I almost don’t know where to begin! But since this is her birth story, we’ll back up a week ago to Sunday the 24th, when I went into the hospital for my scheduled induction.
Even though I had a scheduled induction, I was still holding out hope that I’d go into labor naturally up until the last hour before leaving for the hospital. I just wanted to experience labor pains and my water breaking and nervously going to the hospital, excited for what’s about to happen. I wanted the element of surprise, which I wasn’t getting with an induction. But it is what it is – my Stage 5 Clinger wasn’t budging. Jeff and I arrived at 8pm and within an hour or so, I had a Foley Balloon inserted which is supposed to help the cervix mechanically open, preparing me for a pitocin injection at 5am on Monday morning, which would force contractions to start. Despite the fact that I was 41 weeks pregnant, I was still only 1 centimeter dilated and about 70% effaced. The nurse said she expected me to deliver my baby sometime Monday evening.
Not going to lie, the insertion of the balloon hurt like hell. As soon as the doctor left, I cried. I was thinking; OH GOD, if I’m crying over this, how the hell am I going to handle labor? It’s going to be a long night! I felt like a wimp. The nurse told me I’d experience some mild cramping from the balloon, but I noticed not too long after the balloon was inserted that I started feeling contractions and they’d last maybe 45 seconds and come and go every 3-4 minutes. I asked my nurse if it was possible for Mother Nature to step in at the same time I’m here to be induced and I could go into labor before the pitocin shot. She said it was unlikely since this was my first baby. But I was sure I was having contractions because it was more than “mild cramping”. As the pain increased, I asked what kinds of pain meds were available. I felt like the nurse was thinking I was a total pussy because in her mind I wasn’t even having contractions and I was already asking about narcotics and epidurals! So she gave me some pain drug that made me feel totally high as a kite and it did numb me…for a bit. But then my contractions got stronger and they felt really trippy being on this pain drug. The pain got worse and I was telling my judgey nurse to get me an epidural stat! I didn’t care if I hadn’t even had my pitocin shot, I was suffering! It’s all a bit of a haze, but about 1 or 2am, the anesthesiologist came in to save my day. I was a little nervous about the epi shot because of all the hoopla surrounding it and how big that needle is that people always talk about. But hell, I never even saw the needle because dude was behind me! And with my level of pain, it literally felt like a freaking bee sting! It was a joke! Ladies – don’t’ fear the epidural shot. It’s nothing! Within about 20 minutes or so, the lower half of my body was numb. Relief!
Then, I slept. And slept…
The nurse would come in periodically through the night/early morning to check me, and by about 4am she informed me that I was now 5 ½ centimeters dilated and will not need a pitocin shot anymore! Ha! So I was right – Mother Nature stepped in before the pitocin injection had a chance to come near me – awesome! Then, I went back to sleep. By about 7:30am on Monday my new, nicer nurse (shift change) came in and told me that I was now 10 centimeters dilated and will be pushing as soon as the doctor gets there. I’m all; WTF? So aside from those 1-2 hours of horrid contractions pre-epidural, I slept through my entire labor? How. Freaking. Awesome. Around 8:15am my nurse said we should do some practice pushes, so we got into position — by the way, this moment is so surreal to me because it’s what I’ve seen in movies and on TV my entire life, but I could never actually picture myself in this position — and I pushed. The nurses were impressed, telling me I was a great pusher and they could already see the head!!! But we needed to wait a little longer for the doctor. I was like; do we really need a doctor anyway? By 8:30 the doctor arrives and I have 4 sets of pushes (which have 3 rapid pushes in a row per set) and my baby is born – 25 minutes later! *Tears*
It was a bit scary for a couple minutes because she wasn’t crying. Suddenly, it went from a room of 4 people to about 15 people, either working on the baby or working on me. They told me the baby was just stunned because when she came out the chord was wrapped around her neck twice. This has always been my fear. But soon she was crying and they were placing her on my chest. I did that ugly cry thing where I close my eyes and try not to cry but I fail miserably and just look pitiful as I sit there shaking in silence! But obviously they were tears of pure joy to finally hold my baby – that little thing that had been kicking and hiccupping and rolling around inside me for all those months! I couldn’t believe I was finally meeting her. And she had my nose…and my lips! When you’re able to see a reflection of yourself in your baby so fast like that, it’s………………….it’s hard to explain the miracle of it all…
My next blog will be a part 2 of this birth story to discuss what nobody ever seems to talk about – the after birth. And breastfeeding…oh the breastfeeding….. (ouch!) Ya, nobody ever talks about the “ouch” part either!
What’s in a name?
The name Annabelle Grace has a special meaning for me. Back in 2006, my Granny passed away and I was absolutely devastated. She was the classic grandmother that cooked the best Southern food and doted on me just as a grandmother should. I was HER stage 5 clinger when I was a kid! 🙂 When she passed, I told Jeff immediately that I wanted to name my future daughter after her. And her name was Anna Grace. But when I moved to California 4 years ago my boss at the time was named Anna, and suddenly the name reminded me of work! So for a while I kind of lost interest in the name. When I found out I was pregnant I was reading a list of top baby names and I really loved the name Isabella, but it was the #2 baby name in 2010. I just didn’t want her to have the same name as 5 other girls in every classroom she’s in growing up. I moved all the way down the list and my eyes landed on name #73, Annabelle. There it is, I thought. This is the perfect combo of my two favorite names. I could pay homage to my Granny but the baby will still have her own name. I added Grace as the middle name and ta-dah, Annabelle Grace it is. And I love it so much.
Thanks for reading!