Friday, July 29, 2011

Birth Story: Grant Thomas Howard

"For you created my inmost being, you knit me together in my mother's womb.
I praise you for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.  
My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.  Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be." - Psalms 139:13-16

You know how they say each labor/birthing experience is different...well, "they" were right in my case.  

Let's summarize:
Griffin - Went into labor 4 days early, labored for a good 20 hours or so, 12 while at the hospital, had him naturally, no epidural, no pain medicine, 8.15 lbs/21 1/2 inches long - most awesome experience of my life!

Grant- 3 days overdue, administered prostaglandin gel to jump-start labor, emergency c-section, 8.9 Ibs, 21 inches long - most painful thing I have ever been through!  

The first eight months of this pregnancy flew by.  I was beginning to think I was superwoman!  I had a ton of energy, felt great, was getting all kinds of things done, kept working right up till time for Grant to arrive.
The last month however, crept by....I started to contract regularly and walked around 3-4 centimeters dilated forever -- but the contractions always stopped, and I never went into full-blown labor.  I was starting think this little guy would never get here!

Met with my doctor (who was also the doctor who delivered Griffin)  She knew my situation, and how I couldn't have an epidural, and I how I wanted to go naturally and not be induced - but she scheduled me to come in three days after my due date, because she didn't want the baby to get any bigger, and she wanted to administer prostaglandin gel, which is a hormone your body already produces during labor to ripen the cervix, she said since I was already 4 centimeters dilated and contracting all the time, then this should just make my contractions more consistent, therefore jump-starting labor, and that she could administer it every four hours, and we would just be patient and take however much time we needed.  So here's how it went down:     

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Here I am just arriving at the hospital, it is 6 a.m.
Grant sure is comfy in my belly!

Checked in.
Changed into ugly hospital gown.
Got an IV.
I was 5 centimeters and 70 percent effaced.
I was contracting often, but nothing consistent in timing.
Around 8/8:15 - Administered prostaglandin gel
Started contracting every three minutes.
Grant's heart rate dropped VERY low after each contraction.
Turned me on my right side - heart rate still dropped.
Turned me on my left side - heart rate still dropped.
Gave me oxygen - heart rate still dropped.

At this point my doctor, who I love and trust, came in to tell me what I already was bracing myself for.  She informed me that Grant was not tolerating labor, and that there was no way we could wait for me to dilate another 5 centimeters in order to have him naturally, and that I would need a c-section.  And with that, they rushed me off right then, put me to sleep, and 20 minutes later, Grant Thomas Howard made his arrival into this crazy world!

All 8 pound and 9 ounces of him!  Don't know how I make such big babies :)  

In the meantime, I woke up from the anesthesia and held my new sweet baby boy.  I thought he was beautiful, of course.  

Now, if you are like me, and when you would hear people talk about c-sections, you think, "Wow, that sounds much easier than having to labor and give birth naturally."  Now, that I have done been on both ends of the spectrum, I feel well qualified to say what I'm about to say, and I'm here to tell you...people who come in asking for c-sections because they think it's easier, are CRAZY!

Giving birth to Griffin, was truly the most amazing experience of my entire life, and after I had him, I felt great, and could get up and walk, and recovery was quick.   Having Grant by c-section was the most painful thing I have ever experienced, I felt like someone ripped my insides open and threw them back in place --- oh, wait....they did!  I also felt like I was hit by a train, every single muscle in body hurt.  I honestly felt like I would never stand up or walk again.  The whole first day I was hooked up to three different things and couldn't leave the bed.  I stayed in the hospital four days, compared to two with Griffin...and almost every night I reached the point of tears because I was so miserable.

Having said that, I am not trying to scare all you moms-to-be...everyday it did get much better, and I am finally feeling like my normal self :)  It's amazing what a week and-a-half to two weeks of recovery time can do for you.  I understand that emergencies happen, and c-sections are necessary, just like in my case.  I'm just here to say, if you have a choice, please trust me, God made your body to have children, and you can do it!!!  A c-section is NOT the easy way out, it is MAJOR surgery!!  Whew, okay, glad I got that off my chest.

Let me just tell you, all the was worth it, because I am in love, all over again, with another beautiful baby boy.    

He is an absolute angel.  He is so content and happy.  He is my cuddle bug.
He warms my heart.  
And so do the smiles on the faces of the people in these pictures:
Aunt Jerica and her new nephew.

Mimi admiring her new grandbaby.  She is in love too :)
Aunt Jaylin and her new nephew.
Great Aunt Sheila. 

  Great Aunt Sandra.
Gran and her second Great Grandbaby.  She is proud!

Gammy and Papaw with their new grandson!
The proud daddy.
He looks just like his daddy.  That's okay with me! 

 This was my ONLY popcicle from all four days....hard to believe, I know!  Considering I ate about 30 when I was in labor with Griffin :)
Jerica on Day #2
Griffin meeting his baby brother for the first time...
Our family. 

When I think back on the last two weeks, and everything that has happened, I look at my family, and I am amazed at what God allows us to do.  Yes, it was painful, but that has already faded away...God allowed me to create life.  

God used little old me to make his heart beat.
God used me to give him breath.
God used me to give him LIFE.

He will continue to use me and Clark to shape and mold him into the person that God wants him to be.  To grow into a person full of love, that will make the world a better place.  

What a responsibility.  What a privilege.  

When I look at both of my children, I am overwhelmed with God's love for me.  

And I praise and thank Him for allowing me to experience this kind of love...
a love that is only a fraction compared to the love he must feel for us.  Hard to imagine.

I also want to thank my Mom, who stayed with me the first week I was home, and took care of me, kept Grant at night so me and Clark could sleep, changed diapers, fed bottles, helped me keep up with housework, and just was there for me, I would have never survived without you, Mom.  What you did for me that week was something I will never forget.  I love you. 

Also to everyone else who visited, brought meals and left gifts and sent messages, you have no idea what each of those things meant to me!  Your support and love lifted my spirits right when I needed it.  Thanks a million times over. 

Here is our precious cargo on the way home :)

This is what we came home to:

Gift and flowers from the best Mother-in-law ever!
The most beautiful flowers from my sweet, sweet friend, Paige.

Welcome home Grant!

Hello there!

 I have to go for now....I've got two sweet boys to love on :)  

Love and Hugs,