Short Story: Grace Kelly Shaw arrived in our family on January 14th, 2011 at 4:36am. She was 4lbs 15oz and 18 inches long. Labor was very long (30 hours), but totally worth it. The only complications that this little preemie had was severe jaundice (not normal baby jaundice, but preemie jaundice) and bacterial pneumonia. We are very very blessed!!!
Here is the long version:
At 31 weeks pg, we were told that something was just not right with my growth and Gracie's. We were watched closely.
At 33 weeks pg, we discovered that my amniotic fluid had dropped to 4.5 cm, but baby was doing fine. We were admitted to the hospital for a few days and then sent home on bedrest.
At 34 weeks pg, the fluid had dropped even more to 3.4cm, barely. Again, admitted to the hospital...this time to stay until delivery. Delivery was estimated at 36-37 weeks.
Here is where it all started. lol. Admitted at 2 in the afternoon on Wed, the 12th of Jan. I was having some minor contractions and was 1cm dilated. Was told that I was not allowed out of bed for anything other than going to the restroom. And needed to take in as close to 4,000 calories a day as I could!!!!! SERIOUSLY! My weight had dropped, and they were concerned that baby Grace was suffering from a lack of food. AKA slowly starving. (Horrible to be told that your disease is causing your baby to starve.)
By 7:00pm, Brian and I were all resting easily with our laptops and tv going. We were preparing our minds to 2 weeks of hospital bed rest. THEN...whamo. Our nurse came in and told us that the dr had discussed with a specialist and decided that the risk of keeping Gracie in...was greater than her risks out. And, we would be inducing in just a mere 3 hours!!!! Honestly, the Lord had already prepared my heart for whatever was going to come. I was not attached to any dreams of how labor would happen...I just wanted my daughter to be born alive.
At 10:00pm on Wed evening...the induction began. I actually asked for an Ambien so that I could sleep some. Moderate cramping in my back set in, contractions 5 min apart or so, and an ache in my hips that would not go away. Livable by all means. Starting to think that maybe this would go quickly and that by the afternoon, I would have my baby!
At 12:00 on Thursday afternoon, the contractions were every 3 min apart. They were strong...but not strong enough. I was at the maximum level of Pitocin. And, I had only dilated to 2.5 cm. By this time, my contractions were still very manageable, but the pain in my hips was causing me a lot of problems. Also, I was sick to my stomach and was needing to go to the bathroom every 20 min. I am not joking. Finally, they put a catheter in at 1, b/c I was just really struggling with the bathroom issue. We played Phase 10 for awhile...I had to finally call it quits though.
At 2:00 pm on Thursday, the nurse could tell I was starting to enter the stage of not coping with the pain as much. I still felt that the contractions were not horrible and confident that I could continue, but the catheter and hip issues were sending me over the edge. I was now dilated to 3cm...and they wanted me to consider the epidural b/c my body needed to relax. I took it, even though I felt I could have gone on more. It paralyzed one side of me and didnt effect the other side at all. Interesting.
At 5:00pm on Thursday, they broke my water. Contractions were every 2-3 min apart and getting stronger. We thought, this is it! Wrong. lol
At 10:00pm on Thursday, I had been in labor for almost 24 hours. I was quite discouraged. Still 3 cm, still no change. Still sick. Still half paralyzed. And struggling a little mentally from a lack of sleep. The dr came in and asked if I would consider a pressure point massage b/c she felt it would help push things a little faster. Baby was doing fine...so I agreed. Massage Therapist was a weird one, and we all got a kick out of her later on. Also around that time, my Dr gave me the option of a C-Section b/c she knew that I was just not ready. After all, they were trying to make a baby come...and it was just too early for her! I declined and told her that if by 10 the following morning, I was still pg, then we could discuss it.
At 2:00am on Friday, I awoke to crazy insane pain. And drenched in sweat. Epidural was no longer working. And would not work again, except for a tad bit of relief here and there. The pain was basically there to stay. BUT, my body had finally kicked in and things were moving. From there on, things went fast. From 3cm to 10cm in less than 2 hours.
At 4:00am, I told them that I felt that it was time to go. Sure enough, it was. With now no pain meds in me... I started pushing. After 12 great pushes, Grace Kelly Shaw entered into our world at 4:36 am. Alive. She did not cry at first, but looked great. Preemie everything. She weighed in at 4lbs 15oz and 18 inches long. 8 out of 10 for her apgar score!!! The ped specialist just looked over at Brian and shook his head. She was a miracle. They were floored that she was so perfect. Our nurse even cried over the fact that the Lord had done such a mighty work in this little ones life.
From that point, we have had several setbacks...Including a week on the bili blanket and a NICU stay for Pneumonia. BUT, the Lord is a good and gracious and merciful Lord, and Gracie is evidence of it. Even if things aren't always exactly perfect in my eyes.