Finally I finished it. Here it is….
My Birth Story.
For those of you who have followed our journey through the last few months, you can imagine the anticipation that came the morning I woke up at 5am with Labor Pains. The night before it all started, I did something I rarely ever do, I grabbed mason out of his bed and took him in to snuggle with me. I had no clue I was going to go into Labor the next day. The whole night he held onto me until the early morning hours where pain began to hit me hard. I layed there and tried not to move taking in the labor cramps that came at the regular 5-6 minute interval and looked at mason for a good hour, it was alone time I will cherish. For Good luck, I headed to my mom’s house to make me her famous Egg Sandwich before getting ready for the hospital (she made me the same thing the day I was induced with Mason) I thought that with this ritual under my belt, there was no way they would send us home from the hospital. I was right.
We headed to the hospital around 10am, passing through the toll booth after the Tappan Zee bridge, I was gripping the seat and covering my face not to show the toll booth attendant my uncomfortable pain I was experiencing. It was amusing to Paul, that with each contraction that I cringed, he smiled… we were one contraction closer to meeting Grady. I was getting more and more anxious and scared. We waited to make a formal announcement to friends and family until we were admitted! ( I will tell you now, that I have two birth stories: that of my overall experience of meeting grady, and then what I like to call ” grey’s anatomy nightmare”… this is the meeting grady birth story)
After arriving at the hospital, I was at a 2. So they had me walk around the hospital for 2 hours. So for 2 hours, paul and I walked up and down the hallways of the Children’s hospital, taking in the art work, the display cases that lined the hallways and the giant fish tank meant to bring smiles to those who pass through. I realized about 1/2 hour into walking, that this was the most exercise I have gotten in months, good Lord. Would I have any energy left to Push? With each contraction getting stronger I had to stop often and grab onto Paul. I had a good 6 doctors/nurses ask me if I wanted to wheel chair, “no, no thank you, walking out, in labor here… thank you” I said plenty of times. I returned after 2 hours of walking (with some snack time in there too) and was only at a 3! They said 2 more hours of walking. With my competitive and determined pregnant self, I re-dressed and headed back out to the long flourscent lighted hallways… slightly frustrated but determined. Ok, so about 1/2 hour into the walking, my contraction pains turned into tears. I was crying in front of complete strangers. How sad did I look bent over in front of people as they came and went, sick people, working people, visitors ….the “Au Bon Pan” staff. I was so overwhelmed, I told Paul I wasn’t ready today, but it was too late for that.. Grady was a’coming. Paul the whole time, held my hand and became my backbone, when I was ready to throw in the towel in my moments of weakness. Back up I went to find out I was still at a 3, not enough to admit but given my distance from the hospital and my unwillingness to leave with all the pain I was in. My lovely resident (notice sarcasm) reluctantly retracted her offer to give me pain pills and to send me home and decided to admit me.
We met Jodi our Labor and Delivery nurse not too long after being admitted. Shortly after meeting her, we discussed Grady’s diagnosis and my determination to have a Vbac. I was comfortable talking with her about Grady’s Secret. She was open to listen and easy to share with. Given her history as a Mid-wife and a nurse of 16 years, she not only reassured me that I could do a V-bac, but she became my advocate through the process.
One epidural later, I got the shakes as a natural response for me when I am nervous combined with my body’s reaction to pain, so I was awarded one oxygen mask. Every time they increased the Epi- Grady’s heart rate would drop so I would be tossed from one side to the other to help little man out. This was quite the challenge for me as I was weighing in at over … No no, lets not go there. So we tossed and turned. As the epi set in, we glanced at the olympics on the TV, Realized my Expensive digital camera’s battery was dead (good thing my old camera was in the glove box in the car) Paul read me the bible at one point, and the rest of the time I spent going over and over in my head what the moment would be like.
Leading up to the delivery a slew of residents continued to come in trying to determine how big Grady was, they were already prepping a c-section. Their faith in me was minimal, but Jodi kept her reassurance in me and Grady. At no point in time did the 1st year resident make full eye contact me with, address Grady’s diagnosis or treat me like a person. Luckily for me, my nurse made up for all of that. Paul this whole time, helped me breathe through the contractions0 and by 11:50pm I had reached a 10. Jodi, kept the residents out of the room while I labored down, she knew my apprehension that I was experiencing the with 1st year resident who was about to deliever Grady. She kept them at bay while I prepped.
Many thoughts ran through my head while laboring down, could I do this? what will he look like? will he be healthy? will it be love at first sight?
at 12:00 am, I began to push. I repeated in my head and under my breathe the whole time between pushes: Jerimiah 29:11, the main section that I said was “For I know the Plans…” It brought determination to a forefront as I felt so reassured that God was in control. at 12:25 his head was out, and the cord wrapped around his neck. They asked me to stop pushing for a moment. (Yeah OK….nature doesn’t allow for this to happen, it is as if the force of a wave crashing down as the force overcame me, no stopping it) at 12:26 am, Grady was born. I heard a cry and saw his little legs flaling. But I did not see his face. Instant relief poured over me my first words were ” I did it, I pushed a baby out of my Vagina!” YES I REALLY SAID THAT, yes I sound 16 years old, Yes I cannot believe I said that… I was so proud. Quickly my excitement turned to concern…was he ok? I heard the cry…but was he OK?
They rushed him to the warmer where the NICU doctors and their green gloves where evaluating him. Paul still holding my hand and rubbing my head… I urged him to go meet Grady and tell me if he was ok, I was eager and nervous and anxious. It was if a white noise had overcome my ears as the only thing I would be able to hear is that he was ok. Paul came to the bedside again and said “Erin, he is beautiful” I asked the question…. silently, does he have down syndrome? ( I hadn’t seen him yet, and you just never know…) Paul said “Yes he does”. It was in that moment, that all the months of worrying, the apprehension and fear melted away. I had my definitive answer, and God put an indescribable calm through my body. It was the final preparation from God before I held Grady, before I met him…before I saw his secret, a secret no longer…it was if God had reached down and held my hands as I reached out to hold Grady for the first time….. I was in love.
He was mine, I had him in my hands, I put him skin to skin as soon as I got my hands on him and started to nurse him. He latched on within a few minutes and as he began to suck I could only feel my connection growing with him, as his warm little body lay on me and his blue eyes look up at me…I felt a rush of emotion that can only be explained as Love in pure form, Grady was my little boy and I finally could start loving on him, taking care of him and embracing him with my touch…. I didn’t see any extra chromosome, just a precious child. Our journey had turned a page and opened a new chapter.
My alone time with God was absolutley more powerful than it ever had been with in the next two days after Grady was born. I have been blessed to feel the presence of God within my midst a few times in my life, where I felt like he was talking right to me. My walk in my faith has not always been the straight and narrow, but when I have seeked him he has always been found. But within the first day God found me during my prayer to him. He gave me the word Trust as I was reading the Bible. He was not only giving me the gift of Grady as he did with Mason, he was Trusting me to raise his child up, he was trusting me to protect him, he was trusting ME. How honored I felt, how powerful and faithful he is to give a wretch like me a word like Trust. I will never forget that.
The second day after Grady was born, I woke up early to start my day before Grady awoke. I opened my bible again and began praying (I would like to say that starting my day like this is a daily occurrence leading up to these encounters, but it was not) . Again, the presence of God was overwhelming. He gave me the word Promise. This word spoke to me that morning. Slowly, I can see the prominence of that word in my life with Grady. The days and weeks following his birth up to now, I see his Promise to me falling before my feet and unveiled before my eyes. I see this word as his Promise to open my eyes to a bigger picture and Promise to show the Greater Purpose for my life and Grady’s. His Promise to heal my fears and deliver Hope.
I see Promise when I see Grady and I will never stop Trusting God with our lives.
I am so Glad I know Jesus, I am so thankful I didn’t have to make a choice that fateful prenatal diagnosis day in October, when 90% of people chose to terminate. God had already chose for me, he chose Grady. I chose God.
This is my birth story.