Thursday, October 21, 2010

Grace's Birth Story

Ahh, how very refreshing to sit down and write Grace's birth story while it's fresh in my memory. So many of you lived it right along with us, and it seriously feels like a week ago even though it happened less than 48 hours from the time I'm typing this. So, without further ado....

Despite all that our doctors told us, and despite all of the hunches of our friends and family, we did not have a natural delivery with Gracie. Nope - another induction. That's two for two! So the next time we find out we're expecting and get an estimated due date, I'm just going to go ahead and add a week and save everyone some suspense. :)

My pregnancy with Gracie was an absolute breeze. It couldn't have been more different from my first pregnancy experience. No morning sickness. No problems sleeping. I think I became a better housewife after becoming pregnant this time around, because I nested for nine months. (Boy I hope that instinct doesn't go away when we get home!) I had energy throughout the entire pregnancy, and I didn't gain ten more pounds than I should have. Needless to say, I assumed that if pregnancies were any indicator of personalities, then Evelyn would be my firecracker and Grace would be my little angel. :)

Me, on the way to the hospital. I know, I'm gross, but I figured I was about to get even more gross so who the heck cares?

The morning of October 19, 2010 was chilly and exciting! I get goosebumps already when I'm nervous about something, so you better believe my teeth were chattering all morning long. We met up with both of our parents and my little sister Shannon to have a family breakfast before heading to the hospital. It was the perfect beginning to our day, and we only wish we would've taken pictures. (I know! Dork alert!) 

Evelyn kept us all entertained as we ate our breakfast fares by shouting back at the cooks every time an order was up, and by greeting any passersby who were taking a trip to the loo. And while everyone chowed down on pancakes and bacon, I could barely get down what I had ordered. My stomach was in knots, but I think I fooled everyone (wink, wink) by smiling and pretending it was no big deal. No need to make anybody worry! The truth is, I was probably more nervous for this induction than I was the first time around. It was all new and intriguing to me with Evelyn, but with Grace I thought I knew exactly what to expect...and I wasn't looking forward to the nearly unbearable pitocin-induced contractions I just knew I would be feeling in a few hours. 

I don't think Eric and I talked very much on the way to the hospital. I was afraid that opening my mouth too wide would cause my biscuits and gravy to just topple right out onto the floor board. Ha. That's disgusting. And when we pulled into the all familiar St. Luke's parking garage my teeth went into chatter hyper-drive. Up the elevator we went, carrying our bags and our nervous excitement to the maternity floor.

Feeling fine, and updating the blog!

We were led to our room (number 5618 - woot!) and introduced to the nurse who would be doing pretty much everything for me the entire day. And that is when my whole morning was turned around. Oh, nurse Julia. Praise God for Julia. Sweet, sweet Julia. If you are ever induced at St. Luke's I'm telling you, ask for NURSE JULIA. I thoroughly enjoy her personal philosophy on pain, and that is, you shouldn't feel any. Oh, Julia....

I was basically told that the moment I felt discomfort to call for my epidural. I don't think I really understood what Julia was trying to tell me at first. In fact, I'm pretty sure if I had picked up on her subtle hints all afternoon, I would have delivered Gracie hours before I actually did. "Oh, Julia, you mean, as soon as I feel any pain?" You see, with Evelyn I felt like my stomach was being ripped to shreds from the inside out before I got my epidural. So this time I just sat in my little ole hospital bed, happy as a clam, waiting for the "real" contractions to start. Was I feeling pain? A little. Kind of like little stomach cramps. Turns out, that was the most I would feel all day. After...geez...four hours of feeling these little cramps and being told "Whenever you're ready," I finally figured out that it wasn't going to get any worse than that without my water breaking, and my lovely nurse wasn't going to allow that to happen until I had my epidural.

So around 3:30 pm I finally said, "Well, if getting my water broken will help speed things along, I think I'll go ahead and get my epidural now." It was as if the clouds had parted and a beam of light shined through our window panes. "Yes, I think that's a great idea," said Julia with a smile. Ding, ding! I hit the jackpot. Took you long enough, Sherlock. 

Getting ready to meet my baby!

And as expected, the epidural stung so good. No one likes getting poked in the spine with needles (if you do, you're a weirdo; I'm just saying...) but the results are heavenly. I will say that it was a different experience from last time. With Evelyn I had a double dose of epidural because of a slight mishap, and I couldn't feel a thing - not a darn thing. My legs were so heavy I couldn't have lifted them off of the bed if I tried - and believe me, I tried. This time I was definitely numb, but still able to feel slight pressure during contractions.

They called in the resident doctor right away after that, and my water was quickly broken. It was obvious from my read outs that my contractions were a bazillion times stronger from then on, and it didn't take long at all for me to progress. I was told that this would be the case from the beginning. Ugh, why didn't I get that epidural sooner?

We didn't even do any "practice pushes" this time around before my doctor was called in. Gracie was already in perfect position, because she is perfect, and we knew that it would only take a few contractions for me to have her out and in our arms! And this is where it got a little weird for me. Because, remember how I told you I felt nothing with Evelyn after my epidural? Well, I didn't lie to you. But this time I felt just enough something to say, "Whoa!" It's called PRESSURE, and I don't think I'll use any words to describe it, because there are just no pleasant analogies I could possibly come up with. It didn't hurt per say, it was just...weird. Weird, weird, pressure. 

One last push, and we have a Gracie! Grace Violet Robert was born at 5:53 pm on October 19, 2010. She was 7lbs. 9 oz and 20.5 inches long. 

My first thoughts upon seeing my second daughter were no longer thoughts of, "Oh my gosh, it's Eric!" (even though she does look like him).  No, this time I thought, "Oh my gosh, it's Evelyn!" Grace and Evie are twins born 16 months apart. I love it! 

I didn't get emotional with Evelyn. I'm not sure why. I even felt a little guilty about it. But I definitely teared up when I saw Gracie. I guess I'm getting more emotional in my old age. Kidding! No, I think it's because this time I can appreciate what having this little baby means. I really understood what this moment represented. And I realized how very fleeting this time with my newborn would be. I love both of my girls equally, but I think I'll appreciate soaking up my time with my precious newborn baby that much more.

Then there was the big moment. The moment I had been wondering about from day one. Evelyn and Grace would get to meet for the very first time. As many of you know, I didn't think this meeting would be earth shattering and epic in proportions. In fact, I dreaded that it would be something of a nightmare. But it was actually very sweet. Let me tell you how it went down:

The big sister!

Evelyn was halfway interested in the bundle her daddy was holding. She even got closer for a better peek. 

Aww, so precious. But then, she and John (uncle and niece) who are basically partners in crime, decided that it was more fun to run around and check out the bathroom.

 I will never forget John's reaction to seeing me in a hospital bed. "Are you in an air plane?" Hahaha. Followed by a dozen, "What are you doing up there?" Too cute.   

At first I thought Evie and Grace would be identical in every way. They seemed to do everything the same, including making the same sounds and facial expressions. But I've learned over the past 24 hours that no matter how much my daughters look alike, they are both going to be their own people. Gracie is having a little difficulty with nursing, and it's a bit discouraging. I suppose the issues she's having of not latching on like she should are pretty common, it's just that I never had any issues before. I'm not giving up, though! Grace will be nursed unless it becomes unsafe for her to do so...I mean, I'm not going to starve my kid on principle, haha.

Sisters. :) Who is who? Haha. 

Eric and I are now snuggling in for our last night in the hospital. Just like my two pregnancies, this experience could not be more different than the last. I am so happy that Grace is with us, and now I'm on the road to recovery. Pray for Gracie that she gets this eating thing down. Pray for me as I heal. Pray for our family (especially Evie) as we make this new adjustment to our lives, and please people, for my sake,  pray that we don't get pregnant again for a little while. :) 

10:35 am, October 21, 2010

The room is ready...

The car is ready...

Daddy is ready...

Mommy is ready...

Gracie is ready...

Let's go home!


Anonymous said...

This was your best yet. Thanks so much for sharing.

Love Ya,
Grandpa Greg

joyce said...

I should stop reading these before I go to work, you seem to make me cry a lot, LOL, Love you

Olivia said...

wonderful!! i love it!

they broke my water as soon as i got to the hospital. i didnt have my epidural or anything! now, that is something i won't let them do again. Ouch!

Good luck with your TWO little girls! =)

Helen said...

You are incredible. I am filled with wonderment that you take time to update us. I Love it, love it, love it! Your family is beautiful and you are an awesome lady. Thanks for sharing with us. Love you

Kathy Ghahkenshah said...

Thank you so much for sharing this. Absolutely beautiful. May God bless you and your beautiful family!

Cassie said...

WOW - when you put their pictures next to each other it is so hard to tell. That's so cool that they look that much alike.
I laughed and cried though this whole thing. You just know exactly how to say it.
Best of luck to you all!!
And I will pray that you don't get pregnant for a little while. lol. Too funny!!

Anonymous said...

oh Adrien... the "pressure" of needing to push it like, the only clear memory I have of Abbey's birth, so I know exactly what you mean. my epidural worked so well I slept through the worst of my labor, that pressure is what woke me up. and don't worry about the latching difficulties, don't let it get to you, you were lucky beyond anyone with Evelyn to have no problems, what you are going through is completely normal. and yay for babies!!!

Andrea Ingles said...

So happy for you guys! And, the slide show made me cry as well...what a blessing to have 2 healthy babies! Can't wait to see you all!!

Keeping Up With the Roscow's said...

Love it Adrien. The girls will treasure this blog one day!! I love the newborn pictures of Evie & Gracie right next to each other. CRAZY!! Prayers sent your way :)

Cylinda said...

Congrats!! She is beautiful. And she does look like her sister. Enjoy her and tell Grandma Joyce that Cylinda says Congrats and to fill in my Mom on the ins and outs.
Congrats again you are so very blessed!

Meagan said...

I loved reading Gracie's birth story and the slideshow is absolutely amazing! Many prayers sent your way for a smooth transition at home with your new addition...oh and for no more pregnancies for awhile! lol

Anonymous said...

Welcome home to the new Robert Family. Praying that Gracie is learning to latch on. Have a great evening with your new family.

Great Grandma & Grandpa Robert

Christine Pettijohn said...

What is with you and tearjerkers! LOL! Congrats again guys and when you put those pictures together they definitely look alike! I stand corrected she looks like Evelyn. Enjoy the new addition and hopefully she starts eating better soon.


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