Graham Harrison Bailey
Born August 3, 2013 at 9:04pm after 47 hours of labor
5 lbs, 8 oz and 18 inches
My due date was August 20th, but the plan was to induce one week early on August 13th. Between mid-June and mid-July, Graham’s growth percentile dropped by half. That, along with his non-reactive non-stress tests, caused my OB and MFM specialist to discuss taking him even earlier. We continued to monitor Graham for 2 weeks, when my doctors decided it was time.
August 1, 2013 –
- 37 weeks, 2 days – I went to Labor & Delivery early in the morning to have an amniocentesis performed. My MFM specialist wanted to determine if Graham’s lungs were fully matured. That was an uncomfortable procedure, but I kept my focus on my baby boy. We needed to make sure he was healthy. While I was still there being monitored, the results came back saying his lungs were mature. We would induce that night, starting at 10:00pm.
- 10:00pm – Andy and I arrived at the hospital, feeling giddy and nervous. I was hooked up to fetal monitors and IV fluids. The monitors showed I was already having contractions on my own.
- 11:45pm – The nurse finally placed Cervidil inside of me, right by my Cervix. It is a medication made to “ripen” the cervix, causing softening and dilation. It was difficult for both of us to get any sleep because A) We were too excited and B) They kept coming in to do my vital signs every 30 minutes to an hour. Plus, I was hooked up to all kinds of stuff and the hospital bed was really uncomfortable.
August 2, 2013 –
- Early morning – I was hoping for some progress when the nurse came to check me. There wasn’t really anything going on with my cervix. I was about a fingertip dilated. I felt somewhat bummed out but tried to stay positive and patient. Cervidil is a 12 hour dose, so we had to wait to do anything else until at least 11:45am.
- 12:45pm – My doctor ordered Cytotec to be placed near my cervix. It’s another medication used to soften/dilate the cervix and bring on contractions. It was definitely stronger and more effective than Cervidil for me. At this time, I had progressed a tiny bit – I was 1 cm dilated and had a little bit of bloody show when the nurse checked me. She said the bleeding was good and would help the Cytotec absorb.
- 5:00pm – Cytotec is a 4 hour dose, so the nurse checked me again at this time to decide what to do next. My water broke!! She was just getting ready to check me, when a big gush came out (on the nurse’s hand, I might add LOL). I was only 1.5 dilated though. My contractions were stronger and more painful once my water broke, but they weren’t strong enough to help me progress more quickly. I continued to leak amniotic fluid and lose my mucus plug for quite some time.
- 8:00pm – Dilated to 2cm. Waiting to see if Pitocin would be started.
- 10:15pm – Pitocin (IV medication) started in hopes of making contractions stronger. The nurse denied me an Epidural because she said it would delay progress.
August 3, 2013 –
- 9:00am – I was still at 2cm after being on Pitocin all night. I was feeling discouraged. My contractions became unbearable between 6am – 9am, so I finally received an Epidural at 9:00am. It took away pretty much all of my pain, and I was able to get some rest. My Pitocin IV was increased to a higher dose. A catheter was placed in my bladder, since I was unable to use my legs (due to the Epidural). I remember hating the numbness in my legs. It felt so weird!! But I was so glad for pain relief at last!
- 12:30pm – Finally some good progress! 4 cm dilated and very thin. Baby’s head was “right there”. Graham had a few decelerations in his heart rate, which was scary. I had to be repositioned many times to improve blood flow to him. I was also placed on oxygen. I had serious nausea going on and vomited profusely. My Pitocin drip had to be turned off and restarted on lower doses a few times. They were worried the strong Pitocin contractions were causing Graham’s decelerations. He always rebounded just fine, thankfully.
- Between 12:30pm and 4:30pm, I went from 4cm to 9cm. I can’t remember the exact details of my cervix checks during those hours. I was so exhausted and uncomfortable.
- Between 4:30pm and 8:00pm, they wanted me to continue contracting, in hopes of bringing Graham down even further into the birth canal. I was placed in various positions, and the idea was that contractions and gravity would bring him down and minimize my pushing time. I don’t think it worked.
- 7:00pm to 8:00pm – My contractions were INSANE and my Epidural was wearing off. I couldn’t feel my legs, but I sure could feel everything else. The nurse didn’t want me to push yet, even though I was 10cm at that time. She said I might have to push for a really long time and it would exhaust me. I told her I didn’t care – I could NOT wait any longer. I started pushing at 8:05pm.
- I was scared, exhausted beyond words, and didn’t know if I could do it. My husband was cheering me on, telling me how proud he was, and saying how strong I was. My mom was there cheering me on, too. It felt like a sport, the way the nurses were cheering and encouraging me. It helped me though! The pushing was excruciating because I had a couple bruised ribs on my left side. I powered through it though. I kept thinking of my son. I was actually doing better than I thought because I pushed him down really far. The nurse was surprised. I know my body, and I was right to start pushing when I did.
- Around 8:45pm, the doctor arrived. I was almost there. Graham was sunny-side up, so the doctor turned him. It was really painful. She performed an Episiotomy, as well (I still ended up with some tears though). My Pitocin contractions were right on top of each other, over and over and lasting really long. It hurt so bad, but pushing made it feel a little better. I pushed 3 times on each contraction. Finally, on the 3rd push during an exceptionally strong contraction (after pushing for one hour total), Graham’s whole body just came right out! I couldn’t believe it! I did that!!!
- 9:04pm – A squirmy, warm, slimy, tiny human was born, crying, and placed immediately onto my chest. He was the most beautiful sight I had ever seen, and his cry was the best sound I had ever heard. I bawled my eyes out and looked at him in amazement and shock. My husband burst into tears and was sobbing uncontrollably. He kept saying, “This is so amazing.” They took Graham away to clean him up, weigh him, and do whatever else they do. I couldn’t take my eyes off Graham as they were working on him. I just wanted to hold him forever and not share him with anyone (except maybe my husband). I looked at my husband occasionally, watching him cry as he looked at Graham with love and excitement. I never felt so much love for my husband, than I did in that moment. Andy cut the cord. He looked so proud. My mom cried and kept telling me how proud she was of me. All I could do was cry and cry and say I couldn’t believe it after all this time. I felt so much joy, love, disbelief, pride, and relief.
Typing this out is making me cry my eyes out, as I remember how unbelievably amazing it was. It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done, but the best thing I’ve ever done. After waiting years to meet my son, and after having such a long labor, the relief and flood of emotions was intense and overwhelming – but in a really good way!! Graham was worth the wait times a million. I don’t regret one single thing that led me to him. He was always meant to be. I wasn’t just waiting for “a baby”, I was waiting for Graham.