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Monday, November 7, 2016

Grace Renee's birth story!

Our third little munchkin has come! She's here, she's here! And my goodness, what a great transition it has been, adding her into the mix.
So this is the first baby where I was certain - CERTAIN - I was not only going to go into labor on my own (as opposed to getting induced with the other two), but I knew - KNEW- she was going to come early. How could she not? She's our third baby and I was having strong braxton hicks starting at 35 weeks. Not only was I experiencing the run of the mill braxton hourly, but I had these insanely painful leg feelings - like my knee would buckle due to how bad these shooting pains hurt. I read that those were contractions (when trying to figure out if it was a sciatic nerve thing), which got me very excited considering I felt so much so early on.

But anyhoo, come 39 weeks, I was still very much pregnant. It was depressing! You would have thought I was 45 weeks based on how I was acting! I went to Target 3 times that week to CHRISTMAS SHOP IN OCTOBER to make myself feel better about having not gone into labor by that point. TJ Maxx got DESTROYED by me with more Christmas shopping. It was STRAIGHT UP retail therapy. I just couldn't fathom making it all the way to 40 weeks with a third baby. Then, on the the day I hit 40 weeks, I went in to my doctors appointment to schedule my (depressing) induction date for 41 weeks.

"Well... I'll strip your membranes today, but we won't be able to schedule your induction until 41.5 weeks because Dr. Koning is out of town."

WHAT. 41 and a HALF weeks??!!! 10 days out from the day I was sitting there, 40 weeks pregnant and questioning why my body never wants to release my babies out into the world?! It was not okay! Why?! Why?!!! This happened on a Friday where I also had to go to my first stress test to make sure she was okay in there - something that annoyed me because I knew she was fine, given all of her bouncing around. Then later that same night, Carter ended up having to make a trip to the ER due to a hockey injury. When I registered him, they told me that our copay would be very high because the hospital was out of network for us. WHAT.
Immediately I was like, "WOAH, THIS IS WHERE I'M HAVING THE BABY, I'VE BEEN TOLD THIS HOSPITAL IS JUST FINE BY SEVERAL SOURCES. WHAT DO YOU MEAN IT'S OUT OF NETWORK?" She explained to me that it was fine to have the baby there, but for the ER it was out of network. What in the world? Okay... So he got all fixed up and we were out of there.

Then, on that next Monday, I went in for another doctor's visit where I was told that I had dilated more and they would be surprised if my water didn't break on my way down to my car! PROGRESS! SUCCESS! I was so happy to hear that!!!!! Truly it was awesome given my history of never going into labor!

A few days later though, when I still hadn't gone into labor, I remembered that Carter's ER visit had been out of network, so just to be safe, I decided to call my insurance to get the peace of mind I had been assured when we first found out we were pregnant and I wanted to know if I could deliver at the local hospital (insurance had told me all was well back in February). I started calmly talking to a representative, explaining the situation, and her response was, "Oh yeah, our insurance no longer has a contract with that hospital. It would be out of network." WWWWWWWHHHHHHAAAAATTTTTT???!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tears threatened immediately, I got off the phone and speed-texted Chad saying holy crap, we have a MAJOR insurance problem here!!!!! I then called my doctor and explained what was going on and they assured me that they delivered women with my insurance all the time, so don't worry about it. I couldn't NOT worry about it. I called my insurance back again to get a second opinion from a different rep, then called the group. The group said they were going to be the ones billed, so don't worry about it. Then Chad got back to me saying he had called the insurance, the group and my doctors and all was well - don't worry, it's not going to be an out of pocket expense. I still couldn't not worry, but with Chad, my doctor's office AND the group trying to reassure me, I guess the only thing I could do was to calm down and try to be a chill human right before having the baby. Truly, it wouldn't be a Cisneros birth without a major last minute insurance disaster.

So anyhoo, that was a Wednesday, Thursday was when I would turn 41 weeks but my induction date wasn't until the following Monday. Wednesday night, I finally became okay with the fact that I was practically 41 weeks pregnant with my third baby. I became happy that I got the extra time with my older two babies and hey, what if this baby was a wild thing who never ever lets me sleep for the rest of my life? Maybe it was a good thing that I was so overdue! To further the peaceful thoughts, I went on a solo walk around the neighborhood. It was not a psychotic speed walk like the rest of my "let's try to go into labor" struts. It was a "let's enjoy this lovely moment" type of meandering. I called one of my best friends and we had a nice chat. It was great!
Then the next day I woke up knowing I should go to Costco but not really feeling up to it. A few hours later Chad called to tell me that he was going to come home a bit early so maybe we should stock the house with food and have a fun day with our soon-to-be-non-baby-of-the-family, Kota. Some special time for her and our doggy! GREAT! I was so stoked for a fun day with the family, before he even got home I took a now-rare trip to the park with Kots and, hey hey hey, leashed up unruly Snow too. While at the park, I did walking lunges because, you know, I couldn't give up ALL attempts to go into labor despite my newfound peace. To make it all better, I started to have semi-painful "contractions" every 10 minutes. I'm throwing up quotes because I legit thought those little things were the real deal - since I've never gone into labor on my own I truly had no idea what an ACTUAL contraction felt like. But I felt blissful in my belief that THIS WAS IT! Once with Chad, we hit up Costco with those things hitting every 10 minutes, then to keep the pace up, went to Target to grab a few things where they went down to every 7 minutes. Around 3:30 I decided that we should let Chad's mom know what the deal was, but didn't want her to stress - after all I had no idea if those "contractions" were even contractions. She waited out traffic then got to our house that night at 8:00.

As soon as she walked in the door, not kidding, they stopped. STOPPED. I ceased to feel ANYTHING in the uterine area. NOT. ONE. THING. I couldn't believe it - simply could not. Around 9:30, I resigned myself over to the fact that once again my body was reminding me that it does not go into labor.

THEN!!!! At 11:00 pm with Chad fast asleep and doggy snoring, I had a REAL DEAL contraction. Like that thing HURT! I was like woah, holy heck! Then 10 minutes later, another one! Then like 15 minutes later, another - 9 minutes later, another - 13 minutes later, another! They were super painful but so inconsistent I didn't know what to do. I read a few of my favorite blogs and then had 2 minutes between contractions which freaked me out - I got up, got dressed and told Chad let's hit the road for the hospital at 1:30 in the morning. We told Chad's mom who was sleeping on the couch that we were going to go, then loaded into the car where I got scared I was being dramatic and they were going to send me home. We drove the 7 minutes down to the hospital, checked in at 1:43 am and got all hooked up. They checked me and said I WAS AT 6 CENTIMETERS AND THEY COULDN'T BELIEVE MY WATER HADN'T BROKEN YET! THIS WAS IT! I was sooooooooo happy!

I was playing around with not getting the epidural. At this point the contractions seemed so manageable! They were consistently 5 minutes apart and not too bad!  "Hey, I can do this!" It was great! But the nurses kept reminding me that if I was on the fence I better decided quickly given our third baby status. Chad was straight up nervous I wasn't going to get the epidural - he kept asking if I had made a decision hahaha! The look on his face! He was trying to be calm but the stress was pretty obvious!
Then, at 3:45 am I had one of those insane double peaked contractions. Like I could not believe the intensity of this thing. It came 4 minutes after the previous contraction which made me lose my nerve regarding this non-epidural experiment I had been debating for the past 9 months. As soon as that thing passed, I looked at Chad and told him, "I'm getting the epidural," hahaha! I paged the nurse and immediately started freaking out that I had possibly waited too long. She came in, checked me, told me I was at 8 and that the anesthesiologist would be in in 15 minutes. In my mind I was like "OMG I MAY HAVE TO EXPERIENCE 3-4 MORE OF THOSE INSANE CONTRACTIONS?! WHAT IF I DILATE IN 15 MINUTES?!" But thank goodness homie g with the goods strolled on in a few minutes later.

Also a weird side note, during the short time I was waiting for the guy to come in to shoot me up with amazing numbness, I thought about how much an epidural may cost and if this whole thing was going to be covered by insurance, then thought "NICOLE GET A GRIP! YOU'RE HAVING A BABY, GET THOSE THOUGHTS OUT OF YOUR HEAD! WHAT AN INAPPROPRIATE TIME TO THINK ABOUT YOUR BANK ACCOUNT, YOU FOOL!" Bahahahahaha!

After I laid back down from getting the epidural, I had the strongest feeling that I needed to push. I thought I had for sure waited too long and what the HELL had I been thinking. I didn't even want to tell the nurse about the feeling because I didn't want to have to do it!!!!!!!!! What if she told me I would have to deliver before the epidural spread?!!!!!!! It was true terror. But turns out it was my blood pressure that had gone up so they had to inject something into my IV and then all was good. At this point it was 4:00 and I had officially been awake for 24 hours (the previous day I had woken up at this time due to being a large, uncomfortable whale of a human). So I shut my eyes and instantly fell asleep, then woke up at 5:30 and they told me it was almost go time.

I started pushing at 6:00 and she was born at 6:10!!!!!! It was insane! I was SO NUMB, for sure the numbest I've been between the three babies, I was thanking God for the invention of the epidural. Like literally lying there and in my head thinking "Thank you, God, for providing the epidural." I don't know why that thought was so prevalent! It was like I was just so thankful to have had delivered a healthy baby after officially going into labor on my own, early in the morning with Chad drinking coffee right next to me, all in good spirits (aka NOT in pain)! It was all so 100% how I wanted it to go! So glorious!
Grace looked so much like Carter to me when she was born and in the weeks since has reminded me of both kids' looks, Kota's equally with Carter's. Her coloring is light so combined with her chunky-chunkiness it all reminded me of my big boy during those first few hours. She even had neck rolls straight out of the womb! I mean, it was just so wonderful. She has been the calmest of little sweeties, we are so blessed to have her here with us. It's just such a miracle! We are so thankful and in love!

Welcome to the family, Gracie!!

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