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Liz and Grace Marie (Gracie)
Two previous miscarriages, pre-term labor and bedrest, vaginal delivery, cord wrapped around her neck

After two miscarriages, I became pregnant with my third child. I was apprehensive at first. I wondered if this pregnancy would result in the same thing. My miscarriages occurred very early in pregnancy. I guess I was lucky enough that I didn't need a D&C. I don't know if there is anything lucky about a miscarriage, though. I mourned the loss of my babies. Their fate was the toilet. I know that sounds really bad. I say that with great sadness, even now. How do you handle flushing your baby down the toilet??! I allowed myself to become excited about the pregnancy when I was through my first trimester.

My pregnancy proceeded along okay. I had one scare with spotting around Thanksgiving. I was on bedrest for a little over a month. I went back to work for three months and had to go back on bedrest due to pre-term labor. My supervisors were awful to me. They hounded me about my vacation time being less than 24 hours. It wouldn't surprise me if the stress brought the labor on. The doctor put me on Brethine. The bedrest was so hard! I had two other children and a household to take care of. I found myself doing things I knew I should not be doing. I had a hard time letting go.

I was almost to 33 weeks when I became extremely ill. I had awful back pain. I thought I might be having back labor and I went to the hospital. My contractions were regular, but that was not the cause of my back pain. I was vomiting and couldn't even keep liquids down. I was hospitalized for 3 days. They gave me injections of Cellestone in my hips. The Cellestone was to mature the baby's lungs. I also received regular injections of Brethine and an anti-nausea drug. My hips were so sore and bruised when I left. They were never able to say for sure what caused all this, other than the flu. In fact, my hips are still sore, and that was 4 1/2 months ago.

About two weeks after my hospitalization, I had contractions breaking through the medication. The nurses knew me by name when I went into the hospital. I was sent home, however. The contractions were regular but not doing anything to my cervix.

I went off the medication, finally, and waited. At last, my due date was drawing near. Three days before my due date, I was experiencing regular contractions (as usual) but the contractions were more intense than before. The nurse checked me for dilation and said there wasn't enough to write home about and to go home. I was so frustrated and I went home embarrassed once again. This was my third pregnancy and I should know by now what labor really was. I went alone that night, at midnight, so I wouldn't rouse my husband and two other children. I couldn't see waking them up for a potentially wasted trip.

I went to bed that night as soon as I got home. About four hours later I woke up. I couldn't sleep through my contractions any longer. I did some laundry and woke my husband finally at about 5:30 am. We showered and got the kids up and took them to a friend's. I arrived at the hospital at about 7:30 am. I told them if I wasn't in labor I was going to scream in frustration. The same nurse checked me and said "Well, you have definitely made some progress since earlier." Boy was I relieved!! I had dilated to a 6 going on 7. I told the nurse that I must of needed someone to help push me over the edge and she did it.

I had requested an epidural and got one barely in the nick of time. This was my first time for an epidural. I delivered my other two naturally. I received a shot of Stadol while I waited for the anesthesiologist. Boy does that stuff give you a high! I received the epidural and they checked me as soon as they finished with it. I was at 9! Boy was that close! I already proved to myself I was no baby, and I wanted to be a lot more comfortable this time. I was only numb on one side and the baby was coming. The epidural took the edge off of the pain, but I felt everything. My water hadn't broken yet and they broke it for me. There was meconium in my waters. The nurses told me that they would probably have to suction out the baby when it was born. They warned me that I wouldn't be able to hold her right away.

I pushed for about 10 minutes when I felt the baby crown. I really don't remember that feeling with my other two. Wowie does that smart! Her head came out but her shoulders got stuck. The doctor and nurses acted so fast. I tried pushing three times on my own and then the doctor said "I'm going to need a little help here." Two nurses got on both sides of me and pushed on my tummy. I was surprised it didn't hurt. I didn't have time to be scared because it all happened so quickly.

As soon as the baby's shoulders started to emerge, my doctor had me stop pushing. Little did I know the cord was wrapped around my baby's neck. Her little face was blue. The doctor cut the cord and told me to give one more good push. My little girl was whisked off to a warm isolette in my room where a nurse and a respiratory specialist were waiting.

I had no idea at the time that the cord had been wrapped around her neck. All I knew was that it felt so much better to have that baby out of me! They suctioned and rubbed her down for a few minutes before I heard her first cry. I was starting to become concerned and was relieved to hear her little cry. It was then my doctor told me about the cord and he apologized to my husband about not letting him cut the cord. We both told him all we wanted was a healthy baby and we could have cared less.

From the time I woke up to the time our baby girl was born was six hours. I was glad I didn't have a long labor like with my second child. On July 6, at 10:20 am, our precious cargo arrived. We named her Grace Marie. I really feel she earned her name. With my miscarriages and all the medical problems, I believed she arrived by the grace of God. She was destined to be. I have to say this baby was a true gift from above. Don't misunderstand me, all babies are. This one came down a long bumpy highway to get here though. We got to take her home two days later on my first daughter's birthday. What a gift!

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