Gabriella’s Birth Story: A Story of God’s Amazing Grace
Gabriella‘s birth was nothing like we had envisioned or planned. It began in the early morning hours on Tuesday, March 19th. Contractions began right around 3 AM, and I continued to labor at home until around 8 AM. We went straight to my midwife’s office. Where she said I was about 5 cm dilated. The contractions were sporadic and anywhere from 2 to 4 minutes apart. I figured we would be admitted into the hospital, so we came prepared. My midwife gave me the option of returning home or being admitted; I chose to be admitted. She warned us that it would probably be a while since this was our first baby but she felt confident that we would have a baby today!
We arrived at the hospital at 9 AM and were admitted immediately. I was very excited, because we were given the room I was hoping for! It was room 254, and it was the best room, because it faces the water. In the morning, there’s a glorious view of the sunrise! My best friend, Brooke, had just given birth in this same room just three months prior. I was also very excited about the cute cup that I got to drink my ice water from during labor! It’s the little things…
Labor continued to progress throughout the day… slowly. By mid-afternoon, my midwife broke my water but nothing came out. At home, around 5 AM I thought my water had broken but when I was checked they said it hadn’t. But since nothing came out later on, I am convinced it happened at home!
Since “breaking my water” didn’t do anything, my midwife later suggested I start Pitocin to help things progress quicker. I was worried about losing my strength and stamina, so I agreed. Contractions quickly became more intense, and I began to dilate further.
By 5:30 PM, I was dilated to 9 1/2 cm, and I was finally able to push after being told I couldn’t for the past few hours. The need to push was truly real. But I never would’ve imagined that I would continue to push for the next 5 hours! It seemed like the door was revolving, with new nurses coming in and out. I felt like everyone on the floor was in my room helping.
To this day, I honestly don’t know how I did it. I had an incredible team surrounding me, and I don’t think I could have done it without them! My amazing midwife, who tried everything to help me to birth naturally; my mom, who was constantly making sure I had everything I needed; my best friend, motivating me with encouraging words and positive perspectives all while capturing memories for us; and my loving husband, my rock, not leaving my side, holding me and giving me the strength to push just one more time.
I must’ve pushed hundreds of times and by the halfway point I was already hearing the words, “Just one more push! We see her head!” No one imagined she would be crowning for another 2 1/2 hours. With every push, I was praying that this would be the last one, but it never was. I wanted to experience the relief and joy of finally getting her out and holding her on my chest immediately, but that never happened.
After 4 hours of pushing, I was at my wits’ end, and I asked about using the suction tool to get her out, although my birth plan had specifically stated “No Suctioning”. I would come to regret the decision to use the tool, but at the time, it felt like the only option. At that point, my midwife called in her back-up OB/GYN, and she tried to use the tool, but that didn’t work. The second time, the tool popped off her head so strongly I thought her head had popped out! Instead, it left her with a large hematoma that would later contribute to jaundice and an extra 2 days in the hospital.
Shortly after, the doctor said, “All right, this is going to be the last push. If she doesn’t come out on this one, we have to do an emergency C-section.” I couldn’t help but cry, and yet, I gave it my all in that last push.
But all the effort wasn’t enough, and at 10:30 PM, they wheeled me into the operating room and placed a needle in my spine to numb me while I resisted the urge to push with every intense contraction. Once the medication kicked, in I was feeling so much better. A curtain was put in front of my face, and I knew on the other side of it, I was being sliced open. As I laid on the table, I prayed. I prayed I would make it through this. I prayed our baby girl would make it through this. I prayed. After a few minutes, Andrew was escorted in and seated by my head.
At 11:23 PM, on the 19th of March, 2019, Gabriella Grace entered this world! They immediately took her to the side table and made sure she was okay. As we waited for what felt like forever to hear her cry, they continued to work on her. Finally, we were told she was okay! She was able to breath on her own, but was unable to cry. 10 minutes after being born, we heard her first little cry. Praise the Lord!
We later found out I have an abnormally small pelvic bone that would have never allowed me to deliver naturally. I had pushed so hard for so long that she was actually jammed in my pelvic bone. During the cesarean, a doctor had to push her up from the bottom because she was stuck and couldn’t be pulled out from the top alone. Needless to say, she came out very cone-headed.
After I was back in my room, my midwife came to see me and told me Gabby also had a knot in her umbilical cord. Had she been born vaginally, she might not have made it.
I had a birth plan, but God had a different plan. My plan might not have allowed my daughter to live. But His plan made sure she would be here with us today.
Through the storm, we might not always understand why God is giving us what He is giving us. But after, once the storm has settled, He will show himself in the little things and reveal his bigger picture.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.”
Jeremiah 29:11 NLT
My entire pregnancy was a huge challenge, and naturally, her birth was too. But today I get to snuggle a beautiful little baby girl, and in the end, that’s all we could ever ask for!