Where do I begin… How do I start to tell the story of how the most precious baby girl was born into this world?
Let’s start with New Year’s Eve…
I had a doctor appointment a few days earlier and my doctor was a little concerned with my blood pressure as it had been high for the past few weeks… This was a sign of preeclampsia however there was no protein in my urine to confirm that I had it. She had us go to the hospital on New Year’s Eve to be monitored for a bit and have some tests done to see if I did indeed have preeclampsia. I was told that if I did have it we wouldn’t be leaving the hospital and I would be induced right away so Andy and I packed up the car with our hospital bags (you would think we were going on a 2 week vacation) and drove to Waconia. We made our way to triage where I was hooked up to a machine that monitored my pulse, blood pressure, any contractions I may have and the baby’s heart rate. We were in the room for awhile being monitored while we waited to hear from the lab if any protein showed up in my 24 hour urine test (fun times)… we spent some time talking and watching tv, and I learned hospitals have the best crushed ice of all time!
I asked Andy to take a picture with me and sure enough as we’re taking a “selfie” in the triage room a nurse walks in… So that was cool haha
Turns out even though some of my numbers were a little high they weren’t high enough to be induced and labs came back good as well so we went home and celebrated New Year’s Eve just the two of us (in other words we were in bed by 9:30pm)
My next appointment rolls around on jan 5th and my doctor again says she’s a little concerned about my blood pressure. She explained to us that if I was dilating she would have me induced but because I wasn’t it could end up being a very long labor. She asked for us to come in again 2 days later (with bags packed) and if I had made any progress we would get things started. Wednesday morning comes and nothing has changed so my doctor tells me I’ll be induced at 8pm the following Tuesday. It was bittersweet because we were anxious to meet our girl but thought it would be nice to be induced so we wouldn’t have to worry about going into labor on my own and rushing off to the hospital in the middle of the night. Be careful what you wish for… 10:30pm (that same day) and I’m having a hard time falling asleep- I tell Andy it feels like maybe I had a contraction but I wasn’t sure. Few minutes later and I feel this sharp pain rolling from my stomach to back. I start to notice this pain would come and go so Andy starts to time it on an app he had downloaded on his phone- sure enough 5 minutes apart. He calls the hospital and speaks to a nurse who says they need to be lasting 60 seconds and mine were at 30 so we stalled for a bit… I took a bath, laid down for awhile and before we knew it 55 seconds apart… Time to head in.
*Last Photo with the bump…
2:30am and I was hooked up in triage. I was at 1cm but the baby’s head was super low down (we were told throughout the day her head was as low as someone who was about ready to push) so the pressure was intense. A few hours passed and I was at 2cm… My doctor said I was progressing very slowly but felt hopeful that this little lady would be born in the next day or two. She said we had 2 options- we could either go home and they would give me a pill that would hopefully knock me out for a few hours- I would wake up and decide if I was feeling ok to stay home for a bit or come back in if I wasn’t. Option 2 was to stay at the hospital, move to another room where I would get a morphine shot and take the same pill that would hopefully put me right to sleep. We decided to go with option 2 because the contractions were getting worse and the thought of leaving the hospital just didn’t sound like a good idea…
First I took the pill and laid on my side as the nurse got me ready for the shot. She said it would go in my hip/thigh and I might feel a little bit of a burn… I thought I was ok with shots but OH MY GOSH did this hurt… I felt like someone was stabbing a nerve over and over again- horrible reaction but it was so painful my arm whipped back to rip the needle out and the nurse was yelling “don’t touch the needle!!” Anyway I survived haha..
By the time everything kicked in Andy was completely out on the couch. I was happy he was getting sleep and was patiently waiting to fall asleep myself but everytime I was about to a contraction would come and it would keep me awake. About 4 hours later the nurse came in and was shocked I hadn’t slept yet but she said I was at 4cm and that was considered active labor so she moved us to labor and delivery.
My doctor wanted to break my water but because of how low the baby’s head was and the pressure I was feeling she said I should get the epidural first to help with the pain. I had an IV put In my hand (took 3 attempts!) and they called the anesthesiologist up to my room. I was TERRIFIED for the epidural… I thought it was going to be extremely painful. They had my sit up on the bed and lean forward on Andy and before I knew it I was done- didn’t feel anything at all but a cold sensation going down my back. I felt amazing after the epidural… The most exciting was when I had a contraction and didn’t feel it! I flipped to my right side and fell asleep for 45 min but the nurses had to come flip me to my left side to make sure the epidural was spreading to both sides of my body- at this point everything went downhill. Suddenly I went from feeling numb to feeling everything on my left side. My right side was still completely numb- so much so they had to lift my dead weight leg but I could move my left leg no problem on my own. They kept me on my left side for a bit and gave me a higher dosage but the contractions got more and more intense and the pressure of the baby’s head was out of this world. This was all around 5pm… At this point I was at 6cm but because of how low the head was I felt like I could push. I started shaking violently and one of the nurses became concerned when she realized I hadn’t had anything to eat since wed night. We were confused because we didn’t think I could eat while I was in labor but turns out because of my gestational diabetes they needed to get me something ASAP as my blood sugar was super low. They brought me Popsicles and orange juice which helped a little with the shaking but then sailors heart rate went way up. They checked my temp and sure enough that had spiked (which they said could be why her heart rate was high). I was soon at 8cm but i didn’t even really feel like I was in my own body I was in so much pain. They put an oxygen mask on me which helped me breathe a little easier but I was so out of it. A few contractions went by and I asked the nurse to check and make sure she wasn’t coming out because I felt so much pressure. She said I was at 10cm and wanted me to start pushing immediately. Andy said he was worried because the dr wasn’t in the room at that point and we had no idea how fast this was all going to happen. We were told first time moms can be pushing for 4-5 hours but they were thinking it wouldn’t be too long for me. It was 11pm and the nurses that had been with us all day were done with their shift so they had to leave but one of them stuck around because she said she hates to leave when she’s been with a patient the entire time and misses the baby being born. This nurse was on my left side and held my hand and Andy was on my other side holding my hand. Everyone was rooting for the baby to be born after midnight as soon as they found out that’s our dog Harley’s birthday and the day that Andy proposed. I remember getting really frustrated because as I laid there feeling like I was dying all the nurses were having small talk with Andy. I would wave my hands in the air when a contraction would come and they would get me ready to push. Andy was in charge of counting while I would push but I was getting mad cause I would start pushing and a few seconds later he would start counting so I couldn’t make it to 10 haha but he figured it out! After a few min of pushing a nurse said “wow you have a blondie!!!” I thought she had no idea what she was talking about cause Andy was a bald baby and I had lots of dark hair so blonde hair never even crossed our minds! Every time after pushing I felt like I was having a panic attack and i just kept saying “I can’t breathe I can’t breathe” I feel like a portion of when I was pushing I blacked out because I don’t remember a lot from then on….
12:16am Sailor Grace Gerten was born.
I will never forget the feeling of her little 7 pound 14 oz naked body being placed on me. After a few screams and proof this baby had some healthy lungs, she stared at me in silence as the nurses cleaned her off. I felt like I had so many things to say but I just kept saying hi over and over. I felt like my heart was bursting out of my chest seeing her for the first time… I couldn’t believe she was mine. The nurses pointed out the blisters on her wrists and hands from sucking on them in the womb and they told Andy and I that the umbilical chord had been wrapped around her neck- thankfully they didn’t tell us that as it was happening or I would’ve panicked. One of the nurses grabbed Sailor and got her weight, height, measured her chest and head, gave her a shot and gave her a 9 for her apgar score. Andy took some photos of her and then held her for the first time… That I know I won’t ever forget. I could replay that image in my mind for the rest of time.
I was transferred to a new room which I have no memory of but I do remember
eating a turkey sandwich devouring a turkey sandwich and trying to decide if I wanted to keep sailor with me or have her taken to the nursery so I could get some sleep. After a few more snuggles I let the nurse take her and Andy and I texted photos to our family and friends. I’m glad we decided to tell them when we did (2:46am) because my parents knew we had been at the hospital (because they had picked up Harley) and last they had heard from us was around 5pm so little did we know they (more so my mom haha) were a bit concerned that there hadn’t been an update in quite some time.
Soon after we told them the news we were both sleeping like babies! Apparently the nurse brought sailor back in our room a few hours later for me to feed her but I have no memory of it whatsoever. Sailor was back in our room by 6am and we spent a lot of time just staring at her. We had lots of family and friends stop by to meet her at the hospital and we headed home with her on Sunday Jan 11th.
We are so in love with our baby girl and feel so lucky to be her parents!