Friday, June 21, 2013

Welcome to the world! Isabella Grazia




After four days of labor - yes you read right - four days - we finally welcomed our beautiful daughter, Isabella Grazia, into this crazy crazy world.  She was born on Sunday, April 7th at 11:38pm weighing 7 pounds, 9 ounces and 19 inches long.  With a nice full head of black hair.
  She's already 10 weeks old and just now am I finding the time and energy to write again.  The picture above really describes the whole birth experience in a nutshell.  I'm exhausted.  Chris is so happy and overwhelmed with joy.  And baby Isa came out with her eyes wide open and alert to everything around her.  She is about a half hour old in this picture and you would never know that she had a four day journey through my womb to get into our arms. I love this picture.  The crocheted blanket in the background was given to us as a gift when I was pregnant with Nico.  I call it "Nico's blanket" and I carried it with me throughout this pregnancy.  I felt like his spirit was with us that day.

I'll share her birth story here:
We arrived at the hospital on Thursday the 4th early in the morning for our scheduled induction.  We were so excited that we were going to meet our little girl sometime that day (or so we thought!!).  I was very nervous and hesitant about doing an induction but finally agreed after both doctors suggested it's the safest route considering our history with Nico.  But I wanted to do what they call a "gentle induction" without Pitocin or heavy meds.  I was convinced she just needed a gentle nudge to get my labor started.  Plus, I was so afraid of needing a C-section by doing the induction. When I arrived at the hospital, I was dilated only 1cm and was given a cervical gel to ripen my cervix.  That should do it!  Nope.  By the end of the day, I was having small contractions and had barely dilated.  I was so frustrated...I thought she would come right away!  

The next day, after getting little/no sleep I agreed to small doses of pitocin to start the contractions.  Well, the contractions came pretty regularly but by the end of the second day, I was only dilated to 4cm.  Seriously, a whole day of contractions and I thought, for sure something has to happen today!  Nope.


Not exactly what I had in mind with the "hands off" style of birth I expected!
By the third day, I was ready for more Pitocin.  They can only give you so much while monitoring baby's heart rate to be sure she wasn't stressed out.  This day was probably the toughest for me.  I spent much of the night in a panic that something terrible was going to happen. I didn't sleep at all.  Why wouldn't my baby come?  Was something wrong?  We are so close and I was afraid that something awful would (once again) happen to us.  We would somehow be twice denied our baby that we have been praying and hoping for.  This is what must go through the mind of someone who has lost a baby, I'm certain of it.  I just can't be sure of anything anymore.  Even being this close, I wasn't sure that something bad wouldn't happen.  


Chris was amazing through it all!  Here he is giving me a much-needed back massage during a rough contraction.
On the fourth and final day, my doctor came in and we both agreed that Isabella was going to come out by the end of the day - one way or another.  I agreed to have my waters broken and continue the Pitocin.  The water was broken around 10am and the contractions started coming on with increasing frequency and intensity.  Damn Pitocin! Pit induced contractions are so much harder and longer.  But I was committed to doing this without the pain meds...ughh!

By 8pm or so, I was 8cm dilated...finally!!  Here we go!  Too bad I still had to push for a few hours and I was exhausted.  I really couldn't do it anymore, not without some relief.  The contractions were coming every minute or less.  I could barely catch my breath by then.  I agreed to have an epidural so I could rest and get ready for the pushing.  Finally, I was able to sleep a little.  The doctors were great!  They knew I really wanted to do this without the epidural and were really, really good about not giving me too much of the pain meds.  I could still feel the contractions coming on and could move my legs a bit.

After about one hour of active pushing, I knew we were really, really close!  I could feel her moving through me; I couldn't believe I was finally going to meet my baby!  I pushed and pushed and wanted her out so badly...I could hardly wait any longer!  Finally!!  At 11:38 little Isabella Grazia was born!  Her eyes were wide open and alert!  My rainbow baby was born.
Just born!

Isabella Grazia was born into a loving family, surrounded by a supportive community and so many prayers, candle-lightings and crossed fingers.  You are truly a blessing, little Isa... and have brought light into my heart once again. 


Isabella at 3 weeks