Upon finding out I was pregnant I was filled with mixed emotions. My husband and I were parents of three, and we were approaching the one year anniversary of our relocation to Atlanta, Georgia. Being pregnant was nothing new to me, however being pregnant in an unfamiliar state left me with anxiety. Having to choose the right obstetrician, deciding on which hospital to deliver, and the biggest stressor of all was fear of going into labor while my husband was out of town. See, we don't have the traditional work schedule, 9 to 5, Monday through Friday lifestyle. We're business owners and the nature of our business can change at the blink of an eye. This change left me taking care of our three children and going to appointments by myself for most of my pregnancy.
Gabrielle's due date was January 15, 2013. None of my children's births were a surprise for me because they were induced. I didn't have the "wake up in the middle of the night, my water broke, rush to the hospital" experiences that happens in the movies. Our friends decided to give us a baby shower on January 6. The event was held at our home and was filled with love and excitement! After the long day, I almost crawled to bed ... my body was done!! All night long I complained to my husband about pains I felt in my back, stomach and chest. I thought it was simply gas from eating so much food that day. I had my final appointment the following morning, hoping that my OB would schedule my induction for the following Tuesday. Still having pains, I jokingly said to my mother, "What if I'm in labor and she sends me to the hospital?" Sure enough, during my exam my doctor asked if my bag was packed and instructed us to go straight to Labor and Delivery!! I was in active labor!!!! Excitement rushed through me, along with an overwhelming feeling of anxiety! I've never gone into labor before naturally. My husband was scheduled to be in Baltimore the following day. I felt like she knew this and wanted to meet him before he left.
I was 5cm dilated when we left the office. Of course an overnight bag was the very last thing on my mind, we just had a shower the day before?! I expected to have more time to prepare. Everything was everywhere!! We were rushing to pack and still trying to get to the hospital because the contractions, which I found out was not gas, were coming quickly and strong! I did not want to have her in the car! Finally, an hour later we arrive in Labor and Delivery. She's coming!! I'm ready!! It's 2 in the afternoon and my contractions were coming every 1 to 2 minutes. I'm almost 7cm dilated. Finally!!!
My doctor expected I would have a baby within a couple of hours. I received an epidural around 5pm, then everything came to a halt! Contractions completely stopped! There I was, laying in the hospital bed stalled at 7cm for almost 5 hours. I guess Gabby changed her mind, at least that's what we told ourselves to make light of the possibility of having an emergency c-section. I received multiple phone calls and text messages of encouragement. My sister-in-law was especially excited because it was her birthday. After giving up hope around 10 pm I called home to wish my other children goodnight. Our oldest daughter, Yasmine, said that she still believed that Gabby would come before midnight and that I had to believe it too! I said a prayer after hanging up with her. I really didn't want a c-section. Then five minutes or so later, the machines started beeping!! My contractions were back and Gabby was crowning!!! After three pushes, Gabrielle Giselle Grier was born January 7, 2013 at 10:22 pm. Tears just started to fall from my eyes. My beautiful healthy baby was finally here. She was perfect! Those 5 hours of no activity were a thing of the past. She was well worth the wait!!! After she was cleaned and ready for us, I carefully removed her hat and replaced it with one that I had specially made for her. It was leopard print with a huge white flower that has a large rhinestone jewel in the center. She instantly became my little doll baby. I kissed her forehead. My little love baby, perfect in every way.
Thank you Erica for sharing your birth story and super cute baby shower with us. It's so meaningful to share the experiences in our lives that make us stronger women. God Bless your family!!