Friday, December 9, 2011

Gabriel's Birth Story...

Gabriel Ray's Birthday
4lbs 8.6oz - 17 inches long

This is the detailed birth story of our angel. Its the best as I can remember.  My disclaimer is that it is detailed. I chose to include as much detail as I could so that someone in our situation would be able to see what we went through and how our labor and delivery story is told.

Preparing for induction
On 12/7/11 we went in at noon to have the prostaglandin gel inserted. Then we went back at 6pm for round 2. When we got there they monitored my uterus for awhile and discovered that I was actually having  minor contractions every 3 minutes or so, this was a surprise as usually the gel doesn't have that result. So they sent us home to relax and get some sleep. The contractions continued all night, by 3:30 I woke up and couldn't go back to sleep. My mind was racing a million miles per hour. I called the hospital a 6:30am to confirm that we were set to go for our induction and they told us to go ahead and come in at 7:30am. We arrived right on time and got settled into our room right away. It was nice because they put us at the end of the hall so we wouldn't be distracted by all the new babies and parents as this could be hard on us. They also had a sign on our door that said "Please check in at the  nurse station" and had a "Forget me not"  on it - obviously a notice of what we were about to be going through.

It took them a long time to find a vein for the IV. My veins were not cooperating for them and they had to call in the professionals. By 9 they had finally gotten the IV in and the Pitocin started. Our Doula was there and friends and family were coming and going to show their love and support. The contractions didn't really pick up at all and we were just sort of waiting... for a long time. By 1pm we still had little to no progress. They were uping the Pitocin by 2 every 1/2 hour or so. We were walking and walking and taking breaks in between. But nothing seemed to be working. They were saying that if we got to 30 (which would be about 7pm) that they would disconnect the Pitocin and do another round of cervical gel overnight and trying again in the morning. They were beginning to talk like this could go on into Thursday and Friday... I was so frustrated.

At that point I didn't think I could mentally handle dragging this on for days and days. I had an emotional meltdown. I understood that they wanted to take it slow to improve our chances of having some time with our angel baby, but I hoped it would go faster than this...  I had to let go of the control and let things happen as they were intended to. This time it wasn't up to me. Our doctors knew what they were doing, I'm so glad I decided to let it go and see what happened.

At about 6pm the contractions had picked up a lot. It was getting tougher to walk through them  but we kept on walking and using the birthing ball, eventually we decided to take a break. They checked me and I was finally at 1cm.

At 8:30 we decided we needed a break. They gave me some Fentanyl to try to get some rest. The first dose only seemed to make it worse, the contractions intensified and got closer together. So they gave me another bigger dose and that helped a bit, I was at least getting a small amount of relief from the contractions that now seemed to be right on top of eachother. 
They gave me another large dose shortly after that and I was really able to rest. I even slept for a short time. Derrick said it was only like 10 minutes, but to me it felt like an hour. They checked me again at 11pm and I was at a 3cm and 80% effaced! Finally feeling like we were making progress - what a relief.

I spent some time on the birthing ball, bouncing and working through contractions. By 1am they called Dr Landers because they knew we were getting close, she checked me again and I had reached 5cm. I spent about an hour soaking in the tub working through contractions with Derrick and our Doula by my side. Derrick contacted our families to let them know it was getting close to time. Eventually they realized I'd hit transition and should probably get out of the tub before I get the urge to push.

When I got out of the tub at about 2:10am, Dr Landers checked again and I had reached 9cm - almost time! They got Dr Buchbinder (who was apparently waiting in the room next door) and proceeded to prepare the room. By the time the room was ready we checked again and I had reached 10cm!

I had mixed emotions at this point. It was time to meet our angel, I didn't know if I had the strength to push him out... To add to the emotional struggle, he was coming breech. Now comes the moment of wondering if we would have trouble with our breech delivery as we had feared since we knew he was breech.

Pushing time. Delivery was much tougher than it was with Evelyn. It took longer and it was much more painful. I pushed for about 18 minutes, his head was stuck for about 5 of that.

After his butt came out I heard Derrick say "It's a boy!" Much to our surprise! Luckily we had prepared for a boy just in case and had clothes and things for both genders.

2:36am - After 18 hours of pitocin and 6 hours of active labor, Gabriel is born!
As he came out, they thought he had already passed... They handed him directly to me and he immediately tryed to take a breath -  but his lungs were just too underdeveloped. I had to get their attention so that they would realize he wasn't already gone.  I told him how much I loved him, how much I cherished him and that I would never forget the last 9 months we spent together. After Derrick had his time with his son, I got him back and wished him a happy birthday, told him I love him a million more times and snuggled him... The whole time the photographer was there, very respectfully taking photos without interferring with our time.

After about 10 minutes by ourselves, we invited our parents in, then the rest of our family that had arrived. Everyone got to see him alive! What a blessing! My dad even requested them to bring us holy water and was able to baptise him for us. We kept him in our arms, surrounded by all of those who loved him the most, he was completely surrounded by the love of our family and friends as he passed at 3:11am. We were so blessed to have 35 very precious moments with our beloved son, after which we gave our families the opportunity to hold and kiss him too.

We spent some time with him after everyone had left, we cuddled with him, held him and kissed him over and over again. Then our amazing nurse came in and measured him at 17 inches, weighed him at 4lbs 8.6oz. It was 5am and we were exhausted so we requested that they took him to the nursery for a few hours so we could get some sleep.

When we woke up at 8:30am we requested to see him again... Derrick spent some time with his baby boy and we both began saying our goodbyes. We knew we'd be going home that same afternoon so we wanted to make sure we had enough time with him. The nurses worked to gather the requested footprints, handprints, hair lockets and other things we'd requested (we requested a lot, we only had one chance and this was it, I wasn't going to miss a thing).

Leaving was tough. Neither one of us wanted to leave him there. I could have stayed there with him forever if they'd let me. But, we had a really cute little girl at home who was dying to see us, and we were dying to see her too. So we loaded up all the beautiful flowers and thoughtful gifts we'd recieved during our short hospital stay and headed for home. Missing our Gabriel every step of the way...

Here's some select pictures we recieved from our  NILMDTS photographer...


  1. Very touching sam thanks for sharing your story it means so much. He is forever and will always be in my heart. Gabriel is so precious. <3

  2. Samantha,
    My friend LaVeta showed me your blog. I really dont know what to say. Its 2:45 am Monday morning Arizona time. I am sitting in a pitch black living room tears streaming down my face. Tears of JOY. I am so relieved that your family had those GLORIOUS moments with Gabriel. Not many people can see how each one can feel like an eternity within your heart. I lost a sister before I was born. My mom didnt know it was going to happen. The cord was around Nina's neck and she aspirated meconium. My mother and father did receive 50 precious moments with my sister. My oldest sister was only about two at the time. Although I was not there... my twin, younger sister, and I still know and feel our angel sister (as we have always called her) was and is there. I still count her in my siblings when I have never met her. I guess the point in my comment is... although life goes on, and your family may continue to change and/or grow... Gabriel will live in the hearts of everyone. Even those who have never met your family.... but have angel babies in theirs.

    God Bless You.

  3. All of your pictures are so beautiful but the top one is absolutely breathtaking. Gabriel is a gorgeous baby. Peace.

  4. I'm so happy that you got to spend time with Gabriel! I've been following your blog as a fellow January mom from thebump. Your strength and courage through this journey has been truly inspiring, and your family will be in my prayers during this time. Your sweet baby angel will be watching over you and your family until you can once again be reunited!
    God Bless.

  5. May God help you and your family find peace and comfort.. Thank you for sharing! You're all in my prayers.