Hello friends! Thank you all for your thoughts and prayers this past week. We are settling in nicely at home and look forward to seeing you all soon so you can meet Grace. I wanted to take a few minutes to sit and record my labor and delivery story because I haven't gotten a chance to share it with many of you, as well as the fact that it all seems like a blur to me so I need to record it before I can't remember anything!
As some of you may know we were induced on Wed., Oct. 14, one day after Grace's due date. All along I really didn't want to induce, but now I am so thankful that we did. Adam and I woke up at 4:45 to prepare to head to the hospital. We had to check in at 6am. We signed a few papers and they took us to our room to get settled. I immediately got my IV's and was started on pitocin around 7:30am. I was very comfortable, having steady contractions every 5-6 minutes, that really weren't very uncomfortable. My best friend Elizabeth Ray (Grace's namesake) arrived at this point to cheer us on! It was so special to have her with me! At about 8:30am my OBGYN, Dr. Andrew Cole, came by to check on my progress. I had been holding at 3cm and 80% effaced for about 3 weeks and was still at this point when he checked me so we decided to break my water to get the ball rolling. Dr. Cole seemed concerned b/c there was evidence of meconium (baby's first bowl movement) in the water. This is normal for about 1/3 of pregnancys but he seemed very concerned about the thickness and amount, so he called for the pediatrician on call, Dr. Hopp, to be present for the birth. Adam and I were immediately very concerned and began praying immediately for the Lord to protect our little angel because if inhaled, the meconium in the lungs can lead to pneumonia. From this point my contractions started happening every 2-3 minutes and lasting 45 sec.-1 min. I was very uncomfortable and asked for my epidural which Trae Martin, a nurse anesthetist administered about 45 minutes later. Immediate relief! The nurse checked me again (9:15am) and I had progressed from 3cm to 6cm within that short 45 minutes and couldn't believe we could have our baby so soon! Once I was comfortable family and friends came by to visit and hang out as we waited. Over the next 4 hrs I progressed from 6cm to 9cm and sat at 9 until about 1:00pm. The nurse checked me again at 1:15 and said I was at 10cm and it was time to push! They called for Dr. Cole and Dr. Hopp, and about 30 minutes and 7-8 pushes later Grace Elizabeth Harrell made her grand entrance into this world! All 7lbs. 8oz. and 19 1/2 inches of her! She was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen! Dr. Hopp began working on her to clean out her lungs. Once he got everything clear they told us she did great and we should have no worries. Praise the Lord for such amazing doctors! He really had his hand protecting both of us that day! Adam was an amazing coach. He stayed calm the entire time when I was so worried about Grace. Everytime I got upset and worried he sat beside me and prayed and the Lord would give me a peace. I couldn't have done it without him and I'm so proud of the amazing father he is. Well, I just wanted to share our story of the labor journey (sorry it wasn't so short afterall!) and thank you all for supporting us and praying for us! More updates soon!