We welcomed Gemma Joan to our family on July 18, 2018. She weighed 8lbs 4oz, measuring 20″ long and was born following a relatively quick and easy labor.
Gemma’s Labor and Delivery Timeline
- 9PM water begins leaking
- 2-5AM random contractions
- 8:30AM triage
- 10:15AM admitted to labor and delivery
- 1:00PM inserted IV for Pitocin
- 3:00PM ask for epidural
- 4:00PM 10cm
- 4:30PM delivery
Gemma’s Labor and Delivery Story
As I approached the end of my pregnancy with Gemma, I became desperate to deliver her and for the pregnancy to be behind me. Based on our history with Olivia, everything rode on the moment Gemma was delivered. We had no idea if she was healthy or affected by Spinal Muscular Atrophy like her sister, so my pregnancy was a terribly cruel 40 week long waiting game. I wanted her to be here for a million reasons, but first and foremost so we’d know if she was healthy.
I talked with my doctors about scheduling an induction date after 38 weeks, but those conversations kept stalling. Week 38 came and went, and I couldn’t believe I was still pregnant.
On July 17, a Monday, I was 39w2d. I had noticed some small leaking as I got ready for bed, but went to sleep as usual. I kept thinking, perhaps this is it! But feared if I went in they’d just tell me I peed myself. #pregnancyproblems. Well, it happened enough times overnight, in addition to an hour or two of midnight contractions to warrant a phone call first thing in the morning. My doctor encouraged me to have things checked out, and in triage the fluid tested positive as amniotic fluid. So, despite not having contractions or being dilated, at that point I wasn’t going home until I had my baby.
By the time I was checked in to a labor and deliver room, it had been 12+ hours since I first noticed fluid leaking, so they had to induce me. I started a small dose of Pitocin, which caused my contractions to come on too close to one another, and too strong for Gemma, so they backed off the meds. Having learned from my first labor that I’m not one for pain, I asked for an epidural early in the game. However by the time I had an epidural placed and realized it wasn’t actually working, I was 10cm and ready to push.
On a spectrum of labor and delivery stories, Gemma’s birth was normal. I wasn’t giving birth in the hospital hallway after 45 minutes of labor. And I wasn’t in labor for 48 hours. Laboring was easy. Pushing was easy. Delivery was perfect, much in part to my incredible maternal fetal medicine doctor who raced across town from one hospital to another to deliver my baby. And Gemma came out as healthy as can be. Which we know all too well is a true miracle and a blessing we’ll never take for granted.
We stayed in the hospital until Thursday and then it was finally our time to bring our baby home.