We figured now that we have a nearly six month old baby, the time has now come to write a blog post…a little about her birth story and what life has been like for us since she was born. Although we would have liked to share more about our lives in the last year and half since our move to Utah, life has just been quite a bit busier than we expected it to be with lots of new changes. Just a fair warning to all of you – this birth story post is a little longer than our normal posts and contains somewhat in depth details about our baby’s birth story. But we feel our baby is definitely worth a longer post, so please set aside a few extra minutes if you plan to read.
You may have seen our last few posts about being pregnant with Genevieve. It’s crazy to think about how fast the pregnancy flew by. While it seemed to take forever for our baby to get here in the moments of being pregnant, we actually look back now and it all seems as if it went by in the blink of an eye (except for that first trimester when I was so sick – not fun).
When we were thinking of names for our baby, we had immediately thought of names for a boy and even had a boy name picked out. However when we found out we were pregnant with a girl, there seemed to be more pressure in finalizing a name for her. Everything almost seemed to have a little pressure added for things to be perfect since it would be a girl. On both sides of our families, this would be the first grandchild that would be a girl. We prayed everything would go smoothly with our pregnancy and delivery. And we did not finalize a her name until a few days before she was born. We went back and forth on names and couldn’t decide on one. (You know how it is when you know people with the names that you are thinking of, so you decide you can’t name your child that because you prefer your child to be the only one in your geographical area with that name). It was also important to us that her name had a significant meaning. Finally we decided on Genevieve Elaine. Elaine is a family name of mine as well as my middle name; and Genevieve is just such a lovely name in our opinions. We looked up a few meanings of it while browsing baby name books at Barnes and Noble and found that it means, “woman of the people.” This phrase seemed to be derived from a Saint Genevieve who was known for saving Paris from the Huns in 451 A.D. through leading a ‘prayer marathon.’ We liked this meaning because we think in whatever she does with her life, she will be a leader in some way and a prayer warrior.
Her due date was set to be 2/14/16 (she would have been a Valentine’s day baby), however as the date neared I actually started having contractions a week early. There was one point around 25 weeks where I had experienced contractions, but they had only lasted a few hours one evening. Still it helped me know what to expect or feel when I would really have them. On the evening of Saturday 2/6/16, I began to have a few contractions that were not rhythmic and so we went to bed without really thinking of it. However on the following Sunday, I woke up to rhythmic contractions that were about 8-10 minutes apart. Kaleb and I had taken a few birthing classes that had mentioned waiting to go in to the hospital until these were 3-5 minutes apart. And so we decided to wait. However throughout the day these contractions became very painful for me. It felt like everything from my belly to my knees would tighten up for a few minutes and then release and go back to normal until another one came. We had planned to go to a friend’s house that evening for a super bowl party. However we decided not to since I was in a lot of pain and by about 6pm that night, I was in so much pain that I was nearly yelling with every contraction. Finally, even though my contractions were not perfectly rhythmic, I could no longer take the pain. We decided to drive to the hospital. I had decided on delivering at the University of Utah hospital, which ended up being a great experience for me. I had full trust in the doctors there and never once felt unsafe or like my baby and I wouldn’t have the full care we needed. We arrived around 8pm and got checked in. I was still having painful enough contractions to where I could barely walk. Every time I had one, I’d have to stop walking and lean or push against something. I remember waiting for Kaleb to park the car and thinking about how much pain I was in and also how embarrassing it is to be trying not to yell with every contraction. Luckily most people were at super bowl parties and not hanging out at the hospital so there weren’t too many people to see me going through it all.
Once I was checked in and checked by a nurse, they monitored my blood pressure and found that I was only dilated 3 cm. They normally wouldn’t be able to admit me until i was 5 cm, but since I was so nervous about everything, my blood pressure was very high. I worried I would have to have a c-section or have a issues with delivering her since I had heard so many horror stories about childbirth being one of the most painful experiences in a persons life (also my mother labored with me for 22 hours, so this is what I was expecting). At first the nurses told me I would have to leave since I wasn’t dilated far enough and that they could give me medicine for the pain (which I graciously accepted the medicine). However after checking my blood pressure again, they decided to admit me early because it could be a higher risk pregnancy/delivery. As soon as I was admitted, I had a few amazing nurses who really had my back throughout the whole labor and delivery process. I had already decided I was having the epidural. And I must say this was the best choice for me. I was barely able to breath during the contractions. And the epidural shot itself did not hurt at all in comparison to the contractions I was having. Since it did not harm the baby, I have no regrets and highly recommend it to anyone who might be nervous about delivery.
Once I had the epidural, the nurses and doctor on call would check on me every few hours. A few hours after receiving this, they broke my water for me. At that point I had dilated to 5.5 cm. A few hours later (around 3am) they checked me again and I was now dilated to 10 cm! I was so nervous in between all of these that my blood pressure remained high the whole time. Since Genevieve seemed to be coming on her own so quickly after they broke my water, the on-call doctors decided to wait a few more hours and see how she progressed. Kaleb and I tried to sleep in between the visits and I felt the hospital did so much for us to make us feel comfortable. Of course I was too nervous and excited to really sleep. I continuously prayed and asked the Lord to help us deliver her safely and without complications the entire time between each check. And He was faithful in honoring that request.
By the next time, the doctors came to check on me around 5:40am, I was dilated +2 – or that’s what they said. I’m still not even sure what that means except that she was coming out soon! At that point my actual doctor had been paged and was on her way to the hospital. The on-call doctors told me I could try to start pushing. For some reason it was like I knew what to do and just started trying. My actual doctor arrived once Genevieve’s head was coming out and she was born promptly at 6:32am on February 8th. I think both Kaleb and my hearts exploded when she was born. We are so in love with this girl and this is only the beginning. We plan to continue sharing her birth story in a few more posts coming up because the birth story doesn’t really count as one day in my opinion. It continues for weeks to come.