Mama Aubrey Grossen of The Mamahood Blog shares the hospital epidural birth story of her rainbow baby on the Honest Birth birth story series! Aubrey was induced at 37 weeks, her daughter was born vaginally, and then had to stay in the NICU for 8 days.
Hey mamas! Welcome to the seventh post in my Honest Birth series! I’m excited to share another real mama’s birth story, because I think it’s so important to share our childbirth experiences with each other. My goal with this series is to provide a place for women to share their birth stories without holding anything back, as well as compile stories for pregnant mamas to read in preparation for their own childbirth experiences. Every mama is different and every birth is different, and I believe that when we share our stories we help each other.
Today I am featuring my friend Aubrey! I can’t remember how we initially connected, but I’ve followed Aubrey for a few years now. She writes The Mamahood Blog and runs The Mamahood Blog Community on Facebook, a group of over 23,000 where moms support each other and help each other out. Aubrey is super sweet and has the cutest little family! She and her husband have a son, a daughter, and two angel babies, and they live in Texas. Today she has agreed to share the birth story of her daughter!!
Ready to read her story? Let’s do it!
The Birth Story of Rain Grossen
To sit down and write my birth stories feels a little daunting because it’s been quite the roller coaster in getting our family here.
I was 24 years old when I had my first baby, just a year after being married. Being a mom threw me for a loop but it was and still is one of the most beautiful experiences!
Two years later, we decided to plan it out perfectly for a second child to come. I knew I would get pregnant rather quickly so I thought I could just plan it exactly how I wanted and it would go exactly how I planned. I couldn’t be more wrong!
My second pregnancy I went in at 8 weeks and they found a dying heartbeat. The baby was measuring small, had a faint heartbeat, and had a 20% chance of surviving. It lived for about 4 more weeks after that and I would go in every week for an ultrasound to find the heart rate decreasing until it stopped. Probably one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to go through.
A few surgeries, infertility specialists, and another miscarriage later, I had an IVF specialist tell me that I wouldn’t be able to keep a healthy pregnancy without medical help (IVF). This news was also very heartbreaking to me, but I kept trying to move forward and went and got a second opinion.
This doctor had me try a couple things. I was on progesterone and Lovenox (for Factor 5 which I was able to discover I had because of my sister delivering a stillborn at 38 weeks. But this is something I wish they would test every woman for).
The pregnancy was vital and I ended up carrying a healthy baby and was set to be induced at 37 weeks for medical reasons as well.
Here is my rainbow story:
On Monday I went in to be induced. They wanted to ripen my cervix and have me spend the night at the hospital to deliver the next day.
The next morning around 7AM they came in and started me on Pitocin. We waited a few hours and they kept upping the amount to help with contractions. My husband was constantly making me laugh. He would feed me some ice chips and say “Just pretend this is cheesecake!”. We were so giddy and busting up at the funniest things. The nurse kept walking in saying, “Your contractions must not be hard enough yet if you’re laughing this hard!”
A couple hours in, I was a 2-3 and kept slowly progressing. They came in and broke my water around 10AM and after that, my contractions hit really hard. Pretty soon after that I started to have really bad contractions and it felt like all of it was in my lower back. They felt like they were on top of each other. I finally begged to have the epidural because I was in so much pain.
Around 11AM the anesthesiologist came in and raised the bed as high as it would go. They had my husband stand in front of me and made everyone else leave the room. Let’s just say I kind of caused a big scene. With my first, the epidural really wasn’t that bad, but this time around I could feel it completely and so I think I screamed at the top of my lungs and then broke down into this horrible sob! And right after I said something like, “It’s okay, I’m so sorry!” Everyone was able to laugh about it (after I was out of pain, thank goodness!) The anesthesiologist said, “I’m pretty sure everyone in this hospital heard when the needle went in.” I probably embarrassed my poor husband, but I hated that thing. I was so happy to have the pain gone to enjoy the birth afterwards though.
I labored for another 5 or so hours and all of a sudden they could see her head. So they got the doctor and I pushed for about 15-20 minutes. My family lives in another state, so we had them all on Facetime in the corner.
The one thing I requested was to have them put her straight on my chest. So they made sure to do that before recognizing anything was wrong.
The nurses kept coming over to rub her and to get her to cry a little harder to clear out her lungs. They took her to the bed across the room and I lost it. When you are with someone non-stop for 9 months, that separation is so real.
After they took her to run a few test, my doctor looked a little worried. In fact, her neck started to go blotchy so I knew something else was up. She said that my placenta had basically exploded all over in me and I was hemorrhaging. She got another doctor to come in and both of them had their arms inside of me up to their elbows trying to clean me all out. I lost so much blood that I ended up needing a blood transfusion.
Baby Rain was taken to the NICU for transition, but that turned into 24 hours, which turned into 3-4 days, which turned into a week, which turned into the longest 8 days ever. I don’t know how mamas survive months in there. So rough.
Each day she got better and better. I loved coming and seeing one less cord on her little body.
The last night we got to “room in” at the hospital with her, just to make sure she’d eat normally if it was in a setting of just us. The boys stayed at the hospital with us and we made a little vacation out of it. The next day we were discharged and I can’t even tell you how happy I was to finally be going home and to have a healthy baby! My heart broke for the babies and parents that had to stay there for weeks and months because our week felt like an eternity. I have grown a new respect and love for NICU families.
We named her Rain because during the few years of miscarriages and heartache, every time it rained (and I’m talking southern rain) I would take my toddler, and we would go dance and splash around in the puddles. It was our happy. Baby Rain is our rainbow after a lot of heartache and we feel like we finally hit the jackpot in getting her.
If you’re in the midst of your storm or heartache, hold on just a little bit longer. Fighting for your family to get here can be rough! Life has a way of turning around and it’s usually for the better if you just keep holding on. Motherhood is something divine. I have felt God’s hand every time I’ve given birth to a healthy baby or a miscarriage, or walked the halls of the NICU. We aren’t meant to do this alone.