What a whirlwind the last few days have been.
Life seemed to be in a complete standstill as we waited anxiously for our precious granddaughter to arrive. We all began to seriously believe that she had just decided to stay inside her mother forever but finally at just one week overdue labor began and we had high hopes for all the planning to proceed without a hitch.
Reality reared its head though when hour after hour passed and we seemed to be sitting in standby mode impatiently waiting.
My daughter had desired a medication free, birth center birth where she could labor and deliver per her choice with her midwife, husband and myself in attendance. Reality was far from that experience and we had no idea until Gisella actually entered the world why these plans had to go so far from the desired course.
After hour upon hour of intense back labor, repeated checks of progress with little physical change, and utter exhaustion as hours turned into days of painful stabbing back pain, my daughter opted to toss the plan out the window, head to the hospital and attempt some relief with an epidural. Replaying this labor now seems unnecessary as in the end, baby was born happy and healthy. Baby was also born with one hand/arm tucked right up by her chin and the other arm/elbow jutting out so as to hinder the entire process needed for an effective labor.
We all came to the realization upon seeing just how determined Miss Gisella was to be born with her hands/arms exactly where she wanted them to be that without the alteration in plans, we would have faced the biggest medical intervention of all, a cesarean birth.
I know just how much my daughter wanted to follow her idea of an “ideal birth plan”, one by the way I backed 100% because of the strong, powerful woman she is, but I am also so incredibly proud of her and her ability to realize that sometimes changes have to occur that in the end will still provide the outcome of a healthy baby and a mom who can fully participate in that birth and not face surgical intervention. Her body tried so hard to do exactly what it was meant to do but our stubborn baby had other ideas. She was amazing, even in the face of severe back pain, and held on as long as she could with days of zero sleep.
In the end, in this birth situation, she made the right decision. She is the most amazing woman and new mom and she has given me a granddaughter who is truly a precious gift.
More pictures will follow. The new mom and dad have been and continue to work on breastfeeding, adjusting to continued lack of sleep and learning how to be a new family. I cannot stop looking into this precious face and feeling a sense of awe, much like I felt when her own mother was born. I feel like the luckiest person in the world.