It's A GIRL!!!!!!!!!

Saturday, January 7 I woke up and knew I was going to deliver a baby today. I just felt different.  We went to Olivia and Jack's basketball game in the morning and when we got home I called my doctor and explained my symptoms and she said come on into the hospital.  I grabbed my suitcase and camera and thought to myself, "it's time.  Don't be fearful.  Enjoy this.  It's our last baby."

Mom, Justin and I checked into the Hospital and they sent me to triage to monitor my labor. When I arrived I was 3 cm and 80% effaced. We walked the halls for an hour and when I came back to be checked I was 4 cm and 90% effaced so they checked me into a hospital room around 3:30pm.   Let the excitement begin…

They put us into a labor and delivery room at West Chester Hospital which is absolutely beautiful. It is brand-new and it is state of the art everything. And we were the only people on the entire maternity floor to deliver a baby that day. The attention we received was so comforting.

Doctor came back around 5 o'clock and I was only 4 1/2 cm so they decided to break my water. Once they broke my water labor contractions came on fast and furious. Mimi, Pa and Justin were all in my room helping me pass the time.  I was getting really nervous but I had two things bring me comfort: my prayer beaded bracelet that my friends made me during my baby sprinkle and Grandma Elaine's Blessed Virgin Mary necklace. Wearing both of these sentimental pieces brought me comfort.

I was really apprehensive about the epidural. I feel like that is the absolute worst part of the whole experience. I hate the shot in the back which hurts terribly bad and I hate the paralysis feelings in my legs.  Knowing that, I pushed off getting the epidural as long as I could. Then the pain came on so intense I couldn't even breathe. My body was going into convulsions.  We paiged my nurse to have the epidural. When the epidural specialist came into my room she gave me the numbing shot in my back at this point she was having a difficult time because my contractions were extremely intense and coming every 90 seconds. You have to sit extremely still for an epidural and I couldn't even sit still. She finally got the numbing medication in my spine and put the epidural in my back meanwhile I kept screaming "when I'm I going to get relief??? help me!!"  At this point I was pretty scared. The anesthesiologist told me that the epidural doesn't kick in for 25 minutes.  At this point I knew it was going to be a natural birth and I went into panic mode. The nurse checked me and the baby was already crowning.  I was already 10 cm and 100% effaced and the baby was at statio +2.  The burning sensation in the pain were nothing that I have ever experienced before in my life. I kept screaming bloody murder that I can't do this. My nurse and my doctor said you have no choice it's time to push. Push through the pain. So I mustered up as much strength as I could.  Kept my focus on the baby and my anticipation was up so high as I was eager to find out if we were going to have a son or a daughter.

Four painful, intense and strong pushes later I delivered the baby. The doctor said "dad, want to announce what we have?!" And JUSTIN looked down as he was holding my leg up and said with tears in his eyes, "it's a girl!"  And we both cried tears of joy. I went into complete euphoria state of mind.  Mostly because it was a daughter and because the pain was over and I was now sensing relief.

I lay there with baby girl on my chest just saying thank you thank you thank you Lord. Thank you for this healthy baby girl. It's a girl!!!!! Someone go get my mom!!!

I had such a strong feeling it was going to be a girl but I didn't want to admit it...  I said multiple Hail Mary full of Grace prayers in my head during the pain. I knew all along in my heart of hearts it was going to be a girl and her name will be Grace.  And here she is on my chest and I am a blubbering mess of love and gratitude. God is so gracious. He answered my hearts desire. Another daughter? How did I get so lucky? For beautiful healthy children and two boys and two girls.  My cup runneth over with gratitude. 

And I truly believe Grace Elizabeth has been kissed by an angel. She was born January 7, 2017 at 7:17pm in room 17 weighing 7lb 7oz.  I truly do not believe that was a coincidence.  Seven is a biblical number meaning completeness and perfection - and that she is!  She perfectly completes our family.  And her timing to arrive has given my family so much  joy after such a tremendous lose of my grandma.  Grandma always told me throughout this pregnancy that I would deliver and angel and I truly believe I did.

The name Grace means to be in God's good favor...  even when you don't deserve it.  And we must surely be in Gods good favor.  I am so glad I followed my heart when I heard God whispered to me to "go for it!"  And now I am blessed with the most beautiful baby girl.

Nana, pa conger and peg brought our kids to the hospital room 45 minutes after I delivered Grace. They did not know what we were having until they walked into the room. When we announced they have a sister, Olivia fell over on the couch and cried. She literally experienced for the first time what we call tears of joy. She was elated. They were all so happy. They all got to hold baby Grace and they all brought her handmade cards.  It was such a special moment - one I will never ever forget.

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