Gus’s Birth Story
Monday, August 6, at 6 am (a full two weeks after our due date) Justin and I headed to the hospital so I could be induced. While we really wanted our baby to come on his or her own, our doctor said it was best if our baby was born by 42 weeks. First, the doctor broke my water, and we waited five hours in hopes that labor would begin on its own. After it became clear that there was no such luck, the nurse gave me medicine to induce labor and contractions. However, I did not take an epidural or pain medication.
At first, the medicine and contractions worked well. While I was in pain, it was not unbearable. We played cards in between contractions and just simply visited. Five hours after beginning the medicine (and 10 hours after arriving at the hospital), it looked like I would soon be giving birth, so the techs came in and got everything ready. Unfortunately, I had another five hours of heavy labor (and one hard hour of pushing) before Gus would be born.
There were, however, several scary moments. At several points, we thought I might have to have an emergency c-section. At one point Gus went into distress. Thankfully, the expertise of the doctor and nursing staff managed to get our baby calmed down.
Later, they determined that baby was in the wrong position and this is probably why I hadn’t made any progress in the last several hours. At one point, the doctor came in and said that we had the baby’s heart rate under control and I could continue to labor, but that she would be back in an hour and we may have to do a c-section if the baby didn’t turn.
Justin: It was very discouraging and Sara was so exhausted. I could tell she wasn’t sure if she could continue. She labored for about 30 minutes more when she turned to me and said, “They need to come check me. If I haven’t made any progress we are going to have to do the c-section.”
When the nurse checked her she had progressed! It was wonderful to see the hope return to Sara’s eyes. I could tell there was still fear about being able to finish the task at hand, but there was also hope!
Sara: In my hospital bag, I had packed a rosary and a crucifix. I was too tired and lacked the concentration to pray even a simple “Hail Mary,” but “Jesus, help me” was my persistent prayer. Justin, at times, prayed in my ear to encourage me and give me strength. When I was about ready to give up and have a c-section if baby hadn’t turned and I hadn’t progressed, Justin sent for the nurse, and our prayers had been answered. Our baby could be delivered vaginally.
After an hour of hard pushing, Baby Kraft was born. The cord was wrapped around baby’s neck twice, so the doctor and nursing staff worked fast. As they whisked my baby into the corner I remember asking, “Is it a boy or a girl?”
The doctor responded, “I don’t know – I didn’t look.” Seconds later, it was announced we had a boy, and Justin proudly pronounced him Augustine Xavier. He was born at 11:51 pm and had a full head of curly hair. He weighed 9 pounds and 5 ounces – no wonder I was so huge the past few weeks!
Soon after the cleanup process, Justin brought our Gus over to me, and we tried to breastfeed. Gus was so beautiful – one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen. I was very, very tired, so after a short while, the nurses came to finish cleaning him up and give him a hearing test. Justin went to get me something to eat. After Gus was back in our room, I slept soundly after we prayed a prayer of thanksgiving to God for our healthy beautiful baby boy.
At various points throughout pregnancy, I had wondered if I would be a good mother. However, after holding Gus for the first time, it was love at first sight and I knew Justin and I were blessed beyond measure to have our baby boy.
The next two days, Justin and I enjoyed spending time in the hospital as I recovered simply getting to know Gus better and began slowly introducing him to family and friends. Each day, I get stronger and we love our Augustine even more.