Gianna’s Story

When we had our first daughter, Corinne, my wife sat down and wrote out her birth story.  This was a great idea so that someday she could read how she came into the world.  With the birth of our second daughter, Gianna (Gianna was born on Easter Sunday, April 8, 2012 at 4:19pm. She weighed 7 lbs. 4 oz. and was 21 ½ inches long.), last month Bethany decided to do the same thing and I thought I would share that with my readers.

Thank you for all your prayers and support. You all mean the world to us.

My dearest Gianna Lynn – The story of how you entered this world is full of miracles and God’s constant grace.  To fully understand this, we need to start at the beginning of Mommy’s pregnancy…

Mommy and Daddy found out they were expecting you at the beginning of August.  We thought everything was great and were looking forward to sharing our secret with the rest of the world, but before we could share our wonderful, little secret, Mommy had a big scare.  On Wednesday evening, August 31, Mommy started bleeding very bad.  She was convinced she had lost you and spent most of the evening crying in bed.  There is no worse feeling than that of losing a child; however, the next morning, we got our first miracle.  We got to see your tiny heartbeat on the ultrasound screen.  God is so good!  We found out that Mommy had what is called a subchorionic hematoma, meaning there was a blood clot in her uterus.  We were told this is a common occurrence but that I had to take it easy and leave it in the Lord’s hands as there was nothing the doctors could do about this.

Mommy continued to bleed off and on until Friday, October 7 when she started bleeding very bad again.  So off Mommy and Daddy went to the hospital again – Mommy convinced she had lost you and Daddy believing in God’s sovereign grace.  It was there that we received our second miracle – seeing your tiny heartbeat on the ultrasound screen again.  God is faithful!  Mommy was told, again, to take it even easier than before until the blood clot dissolved.  She continued to bleed off and on for a couple of more weeks until her 20 week ultrasound where she was told the blood clot was gone.  Praise the Lord!  It was a rough start to the pregnancy, but it taught Mommy a lot about trusting her Saviour and His plan for life.  During this time, she relied on Romans 8:28.  She even wrote that verse on your ultrasound photo and kept it by her bed so that she would never forget to trust God’s faithfulness.

After this, the biggest issue facing this pregnancy was whether or not Mommy was going to have another c-section.  We were informed that to have another c-section would limit the number of children we could have, at max 4.  Mommy didn’t like the thought of being limited in that, and Daddy always said he wanted 8 kids, so we decided to try a VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean).  However, when Mommy was checked at 34 weeks, you were lying transverse, meaning no VBAC.  You didn’t flip head down until a week before you were born, so we believed that God was telling us to continue with the VBAC.

On Tuesday morning, April 3 around 4:00am, Mommy woke Daddy up because she was having consistent contractions – about 4 minutes apart.  She called her doctor and was told to go to the hospital right away since she was a VBAC. Uncle Jonathan and Aunt Erin came over to watch your big sister, Corinne, and off we went!  We were so excited and nervous, thinking this was the day we were going to finally meet you.  However, Mommy’s contractions lessened, and we were sent home at 5:00pm that day.  We were disappointed, having spent the whole day in the hospital, but we knew we would meet you soon.

Mommy continued to have inconsistent contractions the next couple of days, until Saturday afternoon, April 7, when they started coming every 5 minutes.  Mommy called her doctor, and instead of  going to the hospital, Dr. Tonya Duguid came to our house.  Dr. Duguid arrived around 5:30pm and said that the contractions weren’t coming hard enough to go to the hospital, but she decided to wait and see what happened.  Around 9:00pm, the contractions started to hurt!  So, Dr. Duguid said it was time, and off we went to the hospital again!  Uncle Jonathan and Aunt Erin came back over to stay the night with your big sister.

Having not experienced labor with your older sister, these contractions were painful!  They continued to get worse until we were admitted to the hospital and Mommy received an epidural.  Mommy labored through the night, throwing up at one point, until 11:45am on Sunday morning.  It was a stressful morning since it was Easter Sunday and Daddy was supposed to preach.  He contemplated for a while leaving the hospital to go preach and then come back, but thankfully he didn’t, and Uncle Jonathan preached your Daddy’s message that Sunday morning.

At 11:45am, Mommy began to push.  The OB on call would not let her labor down at all, so she had to start pushing before you were low enough to really merit pushing.  She pushed for 2 hours before saying she was done.  Enough was enough.  Even with the epidural, she was in a lot of pain and said she couldn’t continue.  So, at 1:45pm, she was given the c-section epidural dose to numb her up and told she was going to another c-section.  The OB on call, however, was in a different surgery, and so another OB had to be called in, which took about 20 minutes.  When that OB arrived,  she checked Mommy and said that the baby was too low to have a c-section, and she recommended continuing to push and using the vacuum to suck you out!  Mommy was distraught when she heard this.  Dr. Duguid could tell Mommy was unsure about this decision and asked everyone to leave the room so that Daddy and Mommy could talk about this.  Upon hearing the risks the OB gave for having a c-section with the baby that low, Daddy wanted Mommy to continue pushing.  He asked her for one more hour of pushing, and if you hadn’t come by then, we could have the c-section.  Mommy agreed to give him one more hour, but told Him to continue to quote Phil 4:13 to her because that was the only way she was going to make it through the pain.

Since Mommy had been given the c-section epidural dose, she had to wait for that to wear off before she could start pushing again.  Praise the Lord the following events took the course they did, because if Mommy had started pushing again, she might not be here today.  While waiting for the epidural to wear off, your heart rate began to waver, Mommy developed a fever, and you hadn’t dropped any lower.  This concerned Dr. Duguid, who called the OB on call, Dr. Weaver.  Dr. Weaver came in and checked Mommy only to discover that you were face up.  She made the decision to go to c-section immediately, saying that some OBs are willing to perform high-risk c-sections and others aren’t.

Mommy was dosed again with the epidural and wheeled off to the c-section room.  You were born at 4:19pm.  Mommy will never forget hearing Daddy say, “Gianna’s here,”  another precious baby girl to love.  Mommy loved you right away and was anxious to be done with the c-section so that she could hold you.  However, Mommy was feeling quite a bit of pain, and the anesthesiologist kept giving her more drugs.  At this point, Mommy doesn’t remember anything, as she was put under and intibated.  Daddy was asked to leave the room with you.  He wasn’t told anything but says that people were walking quickly and then people were running.  When asking a nurse what was going on, he was told to just love and focus on the beautiful baby girl he was holding.  After a while, Dr. Duguid came out and told Daddy what was going on.  Mommy’s uterus had tore all the way through her cervix, which was the pain she was feeling, and there was a lot of blood.  So much so that the doctors were worried she might bleed out.  Daddy said he did a lot of pleading with the Lord in that moment – first admitting that He knew God was in control and if he was meant to raise 2 girls on his own, then so be it, but if God was able, to spare Mommy’s life.

God performed another miracle and spared Mommy’s life.  She woke up in recovery around 7:00pm to a tearful husband and very confused.  The only things she wondered were why did her throat hurt so bad and why was it 7 o’clock.  Daddy wouldn’t answer those questions for her just yet, as she wouldn’t have comprehended what he was saying anyway.  Daddy just kept crying and put you on Mommy’s chest until we were taken back to her room.

Grandpa Vaughn, Grandma Muck, and Grandpa Muck were all in the room waiting when we walked in.  Grandpa Vaughn was in tears, which proceeded to confuse Mommy even more.  She really had no idea what had happened, just that something had gone terribly wrong.  All she wanted was to hold you.  A few minutes later, though, she was told she was headed to x-ray to make sure all of her internal organs were in tact from the traumatic c-section.  Well, her organs weren’t all in tact.  Her ureter had been clipped, and she would therefore need another surgery.  When Dr. Weaver came in to tell Mommy this, Daddy had left with Grandma and Grandpa Muck to go get something to eat.  So Mommy received this news, in her groggy state, by herself.  The only thing on her mind was that she hadn’t fed you and knew that with another surgery coming quickly, she wouldn’t get to.  She asked if she could feed you until Daddy arrived.  They allowed her to, and it was wonderful!  There is nothing like being a mother.

Daddy was scared for Mommy to have another surgery, as she had to be put under again.  He at first said no, he didn’t want her to, but quickly changed his mind when he realized it was urgent.  So, again, Mommy was wheeled down to surgery where a stent was to be placed in her ureter tube (kidney tube).  The urologist, Dr. Fretz, was worried, though, that he wouldn’t be able to put the stent in, and he would have to open Mommy back up again.  Dr. Weaver was adamantly against this, as she wasn’t sure she’d be able to stitch the cervix back up again.  So, Dr. Weaver, who didn’t have to be there, came to the surgery for the sole purpose of praying for Mommy.  Praise the Lord again!  The stent was placed successfully, and Mommy was finally brought up to her room around 1:00am.

What a day!  In the aftermath of all of this, we learned what actually happened: Yes, Mommy’s uterus tore all the way down to her cervix causing a lot of blood.  When the cervix tears, doctors call this “no man’s land,” as there is almost nothing there to stitch together.  Since this isn’t something that happens frequently, another surgeon was called in and Dr. Duguid stepped aside.  During the c-section, they also discovered that Mommy could have pushed for 20 hours and you wouldn’t have come out.  There is some sort of band in Mommy’s uterus that you were getting stuck on, preventing you from entering the world vaginally.  While stitching up my cervix, though, Dr. Weaver nicked my ureter, which is why Mommy had to have the second surgery to have the stent put in.  During this surgery, Mommy also received a blood transfusion.

During the days following this, we heard many comments from the doctors, such as: “I’m surprised to see you up and even talking to me.”… “I’m changing my VBAC policy because of you.”… “I barely got those stitches in – there was no way I was opening you back up only to take the stitches out.  I don’t think I would have been able to get them back in.”

Gianna, you are a precious miracle from the Lord.  It was a difficult pregnancy, a traumatic delivery, and a long, emotional recovery, but you are worth it.  We love you so much.  I love you so much, and I will never forget how my Lord brought us all through this process.  I have learned more how to trust and to rely on Him and to believe in His promises, because He is faithful.  He loves His children dearly.  My prayer is that you learn, believe, and base your life around those promises someday.  I love you, Gianna Lynn.

Your devoted Mother.




3 Responses to “Gianna’s Story”

  1. 1 Shelli Hanson May 8, 2012 at 1:06 am

    God is good! I’m so glad everyone is doing well! Praise God! Thank you for sharing these miracles! Congratulations on your new addition! Babies are precious gifts from our Father!

  2. 2 Gail Vaughn May 8, 2012 at 3:14 am

    Part of Gianna’s birth story must also be what happened in her family the week before she was born. One week before she was born, on Saturday, March 31, our family woke to the news that Bethany’s Grandma Vaughn (Gianna’s great- grandma) went home to be with her Lord that morning. The family was all together that morning because we were getting ready to celebrate the wedding of Bethany’s sister, Melody, that afternoon. Bethany had the priviledge of playing the music for her sister’s wedding. So within the span of 8 days, little Gianna, our family celebrated yet grieved the death of a dear mother/grandmother, celebrated the joining together of your Aunt Melody and Uncle Joel, pleaded with the Lord for the life of your Mommy, and praised the Lord for your sweet life! Through it all, God was faithful as He always is. We can say, without a shadow of doubt, that God is good – all the time – and we will praise and worship Him in ALL things.

  3. 3 Tim Sprankle May 15, 2012 at 6:06 pm

    My wife’s second labor (not pregnancy) shares some similarities. Margot turns five next month. We love her dearly. Sometimes my wife still mourns a labor that did not conform to our plans. Mostly, though, our response now reflects your closing lines: Praise. Congratulations and blessings as your graduate and grow as a family.

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