Baby G III is a boy! Fulton Timothy Gretencord was born to us on Sunday, December 11, 2005 at 8:03am CST. He weighed 8 lbs 10oz and measured 20 1/4 inches long.
Servant of God Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen
Television’s first preacher of note, in the early 1950s on the DuMont Television Network; Sheen’s program, called Life Is Worth Living, was highly regarded by the public; He was born in El Paso, Illinois in May of 1896; Bishop Sheen wrote 96 books and hundreds of articles and columns; On October 2, 1979, two months before Sheen’s death, Pope John Paul II visited St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City and embraced Sheen, saying, “You have written and spoken well of the Lord Jesus Christ. You are a loyal son of the Church.”; He died on December 9, 1979; His cause for canonization is underway.
As every pregnancy is different, so is every birth! I must say that Therese’s birth was such a blessing I couldn’t imagine anything better, which made me fear that something worse could happen. We were still set on a natural birth, and with God’s help we managed 2 for 2.
I was SURE that Baby G would be born the week before his due date. Just like a little boy to be later than “I” expected… but right on time for what God had planned. I was having contractions off and on that last week but to no avail. We went to our Goddaughter’s birthday party Saturday afternoon and I made all kinds of plans for baby G not to come out until at least Tuesday of this week.
I woke up at 2:30 Sunday morning with a really strong contraction. Adam was still up reading at the time and started to time the subsequent contractions. They were about 7-8 minutes apart and uncomfortable. At first I thought it was the mild Indian food we had the night before. After an hour, I realized that it wasn’t. The contractions were 4-5 minutes apart by 4 a.m. but they were only lasting about 30 seconds—which was not typical laboring. So Adam was hesitant about going to the hospital. “I” on the other hand was banking on a much shorter labor this round (compared to my 12 hour labor with Therese) and felt that we probably shouldn’t stay at the house too much longer.
After talking to the doctor on call, Adam assessed that we’d wait until the contractions were about a minute long. That happened almost immediately. By 4:40 we were out the door. We got to the hospital around 5 a.m. Not a nurse was to be found at the nurse’s station when we got there. One came out and said they were dealing with an emergency. She showed us to our room and began the process of getting us situated.
In hindsight I think that all the experienced nurses were dealing with this “emergency” and we got left with the scraps. We gave them our birth plan—no drugs and we wanted a heplock instead of an IV—all reasonable requests. So a second nurse came in to put in the heplock… and she did a less than stellar job. I was still laying down waiting for all the monitors to be taken off when the first nurse started going through the paper work. I looked over at my hand and the heplock was leaking. Blood was oozing out of my hand. I must have said, “My hand is leaking” about 3 times before the nurse did anything about it. In the middle of those hard contractions, I thought of Jesus and the nails through his hands… this was my part in his suffering. At the same time, I knew my little puddle of blood was nothing compared to what He suffered for me.
I don’t remember my contractions with Therese being as painful as these were. And both of these labors were all “back-pain” labors. Then the nurse checked me out. I was already 6-7 cm dilated. That was some consolation for all the pain, but I was still 3 cm shy of being able to push the baby out. By the time the nurse was done with all the monitoring it must have been close to 7 a.m. because there was a change in nursing staff. Our new nurse, Linda, came in and just said call her when we needed her. I couldn’t move out of the bed becauseI was in so much pain. I was holding on to my crucifix and asking Jesus to help me through this. Adam was by my side reminding me of the people I wanted to offer my suffering for. Our statue of St. Gerard was in plain sight and I asked for his prayers too.
Linda came in a little while later and asked if I wanted to be checked again. I said yes because I was close to quitting. I was 9 cm! The only problem was, my bag of waters hadn’t broken yet. And no baby is coming out unless my water breaks. Linda asked me what I needed. I responded, “I want this baby out!!!!!” Not until my water breaks…
Linda saw how ready I was to have this over and said I could push when I got the urge and I would might reach that 10 cm that I needed. Sure enough, I started pushing and I got there. But my water hadn’t broken still… “If you keep pushing, your bag could break.” “OK, let’s do it.” My water broke! HURRAY!!!! Fulton was on his way down. Then Linda started calling the nurses station to get all the prep for the birth… Nobody came in… I’m still pushing. Adam is cheering me on. Adam saw the head. Then Linda says, “ok, just breathe, don’t push anymore. We need to wait for the doctor.” Uhhh… no… I’m pushing. Adam being the good coach was still cheering me on! The baby was coming out… No doctor still. Linda told Adam to push the red button to the nurse’s station, “We have a Dr. Stork! Dr. Stork!” THEN some extra nurses came in. Still no doctor. Linda delivered Baby G.
Adam made the announcement, “We have a boy!” Fulton Timothy Gretencord was born at 8:03 a.m. on Sunday, December 11, 2005—the feast of the Holy Name of Jesus and third Sunday of Advent (Rose Sunday).
God Bless my wonderful husband who knew I could do this even though I didn’t think I could. God Bless Therese who has been so excited to have a little brother and takes every opportunity to hug and kiss him or blow kisses to him. God Bless my mom who took care of Therese while we were in the hospital and was so much help when we got home. God Bless Dr. Love, Linda, and all the nurses who cared for me and Fulton during our stay at St. David’s hospital.