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*~* Levi Has Arrived!!! *~*

post #1 of 52
Thread Starter 
I did it girls, I really, really did it!!! Sorry for not posting any further updates on the update thread I started, but things got really intense really quickly!!

I hardly slept last night because I was having some contractions and lost of cramping. All in all I got about two hours of sleep, but the adrenaline kicked in this morning for sure - I was so excited! Before leaving home, I sat down one more time and really tried to just pray hard and think positive thoughts for the day. I left home feeling nervous, but empowered!

We arrived at the hospital at 6am and I signed all my paperwork and consent forms. I hesitated in signing the cesarean consent form, but did go ahead and do it.

At shift change, I was assigned my nurse - a WONDERFUL Hispanic nurse by the name of Paola. She was very natural birth supportive and super, super sweet. She asked for a copy of my birth plan and read it and was so happy at how detailed it was. On my birth plan intro, I mentioned that I was really firm in my choices because of so many things that went wrong during my daughter's birth. Paola was genuinely concerned and wanted to know all about Ava's birth and was so sympathetic to everything. She really calmed my nerves about some of those things not having a chance to repeat themselves simply because of this hospital's protocol which was great.

By 7am I was dressed in my comfy labor gown, had IV fluids going, and the Pitocin drip was started. I was checked upon arrival and had no cervical change from the past week - still was 2cm/70%/-2 station. Contractions began immediately and were 5-7 minutes apart and felt like really, really strong menstrual cramps. By this time, my midwife arrived and we went over my birth plan. A few slight changes needed to be made, and that was ok with me. First off she said if the Placenta looked ok it would be no problem to take it home but she cautioned me in encapsulating it because of the large amount of toxins that had built up in it due to the blood pressure issues and medications. She also mentioned that if the OB she was "under" started pushing "Failure To Progress", we'd discuss AROM or placing an internal contraction monitor just to show I was making changes. I was flexible and ready!

Contractions continued. At this point I was in bed still trying to rest up for the day but baby didn't like that and my back was absolutely killing me laying in bed. While laying on my back we were getting decelerations with each contraction. Tried turning me on my left or right side and still decels. So I got on my birthing ball which felt so, so, so good but after nearly 1/2 hour of constant readjusting we couldn't stay there either because she couldn't get a fetal heart tone tracing at all because of my position. She asked if I thought I could stand, and I did. So I stood and swayed through contractions for the next hour or so and the decels stopped thankfully. It was getting really uncomfortable standing through contractions and I wanted so badly to sit down, but they said we had to get a fetal heart tone tracing, so I continued swaying.

At 9am, Pam came in to check me and bump up my Pitocin. At that point I was 3cm/80%/-2 station. By this time I was getting more and more uncomfortable and was also getting fearful because 100% of the pain was in my lower back and I know Levi had to be posterior. Thankfully, the nurse called the doula who was supposed to be coming in for her shift at 12pm and let her know someone really needed her. Catherine (the doula) was willing to come in 2 hours earlier so she could help me, and oh what a help she was! She got there around 10:30 and I explained to her my fear of a Posterior baby and she suggested lots of things. She also looked at my belly and noticed the dip in my upper abdomen and also that he was most definitely off to once side and not in optimal position. I stood and did hula hoop circles with my hips between contractions and during contractions I sad down in the rocker while she pushed me back into the chair by my knees which put lots of gentle counter pressure on my back. Around noon my Pitocin was upped again. Contractions were now 1-3 minutes apart and were really, really strong. I breathed deeply and let out a long hum through each contraction and that seemed to help. I kept reminding myself over and over that my body could do anything for 45-60 seconds and that I could and was in fact doing this! Catherine, my mom, and my husband helped keep me focused. Several times I allowed the contraction to overtake me but I was able to regain control with their help.

Around 2:30 I was feeling defeated - like I hit a wall. I just couldn't take another painful contraction. I knew I wanted the epidural. I just knew I wasn't progressing despite all the contractions and I just felt like I couldn't do anymore without some sort of pain medication. I remembered the relief the epidural brought when I got it at only 3cm with my daughter. My husband reminded me of what I had told him that morning. To please, please encourage me not to get the epidural. To remind me that it may slow my progress and would confine me to bed. We made it through two more contractions and I asked for something to take the edge off. They gave me one dose of nubain which didn't help with the pain in the least, but it did allow me to rest more between contractions and helped me to relax my tense body. I drifted to sleep between the contractions, which was nice. The entire time I said positive birth affirmations to myself and silently talked to my precious baby boy - letting him know it was time to come out and into mommy's arms. I requested to be checked at this time. The nurse checked me at 3:00 - a solid 5cm/90%/-1 station.

My blood pressure spiked a little at this point and I was given my daily dose of BP medication and asked to lay on my left side for just a bit to bring it down. It did the trick and it quickly returned to normal. I was doing ok laboring in bed at that time and even though I knew I had a much better chance if gravity could help me, I also know laying down kept Levi on the monitor and kept my blood pressure down, so I decided to stay. I started feeling very nauseous at this time. I swore I would throw up, but I didn't. I said I couldn't do this anymore, I just can't. By this time it's 3:50 and my midwife checked me and I was 8cm/100%/-1 station. THIS is why I hit the wall. THIS is why I'm nauseous. THIS is why I feel like I can't do it anymore! I'm in the peak of transition.

3-4 minutes go by and I yell that I feel pushy! She said to blow, blow, blow and lets check - checks me and still 8cm and membranes are still intact. She asks me if it's ok to go ahead and break my water since my birth plan stated no artificial rupture of membranes, but I agree because we are so close. 1-2 minutes go by and I yell again - I have to push!! This time, yes, sure enough I'm complete, 10cm and baby is at 0 station. I was overjoyed! I made it! I was fully dilated! I made it from 5cm to 10cm in slightly over an hour!

She quickly grabs all the supplies between contractions and breaks the bed down. The next two contractions my body pushes on it's own without any help from me. I need a little direction in pushing since this is my first vaginal birth and I'm a little unsure of exactly "how" to push. Pam and Paola both just give me help on where to push, never once did anyone yell in my face "PUSH" or "PUSH 2, 3, 4, ect..". No counting no yelling, just quiet direction which I really appreciated. I pushed through 15 contractions in 1/2 hour and couldn't feel baby coming down at all. Pam stretched and massaged my perineum with mineral oil trying to prevent tears and also applies lots up around Levi's head which was stuck under my pelvic bone. Even through 15 more hard pushes I can't get him under the bone. She quietly mentions to the nurse to page Dr. Stallard - the OB on call - just in case and asks my opinion on a vacuum assist. I tell her I'll be thrilled with a vacuum over a cesarean but would strongly prefer no vacuum. The next several contractions I am determined. I will do this. I will push my baby out. 10-12 more contractions and finally baby slips under the pelvic bone!!!! 2 more pushes and his head is 100% out! 1 more push and I deliver the shoulders and body!!! I did it!! I birthed my baby vaginally!! No epidural, no forceps, no vacuum, and most of all - no section! I asked was he posterior and she said yes - all the way until right before he crowned - she actually watched his head rotate completely while in the birth canal, so the back pain was from a posterior baby the entire time during labor.

Since it was in my birth plan, Pam had originally planned on letting the cord stop pulsating and become silver before clamping and cutting but right after he came out there was some meconium in the fluid that followed him after birth so he had to be suctioned immediately - he was also a touch limp and gray also. Daddy was able to cut the cord though and Levi was placed immediately skin to skin on my chest - covered in blood, goop, and fluid and I loved it. I loved him. I was able to hold him for just a minute while they suctioned him but he was having just a touch of difficulty and had to be taken over the to assessment table and NICU was called for an assessment. He needed some oxygen to help him pink up. APGAR was 7/8.

By this time I was delivering the placenta which was quite calcified and had to be sent to pathology. I delivered it easily with 3-4 small, steady pushes. Pam looked at it thoroughly and decided it wasn't quite all there and neither was the amniotic sac. We waited for a bit, trying to see if my body would expel the remainder, but nothing. Uterine massage was performed and Pam spent a good 45 minutes manually extracting what was left inside. This part was actually more painful than any of the contractions or birth and I was given another dose of nubain during that to help me relax.

She also discovered that while there were no external tears, the rotating from posterior to anterior of his head and shoulders while in the birth canal caused some pretty severe internal tearing. I have 2nd and 3rd degree lacerations on the vaginal walls extending up through and past the cervix. Because of the severity of the tears and how deep internally they were, the OB had to be called to suture them. Dr. Stallard was called and came in to do the repair work. After thoroughly examining me, he starts to get the sutures and other tools and Pam asks him if he thinks some pain medication would be a good idea before he begins. He tells her no because I'm still numb, assuming I had an epidural. She tells him it was an all natural birth, no epi, and he was furious. In a very, very rude manner said a VBAC should never be done without an epidural - it was way too risky - and that she should have refused me as a patient if I had planned on no epidural. She didn't say a word, gave me a "knowing" look as if to say "he's full of it" and we all went on about our business. He ordered a dose of Demerol to help take the edge off, and ended up doing quite a few Lidocaine injections to get me fully numb. Repair work took well over an hour from the time he started stitching. During this time NICU was still giving Levi a little oxygen to help him get going and we also decided to go ahead and have the VitK injection because he has some severe bruising on his head from being stuck behind the pelvic bone for so long. Minutes later they decided his color was much better and he finally let out some major cries - I was able to hold him again and it was the most amazing feeling in this whole world.

Pam stayed with me for quite awhile after the delivery and told me how amazing I did and that she was so, so, so proud of me. She asked if she could hold Levi and gave him lots of snuggles and kisses. After she left, my doula Catherine helped me latch Levi on and we nursed for a few minutes before he settled down into my arms for a much needed nap. I was taken to my postpartum room shortly after and we are doing great!! I'm really, really sore from the major tears, but all in all I am absolutely elated and on cloud 9! I am so proud of myself. I've never in my life done anything I was really, really proud of - but this has given me such a new found confidence in myself and in my body! I'm so thankful for the peace and healing this has brought to me! Not only did I VBAC my beautiful baby boy, but did so in 9 hours of labor, 1 hour of pushing, and no epidural!

Levi Alexander
7lbs 3oz
14 1/4" head
12 1/4" chest

You can view a few pictures here! http://www.facebook.com/album.php?ai...0&l=4901e76a97
post #2 of 52

and man does ava look like a proud sister!
post #3 of 52

I'm SO happy for you! I'm SO thankful that all is well!
post #4 of 52
So happy for you. What a wonderful story. Thank you for sharing and CONGRATS!!!
post #5 of 52
And great pictures! How big was he?
post #6 of 52
Thread Starter 
Thank you all!!! Added stats in the OP!
post #7 of 52

...you amazing, amazing woman, you!

Congratulation, mama. Your strength and determination are inspiring.
post #8 of 52
Congrats! And that's great that your wishes were respected and you had great support (besides that crazy doc!). How wonderful! Enjoy your babymoon!
post #9 of 52


It sounds like it went fantastic, congratulations on your VBAC!
post #10 of 52
post #11 of 52
I am so happy for you and proud of you! This brought tears to my eyes and I am just so glad you were able to have the birth be on YOUR terms. He is beautiful and you have such a beautiful family! Congratulations!
post #12 of 52
The pics with big sis made me cry. CONGRATS!!!!
post #13 of 52
I'm so so happy for you!

He is beautiful and I love the pictures of Ava with him. Great job mama!
post #14 of 52
Congratulations Mama! What an awesome story!
post #15 of 52
Originally Posted by RedOakMomma View Post

...you amazing, amazing woman, you!

Congratulation, mama. Your strength and determination are inspiring.
As usual, ROM said it SO well. I have tears of joy in my eyes for you!!!

Welcome to the world, little Levi!!
post #16 of 52


What an amazing, inspiring story--you are a superwoman!

Enjoy your babymoon with Levi!

post #17 of 52
I'm just beside myself I'm so happy for you.

Congratulations, Congratulations, Congratulations! It was a tough journey but now you're on the other side, now enjoy that gorgeous baby!
post #18 of 52
That made me cry. I'm sooooo happy for you, Levi, Ava and your DH. You are amazing!!!
post #19 of 52
Way to go! What an amazing story!
post #20 of 52
That is incredible, and I am so happy to hear of your successful VBAC! You did it! And I am so impressed that you had pitocin w/o an epi.

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