We are home from the hospital after a whirlwind! Just to warn you, I experienced some significant complications so part of this birth story is rather scary. Fortunately, I am doing fine now and my baby Owen is perfect ;)
I was due today (12/15) but really hoping the baby would arrive a few days early. My daughter's birthday is 11/11 so I thought it would be neat for her brother to be born on 12/12. Saturday night, I had a long talk with him. I let him know that we were ready to meet him as soon as he was ready to be born, etc. I went to bed around 11pm and woke up at 1:15am. I felt a sharp kick and then my water broke! I couldn't believe it! I woke up my husband - he wasn't sure that it was really my water breaking (there wasn't a huge gush all at once. I went into the bathroom and continued to leak clear fluid, so he was quickly convinced :) We were both so excited!
I called my midwives and they said I could stay at home for a while (I was having mild contractions that were rather close together in time) or go to the hospital. Since I was "high risk" due to my blood clotting disorder and hoping for a VBAC, plus it was raining and the rain was threatening to turn to ice, we decided to go there right away because we felt we'd be too anxious staying at home.
We got to the hospital around 3am. My contractions were still very close together (2-3 min) and getting stronger. I was only 3cm and 75% effaced, though, so we settled in for what we assumed would be a long labor. My sister, who is a nurse and has had two vaginal births in the past two years, joined us at the hospital around 4:30am. My contractions were still very close together and much stronger. I was starting to doubt whether I could handle the pain. My sister and my husband were a huge help to me as I breathed through the contractions. My midwife thought they would start to space out but they only got stronger and closer together. Around 7am, I decided that I wanted an epidural. I was getting very discouraged by the pain, especially since it seemed that I was still in early labor, and I was starting to worry that I couldn't handle a long labor. I got the epidural and then my midwife checked me - I was at 9.5 cm! So I never went through the traditional stages of early labor, transition, etc. - or at least not the way I learned about it in class! I was so relieved that it was almost time to push - I couldn't believe it! I was fully expecting her to tell me that I was at 5 cm but not to be discouraged, etc.
I started really feeling the urge to push around 8:10am. I was fully dilated so I got the go-ahead. I pushed for about 15 minutes and he was born! It got scary for a few minutes there because his heart rate dropped while my blood pressure started to rise quickly. He had already crowned, though, so my midwife just encouraged me to get him out. I was so thrilled! I had the VBAC that I'd wanted and such a short labor!!
Owen was born at 8:35 am - he was 19 inches long, 5 lb 15 oz (though we think 6 lb even before he pooped). There was a little meconium so they took him to the warmer right away - we didn't get to let the cord pulsate though at least my husband did get to cut the cord himself. But they brought him right back to me and I was in heaven. My daughter was born prematurely via c-section and I was on magnesium sulfate due to pre-eclampsia, so I didn't even get to hold her for almost 12 hours after her birth...so this was a very different experience.
I had a few stitches but nothing major and passed the placenta easily. They did give me pictocin and then I was able to be with my little guy. They followed our birth plan so they didn't weigh him, etc. for at least an hour. I was sooooo happy! We called friends and family, delighted to share the news...
Around 1:30pm, after I was moved to the Mom/Baby Unit, I started to have some serious cramping. I was nursing him so I assumed that it was just how it should feel for my uterus to contract. But thankfully a nurse noticed that I seemed to be in a lot of pain, and she asked to check my pad. There was a lot of blood and she got very concerned. The next hour and a half was a blur. It turned out that I had a significant uterine hemorrhage . A doctor had to come and do several extractions - she removed several clots, including one as big as the baby's head (her words). My poor husband was watching all of this in shock. The extractions were the worst pain I've ever experienced - I wasn't on any pain meds at this point and there was no time to administer any. My husband thought I was going to die. They did a sonogram to ensure there were no more clots and then put me back on pictocin and some other med to help the uterus contract. We asked if I would need a transfusion but they didn't think it was necessary - they estimated that the blood loss wasn't enough to require one. So that was a relief.
Later that evening, however, my blood pressure was all over the place and my bloodwork showed that I had lost more blood than they thought. So I had to have a transfusion - two units of blood. At this point we felt like there was always going to be more bad news. It was very discouraging. The silver lining was that baby Owen was doing great and I had been able to nurse him almost every two hours despite all the interventions.
I received the transfusions overnight. I was feeling a lot better by morning, but then my blood pressure was unusually high. So I was monitored during the day but there didn't seem to be anything wrong. My poor husband was so worried for me at that point - every time anyone came into the room, he'd ask them to check my belly to make sure my uterus was still contracted. Neither of us had gotten any sleep so we were both a wreck! Thankfully, the rest of the day went well and I was even able to take a nap. We were feeling much better about things by the evening...
Yesterday I was still doing well and my bloodwork was much better. The midwife checked me and reported that I had very little swelling - she was pleasantly surprised about that, considering how much the doctors had to do for the clot extractions. So I was able to be discharged and we got home around 4pm - only spent 3 days and 2 nights at the hospital despite the complications!
I am supposed to be on bed rest for at least two weeks. Thankfully, we have lots of family and friends in the area to help me with my 5 year old daughter. I feel so fortunate to have a healthy baby and to have gotten through the postpartum trauma in relatively good shape. Plus I am so happy that I had the VBAC that I wanted :) So now I really hope (and believe) that the worst is behind us!
Here is our little boy: