Hello all! We got home yesterday evening and I am starting to feel more settled into new mommyhood. Ezrah is a dream baby and we're getting nursing nailed down better every time. My big kids are totally in love with their new baby brother and they've been cuddling him and changing his clothes. My milk started coming in earlier today, which seems to have helped with nursing. He's kind of a lazy nurser and he keeps falling asleep, so I'm hoping that the milk gives him some incentive to wake up and feed more often.
Here's a couple of pictures of our newest addition!
Proud big brother and big sister with their new baby brother.
Sweet baby boy. Awww! I love him so much!
And the birth story! (Which is loooooong!)
Sunday night I was doing my typical having contractions thing that had been going on for so long. They felt sort of different, but I decided that I'd go to sleep anyway. (it was a little after midnight at this point) If they were the real thing they'd wake me back up, and if not I'd get some sleep. After about an hour or so of lightly dozing, I woke up because I could not get comfortable. I stayed in bed, changing positions and trying to see if anything helped. Not much helped, so I started timing the contractions to see what the pattern was. Thank goodness for iPhone apps! lol By this time it was around 1:30 am.
The contractions were averaging about 3 minutes apart and were lasting anywhere form 40 second to a little over a minute. Around 2 am, after timing contractions and trying to get comfortable for about 30 minutes, I decided that I might need to pack my hospital bag the rest of the way. I got up and I was wandering around the house getting the things I still needed and putting them in the bag when my mom walked by my open bedroom door and said, "Uh oh!" She asked if I was in labor and I told her that I thought I was & wanted to get the bag packed in case it was really "it". She went into the kitchen and started doing the dishes, which cracked me up.
Around 3:30 am I was still contracting every 3 or so minutes but they were starting to get a little longer on average, and there was an increased intensity to the contractions as well. I woke the kids up and then called my friend and labor partner to let her know that we'd need to head into the hospital. Channa came over to drive the kids and me to the hospital and my mom said that she would meet us there.
We got to the hospital parking garage at 4:39 am (I remember this because I looked at the clock right when she parked the car, the random things you remember from being in labor) and we walked into the hospital. After checking in and getting into the room it was a little after 5 am. The nurse that took us into the room was, quite frankly, a giant bitch and I hate her. She told me to change into a gown and when I told her that I'd rather stay in my own clothes (I was wearing a short jersey knit skirt and a t-shirt) she told me that I couldn't be checked if I wasn't in a gown. I pointed out that I was wearing a skirt and she looked at me and said, "Jennifer... just do it."
I caved and did it, with the intention of changing right back into my own clothes the second that she-devil was out of the room. the midwife came in to say hello and asked if I wanted a cervical check. I told her I did, because I wanted to see where I was at. I was at a really stretchy 5 and the MW said that they had a tub room available for me, since I had wanted to try waterbirth. We moved down the hall a few minutes later. By this time it was around 5:30 am.
I labored for a while, mostly standing up and kind of dancing around the room. It felt infinitely better to be up and moving, and any time I was sitting or lying down it was painful. My MW wanted me to wait until I was for sure in active labor before I got into the tub so that my labor wasn't slowed down. Particularly since I was VBACing and she didn't want to give the OB any excuse to push for a c/s. Around 9 am I was feeling nauseated and I went into the bathroom and threw up a whole lot of nothing since I hadn't eaten since dinner the night before at the lake. As soon as I started throwing up, my contractions became way more intense. My water still hadn't broken and there was way more pressure against my cervix. My hips had also started hurting with each contraction, these deep burning aching feelings that were only made better by Channa (my friend) pushing against my hips and lower back. She also put a heated neck roll on my back while pushing and that combination was pure heaven! I'm not sure why my hips were hurting like that since baby's position was still LOA, but it was probably the worst part of the whole labor!
Channa got called into work because no one could come and cover for her and she had a 10 am appointment (she's a massage therapist) so she ended up having to leave a little after 9 am. My mom was there by this time so I wasn't left alone. My kids were there as well, but DD was crashed out on the little pull-out couch and DS was entertaining himself with some movie on the TV in the room.
Within 5 minutes of Channa leaving the contractions went from being intense with manageable pain to holy whoa this is getting crazy. The only comfortable position at this point was with me on the bed, on my hands and knees and rocking back and forth. I was also really tired by this point, having had an hour or so of sleep and spending most of my labor walking around. Being on the bed let me sit back against the raised part of the bed between contractions and rest a little bit. During the down time, which was getting shorter and shorter, I would relax as much as physically possible.
Right around this time, maybe 9:20 or so? my nurse (a different one from the mean one earlier) asked me if I wanted my water broken. I told them no, because I knew that the intensity would ramp up even more and I wasn't sure that I was ready and able to handle it yet. I did tell them that I was feeling a LOT of pressure and that while I didn't necessarily feel the need to push yet, I was sure that it wasn't far behind. The nurse and MW started setting the room up because they were pretty sure that once things started going it was going to go FAST. They dropped the foot of the bed and raised the back up a little higher and put some little handle things up so I was basically sitting on the edge of the mattress with my feet supported by the foot of the bed. During the contractions I would lean forward and hold onto those handles and kind of lift myself up off the bed.
It only took 3 or 4 super intense contractions, another bout of throwing up, and so much pressure that I knew my water breaking would be a relief to tell them I was ready for my water to be broken. The MW broke my water and said that I was at about 9 cm but I could push if I felt like it. I have no idea what time it was, maybe around 9:35 or 9:40 ish, but with that next contraction I pushed a little to see if it helped with the pain and it totally did! It was suuuuuch a relief and I felt like I was doing something other than suffering through the agony of my hips burning. I had I think 4 contractions where I pushed when I felt like it (yay for no coached pushing!) and then the MW told me that his head was right there. I tried to look, but I couldn't see around my belly so I reached down and I felt the top of his head, all wet and wrinkled and squishy. Right then I had another monster contraction and I pushed (it was weird because I was pushing but it didn't feel like I was pushing that hard and I could feel his head coming out) and then the sweet sweet relief of his head popping all the way out! With the next contraction his shoulders came out and then whoosh! the whole rest of him came shooting out, along with a flood of amniotic fluid.
He was placed on my chest right away and the nurses were rubbing him off. He was crying a little and he was totally purple. His poor little head and face were bruised and purple from being compressed in the birth canal. They gave him a little bit of blow-by (oxygen running through the tube and held in front of his face) and then he started pinking up. We did delayed cord clamping and it was probably 15 to 20 minutes before the cord was clamped and cut. It was totally white and not pulsating at all, which made me happy. And I'm sure it helped him since he was kind of a slow starter. My mom cut the cord with baby still lying on my chest and shortly after that the placenta came out with a tiny little push.
I ended up with a couple of tears. One is a superficial soft tissue tear in the labia that was not repaired and the other is a second degree perineal tear. The MW sewed that one up and I swear that the numbing shots for that were worse than the entire labor and birth put together!
I am thrilled beyond belief that not only did I get the VBAC that I wanted but I did it with no meds, like I wanted! The MW who ended up being there during the birth was one of the ones that I didn't connect with as well during the pregnancy but she was amazing and so supportive during the labor and birth. I don't feel like I was ever railroaded into anything (except for that first awful nurse) and it was so great to be able to labor the way I wanted and needed with the full support of the midwives and nurses. My labor nurse was SO amazing! She is who I want to be when I grow up! We talked about what I wanted and she really listened and she really supported me.