I had my VBAC and rainbow baby...I can't believe I did it!
So, the kids were gone and Mike and I went off to go to my aunt's memorial service who passed away the weekend before on her 53rd birthday. I was having contractions throughout the day that were about 7-10 minutes apart and Mike and I decided I was just on my feet too much, wasn't drinking enough, and needed to get hydrated and home relaxing. We left around 2pm and decided it would be a good idea to stop at the new house and see the hardwoods and carpets and see if there was anything else we needed them to work on/fix before we close. Still contracting and feeling really tired so I took a nap in the car. We came home that night and just vegged out, ate subs, and did some laundry and watched TV.
Went to bed that night around 11pm...conked out...and woke up at 1am to pee. Soaked...I called Mike from the bathroom to see if he could get me some pads because I was just kind of gushing fluid and didn't want to track it all over the house. He was a bit groggy and out of it...but then we were both excited! Sadly, I was too excited to sleep and that is just what I should have done....so I got up and did some reading on water breaking and what it meant, edited and blogged a baby shoot, and generally just checked things off my to-do list.
I went back to bed that morning, contractions were getting a little bit closer together but I was able to sleep for a few hours. We got up that morning and decided what better way to get contractions going that to clean the house. We organized the kids rooms, the kitchen, did a ton of laundry. Contractions still happening, but nothing I couldn't handle...and I was determined to get them closer together. Everything I read about spontaneous rupture of membranes suggested that labor would start on its own within 48 hours and I knew I didn't want to be on the hospital's time clock...they usually give you about 24 hours and then want the baby out. So...mission get contractions happening was in full force. We walked, I bounced on the exercise ball, we walked some more, we watched season 8 of 24 for a while while bouncing on the ball...all day I kept poking the baby to make him wiggle and checked in with the doppler just to make sure all was well in there and it always was.
We ordered Papa Ginos (same thing we did the night before we had Emmie and Chase) and I was starving. We went out and took some last belly pictures and then went on a walk that was a little over a mile long. Contractions got a bit more intense and I was leaning on Mike to get through them and they were about 3-5 minutes apart. I laugh at myself now thinking that those contractions were intense...little did I know what I was in store for!
So when we got back I called my OB's office and got a doctor who I wasn't too fond of on call...she told me to come in since my water was ruptured and this was our third. I didn't ever let the hospital know how long it had been broken since they would be monitoring me for infection anyway. As far as they knew has just happened a little while before we came in. So...
We check into the hospital, get settled in a room, meet our nurse, answer a million questions, and get checked...2cm and 80% effaced...ugh! That seemed like nothing, but I was pretty sure I would have a baby by the morning. Mike was putting a lot of counter pressure on my back with each contraction, leaning over the bed was great....but I was excited to get into the tub. I was there from about 1am - 2am and it was hot...I felt sweaty and I felt bad because Mike was so tired and falling asleep on the edge of the tub so I hopped out, dried off, went back to the room and labored some more. Mike pulled out his chair to get some rest. Something happened and things felt a bit more intense around 3am...at 3:30 I decided it was getting really intense and wanted to see how much progress we had made. The nurse checked and get this...3cm and the same effacement. I was really discouraged, to say the least, and really tired, and feeling like I just needed a break but I knew I hated narcotics when I was pregnant with Emmie and I opted for getting an epidural...I figured they could always use some pitocin to get things going again like I had with Emmie's birth and I was exhausted with shaking legs and no power to go on.
The nurse came back with anethesia probably and hour and a half later, around 5am at this point...and I remember thinking, this is the last contractions I have to feel...maybe ever if this is our last baby. And I closed my eyes and slept for 3 hours.
At 8am an OB on call came in, she was with my practice but not my midwife and not the other OB I had met. She was discouraged with my lack of progress and the fact that I had the epidural and said that because I was a VBAC I couldn't have pitocin to get things going and she just "didn't know what to do with me." She figured she'd probably just have to section me but I felt like it had been so long, that I had come so far, that a c-section was the last thing I wanted. If I wanted to do that I could have just scheduled it and NOT had labor. So I sat in my room wondering what I could do now...unable to move and get things contracting on their own and unable to get pitocin I felt a bit defeated. But then I looked at Mike and said, "Why can't they just turn the epidural off?" So I called my nurse and asked her to get the OB back and told her my plan...she was a bit skeptical but said I could definitely try it.
A little while later my nurse came back with a different anethesia doc and he thought I was crazy. "You want me to do what?" So I explained to him that I was a VBAC, that I couldn't have pitocin, and that the epidural had slowed things down so much that I was surely going to wind up with a c-section if I didn't turn it off. So he kind of in a huff flipped it off and then lectured my nurse that I couldn't get out of bed, that my legs weren't going to work for at least 5 hours, and that I was not to try and move without the OK from them that I had full feeling back. It was about 20 minutes later that I could sit up again, that I could move my feet....and that I could get enough pressure on my cervix to get contractions to start again. Around this time my babysitter from growing up came in...she was working until 7pm and wanted to know if I wanted to ask for her to be my nurse...I jumped at the opportunity and she asked my nurse if they could switch. This is the best thing that could have happened through it all...she was bound and determined to help me get my vbac and she had the confidence that my body could do this.
She came in every half hour to get my to move/rotate to get pressure on different parts of the cervix and get it to open up. I started feeling contractions again but still had one kind of dead leg. I pushed through to noon when the OB came back to check on me. She was not understanding or gentle or really great to talk to since she was sure I was just to be sectioned anyway...but I did my best to ignore her. She was oh so helpful and did a cervix check in the middle of a contractions...with her tiny hands. Everyone is always SO discouraged with how high my cervix is, but it is always up there...now at least I know it doesn't indicate progress for me at all. So...at this point I was 5cm (ugh!!) and she did some moving around in there to "help things going" and I almost crawled up the table and/or reached down to punch her. She never explained what or why she was doing any of what she was doing...things were getting hard at this point again and her fiddling around in there made it that much worse.
So she left and onward I went...I got into a good hypnobabies trance and got a little rest and stayed in my head for the next three hours. Every once in a while I would slip out of it and cry that it was too much, that i couldn't do it...that I just wanted them to turn the epi back on and section me already...but the OB was back in her office and that seemed like no longer and option. I started to feel a bit like I needed to poop so the nurse wanted the OB to check and see how far we had come. Now it was around 3pm.
She came down and we did the check. STILL 5cm, but she was happy to say that the head had come down a bit...she liked that we had progress and she wanted to keep going...I hated that I was still a 5 and I wanted to give up! I cried, I was DONE DONE DONE. She gave me three options...turn on the epidural and see if labor would keep going and I would be ready to push when she got out at 5 or have a section at 5....or I could try to get a little bit of rest with a narcotic. At this point I was really really missing Emmie and Chase and didn't want a c-section but felt overwhelmed with lack of progress. I told her I didn't care....someone decided for me that a narcotic might help me to calm down a bit. They asked if I wanted a shot or in my IV...I opted for IV and then they brought in a shot for the butt...at that point that was the least of my worries. They told me that they don't usually give this drug too close to birth because it can make the baby a little wonky....but they felt delivery was kind of far off. Hours.
I layed there still hurting and wondered aloud when it was going to work, when I was going to feel better...they said 10 minutes, but one contraction later my body did something crazy....it started to push. The whole labor I continued on with the thought that I was excited for the pushing stage when the pain part would go away....and my body had finally done it. It was funny because then all of a sudden everyone wanted me to pant the pushing away...and I could make the panting noise but felt like I was cheating because my body was still pushing. It was 3:30. They called the OB back down and she came in and wanted to know my plan...um....TO PUSH!!!! She thought maybe I wanted an epidural or something...she was wrong. My nurse said, "Can you check her?" So another AWFUL check where my cervix was still high...but 10cm!! It was gone! The OB was there for two more contractions and saw the head come way down...and got dressed. It was around 4pm...just an hour after the narcotics...and I think I only pushed about 5 times before I felt the most intense burning I have ever felt in my life...I was sure that I was going to tear and never be the same again...that there was just going to be a black hole where before I had a vagina...but push on I did.
The next push they told me to reach down and feel his head...they were all telling me about how much hair he had....and then one more push and everyone was telling me to open my eyes. I think they had been closed since about noon. There was a bright light and everything looked crazy....my OB had a scared look on her face and was pulling with all her might. Then he came out! They layed him on my chest and he looked like he was in shock. Mike burst into tears...it had been such a long long journey and getting to the end was so surreal. I kept asking if he was ok, if he was alive, why he wasn't crying....and they whipped him over to the changing table where he let out some funny little cries and they told me that he had been born so close to getting the meds that he was a little bit out of it. Apgars were thrown out there, 8 and 9, and I knew he was ok....they cleaned him up, gave him some O2 and and brought him to me minutes later. He just started at me...letting out some tiny cries. He had blue blue hands and feet...but seemed to be doing ok. They got him skin to skin and he started to perk up a bit. I instantly felt like I could handle anything...that the last 50 hours weren't the longest of my life...he was just so cute. Tons of black hair, and the cutest little face. My placenta came out and I had forgotten all about the crater I was fearing would be between my legs when the OB said, "You don't need any stitches...everything looks good!" I couldn't believe it! Mike was in a bit of shock and I couldn't stop thanking my nurse...she was the one who calmed me, who helped Mike to find the words to calm me, she was the one who had enough faith in my body to help me push through the hardest parts....and I was sure if she hadn't been there I would have been in the recovery unit getting over a c-section.
She helped me wash up and she brought Mike and the baby to get cleaned up...she knew that I really wanted to see Emmie and Chase and that if we were going to do that we had to be fast. Visiting hours were only until 8pm and she wanted to get us up to Post Partum by 7pm to spend some time with them. She wheeled me into my room at 7pm on the dot and Emmie and Chase came soon after. Mike finally came back with a very clean and yummy smelling Sawyer and the introductions began.
I cannot tell you how in love I am with this little boy...he is amazing...and every second of labor, as long as it was, was worth it after seeing his face and holding him in my arms.
Born 7/11/11 at 4:22pm
8lbs. 7.5oz. 21 inches