...but mommy didn't get her VBAC.
I got most of it, I guess. Well, here's the short version... I'll write a proper birth story after I get the doula's notes (for timeline) and have some time to process everything.
Raphael Isaac Lance Waggoner
April 22, 2008 6:20 p.m. via c-section
8 lbs, 9.7 oz; 20.5" long
I decided I "officially" began labor at 4:00 a.m. on April 21st. That's when I gave up on sleeping for the nonce because the contractions were getting too annoying. I went to my OB appointment at 10:30; he recommended that I check in to the hospital at that point, but was also all right with me going home, so we did.
The doula arrived at about 3:00; at 4:00, I woke DH up from his nap and we got the show on the road to check in.
When I got checked after arrival, I was sorta surprised (and disappointed) to learn I was where I had been that morning (3 cm, fully effaced). But, I also knew this baby had a lot of distance to travel, and was posterior a lot, so I knew that the contractions I was having may have been doing other things.
So, I labored this way and that, standing, sitting on the ball, all fours, but what I learned pretty early on was that ANY kind of lying down (even the Bradley recommended position where you are half on your side, half on your belly) made contractions a lot more intense. This made it hard to get rest. My legs started to get really tired.
I made progress, but by 2 a.m. or so, I was out of my MIND tired. Like, screaming mad at each contraction, because they were ALL waking me up, because I couldn't stay awake between them. I knew I needed to forego the natural route and get some rest. The options were Stadol (narcotic injection), Ambien, or epidural. Ambien freaks me out, so no thanks. I was inclined toward the epidural, but DH thought we should try the Stadol first. Somehow, he talked me into it. When we got the doctor into the conversation, he suggested combining it with Benadryl, to help me sleep. This didn't sound like what I needed, but... well, my judgement was somewhat compromised at this point.
Oh, had I ever been RIGHT. Now, I could not possibly stay awake between contractions, and though the Stadol did space them out to about 10 minutes, they seemed to be twice as intense. I finally started saying stuff during contractions, because it was the only time I was awake enough. Stuff like "This is wrong, this is wrong, I don't need more sleepy, I have ENOUGH sleepy."
Ok, epidural. The anesthesiologist came in, and was, as anesthesiologists go, pretty typical... which is to say, an @$$ but good at what he does. Seems to think that nothing else is going on in the world but what HE is doing. "I'm not doing anything" when I'm screaming (well, no, but why are you here? Oh yeah because I'm in PAIN), or telling me to stop screaming (where DH gave him a choice: she can scream or she can move, the energy has to come out somehow... he admitted later that he REALLY wanted to give him a third option, which would be a punch in the jaw). But the epidural went in, and got me quite comfortable. In fact, it was quite a bit MORE effective than my previous experience with an epidural. Within 20 minutes, I was highly entertaining, still being a bit loopy from the Stadol/Benadryl combo. As the doula put it, I was a different person.
So I slept for the next two hours, and woke up feeling great (this is 7 a.m. on the 22nd now). Doc came in, checked me, said I was at 9, asked me to try pushing just to see what I could do while on the epidural (my plan was to turn it off after getting some rest). He was impressed I could push so well when I couldn't feel what the heck I was doing. So, we turned off the epidural, and planned to start pushing pretty soon. We also decided it was time to break my water (still intact this WHOLE time) as he felt that was the difference between being 9 and 10, which made sense to me.
Well, it took a while to get everyone organized and start trying to push, so the epidural was mostly gone by the time we got down to it. And it felt all *wrong* again. Pull on my legs? What? Hold my breath? You gotta be kidding me! None of it made sense, and I really couldn't cooperate (and didn't feel any urge to push on my own). The contractions were getting the better of me again, and I was losing my mind fast. We asked for a "pushing dose" to be injected into the epidural line, and it was... but it just made me lose mobility in my legs while hardly touching the contractions. So eventually I cried for the pump to be hooked up again.
This time, it was PERFECT. I slept an hour, woke up, and was so ready to go. Plus, I had great mobility, and could even feel the contractions starting, though they felt like mild BH contractions. Now you want me to hold my legs, hold my breath, and bear down? Ok, let's do that for an hour! No problem! I was *grinning* while I was doing it.
It was pretty clear baby was posterior, so I pushed squatting for a good long while, and also hands and knees for as long as my arms and legs were up for it. Spent probably 2.5 hours pushing all told. But... the contractions were getting stronger, or the epidural was getting weaker. I kept saying that I was feeling them more and more, and asking if it was possible that something was wrong with the line, but all the professionals seemed to think that everything was totally normal. After more than 2 hours of GREAT pushing, and being able to reach in and feel baby's (extremely molded) head even, I was back into screaming out of my mind territory, and I just needed it to END. The anesthesiologist was originally going to re-insert the epidural line, but when it was clear I was going in for surgery, he switched that to doing a spinal in the OR.
What a fun ride in a wheelchair THAT was! No gurney for me, not when I could get on my feet. The saline line got caught in the wheelchair's wheels as we went down the hall, and yanked out the IV, too... so while I was having massive pushing contractions right on top of each other, they had to re-insert the IV before they could even do the spinal. And again, like magic... spinal takes effect, and everyone's amazed at what an entertaining person I am. ;-)
Anyway... open, pull, baby, close. He looks amazingly like his brother in so many ways, but also definitely different in others. He nurses like a pro (though it probably helps that *I've* got 3.75 years experience at it too), and thinks his hands are about the tastiest thing EVAR. And both my doc and the pediatrician were ready to let us go home within 24 hours of a surgical delivery, which is a nice bonus.