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Sunday, June 17, 2012

Baby B Birth Story- Totally ROCKED the VBA2C!

Many of you have read Spiderman's birth story and my second, baby A, was also a C section since she was breech. I had thought about a VBAC, but when we found out she was breech (and had remained that way for weeks on end) it seemed more unnatural to try and move her than it did to just have the C section. 

Baby B, on the other hand, was ready and in position since week 25. This time around, pregnancy was rather uneventful. We dealt again with gestational diabetes, and had the unfortunate experience of having to take insulin unlike my previous GD pregnancies. 

Nonetheless, all was calm and pretty low key until Memorial Day weekend. I began having more regular contractions on Saturday and after calling the Doctor on call, went to the hospital to be monitored. Hubby rushed home from work, mom came up to watch the kids, and we packed the car and headed off! 3 days and 3 cm later... we were discharged... withOUT a baby: prodromal labor. Totally lame. 

I was so deflated. And exhausted. And annoyed. 

The next day, I was sure my water had broke. (Probably wishful thinking). Back to the doctor. Nope. Wrong again. Dammit. 

I really wanted to try for a VBAC this time in hopes that my recovery/postpartum would be "easier", but I was now at the point where I just wanted this baby OUT. "You're only 37 weeks", they would say. ONLY 37 weeks?! Have you EVER been pregnant?! Grrr.... 

Having gestational diabetes, they didn't want me going past 39 weeks so the baby wouldn't end up too big- so a C section was scheduled for June 5th. I still was holding hope that she would come on her own before that. 

So a few exhausting days after having been sent home, the contractions came back. They lasted throughout the night, and by the morning were coming about every 7 minutes. However, they were so much less intense, that I sent hubby to work... convinced nothing was going to come of them. They continued throughout the morning, but still refused to increase in intensity. I finally sucked it up and called the doctor's office when some of them were as close as 3 minutes, but they weren't consistent. They suggested I head to the hospital anyway to be monitored. My mom came to bring me, and I told hubby to stay at work since I would probably end up being sent home.

We got there and they checked my cervix, I had gone from 3 cm a few days before.... back to 2 cm. Grrrr.. They would watch me for 2 hours and check me again to determine if I should stay or go back home. Two hours later, I was at 4 cm. They were going to watch me for one more hour. In that hour, suddenly the contractions became far more intense. I can't say they were any more consistent or closer together, but certainly more intense. I wanted to get to a labor and delivery room and out of triage SO badly now. LD rooms had the ball, and the tub- either of which HAD to be more comfortable than lying on my back on a hard bed! 

I tried standing and rocking, which helped... but in triage you're stuck in a hospital johnny in a small room- so there was little room and an even smaller sense of decency. Finally, we were officially admitted and moved to L&D. At this point, the contractions are closer together and uncomfortable enough that I have stopped timing them and am relying on the monitors. I alternate from standing and rocking or bouncing, to sitting on the ball and leaning forward. I am now far more comfortable in my own tank top and underwear versus a hospital johnny, and am anxiously awaiting the tub to be filled. 

I spend as much time as I can while they fill the tub standing and rocking. This baby is coming OUT dammit! As the contractions progress, I move from the tub to the ball and back. I focus on my breathing and listen to my husband as he utters words of encouragement. Finally a birth journey we feel we can experience together. 

mama and daddy several hours after the C section birth of baby A

As I plow through multiple popsicles and several glasses of ice water, I remain as calm and focused as possible during each contraction. Nothing fancy; no hypnosis, no aromatherapy- just breathing and trying to stay in the mindset that despite the fact that my body has been pregnant four times, and delivered two babies only via C section, that it knows what to do! 

Then it happens.... I lose it. I'm in the tub, and I feel a contraction so tight, that it literally wrenches my entire torso! I can't breathe through it. I then feel a searing, burning sensation across my lower abdomen- is it my incision(s)?? As I lay in what was a moment ago a warm and comforting tub- it is now too hot. The cold washcloth on my face now just feels clammy across my eyes. I ask my husband, through gritted teeth, if it appears as though I'm hemorrhaging... I'm convinced my incision has ripped open and I am hemorrhaging and dying.... 

I am not. I am in transition.

But I am convinced I am dying. I can't get my focus back. The tub suddenly feels to hot... menacing... and I am too uncomfortable to get out. Each contraction is coming faster, and literally feels as though someone is taking my torso and wringing it like a wet towel. I have already had an injection of fentanyl- which has done nothing. I was hoping to avoid the epidural, not because I cared to be a martyr, but only because I didn't want to be hooked up to bunch of stuff and stuck in the bed. I know I need to be standing and moving to get this baby out.

At that moment though, I was passed the point of no return. I couldn't re focus. I needed an epidural. 

I was so exhausted. So hot. So weak. My loving husband held me up as I stood and rocked against him while we awaited anesthesia. I still had the piece of mind to remain standing. Now that I've gotten this far, I want this baby OUT ;) 

My cervix is checked once the epidural is in place and I am 9cm. 9cm! I made it almost the WHOLE way by myself!!! But now, am I glad I chose the epidural. I can re focus. I re hydrate and re position as the doctor suddenly contemplates an emergency C section because of a dip in the baby's heart rate- but after some repositioning,  the baby seems much happier. 

There are a few more moments of uncertainty as they place a foley catheter just in case we need to go for the section, and a barrage of nurses prep for both methods of delivery around me. I can still feel the pressure of the contractions, for which I am thankful so I can continue to breathe and still feel in control of at least part of the process. Within a few minutes, I am at 10 cm. It's GO time! 

The doctor explains how pushing works (remember, I've never actually vaginally delivered a baby!), and that with the baby's heart rate dropping with the contractions, I need to make each push count and get this baby out. If there appears to be any more issues, we will head to the OR. 

In my mind I am open to both. I have learned that birth plans are not meant to be carved in stone, but I've made it this far- I am GOING to push this baby out. I can still feel the pressure of the contractions, so I know when to push. After 3 or 4 contractions and 9- 12 pushes later, my doctor preps for a vacuum assist. My husband looks me right in the eye and says, "you have 3 more pushes. Get this baby out or you will regret it".  (What I don't know, is that he can see the table of instruments near the doctor which contains the tools necessary for the vacuum and an episiotomy.)

3 pushes later, baby B has arrived! 

Crying, healthy, and placed directly on my chest. I can see her immediately without needing her held over a curtain. She wriggles on my chest as they suction her and rub her down. 

6 lb 8 oz. 18 and 1/2 inches. 
born at 12:04 am on June 1st. Apparently she did NOT want a May birthday ;) 

VBA2C done. Check ;)