Today Miss E. is one week old. How did that happen? Just last Wednesday I went in for my last prenatal check up. All was good and my doctor wanted to discuss my options since I was trying for a VBAC this go around. Since I have an “uninducable” cervix, it was decided that we would schedule a c-section for 41 weeks — giving my body a week to see if it wanted to have Squoosh on its’ own.
I went home a bit dejected. I knew there needed to be a Plan B, but knowing I had a scheduled date really bothered me for some reason. It needn’t have. I woke up early on Thursday morning to contractions…ones that actually hurt a bit. At 5:30 a.m. I started timing them. Then J and I got up, ate breakfast, hung out with Bug and got ready to go on about our day. I told J to go to work and I would call him if anything was happening.
A few hours later, the contractions were still coming. I took a bath as someone suggested that if they weren’t labor pains, they would stop in the tub. They didn’t. So I took a shower and decided to just get myself prepped for the hospital — ie. I curled my hair and put on make-up! I figured it wouldn’t last long but at least I would go in feeling like myself.
By 10 a.m. my mom had come over and brought breakfast. My contractions were intensifying and would irregularly come one right after the other. It totally freaked my mom out. She kept asking when J was coming home and saying things like “your sister would be better at this than me” (with regards to delivering the baby at my house.) I assured her that wouldn’t happen.
A bit after that I called J and told him to come on home. I figured we’d be going to the hospital by late afternoon. Or by 1pm as it turns out. The contractions were between 4-6 minutes apart and I couldn’t get remotely comfortable. So we packed up the car and off we went for the 12-15 minute drive to the hospital.
Totally heinous drive. I had about 6 contractions on the way there. My OB’s office had said to walk up to their office first, but by the time we actually got there, I had J go straight to the women’s center. The contractions were no joke and I was starting to be in real pain.
Up to triage we went. I was measuring 2.5 cm and they were ready to get us checked in. At this point, I needed help focusing to get through the contractions. With the pain, you inherently want to hold your breath, but my nurse and J were great about getting me to breathe through them. (I was now cursing myself at not having taken more yoga classes.) Our nurse also had me try to keep my lower jaw loose and encouraged me to make low gutteral noises that would keep my mouth open (which is linked to the cervix/uterus in some manner). I officially became that lady. I wasn’t yelling or screaming but anyone walking down the hall would have heard me.
We got settled in our room and the contractions just kept coming. I moved to the birthing ball in hopes that that position would be more manageable for me. My poor husband had nail marks on his one hand by now — that stayed there through most of the night — and his other hand was applying pressure to my lower back through each contraction.
I kept thinking about the end result. I really wanted the VBAC. On a lesser scale, I had wanted to try a natural birth with no drugs. But at 5cm I was so tired and desperate for some sort of break – I asked for the epidural. I could have kissed the anesthesiologist. This time around was different than I remembered with the Bug. It took about 10 minutes to kick in and I still felt a lot of pressure and the urge to push. With Bug, I felt NOTHING. This made me really happy because one of the things that concerned me about having the epidural was not having any sensation when it came time to actually birth the baby.
By this time, my sister had showed up. We spent the next hour or so just chit chatting. The nurse and OB added Pitocin to my IV line as the contractions started slowing a bit. I was at 7cm…just a bit more.
Then Miss E’s heart rate started dropping. We started altering my positions in hopes of finding her a “happy place”. At this point, the nurse let me know that the baby might dictate how she’s going to be born. I knew that meant a c-section and I started to get really anxious. After another half an hour, the baby’s heart rate was still not consistent and the OB said she likely had a cord wrapped around her. Ok, THAT was scary.
He looked at me and said “We gotta get this baby out” and within 10 minutes, the OR was booked and we were on our way. I was beyond nervous as my first experience was far less than stellar. I had begged for a spinal. (I got it.)
|Mid-labor (between contractions)|
Talk about a 180. This birthing experience, although not how I had envisioned it or wanted it, was totally different than my experience with the Bug. I was calm through the entire operation. In fact, J and I were talking when I “felt” the baby move. I thought they were still prepping and said “oh, she’s moving!” My Dr. said “no honey, that’s me” I had no idea that they’d already started. At 8:50 p.m. little Miss E was born. J was able to peak over the curtain to see her and we promptly heard that sweet sound of heaven…crying. They wrapped her up and brought her around so I could see her before they took her to be evaluated. J went off to be with her and I lay there in silence on the operating table reflecting on all that had occured. It didn’t go as planned. It wasn’t the scenario I had hoped for. But I was ok with it. I am ok with it. My daughter is healthy. She is beautiful. And I did it.
It’s funny to reflect on this because in writing it, it feels like a lot of time passed that day – but in comparison to the 27 hours I spent in labor with Aidan, I only labored for 16 hours total and 8 of those hours were spent in the comfort of my own home. My entire birthing experience was different this go ’round. Completely and totally different. But the end result is the same…an amazing, beautiful, healthy child.