In a few short hours my second child will be three years old. I'm re living the moment,because lets face it, what mommy doesn't like remembering one of the most important days of her life, also for all my "birth y friends" who missed it the first time, and all the others who enjoy reading birth stories.
I know a good 1/2th of my followers & friends on here aren't into this sorta' thing, so please,pass on by & leave it for those who are, if need be.I'll be back with something more your style soon. Pinky swear.
Three years ago tonight I was 42 weeks pregnant, had been dilated to 4 cm (10 in complete. And yes, really & no, clearly he wasn't just falling out!) for close to 3 weeks & was THISCLOSE to finally cracking & scheduling a repeat c-section.
My poor friends & family. I'd agonize over my decision for a VBAC daily the whole pregnancy. I think knew I wanted to do it but clearly, it scared the begeezus out of me.
It's like being pregnant for the first time all over again.I never went into labor with Andy, you see, and a (((cough PRESSURED))) induction at 42 weeks, with a very long intense labor that ended in a very unexpected to me, c-section had been quite an ordeal for me just a short year before.
All those first time worries "Will I know it's happening?? " were even worse than any anxiety or worries I ever had with my first pregnancy.What if this time I "failed" again? Could I really handle that? I was still so emotionally torn up from my first birth experience that the thought of doing the same thing again, failing again, the hormonal, traumatic, emotional let down. Did I want to subject my already dealing with PPD ( post partum depression) self to that AGAIN??
But could I live with NOT trying??
So there I was. 42 weeks AGAIN, just 21 months after doing it for the first time.
5 minute apart contractions?
Psh. Those had been happening for WEEKS. I truly began to believe I might be pregnant forever.
Exhausted, I nursed my 21 month old Andy (oh, by the way, all you poor blog readers who are used to reading about pig balls on my blog, I'm an extended nurser too!) to sleep & laid down with my husband for what had become "Claires Nightly Foot Rub" for my swollen ankles & tired toes.
I had a new foot lotion to try out, from my wonderful friend Pamelas ♥ body shop & Mike worked his magic. Exasperated I decided to just head to bed.
I remember it was still a bit light outside.
I told Mike to follow shortly, as I had been the last week because you know" Just in case this happens, we should be well rested" ..same thing I'd said for the last few weeks.
An hour later I woke from my light sleep & walked to the bathroom.
. I had worried for close to 10 months I wouldn't know when I was in labor, so I sat there in the dark for maybe 5 minutes.
I decided maybe this was labor, so I went to Mike, poked him & said "I think I'm in labor.. Okay.. go back to sleep" and went back to sitting in the dark bathroom alone.
That small dark bathroom seemed to calm me.
He walked out saying 'Well, I definitely can't sleep now!" but I was wrapped up in my head & asked to be left alone. I decided to hop online, Google,update my ladies ♥ and start timing my contractions.
With in 8 minutes they increased intensely & I picked up the phone to call the midwives I was using at a local practice that I'd found to be very VBAC friendly for this area.
Once the on call midwife heard I'd been at a 4 for weeks & I was a VBAC'er she told me to head on in.
I paced for 15 minutes until my mom showed up & we headed to the hospital. With in 5 minutes they checked & upon realizing I was already 8cm they hurried me into a room.
After 15 minutes of a very nice, but very incompetent with a needle nurse stabbing me to death & a bruise the size of Texas starting to form on my hand I agreed to an IV as they ran my blood work & I settled into bed to relax a bit.
That short hour of sleep clearly wasn't enough.
The midwife got there, she was one I hadn't met before but she instantly calmed me.In fact, she wasn't supposed to be there with me. The one I'd spoken to, who I remember thinking seemed a bit brash, ended up having the patient she was with at the other local hospital just peak her labor so she couldnt run over to meet me for admittance. They had to call another midwife to come be with me.
I will never forget her as long as I live. ♥
After an hour my blood work came back & I decided hell yes, I did want an epidural. Yeah, I talked about the no drugs natural birth plan the first time around. I'd totally whatever kinda drugs I could get once those pitocin contractions kicked in! I was prepared to get that epidural whenever I wanted it & to not feel bad, but to this time have the knowledge to know they CAN "turn it down" do you can do things like, ya know.. have use of your whole lower body when trying to expel a baby from it.
By the time that was taking effect of she checked me only to find out I was approaching 10 cm.
We decided trying to rest a little bit was a good idea.We were all pretty tired.When your 42 weeks pregnant "really late night" starts at 9:30pm. I was beyond tired.
I urged Mike to lay down for a bit & I tried to do the same. After 30 minutes the vomiting started. Something I didn't have with Andys labor.
Midwife kept asking how I felt,and sure enough, I was fully dilated but really had no desire or urges to push.I let her break my water.
Interesting sensation, for you men out there dying to know ;-)
She & the nurse walked to the corner & whispered before coming back to tell me there was meconium (baby poop) in my water.
However, all signs showed Ryan was stress free & she felt that it wasn't enough leaking into the water to be of concern since I was already so far progressed, clearly he was on his way & fast.
So we waited.
She soothed me through contractions when I'd say "Oh man..Oh man..Fuck this, I want a c-section!!" and reminded me how far I had already come. The contraction would stop & I'd breathe "Yeah..you're right.. I totally got this. That wasn't so bad!" only to repeat the same sentences over & over as labor progressed.
By 12am I had been fully dilated for some time & she asked if I was willing to try some pushing.
Why not? He had to come out eventually, right?
I had a good first 40 minutes, then everything started feeling exactly like it did with Andy, except this time I could actually feel. My pushes just weren't "right." I could tell they wern't right, but for the love of crap & moving & shifting & trying.. I just couldn't get it right. I never really got the massive urge to push that women always talk about.
We took a break while I regrouped myself & began again.
After some time I got a sharp pain in my right side that I knew all too well. I'd been in the hospital 3 times in the prior 4 years for scar tissue damage from a previous abdominal surgery I had had & the searing pain completely over rid the labor pains. No epidural could cover this pain.
I began to get upset. It HURTS.I feel nauseated just thinking about it. I have scar damage deep inside my lower abdomen that has brought me to me knees several times over the years, and into the ER a few as well.
It made me nervous, for medical reasons related to the prior surgery itself and quite frankly? I am OK with admitting that I was feeling a bit burnt out on all my crappy pushing.
After several calm moments with a clear head in between contractions I decided I did in fact want to go ahead & head to the OR. I'd labored on my own, I gave an A+ effort & I felt peaceful with where I was at. I got what I needed out of my labor & birth experience. I truly felt healed from the pain that Andys birth caused me emotionally. I was OK with this decision.It was MY decision this time.
They quickly prepped me for surgery, my midwife held my hand & wiped my tears & nose as I started to get scared & sad & the drugs began to seep in.
Mike scrubbed in & joined us & with in minutes Ryan was born.
April 15, 2008
10 pounds, 23 inches
Lets face it, people don't see 10 pound babies every day, so the whole operating room was sort of gawking at my child while I began to reach through the curtain towards my open stomach. Mike & a nurse noticed, thankfully & distracted me by beginning to bring Ryan to show me.
This is where it gets a little bit foggy. I heard a whisper " Do you see the blood in the.." and then they popped the GOOD drugs into my IV.
I turned my head to look at my new baby & burst into tears when I saw someone had placed a golden ring on his sweet little finger.
"Oh how sweet!!! Look at the ring!!! WOW!! He IS big!!!" I exclaimed.
..I was looking at my husbands hand...
Like I said. Good drugs.
Mike & Ryan went to recovery and I drifted in & out as they tried to fix me up & get me stitched back together.
I have no idea how long it was but suddenly I was lovingly holding Ryan, trying not to fall asleep as I nursed him for the first time & stared at him.
My big beautiful boy.
After the first hour they needed to move me to my room so I let them take him for the newborn exam ( something I never let them do with Andy!) while they wheeled me to my room half delirious.
I remember starting to regain consciousness, and realized that as I was waiting for Ryan, it hadn't just been 10 minutes. It crept into an hour.
Demanding my baby they headed off to bring him to me.Once he was with me they told me he had spiked a fever, likely from the meconium & they had been addressing that issue.
Thankfully, that was the only issue he had & nothing else ever came of it.Thanks God.
I was a different story.
One of my practices OBs came in & asked if I was ready for the blood transfusion.
Apparently I'd lost so much blood that my iron level bottomed out at close to a FIVE!!!
I asked if it would be a bad idea to decline(other peoples blood, unless it's life or death just freaks me out, call me crazy if you must) ,they tsked a bit but told me they would give me until the next shift to see if it improved on its own.
By the next test I was up to a 7, so they decided I could continue to recover on my own, for the time being.However, I was confined to the bed because I was a liability to stand & walk.
That night the nightmare nurse of my life neglected me for a 6 hour shift. I shouldn't need to elaborate to any one on what happens if you let a postpartum woman sit in bed for 6 hours "un checked." it wasn't nice of her.. we'll say that.
After Mike woke up he saw my catheter was beginning to back up & rushed to get a nurse.
I'll say this, for the next 3 days I was under CLOSE watch & special attentive care from a very pissed off head nurse, who made it her #1 job to make sure I was closely watched & taken care of.The nurse who neglected me did not return for the remainder of my stay & I was told was reprimanded.
A full day later I was allowed to attempt to get out of bed. The minute both feet hit the floor blood flowed into my catheter & back to bed it was for another 24 hours.
I declined visitors, I was so weak, ghost white & bloody I truly didn't want anyone to see me, not even my sweet Andy, I looked SCARY. I was quite a sight, very uncomfortable & just wanted to be left with my new baby & to work to get the heck out of there.
However, I was really missing my Andy back home, so I became determined to get myself home.
The next attempt to get out of bed I took slow, and it was a success!
I pushed through the pain & began walking the first chance they gave me. I was allowed to shower for the first time & was able to get up & walk to help decrease the chance of blood clots in my legs. I would circle the nurses station, smiling & waving to make sure they saw me.
My plan, and a hormone fueled tearful begging from the head nurse later & finally I was discharged & we headed home!!
After Andy met his new brother we all settled in for our first tandem nursing session & the rest is sweet, maddening brotherly history!!!