In reality, Claire's birth story was perfect. At the end of the day, it didn't seem that long. Wasn't overly painful (during and after). I got my VBAC. And I delivered a perfectly healthy baby girl. The end?
Wish it was the simple, huh? Still wanting more? Well, here are the details...sorry if it gets a bit long and winded!
For those that don't know, or don't recall, Little Miss was born via a c-section. Although the c-section resulted in a happy and healthy baby (the most important thing during a delivery), in a sense, I felt as though I had "missed out" on the actual birthing experience. This coupled with me not wanting to have a "scheduled" birth and the health benefits of a non-c-section birth led me to the decision to try and have a vbac with Littlest Miss.
In all honesty, given the chain of events, even an entire month later, I am still shocked that Littlest Miss's birth story played out as it did.
Rewind back to Sunday, June 15th.
It started much like any other Sunday other than we purposely did not go to church as the first batch of movers were scheduled to show up that day between 1 - 4 and essentially get us moved out of the apartment and into our new house. Thankfully, we'd spent much of the previous 3 weeks packing up the place so there wasn't a ton to do. I had hoped to carry my fair share of the load, but woke up not feeling that great. Something was just off. I wasn't having regular contractions by any means, but I didn't have a ton of energy and my back hurt most of the day. Thus, rather than pack, I spent a bulk of the day on the couch watching the US Open and playing with Little Miss.
The husband kept telling people that it was baby day, and I continued to brush it off and tell him he was crazy.
The movers finally showed up around 5 PM. Thankfully, the team of three did all the heavy lifting while the husband supervised and Little Miss and I ran errands and got everyone dinner. They were finally done loading up our place around 7 PM and headed to our new house. Everything was unloaded and at least packed into the garage by 9 PM...so we paid the movers, got Little Miss to bed, and started to get a few of the essentials unpacked.
Around 11 PM, I was just exhausted. I'd unpacked a handful of boxes, and more importantly, made our bed. So I curled up on the couch, tried to wind down, and sent off a few text messages, including the following:
Little did I know that I was jinxing myself.
As just an hour later, as I was brushing my teeth, I suddenly felt like I'd pee'd myself. I asked the husband to get me another pair of underwear and some new yoga/pajama pants. Within a couple of minutes, it happened again. So I made the same request and got changed once more. I barely made it 10 feet from the toilet and it happened a third time. At this point, the husband was asking if we needed to go to the hospital and I repeatedly said nope, I think I just pee'd myself. Justifying it by the numerous bottles of water that I had chugged down in the last seven hours.
However, after it happened a fifth time, I finally agreed that it was better to be safe than sorry. Thus, the husband loaded Little Miss (who was still sleeping) into the truck and I got myself in, while he frantically scurried around the house trying to make sure that we had everything we needed. We pulled out of the driveway around 12:30 AM and made the seven minute trip to the hospital. As soon as I stepped out of the car, it was clear that my water had in fact broken -- evident by the movie-type gush!
Once there, I explained that I thought my water had broken and after a nurse walked behind me was quickly admitted. They hooked up my IV, verified the my water had broken, checked for progress and was basically told to get some rest because at this point, there was nothing that they could do given my desire to have a VBAC as they needed to wait for a doctor to actually be on staff, and not merely on call.
After sleeping as much as i could while in an uncomfortable hospital bed and hooked up to machines, my doctor came in early the next morning and basically told me what I had already expected to hear -- that I was having contractions, that they weren't regular (every six to ten minutes), that I hadn't made much progress (I was only at a 1 or a 2) and that regardless I was having our baby girl that day because of fear of infection.
But what I did not expected to hear was that she was willing to give me Pitocin to see if they could progress my labor. This almost completely contradicted everything that I had heard about VBACs, but I was definitely game as I did not want to have a c-section unless necessary. So they started the Pitocin by 8 AM with the instructions to gradually increase it. At some point my nurse also asked me to establish three goals for the day. Here is what I came up with:
Throughout the rest of the day, each visitor in my room got a kick out of # 3 (which was a result of memories of Little Miss's birth and almost not getting an epidural and my shear inability to think of any other reasonable goal for # 3)
By about 10 AM or so, I had definite Pitocin contractions -- super painful and super close together. As much as I did not want to get an epideral too early, in part of the fear that it would further stall labor, I also knew, based on Little Miss's birth, that if I labored like this without one, I would be entirely too tired to be able to physically push out Littlest Miss. So I caved. And got the epideral.
By 10:30 or 11:00 AM I was virtually pain free. However, I was still only at a 3. At some point, they inserted a catheder or similar tool to help gauge how successful the Pitocin was working, and I am guessing that they gradually continued to increase the dosage.
I was able to sleep most of the morning, only waking up when the epidural didn't work on my right side. The anethesiologis returned, up the dosage, and back to la-la land for me. Until about 2 PM when they checked me, informed that I had made it to a 10 and that we'd start pushing in roughly 30 minutes. Success! Here is a picture of the Husband and I shortly there after:
The only issue was that I seriously could not feel my legs, nevermind a contraction. Thus, they either turned down or reduced the epidural with hopes that it would help me push our little girl out.
At approximately 2:30 PM, I started pushing. My nurse Daphne holding one leg and Coach (aka Husband) holding the other. Because I still could not feel each contraction, I only pushed when they told me to -- which ended up being essentially every other contraction. I didn't feel like I was making much progress with each push, in part because I couldn't feel much of anything and in part because of my lack of success with pushing Little Miss out. However, I couldn't have been more wrong.
Within the first 20 minutes of pushing, my nurse quickly picked up the phone and said, "Flowers for delivery" and the next thing I knew my doctor was back in the room ready to deliver Littlest Miss. I think it took 2 full pushes and then after the first push on the third set, Littlest Miss made her appearance.
Happy, healthy, and a full head of hair (although not as much as big sister had!).
First pic of Husband and Littlest Miss:
First pic of Littlest Miss and Mom:
Littlest Miss snoozing in our room:
First pic of Little Miss and Littlest Miss (a few days later):
We could not be more blessed.