I finally let Megan know around 11 that I thought I was in early labor and to be ready just in case. Alan called twice while I was on the phone with her so I figured he would freak out if I didn't answer, so when I did I told him that I thought I was in early labor, but he didn't need to come home just yet and that I would let him know if I needed him to. While I was on the phone with him, the flowers he had sneakily ordered were delivered - an added bonus - they're beautiful! After I got off the phone with him I took a shower, which felt amazing, and then ate lunch. Of course, my contractions decided to slow down and were now about 10 minutes apart.
I had been chatting with my friend Rachel on Google chat all morning and had told her what was going on and then went to take a nap since it was very possible I could be in for a long night. I was able to sleep for several hours and my contractions were still anywhere from 5-10 minutes apart and anywhere from 30-45 seconds long. By this point I was also feeling nauseous so when Alan came home he made me a bland dinner and we decided to take a walk through our neighborhood around 6:30 to see if contractions would pick up. They had picked up a little and were about 6-7 minutes apart at this point but I was beginning to freak out a little since I had been in labor since 9AM and I didn't know how far along I was.
Let's just say that our walk definitely did the trick. Contractions picked up and were about 5 minutes apart and anywhere from 45 seconds to just over a minute. However, I was torn as to what to do. I wanted to call Megan over because I figured she would be a better judge as to when we should head to the hospital, but at the same time, I didn't want her to come over if she really didn't need to just yet. Eventually I texted her around 10PM and asked her to come over. She got here about 15 minutes later and after watching me go through several contractions determined that I was in active labor and that it was up to me as to when we could go to the hospital. She thought contractions were about 3-4 minutes apart and I couldn't really talk through them anymore. Alan called the on-call to see who was there and if they allowed vbacs, which she did, but doctor also said that she would call my doctor when we arrived if I wanted. Amazingly enough my water still hadn't broken yet so I decided to wait to see if anything else picked up or 1AM, whichever was earlier.
1AM arrived so we left for the hospital and as I'm in the driveway, I felt this liquid in my pants and told Alan that I either just peed a lot or my water had broken. As we were walking into the hospital more liquid just kept coming. I went to the bathroom as we were going to my room to be checked in triage and sure enough there was blood, so I knew it had. I was checked in triage and was only 5cm. My first thought was you have GOT to be kidding me! I had been in labor all day after already being 4cm and that was it?! I was anticipating a long labor since I was in labor 36 hours with Ewan and now I was sure I was in for another one again. I was also praying that she was no longer posterior because I was terrified of her not turning and ending up with another c-section.
I don't remember how long we were in triage, but eventually we were moved to my room. I had to be connected to the monitor the majority of the time, something my doctor wouldn't be on, but before that happened my nurse allowed me to take a shower if I wanted. I originally didn't want to, but Alan and Megan talked me into it and it felt wonderful. My nurse also pretty much left us alone with the exception to check my blood pressure once an hour and to adjust the monitor if needed since Cecily kept moving around. I wasn't checked and never saw the on-call doctor. It was awesome and already so different from my labor with Ewan, when I was admitted, instantly given an IV and not allowed out of bed.
Megan was having me try different positions for labor but I preferred sitting in the rocking chair or swaying with Alan. Contractions were staying about the same as they were at home, so we all attempted to take a nap around 5AM or so. I was woken up when my doctor came in at 7 and checked me. I was still only 5cm and she was pretty high. He also felt my belly and said he thought she was going to be close to 10lbs. I could see the look of panic on his face even though he tried to hide it as he told me that if this did end up with a c-section that it wasn't my fault and he wasn't going to force it if it wasn't necessary but he also wasn't going to put me or Cecily in danger. My contractions had also died down in frequency and intensity too, so I decided to have a little talk with my baby girl. I told her that we had to find a way to work together to get her out because I wasn't being cut open unless it was life or death.
Megan suggested I stand up and walk around a little to see if contractions would pick back up and sure enough they did. I alternated between sitting in the rocker and holding onto Alan as they became more and more intense. My nurse asked if it was ok to give me some iv fluids as long as I was unhooked when the bag was done and she also gave me some zofran. I hadn't eaten since midnight and was starting to get pretty sick. Sometime in the morning my nurse came back in to adjust the external monitor and check me and when she did, the rest of my water broke. Contractions really started to pick up then, coming maybe 2 minutes apart and holy cow they hurt! I remember it was all I could do to get through each one without screaming. It was during all this that I told my nurse she could put in an external monitor since it would be less of a hassle because Cecily kept moving off the external one. Yeah...I don't know what the nurse did, but I started screaming and crying it hurt so bad. And, she didn't get on her, and was going to have to do it again! I'm not sure what I said when she told me that, but it must have been not very nice because the look on her face was like ok then! So, Dr. S came in an inserted it, with no pain and in about 5 seconds. I guess that's why he gets paid the big bucks!
It was sometime around 11AM that I started begging for an epidural. The pain was so intense and after over 24 hours of contractions I couldn't hold on much longer. I wanted to do everything as naturally as I could and I had told Megan beforehand that if I started wanting pain relief to talk me out of it. Well...she did what I told her to do and asked me to wait an hour to see if I still wanted it. I remember telling her and Alan around 11:45 that I wasn't kidding, I wanted her out and I didn't care how it was done that they either needed to cut her out, give me drugs or knock me out...literally, punch me and knock me out. Apparently Alan told me they would get arrested so they couldn't do that, but I definitely don't remember that part. Megan told me that before they could give me an epidural, I had to have a bag of iv fluids and that she would call the nurse to go ahead and do that and if I still wanted it, then I could have it. Getting fluids seemed like an eternity and I know there was nothing anyone could do but wait until the fluids ran their course, but I wanted to kill everyone. Megan told me that I could yell if I had to, that it was ok to just let it out and so I did...believe me the F-bomb went flying! It was around 1 that everything was ready and the anesthesiologist was called. Megan kept asking me if I wanted the nurse to check me to see where I was because she was probably right there since I was acting like I wanted to run away. At that point, I didn't want to know. I was terrified that I would be ready to push and could no longer have the epidural. So, the epidural was placed, of course during the middle of a contraction.
Once it was in, I was able to feel relief almost immediately. It was awesome. With Ewan, I had two epidurals and neither worked properly. I felt everything on one side and it royally sucked. This time around, I couldn't feel anything. I was so terrified it wasn't going to work again and I was so thankful that it did because I don't know what I would've done if it didn't.
My nurse also checked me at this time and I was 7cm, which was a little disappointing, but since it was as far as I made it with Ewan, I was pretty nervous and really hoping that things would continue to go smoothly. I was able to take relax and take a nap at this point too. Apparently I was so exhausted that Megan came over to see if I was still breathing! About an hour later, my nurse and Dr. S came in and checked me. I had gone from 7 to 9cm dilated! I really do think that the epidural saved me. I had told Dr. S and Megan that the only way I wanted one is if it would help me relax and avoid a repeat c-section. I really think it did just that. Megan asked me the next day if I regretted getting it and the answer is absolutely not!
After I was checked Dr. S told me that he wanted me to just labor down and try to avoid pushing until I absolutely couldn't anymore. I knew he was glad I had made this much progress, but he was also really nervous since she was going to be big. He told me that he wasn't going to use forceps or suction since she was going to be big and he didn't want her to get stuck. So, if I was going to get her out, it was all on me. Once everyone left the room, Cecily and I had another talk. I told her that she had to come out easily and soon because I wasn't getting cut open and I wasn't sure I had the strength to continue to push for hours.
Eventually, I started feeling a lot of pressure and I called for the nurse. She came in and said that I could try some practice pushes if I wanted so I did. That is a very weird sensation, trying to push while having little to no feeling from your abdomen down. Needless to say, I wasn't very good at it and we took a break for a bit, I remember looking at the clock and it saying a quarter til, but I'm not sure if it was a quarter til 4 or 5. The nurse came back in after about 15 minutes and I tried again, this time not only on my back, but also on my side and hands and knees facing the bed. I really liked pushing on my side, but not so much on my hands and knees. That was just too weird with not being able to feel my legs.
After several more pushes, Megan and my nurse were telling me that she was moving down, but I didn't believe them. So, they started measuring by my highest gallbladder scar to prove it. They also let me use a mirror to see where she was. My immediate reaction was how gross it was, which cracked everyone up. I know several people who thought it was helpful to see their progress, but I really didn't want to see anything else. Eventually I could feel her head down there and my nurse called for Dr. S. Let me just say that the look on his face when he walked in and she was crowning was PRICELESS. He was just like "ok then, let's do this!" I found out later from my doula that he made a comment to one of the various nurses that he was really impressed with my trust in my body and that he had a renewed faith in women's bodies, which is totally awesome. He let me feel her head, which was really weird to be honest, wet, hairy and mushy. I pushed I think maybe three times and her head and shoulders were out but not her body. All the sudden he was saying body dystocia and to keep pushing. After maybe two more pushes she was completely out and on my stomach. It was AMAZING. Alan and I were just crying, me because I was so happy she was finally here and not surgically and Alan because he was so proud of us. She was taken to be weighed and measured and all that good stuff while I delivered the placenta (not gross at all, looked to me like liver) and the one tear I had was stitched up. When she was weighed it was like everything in the room stopped because we all wanted to see how big she really was. And, mommy knows best. She was 9lbs 8oz and I had been saying all along that I thought she was going to be 9lbs 4oz, I was close! The hospital plays a chime during the day every time a baby is born, and there were a lot of babies born that day. Needless to say, after every chime I was getting pissed because I wanted it to be my turn. Well, a few minutes after she was born, they opened the door and told me the chime was for me. Finally!
Let me just say that the difference between Cecily's birth and Ewan's is so dramatic that I cannot even begin to explain. With Ewan I felt bullied and uninformed about what was going on and then all the sudden I'm in recovery with my mom and without my baby. This time, I was almost completely in control of what happened during my labor. I knew exactly what was being done and why and asked if it was ok. While recovering from a vaginal birth is definitely no picnic, I would take it over a c-section recovery any day. I was just amazed that I was allowed to drink something, while I was delivering the placenta; that I was unhooked from the iv and out of bed less than two hours after she was born and that I was able to eat something as soon as everyone cleared out of the room. Cecily took to nursing so easily and is still doing well. So very different than in the beginning with Ewan. I am so happy that I decided to go for a vbac and made the scary decision to switch doctors at 36 weeks to do so. I genuinely think that if I had chosen any other doctor, I would've wound up with a repeat c-section because they wouldn't have let me go so long. My doctor is amazing and for those of you that know who he is, SWITCH TO HIM!!! :-) I also know that I couldn't have done it without my doula, Megan. She was invaluable and I am so thankful to her for helping to make my experience as awesome as it was.
|right after she was born|
|such a loving big brother!|