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Okay ladies, I'm finally getting around to posting this! I'll try not to make it take forever!
We had previously discussed with our midwife the plan to induce labor by rupturing my membranes when I was 39 weeks and 4 days. I had nine other children at home to cordinate care for and sometimes my labors go fast so that was the plan we came up with. Because I was a VBAC, I didn't want to use pitocin as I knew it could up my chances for uterine rupture as well as confine me to the bed during labor. The only possible issue with our plan was that the baby's head was still a bit high and so unless it came down, breaking my water wouldn't be safe.
We came in on the day before our planned induction to check and see if baby's head had come down any. If it did, we'd proceed with our plan, but if not, then we'd just wait for labor to occur on its own.
So on Friday the 16th, at our appointment, Tammy (our midwife) checked and the baby was still high and thus, she wouldn't be able to break my water the next day. We were a bit dissapointed but were okay with letting baby come on her own. Tammy offered to sweep my membranes and send us out walking for a bit and then we could come back and see if baby was any lower. We agreed to that and when she stripped my membranes, I dilated from three to four right then. So, since I was at four, she no longer felt comfortable sending me home on my tenth baby...she said she though I should reconsider using a small amount of pitocin to bring baby down so she could break my water.
We considered our options for a few minutes and then agreed to that plan. We left to go eat lunch and then came back to the hospital.
The nurses this time around were so much better than the ones I'd had last year with Bree's birth. This time they were understanding and not so hung up on hospital policy. Because of the pitocin I had to have continuous monitoring but the leads were pretty long so I didn't have to stay in bed. I used the birthing ball and moved around to help things get going. At first I just felt crampy...no real, timeable contractions. DH and I played cards- uno and blackjack to pass the time and watched a little TV. I updated our blog and facebook periodicially. Our midwife's daughter is going to school to become a nurse, and we'd invited her to attend Bree's birth the year before, and now she had come to attend this birth as well. We chatted with her and hung out with our midwife for a while.
Contractions finally got regular. They were short, but powerful and close together. I worried that they were too close together, not giving baby enough time between but the midwife said that they were alright. I ended up loving the continuous monitoring because it eased my mind quite a bit that the baby was doing great. I did stress over the effect of the pit on the baby, so being able to track her heartbeat on the monitor made me feel good. Plus it gave me the oddest, but greatest sense of connection to her. It was like we were on a magical journey together, that was going to result in her being out of my tummy and in my arms.
I decided that I wanted an epidural and asked for my bag of fluids at around 6 centimeters. When it had run through the anesthesiologist came to do the epidural but as soon as he headed into my room, he was paged away by an emergency in another ward of the hospital. I remember having a few choice words regarding what I thought of having the L&D floor sharing anesthesiologists with the rest of the hospital. The midwife explained gently that now I was at 7 centimeters and no one knew how long the doc would be gone with the emergency and that I should be prepared to go natural. I calmed down and focused on one contraction at a time and on staying relaxed and sure enough, it was still very painful, but I could handle it. DH helped me focus and rubbed my back and feet. I resigned myself to natural birth and was okay with it. I was doing great with the contractions and even though they still hurt badly, the phychological aspect had shifted in my mind and I was okay with it, and I was doing great. Suddenly the anesthesiologist walked back in and said he was ready to do the epi. I considered telling him nevermind because I was feeling proud of the fact that I was doing it on my own and was okay with, but then I rememebered how it felt to have a baby crown without good anesthesia and I chickened out!!!!
The epi was in quickly and it worked great. My mom showed up from Tennessee and was going to be able to attend the birth...though we hadn't planned on having her there, it was a nice suprise. We basically just hung out for a couple more hours until I started to feel pain again and it was time to push.
Because I dont' like to push in stirrups or have the delivery bed broken down, it took a few tries to find a position I was comfortable in and had enough traction to push in. Dh tried holding a towell at the foot of the bed so I could play tug of war with it but that didn't seem right. Finally once I found a good position for pushing it didn't take long. Our family pediatrician walked in just a couple pushes before the baby was out...she had been at the hospital for another reason and saw our name on the board and wanted to attend. That was kind of nice. The epidural worked to just the right degree while I was pushing. I could still feel, and it did hurt, but it was not excruciating, and I could stay on top of things. It worked enough to make it very tolerable but allowed me to feel enough to stay fully connected to what was going on and to push properly.
When the baby crowned it was a little difficult not to yelp but I didn't because my mom and our pediatrican were there! LOL! I had asked the midwife if I could help pull her out myself and so once her head was out, Tammy told me to go ahead and get her out. I was trying to grab under her arms but Dh kept telling me "you're grabbing her neck! You're grabbing her neck!" Tammy helped guide my hands and together we pulled her out and I pulled her up to my chest. I was thrilled to discover that she was still a she and I immediately told my mom we were naming her Maria Hailey and calling her Mia (Maria was my mom's mom's name). Mia had to go to the warmer, even though typically this is something we don't do with our babies, becuase she had swallowed fluid and needed to be percussed. I didn't mind since it was for a valid reason and not just due to "policy". Tammy collected our cord blood and then I waited for Mia to come back to me. Finally she did and the nursery nurse told me she was on the line between getting to stay in my room and needing to go to the nursery so it'd be best if I could get her to cry some. She did and got to stay with us.
When we weighed her, she was 8 pounds, 3 ounces and 18 3/4 inches long. She looked exactly like our son Brice.
We'd asked the nurses not to bathe her in the nursery and they told us that we could bathe her ourselves in our room. My arms were feeling so weak and tired though that I ended up needing help and the nurse basically finished bathing her for me, in our room. It was after two in the morning by the time we got to our postpartum room and I'd been up almost 24 hours...I was exhausted.
Mia is perfect and we are all so in love with her! I'll try to post some pics from photobucket. I'm not super great at doing it so we'll see if it works!
Here she is just after being born:
I'm so glad that you got your VBAC, and I think you did a great job! I also found it very reassuring to have constant fetal monitoring, which was something that I originally didn't think I'd want. It's just so great to know that everything is well all the way up to when they're in your arms!