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Early Sunday afternoon I started having contractions about 7 minutes apart, as well as a strange cramp that wouldn't go away. Of course that would be the day that we had 2 different unannounced visitors (I hate the pop-in) and ds was begging to put up a Christmas tree! By evening my contractions were around 5 minutes apart, so I called my midwife and she agreed that I should come in. We dropped the kids off with our sitter and got to L&D at around 9pm. My midwife was stuck in traffic, so we got to the hospital an hour before she did; I sat in the triage, sobbing from the pain. By the time she arrived I was sure that Bun would be coming soon, yet I was only 1cm dilated and Bun was in a great position but still very high up, so she gave me the option of either walking around the hospital or going home until things started to pick up. We opted to go home, figuring dh could get some sleep and I could labor comfortably at home in the tub. I labored painfully all through the night, but my contractions were all over the place (anywhere from 3 to 10 minutes apart), so I wasn't sure if I was progressed enough call my midwife again... suddenly at around 9:30am, I was hit with this huge, painful contraction that pretty much immobilized me. Dh was sound sleep, so I dragged myself across the room to the phone so I could call my midwife back. I could barely get the words out, so she said to come in right away, hoping there would be enough time to get my IV antibiotics in (GBS+).
We got to the hospital and had to park a good ¼ of a mile from the building, but thankfully a doctor was in the parking lot and offered to grab us a wheel chair from inside. He was back in a minute and raced us up to the elevators, so dh and I went back to L&D. My midwife was waiting and already admitted me, so they got me right into a labor room and started my IV. She checked my progress and found that I was 7cm dilated! I wasn't planning on getting an epidural unless I had back labor again, and by noon it was obvious that I was having back labor so I did get the epidural, and later a spinal block when the epidural barely took the edge off the pain. Right after the epidural was in, my midwife checked my progress and found that Bun was still at -4 station and was unable to drop into the pelvis because I had so much amniotic fluid. Ordinarily she doesn't like to rupture membranes until the mom is 10cm, but since he just wasn't able to engage, so we decided to go ahead with it.
About 2 hours later my midwife checked my cervix and found that I was 10cm dilated!! I didn't feel the urge to push, but figured I'd get started anyway. After several good pushes she checked and found that Bun still wasn't dropping, so she ordered another ultrasound to see what was wrong. The ultrasound revealed that, sometime I the last couple of hours, he had turned transverse. Right then and there I broke down into sobs at the prospect of a c-section after 24 hours of hard labor. But my midwife wasn't about to give up, so she and the back-up OB turned me onto my other side and pressed down on my belly, to encourage him to turn back down. He did so very quickly... but also turned posterior. GAAHHH! I was so exhausted, so we wanted to get right back to pushing while I still had some strength left in me. My nurse quickly checked my vitals and found that I was running a fever; it could have been nothing more than my reaction to the stress of the delivery, or it could be a sign that Bun had an infection. Because of my GBS, my midwife said that she would have to have NICU come in and take him right away for cultures and to get him started on IV antibiotics immediately. I completely broke down at this point, at the idea of having my baby taken away so soon and not even being able to hold or nurse him or even take a quick picture. I was too frantic to even concentrate on pushing, so my midwife and nurse got tough with me and explained that that they had to take these precautions because they could be a matter of life or death. I pulled myself together and summoned the last bit of strength in me to push my baby into the world. I had already let the epidural and spinal block wear off so I could control my pushing, so we got started. After 35 minutes of pushing, my 7lb 1oz baby boy made his way into the world!! My midwife placed him on my belly while she cleaned him off, and I flew into another panic and was yelling “Why isn't he crying??? Make him start crying!!!” A second later he finally let out a tiny little kitten cry. Just as quickly, NICU whisked him across the room and I was inconsolable. Desperate to hold and nurse my baby. It was all just too much to handle in such a short time. The NICU doctor heard me crying and told the nurse to hand him to me for a minute. As soon as he was in my arms, he looked up at me and was instantly calmed. I only got to hold him for a moment before they whisked him off to NICU.
After I passed the placenta, my midwife examined me and found that I had a 3rd degree tear, due to the angle at which Bun came out. The tearing was so extensive that simple stitches would not suffice... so after 26.5 hours of labor, I was about to have plastic surgery to repair the damage. My midwife knew I'd want to get to NICU as soon as possible, so she explained that they could use a local anesthesia to take the edge off the pain, or give me another a spinal block, which would take a few hours to wear off. I opted for the local anesthesia. Unfortunately, the surgery ended up taking 2.5 hours, so I felt every last suture, with the exception of the hour I had finally passed out from being exhausted and overwhelmed. When it was all over, I rested in a recovery room until I was able to go see my baby.
Finally, at 1am I was brought up to him, and at long last I got to spend time with him. As soon as he heard my voice, he turned toward me and opened his mouth to nurse He would have to stay in NICU for at least 48 hours, when they got his lab results back, so I wouldn't be able to have him room-in with me as planned, and worse still, we wouldn't know until I was discharged if he could come home with me. Getting breastfeeding off to a good start is really important to me, so for the next 2 days I would be going back and forth to NICU to get in as many feedings as I could. Unfortunately, the maternity wing is still under construction, so at this point the NICU is in a separate wing and floor of the hospital, which is already huge. The nursing staff was so supportive; that first day they arranged to have a student nurse wheel me to NICU every 3 hours, then the second day I really wanted to be up and around, so I walked myself up there for each feeding; it took a good 20 minutes to hobble there, LOL. It was tough because I wasn't able to get much rest, since most of my days were spent in transit, and sometimes I was just too weak to make it down for a feeding, but I really wanted to get my milk in as soon as possible, just in case he had to stay and I would be pumping at home. The NICU staff was proud of my determination, so while normally have to keep the babies on a 3 hour schedule, they would hold off until I got there (if I was running late) and only gave him bottles when I let them know I wouldn't be able to get back for the next feeding. Dh had the forethought to let family and friends know that I did not want visitors, as I didn't want anything to prevent getting in as many trips as possible to see Bun.
I was set to be discharged that second day, but my nurse held off as long as she could, hoping we'd get word on whether Bun would be discharged, as well. Finally, early that afternoon I got the call that his lab results were clear and he could come home!! I'm just so overwhelmed by this experience, and have an all new respect and admiration for the medical community. I'm so grateful that my baby is home and healthy. Ironically, he was my smallest baby, second VBAC, but my longest and most difficult birth. I must admit, as gung-ho for VBAC as I have always been...on the off chance that we have another child, I will almost definitely choose a c-section. There's just no way I can go through another hard labor like this.
Last edited by Tofu Bacon; December 31st, 2010 at 08:25 PM.