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Ariyah's Arrival - Failed VBAC, but an amazing experience (Long!)

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May 19th, 2011, 11:55 PM
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: WA
Posts: 1,117
This pregnancy has been very difficult for me, emotionally and physically, but finally my beautiful baby girl is here. In the last 9 months I was diagnosed with threatened miscarriage, gestational diabetes, pre-term labor at 33 weeks, olygohydramnios (very low amniotic fluid), and PIH (pregnancy induced hypertension). My doctor suggested delivering the baby by c-section a few times because of the low fluid levels, but since I was trying for my 2nd VBAC I decided to wait it out, and each time the fluid would go up just enough so they would let me continue being pregnant. I knew that my doctor did not want me to go much longer than my due date of May 9th because of the gestational diabetes because it was likely the baby was getting very big. During an ultrasound when I was 38 weeks they guessed her weight to be about 7 pounds 13 ounces, but when my doctor felt my belly he said that she seemed much bigger than that.

On Friday the 6th I went in for my usual non-stress test and I had a Dr. appointment afterward. During the NST my blood pressures were up much higher than usual (I typically have pretty low bp). They kept me on the monitors for a while but they were consistently high, so they called up to my doc to let them know what was going on. I went up for my appointment and my doctor said we should really get the baby delivered. At this point I was just ready for her to be born so I was all for it, especially since he said we could try breaking my water to induce labor before doing a c-section. I reminded him that it worked great for my last baby, he broke my water and my son was born just 3 hours later. So he said great and left the room to see about getting it set up for that day.

I was so excited and started texting people saying it looked like I'd be having a baby that day! Well I should have waited because he came in the room a few minutes later saying they had just admitted someone in labor attempting a VBAC and didn't want to take on another one (me) because they needed to make sure the operating room would be available in case we both happened to need c-sections at the same time (come on, what are the chances of that, I thought to myself). So he said to go home and they would call me later; I might be able to get in that night or the next morning.

I called the office at 4pm that day to see what the situation was. I was told that they scheduled me for induction the next morning at 5:30am. I was a little disappointed I had to wait but also relieved I had one more night to be pregnant and get things ready for her arrival. I made arrangements for my boys to be with their dad and my mom spent the night so I wouldn't be alone.

The next morning I picked up Ariyah's dad since he doesn't drive and we headed to the hospital. My mom met us there. I got checked in and we waited to be taken to my room. And waited.... and waited.... finally they came to ask us to come to triage so I could be hooked up to monitors while they tried to get a room for me. I guess there was some huge baby boom that night/day and they were very short on rooms. We were in triage for about 4 hours waiting. I heard them sending other people home who had scheduled inductions and I was crying because I just knew they were going to try and send me home too and I just couldn't handle that. After so many false alarms and so many complications I just wanted it to be done with. I heard the nurse on the phone with my doctor saying "so should I have her come back tomorrow or Monday?" and I just started to cry. My mom went out there and when the nurse got off the phone she said "PLEASE don't send her home. If you send her home she will NOT be coming back, she said she would rather have her baby at home than go through this again!" Well thank god for mothers because that did the trick and about an hour later we had a room!

It didn't take long for the doc to come in and break my water. OMG it HURT!!!! It felt like he had his entire hand up there. I even tore a little tiny bit. Afterward he made some joke that he checked my tonsils while he was in there and they are fine. Once my water was broken it hit me that there was no going back now! I was going to have a baby, one way or another! So now the pressure was on. I knew they would not let me labor for very long so I was anxious to get things going. I had them strap me to a wireless monitor so I could walk the halls. Eventually they said I had to go back though because they weren't picking up the baby's heartbeat when I was walking. So I asked the nurse to bring me a birthing ball and bounced & rolled around on that for a while trying to get something started. I was having contractions but they weren't very strong or regular. I started pacing back and forth in my room and moving my hips from side to side and BAM! Real labor finally started to kick in.

I tried getting back on the birthing ball a few times, but as soon as I'd sit down I would jump back up and say "Nooooo I don't like that at all!" Standing up was the best way for me to deal with the contractions. I stood up next to my bed holding on to the rail for hours. My feet hurt so bad from standing but every time I tried getting in the bed the pain was sooo much worse, I would almost immediately jump right out of bed again.

In the beginning of labor when the pain started getting bad I would look up to the ceiling and just say "It's a good pain, it's a good pain" over and over. I was very happy that I was FINALLY in labor and just wanted to keep it going and get things progressing as quickly as I could to avoid being cut open. When the contractions got REALLY bad I would close my eyes and I would mentally go to another place... It helped so much to breath deeply. I would breathe in as deep as I could and blow the air out, over and over until the contraction was over. The breathing made me kind of light headed which helped me deal with the pain. Between contractions I would open my eyes and be there in the moment, talking to people and just staying as calm and relaxed as I could. It was such a relief when a contraction would end. I just kept staying in the moment, experiencing one contraction at a time and trying not to think about the next one until it hit. People would say, "How are you feeling?" and I would say "I'm feeling just fine between the contractions!"

I had a lot of visitors during labor. I didn't think I'd want many people there but it actually didn't bother me. The only thing that did bother me is when someone would start talking to me during a contraction. At one point I did get irritated because people were getting a little loud and it was distracting me but most of the time I was fine with having everyone there. My sister even brought my boys in to visit me. I was in active labor and was concerned about them seeing me in that state, but luckily I was able to manage the pain with my breathing and meditation-type focus so it wasn't anything that would be very traumatizing to them. They kept coming over to me and rubbing my arm trying to comfort me which was sweet. My youngest son Xander (4 years old) said to me "Mom, what are they doing to you? Why do you have all these wires?" I actually found it in me to laugh at that despite the intense pain I was dealing with.

It seemed like I was laboring forever. After about 9 hours or so I had a cervix check and was only dilated to a 7. The pain was getting more intense and at this point I had added some quiet moaning to my breathing, but was still coping quite well. At one point a couple of nurses came in and asked if it was okay for one of them to observe me for a while because the nurse had never seen a natural labor before. It surprised me that natural labor is that rare... She seemed very impressed at how I was handling the contractions. Everyone was encouraging me and telling me how great I was doing and that gave me motivation to keep going.

That is, until I stopped dilating... for the next couple hours I was stuck at 7 and not progressing even though the pain was getting stronger. I started questioning why I wanted to go through this, why I wanted a natural childbirth. I even started wishing they would just do the c-section so I could get it over with. I was so tired of being in labor, so tired of being in pain, and just plain tired. I was also STARVING and it made me feel very shaky and weak. I felt like I just had no energy left in me and I didn't know how much longer I'd be able to continue this, especially since I wasn't dilating any further.

Finally I gave in and requested the epidural. I didn't know how much longer it would take to dilate and I was starting to feel discouraged and was thinking this was going to end in a c-section after all. They got the anesthesiologist and my sister stayed with me while they put it in. It hurt SOO much, especially when I had contractions during the process. I squeezed my sister's poor hand so hard! I felt really bad for her because she is pregnant and due in just a couple of weeks, so seeing me go through this must have been very scary for her!

Once the epidural was in and taking effect I felt so much better! I loved the epidural this time because I could still move my legs and had feeling in my feet. I also could feel the pressure in my cervix which gave me some hope. I'm glad I got the epidural because it took me almost no time at all for my cervix to fully dilate. The next time they checked me I was at a 10! I told the nurse I was feeling some pressure so she let me try pushing a couple times to see what would happen. The baby didn't move down much so she suggested I just sit for a while and let the baby descend on her own before I started to really push. I was so happy she suggested this because I recently read about this technique and wished I would have tried it with my first baby.

I sat for about an hour and every time I would feel the pressure on my cervix I went ahead and let my body push a little. I just tried to let my body do it's thing... She checked me again and baby still wasn't moving down though. So I started to REALLY push. Oh man it's so much work!! I pushed and pushed, trying several different positions. She was telling me how good I was doing, but I knew that she still wasn't coming down. After a while I started feeling ill. It was all I could do to not throw up... I felt just awful. I really felt like I just couldn't do this anymore.

I started having flashbacks to my first labor and realized that the same thing was happening all over again. I knew in my heart how this was going to end. And I accepted it and was at peace with it. By the time she said that the baby's heart rate was going down with the pushes I was completely prepared for what was coming next. The doctor came in and said we need to do a c-section. I didn't cry. I didn't resist. I just accepted it. I was ready for this to be over and was ready to meet my baby girl. I knew that I tried my best and I worked hard. I knew she was "sunny side up" just like my first son was and I just knew she was in a bad position and with each push I was likely just hurting her. So I agreed to the c-section, and just asked that he use stitches instead of staples since they caused me so much pain the first time.

In almost no time at all they wheeled me over to the operating room. My mom got dressed up in the OR scrubs and hat (she looked so cute!) and they had her wait outside while they prepped me. It's a good thing she wasn't there with me right away because I finally could not hold back my nausea anymore and told them I was going to throw up. I was strapped to the table so they put a little pan next to my head and I threw up about 3-4 times. They put the stupid blue curtain almost right up to my face which made me feel VERY claustrophobic. I felt like it was suffocating me.

My mom came in and I don't know when they started the surgery but I do remember hearing the doctor say "That's a big baby!!" (She was 9lbs 1oz). That is when I knew she was out. Then I heard her cry. It was the most amazing thing I ever heard! My baby was out!! She was real, she was here! I started to cry too.

I wanted to see her so bad. I kept straining to see her but only caught little glimpses between the wall of scrubs surrounding her.

That's when things got bad for me. I could not breath at all through my nose it was completely plugged, and that is where they had the oxygen going in (I'm not sure why they didn't use the mask). I did not feel good at all. I started to feel overwhelmingly tired. My eyes would close and I would start drifting off to sleep, but each time I dozed off I would forget to breathe. The anesthesiologist kept telling me to breathe. Over and over... or she would ask me to blow on her hand. I just felt like I was drifting away, and nothing really mattered. Breathing wasn't important, everything just faded away and all I wanted to do was sleep forever and ever. My mom and the anesthesiologist kept telling me over and over "breathe Khara!" I knew that something was not right. I knew I should not be feeling this way. My mom took a couple of pictures of the baby and came over to show them to me. She later said that she was trying to get me to remember I just had a baby, to show me why I needed to stay here, why I needed to keep breathing. Finally they lifted my head up a little and that helped some. The anesthesiologist was right by my side the whole time even in the recovery room. My mom later told me that she seemed very scared too.

In the recovery room they told me that my baby girl was also having trouble breathing at first. They would not let anyone hold her for quite a while because they were trying to keep her stable. They also told me that my epidural was too high and that caused a lot of my breathing problems. I guess they were very close to putting in a breathing tube but luckily they didn't need to as long as they kept reminding me to breathe.

My arms and hands were totally numb for quite some time so I could not really hold my baby but they helped me with our first breastfeeding. She latched on so great!! I was so proud of her. Later on we would experience a lot of issues with breastfeeding and by now we are exclusively on formula, but I was so impressed with how well she did the first time.

A couple days later they found she had jaundice and we had to stay in the NICU while she was under the photo-therapy lights for about 24 hours. It was so hard to see her in there and not be able to hold her (except to feed her) and she hated having that blindfold on her face. But her bili levels went down and we were able to go home finally on Thursday 5/12.

Even though I did not have the birth experience I was hoping for, it ended up being a great thing for me. It really helped me resolve the issues I had from my first c-section. It also helped me overcome the negative feelings I had toward epidurals. I see now that they can be really great in certain circumstances as long as not given too early in labor. I was always convinced that the epidural contributed to my first c-section but now I know that's not the case. My son likely would not have moved down (just as Ariyah did not) even if I hadn't had the epidural. The circumstances of this birth experience were and exact combination of my previous two births. This experience brought everything full circle. I feel completely satisfied with how things turned out.
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May 20th, 2011, 06:20 AM
3TeamH's Avatar Hayley
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 6,509
What a story!! Glad you got a sense of relief about your c/s Welcome Ariyah!

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May 20th, 2011, 10:32 AM
Mommy to Lil Miss Boss
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Right here...
Posts: 6,659
Great story!! Congrats on your baby girl!!

Thank you GraysMama for my beautiful siggy

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May 20th, 2011, 10:51 AM
Mommy to girls
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: South Carolina
Posts: 2,014
Congrats on your baby girl!!
Kim- Mommy to 5 girls
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May 20th, 2011, 08:19 PM
SuperMommy to 5
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Southern California
Posts: 923
Congrats on your baby girl. TFS your c/s story. It's actually helping me see that it can be healing.
Me (32) + DH (32) = DD (10), DS (8), DS (6), DD (4) & Tiebreaker... Baby Boy born May 23, 2011 @ 8:03am weight 7lbs 5ozs height 18.5"

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May 21st, 2011, 07:42 AM
Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 1,771
Congrats on your little girl

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May 21st, 2011, 04:25 PM
Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 9,490
Thanks so much for sharing! I felt like I was there it was very detailed....CONGRATS on your baby girl and your healing experience. How scary about the breathing part...eek.....CONGRATS momma!
Momma to Emma, Elzie, Gretchen, Olive, and Rogan

We aren't to give a baby milk, berries, or peanut butter. We are to introduce new foods one at a time. But it's OK to inject several viruses, bacteria, aluminum, formaldehyde, phenoxyethanol, animal serum, mercury, squalene and more into an 8 week old? I don't think so.
In order to be healthy it is an unfortunate fact that people must be allowed the opportunity to be ill. I trust my body and those of my children to work correctly against the relatively benign diseases they vax for, and do not trust the ingredients in the vaccinations.
Our choice to not vax isn't based in ignorance, poverty, conspiracy theory and rumor. It's research, common sense, fact and evidence based..something the medical community has largely forgot about.
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May 21st, 2011, 08:38 PM
Pinkee~'s Avatar All girl momma!
Join Date: May 2009
Location: UT
Posts: 9,118
This made me tear up a bit! How amazing that this birth gave you peace with the others and turned out so well! So happy for you cheekah!

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May 31st, 2011, 04:24 PM
gypsystar's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 3,466
Wonderful birth story. I'm sorry you had to have another c/s but glad you were able to make peace with it! Congrats on you Ariyah !

Forever Missing Katriel Star (17 weeks) and Sebastian Judah (14 weeks)

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may 11 bumblebee births

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