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7-7-11 7pm water broke
10pm arrive at the hospital
3am 2cm 90% effaced -2 station
6am 3.5cm 100% effaced -1 station
10:45 ant lip, doctor present
So to start this birth story I need to go back to the beginning and tell a bit about my first two births. With our first child we decided to have a natural childbirth using the Bradley method, Ron and I took a 12 week class and were excited to have a natural birth. Well our daughter (Sydnie) decided to go overdue and at 41 weeks and 3 days the doctor urged me into an induction. We went into the office and had a foley placed in my nearly closed cervix and were sent home with an induction scheduled for the following morning. 30 minutes after the foley was placed I began to contract and had steady strong contractions every two minutes for hours and hours to follow. We ended up going into the hospital at about 3am, the pitocin was started a few hours later and I made super slow progress and stalled at 5cm for several hours. The pain was unbearable; I was so tense and dreaded each contraction and began to fear the pain. It was so frustrating to be having such painful contractions and have NO cervical change, after 24 hours of going natural I got an epidural and although it was like heaven I felt like I had failed myself and my husband for getting it. I had our sweet baby girl vaginally 3 hours after the epidural was placed.
With our second daughter (Gabbie) I didnít want to set myself up for failure so I planned on getting an epidural as soon as the contractions started to get painful. I had an elective induction at 39 weeks because I was so uncomfortable from a ďtornĒ pubic symphasis. I was again nearly closed when they started the induction process with pitocin and then had a foley placed in my cervix. Shortly after the foley placement I was in enough pain to get the epidural and got that at about 2-3 cm. The epidural was horrible!!! It was one sided so one side had feeling the other was dead to the world, I felt yucky. I got to about 4-5cm again with Gabbie but she never descended and her heart rate began to look none reassuring so late into the night they decided to section me. From here out is an entire story of itís own but in a condensed version the spinal they placed after the epidural was removed went to high and I could not breath, I was virtually unconscious for the birth and barely remember any of it, days after the c section they discovered they missed a vessel during the surgery and that I was bleeding internally into my abdomen (which btw caused excruciating pain). By that time my hematacrit had dropped to 16 or 17 and I felt HOBBIBLE, I felt like death and literally thought a couple times that this may me the end. The bleeding stopped on its own but I needed blood transfusions which I had a reaction to. After a week I was released only to end up back in the ER because my incision was opening up, the on call doctor used his finger and barely any pain medication and ripped my incision the rest of the way open so that I had a gaping hole in my stomach, he placed a dressing on and sent me home, the next night we ended up back in the ER because I had a fever and was nearly septic, after another week in the hospital on every antibiotic in the book and a second surgery to clean out the blood that had pooled in my abdomen I was able to go home with my gaping abdomen wound which my husband faithfully packed with gauze 3 times a day for 9 weeks. All in all birth number 2 was a horrifying, painful and beyond traumatic both physically and emotionally which leads us into the last birth.
The moment I found out I was pregnant with RJ I KNEW I wanted to have a VABC and I knew I was going to do things very differently this pregnancy. I started eating super healthy and kicking up my work out routines, I exercised 5-7 days a week faithfully. My goal was to not gain more than 15lbs the entire pregnancy; in the end (because I had lost weight in the beginning) my total weight gain was only 3lbs! I had gained nearly 60lbs with each of the girls! I also did a lot of research about hypnosis in labor and decided that hypnobabies was the best program for me to use. At first I just bought the VBAC success CD and began listening to that around my 20th week of pregnancy every night, I loved it so much I bought the home study hypnobabies course and began that when I was 26 weeks pregnant doing one chapter every 2 weeks.
When I was about 32 weeks pregnant my OB informed me that he was leaving the practice 2 weeks before my due date so I decided to find a different doctor in that practice, I truly believe that was a blessing in disguise. I never felt a true connection with my doctor and he also was emphatic that nothing good comes after 41 weeks of pregnancy and that I would have to schedule a c section if I was 41 weeks. I hated that idea and had no intention of doing so; I had a lot of anxiety about that battle to come because I knew I would go past my due date. My new doctor was fabulous!!! She was willing to let me go to 42 weeks and willing to induce me if need be, I was ecstatic after my first appointment with her and felt such a HUGE weight off my shoulders to not have a ďdeadlineĒ to deliver by! The weeks progressed and I faithfully, religiously listened to my hypnobabies CDís every night. My husband was not really on board with the hypnobabies, he thought it was a lot of mumbo jumbo and I really think he didnít think I could give birth naturally although he fully supported me in my endeavors to do so. At 39 weeks I had my membranes stripped for the first time, I contracted a lot that evening and lost my mucus plug, after that I contracted nearly everyday and had a few false alarms. I also began acupuncture in my 39th week and continued my chiropractic and massage weekly as well. I had my membranes stripped every week, sometimes twice a week after that 39th week in hopes to not exceed my due date. My due date (June 29th) came and went. My doctor didnít stress about it, I had to start bi weekly NSTís and AFI levels. My doctor stripped my membranes for the last time at my 41 week appointment on Tuesday my water broke spontaneously that Thursday evening at around 6:45 pm! I was SO shocked, my water had never broken before and for a little while I was wondering if I had just peed my pants until I had a huge gush of fluid and saw vernix then I knew for sure that it was amniotic fluid. I was so excited; my husband was excited, nervous and frantic all at the same time! I called my nurse friend Jen who was also going to be my doula and she drove out to our house. I took my time, got our kids to bed, took a shower and shaved my legs and then arrived at the hospital 2 and a half hours later around 9:30ish. By then I had started to contract, nothing serious just about every 5-7 minutes. I imagined the contractions as pressure as hypobabies describes it and thatís what I felt was a strong pressure. We got checked into our room and my doctor dropped by to say hi and see how I was doing. I was able to have just a saline lock and no vaginal exam at that point, I was also able to move around freely with a tele unit for monitoring. Things were going perfect!
My contractions were still fairly spaced and totally comfortable, I was going to lie down and rest while I still could but my nurse/doula suggested that I walk. She thought I should take advantage and move as much as I could so I did as she suggested and walked the halls, I bounced on the birthing ball, I rocked in the rocking chair, the rocking chair was my personal favorite! For some reason while I was rocking I was the most comfortable of all. The absolute worst was lying in the bed so I tried to do that as little as possible! At 3am my OB came back in the room and examined me, at that point I was 2cm 90% effaced and -2 station. I was totally at peace with that. Reading it now it seems that I should have been farther along but I was so peaceful and relaxed at that point and I knew God was on my side with this that I had no worries at all! My contractions stayed steady and strong coming about every 3 minutes or so. I kept moving and with every contraction I would stop if I was walking and rest my head or if I was in the rocker I would put my head back, basically I would get myself into a position where I could relax all the muscles in my body. As the contraction would build I would give myself in my head the peace cue and I felt so comfortable, relaxed and totally in control of myself! It was amazing! In the back group I had the birth day affirmations playing alternating with just relaxing music and sounds. My original plan was to have my headphones on and listen to different hypnobabies Cdís throughout my birthing but it turns out that I really didnít like doing that when I was in the moment, the birthing day affirmations CD was priceless to me, especially when things got intense around 9cm. At 6 am my doctor returned and checked me again I was then 3.5cm 100% effaced and -1 station, again reading it now I should have been disappointed but at the time I thought that was great progress and I was ready to keep going! My OB Dr dise left at that point, her call was over and Dr Delorit took over. Praise the Lord she was another fabulous Dr. who was laid back like my Dr! She offered to check me at 8am but Jen suggested that we wait until the 10am to do the vaginal exam. I think about 9am I felt a difference in the contractions, I ate a Greek yogurt and was trying to drink a latte but my contractions at that point were strong enough that I didnít want to drink coffee, I just wanted to get in my zone. I moved to the birthing ball and was leaning back on my husband, in between contractions I felt SO tired and would almost fall asleep sitting up (I had been awake for over 24 hours). I decided that I should get into the bed so I could sleep in between contractions, once I laid down I felt the shakes coming on, I knew that meant I had progressed. I was overjoyed, I cried a little not from any discomfort (because I wasnít really in pain, I would just describe the contractions as powerful )but because I was SO happy that I was doing it and it was so easy and I knew in my heart I would give birth soon.
A little before 10 things were getting more serious and I felt lots of pressure, the nurse decided to check me and I was 8-9cm! I was ecstatic! I got up to the bathroom and had a couple contractions in the bathroom, as I was returning to the bed my doula suggested to move things alone that I squat at the edge of the bed using the bed handle, that sucked but I did it and had two contractions in that position before going back to bed. My doctor arrived shortly after and checked me again because I was feeling pressure with each contraction, I was 9+ cm. My doctor left and went back up to the office, things at this point got really intense, I remember wanting to push very badly. My doula asked the nurse to listen to me and wait until my noises changed before she checked me again, this point is all kind of a blur but I remember she did check me once and thought I was complete, I did some small pushes with the contractions, they broke the bed down to prepare for birth. My doctor came back and found that I still had a little lip left of cervix, my doula had them put the bed back together so I could change positions, she had me get on my hands and knees, she had me leaning over the back of the bed, it was wild! I finally felt like I just needed to be on my back bad! I flipped over and as I did I had a contraction and started pushing uncontrollably, my doctor had her hand inside me and pushed the cervix over the babies head, which hurt so bad and I let out a blood curdling scream! There was a lot of commotion at this point because I guess the baby started crowning, I could feel him moving down! I felt tremendous pressure in my vagina and could feel his head moving back and forth trying to find the best position out, I had another contraction and another push and felt him come lower, the next contraction my doula told me to push harder than I had ever pushed in my life and to push him towards the ceiling. I did like she said and his head came out, my husband was able to glove up and deliver the rest of him! My son came right to my chest and I fell in love instantly. My son was born at 11:29am; it was the most exhilarating, wonderful, powerful experience of my life! I did it! I had my VBAC, totally unmediciated!
About 5cm, no pain this is how I went to my happy place :-)
8-9cm smiling during my contraction, loving that I was doing this!