Wednesday, October 12, 2016

{ Labor & Delivery }

{Jace is born}

The next morning at 7am I woke up to painful contractions...again. But this time they felt different! Audrey came in the room that morning and kept nudging me, kicking me, and more while I was trying to rest and I just couldn't take it. I decided to shower and shave...just in case, because I felt different. A couple of hours later, I realized they hadn't gone away, and they were happening consistently. I just wanted to enjoy the day, and I was still scared that they would eventually go away. I noticed that they hurt worse while laying down, so I got up and started doing stuff around the house. We decided around 1pm that we were going to have a cook-out that night with my mom and her husband, so we went to the grocery store to shop. After that, I went home and tried to rest. I started *really* timing them, but there wasn't a super consistent pattern. They would be about 8 minutes apart, then 5, then 3, back to 5... At about 4pm, I realized that I couldn't even sleep between them, and I was pretty sure that they were hurting worse. I texted my doula to tell her that I was 99% sure that today was THE DAY.

While my husband started cooking, my mom had me in Jace's nursery asking me where she should hang some shelves. I knew then that this was the real deal. I couldn't pay attention to what she was saying, and I didn't want to. I was trying really hard not to show that I was hurting a lot because I didn't want to jinx it. I finally just told her. We ate dinner and they were getting ready to leave, and told us if we needed them in the middle of the night to call and we could drop Audrey off at their hotel. At this point it was around 7pm. At that moment I knew that I needed to have them take her then, because I didn't know what this labor would be like. After all, it was pretty much my first experience, with no memory of Audrey's. So we packed her stuff and they took her! 

Guys, words can't even describe how excited I was. In LABOR. My did what it was supposed to do. I was contracting. Around the time they left, they started getting even MORE intense, and since I had no idea what to expect, I decided we had better just start getting ready to go. Clayton showered, and I smiled through my contractions even though they hurt, because I was just so happy. We packed, I talked to my doula on the phone, and she said she would meet us at the hospital.

We got there a little after 10pm and were sent to triage. The nurse checked me and said I was 1-2cm and 80% effaced. I was surprised. After 13 days that were filled of nights/mornings of painful contractions, and being in labor for 15 hours already, and all that was different was some thinning? I went with it, and laid there for an hour laboring while they had me hooked up to the monitor. When the hour was up, the nurse checked me and no change. At this point, I was shocked. They told me I could either go home, walk the halls for another hour and be checked again, or go walk elsewhere and come back in an hour or whenever I wanted. We decided that going home would be pointless, so we walked. They definitely got more intense as I walked. With each contraction, I had to stop and hold on to the handrails and sway or squat to get through them. Towards the end of the hour, I was trying to moan through a few. 
They checked me again at the end of the hour and I just knew I'd be going to the park or something to walk at 2 in the morning. But I was 2.5-3cm! It wasn't much, but it was change, so they admitted me at 1:15. We got to the room and I labored for a while and it was just instantly incredibly painful. I tried laboring on the toilet, on the bed, off the bed, squatting, with a peanut ball on the bed...I couldn't even decide what helped the pain, because nothing really did. My lower back was burning so hot, there was what felt like a big ball in the front that also burned. It felt like fire. The nurse came and checked on me once because I was so loud, and at another point I started crying and saying I couldn't do it. My doula thought I was already in transition, so she requested that someone check me at about 4:30. I was only 4cm. At this point I was scared, because the pain was ridiculous. I'm usually really good with pain. I've had headaches and migraines my entire life, and I actually like shots and getting my blood drawn. I honestly felt like I was in transition. I felt like a wimp, but at this point I asked the nurse when I could get an epidural, knowing it could be a while. She told me the anesthesiologist would be in surgery for an hour to an hour and a half. (So 5:15-5:45). I told her that would be fine and I could wait that long, but inside I was like "Someone just come get this baby out of me NOW". I told her to order it.

I couldn't even think straight after that point. I was loud, squeezing my doula's hands, squeezing my husband's hands. They were both falling asleep between my contractions and trying to get me to, but I couldn't. They hurt too much, and they were in a weird pattern. I'd get one, have an extremely short break, and then two right on top of each other, repeat. I had the peanut ball between my legs squeezing as hard as I could with my legs, and squeezing their hands as hard as I could as well. 
At 6:15, the nurse came and told me that the anesthesiologist was taking longer than expected, and she checked me again. I was 7cm. I honestly thought I was going to die. The burning was still just so intense. At about 7:00, they finally got the epidural in (after two freaking tries). Getting the epidural was fine, I don't have a fear of needles at all, but sitting still during my contractions was absolute torture. I had to hold on to everyone in front of me and squeeze to be still, but I was still moaning. I'm pretty sure I sounded like a laboring cow instead of a human.
Finally, FINALLY, the angel, I mean anesthesiologist, was done. I went through another set of my three butthole contractions and the nurse checked me again and...complete. Guys, I got an epidural while I was freaking FULLY DILATED AND DONE WITH THE DAMN THING. Looking back, I remember how bad I was hurting, but I really wish that they would have checked me one more time before they gave me the epidural. If they'd told me I was 9cm, I think MAYBE someone could have talked me out of it.
Jace still hadn't dropped at this point, so my (amazing) nurse put me in the Trendelenburg position and after that he dropped lower. Once I was able to relax, I realized that it was morning, the day had started, and that meant my OB was back! This little guy waited until the perfect moment to show up.  I started pushing, and after a few practice pushes, we all realized that my water hadn't been broken, and I never had it gush or anything. He went to break my water and pretty much nothing came out. They kept looking for it and I think finally saw maybe the tiniest trickle. Looking back, I had been wet during the past few days, especially the day I went into true labor, but it only felt a little more than normal. Now I'm pretty sure I had a slow leak, and that's why my contractions felt so incredibly intense so early on.

I pushed for over an hour, probably much closer to two. I had pushed the epidural button again because I was still feeling a lot of burning. Looking back, I probably should have just pushed through the burning, because I think that was why I pushed for so long, I just couldn't feel it. But when he decided to finally come out, he flew out. All 6 pounds, 12 ounces of the little guy. It was the most amazing moment, watching him come out. He peed on my doctor, he pooped on me right when they laid him on my chest, but it was the most amazing moment of my life. I got to hold my baby as soon as he came out. Not a nurse. I got to keep holding him for as long as I wanted. *I* got to see him, he didn't go to the nursery for my family to see and hear before I could experience it like Audrey did. 
But for now, back to the delivery and healing. Everyone had been telling me to "push just like that" for the last few contractions, so I was pushing incredibly hard. Apparently, I pushed way too hard, because I tore. Not only did I tear, but I tore 12+ times. My OB stitched me up for over two hours, and one of the nurses joked that I basically ended up with another c-section, just elsewhere. The healing was awful. I couldn't really walk, and when I got home I had to sit on a boppy pillow for 2+ weeks. I had intense pressure and pain while walking for 5.5 weeks. It was ridiculous. I know I counted about 30 stitches come out, that I *saw*. I don't know how many were down there, and honestly, I'm not sure that I would want to know! Yikes.
After all that though, I still am so happy that I got my VBAC, and that I finally have my sweet rainbow baby. He was so, so incredibly tiny when he came out, and his little cry was just quiet and timid. It was instant love!

Saturday, October 1, 2016

The Last Days Before Labor {jace's birth story part 1}

On Monday, May 2nd, I had my last OB appointment. I was 1.5-2cm, and 50% thinned. I was kind of surprised, since I was almost due (39 weeks 2 days). By that time with Audrey I was about 2cm/70%. After he checked me, I was hit with some pretty devastating news. My OB's wife had scheduled a cruise for their anniversary the next week. Normally it would be fine, but that was the week I was due, and I seriously do not trust any other doctors in our area. All of my "he will come when he is ready" thoughts went out the window. I immediately got sad because I felt like he had to come that week, or my VBAC was not even a possibility anymore. I knew if I went into labor after Thursday night, that there was an excellent chance that I would get an impatient OB, or one who would even refuse to let me labor, and would cut me open as soon as I walked in. Defeated, I scheduled my next appointment for his first day back, Monday May 16 (41 weeks 2 days) at 10:30am. My husband and I hoped and prayed he would come that week, or wait the two weeks. My mom flew in from Detroit a few hours after my appointment, so while waiting for her, we shopped and did a lot of walking around a local park. Nothing, of course.
The next day, I had a little big of mucus plug come out, just tiny little pieces. I didn't lose it with Audrey, but I was pretty sure that was what it was. I was excited and hoping to see more! The day after that, I lost the rest, and it was...disgusting. I was of course still riveted. I got super excited and just knew I would go into labor soon. Around that time, I started having a lot of pressure in my back during my Braxton Hicks contractions. A few days after that, I started having painful contractions off/on every night and morning, but they always tapered off. I tried eating dates, drinking red raspberry leaf tea, taking some evening primrose oil, sex, squats, walking, bouncing on my ball, relaxing,eggplant parmesan, pizza with tons of basil/oregano etc. on it, pressure points...the list goes on. Nothing.
My due date came and went. I continued to have painful contractions every night in bed and some in the morning. Since my mom was visiting, she helped with Audrey, and I got to sleep in some, bounce a lot on my ball, and watch Friends on Netflix. I texted my doula, Danielle, a lot. Eventually, I reached 41 weeks, and I watched every second for blood, wished every minute for my water to break (but at the same time, hoping he would stay in just a bit longer). Nothing happened. Saturday night, at 41 weeks and 1 day, I decided to try the very last thing. Pineapple. I brought it home, and around midnight, I got it out and went to cut it up when I realized my big butcher knife was dirty. I started whining and pitched a "Forget it, it wasn't going to work anyway" fit. My husband pulled out a (clean) pocket knife and cut it up for me after that, and we went to bed to watch tv shows while I ate my pineapple. All I felt was indigestion, which I'd had the week before after eating something. I went to sleep annoyed, but knew it was for the best since my OB was still on vacation for approximately 36 more hours.

(to be continued)