I’m going to post this without pictures for now because I haven’t uploaded them yet and don’t have time right now, but I’ll try to post them soon.

 

*This is the TMI version of the birth. Blood, amniotic fluid and all. If that disturbs you, I’d recommend skipping this post.*

 

*Birth is usually a beautiful event. It is also a painful and sometimes dramatic event. This birth was mostly calm, but I don’t sugar-coat the pain. Just know that it was all 100% worth it and I wouldn’t change a thing because this is the way that my baby came into my arms and I am so thankful and blessed to have him here.*

 

I have a few spare minutes so I thought I’d try to get the birth story written down. It’s already getting very fuzzy on timelines and details but that’s ok. It was an absolutely beautiful birth. Horribly intense but very short labor. 38 weeks 5 days, the day before I was going to be induced, I spent the day at home with the boys just spending time together, cleaning up the house and getting the last items thrown in the hospital bags. We skipped nap time in favor of an early bedtime. The boys were in bed by 8pm and DH and I went to bed a little before 9. Of course, despite taking Unisom and a natural sleep supplement my sister L gave me, I didn’t fall asleep until after 11 and sleep was very fitful after that. I had to be up at 2:40am to get ready to leave for the hospital, but I woke up a little after 2 with pain in my leg and nervousness running crazy, so I got up around 2:20 and got a shower, curled my hair and had breakfast. We left the house a bit after 3:30 and got to the hospital at about 5am.

 

 

Once we got admitted to our room, the nurse hooked me and baby up to the monitor, asked 20 million questions and tried to start an IV. She couldn’t get it after 2 tries, so she had another nurse come in and get it started. That whole IV process took over half an hour! At that point, she flushed an entire bag of fluid through me and started the pitocin at 2 at about 7am or a little after. She checked me to get a starting point and I was 3cm, 60% effaced and baby was -2 station.

 

 

The contractions started soon after but were very mild, very short and not too frequent. (registering around 50 on the toco monitor)The next set of nurses came on shift right after that. One was in training and had only been there a few days and the other was so young, she couldn’t have been there long herself. They came in every half hour to increase the Pitocin by 2 and check my blood pressure. At 8:59am, I texted my mom to tell her that the contractions were getting stronger. At 9:04, I told her they were close. The Dr come in right after that to talk about breaking my water. I told her I didn’t want to yet and she asked when I would want her to. I told her, maybe in 4 hours. She said that was ok, but a long time and maybe 2 hours would be better and she would come back to check later. I asked her how high we were going to go on the Pitocin since I was VBAC and she said that they don’t usually induce VBACs so she couldn’t answer that. Then she left. At that point I had cycled through laboring in the bed, in the rocking chair and was now on the birth ball.

 

 

By the time they had bumped me to 6 on the pitocin, I told the nurse that I wouldn’t be able to stand much more. My contractions were over 124+ on the toco and happening very frequently. (From my labor with Levi, I knew that the pitocin on 3 was already too much for my body and they had to turn it off. Pathetic I know, but my uterus responds very very strong to just a tiny tiny bit.) I texted my mom at 9:25 that the contractions were much worse and very close, then at 9:33 I told her she should leave the house to come to the hospital soon! (They have a 1.5+ hour drive too) The nurse bumped the Pitocin to an 8 and I knew I couldn’t go any higher. The pressure and pain were horrendous by that point and I asked them to turn it down. I was trying to labor kneeling over the bed, and later standing while leaning on the bed. They kept saying that we wanted this kind of contractions and it was good, but from having been in labor before, I knew this was wayyy too intense for my body. Labor with Levi was very manageable. I could walk around and stop to squat with the contractions. I could breathe through them (until transition) but with these, I couldn’t bear it. I was breaking down crying and moaning very loudly and no matter how hard I tried to relax into the contraction and breathe through it, I couldn’t. They were coming very fast and the pain was completely localized on my c-section scar and intense downward pressure. Finally the nurses asked the Dr what to do and came back to the room to flush another bag of IV fluid through me and turn the Pitocin down to 4. Which helped space the contractions just a bit, and dimmed the pain enough that I stopped hyperventilating. My face and then my legs had gone numb from not being able to slow my breathing down, and my vision was getting weird, which was exactly what happened in my labor with Levi during transition. I kept saying “I’d think I was in transistion if it wasn’t so soon.” And the nurses and DH kept telling me that I probably was and that I should let the Dr come check me. I decided to try getting in the shower first because I couldn’t handle hearing that I hadn’t made any progress yet.

 

 

I got in the shower to sit on the seat for about 5 minutes, if that. It felt amazing and calmed me down, but the Dr came in the room again and asked if I wanted her to check me now or in 2 hours. I decided to do it now, even though I hated to get out of the shower, because I couldn’t imagine 2 more hours of this kind of labor. I had asked her at my first check, when I should get the epidural line placed and she said I didn’t have to. But at this point, hearing me while I was working through the pain and having 3 more contractions just getting out of the shower, she said I should go ahead and get it placed. I’m not sure if she became concerned because of the pain I was having or what, but all the pain was still localized to the scar area and downward pressure. She had talked earlier about putting a pressure monitor in my uterus to make sure I wasn’t rupturing, (never knew any such thing existed!) but said my water would have to be broken first. I didn’t have any scar pain with Levi, so that was new! Anyway, the Dr checked me and said I was 8cm, then she left the room with no other comment. I thought that was weird since I knew she wanted to break my water soon, but she was very respectful of what I wanted and I appreciated that she wasn’t pushy at all. It was just so completely different from my experience with the Dr who delivered Levi. Night and day.

 

 

So, the anesthesiologist showed up right away (DH took a call from my mom right about then at 10:47am) and I was thrilled to see him! All through my pregnancy, I had been on the fence about getting the epidural dosed this time but I had decided I would go with whatever felt right at the time. I asked him what my options were for pain if I still wanted to get out of bed. (I had been to the bathroom about 800 times at that point and didn’t want to be stuck in bed or have a catheter.) He suggested a dose of fentanyl through the epidural line and said that would probably hold me over till the birth since the birth would be soon. I thought that was a great option! What I didn’t know was that it would make me itch all over and feel very warm, but it was worth it! He also gave me a shot of pepcid which was supposed to help the itching. I felt so much relief from the fentanyl! I was able to lay down in bed and rest my body. I had been shaking really badly through the pain and I finally calmed down and could breathe. At that point, my MIL, FIL, SIL and niece arrived. I was calm and able to talk to DH and my SIL between contractions for a little bit while everyone else waited in the waiting room. Then the contractions started hurting like crazy again and I was back in the dire pain situation again. I’m not sure how much time had passed. Maybe an hour? I could feel a warm sensation with each contraction. It felt like the water was flowing out of my body, but it hadn’t broken yet. I think that was the water bag bulging….

 

 

My parents arrived and I continued to work through the pain and contractions. My Dad stood by the bed looking quite helpless. I halfway felt bad for him and halfway found it quite humorous. He eventually left to go sit with my FIL. When I went to use the bathroom, there was quite a lot of blood and I got scared but the nurse said it was normal. After a little while, I was clinging to the bed rail, half sitting during the contractions, crying and starting to freak out again. The nurse checked me and said I was 10cm and my water bag was bulging. She said if we could break the water, baby would come fast. I was so scared to get my water broke, mostly because I didn’t know how I could cope with any more pain, but I agreed to let the Dr come break my water. My mom, DH and the nurses were all telling me to just let the Dr do it so we could get the pain and delivery over with. Right after the nurse left the room, I felt two pops around my belly button. A couple of seconds passed and then water started gushing out. It wasn’t nearly as much water as I’d had with Levi, but it was much less painful to have it break on its own rather than having a Dr digging in there with the hook. I was so relieved that the Dr didn’t have to break it. At this point, the contractions were so incredibly intense with pressure, but I still didn’t have the urge to push. DH went to get the nurse and she came back in the room a few minutes later. I don’t think she was at all convinced my water had gone but she called for the Dr. I told the nurse I wanted the pitocin off because I was contracting so fast and hard. She wouldn’t turn it off and I was like “I am obviously having the baby now. My labor isn’t going to stop.” But anyway, when she left the room, I turned the drip off. I know I shouldn’t have, but it seemed so stupid to have it still running and causing me so much extra intense pain.

 

 

At that point, a few minutes before 1pm, I told the nurse that I wanted another dose of fentanyl. The anesthesiologist said that wasn’t allowed so I asked for a small dose of the epidural. Everyone was all “You don’t need it! You’ll be having the baby in a few minutes!” But I insisted that I did want it. I had pretty much made up my mind that I wanted something to take the edge off during pushing and in case I ended up with a million stitches again. So, the anesthesiologist came in again and I explained that I wanted only the very smallest amount of medicine possible. I wanted to be able to move my legs and change positions and push in whatever position felt right. Not to be numb entirely or unable to move my legs. He said he had just the thing and gave me a shot through the line. He said to lay on my back for 7-10 minutes to let the medicine work. I couldn’t though. I had to sit up. I couldn’t handle even one contraction laying down.

 

 

The Dr arrived right after that and checked me. She told me to start pushing. I had been sobbing and saying “I don’t want to push!” over and over. I feel kind of silly looking back now. 😉 But I realized later that the reason I didn’t want to push was because I was so worried I would hemorrhage again. That and I was afraid I would tear. Anyway, I still didn’t have the urge to push, just the incredible intense pressure I had felt all day. That and the horrible pain in my incision which was overriding every other sensation in my body. But the Dr just started counting, so I pushed. 3 pushes and his head was right there. I think I pushed through 4 contractions, 2 or 3 pushes each time. Once his head was halfway out, she said to stop and let my body stretch so I wouldn’t tear (with Levi I wasn’t told to stop and that probably caused a lot of the tearing). She said he would come out on his own with the next contraction. I impulsively reached down and felt Zane’s head. It was so warm and soft. I couldn’t wait to get him out! Once I had another contraction, out he popped at 1:09pm, with his right hand up by his face just like it always was in my ultrasounds. I think I pushed about 6 minutes. The nurse had covered my belly with a towel and I kept pushing it away and she kept moving it back. I was getting so annoyed! I wanted the baby right on me. His cord was very short so he couldn’t go on my chest until DH cut it about a minute after birth. (I wanted to wait longer but the Dr said they will only wait 1 minute – oh well) FINALLY, they moved Zane up onto my chest and it was such an incredible feeling. He cried, I cried…. 🙂

 

 

The placenta was out a minute or 2 later with no issues. The Dr said I had a tiny tear (Yep! I felt that happening!) and needed 2 stitches. Thankfully, the epidural had worked its way to where I needed it and the stitching wasn’t painful. During the pushing, I had sensation but not so much burning as I had with Levi. I’m not sure if that was due to the epidural starting to take effect or if it was just an easier birth. Either way, I was very happy with how everything went. I wouldn’t change a thing!! I lost very little blood and was up and walking to the bathroom less than 2 hours later. I felt amazing! Not like I had just had a baby. I have had seriously almost no soreness down there at all. I can’t believe the difference in healing this time. I am so thankful for how God worked everything out!! I know DH was praying all through the labor and so was I. I had my mom, MIL, SIL, and sisters S and M and of course, DH there during the birth and it was perfect. I had been on the fence about having so many people in the room again, but I don’t regret it at all. I know they were all praying for us and it just felt cozy and happy. I am also so happy that I got the Dr that I had that day. When I had a prenatal check up with her, I had told DH that I would be happy with her at the birth and she really was great. 🙂 And honestly, even though we had young and very fresh nurses, they did a great job and I am happy that they got to see us all the way through the labor and birth.

 

So, all told, I had 6 hours of labor, but only 3.5 hours of hard labor. If I had went into labor at home and waited to see if it was the real thing and called my sister to come watch the kids and had DH come home from work and then drove over 1.5 hours to the hospital – we likely would have either barely made it in time, or had the baby in the car. Of course, it’s possible that labor would have been slower without pitocin, but who knows how much more I might have dilated before labor started. I think it was a good call to induce and I don’t regret it even though I thought I might. And I am happy Zane was born without any distress aside from a few minor dips in heartrate during the labor. Just so thankful he was born safe and happy. 🙂

 

 

We stayed in the hospital for 2 days. We were going to go home the next day but Zane’s bilirubin came back at 5.1, so we opted to stay at the pediatrician’s request because of how bad Levi’s jaundice had gotten. They wanted to watch him another night just in case. The next day it was 7.8 but my milk was coming in at that point and he was out of the danger zone. 🙂 It was nice to have another day in the hospital, mostly because Zane had come so fast that he choked on the mucus all night that hadn’t been squeezed through his lungs. I felt better having the nurses nearby because I ended up buzzing them once when I couldn’t get the mucus suctioned out and I started to get scared. Obviously, he was fine. Also, he was so sore after the circumcision that I was glad he had a day to heal before coming home and being passed around and held by his big brothers. We missed Tru and Levi so much and they missed us too and ended up crying on the second night but we talked to them on the phone and they were alright. 🙂 Little Zane is 1 week old today!! He is such a calm and happy baby. He has woken up about 2 times a night, every night since he was born. Hoping that he keeps doing so well. I am so thankful for my Third Gracious Gift of God. 🙂

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