Wow. What a week it's been. I was going to wait to post Miss E's birth story, but decided that I might as well do it now before life gets going again. Right now, I'm in a lovely state of bliss and still trying to let me new life sink in.
It all happened in such an unexpected way. After I got to the hospital on Tuesday, I asked my nurse to check with my OB about placing a Foley catheter into my cervix. I had read about it, but my OB didn't seem to think that it would do me much good since I was already dilated to a 2. Luckily, he agreed to do it anyway. I knew it would be a while since I couldn't be on the pitocin while the catheter was in place. Imagine how surprised I was to still be experiencing STRONG contractions even after my IV was turned off.
Yep, I was in labor. ON MY OWN! My contractions were steady at 2 min. apart and making it very difficult to do anything other than whimper. By 1:30 I was offered an epidural. I decided to pass, since it was still very early (I was only at a 3) and I wanted to make sure that I could still get up and move around and I knew that once the epi was in place, I was pretty much grounded to the bed. I continued to labor all night. At about midnight my nurse checked me to see how far I'd got. I was at about a 5, but that wasn't the issue. She couldn't feel EJ's head. After 2 more nurses all tried but were unsuccessful, the Dr. was paged and an ultrasound machine was brought into my room. They were all positive the baby was breech. Luckily, it was a false alarm.
By Wednesday morning, my Dr. insisted on breaking my water so that it would make it harder for EJ to move around, and possibly turn the wrong way. I agreed, and let him do it. I was so surprised how quickly the contractions turned from "hard" to "impossible." I was so sick I pretty much thought I was going to die. The contractions were so strong! I have never felt anything like that. EVER. At about noon, I decided it was time fore the epidural. Luckily, the anesthesiologist was available right then. It took a bit of patience since my contractions were so close and so strong. I was too scared to let him stick the needle in my back while I was in the middle of a contraction. Every time I'd have one, my body would shake uncontrollably. Perfect time to try ramming sharp objects into your spine, huh? Anyway, he got the epi in place and gave me the medicine. Just a "starter dose". He set up a pump and told me that if I needed more relief all I had to do was push the button. Well, after about 20 minutes I had to push the button. Twice.
Nothing. I didn't work. He came back in and placed more medicine directly in my line. I didn't help. Then he tried more... still no change. I was almost hysterical from the pain. After a last ditch effort that failed, the anesthesiologist decided that we'd have to redo the epidural. Too bad that one didn't work either. By this point I was at a 7. My only options? A c-section right then so I could have a spinal block, or I had to do it without meds. All natural. So, natural it was.
I couldn't believe how hard it was. Every contraction was stronger, and by this point I was dilating very fast. My amazing nurse (more on that another time) was great. Because I was going for a VBAC, I was her only patient. She was able to stay with me the whole time, pretty much working as a doula. She was able to help me focus even when I thought I couldn't take anymore. Still, by 6:30 I had had it. I begged to have the pitocin turned off, and to just schedule a c/s. My nurse was able to talk me off the ledge so to speak, and I promised that I'd continue with the labor for one. more. hour. I was so glad that I had taken the time to explain to her BEFORE why the VBAC was so important to me.
Then, all bets were off. 2 1/2 hours later I was deep into transition. My contractions were only 1 1/2 minutes apart and were stronger than anything I'd ever felt. The pain started in my pelvic bone, and then would spread up into my uterus. By the time I got to an 8 1/2 I was beyond exhausted. I couldn't focus my vision, and I was shaking so bad that I couldn't control my body position. My nurse checked me again. Bad news. My cervix was swelling, and fast. I had gone from 95% effaced back down to 70%, and was now only dilated to a 7.
There was nothing I could do. 38 hours into it, and I had to submit to the c-section.
As we were getting ready to go to the OR (Me, still dying... contractions still kicking my ass) my nurse took over. "Tell me what you need. What can I tell the nurses that will be taking care of the baby?" I told her my wishlist, and she disappeared. I didn't see her again until I was being prepped in the OR.
The surgery went perfectly. Miss E was trying to cry before she had even been delivered, prompting my OB to request that she please at least "wait to be born" before she started screaming. Once she was out, the overall mood lifted. DH went off with the baby while I was put back together. I could hear her crying in the next room, and I couldn't stop smiling. She was LOUD! As soon as they had given her her Apgar scores, wiped her down, given her her vit k shot, they measured her head. The pediatrician looked up at DH and told him, "your wife didn't have a snowball's chance in hell of delivering this baby vaginally." He then explained that normally a baby's head circumference is 32-33 cm. EJ's was 37.5. THIS is why it took so long for her to engage, and why it hurt so much when she finally did. It is also the probable cause for the cervical swelling.
Once she was all wrapped up and swaddled, DH was allowed to bring her back into the OR and sit with me while I was sewn up. As soon as I was done, they lowered the curtain that was over me, and DH handed me EJ. It was amazing.
When we returned to my room, we found that my amazing nurse had set everything up so that I could be there when EJ was weighed and measured, and could even participate in giving her her first bath. It was everything I missed when LJ was born.
8 lbs. 1 oz. and 20 inches long. Sheer perfection.
If you have any questions, please feel free to ask. And as always, thank you all for being such a great support system for me. There are a lot of things that I know I would not have been able to handle if it weren't for my wonderful friends inside the computer! =)