I have a birth story … and I’m not entirely sure where to start with it, as I haven’t blogged much about my pregnancy (or anything really, cause I’m a slacker, but I digress). I guess I’ll start with um, being pregnant. Yes, I was pregnant. Good to know, right? Because of my stupid MTHFing, I mean MTHFR, clotting disorder, I was considered “high risk” for pre-e. I had one of these fancy MIST tests that’s supposed to tell you early on if you’re likely to develop pre-e. My MIST test shows I was not. Fancy tests, however, are often wrong.
At my 38wk. appt. my blood pressure was registering high. I generally steer toward the low passy-outy end of BP, so this was surprising. Labs were ordered and I was told to come back for a re-check in the AM. Labs were good, BP was still high in the AM. I was convinced it was stress/nerves and was scheduled for a re-check the following Monday.
I had my BP recheck on Monday morning and was sent to the hospital from there. Well, I was supposed to go straight over there but I decided to make a detour to visit Sabine for a few minutes because I knew I would be there until Lilith was born. The plan was to do a 24hr. urine, 30min. BP checks, u/s, labs, etc. If everything was OK, I was told I would hang there until she made her appearance. If not, they would get her out.
I’d had an internal before they sent me over and I’d made 0 progress. So, getting her out most likely meant a c-section unless something changed before the tests were over and they thought they could use a foley cath. to induce, since chemical inductions are out for VBAC patients. I was pissed, but OK. I was processing, at least.
That afternoon my MW & consulting OB decided they weren’t really thrilled with my labs & BP so far (Hey there, pre-e!). After an internal re-check and a consult, they decided the foley cath. was at least worth a shot. It was inserted at 6pm. The plan was to inflate every 2hrs, recheck after 12hrs., and go from there. I was given an Ambien to try to rest through the contractions and rest I did.
Recheck in the morning showed a little progress (5cm), so we decided on a second foley. The second one had me contracting regularly, and strongly. I was feeling pretty confident, though uncomfortable. Lilith had been in a perfect position toward the end of my pregnancy but for some reason decided to flip posterior that day. So I was having some serious back labor. I was *convinced* the bed was making me uncomfortable until my MW basically pinned me down and confirmed her new sucky position. I had to stay hooked to the monitors since I was using the foley, but I was able to get out of bed a bit and my MW & doula worked with me to get her flipped back into a good position. Then I was much better able to deal with the contractions.
My second foley was removed at 9pm and I had made zero progress since the AM. I was honestly shocked and knew at that point I was most likely out of the VBAC running. No one was really comfortable with me doing a third foley with my BP still being up and the second round having made no progress. We decided to push forward with a c/s in the AM. If something changed overnight, that’s awesome and we’d go from there … but I was told to expect my contractions to taper off once the foley was out. And they did. I was pretty sure it was the cath. and not my body/baby doing the work.
Since I was no longer contracting, my MW & the OB agreed to take me off the fetal monitors and let me sleep, which was wonderful. The last thing I said to my belly before bed was, “Alright – behave yourself, Lilith. I want to get some rest!” Well, she had other plans.
I woke up around 3am to pee and, as I was walking to the bathroom, something trickled down my leg. I was like, “Oh, awesome, I peed myself. I’m so cool.” So I peed, cleaned myself up, and as I laid back down in bed I felt more come out. I stood up and fluid went EVERYWHERE. Yeah, I’m not only the “These aren’t contractions, this bed hurts” chick but also the “My amniotic fluid totally isn’t leaking, I’m peeing myself” chick. I’m smart. I called the nurse and she came and hooked me back up to the monitors. She asked if I was having any contractions and I said no. As soon as she left the room I felt the first one.
So my MW came back up to the hospital, re-checked me, and I was at 8cm and 90% effaced. The contractions were coming about 3min. apart and painful, but bearable. I had sent B home to get some rest since I didn’t think anything was going on and I called him to come back up. With as much as I had progressed in such a short time span, we figured we’d be at the pushing stage soon. By 9am my contractions were getting insane – my MW called them “impressive” and they were coming on top of each other – like 30sec. apart. I couldn’t get any rest between them to gather myself and I was sorta freaking out. That’s when my BP started going up. The nurse kept trying to get me to lay on my left side and that made my entire body ache and my legs shake. There was NO way I could labor in that position. I literally felt like climbing the walls. So, my MW told her to back off and let me get upright, bless her heart.
I was fully dilated and effaced, so we decided to go ahead and push and get it over with, but after 30min. of pushing things got sketchy. Lilith was tolerating it fine with a stable heartbeat but my body wasn’t tolerating it at all, and she was not descending well/quickly. My MW said something about convulsion risks and I said “Call my OB” (As fate would have it – the douchey OB who delivered Sabine was “on call” that night so, if my OB hadn’t already been at the hospital with a patient, he would have done my c/s. Thank GOD my OB was lurking around.) and we headed to the OR.
I was contracting so quickly that they had a hell of a time getting my spinal in and, when they finally did, I guess it got a little off center because I could feel “pricks” on the right side of my body. My OB asked what they felt like and I said, “It feels like you scraped me with a paper clip”. He said, “Well I just pinched the shit out of you with forceps?” (And he had. I have a nice forcep mark on my belly) He’s funny. Confident that what I was feeling was nothing, I said go and he started. By the end of the c/s I could feel the stitches & staples on my right side, but it wasn’t unbearable so I dealt. Lilith was out at 10:20am. When the nurse went to lift my legs to get me off of the table she said, “Woah. I felt resistance – can you move your leg?” I could. I knew I wasn’t crazy – I did still have some feeling!
Before Sabine’s c/s, they’d given me a painkiller and I was really out of it for the whole thing. This time, part of my c/s birth plan (Yes folks – they DO actually listen to your birth plan!) included no narcotics before hand … so I just had the spinal and Zofran before we went down. TOTALLY different experience. I was aware of everything going on. Brandon kept saying, “You’re doing so much better this time!” and I really was. I got to have my hands free, as well, so I was able to touch Lilith as soon as Brandon had her. We got to take her to recovery with us for an hour & I got to start nursing before they took her back for her bath & stuff, and we had her back in about an hour. It was just awesome. Really incredible how much of a difference a good provider makes in your overall birth experience.
Even though the whole laboring/pushing and then emergency c/s thing sounds sucky, it wasn’t. It was actually really awesome. I’m proud of what my body accomplished even if I didn’t VBAC. I’m proud of how Brandon handled labor. He was such a rockstar support person. He knew when to shut up, when to encourage me, etc. I thought he was going to pass out when Sabine was born and he was just a totally different person that day.
My BP was still up after delivery so I was started on meds. My cath. was removed a few hours after delivery and I was able to immediately get up and move a bit. Lilith did great! Apgars of 9/8, none of the blood sugar/breathing/temp. regulation issues that Sabine had. She’s a pig of a nurser.
My recovery has been surprisingly better, as well. I was told to expect a harder recovery since it was emergency vs. planned like Sabine’s, but it has been MUCH easier. I had my cath. removed and was up within a few hours, walking around the halls the next morning, came home 48hrs later on nothing but Motrin. My belly button was herniated and they went ahead and fixed that while I was on the table – that actually hurts worse than my c/s incision. Go figure.
I never wrote a birth story for Sabine because, well, I didn’t remember a lot of it, honestly. And what I did remember was pretty sucky. So I’m not sure how you end these things either. I suppose I’ll just end it with some cute baby pics. Everybody likes those, right!?
Introducing … Lilith Imogen. 6lbs 12oz., 19.5″. August 25th 10:20am.
With big sister …
And with the man who both made it all possible and saved my sanity …