7.29.2014

Carter's Birth Story - Part II

Continued from Part I...

So we went in, but we didn't bring our bags into the hospital. We didn't want to be overly excited if this was not the real thing. Apparently a lot of babies decided July 8th would be a good time to be born too because we showed up to a full labor and delivery. No rooms. Like Mary and Joseph we had no place to go. Okay, overstatement, they were cleaning our room and the waiting room was packed out with grandparents. No way was I sitting in that tiny crowded room having contractions every few minutes. We walked back and forth the down the hallway until we had a room about an hour or so later. We met our awesome nurse, Kristine. She looked a little like Arizona on grey's. She liked helping people labor naturally. Yes, yes. Everything was coming together. I was so happy to finally sit down and be in a room. The midwife checked me and I was 4cm and said we should stay.

We settled in and tried the different options to help labor. I cannot say enough good things about Beverly Hospital and our nurses and midwives. Anything from my birth plan that was considered crazy in Virginia was basically standard procedure in Beverly. Wait to cut the pulsing cord, yes. mineral oil to minimize tearing, yes. Tub with jets, yes. I had to be monitored the entire time because of the csection, but could still move around with ease.

It started to get blurry as the night got later. Contractions seemed to be increasing and we expected to have the baby sometime that night, but as the night wore on, I wasn't so sure. I started to get really tired early in the morning and anxious when I knew my team of people would be leaving at 7am. We hardly slept at all and as I got tired and slept some in between contractions, labor seemed to have slowed. The midwife broke my water, but nothing seemed to help. We walked and walked, but nothing was working. Kristine and our midwife left at 7am and when the new nurse and midwife came in, I was a hot mess. The sun was up, but we wouldn't open the blinds because we didn't want to face the new day. Lots of babies had been born overnight, but we were still in the throws of it, only 5cm dilated. I hadn't thought about it until now, but I labored all night just to dilate another cm.

Our new midwife suggested we start pitocin. You can use pitocin to augment labor that has already started in a vbac. I did not want to do pitocin. I cried and we debated over it. I knew it would be hard for me to continue to labor naturally with the pitocin and I was already at the end of myself. We finally, tearfully started the pitocin. I was mess. I couldn't seem to breath through the contractions anymore, I just laid on the bed and cried. An hour-ish in I asked for an epidural. In retrospect, I wish I had asked Philip to walk one more lap with or tried the tub again, but I just needed some rest at that point and made a quick decision. They gave me the epidural and then I cried because I wondered if that would be the last time I would feel a contraction and realized I would now passively sit on the bed. I also had fear that I was creating a recipe for a c-section by doing the epidural. What if labor stopped or stalled or her heart rate dropped? But we slept....and slept and rested until noon.

I eventually decided I wanted to sit up a little to have gravity help even if it meant I would mess up the epidural's distribution. I don't remember much in this time frame. Everything moved slowly. They slowly increased the pitocin, we had some light-hearted conversation with our new nurse, who was growing on me despite the fact that she was not as supportive or knowledgable about natural births. We had listened to our playlist so many times that james taylor would be ringing in my ears for days and I asked Philip to shut it off. Around 3:30pm, I started to feel pressure on my bowels, which could be a sign that it was time to push. The nurse thought it was probably just the epidural wearing off because I had sat up too much. She checked me though because my midwife was busy delivering another baby (seriously how many babies would be born before my own?).

To my surprise, I was 10cm and the baby's head was very low. I couldn't believe this was actually going to work. She decided to see if I was a "good pusher" before she called the midwife and I tried to push. She could not believe how ready the baby was to come out and quickly alerted the midwife. I still had the epidural in my system and was feeling good. I couldn't believe how easy this last stretch was. After about 30 minutes of pushing, Carter arrived and they promptly put her on my chest. She was still covered in vernix and was a mere 7 lbs 14 oz. They allowed her to lay on my chest for several minutes and Philip cut the umbilical cord shortly after. The whole process was incredible. They cleaned her off and weighed her in the room and she never had to leave my side.

We are so grateful she is finally here...through a long winter and pregnancy filled with morning sickness throughout, she was worth the wait.



7.27.2014

Carter Belle's Birth Story - Part I

I am so excited to share Carter's story of how she came into the world. I love reading birth stories and always wanted one to share. Jude was a scheduled c-section because our (very c-section friendly) obgyn in Virginia predicted he was 11lbs at 41 weeks. We basically got scared into a c-section. I do not regret it now because he is here and happy and healthy, but it was certainly not one of my favorite processes. I knew I wanted to try for a VBAC with this pregnancy because I believe they are possible and can be safe and is the healthiest way for me and the baby to be delivered (in most cases).

carter's due date - july 1
For prenatal care, I picked the Birth Center affiliated with our local hospital. It is an practice with just mid-wives not in the hospital, but has the luxury of being on the campus of the hospital if anything came up. I would have deliver at the hospital regardless because of being a VBAC, which really was fine with me. Because I was a VBAC, I would not be able to be induced because of increased risks.  I felt so optimistic that maybe she would come early until around 40 weeks and then I realized how stubborn my body is and there wasn't anything I could do to make her arrive any sooner.

At 40 weeks, Philip and I started to feel anxious to meet Carter especially because at 38 weeks, the ultrasound tech suggested she was already 7 lbs and 15 oz. (We had a 38 week ultrasound, maybe it was 37 week? can't remember, but because of being a VBAC). We thought we were having another very big baby. I drank red raspberry leaf tea and took evening primrose oil like it was my job. At 40 weeks the midwife also suggested black cohosh. That stuff is nasty, but I drank as much as she suggested.

At 41.5 weeks they would schedule a c-section because they could not induce labor for a VBAC. I went in to the midwife the day before I would be 41 weeks and was about 50% effaced and not quite dilated a cm. I know they say your body can dilate quickly, etc, but my body just did not seem to want to let this baby out. Our only option to encourage labor was the foley catheter. God bless that terrible contraption. It's basically a fluid filled balloon that helps mechanically dilate you. It stays in for 24 hours and it will fall out if you get to 3cm. Sounds fun, right? I was even excited for them to do this, I was desperate woman.

Fortunately they were able to put the foley catheter in on Monday (40 weeks and 6 days pregnant). If I was not dilated at all, they would not have been able to do it. So we headed home with this ridiculous balloon. I started to feel a lot of cramping off and on. In intervals - maybe 10 minutes apart. I called the midwife, but she said, if it didn't demand my attention, don't track the time yet. So we went about our day. My mom had just arrived to help. At night the "cramping" or what I now know are contractions increased in pain and closeness. It was enough at that I had trouble sleeping and probably logged about 3-4 hours of sleep that night.

The next day we headed in to do another ultrasound because it was standard at 41 weeks. My amniotic fluid had been a little low since 38 weeks and I had to drink like a sailor (water that is) to  keep it up. We barely passed the biophysical exam because of the low fluid, but we cleared it and as usual Carter was doing great as far as moving, practicing breathing, etc. Fortunately, they did not do weight estimate. If they had, I might have been afraid of her being huge like her brother.

After the ultrasound, we headed into the midwife. The balloon had not fallen out so I was discouraged that I was probably not dilated 3cm yet and wondered if it did any good. When they checked me, we founded out I was 2 cm dilated...yay some progress! And then she stretched me to 3cm and did a membrane sweep. So again that hurt pretty bad and I was feeling a little like wonder woman with all the pain I had been through so far.

The midwife the week before had in passing mentioned castor oil if my body was starting to head into labor. The midwife that day agreed that that might be the thing to push my body into labor. Of course, Philip was all about trying this and I was not so sure if I wanted diarerra. My contractions had already started to increase on the ride home, but we did not want to have a csection so I agreed to try the castor oil.

I took an average sized dose suggested to encourage labor when we got home (and ate chipotle...because I was hungry). Contractions continued to pick up and I did not want to do the second dose if labor was really kicking in. I waited to drink the second dose. My mom's good friend brought by a delicious meal from whole foods, but nothing looked good to me. The contractions were more painful. I could still talk through them and tried to eat a small meal for dinner. Philip and I came upstairs afterward and soon after, I threw up the entire meal. Contractions were sometimes 3 minutes apart and sometimes 7 minutes apart, but we decided to call the midwife. She suggested we come in to check how far we were and that we could go home if not. We kissed Jude goodbye and excitedly (and painfully) drove to the hospital. This all happened to quickly. I didn't expect to labor at home that short, but dang, those contractions hurt a lot more than I imagined.

to be continued...

7.22.2014

carter belle

our sweet Carter Belle is finally here! 

born july 9 at 4:38pm

7lbs 14oz 

birth story to come...i'm excited that we actually have a birth story to share rather than just a scheduled csection. she has been a delight + we are in love! 

i am also loving not being pregnant, having energy again + drinking coffee + wine. 

xo 
katie