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...

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