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.



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