This is a long post. Maybe you are not interested in reading about it. Giving birth is amazing. I have 2 very different stories. I wrote both stories shortly after I had each child.
My Daughter's Arrival
had my baby six weeks early. Last Sunday I had trouble sleeping and I
was tossing and turning and what we ate for dinner just wasn't sitting
well. When you are eight months pregnant and are generally not very
comfortable (especially when it comes to sleeping) an upset tummy just
compounds the problem. So I had these terrible cramps and gas.
Finally the gas subsided around 3am and I noticed that some of what I
thought were gas cramps were really much too painful to be cramps. I
was actually having contractions, which is not uncommon at 34 weeks
(generally false labor). They kept coming and freaked me out a bit
because I did not feel I was at all ready to have the baby. Freaking
out only made them more frequent. So I relaxed a bit and we timed them
and they started to slow, which is a sign of false labor contractions.
So we relaxed a bit even though it was still impossible to sleep.
7am I called my doctors' and spoke with the polite people on the
answering service who checked with a doc. The message was that if the
contractions began to lessen and become less frequent then I should just
relax, call the doctors later in the day to let them know, and just
wait until my appointment on Wednesday. So I actually got some sleep
between 7 and 10 am. I drifted off between contractions that were
getting less painful and less frequent. Around 10, I got up and used
the restroom and found that I had some quite heavy vaginal bleeding.
And the contractions were still pretty constant (now at every 6 minutes
instead of 3 or 4, the frequency during the freak out stage).
we called the doctors got dressed and got there shortly after 11. My OB said I was doing okay and the baby was healthy, but he was
concerned that the placenta was having issues. So he sent me to the
hospital to be monitored by machine and nurses, hoping that the whole
thing was a fluke and would suddenly just go away. Best case scenario I would be
put on bed rest for the rest of my pregnancy. We were very hopeful
that that would be the case. I wasn't looking forward to a preemie baby
or a likely c-section. Preemies stay in the hospital for 2 or 3 weeks
and we delivered in Rexburg where we had prenatal care although we are now living in Shelley (45min away)...
sat in the hospital beds watching the monitors beep recording the
baby's heart rate (always strong and healthy) and my contractions which
varied...they seemed to get better and then get worse and I got to the
point that I hardly noticed them...I was in a lot of pain but it was
beyond my ability to truly assess or sense it any longer...kind of like
when you no longer smell something because your olfactory is
overloaded. The other problem was that I was still bleeding pretty
heavily, and even after an ultrasound it was unclear exactly where it
was coming from. They put me on an IV and did my blood work, in case
something did go wrong they would be able to rush me right into surgery.
9pm the doctor checked again. Things still were not better and still
not getting worse. He decided to keep me overnight. If it got better
by morning and the problems mysteriously went away, then I could go
home and be put on bed rest to wait until the baby really decides to
come. If not, then they would take me into surgery and get the baby out
while she is healthy and not under any risk of losing her lifeline,
oxygen etc, through a placenta that was likely having issues. It was
either that or we could wait until the baby's life was at risk to rush
us into hasty emergency surgery. By morning I had not really slept
although I may have drifted off between a few contractions here and
there. Around 7am the doctor came in to evaluate the situation, which
still hadn't changed. My pelvis was under extreme pain from the
constant pressure. They had given me sleeping medication, but I was
too restless to sleep, and I could not get comfortable. I don't think
my pelvis had the time needed to adjust to a vaginal birth being
deprived of the last month of pregnancy (when a woman starts to walk
funny because the baby is sitting so low...just waiting to pop out). My
cervix had only dilated to 1 centimeter... although at that point I
was relieved that I wouldn't have to go through a natural birth because
I was completely void of all energy (having not slept 2 nights in a
row). Plus we had not yet signed up for a birth class we planned to take in the next few weeks.
wheeled me in and carefully prepared me for surgery. I gladly
welcomed the spinal block that numbed me from the armpits down. I felt
great at that point. It was really strange lying there as dead
weight... especially when they lifted my body onto the operating table.
The anesthesiologist talked to me throughout the surgery and Anthony
was there holding my hand. I was so tired I had to struggle to stay
awake and then all of a sudden there was a nice loud cry. I was so
happy to hear that. She was strong and healthy and her lungs were well
developed. Anthony ran off all giddy and watched them administer the
APGAR test which she passed with a 7/10 and then 5 minutes later she had
a 9/10. This is very good. She passed in about the top 80 percent of
the babies born in the hospital over the past few days (even being a
preemie). They stitched me up and wheeled me off to a post-op room
where a nurse checked all my vitals and assured me that the baby and I
were doing great. She weighed 6 lbs and measured 18 inches long.
finally wheeled me to my room where Anthony was waiting. They finally
brought our baby in, all cleaned up and beautiful...she is perfect. I
held her for a while and finally got some needed rest! The rest of
that day is pretty much a blur. I was so tired and incapacitated and
saw so many people who asked so many questions. I just needed to sleep
and, of course, work on trying to feed this little baby every three
hours (which we both found very frustrating although she is finally
beginning to figure it out now after 1 week).
Thursday night and we drove home with our brand new little baby. Most
people at that point did not believe I was a c-section because I was
recovering so well. They also were very surprised that Kelty being 6
weeks early was healthy enough to go home. But she is. She is a little
angel. She only fusses when she is hungry and when being changed or
dressed. We mostly just bundle her in a blanket because most clothes
are too big and she is a very messy eater. I mostly feed her just in a
diaper, which also helps her stay awake. I still have to feed her
every 3 to 4 hrs to make sure she gains weight. She has just begun
eating very well and is not generally interested in eating every 3
hrs. So it is more like 4 hrs before I actually get her awake enough
We went to the doctors' yesterday. She is doing
great. She lost 2 ounces in weight which is normal. I lost 15 lbs in 6
days and I am still losing weight in fluids. And the lactation expert
says she will get into a good routine soon, and she has a very strong
sucking instinct. She expects she will start gaining weight and do
perfectly well. She is truly a miracle.
My Son's arrival :
I was ecstatic that I had gone one full week longer on my pregnancy
with Caleb. I was at 35 wks and even though I felt this pregnancy would
go much more normal than Kelty's delivery I started thinking that I
better get ready just in case he came a little early. That Monday (the
day we went in to the hospital) I went to Target and bought a couple
boxes of diapers that were on a great promo. I saw a friend of mine I
hadn't seen in a while and explained I still had a whole month to go. I
set up the baby's room a bit more. That night I made dinner and cleaned
up and then we were just about to sit down and watch a movie as a
Anthony and Kelty were getting popcorn and I sat
down to watch the previews. I laid back and got comfortable until
suddenly I realized I was wetting myself. I seriously thought I had
lost bladder control. I ran to the bathroom changed my pants and was
telling Anthony... and that it didn't smell like urine (I was just in
denial that my water had broke.) I sat down on the couch
mid-conversation and even more just gushed... okay my water did break. I
changed clothes again and called my mom. I had to hear her tell me...
but I wasn't even having contractions... that is until she brought it
up... I had a few during our conversation. I knew, because my water
broke, there would be no delaying this birth... like we hoped to do with
Kelty. We arranged to have Anthony's folks meet us at the hospital to
take Kelty to their house. Again I threw together a last minute
hospital bag and packed Kelty a bag to stay over at my in-laws and off
we went. Even though I had just finished registering to birth at Mtn.
View Hospital my doctor said we would have to meet him at EIRMC because I
was too early and they expected complications.
there and they were getting me situated. They didn't have a
labor/delivery room cleaned for us at the time so I was in a little
observation room (the main reason we wanted to go to Mtn. View because
EIRMC seemed so busy and crowded). They hooked me up to all the
monitors and had to get the nurse w/ the longest fingers to check my
cervix. I wasn't even at a 1. They were noticing that the baby's vitals
were dropping every time I had a contraction. They new I really wanted aVBAC (mainly for less complications, fewer bills, more options on
future pregnancies). One of the nurses was getting very pushy and
telling me that I needed to remember that a healthy baby was what I
wanted not just a VBAC. Seriously, I was halfway okay going w/another
c-section (it seemed a lot less scary than natural birth since I'd done
it before and the doctors do all the work). I just wanted to avoid it
unless it was necessary. I had to sign the paperwork from the anesthesiologist and he insured me that this was not saying that I
wanted another spinal block and c-section but that we would have it
squared away in-case we had to. The nurses were talking to my doctor on
the phone at the nurses station and the phone in my room was not
working properly (The doctor could not hear me). When they gave me the phone I tried talking to him he couldn't hear me really at all. He just said, I need
to tell Rebecca that she will just have to have another c-section... he
didn't know I was actually on the line. I was a bit depressed and
resigned to the fact that I would never be able to give birth naturally.
while still en-route to the hospital the doctor called and they brought
me a cordless phone. He explained that the nurses were very concerned
and that it sounds like they had tried everything. I asked him what they
had tried doing (because it seems all they did was try to bully me into
another c-section). He said, well didn't they try putting you into
different positions and see how the baby responded? I said nope. I sat
up once so they could adjust the monitors, but that didn't help. He said, "Well,
go ahead and have them turn you on your left side and I'll be there
So we rolled me over and re-adjusted all the
monitors and the baby was doing just fine. Then the doctor walked in
and was like... Oh now that I've driven all the way here, everything is
just fine. So they got a delivery room ready for me and decided I would
likely labor all night (because I had 34 hrs of contractions w/ Kelty
and never dilated beyond 1 cm). We got settled in the room and the nurse
was saying I should try to get some rest (so I'd have energy in the
morning). I thought they were insane. How could I relax with all the
contractions and pain. I asked them to give me something to help take
the edge off. I didn't want the sleeping pills that didn't work at all
during my 1st pregnancy. I already had an IV because I hadn't had my
strep-b test yet. So they gave me stadol she said it would wear off
within an hour and then I could decide if I wanted more or whatever.
They checked me and I was only at a 3.
On the narcotics I
was really relaxed between the contractions and I could focus. I
realized that I was really tense and I made Anthony come help massage
and shake the tension out of my legs and applying counter-pressure on my
hips. I was really talkative and rambled on incessantly. It was 1 am
and Anthony was getting annoyed because I was supposed to go to sleep
and let him get some rest. He kept telling me to just calm down. I got
aggravated I was doing exactly what I needed to, to get more
comfortable. I still felt each contraction but then I felt almost
weightless and because I was on my left side through the entire labor I
felt like I was going to roll off the bed. I made Anthony come to my
side of the bed.
About 45 minutes after she gave me the stadol the
nurse said she'd be back in 20 min. to check me again. Within 5 min. I
started feeling an uncontrollable urge to push. The nurse down the
hall heard me telling Anthony, "I just really, really, really feel like I
want to push right now!" I said it very loud because I wanted them to hear. She came in and checked me. I was at a 9. It
was only 5 hrs since my first contraction! I was so ecstatic. I had
tears in my eyes, at that point I just realized, "I know I'm going to be
able to do this," I was so psyched. They called my doctor to come back
(boy was he surprised, he thought they were talking about another
patient who was much "further along"). They had to wheel me to the O.R.
because he was 5wks early. They just kept telling me I needed to wait
until the doctor got there. I was so annoyed it just wasn't fair... it
was so hard to hold out. He came and I pushed through maybe 5 contractions
and Caleb was born. Yes my drugs had worn off and I delivered him all natural. It was painful, I screamed a lot (strong powerful battle cry screams). I did it though and I hardly remember the pain. They put him in the NICU because of policy. By
mid-morning they moved him to the 'Term' Nursery because he was doing so
well. Then he got to spend the majority of the time in my room. We
came home Thurs. afternoon. We got nursing down right away and he's
definitely bigger than Kelty was and keeps gaining. He was 6lbs 12oz. 19.5 inches long.
Recovery C-section vs. VBAC
With my son I went home and took care of my house I was up and on my feet getting things done versus lying in bed most of the time for 2 weeks. I got right back into my routine/creating a new one with our new baby. I was home alone with my two children that first evening back from the hospital. Recovering from a vaginal birth was a dream. I was focused on my baby and not moaning and groaning and worried about forgetting to take my extremely strong pain meds, because c-section incisions are very painful and you are unable to use your abdominal muscles (which you might not realize how much you use them throughout the day). It was so taxing and tiresome to care for a needy preemie newborn while I was recovering from major surgery. I had an extremely good outcome for a c-section my incision healed really well I never had any infection but it was still such a painful recovery for me. With my VBAC the only time I even thought about my recovery was when I went to the bathroom which was more painful for the first few days but nothing compared to the constant pain of my c-section.
I guess I've mastered the 8 month pregnancy.
I hope to get to my 9th month this time so I can have a birth with my midwife. If I have to deliver before 37 weeks I will have to go to the Hospital.
When I found out my local hospital will not allow me to have a Secondary VBAC I thought it was ridiculous. I've had both types of birth and a second c-section just sounds crazy to me. I'm driving about 2 and a half hours to deliver my baby. With my swift 5 hr first vaginal birth I'm a little worried about getting to my midwife's birth suite on time but we'll do whatever we have to do.