Where to begin? If you have been reading this blog for awhile you know the following:
- Our first child, Belén, was delivered via Caesarean due to baby in breech position.
- I wanted to deliver Eloise vaginally, ideally naturally without epidural or drugs.
- We prepared for natural child birth by taking a 5-session hypnobirthing class.
- I was very eager to have labor start on its own (without the aid of pitocin) so was using every technique I could think of (walking, acupuncture, squats, stairs, etc.) to help jump start my body into labor.
And so it begins…
Friday, April 29, the day before my due date, I went to my OB and had my membranes stripped for the third time. As he was “up there” he said, “oh, I think this one is going to do it” as I replied, “ow, ow, ow.” When he was leaving the room he mentioned that his daughter had a soccer game from 11-1 on Saturday but other than that, he was available all weekend. I joked that I would plan around that time slot and hopefully see him this weekend.
Immediately after the appointment, I met my mom for lunch downtown and as we were sitting there enjoying our Brick Oven Bistro meal, I knew that my body was experiencing the “period-like cramps” of pre-labor lore. They were even more intense than they had been the day before during my acupuncture appointment. Things were definitely happening.
I requested “Mexican Street Tacos” for dinner and Andy provided. We invited my sister Anna and her husband Derik over to enjoy them with us. I asked Anna to bring an overnight bag thinking I might just go into labor at dinner. I knew that things didn’t usually happen that quickly but I had also heard enough stories about fast births to secretly wish/think I might be one of them. Optimism is good, but it can create false expectations.
We made it through dinner and Andy cleaned up the dishes as I had requested. I had a feeling that labor was imminent and I didn’t want to leave for the hospital with a kitchen full of dishes. Around 11:30pm, as I was flossing my teeth before bed, my first contraction hit. I notified Andy of the change and he eagerly dug the stop watch he had been saving for this event out of his messy nightstand drawer.
After a few rounds of timing between contractions, we came the conclusion they were not consistent and usually no closer than ten minutes apart. Andy lost interest and fell asleep while I laid awake anxious for each coming contraction. They were painful, definitely endurable but not mild enough I could sleep through them.
Sometime around 1:30am, the contractions became more painful and consistent, around eight minutes apart. I woke Andy up to consult with him about what we should do. At a previous OB appointment, the nurse had said to consider coming to the hospital once contractions were about seven minutes apart since my delivery was a higher than normal risk due to being a VBAC.
We decided to call Erin, Andy’s sister, to come and stay at our house thinking we would have to leave for the hospital soon. In the meantime, Andy moved our “labor bag” and camera to the truck anticipating an impending trip to the hospital.
Erin arrived shortly thereafter and my contractions almost disappeared. I felt like I had been making the whole thing up. One or two would come every once in awhile, but it was clear that I was not in “real” labor. Doh. We had jumped the gun.
All three of us slept on the couch waiting for things to pick up again but it never happened even though contractions did continue to come at infrequent intervals.
Night slowly but surely turned to morning. We all ate breakfast together and wondered what the day would bring. It was now Saturday April 30, Eloise’s due date.
Since my contractions were still happening, albeit infrequently, we asked my mom to watch Belén so that Andy could focus on taking care of me and we could go to the hospital without worrying about Belén if and when the time did come.
Andy and I spent the day mostly just passing time. We had talked about going down to the Farmer’s Market in downtown Boise but then it seemed a little dramatic for me to be walking along stopping for a contraction. We figured it might be a little uncomfortable for me and awkward for those around us. So we chilled and tried to focus on things that could make labor come sooner. We went for a 45-minute walk, admiring our neighbors yards and discussing what we wanted to do with ours this year. We had to stop five or six times during the walk for me to endure a contraction.
Once back home, I started working on a blog entry about Eloise’s nursery and after much discussion about movie choices, we agreed to watch the Godfather. I didn’t want anything too intense or too funny or something I had to pay a lot of attention to, so no subtitles. Once I stated my criteria, a very patient Andy asked me to just tell him what I wanted to watch and for whatever reason, I chose the Godfather.
We made it through the wedding scene, which I love, and the horse head scene before my contractions started getting more painful. Just as they were planning the revenge for Vito Corleone’s shooting, contractions went from sporadic 10-12 minutes apart, 30-45 seconds in length to INTENSE, three minutes apart lasting a 60-75 seconds. Andy asked what it felt like and the only thing I could come up with was the granddaddy, mother lode of what is reminiscent of a period cramp but if the level of pain in a period cramp is comparable to a hangnail, the contractions I was experiencing was like having your finger amputated without drugs (okay, maybe not quite that bad.) It was as if every three minutes someone with really large hands was taking the area between my belly button and pubic bone and wringing it out with all of their might.
At this point in the story, the version in my mind starts to vary from the version in Andy’s mind and I am quite certain his version is likely more accurate so I have consulted with him to get the details ironed out even though it is not exactly how I remember them.
My version would have had us agreeing to go to the hospital after about three of those granddaddy, mother lode, three minutes apart, 75-second long contractions but Andy says we waited an hour. Perhaps my hypnobirthing training had kicked in and I was in my happy place as much as possible which made the time pass more quickly than I recall. The one part of my hynobirthing training that was immediately being put into question was whether I was going to be able to endure the pain of natural childbirth. If ever I am justified in dropping an f-bomb, labor contractions seem an appropriate reason to say it fucking hurt. Bad. Pardon my French.
We grabbed the remaining items we thought we would need at the hospital and I hobbled to the truck. Since we had been planning on Thai takeout with my parents, I texted my mom to let her know we were going to the hospital and would not be around for dinner. She responded “Wow!” and that they would keep Belén for the night.
The nine minute drive to the hospital is very clearly divided in my mind by the three contractions I experienced during the drive. When I wasn’t having a contraction, life started to feel bearable until the next contraction ramped up and then suddenly I started questioning if I was going to be strong enough to make it through labor naturally. Andy reminded me that he would support me with whatever path I chose that there was no shame in choosing an epidural to avoid the pain I was very clearly experiencing.
Meanwhile, I implored him not to drive “jerky” and to go as slow as possible over bumps as any added movement during a contraction only added to the agony.
Once at the hospital, Andy discussed dropping me off at the front doors and I quickly responded that I did not want to be without him. He happened upon a good parking spot and unsure if they would, in fact admit me, we grabbed only the essential items from the truck and headed inside.
I believe I had two contractions while we were walking in and checking into Labor and Delivery. Andy stopped whatever he was doing and helped me through the contraction and then we carried on. Despite having pre-registered at the hospital, we still had to fill out an admissions form at the Labor and Delivery admissions/waiting area. Seriously, how many times is it really necessary to write down the same information for the medical establishment? I had a contraction while filling out the form which made me even more bitter about the excess paperwork.
Eventually we found ourselves in a Labor and Delivery triage room with a nurse firing questions my way. She got the answers she needed out of me and then my friend Sarah who is a resident and happened to be working the L&D floor that day stopped in to say Hi.
I didn’t exactly feel like chatting except for about one topic. I asked Sarah if she had had an epidural when she had her baby and she said, “Oh God ya.” She elaborated saying that she went as long as she could without it which was not nearly as long as she might have thought. She also mentioned that she had been present for five natural child births with no drugs and that it was a very physical, primal, intense experience with at least one woman shouting she was going to die. We chatted a bit longer and then the nurse came back in and said, “well, you are only dilated to three and a half, but we are going to keep you.” I had a bit of a sense of relief but I was honestly thinking to myself, well, where the hell else would I go if you didn’t keep me. Good thing I didn’t have to find out. She also mentioned they had paged my doctor and he was not returning the page. I brushed it off as a temporary thing. My doctor delivers over 95% of his babies and surely I am one of his favorite patients. I knew he would be in touch by the time I needed him.
Now that I was in the L&D club, they wheeled me to my very own, very spacious delivery room complete with bed, bathroom with jacuzzi tub, baby area and surgical station.
They put in my IV to administer an antibiotic for Group B strep and some fluids.
The contractions were hitting hard and fast and I honestly didn’t know if I was going to be able to handle them. If I were going to do this naturally, this was the time I should have had a doula or birth partner telling me I could do it and steering me away from thoughts of an epidural. I also was kind of glad I didn’t have a doula or a birth partner pushing my original birth plan agenda because I so wanted to give in and just get the damn epidural. Which is what I did, but only after they convinced me that it did not affect the baby at all (which is different than what I had learned in the Hypnobirthing class.) According to the nurse, the epidural only blocks the nerves of your spinal chord rather than putting something into your blood stream that will also affect your baby.
As the nurse fired me with 4896 questions about everything from if I had been abused to how I like my eggs cooked, the anesthesiologist swooped in, swabbed, poked and before I knew it, my contraction pain was a thing of the past and I now monitored the contractions by looking at a graph on a computer. It was a trip. I was also now equipped with my good friend from my previous c-section labor experience, the catheter. I made a silent prayer I wasn’t going to have trouble peeing afterwards like I did after the c-section. That was miserable.
Contractions continued to come one right after another with an intensity that was literally off the chart. I wondered how my body, more specifically my uterus was handling them and started to feel a bit like a failure for not toughing out the pain. I hoped that all of the contractions were getting my cervix to open up so that labor could progress.
My doctor was still nowhere to be found so the fill in doctor, Doctor L, came in to check on me and break my water. I wanted to protest because I didn’t understand why we needed to break my water if my contractions were already off the chart in intensity and frequency. Between deciding to get the epidural and then my doctor not being there, I sort of felt like I had lost all say in my birthing process. This depressed me and I didn’t fight the water breaking. I asked him if it was going to hurt and he looked at me a bit surprised, like “Duh, No.” and then I recalled that I couldn’t feel much down there anyway. The liquid that came out was totally clear, a sign that everything was a-okay with baby. At least that was good!
After Dr. L left, I told the nurses that even though I had deviated from my birth plan for the epidural, I still wanted to stick with the rest of the plan, namely allowing the umbilical cord to stop pulsing before it was cut, skin-to-skin contact with the baby directly after birth and to breastfeed as soon as possible. They listened to my requests and said that we needed to let the doctor know because he is what you might call “fast and efficient” but would be willing to comply with my requests if he knew them. It concerned me that I had a fast and efficient doctor and I wondered yet again where the hell my doctor was. His daughter’s soccer game was over like ten hours ago, what gives? When I discussed it with Andy he said that he probably had something come up and that I should focus on my labor without having him there. I knew he was right but I still had hope that he would swoop in and save the day and make all of my insecurities about how things were going disappear.
The contractions went on for literally hours at an insane intensity. At some point, my legs were completely numb and I felt like a helpless beached whale. Each time they moved me from side to side, I implored them to be careful with my legs as if they had never done this before. My cervix was not thinning and dilating as fast as they thought it would/should so at some point, they called the doctor and he recommended they give me some pitocin.
I questioned this logic. Like the breaking of my water, why did I need pitocin if my contractions were already crazy off the charts? The nurses kind of agreed so they said they would put it on the smallest dose available. Again, I felt I had somehow signed away my ability to make decisions regarding my birth process and gave in, not knowing if I even had an option not to comply.
I honestly don’t know that the pitocin did anything because the contractions continued like before, crazy close and off the chart. I have heard others talk about watching the contractions on the monitor and finding some humor in the fact that they could not feel them but I cannot say I was as light-hearted about the process. The one good thing (okay, two if you count the fact that I was not in pain) about the epidural was that it allowed me to get some much needed rest. Since we had not slept much the night before and since it was now looking like Saturday night was going to be long as well, I knew I needed to sleep. So I did and Andy said I appeared to be doing so quite peacefully.
When I wasn’t sleeping, there wasn’t much else I could do. They wouldn’t let me eat even though I was starving, which I understand since especially in the case of a VBAC, there is a risk of it turning to a c-section which I would not want food in my stomach for. I drank some soda and juices and it gave me the worse heartburn. I longed for an Oreo milkshake!
The area above my IV hurt when they put in another dose of the Group B strep antibiotic so they kept mixing it with fluid as well as turned the drip to as slow as possible to ease the pain and gave me a heating pad for my arm. At some point, I started to get really cold, likely from the cold fluid pumping into my veins and my teeth were literally chattering as well as my body trembling for what seemed like a couple of hours. The nurses brought me a couple of warm blankets and eventually I felt warm and fell back asleep again.
When I woke up, I was HOT like when you have a fever with the flu type hot but even hotter because my hands were even hot. They took my temperature and I believe it was over 102 and they started giving me cold wash clothes for my head and eventually ice packs for my armpits. They also started me on oxygen which would remain with me through the rest of the labor. When they went to “check me” they said it burnt their hand I was so hot inside. I started to become anxious, as did everyone else in the room about what this might mean. Could they have introduced an infection with all of their water breaking and cervix checking? Eventually via phone, the doctor ordered a broad-spectrum antibiotic to be added to my IV-cocktail to cover the risk that perhaps an infection was at play. My hypnobirthing class had been oh so right, one medical intervention leads to another and yet another. It had snowballed as I should have known it would.
The even more concerning part about the fever was that the baby’s heart rate had elevated from 140 to around 180 causing them to believe that she had a fever as well. I tried to remain calm but now I wanted Eloise out more than ever!
Up until this point, I felt pretty negative about my birth experience. The nurses were great and I had not felt pain since the epidural was administered, but it was just not how I had envisioned it happening AT ALL.
The nurses were hustling around, worrying about my fever and they came in and said they were working on a “push plan.” I said, “okay, what is it?” I still was not fully dilated to 10 centimeters so first they needed to see if I could get rid of the rest of my cervix. They asked me to push once and meanwhile the nurse felt the baby’s head. With a second push, the cervix was completely gone and I was ready to begin pushing the baby out. This was approximately 1:30am on Sunday May 1st.
I guess the push plan was to put it bluntly, PUSH…with every other contraction to be exact because my contractions were happening too close together to give me enough of a break if I were to push with each one. Pushing entailed pushing three times to the count of ten, so a total of 30 seconds for each round of pushing.
It is now that I will reveal my complete ignorance about the pushing part of labor. I think the Hynobirthing classes sort of just glossed over this part. Also, many of my friends labor stories had very fast pushing phases so I honestly had it in my mind that once it was time to push, you pushed once, maybe twice or three times and baby was out. In no way was I expecting the pushing to be something that lasted hours.
Nurse Teresa held my left leg and Andy held my right. The other, older nurse whose name I don’t recall was on point coaching and encouraging. In retrospect, it’s kind of funny that I don’t know the woman’s name who is very intimate with my vagina.
When the monitor started to show a contraction Teresa said, “PUSH!” and then started counting “1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10.” ”Inhale, Hold your Breath. PUSH! 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10, Inhale, Hold your breath. PUSH! 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10.” Then I was congratulated for my effort.
I should comment that the first couple of rounds of pushing did not go this smoothly because a) I didn’t know how to push and b) I kept letting my breath out. I had to ask them to describe to me what it should be feeling like when I push. Was it like pushing out poop or what? Apparently it is the same muscles used when poop pushing, laughing, sneezing, etc. and after a little bit of direction I *kind of* felt like I was at least pushing in the right spot. I still wasn’t entirely sure though. After I had been doing the breathing part of the pushing for awhile, I easily related it to swimming. You hold your breath while your head is underwater and then as you come up for air, exhale the CO2 as quickly as possible and gulp in some oxygen before continuing on with your stroke. This analogy helped me remember not to let my breath out as I was doing in the beginning (and kept getting scolded for — in a nice way.)
I apparently made some good progress right away and they felt like things were going great. The baby’s head was at my pubic bone within a few pushes and now all she had to do was turn her head appropriately and duck under it and we were good to go. The nurse commented on how much hair our baby had and the reality of what we were doing and that we would soon have another daughter hit me.
“PUSH! 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10. Inhale, Hold your Breath. PUSH! 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10, Inhale, Hold your breath. PUSH! 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10.”
“PUSH! 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10. Inhale, Hold your Breath. PUSH! 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10, Inhale, Hold your breath. PUSH! 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10.”
“Can I have some water please?” ”Sure, here. Oh here comes another contraction.”
“PUSH! 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10. Inhale, Hold your Breath. PUSH! 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10, Inhale, Hold your breath. PUSH! 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10.”
…. << time passes … like two hours … >> ….
Poor little Eloise’s head was jammed up into my pubic bone for around two hours at which point the doctor came in to assess the situation. They were concerned she had a fever and wanted to get her out. He also had two other emergency c-sections lined up needing to happen around the same time so I think he was extra motivated to get Eloise out vaginally.
Additionally, at some point during the two hours of pushing, Nurse Teresa noticed that the body fluid catching pads at the foot of the bed started to take on a brown tinge indicating that Miss Eloise had pooped in her amniotic fluid which immediately raised the concern that she could swallow and choke on the meconium during the birthing process. NICU was put on alert and asked to be present at the birth to take care of Eloise once she arrived. Nurse Teresa also indicated to me that the three remaining parts of my birth plan I was trying to honor, the skin-to-skin contact, delayed chord clamping and immediate breastfeeding were now unlikely to happen since NICU would need to take the baby right away. While disappointed, not honoring my birth plan was the least of my concern at this point. I just wanted a healthy baby girl in my arms as soon as possible.
We did a round of pushing with four rounds of counting to 10 and the doctor proclaimed that he thought we could get her out without a c-section and that we should try a couple of other positions and that he would be back. He also told the nurses his suction device of choice and asked that they get it for him.
According to Andy, the fluid coming out with each push continued to be brown and occasionally had a fecal odor. Um, nasty. Sometimes it would kind of gurgle out between contractions and I felt the urge to apologize. Teresa quickly dismissed it with “that’s okay” so I started to wonder if I was actually pooping and didn’t realize it. Andy cleared this up for me later by telling me that I never did poop, it was always the baby’s meconium.
I should mention that despite pushing not going at all like I had expected (hell, the entire labor had not gone at all like I had expected), I probably felt the best about things in general during this part of the process. The epidural had worn off to this awesome point where I felt absolutely everything EXCEPT pain. I could feel the contraction starting and would notify Teresa and Andy, my leg holders, rather than them relying on the monitor exclusively. I could move my legs and no longer felt like a beached whale. It was great…I wish the epidural felt like this the entire time. Additionally, it felt as though my fever had gone away and almost as if I was participating in an athletic event. I was sweating, working hard, now a very active part of the birthing process. Progress was being made (or not) because I was pushing…doing something to help my little girl come into this great world.
We turned me over to my left side and did a few rounds of pushing. Still little progress. Next up was the right side. Same result. Finally we tried me on bended knees with my arms draped over the back of the upright bed. I had faith that this position was going to make us some progress being that gravity was on our side, but not so much. I started to get the feeling that this was going to turn into an emergency c-section and I once again really wished my doctor was there. The nurse agreed with me that she wished he was there as well. I asked her if they had tried to page him again and she replied that they had and it was very clear his pager was off…
We tried a few more pushes on my back before Dr. L came back into the room around 4:15am.
He was once again all business. He removed the end of the bed and asked me to scoot down. He also turned on the big, bright, ceiling lights and suddenly the scene became surreal like out of a movie. He asked for the suction device, quickly attached it to Eloise’s head but for whatever reason, it couldn’t get to 55 psi so didn’t have a good enough suction on her head. The nurses went in search of a new one.
Once the new suction device was in place, the doctor would pull HARD on Eloise’s head using the device at the same time as I was attempting to push her out. We transitioned to four counts of 10 with each contraction.
Within 10-15 minutes like this, her head had made it under my pubic bone and as my husband so elegantly puts it, “was bulging out my vajayjay.” One more round of pushing and Eloise FINALLY entered this world.
The doctor put an adorable, slippery Eloise on my belly for a few seconds before they put two clamps on the umbilical chord and Andy cut it. The NICU nurse and doctor took her over to the baby prep part of the room, under a warmer and sucked all of the fluid out of her lungs. I heard the doctor say she achieved a 9/9 APGAR score which gave me relief that she was okay even though I wasn’t exactly sure what the APGAR score measured.
With the next contraction, the placenta came out and the doctor asked me if I wanted to see it. I said yes and I asked Andy to take a picture of it because it was SO crazy looking. Way greener and more marsh creature like than I would have ever imagined. The doctor said it looked healthy enough to feed triplets.
I asked the doctor if I tore and he said just a little bit especially considering Eloise had come under the pubic bone with her head turned, making her as wide as possible. The next time I looked between my legs, Dr. L was busy sewing me up and I was once again glad I could not feel the pain.
There was a very joyful feeling in the room. It really felt as though I was a push or two away from the doctor declaring the need for a c-section and that everyone in the room (and there was quite an audience by the end) was truly rooting for me to push her out vaginally. Nurse Teresa was downright giddy and seemed so proud of me. The doctor actually did too. It felt good.
In a matter of minutes, I was sewn up and Eloise was swaddled and in my arms and breastfeeding. Suddenly, the entire ordeal was behind us and none of it even mattered now that we had our precious little girl. Her poor head was cone-shaped and very red, although the color was hard to distinguish underneath all of her hair.
It seemed like any time Teresa or another nurse saw me, they were trying to what they might call massage but what really felt more like a shove to my abdomen to put my uterus back into place. I think the movement helps encourage the uterus to shrink (as does breastfeeding) but I kind of wanted to hide from them and give my poor uterus a rest.
Teresa had arranged for our transfer to the maternity ward so Andy started gathering our things. They had taken my catheter out for the pushing phase of the birthing process so by this point I needed to use the restroom. Teresa turned the water on in the bathtub to encourage my effort and after about ten minutes I was finally successful and thrilled that I didn’t have any issues. The epidural had worn off but I had pain medications which I would be on for at least a few doses and therefore would not be able to feel the damage done “down there.”
I reacquainted myself with the giant, hospital issued panties and maxi pads and cursed that I was going to be in pads for the next six weeks. What a cruel thing to do to a woman who has just endured ten months of pregnancy and LABOR…lets give her a six week period as icing on the cake!
I situated myself in the wheelchair that had been brought into the room and then was given Miss Eloise to carry up to the maternity ward. What a treat!
The first two hours after birth, the nursing staff obsessively checked both Eloise and my stats, temperature, blood pressure, etc. I guess we convinced them that we were okay so the nurses allowed us to put up a Do Not Disturb sign on our door and FINALLY get some rest. Andy and I were the most exhausted we have ever been in our entire lives. In fact, we believe we had Eloise wheeled off to the nursery because neither of us trusted ourselves to wake up if there was something wrong with her but we honestly cannot even remember, we were in such a haze.
A few hours later we woke up feeling refreshed and invited our families to come to the hospital to meet Eloise. Later that day, we gave her a bath and were able to witness the true extent of her hair. It is over an inch long and thick! She is a cutie and we think looks a lot like Belén with a few distinct differences.
I will fast forward to the next morning when my doctor came to visit us. He walked in and immediately apologized for missing the birth. Apparently he had thought his “Daddy Daughter Dance” and daughter’s First Communion was the following weekend but it was actually this weekend. I could tell he felt really bad but as he explained and I totally understand, either way he was going to be disappointing people and his family comes first. I would certainly hope that in a similar situation Andy would make the same decision. So yes, it was still disappointing that he wasn’t there but we totally understood. I think the part that I had the hardest time with was just that when we had talked on Friday he made it sound like he would be there so my expectations were set. Had I known he would not be around Saturday night and Sunday morning, I could have adjusted my expectations accordingly, but oh well. What’s done is done. He said half of his practice had delivered Saturday night and that he was going from room to room apologizing.
We talked for awhile about the night before and I explained that except for a c-section, pretty much everything I didn’t want to have happen, happened but in the end Dr. L did a good job and got Eloise out and all was good. I asked him about the fever and he said it was likely from the fluid cooling my core temperature, causing my body to think it needed to jump in and heat itself. He said it was not uncommon during labor. He also explained that the reason I was so puffy was because surprisingly I had not lost enough fluid in the birthing process (which seemed impossible) so it was trapped in my body until I could pee it out.
What I really love about my doctor is that he keeps his patients a part of the process, explaining things and asking what they want. While Dr. L was very effective when it came down to business and we needed Eloise to come out now, I didn’t feel like he ever really consulted with us or explained what was going on. Granted, I had no relationship with the guy and he had at least three other patients in labor he was juggling at the same time, so maybe it was just a matter of the circumstances.
Even though, things did not go as I had hoped, anticipated or planned for, this is Eloise’s birth story as it was intended to happen. Thinking back on the entire process, I don’t know that I would have done anything differently in retrospect. Had I not had the epidural, I honestly don’t know if I would have had enough strength to push for three hours which could have landed me in my least desirable scenario, an emergency c-section after trying to birth vaginally for an extended period of time. Then again, it’s impossible to say if things would have gone differently had I not had the epidural. We will never know.
I do have to say that I noticed the benefits of a vaginal birth over a Caesarean almost immediately. I was walking around, IV-less, peeing on my own in a matter of minutes after birth where as the c-section had me strapped to that bed with compression on my legs to avoid blood clots, puking, itching from the morphine, unable to pee for days and not to mention the massive wound on my belly which was difficult to heal and time consuming to recover from. I felt an order of magnitude better having had a vaginal birth…even with the tearing and the rest of this birth story. If we were to have a third child, which is not our intention, I would absolutely go VBAC without a second thought even if labor had to be induced with pitocin. If you recall, my stance before labor was that I thought I preferred another c-section to an induction.
Six thousand words later, this is the birth story of Eloise Mae Hoobing. She is as precious as they come and the important thing out of all of this is that we have a healthy baby girl. The scabs on her head from the suction will heal…and she will never know the difference.
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