Here I sit at 4am, unable to sleep because of a stupid cough, so I figure now is as good a time as any to type up Nessa’s birth story. I know not everyone wants to read the details of giving birth, so if you’d rather not, do not read on. You’ve been amply warned. 😉
The last time I posted an update on my blog, I was 17 wks pregnant. Well, due to my complete lack of diligence when blogging, it’s many months later, and our little girl is here, 2 1/2 weeks early. 😀
On Aug 5th @ 6:30am, I was just starting to get up for the day when I rolled over in bed and felt a little painful pinch. I thought that was a little odd, but didn’t think much more then got up to use the restroom, upon which I felt a small gush. I thought, “Did my water just break? Nah, that couldn’t be…”, and proceeded to go back to bed for a bit. When I rolled over, a felt another bigger gush. Yup, my water had broken. Just the day before I had seen my Dr. who told me if that should happen to call right away. So I proceeded to go downstairs and let Dale know he wouldn’t be going to work that day and called my Dr to let him know.
Since we weren’t expecting for another 2 1/2 weeks, I didn’t have my bag packed or much of anything organized beyond some washing. I wasn’t having any contractions yet, so I took a shower and started getting my bag together while Dale got Ronan up for the day and off to daycare. We let Ronan know that his little sister was on the way, and he was very excited. He wanted to come to the hospital with us. 🙂
At about 8:30am we were off to the hospital. I still wasn’t getting much on the lines of contractions, just occasional slightly painful ones, but they wanted to keep me since my water had broken and I was attempting a VBAC. So the waiting game began. Dale and I sat around watching old Charmed episodes, playing on our computers, walking the halls, whatever we could to pass the time while waiting for my body to decide it might be a good idea to start trying to get this baby out.
My Dr. came in to check me, and I wasn’t at all dilated and was very high. We knew we were in for a long wait. My Dr. was concerned, since usually people go into labor before their water breaks, not after. But he gave us the option to wait and see what happens. We waited until 6:30pm, where the Dr. checked me again and I was maybe 1-2 cm dilated and soft, so we knew my body was at least trying to do something. I had decided that 12 hours was my cutoff mark to make any decisions to move things along. We were given the option to try some pitocin to get the contractions to speed up and become regular, which we opted to do. However, another mother required a c-section, and there wasn’t enough staff to handle that surgery and have all the required people available for my VBAC, so we had to wait until the other mother’s surgery was over before we could start. During this time, a trauma came in to the ER, which also required the anesthesiologist, so we were delayed another couple hours.
While we were waiting, my contractions started to pick up on their own. By 9:00pm, the contractions were painful and regular at 3-5 minutes apart, and I was ready for my epidural. I had progressed to 3 cm, so I had finally entered active labor. Now, this is where things got weird…
The anesthesiologist came in to give me my epidural, which wasn’t very painful and took affect right fairly quickly. However, he was adement that he would not completely block the pain, because he wanted me to be able to feel if anything was wrong due to my VBAC. Afterward, I still felt a lot of pain on the peaks of my contractions, contractions that were not even full blown “I’m about to give birth” contractions, and he refused to turn up the meds. Also, he required that I lay on my side so I would not potentially pull out the epidural by lying on my back in the bed. This was extremely uncomfortable, and made it impossible for the Dr. to proper check me, or to monitor the baby. I wasn’t allowed to move in any way. I asked how I was supposed to give birth this way, and I wasn’t really given a straight answer…
Then it was time for the catheter. Now, I have no idea what the nurse did, but it was the most painful part if this experience. Something was wrong with it and I was in extreme continual pain, even through the epidural. I told them this and begged them to take it out, and my Dr. proceeded to argue with me about keeping it in, having to redo it later, blah blah blah. Dale compares my Dr. to a used car salesman at this point, telling me he would do whatever I wanted, but then haggled with me when I demand it be removed. Finally after about 15-20 minutes of bantering and me sobbing, they removed it.
I didn’t know what to make of things by that point. I felt like I was being unnecessarily tortured. Why on earth would I bother going through an epidural if they were just going to put me in continual pain anyway? Nothing was making sense anymore. I didn’t trust that a VBAC would be a good option for me anymore, not in this situation with the people I was working with. I couldn’t fathom a potential repeat of my experience giving birth to Ronan. After getting the epidural, and with the continual stress, and the violent uncontrollable shaking that had started, my contractions had petered out. I just wasn’t willing to wait it out, I wanted my girl out and safe with me, so Dale and I talked it over and decided to do a c-section.
Due to my history of epidurals not working for long, I was very concerned when the anesthesiologist told me I would only have the epi for pain control during the surgery. I was petrified that it would stop working in the middle. I felt a spinal was a more reliable option. But he insisted it was effective and that would happen. I can’t say that I really trusted the guy after how things were handled when the epi was put in, and it took Dale jumping in and giving his opinion that it would be ok before I consented.
They got us ready and wheeled me off to surgery. I was heavily drugged up when I got there, to the point where my blood pressure kept dropping and they needed to keep giving me more drugs to keep it up. At 12:20am on August 6th, Nessa Elizabeth was born. She cried right away and they checked her out nearby. By 2am I was back in my room and started nursing Nessa. At first I was afraid because my arms were still very shaky, but nursing her calmed that down. It was finally over, and our little girl was here. By that point, that’s all that mattered.
Despite all the weirdness involved in her birth, I still consider Nessa’s birth much less traumatic than Ronan’s. Since I never really reached active labor for long this time around, the pain was limited, and it was over in 18 hours from start to finish. After the experience was over, both Dale and I pondered thoughts about how things progressed with the people handling the birth, including the possibility that I was unnecessarily made uncomfortable and miserable after the epidural so I would want the c-section. It was all senseless pain at that point, and seemed to include things that I never thought to include in a birth plan (like, if I get an epidural, I want it to completely work and to lay on my back!). We’re left wondering if we had just not opted to get the epi if my body would’ve did fine on its own.
On the plus side, my recovery so far afterward has been much better than it was with Ronan. And the staff in L&D has just been wonderful. The only thing really giving me trouble is this damn cold I have and the coughing that comes with it. Nessa is nursing like a champ, although she likes to fall asleep once she gets comfy, so we have to keep her awake. 🙂
I should be able to go home on Sunday, assuming nothing pops up. My platelets are low and some tests are being run, but I haven’t heard anything more on that yet.