So, I had an elec c/s with my twins in 2008. I really enjoyed it, and as far as birth experiences go, I would rate it highly.
When I found out I was pregnant with a singleton early this year, I was seriously thinking about going for an elec c/s again, purely because I had a great experience last time and didn't feel as though I missed out on anything at all and thought I would like a repeat of that.
Upon further reflection though, and through talks with my clever OB, we decided (DP, OB and I) that I would try for a VBAC. I'm still young and healthy, and there was really no reason why I shouldn't be able to do it.
Everything through the pregnancy went very smoothly. I survived without vomiting once (a stark contrast to my first pregnancy), the second trimester was a dream (I always forgot I was pregnant) and the third trimester really did fly by. I didn't feel big, fat, or heavy right until the last few weeks when baby really started to pack on the weight. At my weekly checkups my fundal height was consistently measuring 2 weeks ahead, but my OB assured me that was pretty normal.
I was due 3/8, a Saturday, which came and went very un-eventfully. I had an appt booked with my OB for the following Wednesday, the 7th just in case I hadn't gone into labour yet to talk about options. The plan all along had been to not let me go more than 41 weeks, no inducement, no intervention- just a c/s. I was happy with that, and so was DP- being a bit of a worry wart he has always felt that for me, a c/s would be the best way to have a baby- it's just his protective instinct.
Unfortunately, after a stretch and sweep he declared that my cervix was still anterior and only 1cm dilated, if that. I had only just started having tightenings in the evenings of the past two nights, so not much was going to happen any time soon.
He tossed up between booking me in for a c/s- the route we had always discussed would happen, or to book me in for a gel induction. In the end, he decided because of my good health, and that I had a complication free pregnancy, to book me in to be induced today- 14/08. That was still a week away! I knew I could last physically, but my mental state was getting a bit past it.
We went home and went about our usual routine. Offspring was on, and of course, my favourtie, Patrick died. Being very hormonal, I of course worked myself into a state (I mean, he died right before his child was due to be born- here I was, heavily pregnant, wondering what I would do if DP died etc etc). Went to bed and thought about it as I fell asleep.
I woke up at 1:30 and went to the toilet. Unusually, I had a messy bowel movement. (Unusual because I had of course been dealing with constipation lol- TMI but I guess crucial to my particular story.) I thought it odd, put it down to the stretch and sweep (which had failed to bring on even one tightening!) and went back to bed.
3am, I woke up with period pain. Of course, I then remembered that I was pregnant and didn't get a period, and wondered if it might be braxton hicks of a more severe kind. I rolled over and tried to go back to sleep. A few minutes later another one came on. Just for interests sake, I grabbed my phone and opened up the contraction timer app I had downloaded a few weeks earlier. It lasted near 2 minutes, and it was 4 minutes when the next one hit.
I got out of bed and went into the lounge and began pacing and timing contractions quietly. I have always dealt with pain by moving, so it was of course my immediate go to solution. As time went by, I could see a consistent pattern appear- contractions were lasting around a minute long, and there was 4-5 minutes between each of them. I tried to get onto BH on my phone to post a thread asking if I was really in labour or not (I just didn't know if it was the real deal- disbelief?) but of course it crashed. I felt very alone, despite DP and my boys being asleep in the house.
DP did wake up around 4am once he realised I wasn't in bed- I told him I thought I may be in labour, but to go back to bed because I'm sure nothing would be happening for hours.
Thankfully I managed to get BH working on my laptop- I posted my thread and some lovely people did eventually reply, despite the ridiculous hour of the morning. I was unsure whether I should call my Mum, who was to be my #1 support person during the birth as DP is afraid of hospitals as she had 45 min to travel, or to let her sleep.
At 5:45 I eventually rang her, apologised for waking her up but that I thought I may possibly be in labour and that she should come into town. She asked how far apart the contractions were, and I told her about 4 minutes. Looking back now, her cursing and urgency is a bit funny- apparently I was pretty well in labour if I was having 4 minutely contractions lol. I just had no idea!
Mum arrived a bit before 7am, and rang SIL, who is a midwife and who offered to look after my boys for the day. SIL came over and gave me a check up, timed my contractions and gave me hints on getting through the pain. She urged me to have a shower which I was reluctant to do, but it did feel really good once I got in! She was a bit worried that babe may be posterior, and encouraged me to stand and move to try and move her.
At 9am we called the hospital and made our way in. I got put in what they call the 'emergency room' because of my c/s scar, but it was so small and full of equipment- not relaxing like the other rooms with baths and kitchen facilities etc at all.
The OB on call came in and checked me over- I was 5cm dilated. He offered to break my waters, but I knew that it could make things more painful so declined. I dealt with the pain by vocalising- I thought I would be a movement girl, but no- vocals are what helped. Because of my odd shaped belly, the monitor for babe wouldn't stay in the right place, so one of the midwives had to hold it on the whole time! I almost slept in between contractions- I would just lay there and conserve energy. I could barely move, and I was exhausted. Since 3am I had been dealing with constant contractions getting closer and closer together and it was taking it's toll.
The OB came back at around 12 and we decided to break the waters, as it may hurry things along. It actually felt good when they broke like relief, but the pain so quickly escalated. I changed position from being on my back (I swore I would NEVER labour like that, but being exhausted it was all I could do!) to kneeling and leaning over the head of the bed. The midwives started to encourage me to bear down during contractions, and push through my bottom to start moving babe down, around and out. (Still some contention as to whether bubs was posterior or not).
Babe had not descended at all, and it seemed as though her head was too big for my pelvis.
Mum and DP were both there the whole time- and so much credit to DP as I know how sick and helpless he felt. He has always said he could never be there with me in labour, and so the fact that he was still with me was huge. I just couldn't look at him though. I was wishing terrible thoughts on his head- and even thought that I hope the image of me in such pain gives him nightmares- I regret that thought now, as he did have nightmares all Thursday night, poor guy!
I was crushing DP's hand into the rail of the bed- my reasoning was that I wanted him to feel some of the pain I was feeling- he didn't complain once.
I actively pushed for over 2 hours, and no one was telling me anything. I couldn't feel baby moving down, I couldn't feel a burning feeling, all I could feel was some horrendous hemorrhoids forming!
At 2:15 the OB was called back in, and he decided I was to have an epi and vacuum. I had laboured so long without pain relief because my stubborn self wouldn't allow it for me- but as soon as he said epidural I was hanging for it. The pain suddenly got far too much, I couldn't bear it any more- every contraction would have me screaming and crying and I needed that needle in my spine NOW! Of course it wasn't so simple- they had to arrange the theatre, call the anesthetist, put in the IV etc.
When I finally was in theatre and had a spinal put in (mid contraction mind you, the anesthetist is a bloody magician!) I could finally relax. I was in heaven. My legs were tingling, but there was no pain. I asked the anesthetist to marry me, but he declined, saying people ask him that every day lol!
So, vacuum it was. I was told when to push (weird feeling- trying to push and not knowing if you were doing it or not- "Am I pushing?" ) and then they introduced the forceps. My birth notes officially say that it is a failed vacuum, forceps delivery. I was also given an episiotomy- rather extensive.
My darling daughter was born at 3:03pm after a 12 hour labour on 8/8/13. My Mum came into theatre with me (it was just asking too much of DP) and cut her cord (she has cut the cord of all my children now) and soon enough we were wheeled into recovery where DP could meet his daughter.
She was weighed- 9lb 6oz, or 4.385g so I was really surprised to have such a biggie, but even more surprised now I think about it that she didn't fit- I'm not HUGE, but I'm certainly not petite, either.
I only got out of hospital last night, due to the 2 hours of pushing out nothing but hemorrhoids- the nurses and dr saying they were the worst they had ever seen. At least the pain from them has kept my mind off the bruising, swelling and stitches!
I'm still not 100%, and to be honest it's been quite a hard week... but DD is thriving, my milk is overflowing and we are all really just so blessed to have a happy and healthy family.
My babe, Ava Grace has a full head of dark hair and is NOTHING like her brothers