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Friday, August 16, 2013

The Birth of Logann - Second VBAC

****If you aren't familiar with what a doula does, I would highly recommend you research it for yourself.  And may I recommend hiring Caryn if you live in this area - she's pretty fantastic.  ****

Thursday evening, August 8th, I had some regular contractions that stayed fairly consistent although I didn't start timing anything.  When I finally decided to try to get some rest, they almost completely stopped.  I went to sleep and woke up about an hour later with more strong contractions.  Again, I thought maybe this was it.  But after using the restroom I was able to go back to sleep.  I woke up the next morning - still pregnant and a bit disappointed.  But, I was encouraged because at least something was happening.  I knew it was close.

Friday we stayed around the house the whole day.  I wasn't feeling any more contractions than usual and was trying not to be discouraged.  That night, Kaylee ended up wetting the bed around midnight.  I remember thinking to myself "well this would be a perfect night to go into labor since, regardless, I won't be getting as much sleep as usual".  

I woke up around 5:30am Saturday morning, August 10th, with some fairly strong contractions.  Typically in the morning, I don't have many contractions so when they continued for about 20 minutes, I realized this could be it.  I decided to take a shower and get ready instead of going back to bed, just in case.  After a while I let Septtro know I thought today might be our day.  I started timing the contractions with an app on my phone.  They were about 2 minutes apart and lasting anywhere from 45 seconds to a minute.  I called my mom around 7:00am and asked her to come over.  Then I called my doula and let her know what was going on.  She said it sounded like labor and to call her in about an hour and let her know how I was doing.  Not long after, I started losing my mucus plug and continued to lose it throughout the entire morning.  

Septtro made eggs for breakfast and I ate that and part of a muffin in between contractions.   The pain wasn't too intense at this point.  But I was fairly convinced this was the beginning of labor because of the frequency and consistency of the contractions.

My mom arrived and helped with the girls once they were up.  Septtro started packing the car.  I took one last picture of my pregnant belly.  
I had recently started reading a book called "Redeeming Childbirth".  A friend sent it to me and it had really encouraged my heart even more to surrender my desires for my pregnancy and labor and birth to the Lord; that He was ultimately not concerned with my birth experience but with my heart and attitude.  I don't know if you can tell in the picture, but I was at a total peace - which was completely from the Lord.  I knew the pain I was about to face.  I knew the unknowns of labor and delivery.  But I welcomed them as an opportunity to grow in my relationship with my husband as well as with my God.  

After a while at our house, I explained to Septtro I was a bit fearful of how far away we were from the hospital (30-40 minutes depending on traffic) and I wanted to try to avoid a very painful car ride if possible.  I mentioned maybe him and I could head to my parent's house. They lived very close to the interstate which would make for a quicker and easier ride once we knew it was time to head to the hospital.  My dad had already gone out for the day so the house would be empty.  So that's where we headed.  It was about 9:45am.  I let my doula know and she said she was ready for us whenever we needed her.  

We brought my yoga ball since I labored on that for quite a while during labor with Kaylee.  But when I tried it, it was too uncomfortable.  The best way for me to cope during a contraction was to lean into Septtro's chest and relax.  I tried really hard to make sure I was relaxing my face.  I knew working with the contraction and not against it would help things along better.  The contractions continued to be about 2-3 minutes apart but were getting more intense and lasting longer.  

The time Septtro and I had at my parent's house was such a special time for me.  It was quiet and just him and I.  We started listening to some Samoan music on his phone - it's quite calming.  :)  We would chat about life in between contractions.  And then we would just be together - connected in a way I haven't experienced before - when I would relax into his chest to cope with the pain that would soon bring us a child.  I don't know if Septtro realized this or not, but a flood of emotions overcame me during this time and I gently cried a bit after having a contraction.

It started to get to the point where I was unable to talk through a contraction or respond in any way to anything.  We called our doula and decided it was time to head to the hospital.  We got there around 11:45am.  She met us out front and helped me inside while Septtro parked the car.  On the way into the lobby, I had a contraction and had to lean into Caryn (our doula) like I had been doing with Septtro.  An older lady was sitting nearby in a chair and said "They need to get you a wheelchair!"  I responded that sitting down didn't feel good.  She replied, "Oh ok.  Well hope all goes well".  

On the way up to triage, I had several other contractions and would lean into Caryn as before.  Right as we got to triage, Septtro had already caught up with us.  My midwife met us at the triage desk and we were handed some paperwork that Septtro took care of for me.   I had a contraction while at the triage desk and leaned over the desk quietly until it passed.  One of the nurses asked Caryn if she had checked my cervix.  She replied no.  I didn't realize this until after, but apparently the nurse then rolled her eyes.  She didn't believe I was really in labor.  I guess she's more used to women being rolled up begging for pain relief??  

We went to a room and I told my midwife I was fine with having my cervix checked but I didn't want to know the number (when I was checked after intense contractions for a few hours in labor with Kaylee, I was devasted when they told me I was only 2-3 cm dilated).   I told her she could tell Septtro.  I figured if it was low, it'd be discouraging.  But even if it was high, I'd have expectations that everything should go quickly which it may not.  She said that was fine.  I tried getting on the bed so she could check but it was extremely uncomfortable to lie down.  I can completely understand why women who just try lying in bed during contractions with no pain medication can't bear the pain.  She checked me while I was standing, one leg propped up on the bed to the side.  "Oh yeah your water is bulging. You're about an 8."

I just looked at Septtro.  Then she realized what she'd done.  "Oops sorry.  You didn't want to know!  At least it's a good number".  True, I thought.  But still...c'mon - we literally just finished talking about not telling me.  :)

We then had to make a trip down to the wing of the hospital where the midwives attend their patients.  It was quite a walk.  They offered me a wheelchair but, again, it was too uncomfortable to sit.  I stopped several times and leaned into Septtro whenever a contraction came.  

Once to the room, Caryn asked if I wanted to try the shower.  I agreed.  This practice does offer water birth but because I'm a vbac, I wasn't allowed to use the tubs (it's a ridiculous rule the hospital has that everyone agrees has no merit and they are working to try to change).  I was in the shower just a few minutes but I honestly couldn't get very comfortable. Then I started shivering.  I figured that meant I was close.  Caryn confirmed it was normal and that it meant I would see my baby soon.  They got me a warm blanket and I got out of the shower.

**One neat thing was that one of the nurses had actually been to The Farm and was training for care in the same way I desire care.  So it was neat to have her as one of my nurses that day.**

We then tried doing some pelvic rocks on the bed to get baby into a better position.  I don't remember how long I did that but they suggested I try the yoga ball.  I was afraid it wouldn't be comfortable.  But I know changing positions often during labor is helpful for getting baby in the best position possible. So I figured I'd try.  It turned out to be not terribly uncomfortable.  The contractions were getting extremely intense at this point.  I started having a harder time relaxing during the contractions.  Caryn helped me focus on Septtro and breathing with him.  Septtro was very calm and gently reminded me to stay in control.

I could feel her moving down in my pelvis.  It was quite uncomfortable but at the same time, the most amazing feeling.  I started to quietly sob again.  I knew we were close.  I felt so connected to my husband and my Creator and longed to see my baby.  

Soon, during a contraction, my body took over.  And I pushed just a little.  After it was over I said, "Um I pushed a little bit".  "Yeah we know", was the reply.  Oh...I thought - ok well guess that's ok to do now.  I just figured they would eventually check me again before I could push.  But it was clear my body was ready.  I didn't really get a say - my uterus was ready to push this baby out!

Septtro's hand on my belly
my belly during transitional contractions - how powerful and amazing that uterus is!
I pushed a little more during the next contraction.  I remember the midwife calling for nurses saying "she's feeling pushy".  

I might add, at this point, I was expecting to push for a long time.  With Rilynn, I pushed for two hours or more - strapped to a bed after being induced - and kept being told she wasn't coming down.  That was the one that ended in a csection.  With Kaylee, I was checked and told I was 10 cm so I started pushing.  But I pushed about an hour and half (maybe more) until she was born.  It was exhausting and it definitely took a toll on my body.  

They never checked me.  They just allowed my body to tell us when I was ready to push.  So that was a nice change. 

I got on the bed in a better position because, well, it'd be kinda hard to push a baby out on a yoga ball.  I allowed my contraction to build up and pushed with it.  My water broke.  I don't remember feeling much of a ring of fire during crowning.  I did reach down and feel her head as she crowned.  That was pretty amazing.  I could feel on her head where her skull had compressed to fit through the birth canal.  It felt like a ridge of extra skin was on her head.  I apparently pushed her head out to her eyes and then stopped and they asked me to keep going.  I said I couldn't.  :)  She had some slight swelling from me stopping right at her eye level because of that but nothing concerning.  

I pushed for about 15-20 minutes and she was born.  Septtro was with the midwife and nurses ready to help deliver our baby.  I could feel her shoulders and the rest of her body slide out so I turned around.  Septtro had her in his hands and said, "Babe, it's a girl".  Then I got to hold my third little princess for the first time.  

It.  Was.  Amazing.

"We did it!" I told my sweet baby girl.  

Side note, I was a little surprised it was a girl.  Everybody, including strangers, kept saying it was a boy. So I was becoming convinced myself.  But God brought us another beautiful girl.  And He knows just what our family needs.  I was not a bit disappointed.  And I loved being surprised at the end.  What a precious gift she is!

We were at the hospital just under two hours before she was born.  

My Momma congratulating me
I can't express how thankful I am to the Lord.  It was such a special time during labor for me to rely on Septtro and God to lead me through the pain.  The Lord delivered me in so many ways throughout this pregnancy.  He taught me a lot about my lack of trust in Him and my pride.  I became anxious and fearful of the unknown.  But He delivered me from that once I confessed it to Him and begged for His strength - and ultimately became at peace with whatever His plan may be.  And He delivered my baby!!  Inviting Him to be a more active part in my pregnancy, labor, and delivery was so rewarding!  I am so thankful for being given this gift of another precious child!!

The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. -Psalm 18:2


Kari said...

Beautiful! I love the detail, and how helpful Sepptro was, just being your rock- It's amazing how calming our husbands presence is (words and touch). I love the pictures especially the few right after she is born- i know that feeling, then the breath taking sight of your sweet baby that leads to a a slight sob of relief and overwhelming joy!! Thank you for letting us be a part, even when we weren't there!! :) You did good sister!! :)

Kelli said...

Abbi asked if I would go on your blog to see if you posted any pics. I am so glad we did!!! These are completely amazing!! Praise Jesus!!!!

JoyBelle said...

I have a copy of that book in e-book form but haven't read it yet. I wish I had read it before Silas was born! My midwife and I talked about relinquishing control to God anyway but I still wish I had read the book.

Anyway this birth story is amazing. I loved that they didn't check you and tell you when to push - your body already knew what to do and when to do it! I also love that you got to touch her head before she was born. So so beautiful and a precious memory to cherish.

Congrats S!!!

Jacque said...

So thankful for this sweet baby! Cannot wait to meet her and hold her!!!! Praising God for the way He is working in you through these pregnancies and deliveries. What a beautiful testimony!