I was due on Saturday, March 29 but fully expected to go overdue. I was planning on a VBA2C and I had done everything I could do. I took a hypnobirthing class and was practicing the self-hypnosis and affirmations. I was bouncing and rotating on a birthing ball, seeing a chiropractor to adjust my pelvis and back. I was eating six dates a day, drinking at least three cups of red raspberry leaf tea per day since week 35, and upping my intake of evening primrose oil from week 38 onward. I visited an acupuncturist at 37 weeks, 39 weeks and 40 weeks. I did notice this increased my contractions at the 40 week visit intensely. I felt very optimistic when my 39 week check up revealed that I was 1 cm dilated and 50% effacted, since I had never gotten to this point previously!
On the morning of Wednesday, April 2, I awoke around 8 am (I got to sleep in because my mom had arrived Monday night and was up with the kids) and noticed my pajamas felt pretty wet. At this point, I was sweating a lot in my sleep so attributed the dampness to night sweats. A little later, Audrey dropped something on the floor at breakfast and as I bent down to pick it up, I noticed a gush of liquid. I was starting to suspect my waters had ruptured and another gush or two confirmed my suspicions. I called the doctor, who advised me to come in to the hospital to be checked. (On a sidenote, I had actually fibbed on my due date at my first appointment to buy myself some extra time, knowing I'd be overdue, and told the doctor 4/2 was my due date. So they believed this was actually my due date.)
I called Tim to tell him I thought my waters had broken around 8:25. He had taken the train downtown and was standing outside his office, about to walk in. He sounded very surprised and turned around to take the next train back home. When he got home, we finished packing up for the hospital and I took a shower. I was very reluctant to head to the hospital and was putting it off as long as possible. I even was mopping the kitchen floors, running to the bathroom every time my water leaked. I didn't want to come back to filthy floors! We stopped to pick up lunch on the way, a turkey sandwich and Oreo smoothie from Potbellys, the same final meal actually I'd had the night before Barrett was born.
When I finally got to the hospital my worst fears were realized. I was measured at less than 1 cm, 50% effaced and -4 station. So no progress. I was having no contractions whatsoever. I was labeled a "likely surgery" because of my VBA2C status. I was incredibly concerned. I called my acupuncturist to come to the hospital to see if she could help jump start contractions, but the nurse told me this wasn't allowed. We walked the halls and did everything we could. Finally, around 5pm, we managed to get contractions going. And boy, were they intense!!
I continued having intense contractions every few minutes, lasting about 1.5 minutes but just could not get the baby to drop. Although the contraction pattern was ideal, I was checked and nothing was happening. Tim and I continued to walk/limp through the halls but my energy was dwindling. I laid down before midnight and napped for about an hour. The doctor came in around 12:30am and I had no progress. He was very blunt - it just wasn't going well. I wasn't progressing, had a history of zero progress and failure to progress on Pitocin and was a VBAC candidate and had ruptured membranes. So he shrugged his shoulders, said I could keep trying if I wanted to and to just let him know what I wanted to do.
I cried but rallied and got up and continued to walk the halls another hour. I was beyond frustrated with my body. I was having super intense and regular contractions and just couldn't get the baby to drop and force my body to dilate. I was tired, I was discouraged and I knew that this was going the same way as all the others. I finally admitted that my body, no matter what I do, will not deliver babies the natural and normal way. I told the nurse around 2 that I was conceding to a c/s. They scheduled me for 4am and notified my doctor, who was sleeping at the hospital, after a midnight c/s with which he assisted.
The nurse came into wake me around 3am and started the preparations. I walked into the surgery room, got the spinal, and was ready to go before long. It's all a little blurry but I am pretty sure I threw up after I got all the meds and before the surgery, but the anesthesiologist was great about tweaking the medicine and getting me to feel better. He was my favorite anesthesiologist so far.
At 4:02am on Thursday, April 3, Harrison Wesley was lifted from me. We hadn't known the sex, so Tim looked over the curtain, his mouth dropped open and he announced it was a boy! I was surprised! He was exercising his lungs and was crying very loudly. He was placed on me for a little while so I got some good time seeing him and feeling him.
|Baby's first picture|
It's always so disorienting after the C-section. On one hand, I am overwhelmed with joy and happiness at the birth of a beautiful and happy baby. But at the same time, I also felt like complete and total crap, after having my abdomen cut open and my insides removed and all the medicine. So recovery, where I held him and breastfed, was rocky but I actually recovered the best of all I think. He weighed in at 7lbs, 15oz and 21" long. Perfect!
After awhile in recovery, I was wheeled upstairs, transferred to the new bed in my room and crazy enough, it was just early morning. My mom brought the kids around lunchtime. They trotted in, looking excited and so cute.
Barrett wasn't so sure what to think.
Audrey was excited. She gave her new baby brother kisses...
He was staring up at me for a while, with such intense eye contact.
I was still in such a state of surprise to have a boy! I kept looking at the board, where the nurses had written Baby Boy and thinking, really??
We hadn't picked out a name yet and it wasn't until the middle of the second day that we finally settled on Harrison Wesley. I had never really believed that when you looked at a baby, you would be able to pick a name but now I do. Some of the other names we'd liked just didn't seem right for him. This name just seemed to fit him.
These were from day 2. The kids were a little more interested in holding him, although Barrett was still pretty tentative.
Audrey clearly thinking, 'let me at him!'
Such sweet love. I know she's going to be a great big sister.
And getting ready to go home! By this point, I was starting to feel more human. I had showered, could walk around and get in and out of the bed by myself for the most part.
All loaded up and ready to see his new home!
More on the fantastic greeting he received at home in the next post!