The Epic Tale of My Accidental UBAC
“The thing you worry about most is rarely what ends up being the biggest issue.”
My doulas said this to me a lot throughout my pregnancy. Everyone has their “thing” that they obsess over, and this time my thing was PROM (Premature Rupture of Membranes). If you aren't familiar with my past birth experiences, let me fill you in. My two previous births began with my water breaking (hence my ICAN nickname of “PROM Queen” - which has since been revoked and replaced with “Epic Birther”). The first was a gush, the second a leak. I had to be induced with both of them. One ended in surgery, the other in a beautiful VBAC. I was SO proud of my VBAC, except for the fact that I required pitocin to make it happen. So now I knew that my body could dilate and push a baby out, but I didn't know if it could go into labor on its own. It sort of haunted me, in a way. Made me wonder if I was actually “broken.”
Because of those experiences, I was focused on preventing PROM (Premature Rupture of Membranes) again. At one point, I spent an entire day obsessively consulting Google about how I might go about this. I found several interesting studies, and came up with a plan that I felt was doable for me. For the first part (maybe half?) of my pregnancy, I religiously ate Juice Plus gummies because I was advised by Anjli (the midwife who attended my VBAC) that she had read research saying they were helpful in growing a strong sac. I intended to continue eating them throughout my pregnancy, but hit a point around 24 weeks where I just couldn't stomach them anymore. I also read a study about how eating 6 dates per day would help (Anjli also shared this one with me – even posted it on my Facebook wall), but I only managed to choke down one before I decided I just couldn't go that route.
Because Vitamin C was the primary ingredient that seemed to be prevalent in everything I had read, specifically with bioflavanoids, I decided to just switch completely over to those. I meticulously searched until I found a brand I was satisfied would give me what I was looking for, and I proceeded to take high doses from 20 weeks until the day my son was born. I started slowly, with just 500 mg per day and worked my way up to 2500 mg, and then back down to 2000 mg (where I found the side effects much more tolerable). On top of this, I also took alfalfa, Vitamin D3, red raspberry leaf, a magnesium/zinc/calcium/D3 combo, and high-dose fish oil. My mantra was “bag o' steel”, and I was hopeful that my membranes would remain intact and that EVENTUALLY I would go into labor on my own.....
Thursday, October 4th (41 Weeks)
Wow. I made it to 41 weeks! I don't really remember how I spent my day – probably lounging around the house. Around 1:30 PM I got a call from Joel telling me he was on his way home. I had a prenatal appointment scheduled for 2 PM, so I asked him to meet me there (partially because I thought it would be nice for him to be at one of my appointments (aside from the home visit) and partially because I didn't want to think about keeping control over my two kids during a naptime appointment while hugely pregnant).
He met me at Debbie's house and we had a very routine appointment. She and I chatted about her recent trip to California (during which we had assumed I would give birth, since she was gone from 39-41 weeks), and we joked about how Bucky had decided to wait for her to come back. My BP was a perfect 113/72, FHR was 144-ish, and fundal height was holding steady at 38cm. I had developed some swelling in my legs (literally) overnight that was so bad that I could feel it sloshing around in my right foot when I would run up the stairs (yes, I could still run up the stairs). I was hoping the swelling meant that the baby had settled even further into my pelvis, but I wasn't very hopeful since he had been so low for so many weeks at this point.
The last thing Debbie and I discussed was post-date monitoring. This is the first time we had really discussed it, and I was honestly getting a little nervous. I love that they are so laid back, but I also felt like I might need some outside reassurance that everything was still fine. She recommended that if I didn't have the baby that night that I should call See Baby and schedule a biophysical profile (BPP) for Monday. I would be 41+4 by that point and since BPPs are good for 3 days, it would get me through to 42 weeks. If we hit that point we'd have more to discuss.
I have to say that physically I felt pretty good, but mentally I was beginning to feel done. I was ready to meet my baby, and I was ready to be able to feel like I could physically be the mom I wanted to be to my other children. It was getting really hard to lean into my daughter's crib to pick her up, and there was no room left on my lap with my belly in the way. Just those little things. Occasionally, I would have thoughts about calling an acupuncturist or pulling out my breast pump in an attempt to self induce, but I knew better. I knew I would never forgive myself if my water broke after some self-inflicted intervention (even if it was completely unrelated). I knew I would be disappointed with myself if perhaps they DID work and I had just evicted my child. It was a huge game I played over and over in my head.
That evening, I chatted on Facebook with my friends Ashley and Katie. Ashley and I discussed Christmas dresses for her girls, and made plans to go to the mall the next day (if a baby didn't magically appear overnight). I had a complete come apart with Katie. She called me and had me talk out my greatest fear about the birth and how I would handle it if it actually happened. (My greatest fear, at this point, was having my baby so quickly that I was alone with my other kids. I avoided this by doing my best not to be alone.) I cried some necessary tears. I think we were both concerned that by holding in all of those thoughts I was somehow keeping labor from happening.
I also talked with Nichole about how I was feeling. We talked about my fear of a fast labor, and how I really wanted a textbook, 8-hour daytime birth after a nice long night of rest.
At some point, I decided I needed to do something to calm myself down. I confirmed the safety of red wine with Debbie (via Facebook chat, to appease my husband) and took my glass of yummy goodness (thank you Tennessee Valley Winery) straight to my bath tub. After my fairly soothing bath I went off to sleep listening to my “Baby Come Out” Hypnobabies track.
Friday, October 5th (41 + 1)
I woke up pregnant, yet again. (Insert exasperated sigh here.) Ashley and I went to Mall of Georgia and shopped for dresses, watched our girls play in the soft play area, and walked. We walked, and walked, and walked. We walked for about four of the five hours we were there. During the whole day, I only had a couple Braxton-Hicks contractions that were even noticeable. All that walking did nothing......or so I thought. I arrived home around 3:30 PM and decided to lay down for a little while since I was feeling achy and crampy from all the walking. About 4 PM, I noticed a contraction (or at least I think I did). I had a couple more “maybe-they-are, maybe-they-aren't” contractions before I IM'd Christine to let her know I thought something might be going on. At 4:58 PM (aren't time stamps wonderful?) I had another, but this one I KNEW was for real. There was no question.
I took a nap from 5-6:30. When I woke up, we had dinner and put the kids to bed. After that, Joel and I sat down to play Dominion. In between my turns I chatted with Christine on Yahoo! messenger. She asked how I was doing, and I was happy to report that I was still having an occasional contraction. I was really proud of myself for doing a good job ignoring them like we were always told to do. “Ignore them as long as you can.” Got it, doing it.
Of course, the first thing she wanted to know was how often they were happening. (Doh!) I had to wait to have two to tell her....”30 min”. It was 9:43 PM. I know, no one in their right mind gets excited about contractions that are 30 min apart after they've been going on for 5 hours (shouldn't they have sped up by now?), but this was LABOR!!! Like, for real. And as someone who had never experienced it without the tubes and wires that come with a pitocin induction, I would have been excited whether they were 5 min or 90 min apart. While we were waiting for that second contraction, Christine and I discussed when I should tell Joel what was going on. I was kind of enjoying keeping the information a secret, though. We decided if they got closer to 10 min apart, THEN I would tell him. I was also pretty sure everything would stop because they were slower than when they had started. Christine laughed and told me, “Of course, because 41w1d is too early to have a baby!”
At 10:48 PM, I noticed Debbie was on Facebook, so I messaged her just to give her a heads up that I was FINALLY having some action. At that point, though, I sort of wanted them to stop. If they weren't going to pick up, then slowing and stopping would be ideal so I could sleep, but more importantly, so I could go to my scheduled massage the next day! Christine was planning to take some of her kids to “Touch-a-truck” the next morning, and invited me and my family to come along (if there was no baby). Sounded like a good distraction to me!
Joel and I finished up our game and I had him do the dishes (even though it was almost midnight) because I didn't want a sink full of dirty dishes in case tonight was the night! Before he went to bed, he dutifully asked me if I needed anything. I was about to ask for a new cup of water to keep next to the bed, when I said, “Oooooh, my water........(thoughtful pause)........cup isn't contaminated!” I didn't deliver the message that way on purpose, but I was trying to think whether the kids had been drinking out of my cup again. Joel was so sure I was about to tell him my water just broke. It took me a second to figure out why he looked so shocked about me not needing a new cup!
Saturday, October 6th (41 +2)
So it's after midnight, and I'm still chatting with Christine (I also chatted with Nichole earlier, but she was sick so she went to bed early). Joel had gone to bed (he slept in the guest room for several weeks because I had trouble falling asleep). Ashley was back online after going to the Greek festival (she had invited me to continue walking with her, but I declined) and we made plans for her to come watch my kids while I went for my BPP on Monday afternoon. We were both hoping she wouldn't need to come, but I was glad to have a friend who was willing to help me out! At 12:15 AM, I finally got a glass of wine. I decided I should start updating my birthy groups, so I sent this message to my HBAC group at 1:08 AM:
“Since I've never really gone into labor on my own, we'll see how this pans out.
But my doulas are optimistic....I have been having contractions about every 30
min or so since 4 PM............so about 8-9 hours now. I am 41w2d. Please send
your good vibes! So far my membranes have stayed intact and I am so hopeful they
stay that way for a long time!!”
After I posted that, I took a shower (and noticed some stringy mucous discharge – yay!), and I finally fell asleep watching “I Love Lucy” at 2 AM.
I woke up around 4:45 AM to contractions (whoo hoo, a whole 2-1/2 hours of sleep!). I timed them for a while (because what else does one have to do at 5AM?) and found them kind of all over the place, but in general about 8-10 minutes apart and lasting anywhere from 20 seconds to a minute (most 45-50 seconds). The strength and length of each one seemed to depend on how long it had been since the last. It didn't really matter to me, though, I was just excited that things were progressing (albeit SLOOOOOOOWWWWLLY). At 5:47 AM I took another trip to the bathroom and noticed a large amount of slightly tinged mucous. Perhaps some plug? (Commence celebration that SOMETHING was happening!)
At 6 AM, Eli (my oldest) came into bed with me, just as he had been doing every morning for a couple weeks. We cuddled together, and I told him that it might be Bucky's birthday. He told me we needed to make a cake, but we never did. While we were laying in bed, I sent Christine a text at 6:40 AM giving her an update on what was going on. She encouraged me to try to go back to sleep, and she tried to do the same.
At 7 AM (when my daughter woke up) I decided I didn't really want to hang out with Eli anymore and took him to my husband. Since things had progressed, I finally told Joel I was likely in labor, and had been since the afternoon before. He seemed excited (I think). He called his coworker to tell her he wasn't going to be coming in on Monday or Tuesday and took the kids downstairs for breakfast. It was nice to not have to worry about anyone else. I stopped for another bathroom break on my way back to bed and noticed more pink discharge – whoo hoo! I sent a text message to Katie to let her know what was going on, as well. Christine never made it back to sleep, so she checked in with me at 7:26 and I updated her on the mucous situation. She enthusiastically replied, “Let's have a baby!” (Yay!) I asked her if she thought it was safe for me to post an update to the ICAN board (she did), so I started my popcorn thread and made everyone promise not to say anything on Facebook. She also made sure I had informed my husband of the current situation, and asked me how I was doing. I told her I was still in denial – except when I was having a contraction.
Nichole checked in with me at 9 AM and I gave her the update. She said she was feeling better and had back up with her at her class in case she needed to leave. She encouraged me to keep resting, but to make sure I was eating and drinking even if I didn't feel like it.
Christine and I made plans to meet up at 10 AM at Touch-a-truck, and she let Sarah know to meet us there. I texted Tinika to let her know what was going on in case I needed her later and went about finding something to wear (which proved to be slightly difficult because it had suddenly turned cool outside – 60 degrees that morning!) ate a snack, and got everyone ready to go.
Touch-a-truck was a good distraction. Talia had fun, Eli refused to go in any of the trucks, and they both enjoyed the time we spent on the playground at the church preschool. I don't remember much about the contractions I had while we were there. I know they were happening, but I also knew they were slowing down some. We left around 11:30 and went home to feed the kids lunch. I ate a small snack and left to go get my massage.
This was my second massage with Becca, my first was two weeks earlier. Ashley recommended her to me, and I was happy to discover she gives the best massages of any I have ever had! I was hoping the massage would relax me and allow things to continue on, but instead they stopped completely. I DID fall asleep during it, which was really nice since I hadn't slept much. After my massage, I stopped by Kroger to get a few things before I went home.
At 2 PM Christine checked in via text to see how I was doing. We discussed the baby's position (which I was pretty sure was LOA/OA since he had stopped rolling from side to side), Since those are pretty much as good as it gets, she encouraged me to try to nap and we'd check in later. I took a shower, climbed into bed, and fell asleep.
I woke up around 4 PM and sent Christine a text letting her know I had slept. She told me to call her if I needed her in the next hour because she was getting a massage, too. Apparently it was a good day for massages! She checked in with me at 5PM and I was really disappointed to report that there was still nothing going on. She tried to encourage me by reminding me that what was happening was much better than 55 hours of PROM. I knew she was right, but it was still upsetting to watch everything stop and know no amount of wishing and hoping would make it come back.
While all this was going on, we were having trouble with our router, which did nothing but frustrate me. I decided to let Joel try to fix it while I took the kids for a walk. I was hoping that dragging 50+ lbs of kids up and down hills in a wagon would maybe stimulate something. It didn't. Bummer. By the time we got home, Joel had fixed the internet, so I went back to sitting around and chatting with my friends which was the only thing I wanted to do.
Christine and I chatted and she shared a theory with me that since I was induced for PROM the first two times that this labor was maybe trying to act like a first-time labor. I liked that theory. I will probably get a lot of weird looks for this, but I LOVE being in labor. I can't really explain it, but I feel like there is no greater time of anticipation, excitement, and connectedness. I feel like it's the greatest work I could ever do. My first VBAC was only 4 hours of actual labor, and it always felt too short. I wanted more time to savor the experience. I had developed a sincere fear of a precipitous birth (as mentioned above in my conversation with Katie), and I brought up to Christine, again. I was begging the universe for a slow and steady labor. When the contractions stopped, I worried that when they started back up they would be fast and furious. She reminded me that things would happen as they were going to happen and there was nothing I could do to change that. I suppose that was both reassuring and disheartening at the same time.
We did our normal evening routine, and then Joel and I decided to play Dominion again (getting in as much “us” time as we could before Bucky arrived). I posted to my HBAC group again at 8:38 PM:
“Everything stopped around lunch time. :( Hoping things will pick up tonight. And
slowly. I have an apparently decent fear of a fast and intense birth.”
Christine checked in with me via Yahoo! messenger at 9:50 PM and I was happy to report I had three contractions over the previous hour! Yay for slow and steady! I was kinda bummed that things were picking up just as I was getting ready to settle down for the night, too. Christine jokingly predicted that things would pick up right around the time she was supposed to meet some of our friends for brunch the next day. Yeah, I doubted that.
We continued chatting for a few hours while I watched TV and had contractions. I was so tired, but laying down was just so uncomfortable. At midnight I finally fell asleep out of pure exhaustion.
Sunday, October 7th (41 +3)
I woke up at 3 AM to contractions. These were stronger than they previously had been and were now 12-15 min apart and about 45 seconds long. I did my best to fall asleep between them, but the ones I would have when laying down would hit me really hard and I couldn't move fast enough to find a more comfortable position before they were over. I woke up as they were peaking, so I wasn't able to fully be in control of them. They felt sort of like someone was digging their knuckles into my pelvic bone just in front of my hips on both sides. They hurt. They were the only part of this whole thing that really did.
At 3:30, I got up to go to the bathroom and saw more mucous (yay!), and at 5:15 there was a large amount of mucous streaked with blood (more yay!). At 7:40 I'm pretty sure I lost the rest of my plug.
I checked in with Christine just before 9 AM and told her what had been happening. She encouraged me to nap if I could, but to get up if that wasn't possible (since laying down hurt and made me want to cry). I also texted with Nichole. She encouraged me to rest, in her usual fashion, and to stop thinking so much and just let things happen. I told her I would be great if I could just take a nap standing up, since laying down was what was so uncomfortable. She said she had lots of tricks, but that was not one of them. Bummer.
I got up at 9:45 and ate breakfast, and the contractions slowed enough that I could fall asleep. I took a short nap and woke up at 11:30. Everything seemed to have stopped.
I was so tired and frustrated at this point. I felt like something must really be wrong with me. Or if it wasn't me, it was the baby. I had been doing my best to Belly Map over the last few months, but it had recently gotten to where I could only tell where his butt was. I wasn't really sure which way he was facing, and my only clue was where I could hear his heartbeat with my fetoscope. Was his head cockeyed? Did he have a nuchal hand? What was going on?!?! He had been buried deep in my pelvis for over 3 weeks now, so deep that at one visit with Kay (the second midwife in the practice) she had told me all she could feel was a shoulder, but that she assumed there was a head on top of it! He was down in there and wasn't budging.
Christine checked in with me before her brunch, and offered to come sift me with her Rebozo later in the afternoon. I was definitely up for that! Anything that might help fix whatever was wrong sounded like a good plan to me!
She arrived around 3 PM, sifted me, and then had me do these huge open-leg crawls on my hands and knees around my bedroom. I'm really glad things like this are not recorded on video because I am SURE I looked utterly ridiculous. But in the moment, I didn't care. I just wanted it to work! Please, please work!
Joel had gone out to replace our defective router earlier in the day and it was FINALLY fixed around 5 PM! This may seem like a weird detail to have in a birth story, but when your distraction techniques consist of watching Netflix on your Roku and chatting online, you kind of NEED your internet. So when it came back, I was VERY happy!
Christine and I went back to chatting and I mentioned to her that I thought the sifting might have done something because I was feeling achy and having some pressure, and there had been a few more contractions. Yay! Come on slow and steady! I really never totally stopped having contractions, I just got really good at ignoring most of them and they spaced out so far that they weren't worth recording. But if I look back at my logs, there's at least one every hour where I wanted to see how long they were so I recorded one.
Christine invited me over to go power walking, which sounded good to me. Joel and I decided he would drop me off at her house and then take the kids to dinner with friends of ours while Christine and I walked. I got to her house a little after 6 PM and we walked her neighborhood for 40 min and talked. I didn't have any noticeable contractions during the walk, but that could have been because I got so good at ignoring the minor ones. I had had one on the way to Christine's house, so I knew they were still happening. The next one I noticed was at 7 PM. I was standing in Christine's dining room and it came on. It was enough that I had to shift my weight around during it because standing still was uncomfortable. I didn't tell her about it, since I figured it was just a result of the walking and didn't mean anything.
Joel picked me up and we came home. He put the kids to bed while I ate dinner, and then I resumed my post at the computer.....sitting and chatting, and just waiting for things to happen. I had had 2 more noticeable contractions on the way home from Christine's house (about a 20 min drive) and they hadn't stopped, so I assumed they had picked up in frequency. I started timing timing them again at 8:25 PM to see what was going on, and they were 7-10 minutes apart and 30-60 seconds long. Christine teased me about spending too much time focusing on my contraction timer and told me to put the phone down. I promised her I had only timed a few at the request of Nichole (who I was also chatting with) because she wanted to know the frequency and I didn't know. I did promise her I had only timed four, and then I put the phone down.
I had been sitting perched on the edge of my recliner, but by then had to get up because it was no longer comfortable to sit through them. I helped Joel disassemble the chair so it could be moved out of our room (to make more space for the birth pool) and sat on my birth ball next to my bed with the laptop. Christine suggested I try some wine and a bath to see what would happen. I poured my wine and got in the tub at 9:15. The contractions slowed, but I still had two while I was in there. I brought my phone with me so I could keep chatting (as a distraction).
I stayed in the tub about 25 minutes and then decided to get out. I had taken a shower earlier in the day and washed my hair, and I really wanted it to be flat ironed so it would look good for the birth pictures. Since it was getting late, and things were sort of picking up, I decided I couldn't put off doing my hair any longer. Apparently I wasn't the only one who thought things might be progressing, Nichole also stepped away to go wash her hair and Christine was headed that way, too!
I turned my flat iron on and put on Clueless on Netflix. I needed some mindless distraction while everyone was away. It took me FOREVER to do my hair. I would get up off my ball, walk the 10 feet to the bathroom, get one section of my hair ironed and then have to hurry back to sit on my ball for a contraction. It was a horrible cycle. I think it ended up taking me about 90 minutes to do my hair! While I was having the contractions, I would chat with Christine. I contemplated moving my birth ball into the bathroom, but I wouldn't have been able to see the mirror so it wouldn't have helped a whole lot anyway.
During all this, I was also chatting with Ashley, again. We confirmed plans for her to come watch my kids the next afternoon, and then segued into me giving her lactation advice. After that we moved on to looking at her brother-in-law's wedding pictures, and then each others'. It was a good distraction.
In the meantime, Christine and I were chatting about our curly hair and why it was taking me so long to fix mine, and around 11 PM she had me time a few more contractions. Between 10 and 11 PM they were about 5-1/2 to 7 min apart and lasting 30-60 seconds. She decided she would stay up with me for a little while longer and see what happened. Just before midnight, Christine said Nichole was telling her to go bed since things were staying about the same. I agreed and said I was going to try to lay down as well. I was still terrified of being horizontal because those contractions were so much more intense and they still felt like someone was digging into my bones. I couldn't really sleep through them either, so it felt kind of pointless to tease myself by trying.
Monday, October 8th (41+4)
Ashley and I continued chatting until 12:45, when I finally decided to try to sleep. At 1:30, I woke up to intense contractions. I tried to time a few, but I was so exhausted that I would fall asleep when the contractions were not at their worst and so my timing wasn't very accurate. At 2:15 I decided I couldn't do it alone anymore and went to the guest room to wake up Joel. He helped me time a few, and then they jumped from 12-14 min to 6-1/2 to 9 minutes apart. They were intense enough that I was having to quietly moan with them and I was asking Joel for counter-pressure. It helped a little, but not enough. I knew Christine could do so much better.
At 2:46 I texted her that they were getting worse. Surprisingly, she instantly responded with (not surprisingly) “Good”. Sadist. She asked me if I got any sleep, and wanted to know what the contractions were doing. I told her 6-8 min apart and that I was having Joel rub my back. She asked me how I was feeling and if I wanted someone to come. The last two contractions were close to 90 seconds long, and I was having to still vocalize through them. I told her I was crampy in between and felt like I couldn't move because of it. Once again, she told me that was “very good.” I hate when she's right!
I asked her if this was “for real” and she told me it was. I told her I wanted someone to come and asked her if I should call Debbie. She consulted with Nichole and they decided I should. I called Debbie to let her know what was going on and she told me to give her a call back when the contractions were 3-5 min apart. I decided I wanted to get in the shower while we waited for everyone to arrive.
Sometime around 4, Christine, Nichole, and Sarah arrived. I wasn't quite far enough into labor land that I didn't care about being watched, so I was much quieter during contractions. Joel still gave me counter pressure and things were fine. After about an hour, I could feel things starting to slow down again and I was losing hope. What was wrong with me? We sent Joel out for doughnuts around 5 AM. He returned 30 min later and I continued to have contractions, although they seemed a bit further apart and not as strong (or maybe I was just better at it when I was distracted? I don't know).
Around 6:30 AM, someone suggested we go for a walk. I was all for it! I wanted to get this show on the road. We bundled up and the four of us headed out. I did a big squat at my mailbox, waiting for someone to get their jacket and it gave me a nice contraction. Yay! Christine and I power walked up and down one street, and then we left Nichole and Sarah in our dust when we turned a corner. I was on a mission to get this kid OUT!
We got back to my house and I did some more lunges and squats on my front stairs. Nothing. Nada. I was crushed. I did one final deep squat and I felt a pop in my pubic bone. I had separated my pubic symphysis. Ouch! Forget anymore walking, I could barely lift my legs! I was done. I went inside, said goodbye to my kids who were about to leave with Tinika (we had decided to send them to her house so I could labor in peace), and went upstairs to pout.
I sat down on my ball again, and the girls decided they were going to go home since things were stopping. I was crushed. CRUSHED. I felt like a failure. Like my body couldn't really do this, that it was just teasing me and this would all end in a hospital with pitocin like it had before. Every time my contractions stopped I was sure my water would break before they started back up again. It was always in the back of my mind.
Nichole and Sarah went home (they had to drive almost an hour) and Christine came upstairs to check on me. She could see how disappointed I was and came over to rub my back. She asked me where my leftover rocks were from my Blessingway. Each rock had a word of affirmation to help strengthen me during my labor. Each of my guests had taken one to keep with them as a way to connect them to me. Christine went and gathered them up. She brought them up to my room and laid them out across my dresser. Then she lit a candle in front of my mirror, reflecting the light throughout the room. She sat with me again and reminded me that my body WAS working. That just because it was taking a long time did not mean anything was wrong with me. She reminded me that I wasn't on pitocin, and I wasn't in a hospital. That my body was making these contractions on its own. I cried. I just burst into tears. I needed to hear all those things. I needed someone to just tell me everything would be ok. I was so tired and so confused about what was happening, that I just couldn't see straight anymore. I was tired of being strong, and what I needed most was exactly what she gave me at that moment. I knew that she understood how I was feeling.
Then she handed me one of the rocks. It said “calm”. It was in my own handwriting, and it was the rock that she had chosen at my celebration. She told me that she had needed more calm in her life recently, and that's why she had taken it. She gave it to me and told me that I needed the “calm” now. It was a really beautiful moment. It made me so thankful that I am such good friends with the women who helped me through all of this.
After we both dried our eyes, she offered to sift me again. I climbed up onto my hands and knees on my bed and she helped me do some deep breathing to calm myself. She sifted me, and then had me do circles with my hips to try to encourage the baby to get into a good position. After a few minutes, she had me lay down and tucked me in to sleep. She promised to check in with me later. I think it was about 7:30 when she left, and the sun was just coming up.
I woke up at 10:30. Despite having slept 3 whole hours (more than I had in days), I was still exhausted and still sad. It felt like nothing was happening. I saw that Debbie had left me a message on Facebook that she had had a busy day (two births!) and remembered talking to me sometime during the night, but assumed things had stopped since she didn't hear back from me. I checked in with her via Facebook chat and we talked about the BPP I was going to get later that day. Both of my other kids had been born within a day or so of a BPP, so maybe that's what this baby needed, too?
I told her everything had slowed down, but that I had had a few hard contractions since being sifted earlier. Those were the only ones that I woke up for, and were just a worse version of the bone-grinding pain I had been experiencing for the last few days. They only happened when I was laying down on my side, trying to sleep. And then when I would try to move, I would also have a contraction. I just could not get comfortable and it was wearing me down. I knew that I could physically continue despite how tired I felt, but I was so mentally spent. I lamented to her that I was just tired of this game. She told me she knew how I was feeling, that both of her kids had been late. She encouraged me to do pelvic rocks, try to pull up on my belly during contractions, and to maybe try some stairs. I told her about the walk we had taken earlier, and about how I thought I had injured myself squatting. I asked her if there was anything I could do for that pain. One of her suggestions was to se arnica to help the swelling from the injury, so I tried that since I happened to have some on hand for after the birth.
At 11:20 I said goodbye to Debbie and got back into the shower. The only place I really enjoyed. I tried to take another short nap and managed to rest (but not sleep) from 12-12:30 before I had to wake up and get ready to go to See Baby. While I was resting, I made this post to my HBAC group at 12:12 PM:
“I've had prodromal labor, it appears, for 3 nights now. Friday from 4p until
about 1130 AM on Sat, Sunday from 3a-11:30a, and yesterday I got sifted with the
rebozo and did a 1.5 mile power walk with one of my doulas and started
contracting again at 7 PM. I slept for about an hour last night and woke up
having to vocalize through contractions at 1:30 AM. I woke my husband up at 2
because I needed help with them, and by 3 I had called for my doulas and
photographer. I called my primary MW to give her a heads up. Everyone*came over
(except the MW) and then they petered off over the next few hours. We walked,
squatted, and lunged with no change. One of my doulas sifted me again, helped me
calm down and relax, and put me to bed. She was so encouraging - reminding
me*that I'm not on a clock and that I don't need a hospital or pitocin to
do*this. Everyone is home now (sleeping - as I did) and we are going for our
post-date BPP (I am 41-3) in a little while.
Both of my other kids were born*within a day or two of a BPP, so maybe a little
ultrasonic stimulation will do just the trick? LOL.
Anyway, prayers and positive thoughts are appreciated. This has been a
very*mentally draining few days.”
Aside from not knowing how pregnant I was (I was off by a day), this was pretty accurate.
After I rested, Christine checked in with me. I told her I seemed to only have contractions when I was laying down. I had done some lunging in the shower and that had brought on a few small, less intense contractions as well.
We arrived at See Baby at 2 PM. I was tired. I was crampy and uncomfortable. I couldn't sit, so I stood next to Joel's chair while we waited and swayed. That seemed to make me more comfortable, so I just kept doing it. I didn't care if people were watching me anymore. I felt pretty out of it, and the world seemed sort of covered in a fog. Now (several weeks out, as I'm writing this), I recognize that feeling as “labor land”. At the time I'm pretty sure I just attributed it to being ridiculously tired.
We had our ultrasound and our sweet baby boy passed with flying colors. The sonographer did ask me if I was leaking any fluid. I told her no, but it made me nervous that she might have found something that would send me to the hospital. I hounded her about which direction the baby was facing. I wanted to know exactly where his nose was, and if his head was straight. She said he was perfect and tried to reassure me. I was so tired that it took her repeating it several times before it registered in my brain that he was straight on occiput anterior. I noticed his hands were up by his head, but it didn't occur to me that they might have something do with all that was going on.
After the ultrasound, she took me into a different area and hooked me up to the external fetal monitor for the NST. I had several contractions during the test (this no longer excited me or surprised me). I watched his heart rate during the test, and I knew he would pass just fine. Unlike his sister, he was quite cooperative and we didn't have a problem. I think it probably had to do with just how low he was. I don't think he could move if he wanted to!
I should have just enjoyed relaxing in the big, comfy, deep blue chair, but I couldn't. I was so worried that sitting in the recliner would make him turn posterior and further hold things up. It made me very paranoid.
While Joel and I waited to see Dr. Bootstaylor for the results of our tests, I checked in with Christine. I told her the sonographer had confirmed his OA position and that the tech had asked me about leaking fluid. I had noticed the spaces she had in which to measure fluid levels were pretty small and mentioned that, as well.
Around 3:20 we finally got in to see Dr. B. I must have looked exactly how I felt, because the first thing he asked me was if I had been sleeping. I told him I hadn't, and that I had been laboring the last 3-4 nights. He offered me a prescription for Ambien which I gladly accepted. Then he turned to the screen and we went over the results. Everything was perfect! He scored a 10/10 and his fluid was 7.44. He also asked me about any leaking fluid, but assured me that although it was on the lower end of normal, the fluid level was fine for my 41+4 baby. He said he didn't see any need to repeat the scan again unless we or our providers had any concerns. Christine had called me before the scan and suggested that I specifically tell them not to tell me how big they thought the baby would be. She knew I had enough going on in my head and didn't want to further complicate things. I thought this was a great suggestion, so we were sure to tell the tech and Dr. B not to share this information with us. (I did email Dr. B 6 hours after he was born and found out he was estimated at 8lbs 6 oz. So far all of my baby's estimates have been VERY close.)
We left See Baby and decided to call the chiropractor. She had been out of the office Friday, and I felt like this was one more thing we hadn't tried. Maybe he was stuck on something or something was out of place and she could help. I asked if I could come in as soon as we could get there (abouth 4:30, since the office is in Sandy Springs) and they said I could, so we headed up that way.
The contractions never stopped, and were still very uncomfortable while I was sitting. I remember having one as we were getting onto the interstate, then one just a few miles later as we hit the I-75/85 split. During the second one I whined about how horrible contractions are in the car, and why would anyone want to be in the car in late active labor on purpose? I thought those women MUST be crazy because this just sucked already and I wasn't even IN labor! (Or so I thought....)
We drove through CVS and dropped off the prescription for Ambien on our way to the chiropractor. I got adjusted, lamented the whole story to my chiropractor while she was working her magic, and she and the staff wished us luck as we left. We picked up the medicine and decided to go to Flying Biscuit for dinner. We LOVE that place, and some really simple breakfast food sounded perfect right then. On our way there, I updated Christine on the plan.
I told her I wanted to eat, take a pill, and go to sleep. She asked me if I had ever taken Ambien before. I hadn't. She warned me that his can sometimes have a side effect of hallucinations, and that a friend of ours had had an unpleasant experience with it during her first labor. She suggested maybe I try sleeping without the use of meds, or maybe trying something a little milder first. I'll admit, that was kind of a wake-up call. I had been so desperate for sleep, that I didn't really think about what could have gone wrong with the medicine. It was at that point that I knew I wasn't ever going to take anything. I was desperate for sleep, but I just had this nagging feeling that if I took something, I would wake up and be so loopy when I needed to be able to focus. She suggested Unisom as an alternative, and I told her we would try to get some later. I had taken that before during my first pregnancy, so I was much more comfortable with that option.
I told her I was scared to lay down because the contractions that I would have like that were “like being hit with pit”, but I was so jittery from the lack of sleep that I just didn't know what to do. She had kept Nichole in the loop for me, and she relayed that Nichole suggested I try resting in my birth pool. I could stay more upright, get relief from the water, and still have a soft place to rest my head. Since it was already blown up and just sitting empty in my bedroom, that sounded like a great idea! Christine reminded me that if I was going to get in the pool that I shouldn't take any type of medication. Wouldn't want me to drown!
We ate dinner (during which I continued contracting, so I didn't have a huge appetite) and then headed home around 7:30 PM. I showed Joel how to hook up the hose to the sink and I filled the pool with lots of nice, warm water (thank you to our new tankless water heater)! I sat back in the big, squishy La Bassine pool that was parked right in front of the TV and closed my eyes as I listened to the Jazz documentary Joel was watching. The water felt fabulous! In that moment, I totally understood why my friend Amanda had wanted a water birth so badly, and why Ashley had been so disappointed in missing hers. The pain from my pubic bone subsided and I just relaxed my head into the soft side of the pool.
And then I had huge contraction. It was horrible. I couldn't move fast enough to get into a comfortable position. I was able to get from sitting to kneeling, but it wasn't helping. I felt confined by the pool, and I just wanted to get out. I was in there less than 15 minutes. Probably less than 10. I got out of the pool and went to shower, the one place that had always made me feel better. Sweet relief! The pounding water felt great. After about 20 minutes in there I returned to the bedroom and tried to get back in bed. But I couldn't, it still hurt to lift my leg because of my injury, and before I could manage to get on the bed I had another contraction. So I sat on my ball at the edge of my bed and had a few more that way. I was finally able to climb back onto the bed and I assumed my (apparently) favorite position for labor – hands and knees leaning over pillows. It really is my favorite way to rest in labor (but, wait, I'm not in labor!.....HA!), and is the most comfortable I ever am.
I think I fell asleep like this in between contractions. I can't really remember. When the documentary was over, I decided to send Joel out to go get the Unisom. I wasn't sure if I was going to take it, but if things slowed down again it was likely my next option. He left around 10:30 PM. I stayed in my knees and pillows position and opened the laptop. I checked in with Christine and told her about my experience with the birth tub, and that I had been having contractions while trying to rest. I told her those still sucked and I didn't know why they sucked so bad. Things were still much worse when I was resting in bed (or so I thought, since I didn't really spend any time being upright). She encouraged me to try to ignore them and suggested maybe I should reconsider taking something to help me sleep. She told me she was headed to bed, since she'd been up since I called her that morning. It was 10:44 PM. I chatted with Nichole for a few minutes after that, and then she headed to bed as well.
I had begun timing contractions again at 10:44. The first three were 8 and 13-1/2 minutes apart and 45-55 seconds.
At 11:18 PM I checked in with Debbie on Facebook chat. I told her I was a mess. She said that didn't sound good and asked me what was going on. I told her I was still having contractions and I felt like I couldn't get on top of them. I didn't feel like they were that bad, but just that they were sneaking up on me and I wasn't expecting them. She asked what I had tried to help things, and I told her that I had tried the pool, but that I really just wanted to lay down. I couldn't lay down, though. I told her the contractions I had when laying down were torture. She asked me if I took the Ambien. I told her I had been too scared, that I felt like I would be too out of it to deal with what was currently happening, and that I had sent Joel out for the Unisom. I was crying and telling her I didn't understand why I was having such a hard time with this when I easily handled two pitocin labors. It just didn't make sense. I had always thought that if I could manage that intensity that a labor of my own making would be easy. Recently, though, I had started to be scared about how I might handle this labor.
Debbie reminded me that the difference with a pitocin labor is that, although intense, it doesn't last days. She was right, pitocin doesn't play with your mind and exhaust you until you break and can no longer think straight. I told her my pelvis felt like it was in a vice, and she suggested I take some Tylenol to help relieve some of the pain from my injury. She said they sometimes will have moms take 2 Extra Strength Tylenol and some Benadryl to help them sleep when things are like this.
You know what my first reaction was to the suggestion of Tylenol? I thought to myself, if I take that, then I can't honestly say I had an unmedicated labor.” That really upset me. I wasn't able to call my first VBAC unmedicated because I had pitocin, and I really thought that since I wasn't in a hospital that the term “medicated” wouldn't cross into my birth. What.The.Heck? That is not a sane thought. After a few minutes I realized Tylenol doesn't do anything for my pain anyway (I'm an ibuprofen girl!) and completely shoved the thought of taking anything out of my mind. I finally got my sanity back!
I was still timing contractions through this whole conversation, and I mentioned to Debbie that they were getting back to 6-8 minutes apart. It was 11:29 PM. She told me there seemed to be a theme lately that third babies were very trying. Nichole had always mentioned her third labor was challenging, too. Sigh. I told her I was just upset because I was so confused – why was everything worse when I laid down? She suggested maybe the baby was posterior or asynclitic. I told her the tech at See Baby had confirmed his position and that although he had been a little wiggly, he hadn't moved. She said she hadn't heard from Dr. B, and asked me what the results of the BPP were. I told her the numbers, and that although we had asked not to know the estimated weight, Dr. B. had mentioned that his head was not that big (maybe 50th percentile?). She said he hadn't felt that big to her, either. Experienced hands can tell a lot!
Debbie and I then started discussing what would happen next. I asked her if I needed to come see them since I didn't make an appointment for a 42 week prenatal. She told me the only reason I would need to come is if I wanted my cervix checked (since the baby had just been checked by Dr. B.). I told her I didn't know what I wanted, but I wanted someone to tell me what the heck was going on. If it wasn't time yet, that's fine. But this whole game of “is it or isn't it?” was getting REALLY old.
And then, something changed. It was very strange, and very sudden. I felt like my fog suddenly lifted and I was suddenly calm and no longer hysterical. It was 11:46 PM. I felt suddenly peaceful about the fact that I was sure I would be pregnant until 42 weeks (2 more days). It really didn't phase me at all, and I was totally okay with that realization.
I told Debbie that “things had certainly changed” since talking to her, and “my last three were much closer together.” I had been on my knees doing circles with my hips in between contractions. It's what felt good, so I did it. We continued chatting about another mom Debbie had who was having the same type of labor as me. She told me to call before I came in the morning to make sure she was there (and not at the other woman's birth).
At 11:55 I told her that “of the last 5, the furthest apart was 5 min” and that “maybe I'll get lucky....”
Here's what was actually on my contraction timer:
Time Length Frequency
23:37:56 1:43 3:17
23:42:23 1:09 4:26
23:47:27 1:32 5:03
23:50:25 1:34 2:58
23:53:25 1:17 2:59
23:57:56 1:24 4:31
Stating that the furthest apart was 5 minutes was being pretty generous. But the thing is, I was sure it wasn't right. I figured the length of the contractions was off by at least 30 seconds due to user error, and therefore was throwing off the actual frequency. I even had the fleeting thought that it would sure be nice to be on a fetal monitor and have some kind of accurate timer for the contractions because I was so sure we were screwing it up. Remember, I had decided about this time that things were going to slow down again and go on for a few more days. In all actuality, if my doulas and midwife had seen these numbers they would have completely ignored how I was acting and come over to my house. But it's easy to seem calm and very nonchalant when you can type for all but the peak of a contraction.
Tuesday, October 9th (41 +5)
At midnight, I sent a text to Nichole to see if she was awake and never got a reply. I felt bad for even bothering anyone because I knew no one had slept because of me. I wanted them to rest, and decided if the contractions remained at 5 min apart for an hour that I would call Christine.
According to my timestamp on Facebook, Debbie and I said goodnight at 12:11 AM. She told me to take whatever sleep aid I felt most comfortable with and try to get some rest. At that point, I felt alone. Joel had come home from the store while I was chatting with Debbie, but he was just annoying me and nothing he was doing felt helpful anymore. He tried to give me counter-pressure, but it didn't feel right and I told him to stop touching me. I had him heat up my cherry pits again, and he couldn't get them to me fast enough. Nothing he did was right or good. I stayed on the bed until the cherry pits cooled off, and then I decided to go back to the shower since it was the only thing that gave me relief. I could also be alone there, without the grouchy man who couldn't help me.
As soon as my first foot hit the floor, I felt my legs shaking. And then I got a wave of nausea that subsided as quickly as it had come one. I had been jittery from lack of sleep earlier, so I while I noted both symptoms as something I had experienced at transition with my first VBAC, I quickly pushed them to the back of my mind and attributed them to exhaustion. I made my way to the shower and looked forward to the hot water bringing me some relief. It didn't. It wasn't working anymore. I had three contractions in the shower and the water didn't help one bit. And as I had in my first VBAC, I channeled a little bit of Mandi Call. I thought about her telling the story of her youngest child's birth at the Red Tent I went to the week before my daughter was born. I thought back to her “tip toe pushing”. I thought back to my VBAC when I had a “tip toe contraction” - it was happening again. My body was trying to run away from the intensity. But it couldn't. I couldn't.
I was in the shower less than 10 minutes when I came back to the bed. I managed to hurl myself onto it as quickly as I could and kneeled back over my pillows. I was still wearing my towel and wasn't even completely dry. I threw my phone at my husband and told him to keep timing. At 12:52 AM I finally told him to text Christine and see if she was up. I specifically told him to tell her it was him doing the texting. I knew what it meant when I told him that. I knew that it meant I had to focus too much on the contractions and that this was it. I was really in active labor.
Here's how the conversation went:
Joel: It's Joel....Shosh says they feel really close together
Christine: What does she do during one?
Joel: She's sorry for waking you up
Christine: It's ok. How far apart?
Joel: I can't tell....She's in the middle of one right now. They seem pretty intense.
Christine: Breathing? Moaning? Has she called Debbie?
At this point he asked ME how far apart they were! I looked at him like he had two heads and told him I didn't know, that he should check the app on the phone IN HIS HAND and find out.
Joel: Moaning pretty loud....they're about 3.5 min apart....We haven't called Debbie yet.
When he told me they were 3.5 minutes apart, I knew what was coming next. The phone rang, it was Christine. I was in the middle of a contraction and I knew she was calling to hear what one sounded like. I heard her tell him she was on her way. She sounded like things were urgent, but I couldn't figure out why. In my head, active labor had just started, and she only lives 20 minutes away (with traffic)
Then I got one more text message, “Call Debbie.” It was 1:02 AM
I called Debbie and she answered within the first ring. I was between contractions, so I could talk. I told her that the contractions were 3.5 minutes apart and that Christine was on her way. And then I had one. It was loud, and it was fierce. Debbie said she was on her way with the same sense of urgency that Christine had had. I still didn't understand why they were in such a hurry. It didn't click for me at all. I had a second one while I was still on the phone with her. She told me I was doing a good job, and she'd be there soon. I got tired of talking and threw the phone to Joel and told him to hang it up. Debbie told me later that she “never dropped a phone so fast to get dressed” and had called the team by the end of my second contraction.
Once I knew everyone was on their way, I think I relaxed. Things seemed to pick up and I just let myself go. I don't remember things being painful or any worse. In fact, I think things felt easier. Sure, they were the most intense and gripping contractions I had experienced, but I wasn't questioning them anymore. I was free to ride them and just let them happen. There was no longer anything “wrong.”
I yelled at Joel to get all the unbagged pillows and blankets off the bed that had made their way there since Monday morning. I told him to figure out how to work the pump so he could get some of the cold water out of the pool (note to self – make sure this is practiced ahead next time). I still wanted to try the pool again.
And then, it happened. I road a contraction up until the peak, and then I grunted. Oh ****. Did Joel hear that? “No, “ I said aloud. My poor husband was running around the room trying to follow all the directions I was throwing at him in between contractions, and then I say, “no”? He was very confused. I had another one, and I felt my body trying to push. I didn't want to tell him what was happening because I knew he would be scared, but after a few more like that I told him, “Call Debbie back and tell her I'm PUSHY”. I emphasized specifically emphasized “push-y.” According to my phone log that was at 1:18 AM. Sixteen minutes after I called her the first time. I thought I might have some time, since I had pushed for an hour with my daughter. I was ok, so I just went with it.
He called her back and said, “You have to hurry. She's pushing!” We have pretty poor cell phone reception near the front wall of our house (where the bed is) so the two of them got disconnected several times. I yelled at him, “I AM NOT PUSHING, I'm PUSH-Y!” followed by a loud, roaring push. It was probably quite comical. In fact, I'm sure it was! When Debbie was finally back on the phone, I could tell she was giving him instructions on what to do. He was running around trying to follow instructions, but I could tell he couldn't think straight and was really scared and overwhelmed with what was happening.
I told him to put the phone on speaker and to put it by my head on the pillow (I was still on my knees) so I could talk to Debbie and not relay things through my poor, frantic husband. I knew one of us had to be calm and in charge, and it looked like it was going to be me. I had been to births before, and I had walked in on two accidental unassisted homebirths. One of those was Ashley's recent birth. I also knew that precipitous births tend go just fine.
Debbie was very calm, and told us we would be fine. She said, “You guys need to calm down.” I turned my head toward Joel and screamed, “YOU NEED TO CALM DOWN!” I may have sounded frantic on the outside, but inside I was completely calm. I had a big contraction and felt the baby move a good 3 inches and slide under the pubic bone. That's when I knew that no one was going to make it. I told Debbie what happened, and I prepared to deliver my own baby.
With the next push I thought I felt him crowning, but since I wasn't sure I put my hand down to feel for his head. I will never forget the velvety feeling of my son's little head as it was emerging. I held my hand gently against it as I pushed again and the rest of his head delivered. Just as this was happening, I heard the door chime and Joel screamed, “Hurry!” to whomever it was that had just arrived. I looked up (I was facing the door) and I saw Christine. I was never so happy to see her in my life. I think Joel was even more happy.
She ran over to me and saw that his head was out, but it was very purple. Think purple like Violet in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory when she chews the blueberry gum. She didn't know that his head had JUST been born, and that I was between contractions. To her, it looked like he was stuck. She yelled for me to push, that he needed to come out. I tried, but I had no contraction to work with so there was no moving him. She had me flip over onto my back (which was actually much easier to do than I thought it would be) and by the time I got there I had another contraction. With Christine holding my left leg, and me holding my right, Reuben Moshe was born onto the bed at 1:30 AM!
When I picked him up, he was still purple and his eyes were closed. He wasn't trying to move, either. I pulled him up and sort of gently rubbed him with a towel. I knew he looked bad, but I also knew that he was fine. I just knew. Christine ran to the birth supplies and pulled a bulb syringe out while telling us to rub him more vigorously to get him to cry. She finally got the bulb open and handed it to Joel. I knew he wouldn't really know what he was supposed to do with it, so I took it from him and suctioned my baby. “Nose first, then mouth. Babies are obligate nose breathers, ” I said to myself. I knew we wouldn't get much from suctioning him, but I did it anyway. He opened his eyes and looked at me. I talked to him, and Christine told us to keep stimulating him until he took a deep breath – he hadn't yet.
And then finally, he cried. I think that's when Christine and Joel started breathing again. I laid back on the pillows and just held my him as we waited for Debbie to arrive. I think this was when he nursed for the first time. She walked in the room just 2 or 3 minutes later with Kim right behind her. Everyone talked about how Reuben looked just like his big brother!
Sarah arrived shortly after, and began taking pictures of what was left of the birth experience. About 20 minutes after he was born, the placenta was ready to come out. I was SO ready for it, too! I just wanted it to be over. And then it was. The placenta slipped out and Debbie checked it over. She showed it to me and I noted the nice, thick membrane I had created thanks to all that Vitamin C! And when did they break, you ask? Debbie declared them ruptured at the time of birth!
Eventually, Debbie asked me if it was ok to cut the cord. I may have done a double take because I was shocked that she asked me. It makes perfect sense now, but at the time I was wondered why on Earth she was waiting for permission! I told her that was fine and Joel cut the cord. I handed the baby over to Debbie, and she wrapped him up and handed him to Joel while I rolled out of the bed.
I walked to the bathroom and got back into my shower, only this time I wasn't in labor anymore! What sweet relief it was to just enjoy the hot water! Reuben got a partial bath while I was in there to wash of the meconium on his legs from right after he was born. After my shower, I put on my own clothes, and climbed back into my freshly made bed. It was so crazy to think that just an hour or so earlier I was pushing my son out RIGHT THERE!
Kim and Debbie set everything up to do the newborn exam, and I happily sat and ate one of the leftover doughnuts as I watched Reuben get checked out. It was so amazing to watch the love and appreciation they had for my baby as they gently checked him over. He was declared perfect and quite well-done (as noted by all his peeling skin). Definitely an almost 42-weeker! He had some bruising on his face from the rapid decent, so we decided to go ahead with the Vitamin K injection. I wasn't really opposed to it anyway. Debbie gave it and then quickly cuddled him and apologized for hurting him before passing him back to me. I placed him gently on the bed and dressed him in his first cloth diaper, hat, and warm fleece pajamas.
After everyone made sure we had everything we needed, they packed up and were gone just as quickly as they had arrived. And then it was over. I sat there alone on my bed with my hours-old baby. I looked at him and I couldn't believe I had done it. I had a completely, 100% natural birth. I owned it, which is exactly what I had always said my goal would be.
Although I didn't get to share the experience with everyone as I had hoped, it was 100% mine. I did everything myself – for real. Down to the very.last.push.
Re: The Epic Tale of My Accidental UBAC
Beyond awesome:hugs: Great read, thank you for sharing and congrats.
Re: The Epic Tale of My Accidental UBAC
I read the whole thing. Just wow.
Congratulations! Wow, what a ride!
Wonderful story, congratulations!
Wow! Congratulations mama! I very much enjoyed reading your your story. I admit to being exhausted just thinking about how long you had to labor with no sleep. I am so happy that it was all worth it in the end. Congrats to you!
Re: The Epic Tale of My Accidental UBAC
So epic. My heart is touched and my eyes are filled with tears. <3
Great story. Thank you for sharing.
Re: The Epic Tale of My Accidental UBAC
Congratulations! Awesome birth story!
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