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Old 11-19-2014, 03:25 PM   #1
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2HBAC turned emergency c-section birth of Gabriel

Warning: I consider this a traumatic birth and am not going to sugar-coat my words when I get to the scary parts. If I'm blessed with any more pregnancies, I've decided to not attempt homebirth (or even birth center birth) anymore because of how touch-and-go my last couple of births were.

We'd been planning our second HBAC through this whole pregnancy. I was taking good care of myself and feeling great, better than I had in any of my previous pregnancies, and was looking forward to an amazing birth. I even was going to try to catch my own baby this time. Since I went late with the other boys, I was expecting to hit 40+ weeks with this one, too, but I woke up early on the morning of 38+5 in labor. The contractions were 2-3 minutes apart from the very beginning, but weak. They were just strong enough to be annoying and keep me awake. I got up and started making a few calls and texts to the appropriate people. I found out my primary photographer was shooting a wedding all day, but was able to get a hold of the backup one. My doula came over first and then we called my midwife several hours later. I also called my mom and between her schedule and my dad's, it was actually possible for her to go ahead and come down not only for the birth, but to stay for a whole week afterwards. I was very excited.

While it was just me and hubby and my doula, I was laboring along and handling the contractions great. I mostly was on hands and knees on the sofa since baby still felt like he was a little posterior. My doula said at one point that she didn't feel like I "needed" her since I was handling labor so well. I didn't think to tell her how I get in later labor, but she would have definitely been needed then. She did good at making me keep up my fluids intake, though, which was some much-needed support and something I wanted to do better in this birth than the previous one.

Before calling the midwife, we filled up my garden tub so I could labor some in it. I loved getting in the water this time (last time, I was in a kiddie pool and it was too big and didn't really do anything for me). After another period of time, I felt some pressure down below. I reached down there and felt my bulging bag of waters, which was a really neat experience. They broke within a minute or so and had meconium in there. We let my midwife know. She was already on her way by then but hadn't made it to the house yet.

Shortly after she arrived, I started bleeding and passing clots. Someone mentioned the possibility of a placenta previa, but an ultrasound earlier in pregnancy had confirmed a fundal placenta this time. My midwife wanted to get me on the bed so she could assess me a little better and decide what to do from there. I stood up in the tub and continued passing large clots.

Time started to speed up and stand still all at the same time at that point. My memories started being written in standalone images instead of a smooth and orderly timeline. I got to the bed as soon as I could and was still bleeding heavily. EMS was called and an IV line was started on me. I was losing too much blood and had to go to the hospital. All I wanted to do was go to sleep and wake up when it was over so I kept closing my eyes. Everyone around me didn't want me to do that, though, and kept telling me to stay with them.

EMS loaded me onto the gurney and took me down the steps of our mobile home to load me into the ambulance. I was nearing transition by this point and starting to have pushy contractions, which were not fun to get through during that ambulance ride. Gabriel's heart rate kept dropping quite low and staying there for a while before recovering.

We got to the local hospital, which doesn't allow VBACs. I wasn't concerned about it by that point anyway since I knew that the baby just had to come out. I was definitely having pushing contractions by then and almost wanted to just go ahead and push, but instinctually, I knew that even with my history of fast pushing phases, they could get him out faster than I could push. With all the blood, he needed to come out. When the contractions came, I screamed and tried not to push. The staff, meanwhile, had the things they had to do like put in a catheter and a different IV site and a quick sonogram, none of which were very fun at all.

We were still waiting on the on-call anesthesiologist to arrive, though. The on-call OB was within seconds of giving me multiple lidocaine shots in the belly so she could do the surgery when the anesthesiologist walked in the door. Even he had a delay, though, as he had to go down to the main OR room in search of the one emergency medication he needed. As soon as I was out and he told the OB to cut, the clock started, and just 47 seconds later, my baby was born. His one-minute APGAR was 2 and his five-minute one was 7. Because of all the blood that he could possibly have inhaled, he was prepped to be transported to the NICU an hour away. The local hospital only had a well-baby nursery.

Meanwhile, I wake up in recovery, alone. All my family is in the postpartum wing, waiting for me. Even the nurse in recovery is too far away to hear my puny and scratchy post-intubation voice. All I wanted was an update on my baby, but I didn't get any of that until I was in the postpartum room. I didn't even know if he was alive. I barely knew if _I_ was alive. I was in incredible pain.

I'd been in postpartum for maybe 10-15 minutes when transport brought my baby over. He was already secured in a baby bed for the ambulance so I didn't get to hold him. I was too weak and in too much pain to sit up to get a very good look at him, but I did reach out and touch his hand. That's the only contact I had with him until two days later. Hubby rode in the ambulance front seat so he could accompany Gabriel to the hospital. Then during the two days I was gone, hubby was feeding him and doing kangaroo care and talking to him and singing to him and doing everything that I was supposed to be doing.

The nurses came by and tried to set up my pitocin bag first, then once that was installed, they'd get my PCA of morphine ready. And of course this wasn't easy, either, since it seemed like I had about three different types of IVs in, and none of them were compatible with each other, and the tubes were just long enough that it was more difficult than normal to tell which tube led to which pump.

Everything was finally set up for me. Mom arrived just about the time that all this was going on, and she was in shock to see me like this. She stayed 24/7 with me in the hospital, and together, we kept bugging hubby to send us more pictures, more videos, more of whatever he could.

The OB came by the next day and told us that when she cut into me, a volcano of clots came pouring out. She did do a low transverse incision for me and said that if I have to have another c-section, my body could withstand "about two" more. She also said that I could do a VBAC as well, but just not out-of-hospital anymore. Just a couple of years ago, I would have thought, "Oh, that's just the medical mindset talking," but after two quite bloody births now, I don't feel an out-of-hospital birth is where I feel the safest anymore.

C-sections usually would have a 72-hour post-surgical stay in the hospital, but the OB knew that Gabriel and I needed each other, and she was able to release me after about 42 hours instead. Mom and I went home to gather a few things and then headed out to the children's hospital where they'd transported Gabriel. My experiences there are another story for another time, but he got released the next morning and we are all home now.

Breastfeeding is going as well as it can be, given our rocky start. My healing was interrupted some while I took a detour to Gabriel's hospital, but I'm feeling a little bit stronger every day.

Here are a few pictures of Gabriel.









Here's when I first got to hold him. <3


Josiah, now looking like a 5-year-old.

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Old 11-19-2014, 03:38 PM   #2
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Re: 2HBAC turned emergency c-section birth of Gabriel

He looks so sweet!

That was very traumatic. So very scary for all of you. I am so glad everything turned out OK in the end.

I too have come to the same conclusion as you about home birth. I attempted 2 homebirths. Neither of them panned out for one reason or another. All 3 of my children were born accompanied by drama.
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Old 11-19-2014, 03:49 PM   #3
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Re: 2HBAC turned emergency c-section birth of Gabriel

Congrats and I am happy to hear things are getting better for the both of you.
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Old 11-19-2014, 03:49 PM   #4
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Shoot none of the pictures work for me. But I am glad he is ok, I am so sorry it was so scary. I had a dd go to the nicu before I could hold her,so I understand how hard it is to not have then with you. All you want to do is hold and love them after.
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Old 11-19-2014, 04:13 PM   #5
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Re: 2HBAC turned emergency c-section birth of Gabriel

He's an absolutely beautiful baby. I'm so sorry that it was so traumatic, and I'm happy that it all had a happy ending. I can't wait to see more pics of him! Love his name, by the way
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Old 11-19-2014, 04:18 PM   #6
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Re: 2HBAC turned emergency c-section birth of Gabriel



He is so beautiful.

I'm so sorry it was so traumatic.
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Old 11-19-2014, 08:36 PM   #7
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On my gosh mama, how scary, so glad you are both ok! He is beautiful and the picture of you holding him is heartwarming, it looks like he is smiling!
Congratulations!


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Old 11-19-2014, 11:21 PM   #8
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Re: 2HBAC turned emergency c-section birth of Gabriel

Hurray the pictures worked in the browser! He is so beautiful and he looks so happy snuggling with mom and dad. Congratulations ,what a joy he must be after all the struggle.
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Old 11-19-2014, 11:43 PM   #9
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Oh my gosh sweetie!!!


He certainly had his big brother up in heaven looking after him!!!

And he is smiling in the picture of you two.

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Old 11-19-2014, 11:51 PM   #10
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Re: 2HBAC turned emergency c-section birth of Gabriel

I noticed him smiling too! super adorable!

I'm glad the outcome turned out okay for both baby and you. How scary. He's such a beautiful blessing. Congratulations!
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