Well, looks like July 4 was the day!
Baby joined our little family at 3:28 pm weighing 10 lbs 2 oz and measuring 21.5″ She had a ton of brown hair gracing her head, long, skinny toes, feet, and fingers, and chubby little cheeks. Her name means “hard-working” & “wise.”
Now for the story…
I had gone to my doctor’s appointment on the 3rd and baby was head down, I was dilated to between a 2-3, and 50% effaced. It was just a matter of time.
Sure enough, starting at about 2:30 am on the 4th the contractions started coming every 3 minutes apart and hard. I let them go for about 1.5 hrs until I felt I couldn’t take it much longer and I woke my husband. He raced around while I laid in the bed. My sides were hurting something awful–in fact, to the point, I couldn’t get out of bed by myself. Ty helped me out of bed and to the car and they continued every 3 minutes apart all the way to the hospital. But, I had this funny feeling that something wasn’t quite right. I didn’t feel like I was dilating, yet I hoped to be pleasantly surprised.
They got me to my room and I changed into my own gown (I hate hospital gowns!) and a nurse checked me. I knew right away something was up. I was still only a 2-3, 50% effaced and she couldn’t even feel baby or my cervix! Another nurse came in and tried harder (ouch!), but still couldn’t tell where baby was. Finally, my doctor came in, checked me and called for the sono machine. The sonogram showed a very active, transverse breech baby (thus the reason my sides hurt so bad, thus the reason I wasn’t dilating).
My doctor then gave me 2 options…c-section or try to turn her (this carried a ton of risks considering I was in full-fledged labor and was a VBAC–she said we had about a 50% chance of it being successful). I sat there and bawled. I had worked so hard to avoid c-sections all these years. When I asked her what another c-section would do to my ability to have more VBACs, she said it causes the risk factor to go way up and we would have to really discuss it long and hard before she would brave those waters. (She is one of the few, if not the only doctor at this hospital who will do a VBAC–we have been so blessed to be able to birth so many children with her)
Dr. called for some meds to slow my contractions for about 15 mins to give Ty and I time to discuss. Thankfully, I have a very level-headed husband who has the gift of discernment even when the pressure is on. He asked to hear more about the external version (turning). She said because I was in full-fledged labor and I birth rather large babies and I am a VBAC, she would want it done with a full epidural and in the OR and with me prepped for a c-section. So, this is what we chose to do.
After the epidural was in place and as they were watching baby’s vitals, the doctor stood up against my belly at the baby’s feet as sort of a coaxing prep to what was going to happen next. Ty ran out and asked the family that was there to start praying and then he came in and asked if we could pray in the OR. Shortly after he finished praying, the doctor thought my belly had changed shape, so she called for the sono machine and guess what??!! BABY TURNED!!! It all happened so fast, she had to have been turning AS we were praying! Everyone was in shock and couldn’t help but acknowledge that something greater than ourselves was at work!
Doctor broke my water to keep baby in position and we watched and waited in the OR another 30 minutes and then back to the birthing suite where I had to decide if I wanted the epidural on or off. Well, epidurals (and most any medications for that matter) make me incredibly sleepy. I could barely keep my eyes open. I knew I could never cope with the pain if I wasn’t at the top of my game and out of the bed. I chose to keep the epidural in place and then proceeded to sleep through the ENTIRE labor.
At one point, my labor stalled and they asked about administering small doses of pitocin–to which I agreed. (there was really no way around it at this point). Shortly after that, they woke me up to tell me I was complete and it was time to push.
This is the first time I’ve not been able to tell when to push and not been able to feel where I was pushing. I literally felt nothing of the 6 contractions and pushes, nor of her crowning. Doctor called for Ty to come catch and there little Emily was, covered in vernix, screaming her chubby little head off. Ty gave her to me and a bit later clamped the cord and cut it (he had never clamped the cord b/f, so he was thrilled!)
Once again, the placenta did not cooperate. The cord detached and the rest simply wouldn’t come. It was starting to deteriorate and doctor had to actually reach up inside me and retrieve it. She said if for no other reason, the epidural was well worth it because of that one issue. I never felt a thing.
Despite the fact that I went into this birth desiring the unmedicated, un-interventive birth I had last time and wound up with one of the MOST medicated births I’ve ever had, I am still praising God that I did not have to have the c-section and that everything worked out the way it did–plus the fantastic testimony to God’s power shared with all those nurses and doctors.
I am having one of the easiest recoveries ever and our beautiful little daughter is here–born on the 4th of July just as her daddy had hoped!