aka Eve Katherine Renee's Birth Story, 2nd VBAC
by Gretchen, USA
August 2 (36 weeks 1 day) – Wonderful GBS test (praying its negative), checked for dilation and I'm 1cm, but the cervix is high, thick and closed. I'm measuring 37 weeks along. HB is 155 (2 weeks prior it was 145), maybe the fluctuation is a direct reaction to Mommy's anxiety of the GBS test??? Or is it a girl playing tricks on us?
August 9 (37 weeks 1 day) – GBS test NEGATIVE (whoot whoot). Mommy didn't gain any weight this week. HB is 145. The measurement of Mommy's tummy is 40 weeks. I was checked for dilation and I'm 1cm, but the cervix is still high, thick but a bit softer than last week. Skipped the sweep this week cause Mommy's trying to procrastinate for Grammy to arrive.
August 17 (38 weeks 2 days) – Mommy gained 1 pound this week (probably too many milkshakes). HB 144, tummy measured 39 weeks. Mommy was checked for dilation and still 1 cm, high and thick but maybe a bit softer than last week. Doc decided not to do a sweep because it would be too painful with lack of dilation. But I'm still head down just not engaged or dropped. Mommy walks about a mile in the evening and uses 2 EPO caplets for the first time.
August 18 (38 weeks 3 days) – Mommy wakes up for the morning (after a night of having to pee every 2 hours) to find that she can breathe a bit better and notices that there is space between her belly and her boobs. Guess I dropped last night. No other signs of progression though. As the day progresses Mommy had some mucus plug loss but nothing significant. There are a few contractions, but really they're more like Braxton Hicks but a bit more intense.
Daddy and Mommy go out to dinner alone and Mommy has a few more Braxton Hicks while at dinner and a few more while shopping for puffy paints for Big Brother t-shirts. They get home and Mommy is tired at goes to bed at 9pm. She wakes at 11 with Daddy coming to bed and goes pee and wakes again at 12am.
August 19 (38 weeks 4 days) – The story will continue from Mommy's perspective.
So the night was interesting. Ever hour or two I was awoken to need to go poop. LOL – guess I was cleaning out. I figured it was the banana pepper appetizer I'd eaten the night before.
Then around 3 when I decided to go to the couch so I could lay more upright that these feelings were coming around once an hour… I got up and had a granola bar and a glass of water and texted Mom to say that things were starting to progress. At 4 I realized that things were happening once every 30 minutes. I was able to relax and breathe through them.
DH got up when the alarm went off at 6. He asked “how are you, what's going on?” I answer “I think I'm having contractions.” So he gets showered and ready for the day. I was surprised to see him in work clothes. He comes in and I said “you're dressed for the office!” And he looks surprised at me, like he didn't realize that I was serious about the contractions and then I had one in front of him.
He asked how frequent they were. I told him once every 20-30 minutes. So we made a game plan, he'd get the boys up and dressed and take them to school, aka day care, and then go into work let them know that he's going to be out and come right home.
Sounds good to me, I'm handling things ok. The boys are both clingy; I think they know something is up. And we tell DS1 that his baby sister or brother was going to be born that day. DS1's excited but wants to stick with Mommy. Poor guy he just didn't quite get it. So DH feeds the boys and gets them off and is back around 8:15am. Meanwhile I've taken a shower to relax and feel clean. It had been a sweaty night.
He changes and starts cleaning. LOL – yes he cleaned my shower and the tub, then vacuumed the floor and cleaned the cat box. Meanwhile I can't sit anymore. Its 8:30am now and I'm definitely into active labor. DH called Mom around 8 and let her know so she can start the journey. I'm disappointed, I know then that they aren't going to make it; it's a 9 hour drive on the best of days.
I'm swaying and rocking my hips side to side an am able to just relax through the contractions. I'm really actually impressed with myself. DH asked if it was ok that he's cleaning and I tell him yes, just don't stray far. I didn't need his touch just his presence.
Around 9:15 (give or take) I decide to take a nice hot bath in my clean tub. I let DH know and he helps me in and gets a towel to go behind my neck and head. I sat for probably 15 minutes in utter bliss. It's the first time I'm actually able to relax and get off my feet for the last hour or so.
Then things change and the contractions start coming closer together. I'm using all the vowel sounds I can think of to sing through them. Ok I felt like it was singing or toning but I'm sure it sounded more like screaming.
DH calls the doula, Amy to come over. And he can't get through. So he's dialing all the numbers to get ahold of someone to get her. She's to come to the house because I went from not needing help to needing help NOW in minutes.
I'm singing and DH goes back down to finish up the cat box really quick. LOL… all the sudden he hears the tub draining and my tones have changed. And comes flying back up the stairs. What happened??? Yeah at 10am my water broke with a POP and rushing liquid that I could see escapes my body, it was dark and I was worried it was meconium. I made the tub drain because I knew I shouldn't be in the water when my bag of waters had broken.
The contractions are one on top of the other now. I'm still in the tub on my knees leaned over the edge with my head buried in DH's shoulder. I'm toning but also going “I don't like this, this really really really really hurts”, plus a few choice words here and there. DH's freaking out that Amy isn't there yet. I was feeling the same way, well not freaking just really wanting her support but couldn't articulate that either.
The liquid I noticed in the tub was just blood and snot stuff – more mucus plug or my amniotic fluid, not sure which it just wasn't meconium and that fear went away. And then well I noticed that I was feeling kinda pushy. I don't know how I knew just did. DH said that I'd “sing” and then lower my body like I was pushing… I said I think we need to go to the hospital, and DH said okay to that. And another round of phone calls to let Amy know that she needed to go to the hospital instead – and NOW!
DH manages to get me out of the tub and I stand in the middle of the bathroom gripping a door frame while he helps me step into underwear with a huge pad leftover from DS2's birth. We get my pj top back on and we start moving, which is an act in itself because the contractions aren't stopping!
I'm now in the back of the minivan with some blankets on the floor, kneeling and gripping the side of the seat and the wall. DH heads out. I'm toning or screaming. DH is trying to concentrate on the road and me and he's doing it all very quickly. And of course we manage to get behind every slow poke imaginable. I'm noticing that I'm screaming my vowels through the first part of the contraction and pushing during the second half. I'm trying not to but it's just happening. I can't think of what I'm supposed to do to keep from pushing.
We finally arrive at the hospital. Very cool – they now have valet parking. DH pulls up and says “my wife is in labor” and he and the lady at the valet desk run in and tell the desk and grab a wheelchair. The come to the back of the van to get me. I'm doing my best to get out but from a kneeled position and not being able to sit on my bottom it hurt like heck. I get in the chair but only touch my tailbone to the seat and use my legs to hold me up.
DH throws a towel over my knees (modesty hahahahah). I tell him to get the suitcase because the camera is there. He grabs it the valet lady says “GO I'll get the door.” And off he's pushing. And I'm trying hard not to sing too loud as we go by the desk I call to the ladies there “Dr. R. is my doctor.” They tell me they'll take care of it.
Up the SLOOOOWWWWW elevator we go. The nurse meets us at the top and helps us get through the locked doors. The first room we come to is the triage room and they wheel me in there and ask me to get up. Hahahah I laughed at them but managed to move in a few. Next thing I know they've got my underwear off and are checking me which is incredibly painful and they say “she's complete.” WHAT!!!! I notice at this time its 10:55am.
The nurses ask DH if I was planning on going natural, DH's answer is there isn't much choice is there, the nurse laughs and says “no, but it does give me her state of mind.” At this point my body is shaking and pushing on its own and I'm just going with it.
DH remembers to say that our friend (i.e. doula) Amy B is arriving and to let her in. She arrives shortly after he says this and we're asked again if she can come in, probably because my legs are splayed and not much is hidden. LOL! They also are saying about this time that Dr. R. is 10 minutes out. I'm really thinking whatever, I'm just going with my body. I'm also keeping my eyes closed. Probably I did this about the time they asked for my arm to stab me with an IV and something in my hand. I've no idea what it was.
I've really retreated inside. The only voices I'm really listening to are those of DH and Amy. I do remember being asked to slide down to the end of the bed and not really being able to and saying “owie owie owie owie” a lot (can you tell I've got little kids at home already). My feet find a place to rest down and not in the air this time and I'm told if I want to push to grab behind my legs and push.
I really can't tell you if I did the grabbing really or if others just helped me do it but I do remember pushing and feeling like I was being stretched to death. My poor lady parts hurt. I did a few pushes like this and Amy kept telling me to relax my shoulders and breathe. I know someone was doing the 10 count but I really wasn't listening.
Then I remember DH saying the head was almost out and look to see my baby (i.e. open your eyes). Oh my goodness I could see this gooey head with the vernix on it and it looked so small and smushed together it was amazing. I push again (back with the eyes closed). And I'm told to stop – I thought “why the head's out right?” Well they gave me a shot and proceeded to cut me. And then I had to push again for the shoulders and then for the hips and then the baby kicked me on the way out. DH said that the shoulders came out vertical instead of horizontal – no wonder for the cut.
I'm crying and have my eyes open and ask DH “what is it?” (I'm told I actually shouted it). And his face was priceless. It was one of wonderment, awe, and tears of joy and he says “It's a girl!” OMG our girl, really OUR GIRL!!!! I asked “seriously??” And have the baby on my tummy I'm rubbing her face and looking at her and looking up at DH to see if it's really happening. I couldn't believe it.
I held onto her for awhile and DH got to cut the cord. Eventually they asked to take her away to be weighed and measured so I could work on delivering the placenta. I tell them “if you have to!” The nurses laughed and said they'd bring her right back.
So now the 2nd painful part starts. Dr. R. is massaging my insides and looking for internal tears and starting to work to get the placenta to deliver. OUCH. I've got a death grip on Amy's hand and DH is with our tiny one. So there are a few pictures of me staring at my baby girl with that “owie face” going on.
I do get to see the placenta. This is very cool by the way. Dr. R. explains it all to me. Fascinating that it's where my baby lived for 9 months.
So after he's done and I'm all stitched up I get to hold my baby and kiss her and just cry over our little girl. I'm shaking from hormones and excitement. It's really amazing.
So for her stats:
- Born 11:09am (remember that I arrived at 10:55am)
- Weight: 6 lbs 15 oz
- Length: 20″
- Head: 30cm
- Apgars: 9 out of 9
She's absolutely perfect and nameless for hours after her birth. We totally believed that she'd be another boy, why not we already had 2 it was the law of odds. We had a list of 27 names. So after 4 or 5 hours we narrowed it down to 4 names and then before Grammy and Grandpa Miller arrived weÃd picked her name. It was one that we realized that as we looked at her our tongues just pulled upon first. So it was just meant to be.
So we're very proud to announce: Eve Katherine-Renee L.
Eve – because we liked it and it was feminine and strong
Katherine – after my Great-Grandma Kate (Katherine) a wonderful, strong, enduring woman that I hope Eve takes after
Renee – to honor a beautiful soul of DH's sister that blessed this earth in her own way for 28 years