Tuesday, January 19 7:00am
I woke up to get ready for the day and grab my son who was awake. As I was getting ready, I felt a pop – my water had broke. It’s funny that you assume that most women have their water break when they go into labor but in actuality I think the statistic is about 10-15% but both times I have gone into labor it has started this way. I woke up Aaron and he went and started getting our son together for the day while I packed up our final items for the hospital and contacted my parents to start their drive down and my friend Sharlene to watch Austin until they arrived.
At around 8:00 Sharlene arrived and took over Austin duty and Aaron and I headed to the hospital which was about an hour away. It was a ROUGH car ride but it was exciting to know that this was the real deal (we had a false alarm trip to the hospital a few weeks prior).
Once we got to the hospital they confirmed that my water had broken but I was only dilated 1cm so they said they would get us into our room and then I could walk around to help try and get things moving along and that they would give me about 5 hours to see if I made more progress before they would give me a small dose of pitocin to move things along. I really didn’t want to have any meds but I wasn’t opposed because my number one goal was to have a successful and safe VBAC. We walked the halls for a long time (basically many little circles over and over again) and Aaron read to me various important events that happened on the 19th and 20th since we didn’t know which day was going to be Hailey’s birthday and we were pretty bored walking the same short distance repeatedly.
Unfortunately I hadn’t really progressed – so they started me on a very small dose of pitocin. They only will give up to a certain amount for VBAC patients and we had an incredible nurse who I felt really wouldn’t steer me wrong so I trusted her. Her name was Grayson and she had the best bedside manor. She never pushed me towards any interventions and was only positive about me having a successful delivery.
Of course once the pitocin got going it started getting really painful. I did end up going with some IV pain medication because I remembered it helping me a lot when I was in labor with Austin. Aaron was an amazing coach and helped me focus on breathing while literally holding me up during contractions. I pretty much sat up on my knees in the bed and hugged him for dear life and he didn’t complain once (and I’m sure it wasn’t comfortable). I felt completely exhausted so Aaron snuck me a honey stick for energy. Normally they will let you eat during a regular delivery but since I was a VBAC they don’t so we had to be a little sneaky about anything other than water and ice chips.
I talked to Grayson about my options for pain management and told her about my fears from my last delivery (they had to redo my epidural 3 times for it to work and it was a very bad experience). I had been very against getting one this time around because of it but I really felt like if I didn’t manage the pain somehow that I would not have endurance to make it through pushing. Grayson told me that the doctor that was currently there to do the epidural was amazing and that all the nurses specifically would request him and that she had him before as well. I asked her what she would do in my situation because as I mentioned before, I really trusted her judgement, and she said she would do the epidural with Dr. Davis before he left for the day. She also said I was going to rock my VBAC and that I had made it to 6cm and that I should be really proud of how long I went without the epidural and progressed. She definitely gave me the confidence I needed to make the decision to get the epidural and I am so glad I did. She was the sweetest nurse, she even wanted to stay past her shift to finish things out with us and meet Hailey but the hospital wouldn’t let her so she made sure to get her friend assigned as our nurse. Her name was Lauren (woohoo!) and she was also amazing.
The next 8 hours were uncomfortable but I was pain free thanks to Dr. Davis. I rested up, took a nap, watched some Criminal Minds with Aaron on his iPad and waited. They kept saying it would be just a few more hours probably until Hailey arrived but it ended up dragging on (probably in part to the epidural). However, I was really grateful for this time later on because I think it gave me ample time to rest before pushing.
Around 10:30 our nurse let us know that the doctor and residents were concerned because Hailey and I were both tachycardic (very high heartrates) which was a sign of uterine infection. They were going to start me on a course of antibiotics while I was in labor and have a NICU team in the room on standby to check Hailey as soon as she was born. As soon as they told me this I instantly thought I was going to be getting a c-section. However, they told me that having the c-section didn’t decrease her risk of infection so we were proceeding as planned with the VBAC. I was relieved to keep trying but also very scared for her at this point.
A few hours later the doctor came to check on me. She said I was at a 10 but I was not fully effaced. She decided to try and manipulate things and a minute later I was told it was time to do some practice pushes to see if I could move the baby down further. I have no idea when the practice pushes ended and the real ones started but for the next 40 minutes I pushed. Thanks to my Dr. Davis epidural I did not feel any pain, just uncomfortable pressure and pushing exerts a lot of energy. My arms and abs were burning (so glad I kept working on my strength training during this pregnancy!). The doctor, nurse Lauren, residents and Aaron were all encouraging me along and guiding me through pushing. It was such a positive and motivating experience and Aaron was the best birth coach and partner I could have asked for. The moment I got to see Hailey be born is one that will stay with me forever. I could not believe that she was here and that I was able to successfully have my VBAC.
They had to take her pretty much right away to be evaluated by the NICU team. Her heart rate was 212 and she had a fever. Aaron had one hand on me and one hand on our baby girl the whole time and after a few minutes they placed her in my arms and I got hold her skin to skin. It was a very different experience from my csection with Austin and I am so amazed and grateful for the experience and to my husband and medical staff that helped get her here safe and sound.
Once Hailey started the antibiotic course she was a healthy baby girl. It was definitely scary for me but she has been a champ.
Well I hope you enjoyed my short novel of a birth story. I will be writing again soon about our first weeks home.