Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Paul's birth story

It's a beautiful, wonderful day outside today.
So, as my children are both napping I felt compelled to sit down outside with my laptop and get out Paul's birth story... Finally.
It's only almost 15 months later.... but here it goes.

I wrote out my birth story with Robert shortly after he was born.
Paul's birth story is different.
I don't read many 'birth stories' of second c-sections, or "planned c-sections."
Since I've gotten pregnant with this new baby, it's weighed heavily on my heart and mind.

First off, I had a 'fairly' easy recovery with my c-section with Robert.
Other than my incision re-opening at 4 weeks post-partum and having to treat that daily, it was a pretty good recovery. I was ecstatic over my sweet baby boy and even major surgery couldn't bring me down...

This Birth Story has a lot more to do with my pregnancy than with the actual "birth." So, bear with me.

Fast forward to Robert's first birthday and we had just found out we were expecting again.
We were excited, and I was oh so nervous.
I had already made the decision to leave my OB practice I had with Robert in search of a better practice.
I switched to an all-women OB practice and hoped for the best.
At my second "official" appointment with them I met with one of the doctors in the practice.
She was rude and did not listen well.
I had done a little research (not as much as I needed to) and wanted to question the doctor about the possibility of me having a VBAC.
I mentioned this to her, and I've never had such a rude response from a doctor in all my life.
She told me that if I had to have a c-section with my first baby, there was no way I would ever be able to have a baby naturally. She said it was "stupid to try" and that if I wanted to go that route I would have to find a different practice because they only did repeat c-sections.
That ended my dealings with that practice.
So, I did some calling around to all the doctors I could find in my area.
I finally called the one OB doctor that delivers at the hospital closest to me, and found out that they were "supportive of VBACs."
My very first appointment with this doctor was with the doctor who had been in practice the longest.
He told me they had "pretty good success with VBACs" and didn't see why I wouldn't be able to do it myself. Then, he proceeded to tell me the "conditions" I would have to meet to even be able to "let me try for a VBAC."
1. They couldn't induce me, I would have to go into labor on my own.
2. I could not attempt a VBAC after my due date and that they would schedule a c-section on my due date.
3. Baby couldn't weigh over 9lbs and I believe 6 or so oz.

With this knowledge, I stayed with this practice in hopes of having a VBAC.
I was hoping for a quick and easy recovery, and I wanted to be able to have a house full of children.

Fast forward to my 38 week appointment.
I was having some issues with  my blood pressure being elevated, so we did a 24 hour urine test that came back negative. Things were still looking good for me.
I saw the midwife at this appointment and she told me that I wasn't dilated much, but that my "cervix was favorable for labor."

Two days after my appointment (on Thursday) I had an ultrasound scheduled with the specialist.
I went into this appointment and had high blood pressure... again.
They did the ultrasound and told me that baby was measuring to be 9lbs and 1oz.
I met with the specialist, and I told him my want for a VBAC.
He jumped all over me and told me how "not smart" it was, and that all he cared about was a healthy  mother and I needed a repeat c-section.
He then looked at my blood pressure and called my OB while we were still in the office.
He told me the baby needed to come out before the weekend.
On our way home, I got the call from my OB's office that they were going to do the c-section first thing in the morning. I needed to have my pre-op done in a few hours and I would be having the surgery first thing in the morning.
At this point in my pregnancy, I was tired and of course ready to meet my baby.
I remember at first hearing that I was going to meet Paul in the morning feeling very excited.
I was finally going to have him in my arms.
As the day progressed and I realized what was going to be happening in the morning, my anxiety started to build.
I started to get very anxious and nervous about the surgery and the recovery.
After all, I wanted a VBAC! Right?......
After sleeping more than I expected to, we left early in the morning for surgery.
We arrived at the surgery center and I immediately started looking for my parents, and couldn't find them anywhere....
My father-in-law was with us and my MIL was at my house with Robert letting him sleep.
I had this anxious feeling and wanted to see my parents comforting faces there with me.
We signed in at the desk, and within moments they came to take me back for prepping for the surgery.
I went alone while my husband and FIL waited in the waiting room.
I was weighed, shaved, and had a catheter inserted all in a tiny room... by myself.
I will never forget how lonely that room felt.
I was so nervous and anxious. I needed a familiar face, a familiar smile...
The nurse had me prepped and told me she was going to send for my family....
I waited.... and waited.....
After about 20 minutes she came back to my room and wanted to know where my family was...
She called them again...
This time they came.
My husband, mother, father, and brother all came and crowded me in this tiny room.
I was so grateful for the company.
Time for surgery was getting so close.
It was even worse because I knew when my family left, they would be rolling me back for surgery.
Time seemed to fly while they were in there making jokes and trying to make me feel comfortable.
My father had even convinced one of the nurses to give him a "surgery suit." (He bribed her with doughnuts) I will never forget him walking in there all covered like he was going to be going into the surgery with me.
I was starting to feel nauseated because of the anxiety I was feeling.
When I had a c-section before, it was a relief from the pain of labor... This time I KNEW what lie ahead...
So, we said a prayer and they wheeled me back.
They put me on this small metal ironing board like table and had me lean over to insert the spinal medicine.
I leaned over and he stuck me.. It hurt so BAD! I don't remember this pain! Before I barely felt a pinch and I was having to lie down quickly.
I'm not sure how many times he stuck me... but every time was excruciating.
Finally after several attempts and me sobbing in pain he went and got a second spinal kit.
This one took after 3 sticks.
I was sure when I went to lie down that I was going to be paralyzed and never walk again.
I laid down on this tiny surgical table and they strapped my arms down to the table....
It didn't take long for the medicine to take effect and it numbed me up high in my chest.
It was just a few minutes before I felt as though I couldn't breathe.
I remember the nurse bringing the oxygen mask and putting it on my face.
Shortly after this, they brought my husband in.
I remember the look on his sweet face....
We knew it wouldn't be long before we would meet our baby.
I started to feel very light-headed and I was almost sure I was going to die on that table.
In just a few minutes they showed us our baby boy.
I opened my eyes just long enough to see him pee on the bed they had him in and long enough to kiss his face and take our first "family" picture.
Before they had even rolled him out of the operating room I had my eyes closed.
I remember they were listening to some kind of pop music on the radio and talking about something they had for lunch... or dinner... or breakfast...
I closed my eyes and said a prayer because I knew that this was going to be the end of my life.
I would never hold my new baby and my children would grow up without a mother.
After the longest 45 minutes or so of my life... They wheeled me into recovery.
By the time I made it here I was starting to wake up.
I met the nicest two women in the world and was able to move my feet already!
This was an accomplishment.
They told me I was doing well and was ready to go upstairs to meet my baby within minutes... But hospital policy stated that I had to be in recovery for at least 30 minutes.
While in recovery, I had them call the nursery I wanted to know what my "big baby" actually weighed. He was only 8lbs 6oz...
After 25 minutes passed, one of the sweet nurses told me "I already called for them to come get you, even though I wasn't supposed to and they will be here any second. Congratulations on your new baby and I hope you get well very soon."
My anticipation was through the roof! I was finally going to see my baby!!
This part is still a little blurry to me... But I remember being wheeled to my room and wanting to hold my baby right away.
I know it felt like an ETERNITY before they ever brought him in.
I was anxious to hold him and to finally establish breastfeeding.
They finally put him in my arms, and I remember as soon as they did I guess I started to relax and I felt..... sooooo... tired.....
At that moment all I wanted to do was go to sleep...
I remember a blur of family and friends coming in and out that day and just wanting to close my eyes and rest.
I was in more pain than I remember before, but I wanted to get out of that bed and walk around.
All day I asked to get up, and the nurses wouldn't let me.
Finally, the night nurse came in and removed my catheter and let me go to the bathroom. It was so PAINFUL just getting out of the bed.
I knew getting up and walking was the only way to feel better, but it seemed so much harder than the first time....

I wish I had known then what I know now.
All births are different, as are all surgeries....
I had months of pain from that surgery, and it was awful.
The awful recovery has led me to want to try for a VBA2C.
I'm planning to switch to a doctor that has a very good success rate with VBACs who delivers in Atlanta.
I want to try to have this baby naturally.
If I have another c-section that is NECESSARY, I will know that I did everything in my power to prevent it and that the health of my baby is what really matters.
I love Paul with everything in me, and I wouldn't trade anything in the world for his sweet smile.
I just wish we could have at least been able to attempt to let him come naturally and on his own time.
I think it would have helped me to bond with him early on....
He is here, and we are both healthy... and that is what truly matters.
I am praying for the Lord's will to be done and that we will have a healthy baby in a few months. No matter how they enter the world.

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