I finally got around to writing Jared’s birth story! Ignore any grammar errors; it’s late at night! I actually wrote the whole story, detail by tiny detail a while ago, but I just didn’t know how to truly write it… and I still don’t, to be honest. Jared’s birth, on one hand, was great. I got to labor, I got to try every way possible to birth him, and I made my own decisions and wasn’t scared into anything. It was different from my other two, and in those ways, it was great. But, it was also awful. Ok, ok, I know, people have even said to me ‘oh my gosh! How can you say that? Your baby was born healthy, how dare you say it was sad/awful/not good…’ and those people, I just don’t know how to explain things to them. Jared’s birth was truly a blessing, and it was also terrifying and so hard. So as I try to write it, and truly portray how things were and what we were feeling, stick with me J
Jared was a VBAC baby. My second time, to be exact, attempting a VBAC. My first attempt was with my second son, Eli, and the doctors never let me try. They freaked me out into have another C-section to fit their own agenda even though baby and I were both doing well. After birthing two babies via C-section, and having both babies taken away within minutes of giving birth, and not seeing them for hours after, was, to put it frankly, traumatic for me. It just does something to a mother to separate her from her baby’s immediately after birth, whatever the circumstance. So, with Jared, I was determined that I was going to give birth naturally so that for once, I could actually be with my baby after he was born, and not have the separation anxiety, not miss his first moments, and not miss the immediate bonding time. I found a doctor who supported me, did loads of research, prepared myself, mentally and physically, to birth my baby, and waited for him to come.
Having said that, I was still freaked out. I was freaked out that a C-section was going to happen, and that we were going to be separated after birth. A few things fed this fear, like last minute changes from the hospital, or misinformation, so I wasn’t prepared for having new things thrown at me at the very end of my pregnancy. So, when I went into labor a couple of days before my due date, I actually managed to freak myself out of labor. Don’t think it can happen? Oh yes, it can J It’s called our flight or fight response, and I was so scared, my body took the flight response and made labor stop… which was such a bummer, because after that, I could not ‘let’ myself go into labor. Soon I was one week past my due date, and then almost two.
I stared to try everything to make myself go into labor. I tried every natural method possible because I did not want to be induced with Pitocin. I knew it wasn’t a good option for me, and that it was more then likely just signing me up for an automatic C-section, and after my doctor appointment two days before being a full two weeks overdue, my doctor decided it was a bad option too. Actually, multiple doctors at the hospital decided it wasn’t an option for me (which was fine because I already didn’t want it), because Pitocin adds risks to any laboring mother, and much more so for a VBAC mama. But, alas, none of my natural methods worked because I honestly believe I was still in ‘flight mode’.
So it was decided that I was to come to the hospital on Thursday morning for something. Whether we tried to break my water or something, baby was going to happen. The next day (Friday) I was going to be two full weeks late, and I think we had all decided that waiting any longer just wasn’t good for me or baby. Normally I’m all for a Mama sticking it out and waiting for however long for baby to come, but I knew it was time… plus, everyone at this point already thought I was truly crazy ;)
So Wednesday, the day all these decisions were being made, I came down with an awful headache. Worse then I had ever experienced before. I got a prescription because it was not going away, and was told if it did not lighten up, to go to the hospital immediately. I hadn’t shown any other signs of pre-eclampsia besides the headache, so they were willing to let me go home and see if the headache would subside with the medication. But, it didn’t. It just got worse and worse. But, knowing my body well enough, I knew that there could possibly be one other reason for this headache, so I had some chiropractic work done. And, it worked! For the most part J My headache subsided, though it didn’t completely go away (stress!), and that night, after a one last ditch at natural induction, I went into labor… sort of.
‘Labor’ started around midnight, and was every 7-10 minutes apart, but I could totally sleep in-between, contractions, and, I think, even through contractions. Except, hella back pain. Seriously, it was like someone ripping apart my back. I had back labor with my other two, so I knew what it was, but it was 10x worse this time. Anyway. Then they spaced out, and then got closer together, and spaced out again, and so the cycle continued. At one point they were 3-5 minutes apart, and then 30 minutes later they were 15 minutes apart. And then they just disappeared, and I was only getting them every 30 minutes. So Josh and I tried walking, the birthing ball, acupressure, but nothing was keeping them consistent, or even increasing them. My body was just doing whatever my body wanted to do. My doctor called me early in the morning to check if I was still coming in, and I told them I was going to be late because I wanted to see if I could get labor to go more, and I would come later in the morning instead of right at 7 or 8. After every attempt, and getting super frustrated, we decided to head to the hospital.
We got to the hospital, went on their monitors, walked around a lot, prayed, and slowly started to get my contractions back. I was at 4cm when I had got to the hospital.
Well, my options were few. I could either sign myself up for a C-section, walk around and try to get labor to increase, or possibly have my water broken but that wasn’t guaranteed to work to make my body go into labor. So, I walked. A lot. But walking hurt my back more then helped, and eventually, I opted for a birthing ball. Nothing was really working though, contractions weren’t getting any closer, and when they were coming, they were so painful. My back was so jacked up this pregnancy, and throwing back labor in with it, was just a mess. My minor contractions were hurting worse then my intense contractions when I was 9cm with no pain meds with Gabriel. I could not find any position or trick to lesson the back pain, it was just so intense. My physical therapist had said I had one of the worst backs of pregnancy she had ever seen, so when some people say ‘oh I totally know what you mean’ I kinda laugh, because I honestly don’t think anybody could understand it, haha! It’s like your back being broken, but times 10.
At around 3PM, I made a decision with my doctor. It was kind of a shot in the dark. My contraction had dwindled off and we all knew something had to happen. I wasn’t about to just sign myself up for a C-section, so I chose my last ‘natural’ option, I told them to break my water. One thing I did know, was that if the breaking the water worked, my ‘cushion’ was going to be gone. Which meant those contractions, and mostly, my back, was going to hurt so much worse. And that thought was completely unbearable. So I told them that before we broke my water, I wanted an epidural. So, that’s what they did! I got an epidural, and the doctor came in to break my water.
It worked! I was finally in a consistent labor pattern and progressing! By 9-10pm that night, I was 6cm. By 7am, I was 9cm, and by 9am, I was 10 cm.
My epidural had been one that I could still feel most everything, and still move around a bit, which was helpful because I was able to get in some positions that I knew were a little bit better then just laying on my back. But, Jared was quite picky and didn’t like me in numerous positions or his heart rate would drop, so I was more limited then what I would have liked.
I started pushing at 9am. Jared was at +1 when I started. My contractions at this point where more spaced out then the average women’s, but at the same time, were also longer. So I was able to push 3-4 times every contraction, rather then the average 2-3, and then would just have a longer break in between. I could tell my epidural was starting to wear off. My back and hips hurt so badly, he was literally sitting on my spine, and he was posterior, and it hurt! I knelt, I squatted, I did side lying, everything, nothing lessened the back pain, and, apparently, nothing made him move down. I pushed and pushed, for almost 2 hours, and he hadn’t budged a millimeter. They attempted to turn him at one point, which at first I thought helped, but I don’t think it did. He wasn’t budging, and it still felt like he was faced the wrong way. But, I was determined to have him. So, I pushed, and pushed, and pushed some more. I tried a towel trick, and we had one doctor pushing ‘things’ apart trying to give Jared room to move down, and it just wasn’t working. I pushed for 4 hours, and when I started, he was at +1, and when I stopped, he was still at +1. Four hours of pushing and not one little millimeter to show for it! He just wasn’t coming.
My epidural was useless at this point, had completely worn off. I had tried every trick I knew of to give Jared the most space to move down, and nothing. Everyone in the room knew he wasn’t coming at that point. The two doctors I had, mine and the OB on call, were actually really bummed, they had really wanted to see me have a VBAC, and they had given me every opportunity to do so. They had also said that they had never, in all their years of delivering babies, seen anyone so determined to have a vaginal delivery or had seen someone push so hard. But, alas, baby wasn’t coming.
So, it was decided to have a C-section. And, at the time, I was completely ok with that. I knew I was within the hours at the hospital that my baby would be kept with me the entire time, granted I did not have to be completely put to sleep for the surgery, and I wasn’t going to miss a moment with my new baby. So, I signed the papers, and moaned and breathed through the contractions, all the way down to the surgery room.
When I got to the surgical room, a doctor came up to me, and asked me if my epidural had worn off, which I had said yes. From my understanding, and from talking to a friend who is actually an anesthesiologist, at this point, they could either give me more epidural medicine, which at this point would be pointless since my body was already used to the medicine and no longer working, or they could switch me to, I believe it’s called a spinal, which would be guaranteed to work and not let me feel anything from my chest down. Well, my anesthesiologist decided to give me more epidural medicine, instead of switching me to a spinal.
So, unknowing what I was in for, I got on the surgical table, and waited to feel completely numb like I knew I was supposed to feel from having gone through this before. The pain had decreased for the most part, but I could still wiggle my toes, and I could feel them draping things and what not. And, having gone through this before, I knew that they weren’t going to start before asking me if I was numb and testing if I could feel this or that.
Josh had come in and was holding my hand, and I started to freak out. I was feeling cold on my belly, and I could hear then talking over the noise of the machines by my head, and no one was asking me if I was numb. All the sudden, I started to feel pain. Lots of pain, in my stomach. I flipped. I told the anesthesiologist behind me that I could feel pain, and he was like ‘oh, it’s normal to feel a little bit during a C-section, don’t worry’ and I was like ‘I know what you’re supposed to feel, I’ve felt it before, you’re not supposed to feel pain!’ and he just said his speech again. I felt more cutting and snipping and the pain was just, unbearable. I asked them to stop, to give me something else, but I guess, since they had already given me such a large dose of epidural medicine, and since surgery had already started or something, that they could not give me anything else. I was told that they were going to try to do the C-section as fast as possible, and that I was just going to have to breathe through the pain, or, be put to sleep, but I didn’t want that because then I wouldn’t be able to be with my baby afterwards, so I chose to breathe through it.
There was lots of screaming involved, on my part, during the rest of the surgery from the pain, and I about broke my husband’s hand, and then all the sudden it stopped… but nobody said anything. Nobody said ‘he’s here!’ or ‘it’s a boy’ or ‘he’s healthy!’ Just nothing. So I listened, and was whispering ‘where is he? Is he here? I can’t hear him!’ and I was truly starting to freak out (well, more then I was, it was a new level of freaking out). Then I heard a sucking noise and remembered that they had said that he had probably inhaled meconium while he was inside me and that it would need to be sucked out, and finally, I heard him cry!!!! Then I started to cry J
They brought me my really beautiful, really big, baby boy! And I actually got to hold him! They laid him on top of me and for a moment, I got to hold my new baby boy! It was something I never had with my other two, so I was soaking up every second of it! But, then, I started to feel pain in my stomach again. They had started to stitch me up, and the pain was too much again. So they told me I had to give Jared to Josh, so they could give me a relaxant, to hopefully get me through the rest of the surgery. I had agreed as long as Josh held Jared next to my head so I could see him. I did not want to be parted.
Apparently, the relaxant put me to sleep, which would have been fine, because I would have just woken up a few minutes later and would have still been able to keep Jared with me. But, I guess, I must had still been able to feel the pain, or my body was in shock, or something, because apparently I started to moan and thrash around like I was in pain (no duh), and they had to officially put me to sleep to stitch me up so I wouldn’t hurt myself.
So I woke up, in the recovery room, not knowing what had happened, and my baby was nowhere to be seen. I remember saying the same thing over and over again. At first I kept saying ‘it hurts, it hurts’ over and over again, and then ‘where is my baby? Where is my baby?’ repeatedly. I remember starting to cry, I remember that I stopped breathing multiple times, every time I would start to fall asleep, I would stop breathing, and the alarm would go off and wake me up again, or they would shake me awake so I would take a breath in. They told me that I couldn’t go upstairs where my baby was until my pain was under control, so I lied and said it was so I could see him.
The trip up to the room was painful, but I finally got to hold my Jared again, and cuddle him for a bit. I think they gave me more drugs at that point, because I was still in hella amounts of pain, and I don’t remember too much for the next few hours… I think I tried to feed him, or something, I really don’t remember… I remember my nurse sucking, and I kicked her out, and I remember my husband holding Jared, and I remember seeing the indent around Jared’s head from where he had gotten stuck.
For the remainder of my hospital stay, I held Jared as much as I could J I slept with him, held him all the time, and watched him like a hawk every time he was with someone else J
Jared Michael was born November 8th, 2014 @ 2:00PM and weighed in at 9lbs 7oz and was 21 in long! Big and healthy!
So, there you have it! There is my birth story, the good, the bad, and the ugly. It’s not perfect, it’s not all sunshine and roses, but it’s what happened J I can say that I am pretty darn proud of myself for sticking to it, and trying everything in my power to have a vaginal birth, even if it meant being in labor all together for like 38 hours or whatever it was, and pushing for 4 hours, and for sticking it out during surgery even though it hurt like all hell, just to be able to hold my baby and be there when he came out! I wouldn’t trade that moment for anything! I can say I don’t talk about my birth much, or think about it much, and that is on purpose, so writing this all out took a lot of mental strength on my part. Whenever my husband starts to talk about it, I usually make him stop, because I remember the pain of the surgery, and I just don’t want to think about it. But I still wanted to write it, I still wanted it all said, and I still wanted it told.
The end J