Had a Baby: August
This past week has been a complete world-wind.... I have been a little lacking on my blog lately and most of you know it is because we were expecting a baby! This is going to be a long post so get ready. My first post of 2012 and I am so excited to start my year this way.
I shot my last wedding for 2011 in November. For the month of December I took some time off from shooting and it flew by with fulfilling orders, family gatherings, and of course my three year old kept me on my toes. Christmas came and went. Everyone thought August would be hear by Christmas or right around it, and then New Year's came and went. By New Year's I was absolutely done being pregnant and ready to meet the new little one.
Before you continue reading.... **** If you don't like birth stories please skip this blog post because I am about to share my experience.*** With my first child Roman he was breech the entire time. We tried everything to get him to flip. At 37 weeks I was admitted into the hospital where they attempted to flip him. Before they even tried they noticed his umbilical cord was around his neck. So... a no go and a scheduled c-section was my only option. He was having some heart decelerations so they decided to take him at 38 weeks. I was mentally prepared for the c-section. I knew the whole time that I was carrying Roman that he was breech so I knew there was a good chance that surgery was my only option.
What I was not expecting was the recovery. 10 days before I could stand up straight.... laying down in the bed and getting up was a nightmare.. oh and yeah here is this newborn that you are suppose to figure out how to take care of but you really shouldn't hold him for 2 weeks. We survived. I got through it. Once I got past the 4 week mark I was feeling back to "normal". At 6 weeks I actually starting running 1 to 2 miles a day.
So fast forward 4 years and here I was pregnant with August. August, unlike his brother, got the direction down and he was head down in the right position. I wanted to at all costs avoid another c-section and attempt a VBAC. I searched the internet for success stories or for stories to tell me to avoid attempting a VBAC. But I couldn't find anything except for studies and research. No one to tell me what to do. It was my decision.... so repeat c-section or VBAC was the question.
Deep down I knew I had it in me. I knew I could do it. I was aware of the risks and I was also aware that at any moment that I might have to have another c-section. I was as mentally prepared as I could be. Some doctors won't even attempt VBAC's because of the risks, but in my case being the only reason for my first c-section they decided to let me try.
At my 38 week appointment I started showing cervical change. Meaning I had hope. Hope that my body was capable of a natural birth. Here is where I had a brief lapse of doubt. At 39 weeks I could have done the repeat c-section which was on January 4th. Again I was trying to avoid it so they would let me go 2 days past my due date and if spontaneous labor didn't happen c-section was my answer anyways. That was scheduled for tomorrow the 13th. At my 39 week appointment I had very little cervical change and the doctor said at this point I have a 70% chance of going into labor on my own and a 70% chance of being able to deliver so with the two factors combined he gave me a 30% percent chance of having a successful VBAC. So what did I do? I cried. I didn't want to go all the way to the 13th and end up with a c-section so I debated on having my c-section on the 4th, the next day after my 39 week appointment. But again something told me no. I knew I could do this. I wiped my tears away and told the doctors no I would wait. I had waited this long and had done so much taking care of myself doing yoga that I was determined to give my body a chance.
So along came Wednesday the 4th. I went through the morning thinking I could have already met my baby boy by now. Roman kept me busy throughout the day so it kept my mind of it. I had been having contractions on and off for about a week. I would be active and have some contractions... sit down and they would stop. Around 5 o'clock that very afternoon I started having contractions. I didn't time them, I didn't even tell my husband because I figured they would taper off. We went to family gathering for a birthday on Jeremy's side and I kept having contractions all through out dinner. I said nothing and I was beginning to wonder because I was sitting down. We left close to 8 and we had an hour drive so I decided to time the contractions. Every 8 to 9 minutes they were coming like clockwork. We got home at 9 and I told Jeremy that I had been having contractions all afternoon and they are about 8 minutes apart. It was 9 pm at night so I debated on taking a shower or trying to lay down and see if they would go away. Jeremy and I both agreed lay down. But they kept coming and by 10:30 they were 5 to 6 minutes apart. I called the doctor and since we were an hour away from the hospital and we had to have someone come over for Roman we decided to start the process of getting ready. I figured I had to wait 30 minutes for my Mom to get here for Roman so I would take a shower. We continued to time them and at 11 PM they were 4 minutes apart and lasting around 50 seconds. Jeremy was freaking out. At this point I knew I was having contractions and they were close but still I thought I would get down there and they would send me home.
Jeremy called the neighbor in a panic and asked her to come over until my Mom arrived to watch Roman. At this point I was calm. But I agreed because he was stressing me out. We left a little past 11 and I was happy because I got to take my shower and dry my hair :) Arrived at the hospital around 12:30 and they were still coming every 3 to 4 minutes apart. We checked in and waited for a room.
They set me up in the room and hooked me up to all the monitors and the image below on the left is what I saw. I saw contractions, I saw proof that my body could do this, and I was determined to do this. At this point I was already 4 cm dilated and they said we were here to say that we should have a baby by lunch.
The pain continued to get worse but they told me I could walk or go ahead and get the epidural. A lot of times when you get an epidural it can slow your contractions and labor. Again I was determined so I walked. I walked and did whatever I could to get through the pain. I didn't want anything stopping the process so I did what I could and I just kept telling myself during every contractions that I can do this and every contraction is one step closer to meeting August. That night even though it seemed to go by very slowly at the time... I made a lot of progress on my own and with no meds at this point. The doctor made her rounds at 7 am on the 5th. She checked me and at that point I was a 6.5 to 7 and still just trying to breath through it all. At this point we made a game plan because it was apparent I was in active labor and no going back. We chose to break my water, get an epidural as a precaution just in case I needed to have an emergency c-section(I wasn't complaining), and she expected me to have a baby by lunch.
A couple hours went by and at this point with the epdural I was more comfortable. Still coasting on no sleep but I knew I could make it a few more hours. A couple hours later around 11 she came back by to check on me and my worst nightmare was now lingering. No progress. Nothing. So she decided to try small amounts of pitocin to bring on the contractions stronger and closer to try to make progress. That next hour they kept trying to give me pitocin but every time they gave me some my contractions came back to back to back and the baby's heart kept decelerating. They would rush in to get me to rotate, and massage the baby to bring his heart rate back up. They kept trying smaller and smaller increments of pitocin but it kept happening. They would stop the pitocin and he would be fine but as soon as they started again we had problems.
At 2 the doctor came back around. By this point I am exhausted, and I heard the words no progress and I think you need a c-section. I cried again. She said she has no problem with letting me go another hour or so and to see if I progressed and just leave the pitocin on at .5(which is barely any medicine at all and almost no one responds to that) but she really thinks it is going to end with a c-section. I was heartbroken. I labored all night on my own and hear I was faced with this. I knew the only thing that mattered was making sure August was hear safe. After crying I decided to give my body one more hour. I had the best nurse ever. I actually go as far to say if she wasn't my nurse and by my side I don't think the story would have ended the way it did. For that next hour we were determined to make progress. She looked at me and said you are going to do this. For that hour she went up on the pitocin from .5 to .6 to .7 only to have to come back down to .6(and typically they give pitocin in 2 incrememts not .1). She was there repositioning me and making sure the baby's heart-rate stayed steady. A part of me deep down still knew that I could do this.
Roman came up there on Thursday, the 5th, around lunch time. He was excited, anxious, and a bit nerve racked to see his Mama hooked up to all these machines and needles.
I think this picture says it all. Look at me. Gezz that is horrible. 5 bags of fluid later, no sleep, contractions... yes I would officially say I was a hot mess.
She came back around at 3:30 and I was prepared. I couldn't do anything anymore it was out of my control. She checked and finally I went from a 7 to 9.5! I was ecstatic but also doubting if at this point I could do it. I was exhausted... beyond exhausted. 30 minutes later around 4:00pm I was 10cm and ready to push. The lingering doubt I pushed aside and decided I would get through it one contraction at a time. Again I told myself I could do this.
48 minutes later August was laid on my chest at 4:48 pm on January 5th. He was a healthy 8 pounds 15 ounces and was 20.75" long. I can't even describe the feeling at this moment. I am crying even writing about it. I did it. I couldn't have done it without my husband by my side, my doctor, and this amazing nurse that made it possible. I wanted to share my story.
For all the women out there that have to get a c-section the first go around, if you have a second it is NOT your only option. Of course everyone is different, but for me I wouldn't take back this experience for anything. And the healing process.... I am one week out and I feel amazing! I was a little sore for a couple of days but it is a night and day difference. A c-section is a MAJOR surgery. I am enjoying being a new Mom, being able to help out, and remember I still have a 3 year old and I just can't imagine if I was still having to recover from surgery.
With a c-section it is like an assembly line. I saw Roman, when my first son was born, and then he was quickly hustled off. With this birth. I was the first person to hold him, the cord was cut right there, everything was slow paced and we could just enjoy the experience.
After about 30 minutes they had everything right at my bedside. They weighed him.
Checked out all his vitals, footprints, and bathed.
Is he not just perfect?
After they bathed him daddy got to hold him.
I wanted Roman to see him first so Daddy went and grabbed Roman to meet his new brother.
Of course he was nervous... so hands went straight in his mouth.
That night we got to go upstairs to a room. I was up walking around right after(unlike the c-section) and we had a new perfect little boy. We did it.
Is he not perfect? I had to grab a few shots of him while in the hospital. My Mom took the pictures while I was in labor and I think she did a pretty darn good job.
Those lips.... that nose... those cheeks.... I can't even stand it!
And look at that hair!
Roman was so excited! I won't lie he has been a little bit jealous and attention needy since he has been home. But it is only natural. He wakes up every morning and checks on his brother and he is loving helping out. Last night he yelled while in bed and told Jeremy can make you make that baby stop crying I am trying to sleep... Oh and the fun begins!
We came home on Saturday. Again with a c-section it would have been two days later but we were home to our 3 year old by Saturday at lunch! Not even 48 hours later!
And let me add he looks just like his brother as a baby and just like his daddy. I do all the work huh and then they look nothing like me huh. I wouldn't want it any other way.
August we are so proud to be your parents. I can't wait to watch you grow and learn. You are absolutely perfect.
This being my second. I now know how fast time flies. Today he is a week old and I am just trying to soak up every second with him and my little family.
Happy New Year everyone! I have a feeling this is going to be one heck of a year!