This is the story of Baby C's birth.
As many of you know, I was scheduled to have be induced on Wednesday, October 12th. Deciding to be induced after my induction with K that ended in a c-section was a difficult one. It was Sarah who convinced me that I needed to at least try to VBAC. It wasn't until I talked with her that I realized how lucky I was to have a doctor who was willing and encouraging to let me try to be induced after delivering a baby via c-section.
The Monday before my induction, I met with my doctor and mid-wife to discuss my plans for labor. We agreed that I'd let the pitocin do it's magic for four hours. If after that amount of time nothing was happening, we'd opt for a repeat c-section. With a plan in place, I stopped eating and drinking at midnight on the 11th. At 5:40am, D and I were standing on the corner of our street by the metro station trying to hail a cab to get to the hospital by 6am. We arrived on time only to be told we were too early... it wasn't until I talked with the charge nurse about my plans to attempt a VBAC that were escorted into our labor and delivery room. It was the same room I had when I was induced with K. (This is just the first of many similarities between my two labor stories.)
I met with my doctor and several residents during my first hour in the hospital and was quickly hooked up to the IVs and monitors. They bumped my pitocin up slowly - didn't want to make my contractions too strong and rip my uterus. As soon as I started feeling some discomfort, I opted for an epidural. Managing my pain this go around was at the top of my priority list. If the epidural failed to take, I wanted to make the decision to have a repeat c-section with a clear mind; not in the throws of transition without my pain under control.
The anestheiologist was fantastic. Aside from the initial pain of the needle, the insertion of the epidural was painless - a pleasant surprise from my experience three years ago. About half an hour after its insertion, I started to feel some pain relief and the epidural continued to work until it fell out in my recovery room. Four hours into the induction came and went quickly. When we assessed the situation around lunchtime, I was making good progress and we decided to continue on. I was having contractions every 2.5 to 3 minutes and was around 5cm. Nice!
My doctor went off duty at dinner time. When we last talked she felt I was on track to have the baby before midnight. I was introduced to my night nurse and new attending on-call and sadly said good-bye to my favorite resident who would not be back until 7am. As evening wore on and nighttime set in, it was obvious to me that my baby would not be born on the 12th. Around midnight they examined me and I was about 7 cm. Not bad, but still a long way to go...
As the early morning hours set in, things got a little complicated... my legs went completely numb from the epidural and I constantly felt like I was falling out of bed, my blood pressure started to increase, the swelling in my hands and feet was getting a little out of control, and I started to run a fever. By 3am my fever was hovering at 103*. They started me on IV antibiotics - the assumption was that I had a uterine infection - and I completed my hat-trick of insertions --- I was lucky enough to have 1) a urinary catheter; 2) an internal uterine contraction monitor; and 3) rectal insertion of tylenol.
Thankfully the tylenol brought my fever down quickly and I felt much better. At 7am, my new nurse arrived and it was the same nurse that was with me through K's delivery (yeah!). Also, my favorite resident was back on duty and I was SO excited! We determined in the early morning hours that my baby was posterior. Since my pain was under control, I allowed one of the doctors to try to flip him internally. It was slightly uncomfortable (ok... it hurt) and the baby did flip over. But only to flip right back into the posterior position moments later. We decided (read: I was advised) to try to start pushing to see if I could get the baby to flip on its own.
And push I did... we pushed in this position and in that position - sitting up, lying down, on my right side. Unfortunately even at 10 cm dilation I still had a stubborn sliver of cervix that wasn't going away. During all my pushing my favor resident had to hold this little sliver of cervical tissue back - hoping the baby could slide around it. At 9am, we decided that I would try pushing for two hours. If during that time, the baby descended and flipped I was going to VBAC. About 45 minutes into pushing, my favorite resident told me to take a break. She left to consult with the attending OB. I was forced to sit up and pray for the baby to magically drop.
At 10am, my favorite resident and the attending came into the room to talk. Things were starting to get complicated... every time I pushed my baby's heart rate dropped, there was evidence of meconium in my amniotic fluid, my fever was increasing, and it had been 22 hours since my water was broken. While holding my hand, my favorite resident advised me to opt for a c-section. It didn't take much convincing. I knew the likelihood of a VBAC was slim to none. Plus I was tired, hungry, and feverish. After 28 hours of labor, it was time to return to the OR.
Since the baby would need to be immediately seen by the pediatric team due to the meconium, I called my mom and asked her to join us at the hospital. This would allow D to go with the baby and me to have my own care-giver in the recovery room.
At 10:30am on Thursday the 13th, exactly 24 hours AFTER my scheduled c-section from the day before, I was wheeled into the OR for my repeat c-section. Thankfully, due to a working epidural, I did not need a spinal block. All my medications were administered through the epidural. I was numb in 15 minutes and ready to go. My favorite resident was on my right side giving me encouragement and updates throughout the operation.
At 10:52am, we received word that it was a BOY!
I don't remember much - fighting back the urge to puke, trying to keep my shivering under control, and worrying about my little guy - but I do remember tears of joy and the sound of a baby crying. I also remember hearing someone say that he was a BIG little fellow.
D went to be with him as the pediatric team did there thing. I got word that he was healthy and weighed in at 9 lbs 4 oz; nearly three pounds heavier than K.
How on earth did that happen?!?!
D left the OR to go with the baby. I was left in the OR while the doctors finished putting my insides back together. At one point I remember telling the doctors I was going to sleep and that is exactly what I did. My favorite resident woke me up some time later to tell me that they were going to move me onto a different bed and back to my recovery room. When I arrived my mom was there along with D. We were joined soon thereafter by baby C.
He was perfect.
I spent four more days in the hospital recovering and fighting a UTI and uterine infection. My daily doses of three different IV antibiotics wiped out each of the infections and by Saturday my fever was gone for good. We received word on Saturday that I would be discharged on Sunday.
So at noon on Sunday, October 16th we left GW Hospital as a family of four.
And now we begin the next chapter of our lives...