Thursday, July 17, 2014

Baby Evie's Birth Story

I have delivered three babies. None of my labors and deliveries went as I had planned. This one was no exception.

Squirrel was born via c-section after 18 hours of labor. I was eventually convinced I needed the c-section after the Dr. gave me the diagnosis "failure to progress".  Or in other words "normal, but long labor". Anyway, after he was born, I did a lot of research and came to the conclusion that my c-section was unnecessary. 

When I found out I was pregnant with Bug, I had already made the decision to have an un-medicated VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarian). After more than two days of labor pains and no sleep, I caved to an epidural. But had a successful VBAC! Even though I decided to have the epidural, I still had a great birth experience.

Then there is Evie, after A LOT of research, we decided to have a homebirth. Besides the fact that I have long labors, I have had uncomplicated pregnancies and deliveries. After meeting with a midwife, we were confident in our decision to have a homebirth. 

Well, at 39 weeks, 3 days, labor began. Early that morning I started getting contractions. My husband was out with some friends the night before, so I let him sleep and the boys and I went for a walk to the park so I could see if contractions were going to pick up or subside. On the way to the park the contractions got further apart, so for a short period of time I thought it was false labor. But after sitting there for a while, they picked up again. I figured it was time to head home. 

On the way home contractions were about 3 minutes apart. I woke my husband and told him that I had been having contraction and was going to call the midwife. My next bathroom trip I had some bloody show, which typically indicates real labor. I called my midwife. She came out to check me, then left to run some errands in the area. She came back later and we determined that it was in fact real labor, as my contractions were picking up and my cervix was dilating. 

We sent the boys off to grandma and grandpa's house then started getting ready for delivery. We set up the birth pool, got the bed and floor prepared, and supplies set up. By mid afternoon I really had to concentrate to get through contractions and a few hours later I was really struggling.

I couldn't wait to get into the birth pool. From what I had heard, it was great pain relief! Unfortunately, it didn't help like I had hoped. I couldn't wait for it to be over. I must have been about 8 centimeters when my body started pushing in the middle of contractions. If you've never had that experience, it is insane! You can completely let your body lead, nobody needs to tell you what to do. 

After a few of those 'pushing' contraction I got out of the pool to use the bathroom. During a contraction on the toilet (with my midwife listening to the baby's heart rate), my water broke. This is when concern hit my midwife. The amniotic fluid contained blood. She got me into the bedroom and continued to monitor the baby. After each contraction, baby's heart rate started to drop. 

Because I had a c-section in my history. My midwife had a second midwife present during my labor. They had conversed about the heart rate dropping and the presence of blood in my water. They decided that a hospital transfer was necessary. They believed my placenta was separating. 9-1-1 was called and an ambulance was on the way. At this point I was asked to avoid pushing. Have you ever been told not to push when your body wants to push. I had heard it was a difficult task, but I couldn't believe just how difficult it was to keep myself from allowing my body to push.

By the time I was in the ambulance I was 10 centimeters. My goal at this point was to get the baby out. Fortunately, by the time we got to the hospital (less than 5 miles from my house), her heart rate was back where it should have been and was no longer dropping with contractions. 

This whole time I was calm, given the circumstances. I was just praying that God would help me get through. I was overcome with peace. A feeling that everything was going to be OK. I was going to be OK. My baby was going to be OK.

The problem with the hospital I was going to was that they don't do VBACs. Being that I live so close to the hospital, they didn't have to operating room ready when I got there so they sent me to the ER, at this point it was shortly after midnight.

With each contraction I was pushing, pushing hard. The Dr. wanted me to get the baby out as fast as I could to avoid further complications and to avoid bringing me upstairs to the OR because he feared I would deliver in the hallway. My midwife and I wanted to get the baby out fast because neither of us wanted me to have another unnecessary c-section. So I pushed with all I had. 

Not too many contractions later, I delivered my baby girl. I had an un-medicated VBAC in the emergency room of a hospital that does not do VBACs. 

She was perfect. She was healthy. I was fine.

Hindsight is 20/20, right? Was a hospital transfer necessary? Not in the final scheme of things. But there was a possibility that things could have gone wrong. To take that risk at home would have been foolish.

How did your actual labor and deliver compare to your birth plan? Were you disappointed with your Dr. or midwife if things didn't go as planned?

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