As I sit here and type out another birth story I can’t help but feel just ridiculously blessed beyond measure. To be the mother of two precious boys is something my heart was built for long before I ever knew it; the past couple of days has only reaffirmed that over and over again.
You can read it in its entirety here, but as a short reminder my birth story with Wes ended in a c-section. At the time it was the last thing I wanted; however, looking back I had about as great of an experience as one can have with major surgery. A precious baby, uneventful (and short) recovery, minimal scarring and zero tearing were all factors in that! So when it came time to start thinking about how we wanted to have our second child I wanted to make sure we weighed all of the options carefully.
After much research and talking with doctors, we decided that we would love to have a VBAC (vaginal birth after c-section) if possible, but we held on to that plan very loosely. In short there are a LOT of risk factors associated with a VBAC, but IF everything goes well it can be the ideal way to give birth. Just in case, though, we set an “out date” for the 26th to have a c-section to make sure everything would be OK with me and Austin. I really didn’t think a VBAC would be happening, though, which made me feel good about whichever birth option happened.
Because of that I pretty much planned to get all of our affairs in order all last week so that by Thursday (the 26th) we could go in and have our baby without any drama or missed deadlines. But God had other plans.
Friday night was a doozy: I was dead tired, with heartburn (again), and a lousy hormonal outlook on life. Wes and I had taken a long walk earlier at a local park where we saw a woman walking with her mother who was in actual labor. I remember thinking, “Wow, I’m glad I’m not in that much pain right now!” Later that night, after going to the bathroom for the billionth time, I remember thinking, “I just don’t know if I can spend another week in this discomfort.” I went to bed early, woke up around 1:30am to go the bathroom for the billionth-and-one time, and while I was sitting there I was thinking, very literally, “You know, my water could break at any time. It could break now…or now…or now…or now…” I continued to think that walking back to the bed, where I sat down and BOOM. My water broke.
“Oh crap, Nate! I think my water broke!”
“What?! HUH?! Are you serious?!?!”
Yes, very serious. So I sat up, the sheer awkwardness of breaking water making its full appearance, and asked for a towel. Then I sat on the toilet for half an hour telling Nate what to pack in our hospital bag because, well, we hadn’t done any of that. During that half hour I panicked no less than 5 times about my lack of preparation and fears of childbirth. And Nate, the champ that he is, calmed me down every single time while still preparing our entire family for a stay in the hospital.
Over the next couple of hours Nate packed, we both showered (this was a very good idea), let the dogs out, woke up Wes, and then eventually headed to the hospital. We took Wes because my parents started making the drive up from Texas, plus it was the middle of the night and in our panicked state we didn’t even think to call anyone to come stay at the house. So off we all went to the hospital!
By the way, Wes was such a trooper the whole time. I’m so proud of that kid for hundreds of reasons, but I just couldn’t believe how well behaved he was in this crazy time. He was grinning from ear to ear on the way into the hospital, ready for an adventure no doubt!
We got there, checked in, and were ushered into room #3. My water had broken, but contractions hadn’t started at all, so I was just sitting in a bed with an IV in my arm.
Cut to a few hours later; my friend Emily had come to pick Wes up and the doctor decided to start me on a teeny bit of petocin to get the contractions moving a little bit. I was slowly but surely dilating and effacing, but my body was taking its sweet time. If we had any hope of a VBAC I needed to be moving along a little faster. The pitocin started regulating my contractions, but the kicker really happened when they broke my water again. Yes, you read that right: apparently Austin’s head had created a “new” bag of waters, which meant all the fluid I’d lost was only about half of what was in there. Once the doctor broke that the contractions came on very strong and much more regularly.
I labored on a ball for several hours – that thing was my FRIEND y’all – but eventually I decided I couldn’t go much further without an epidural. I was a little hesitant because my experience with an epidural the first time wasn’t very pleasant, but this anesthetist was fantastic and did a great job. 30 minutes later I was in zero pain and able to sleep a few hours.
Prior to the epidural I was about 6cm and 70% effaced, which meant that I was entering the hardest part of labor. After the epidural I slept for a couple of hours, only to be awakened by my nurses with the fact that I was 10cm and 100% effaced – and ready to start pushing! Isn’t that insane? I think my exact reaction was something like, “Are you serious?!” I had a couple of practice pushes before the doctor came in and we really started the birthing process.
I’ll just interject here: pushing was H A R D. Luckily I only pushed for about 20 minutes before they told me to slow down because his head was out and they needed to suction everything…I was in total shock. I will never forget the way Nate’s face looked when Wes was born, and I will never forget his face when he told me Austin’s head was out. A few more pushes and the little bug was on my chest, crying and snuggling and rooting around. They wiped him down and gave him back, and after the cord stopped pulsing Nate got to cut it. I couldn’t believe how fast it all happened, and how unexpectedly it all went down. And I really can’t believe that I actually had a VBAC. For some reason I just had already made peace with another c-section, so I figured that’s what I would have!
One of the hardest parts of this pregnancy and birth has been not comparing it to Weston’s. Both were really hard and really easy in different ways, but the end result was the same: a precious new life. An amazing little boy was born into our family and loved immediately. I am so grateful, so undeserving of such sweetness, and so in love!