3rd time a charm? For us a 3rd time wasn't a charm. Not due to lack of education or trying on our end. It has taken me a few days to piece together all that took place and really wrap my mind and emotions around it all. I trust fully God had his hand in it the whole way and truly think the reason I felt peace in one of the scariest moments of my life was from relying soley on my faith. I am going to share my birth story from my perspective and what I recall, my doula who also took these amazing photos is also going to write a birth story and I can't wait to hear it from her perspective.
On Tuesday the 21st I had my 39 week appointment and I was eager to hear any progress from the week prior. At my 38 week appt I had a sweep due to scar tissue covering my cervix and I went from closed to a 1 and 50% effaced, so I was hoping over the course of the week by my 39wk I would have progressed a little. After my check she said still a tight 1 and only 50% effaced. I knew not to rely on those numbers alone as they can change quickly but I was discouraged and emotional. My doula was leaving for a vacation, my Mom was nearing her planned vacation and it seemed like the timing was just not matching up in my favor. I spoke with my doula after my appt where she told me to spend some quite time alone and see how I felt afterwards. I rested and just needed that time to find my thoughts and get it together. I got up and started doing laundry and cleaning up when I realized it had been quite sometime since I felt the baby move so I laid down to prompt some movement, I felt 2 very faint movements but it made me feel relief so I continued about my day. Around 4:45 pm I realized again I still wasn't feeling any movement at all and it just wasn't normal for me. I laid back down on my left side and poked a couple times at my belly, and that was the onset of a VERY strong contraction and as soon as the contraction let up I felt and heard my water break. That was all new to me. My water broke with my first two pregnancies but aside from a gush of water I didn't feel or hear anything. This time it was like a baloon pop and the feeling was almost like a rubber band snapping...followed by a flow of water. That was at 4:50 pm. I had enough time to call my doula to let her know and to let our friend know who would be keeping the boys for me before my first labor contraction hit and holy smokes did it hit. Every 3 min and 30 sec they hit, like clockwork and very intense.
Let me back track a little to our "birth plan" I am not a planner because I don't like when plans don't go ... as planned. ;) So this was more of a guideline that would be ideal if it happened. We were going to labor at home to as close to transition as we could, knowing I had to go in to get scar tissue broken up so my body would dialate along with contractions. Fastforward back to the super intense contractions I was experiencing where curse words were definitely coming out. My four yr old told me it was ok that I said naughty words because I was a Mom and baby Pickles was hurting me. John was pretty eager and I know he doesn't enjoy seeing me walk around in pain. He loaded the car and got the boys and their bag ready and said let's get to the hospital!! I wasn't going to arugue but I knew I didn't want to sit in the car and have a contraction as we had a 20 min drive to the hospital. My sisters Shawna and Casey got to experience my car contractions via the phone as they both called me on the way!! They found it comical. I also took note of every part of that road that needs construction!! Ha. Sitting through them was excruciating!!
We arrived at the hospital and the lady that checked me in kept asking me if I wanted a wheel chair and I insisted I wanted to walk, sitting was the LAST thing I wanted to do. We were checked in to the labor and delivery by 6:24pm and our doula arrived to meet us. We went upstairs and got in a room and the lady (bless her heart) looked at me, mid contraction and said "so, what brings you in today" ... there was a very awkward silence as we all stood and stared at her before my doula said "this little thing right here" pointing to my belly and I said "LABOR!" She went through her typical check in questions, all of maybe 2-3 minutes before she asked me to lay down so they could hook up the monitor for heart beat and contractions. Immediately upon being hooked up I heard that precious sound of babies heart beat and while I was having a very strong contraction I remember just breathing a huge sigh of relief as I hadn't felt her move in awhile. My contractions were stronger than ever and even closer together when they checked me and said I was between a 1-2 and 90% effaced. I thought to myself, WOW, I am going to get my vbac2c. Instantly I got a little scared at that thought too.
Just moments later I was asked to switch to my right side so they could pick up babies heart beat better. Asked to switch back to my left side. Then I saw 1 or 2 more nurses come in and say I am going to start an IV for you, and another ask me to get up on all fours. Now I am having flashbacks to my first delivery, this is exactly how it started when his heart rate was fading. I am still having very strong contractions and all these position changes were really hurting me and then they flipped me back to my left when my midwife very calmly said "Whitney, we are going to put some oxygen on you to try and get some to the baby" moments after that they said they couldn't find babies heartbeat and we needed to move quickly. I briefly remember the on call Dr. entering and introducing herself and letting me know we needed to get me moved and they would continue trying to locate the babies heart beat but just in case we needed to be in a better location. I quickly looked over at John and I just knew right then what was about to happen. I asked if he could get some oxygen too. Knowing it would be hard for him I looked at my doula who didn't look scared per say but her look just let me know this was not going to go how we had hoped. John had to walk away for a moment and I covered my eyes as I did not want to see anymore looks indicating if something was seriously wrong.
I remember being wheeled down the hallway, I remember a man telling me they were doing everything they could to get babies heart beat but it wasn't happening and if it continued they would not have time to give me anything for pain I would just be put under, but they will keep trying in the meantime. I didn't uncover my eyes once. I instantly just started praying out loud. The first thing I said was NO GOD, I didn't come this far to lose my baby. It was my bold prayer and then I just went into thanking him that my baby was healthy and strong, praying for the Dr's and any intervention necessary went smoothly, praying that John could find peace, and just repeating myself over and over. I didn't care what happened to me at that point, just get my baby out and healthy and to her Daddy.
I recall two nurses discussion where one asked if I was still hooked up and the other yelled back yes and there is no heart beat this needs to happen NOW. The man that was talking to me kept thinking I was talking to him until he caught on I was praying outloud. He said Whitney we still weren't able to locate a heart beat so we are going to put a mask on your face in just a moment, when I heard the Dr. say get her under NOW. I still had not taken my hands off of my eyes, all I could hear was all the surgical equipement being clinked around and the cold air in the room and I am going to get a little TMI here but I was so sick to my stomach that I went to bathroom twice and the very last thing I remember was them dumping water all over me to clean me up. Then I was OUT.
What happened in between the last paragraph and the next thing I remember was about 2 hour so this is where it is all foggy and I pieced things together over the last couple days. To recap my water broke at 4:50, I was checked in by 6:24 and by 7:13 baby was out. A little time lapse to show you how quickly it all went. I heard multiple times John saying it was the longest couple hours of his life. He was not allowed in the room so him and my doula were placed in a room nearby where they paced and waited the outcome, at one point two nurses came out of the OR and one had tears in her eyes and John kept asking our doula what that meant, the doula assured him it was probably just too many people in the room, and John said she looked like she was crying, what is happening in there. Out of 380 attended births our doula said this was only the 4th time she had seen this happen. Que the tears from John. John said all he could hear was the last thing I could hear, all the instruments clinking around. After about 15 minutes John and our doula joined hands and prayed with eachother and when they both heard the baby cry, they both cried. He said about 15 min later they brought him the baby. He said each minute felt like hours. Then he paced that room singing to the baby for at least an hr before he was allowed to see me. He said he felt a sense of relief seeing her but then realized he still knew nothing about how I was doing so he kept pacing the room with her. About an hour later they brought me into the room John was in. He said I was still out of it for about an hour longer until I started making noises. He said I answered all of his questions he asked, I squeezed his hand, and I kept asking when I was going to wake up. He told me my eyes were opened but I remember specifically that I couldn't see anything. I felt like I was having an out of body experience where I was looking down on what was happening and I couldn't tell if people knew I was responding to them or if I was imagining it. He said they asked if I was ok with nursing and I said yes, when he told me that part I didn't remember it, but I thought about it and I remember thinking or saying, this is what they did with Braxton because I heard my doula say we are just going to put her on now ok!? I then remembered how bad I was shaking and John said you were definitely shaking something fierce and he asked the Dr. and she said it was just the hormones surging through my body. I also recall asking how long I was out and when they said its been about 2 hours I was shocked. I remember the feeling of being pushed down the hallways and the lady talking to me but I only recall flashes of lights from the hallway and she apologized for something and I said its ok with my last baby the nurse ran me into the wall multiple times on the way to my room. I don't remember how long my doula was with us after delivery, I remember seeing her face a few times and I remember talking to her, I remember pictures of the babies hair and thinking at that time I felt fine, almost weightless. Like I was floating. I don't remember who had the baby, if John held her or if I did.
Slowly as the hours passed I came too and started to feel the pain. My night nurses were AMAZING. They were hilarious, sweet, very comforting, and really helped me a lot. They were also the ones that had me get up for the first time and that is when I really felt the severity of my surgery. The next morning my midwife who was on call came back to see me and I was able to get some questions answered from her perspective. Upon being checked in and quickly losing the hearbeat, she was so kind and gentle with telling me what was about to happen, however I think I blocked out half of what she said to really just focus my mind. She told me I handled everything very well and I seemed at peace. She informed us that the baby who was head down and in good position also had the cord above her head and with each intense contraction it was squeezing the cord at her head. Which ended up with her having a prolapsed cord. In turn it cut off all of her oxygen supply and why we lost the heart beat. The Dr's and nurses truly moved very quickly and when I said I was really feeling sore and I was surpised bc even with my first I didn't experience this much pain ... she calmly told me I was not their concern, baby wasn't registering a heart beat and from that point on it was their goal to get baby out quickly and alive. She said we moved very quickly and it was not a gentle proceedure as well as it was non medicated and a mixture of all of the above made for how I was feeling then and honestly still as I type this all up. We are 4 days post partum and holy smokies. After both my first two c sections I didn't take meds at the hospital and I didn't fill my prescriptions, yes I was sore but nothing I couldn't handle. This one I ensured I wasn't leaving there without a pain management plan in place.
As I look back and I just asked John all these questions, I cried as I typed this all up. She is all worth it, 100%. I am thankful it played out the way that it did and for modern medicine that if something was wrong and it was I had quick and blessed staff on hands to handle the situation. It makes me even more thankful for my faith and that I can rely on God and have peace when normally my only logic would be to panic and think worst case scenario. While we spent time, money, and really planned for a VBAC2C, I don't regret any bit of that time. We met our amazing doula, I learned so so so much, and I felt confident that if things weren't medically in the way I would have been able to follow through with that plan. I can NOT express how much all of your prayers and well wishes mean to me. I am so excited that John will be home with us for awhile and that my Mom made it here to spend time with us. Our family of 5 is complete. I loved being a boy mom for 6 years but having our princess has completed us. We prayed for this baby. Psalms 37:4.