YOu look great and WHAT a little sweetie he is!!!
CONGRATS on his birth and enjoy that beautiful little guy!
I thought I would post this while I have a few free moments (difficult to come by these days). I'm still feeling very good about the birth experience and Nate is doing great. We had his first pediatrician appointment Tuesday and he had gained back 2 oz since being discharged from the hospital Sunday (birth weight was 7 lb 12 oz, he was 7 lb 2 oz at discharge). No jaundice and he's still nursing great!
Warning: I tried my best for a VBAC but ended up with a repeat c-section. Overall I'm very happy with my birth experience though.
The Birth of Nathaniel Zeke
I lost my mucous plug on May 19 and proceeded to have 2 1/2 weeks of prodromal labor. The night of June 2 I had some strong contractions that woke me during the night. I woke up the morning of June 3 to some pretty strong ones and I could feel my cervix doing something after them. I walked around with John at the mall that day and contractions went from every 8-10 minutes to every 20-30 minutes, but they never went away. They were bearable though. That night they got closer together and more intense, but I knew I wasn't yet in active labor. I tried walking around and bouncing on the birth ball but they never got any closer together. I finally laid down to get some rest, but kept waking up with the contractions. They did space out overnight though.
The morning of June 4 (I was 40 weeks +2 days) I awoke to contractions about 15-20 minutes apart. I went to my scheduled doctor's appointment and he informed me I was 3 cm dilated and 75% effaced, so I had made progress since the previous week. He swept my membranes at my request and said I could very well go into active labor that night. I was exhausted but optimistic, since the contractions were still coming steadily and not letting up. Contractions continued that afternoon and got closer together as the night went on. I walked and bounced on the birth ball intermittently that night and they got a bit stronger and more painful. I tried to visualize my cervix opening up and work with the contractions, but I was also completely exhausted and wondering how I was going to get through labor. At this point, I think I realized I was in active labor. John wasn't so convinced and wanted us to stay home longer. I held out for a few more hours and then told him we HAD to leave for the hospital. We left the house at 4:30 a.m. on June 5 (40 weeks +3 days).
I labored in the back seat of the car for the 45-minute drive to the hospital. Contractions spaced out a bit but were still intense when they came. I feared they were going to continue to space out after we arrived, but luckily that didn't happen. We parked in the hospital parking garage and as soon as I stepped out of the car and had a whiff of fresh air, everything changed. I felt enthusiastic and revitalized, and I realized that walking in circles at my house for days had really been a drain on me. We walked around the parking garage, up and down stairs, and on the sidewalks outside the hospital from 5:15 until 7 a.m. The contractions picked up almost instantly and we timed them at 2 1/2 minutes apart, lasting about a minute each for just about the entire time. They got consistently more powerful as we walked too, and especially as I went up and down the stairs.
At 7 a.m. I decided I was ready to call the doctor, and he told us to go right up to labor and delivery. By 7:30 I was in a room and we met our wonderful nurse Linda, who stuck with me throughout the labor and through my c-section. She checked me and I was 5 cm dilated and 90% effaced! I had achieved my goal of dilating past the point I had with my first son Jacob, so I was really pleased. With that labor I had stalled out at around 4-5 cm. Linda looked over our birth plan and said everything on there was pretty much standard hospital procedure. We were so pleased, and already we felt that this birthing experience was going to be much different than the birth of my first son.
Here's a picture of me when we first checked in, having a contraction:
Linda got a heplock in right away and I changed into a gown I had brought with me for the labor. She got me situated with a wireless telemetry monitor and the baby's heart rate was excellent. My contractions were showing up strong as well. At around 8 or 8:30 my doctor showed up and checked me. I was going to question why he was checking me so soon after the nurse had, but I decided to let it go and see what he had to say. I guess I was afraid he would say I hadn't progressed as much as she had said. To my surprise, he said I was now at 7 cm, 100% effaced and baby was at -1 station. I was ready to jump up and down - I was progressing well on my own, and doing it pretty quickly!
Eating an italian ice at 7 cm:
At that point he said he would be back in a couple of hours and Linda said I was free to walk the halls, bounce on the birth ball or do whatever I wanted. So we walked, squatted and tried a variety of labor positions. I was getting pretty strong contractions, but managing them well. And I was so happy to be progressing I welcomed each contraction as getting me closer to my goal. Linda started setting the room up for the baby's arrival at that point, a stage we hadn't gotten to in my first son's birth. I guess since I had progressed to a 7 in such a short time, she felt the baby would be coming soon.
The doctor came back in a couple of hours and everything was exactly the same. He was very encouraging though, and just told me to keep moving and that my contractions were good and strong. This went on for several more hours, and as the afternoon wore on I became really tired and a little discouraged. The baby wasn't descending past -1 and we tried everything we knew of to get him in a better position - squats, hip swaying, bending over, standing up, sitting on the birth ball, and lots of walking.
At around 2 p.m. I finally consented to having my water broken, hoping that it would give us the nudge we needed to get to transition. My contractions immediately got stronger and closer together and I really had to work to stay focused and on top of them. I was hopeful that the change meant something was finally happening and we could proceed to the next stage of labor. Unfortunately I still wasn't progressing and baby was not moving down. Everything was exactly as it had been at my first check by the doctor. At 4 p.m. the doctor finally brought up a repeat c-section. He said my cervix hadn't changed in close to 8 hours and he was worried about uterine rupture. The baby was still tolerating the labor well and heart tones were normal, but I was exhausted and feeling pretty defeated by that point. I asked if there was anything I could do to get things moving but he said we had tried everything. He didn't want to use pitocin because the baby was only at -1 station and he said I was already having "pitocin-level contractions" from what he could see on the monitors. I was wary of using pitocin anyway. I asked about an epidural to allow my body to rest and be more productive but he said he honestly didn't think it would make a difference. He said he would give me another half hour if I wanted to walk some more, and then he was strongly recommending a section.
We walked the halls again and I bounced and squatted through painful contractions, but I was feeling pretty defeated and exhausted at this point. When the 4:30 p.m. check showed no change, I agreed to the c-section. Things went pretty quickly from this point on, although they seemed to take an eternity. I was on the bed now, signing paperwork and getting an IV, and the contractions became excruciating in this position. I was instantly reminded of my labor with my first son, when I was forced to labor in bed on my side for the majority of the time. When I was finally ready they had me walk to the operating room, and they got the spinal inserted and I had some relief from the contractions.
Everything went quickly from this point on and I'm a bit hazy on the details since I was a little dizzy and nauseous from the medications. I had been med-free up to that point so it was kind of an onslaught to my already tired system. Once the spinal was in and they were ready to start, they let John into the OR. He was right up by my head to distract me from what was going on on the other side of the curtain. I quickly realized that this c-section was going to be a lot different than my previous one. I couldn't feel pain, but I could feel the doctors working. I kept mentioning this, and they said they had checked the spinal and everything was working properly. But it felt really rough as they were cutting and I could feel lots of tugging and it was generally unpleasant. I didn't feel anything with my last c-section until they pulled the baby out. My doctor said that I had a lot of scar tissue so it was taking time to get through that. They finally pulled the baby out and I definitely felt that, but they lifted him up over the curtain and through my haze I was ecstatic to finally see my little one. The doctor also said he had been OP and had been presenting with the largest part of his head. He just wasn't going to get through my pelvis that way, and for whatever reason he didn't turn. And I guess he was too high up for the doctor to attempt to turn vaginally. He also added that my fibroid (the reason given to me for my "failure to progress" during my lsat labor) was high up in my uterus and not anywhere near the baby.
The doctor then announced that it was a boy (that was a huge disappointment to me - we didn't know the sex and I wanted to be the one to announce it after the baby was placed on my chest after my VBAC). I got over it though, and John and I were shocked since we were both convinced we were having a girl! They cleaned up the baby a bit and handed him over to John for a few minutes so we could get a look at him. I was definitely more out of it than I was last time so I really only saw him though half open eyes. His apgars were 9 and 9 and he was born pink and yelling loudly - the kid has quite a set of lungs on him for a newborn.
While they were sewing me up they announced they would be taking him to the nursery and John said he'd be going too. I asked if they could bring him to me right away after the surgery since I wanted to breastfeed, and they said they usually keep them for a few hours after surgery. But Linda said she'd see about getting him to me sooner. Unfortunately Linda couldn't pull the right strings and I sat alone in my room after the surgery for THREE HOURS waiting to hold my son. John said he was livid, the nurses in the nursery did what they needed to do and just needed to give him a bath, but they took a pizza break in the middle of it and were generally just farting around. He kept reminding them that I was waiting to breastfeed Nate and they just brushed him off. Even Linda came in and tried to push them along and they got territorial with her. This must just be hospital nursery protocol, but luckily this was the only truly negative experience I had with the nurses during my stay.
When John finally brought Nate to me he lunged for my breast and latched on immediately and fed for over an hour. Poor kid was starving! He's been a great nurser ever since so thankfully he wasn't traumatized by the nursery experience. And no one tried to sneak him formula this time thankfully.
The rest of my hospital stay went well, as far as hospital stays go. My recovery has been quicker and easier than with my previous c-section. I was up and walking around the morning after the surgery, and we were discharged 3 days later. My mother has been a huge help with taking care of Jake, and my biggest concern is that I'm not supposed to lift him until 6 weeks post surgery. I'm not sure how I'm going to handle that once Mom leaves. John works from home, so that's helpful, but traveling anywhere and getting him in and out of his car seat, shopping carts, etc. is going to be tricky. I'll have to make it work though. Jake has been great with his little brother, but he does want me to pick him up and I don't think he understands why I can't. This was one of the main reasons why I really wanted a VBAC, but I'm just going to do the best I can and be lucky I have such a mellow and happy toddler.
I really think I gave my VBAC my best shot. I wouldn't have done anything differently. I feel I went to the hospital at the right time, I listened to my body throughout my prodromal labor and into active labor, and I really tried to work with my contractions. I'm proud that I made it as far as I did, and without any pain meds to boot! I really don't think there was anything more I could have done to progress further, except to continue to labor until I passed out from exhaustion. I think we made the right call on the c-section when we decided to go ahead with it, and I am not left with any of the doubts and misgivings I had after the birth of my first son. Most importantly, I have a beautiful healthy son as the result of all my hard work.
Hanging out with big brother:
Crashed out on Daddy's lap:
DS Jacob 12/12/06
DS Nathaniel 6/5/08
All is well - he jumped from 7 lbs 4 oz at his visit on Tuesday of last week to NINE POUNDS He nursed for 2 days straight (it seemed like it anyway) so I guess that was a growth spurt. DH was questioning whether we should try some formula during those rough couple of days - glad I stuck to my Mama's instinct and waited it out. My supply is way up now and I'm pumping a bit so DH can help out with feedings.
Nate also grew 1/2 an inch and is up to 22 inches. I think this kid is going to be bigger than his big brother!
In other good news, I'm now 1/2 a pound below my pre-pregnancy weight. Yay! Now I only have 25 more pounds to lose to get where I was before DS1. Hopefully I'll lose a bit more pregnancy weight and then the rest will have to be hard work.
Here are a couple of recent pics:
Showing off during tummy time - I've got my work cut out for me with this kid!
Last edited by Umpqua; 06-20-2008 at 11:15 AM. Reason: Uh - post partum brain?
DS Jacob 12/12/06
DS Nathaniel 6/5/08
Glad to hear things are going so well. Sounds like everything is going perfectly!