Can I get a "holler" please?

We three are living large. Highschool sweethearts. Married in the Newport Beach LDS Temple. Two kids. Taking life a day at a time!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Having kid #2.

Well, it's been 4 weeks,and so far I've successfully avoided writing about my labor and delivery story. I'd like to think it's mostly because I'm busy with a newborn and an ever-so rambunctious toddler, but I think that what it comes down to is me reliving the details, and the swell & sting of sadness associated with my experience.

If I did anything at all for this pregnancy, it was PREPARE and educate myself about vbac. I spent nearly every single day (from the very day I had my first csection 2 years ago) thinking about my second baby, and how he would make his debut into the world. Could I pull it off? Would Heavenly Father allow me to experience vaginal birth, and bring my infant into this life the way he was "meant" to be? Or would I experience tragedy of some type during my delivery attempt, and have an emergency interfere that wouldn't allow me to vbac? Never did I consider that there would be more than the two options (delivery baby vaginally or have an emergency csection from rupture or distress). I was not prepared for what I actually experienced, and we shed plenty of tears over it. I'll try my best to remember all of the details. I may be off on time lines by a little bit, but after I have my postnatal visit with my doula, I'll be able to make sure all of the details of my birth story are correct. She wrote everything down as it happened.

I was 40 weeks and 3 days along, feeling much the same as I'd been feeling for the last two weeks. The pelvic pain was intense and unrelenting, I had a hard time moving my legs much at all. But besides that, being "past due" was just like being 39 weeks pregnant. It just hurt like hell, and that's all there was to it. Neal's long hours were leaving me in tears most of the time, and my mom was feeling the pressure of my neediness. I can't say who was more ready for this baby to come. Us or her. Blanca came and cleaned our house, as she does every other thursday. I had regular contractions all day long. I had been having regular contractions for a good 5 or 6 days, but they always tapered off with sleep. My contractions on this particular day were ever so consistent. No more than 5 minutes apart, sometimes 1-2 minutes apart. But like I said, this wasn't unusual for me. The real test was whether or not they went away with sleep. I had a good feeling that I would be going into labor very soon. I felt an urge to do something special with our Mckenzi as a family before her world completely changed. (Aww, I'm crying as I type this. Who knew I'd get emotional looking back on the day?) I'm grateful I had the feeling I'd be going into labor soon, because it turned out to be true. Anyway, we decided to take Mckenzi to Box Canyon Park. I packed up a big comforter and I brought along a tennis ball, because Kenz is a fanatic for balls. We got to the park, and naturally, my Mckenzi lit up. Her daddy played with her on the pirate ship, she ran all over the playground yelling, "mama! mama! watch! watch!" and would make sure I watched and shouted her praises each time she went down the slide. Together the 3 of us went on the swings. She was so thrilled that daddy and me were actually swinging on the swings with her. It was such a lovely time. Such a nice evening the 3 of us. It was the perfect time for me to realize just how richly blessed we were with our daughter, with our family. Our growing family.

When it was time to leave the park, of course she kicked and screamed. :) My contractions were still very consistent, as I had a habit of keeping track of how long they were lasting and how far apart they were. I was getting tired and worn out from them, per the norm. They weren't painful like real contractions, know when you tighten a muscle and keep it tight for just a few seconds? Imagine doing that every few minutes for a minute at a time. It's exhausting and uncomfortable. Anyway, after the park we decided to take Mckenzi to Golden Spoon. I got a small strawberry frozen yogurt, and had gummy worms put on it just for my little girl. She went crazy for it. And of course Mckenzi insisted on holding it the whole time, but shared it perfectly as we each had our own spoon. :) After Golden Spoon we went to my parents house. We got there around 8pm, I think, and the evening is a blur. I think I remember my mom's (and my) friend Shannon being over at their house with her new baby Presley. It was one of their typical girl's nights. They had picked up a couple of pies. I'm sad that they were gross pies, because had they been good, I would have had some and then I wouldn't have been starving for as long during my upcoming labor. Haha. Anyway, the whole time there I felt my body changing. It was bizarre. I had new feelings in my hips and lower back, and in my groin area. I knew labor was coming soon. I even told everyone that it would be soon. The contractions continued. We left and went home, and it was pretty late at this point. I can't remember when we went to bed. I'd like to say around 10 or 11pm. I do remember being very, very uncomfortable the entire time we slept. I don't know if I was DREAMING I was having contractions (I mean, I know I was dreaming I was having contractions, but I wasn't sure whether I was actually having them or not) or if they were real. Either way, my sleep was light and not satisfying at all, because I was in actual crampy pain. Not just braxton hicks pressure type contractions. Pain. But I was semi sleeping, so they couldn't have been all that bad.

At 2:45am, I got up to pee. As soon as I rolled off our (ridiculously high) bed, I felt a warm gush in my underwear. Not a hot pee type gush. (TMI COMING NOW) But like, you know those days where your period is heaviest, and you stand up after laying or sitting for a while, and you just feel a warm heavy oozing or sudden gush? That's what I felt. But it wasn't over suddenly, it lasted long enough to make me think I was bleeding out or something. I rushed to the bathroom, checked to see what was going on, and saw that it was lots of clear/pinkish fluid. When I sat down, more flowed out. I guess "flowed" would be misleading. It wasn't a ton. Maybe half a cup to a cup? Needless to say, I was STOKED. I knew this was the beginning of the end for me, and I couldn't be more thrilled to be done with the pelvic pain. (Do you love that that's all that was on my mind at the time?) I also got hecka scared. I mean, this was, like I said, the beginning of the end. I would soon know the verdict of my vbac experience. What would my story be?

I had decided early in my pregnancy that should my water break to start my labor, I wouldn't wake Neal up. I'd let him sleep, like a nice wife, until my contractions became so bad that we needed to go to the hospital. Anyway, this thought is running through my mind, and then BAM contraction number one comes. And I'm like, "hot damn that was strong!". Don't worry, I kept it together. It lasted for over a minute. I figured I'd have a good 5-10 minutes til the next one, since I knew it was early labor. So I got myself cleaned up. Before I was even finished, contraction number 2 came. What the heck???? I didn't have time to pee and clean up before the second contraction???? Panic ensued. Naturally, I woke Neal up and texted my mom. When I woke Neal up, it went sorta like this:

(Me on toilet, Neal in bed [the master bathroom faces where our bed is. So if he lifted his head while laying in bed, he'd look directly at me in the bathroom] sleeping)

Me: "Neal...Neal, wake up. NEAL!" (this continued for a while. he sleeps like a freaking brick, not kidding.)

Neal: {lifts head and looks at me, totally still half sleeping] "huh?"

Me: "My water just broke."

Neal: [quiet for a moment before he speaks] "Are you sure?"

Me: [angrily] "What do you mean, am I sure?? You want me to show you my freakin underwear and collect a sample??!!" [Then of course I show him my underwear]

Neal: "How do you know that's your water?"

Me: "Because it came out of my vagina. Does that make you happy?"

Neal: [Plops head back down on pillow]

Me: "You may as well try and get some sleep. We'll be having a baby soon. My contractions are coming pretty close together."

Neal: [didn't move a muscle]

I guess he took me seriously when I told him to try and get some sleep. Anyway, I pulled up the texts between me and my mom. They're a pretty accurate narration of what was going on, so I'll put that here too:

Sept 2, 2011 3:00am (40 wks 4 days)
Me: FYI my water just broke. And I'm having real cntrx every couple min.

Mom: So you were right about having him soon. How long before you leave for hospital?

Me: Neal went back to bed. I woke him up when it broke. I felt like I should time the cntrx. But they're coming fairly close. When should I go?

Mom: When did you start timing? How did it break? Rush of water or trickle?

Me: When I texted you. So far they're 3.5 min apart over 1 min long and they're scary real.

Mom: When did it break?

Me: It broke when I got outta bed. Kept dreaming I had to poo and was having painful cntrx. So I got up, and felt a warm gush, sorta like when you're on a heavy period. When I sat on toilet, it kept coming. My underwear was pink. Full of bloody show. It's still coming though. I didn't have a full rupture. But cntrx keep getting closer i cant finish txts.

Mom: Are you all ready to go? After water breaking labor can progress very quickly. When it's real, and regular, and it hurts, you go.

Me: I am not all ready to go. I need to leave soon. Def closer to one minute apart.

Mom: Is Neal up? When should I come?

Me: Haha yeah. You think Neal could go back to sleep? Christmas day. You can come and go to sleep here if you want. I'm gonna shower "quick" cuz I feel like blowing chunks. He's wrapping up packing.

ME LIKE TEN SECOND LATER (at 3:30am): Come now.

Mom: I'm coming.

That was the end of that conversation. I got in the shower, and had every intention of putting on makeup and doing my hair. I was bound and determined to have beautiful labor pictures like every freaking girl I know. (Lets just say, I looked like a trashed out frazzled blowfish YET AGAIN this time around.)

But, I soon learned that while standing, my contractions were SUPREMELY intensified and closer together. We're talking 3o seconds apart at best, and lasting over a minute. When I got in the shower, it took me a good 5 minutes JUST TO SHAMPOO MY HAIR from start to finish. By this time I was crying through every contraction, TRYING to breathe through them like I learned with my hypnobabies, but far too overwhelmed by how quickly they were coming. The crying was pretty nonstop I think, cuz I remember Neal being a bit overwhelmed and rushing me. As I was standing in the shower, with the water hitting my back, I was leaning forward trying to breathe through a contraction, letting the water try and soothe me (but it was just making it super intense, I came to learn). Neal opened the shower curtain and asked me if I was done showering. I nodded "yes", assuming he'd get the hint that I was mid contraction. I mean, hello?! I was hunched over forward, facing down, with my eyes closed. When he asked me a question, I didn't even speak. So then BAM. Suddenly I'm standing in the shower, mid contraction that is so painful I'm crying, and HE TURNED OFF THE WATER!!!!! SO then I sob, "why am I have a contraction in the freezing cold right now?" and he says "Well you were done showering I thought?" if I wouldn't turn off the water when i was ready. That made me so, so, so, mad. I thought he wasn't being nearly aware enough of me and what was going on, that he was letting himself get flustered and not taking the time to clearly think about everything. Needless to say, that had me worried about where things were headed for the REAL labor. Anyway, I'm sure that memory will always stick out in my mind. Looking back, obviously he was trying to help things along. But gimme a break. I was having a dang contraction and CRYING and KEELED over and he turned off the hot water? Seriously? Boys. We laugh about it now. I coulda sawed off his nuts at the time, though.

So I finished my shower. I brushed my hair, threw it back in the infamous preggo lady pony tail, and made Neal call the doula. I didn't make brownies for the nurses as planned, I didn't labor at home for hours as planned, and I made Neal call the doula right off the bat and let her know how frequent my contractions were. I mean seriously? 30-90 seconds apart? Scary making. (remember folks, my mom had me in the car after her water broke at home)

At 4am we were out the door heading for the hospital. My doula (Emily) was meeting us there. The contractions SUCKED while driving, and I spent plenty of time irritated and yelling at Neal for his lame driving skills. Despite that, our moods stayed generally positive on the way to the hospital. The contractions slowed to about 2-4 minutes apart while we drove, which was a nice change from the 1 minute break I was getting before. We arrived at St Jude, and while in the parking lot, I asked Neal to give me a blessing. I figured it would be the last of our "private" time together, so he blessed me. That was one thing we forgot to do with our first labor, and there's a part of me that really believes things would have been able to go differently had we not overlooked something so important. I didn't want to forget that this time around. I wouldn't be neglecting God! :) I felt like I'd need all the help I could to get through this delivery.

We walked into the hospital (which seriously took 8 minutes when it shoulda only taken 1) and had to stop for contractions 5 or 6 times. It was a ridiculously short walk, but walking ABSOLUTELY intensified the contractions and made them come super fast. When we walked in the hospital, the security gaurd rushed to us with a wheel chair. I guess it was standard protocol what with giant prego ladies walking in in the middle of the night all the time. I do remember that the idiot security gaurd couldn't figure out how to get the foot rest outta the way, and was tinkering with it BEFORE letting me sit down. So I'm working through contractions left and right, standing up, while he's cussing out the foot rest. Funny memory.

We wheeled upstairs, checked in, got into a bed, and then the nurse started asking all her lame questions. The doula arrived during these questions, and they wouldn't let her in the room (even with us giving express verbal consent cuz Neal was freaking out about my already difficult labor and wanted help handling me haha) until after all of the information was given. I asked if Neal could answer the questions for me, (stupid stuff like the history of cancer in my family, etc etc) and this jerk nurse made ME answer it all. So I made her wait through each and every contraction. Cuz hello I was in labor and it effin hurt right? So the doula got there, and I'm like "so this hurts way more than I thought." I really assumed there'd be a natural progression. I thought I'd get to feel my first contraction, prep for the second one (which shouldn't be coming for like 10 minutes, right?), and mentally prepare myself for them gradually getting closer together etc etc. But no. Once they started, they never let up. I wasn't prepared for that. I remember my doula only having been there for an hour or so, and just crying and crying as I felt each contraction beginning because I was so afraid of the pain. I mean, just as soon as I'd recover from the last one, the next one would begin. After 3 hours of that, I was wiped and scared to death. Oh, I forgot to mention that when I got to the hospital I was 4cm. At my last Dr appt two days before I was still just a fingertip dilated. My doula did really well to remind me of my hypnobabies "training". Handling the pain and handling the contrx was only possible because of what I learned, though it was very mentally draining on top of physically draining. I really really had to think my way through them. I would still experience intense pain, but using hypnosis somehow made it so that I didn't allow the pain to overwhelm me. Hard to explain. Since my labor was 35 hours, it really is a blur to me. Neal is asleep right now, otherwise I'd be able to be more precise about how things happened, since he has texts with updates out to family on his phone, and mine are more minimal. So my updates will be based mostly on what I sent out from my cell phone. By around 1pm (10 hours into labor) I was just at 6cm. They told me my cervix was perfect, I just needed to finish dilating. At 2:30 pm, nearly 12 hours into labor, I sent a text to my mom saying, "We are only having two kids." Hahahaha. She told me that that's what they all say. And then I proceeded to tell her that I am not a labor champ. "This time sucks way worse." At this point I was just fighting anxiety and pain. She asked me about my hypno stuff. I told her it helps some, but that I'm a head case and need help and reminders.

By 5pm (14 hrs) I was a 7. Perfectly soft and stretchy. Cervix was being great. My baby was strong and heart beat awesome. Only thing was, my waters resealed. So basically the baby was floating in a big bag of waters, not engaging so that it would break. Around the afternoon sometime (it's all a blur) I caved and got the epidural. Looking back, it's a large regret of mine. The epidural (this time around) only ever worked on one side for me. I was constantly switching from my left side to my right side in order to get baby to come down, and it proved to leave an entire side of me without the epi meds. I felt each and every contraction on one side for an hour or two, until I'd switch to the other side and feel it there. The epidural gave me more intense anxiety than I'd ever experienced, mostly because I was so dead and numb from the medication that I couldn't even move my toes, let alone feel myself touch my leg. I became a total head case. I made Neal and my doula take turns rubbing my dead legs, just so I could make sure they were still alive. (When they would rub them, I could feel a very very faint tingle.) My poor husband and doula were definitely exhausted from 24+ hours of rubbing my "dead" feet. The anxiety I felt was seriously overwhelming though, so much that it frequently had me in tears. I genuinely believed that the feeling in my legs would never return to me, and the idea had me completely and utterly panicked. Like I said. Head case.

Around 7pm we decided to stop the epi to try and progress some more. Not fun. Around 9:30pm, over 18 hrs in, I was an 8. My body wasn't doing things quickly, that was for sure. But at least it was progressing. Two hours later, around 11:30pm, I made it to a 9. And my waters were still in tact. Two hours later, I was a 10. Fine-a-freaking-ly. The only thing was, he was still in his water, "bellotable". That means he was floating high. At this point they couldn't artificially rupture my water because of the high risk of cord prolapse (baby's head engages ON cord, cutting blood/oxygen supply to baby). With a baby so high up, if the water breaks suddenly, the baby is more likely to end up on his cord. So now it was 2am, almost 24 hours into labor, I am at 10cm, and the baby is floating around and we are just waiting for the water to break. Puh-lease. My head was killing me. I was starving. Nauseous. Aches and pains ALL over. Throughout my labor I had gradually eaten half a banana, a nutrigrain bar, and a granola bar. We're talking a bite every hour. The ice chips were pure heaven, though, as I was as thirsty as a camel that had been eating sand for hours.

At 2:45am, just 45 min after I reached 10cm, my water broke. Halelluia! We figured when it broke, he would finally make his descent. But alas, he stayed nice and high. Go figure, right? Me, having a stubborn baby? Naaaaah.

7 hours after my water broke, they checked me again. Baby wasn't coming down, and my cervix has actually begun to reverse. I was 6 or 7 cm dilated, very emotional, and very tired. I had labored for 30 hours by this time, and the reversal in progress was absolutely devastating. Why wasn't my baby coming down? His heart rate was perfectly awesome! There were ZERO decels, ZERO signs of distress. My incision/uturus was holding up BEAUTIFULLY, as I'd been contracting for 3 or 4 times the amount of time that women usually experience. My body was ready and waiting for him, and he was choosing to ignore the queue's. It was more than enough to throw me into some serious sadness.

We decided to try some new things. There was only so much I could do while medicated. I sat up in bed to try and have gravity help. Tried new positions, and prayed. And prayed. My mom was texting us through out everything, and her and my Aunt had suggested a blessing for our baby. Generally, blessings are given by the laying on of hands directly to the receiver's head. Obviously, little man's head wasn't available, so he would have to lay his hands on my belly and bless him that way.

This part is where things get very emotional and sacred for us. We were both worn. Both of us were confused, unsure of what path to take, and feeling weathered from the little storm we'd been through. Our doula had left for a little while, and we were finally alone together in our room. Tears streamed down my face, and they were tears that I couldn't keep from coming. They weren't uncontrollable sobs, they weren't from pain, they weren't from the usual things that had been making me cry. They came as tears of confusion. I was mourning a birth that hadn't happened. A birth that felt far away and out of my reach. I birth that I wasn't meant to experience, but did all I could to have. I was very, very, sad, and very, very, tired. I broke down, and told Neal that I just couldn't do it anymore. He sat next to me, and was gentle and reassuring in every way that a husband can be to his wife, and in every way that a father can be while waiting for his son to come to his earthly life. I apologized to him over and over, for not being able to give him the typical birthing experience that every daddy hopes to be able to be part of. I actually wept while apologizing to him, and it was then that I realized that a very VERY large reason for me attempting vbac was for him. When we had Mckenzi, I wasn't the only one who was robbed and traumatized, bruised and battered from that delivery. He was too. He had to watch as we were whisked away, not knowing whether his first born would make it, and uncertain of how his wife would handle the major emergency surgery. The vbac wasn't an attempt at healing just me, but I wanted to heal that part of HIM, too. It was during this apology where he finally broke down emotionally, too. I've never seen my husband cry like this before. He made it very clear to me that what was important to him was ME. He told me how proud he was for all the work and effort I'd put in to the long labor, he told me how much he loved me and cherished me and wanted ME to be comfortable and okay, whatever that meant. He didn't need to see a vaginal delivery to feel like a proud daddy, or to feel involved and overjoyed. He continued to cry as he expressed everything I needed to hear from him, and I was grateful that we had that time together. It was very intimate and very necessary for us to have that conversation before we could move on and make the next decision. We discussed where we were in the labor. We spoke about the realities. My body had done it's work. I had done EVERYTHING I could do to give baby the opportunity to come the way babies are meant to come. I had dilated fully. My water broke naturally. But he would not descend. Obviously this meant something that none of us could understand, but it didn't matter. We knew that it was time to start considering an alternate reality for ourselves. This is where we decided it would be the appropriate time to give our son his blessing. I remember the experience very clearly. Where I don't remember all of the words my husband spoke, I remember the tenderness of the moment, and will never forget the sensitive and lovely feelings that filled the room while Neal blessed his son. He began the blessing, and after only a few words, emotionally broke down. His crying wasn't easily controlled, and he was apologetic for not being able to get a hold of himself in order to actually speak. He stood there for some time, letting the emotion take over, until he could contain himself well enough to begin again. It was very apparent to the both of us just how much our son was already loved. His significance and worth became a very real thing to us at that time, and it was all overwhelming. We had worked together long and hard to bring him to us, and he wasn't coming, but it was time. Neal was able to pull himself together, and began the blessing. I remember him telling our baby just how much he is loved. He spoke of how difficult life is here on earth, but that he will always be supported and deeply loved by his parents and his family surrounding him. He let him know that it was time to come to earth, and time to begin his life here with us. He spoke so gently, so lovingly, and all I could feel was complete warmth oozing from every word that he spoke. Every word that was carefully thought of and meant specifically for his son. It was so sweet. The blessing ended, and we both felt comfort and peace.

Soon after the blessing, my contractions picked up quite a bit. I was having A LOT of contractions, but was able to rest at the same time because my Dr had given me some new medicine (not epidural) that was strong and relieving. My nurse was one I hadn't had before (we went through like 5 nurses during l&d) and she was the "Nazi" kind, as Neal referred to her in a text he sent my mom. She checked me frequently, and was pleased that I had begun making progress again. I hadn't been having them for the last little while, but they were picking up again. I was still discouraged at this point. I had made up my mind, I think, that I wouldn't be having my sought after vbac, but I hadn't made the decision or voiced that to any of the staff. I reached out to my mom and let her know everything that I was feeling. The desperation I felt from having done all I could with nothing coming of. She responded tenderly, reassuring me that I was exactly right. I had done everything that I could. I had done it all right. That it was up to God what would happen, and up to me to decide how long I could handle my current circumstances.

I looked at my sweet husband, and I told him I was ready for a csection. I never thought it would be a decision I would actually CHOOSE for us, so hearing myself say it out loud left me fairly numb emotionally. I was sacked. Beaten. There was nothing left in me. No fight. I was resigned, and the only thing important to me, as it was the entire time, was helping my baby get here the safest and best way possible. Obviously, a vaginal birth was not what he needed.

A few minutes later, and for the FIRST TIME MY ENTIRE LABOR, and OB walked in the room. Her name was Dr. Pham. She was young. She was the on call OB for my Dr who had gone outta town. Can you believe after 35 hours of labor I was only just meeting my OB? Weird. No other OB's ever even came to see me either. Weird weird. Anyway, she introduced herself, and then she laid into me. She spoke about how when she heard I was still being allowed to labor, she couldn't believe it. That I was putting her medical license at risk, my baby at risk, etc etc, and all of these things were unacceptable. She went on to tell me about how SHE runs her practice, and how she would have taken my baby out several hours ago, etc etc. I was already defeated by my own experience. I'm surprised she felt the need to continue on as long as she did (a good 10 minutes) where no one else said a single word. She just carried on and on about how careless everyone had been. When she finished, I gently told her that my number one priority is the safety of my baby, that no one loved him or cared for him more than us, and that we were ready to submit to surgery. Then, of course, she turned sweet and lovely. She touched me gently, and softness came through her voice with each new thing she chose to communicate to me. Figures. She'd make a killing off the surgery.

Being prepped for the surgery was a new experience. My first csection was an emergency. We all remember that dramatic blog post, of course. I was slammed into general ansthesia with that one, so with this one, I got to see and feel all the steps that went into the actually surgery. And, I got to have my husband with me. What a champ he was! He took pictures the entire time, and they even let him photograph the actual surgery. Do you want to see my guts? Cuz he totally has them on camera. GROSS.

Anyway, the surgery began. My surgeons didn't say a SINGLE word to me the entire surgery. They chatted back and forth to each other about their husbands, their new houses, the party they'd recently gone to. But bless the anesthesiologists heart, he informed me of every new feeling I was about to experience, and let me know not to be afraid. I really appreciated his kindness, and how he was aware of ME. The drugs that were piping through my IV made me very, VERY shaky. Any part of me that had feeling (my arms and up) was shaking violently. I was using my hypnobabies for this, and it calmed me well enough when I would REALLY focus that the shaking was only slight. But it was draining me mentally, when I didn't have much mental space left to give. So the violent shakes continue. I smelled my flesh burning, which was weird and unusual. Neal clicked away on his camera, commenting here and there and making funny noises about what he was watching happen to me. I laid quietly, and took it all in, and waited. At one point the shaking became so violent that I wasn't sure I could keep my arms layed out by my side like I was supposed to. Around this time I felt Neal's calming presence, and realized that his hands were on my head. It was very peaceful feeling. After about a minute, he removed his hands, and I felt nothing other than comfort and peace. My arms no longer shook. I was able to quietly lay there and not be overwhelmed by the violent thrashing that my arms wanted to do. I was still. I was at peace. The spirit filled me, and I realized that my Heavenly Father was with me, and that I was being comforted because my husband had likely given me a blessing. I remember thinking to myself about how I never wanted to forget that part of my experience, because the Holy Ghost really bore witness to me of the power of the Priesthood in that moment. It was an experience I needed. I cried silent tears again. I wanted to remember to ask Neal later if he had in fact given me a blessing. Turns out he had.

I kept waiting for the "you're going to feel lots of pressure right now" part where they pull baby out. It came and went, and it wasn't "lots of pressure" at all. Lots of pressure is having a small toddler inside your stomach kick you to death for 10 or so weeks. It was weird listening to him say, "wow, he's really stuck up in there" over and over again. But alas, they pulled him out, and all I could hear were his sweet, sweet cries. Little tiny kitty cat purs. Everything else was blocked out for a moment. I heard him cry, and then mama cried tears of sweet relief. He was finally here. He was okay. I never thought I'd be one to cry at the sound of his cry. I had tried to imagine it several times through my pregnancy, but to no avail. I was a mom again. And I loved him. It happened! It's just like everyone says. You love them immediately. Sweet peace, finally. The sounds of everyone elses voices came out, and I heard the surgeon say, "well THAT explains it! He's got TWO CORDS!"...and I'm like, what did she just say??? He's got two cords??? Neal clarified it for me. She meant that the cord was around his neck twice. The doctor then proceeded to say, "No wonder why he didn't wanna come out! He's HUUUUUUUGE!! That on top of the cord gives us our answer right there!". The anesthesiologist leaned over to me and told me that it's a good thing I chose the csection, because with his "situation", had on gone through and tried for a vaginal delivery, he for sure would have gone into distress and we would have had to have an emergency csection anyway. I suppose.

Whatever the story is, folks, I felt at peace with the decision to have a csection. I knew it was the right thing to do. People say I should have just scheduled it at 38 weeks and avoided the last 3 weeks of pregnancy, but I surely would have had regrets. I labored. I let my body do her part. And she did it lovely. There was a different plan for us, and for some reason that plan involved my little tank-man getting here via csection. I won't try for a vbac again, unless I specifically receive inspiration to go through that. To me, it's just too much of a risk now that I've had two csections. I don't need to take any risks getting my little kiddos here.

Recovery was a piece of cake this time. Emergency c's are rough and there's nothing gentle and careful about them in the slightest. The pain and recovery from my emergency csection was long and grueling in comparison to my recent "routine" csection. I was walking early on and not crying because I wanted to die from the pain. I was okay. I was happy to not be pregnant anymore, happy my baby was here, and happy to move on to the next phase of life. Which is what we're doing now.

That's my story and I'm stickin to it.


Emily said...

First of all, is it ok for me to hate your doctor? Sheesh.

"I had done everything that I could. I had done it all right. That it was up to God what would happen, and up to me to decide how long I could handle my current circumstances."

Exactly right. Sometimes what happens is beyond our control or has a purpose we can't see. Those stinkn' chords!!! One thing's for sure, your body is NOT broken! Other than the chord, sounds like your body did just what it should. I hope you had some healing from having more power over your labor decisions. Even though it wasn't the plan and what you wanted, it was the right thing because it was what you chose based on inspiration. I know you hear millions of times, "all that matters is a healthy mother and baby." It's annoying when you want more than that, but it is true. You have a beautiful family, 2 sweet, sweet children, and a wonderful husband. Plus, you have an eternity to endlessly increase your posterity. (Will we labor in heaven? hmmmmm) If so, here's hoping childbearing in the eternities is everything you want it to be! Hope I can see the little nipper when we come out in January!

Megan said...

That is one of the most beautiful birth stories I have ever heard! I know that you may be dealing with grief over not being able to deliver vaginally. But as I read your story (with tears might I add), It became quite clear to me that your experience was a sacred experience. What sweet moments you had, tender mercies from the Lord during your birth experience. You are amazing Wendy. Thank you for sharing your story with us, very very touching.

KatieBug said...

So proud of you! You're so awesome. Im sorry you didn't get the experience you wanted...but I can't believe how hard you tried to achieve your goal and how long you were in labor for before choosing c-cection. Im such a giver-upper and you totally inspire me.

Elle King said...

Wow, I cried a few times there Wendy. Your birth story shares many similarities with mine.I too experienced dilation reversing. I am so happy to hear that you KNOW you made all the right choices from trying for a VBAC and going past your guess date to choosing the c-section. You are a truly inspiring person.

Lindsey said...

Please tell me you gave that doctor an awful review anywhere you could. Wow. That aside, thanks for writing that out in so much beautiful detail. Not just for nosey readers like me but for your family. What a spiritual and touching story. One thing's for guys make dang cute babies. :)
(Also, I'm convinced that it's the stupid movies that distort the birth process. I didn't have near the hardships that you've had with l&d but I still felt "robbed" and looking back, it was just because I was comparing it to a false reality.)

Elise said...

Wow, you are a tough woman! I really admire you and the pain you endured. Although I'm a little scared for my own labor, I know I can do it because you've endured worse. Thank you for sharing your story.

Michelle said...

that was absolutely beautiful Wendy! thank you for sharing!!

Hope said...

What a great story! Yes, thank you for sharing and writing it out. I think it helps us too (the one writing) to heal after we get to let it out. I know you were bummed (in the beginning maybe) about having a c-section, but it doesn't matter how one gets here,to this earth, really, that's irrelevant. I wish that didn't weigh heavily on you and you didn't feel defeated. (or whatever you feel) He's here, he's a love, and you're a champ! and your va-jay jay is all in tact and still put together. Nothing wrong about that! Just sayin'

Amanda J said...

Yeah I agree, that doctor was terrible! I'm sorry you had to deal with that on top of everything else. I know how you feel, I didn't get the experience I wanted either, but things turned out okay in the end. What matters is doing the right thing for you and your baby, which you did!