Thursday, June 6, 2013
Tax Day VBAC Baby 2013
Thankfully, this was an uneventful pregnancy - if you consider being a tax accountant who is uber pregnant during tax season, having a young toddler, and having a husband who is going to school full-time and preparing for finals, playing Army, and doing odd jobs in between all those duties “uneventful.” It was hard to relax without having time to nest; thus, I felt very unprepared for birth and bringing a new baby home. Luckily, some of my best, most wonderful, awesomest friends gifted me a housekeeper to help clean up one day. I also got all projects done at work that I wanted to get done before maternity leave on that same day. I started having contractions the next day. Coincidence? (I think not.) This was about ten days before my EDD.
Nevertheless, my due date came and went. While visiting at my parents’ after church that day my three year old nephew said, “Your tummy is big!” I laughed and cringed at the same time. A friend who had given birth a couple months ago had gone ten days past her due date – I did NOT want that to happen! Thankfully, I started having regular contractions around . I was able to get up and doze in our recliner in between contractions while listening to Hypnobabies in the background for a few hours. Finally around I got up and started piddling around since I couldn’t sleep. About 30 minutes later they were consistently 2-3 minutes apart, so I woke up my husband and said, “Um, we better get our daughter to daycare – I’m having contractions.” On the way to dropping her off, they slowed down, so we went to my parents’ house so I could relax in their whirlpool tub. Then they really slowed down so I got dressed and walked around outside. The contractions picked up and got really intense, so around (I think) I decided it was time to head to the hospital.
When we got there I was three to four centimeters dilated – not bad, but not as far as I would have liked. My doula arrived and immediately got to work. Around the room she pinned up affirmations I shared with her that I had gleaned from Hypnobabies. I started off laboring on all fours on the bed with the head of the bed elevated while my sweet doula put hot and cold compresses on my neck in between contractions. I tried several other positions, but that felt best. However, the nurse kept making me get on my back to get a good fetal monitor reading. Every time I moved I would have an intense contraction, so I eventually gave up moving. I’m not sure when that happened (sometime after seven centimeters). I wish I hadn’t, though. In hindsight, I wish I had pushed to be more mobile and especially to walk around, but the contractions were so intense I was having trouble concentrating. The intensity through me off guard. When meeting with my doula one time, she asked me how she could help me relax. I said I was a laid back person and felt pretty relaxed during my first birthing by just walking. (I chose to be induced and ended up with a section, but that’s another story.) Everyone says pitocin contractions are awful, but I felt like these were waaaay more intense than with my first, so I was thrown for a loop. Around seven centimeters I started getting really tired and wondering what the heck I was doing trying a natural birth. But, my husband and doula wouldn’t let me give up. After all, I had made it this far they said; I could make it through one more, then one more, then one more…. At one point my water broke while I was laboring standing up. Then again, I felt something gush and fall from in between my legs while I was on all fours. No one else seemed to have noticed so I said, “Is that my baby?!” Haha, super wishful thinking. I was so ready to get this over with.
Finally I got to “that point” and my vocalizations were much louder (I’m not a loud person, so that’s how I knew I was getting ready to have this baby). The on-call doctor came in and said my doctor was on her way and asked if I could hold on another thirty minutes. “I’ll try,” I responded, and immediately let out another loud vocalization while pushing. I guess I wasn’t very convincing. “I think I better suit up just in case,” she replied. My doctor did make it. I was told I pushed for about forty-five minutes. It felt like longer, though. The baby’s heart rate dropped and they gave me oxygen. I knew I had to stay centered – I did NOT want another section after all this. I talked to my baby through my body telling her it was OK and we were going to do this together. I watched the reflection in my doctor’s mask as I pushed and soon I saw the head! A couple more pushes and by she was out! I’m generally not a curser, but, “Holy shit! I did it!” was my reaction. Then they put this beautiful baby on my chest and I was very surprised to see a head full of dark hair. Whaaaa?? My side of the family is fair skinned with light hair. I still joke that if I hadn’t seen her come out myself I’d say she wasn’t mine. And I’m so glad she is mine!
Oh yeah, and she was born on April 15, Tax Day. J This is one tax deadline I will never forget.