6.18.2006

look out there is a new pooper in town

well we are home, the new family of three!

i think i have a minute here to write the update so i will give it a go. so as you know i was scheduled for induction on friday which wasn't best case scenario and we weren't confident it was going to result in my vbac but it was something to get the show on the road and so we were willing to try anything. as it turns out cohen had plans of his own. thursday night around 5:30 i felt the first of what i believed to be labour pains and they were coming about every 6.5 minutes for a couple of hours. the contractions were moderate (or so i thought then!) and i was able to tolerate them. at this point i was excited that something was happening on it's own, feeling that my body was working with me for the first time in awhile! i phoned my doula and she explained that once they were closer and more intense (toe curlers...as she likes to call them) to give her a call back. i ordered take out thai and marko and i had some dinner, me secretly hoping that things continued on, but quietly doubting it to be the real thing only because until now my body liked to fool me. by 9:30 there was little doubt left as the pain got more intense (although not what i could really call intense as i found out later) and they were coming every 5 minutes like clockwork.



at this point i decided to use a TENS machine that i had rented for the occasion to help with pain relief as jacquie (my doula, who also was the one that recommended the machine) indicated it was better to use it sooner than later. there was still no toe curling but i was starting to get nervous about what i was in for. by about 11:30 i was leaning over the dresser onto a quilt and focusing on my breathing through the tough ones and i was starting to notice a pattern. if a contractions came quickly (every 3 minutes) then it was tolerable but when it went to 5 minutes or more it wasn't and so i anxiously watched the clocked and prayed it wouldn't go too long. inevitably every 4 or 5 of them would fall into the longer category. there was more talking with jacquie and at about 1am when i spoke with her she could sense a change in my voice, she knew it was time for her to come into our place and be with us.



we stayed at home another couple of hours with jacquie helping us try different techniques. i would lie on my side on the bed as she rubbed my legs and marko my back and the contractions would only come every 7 minutes. of course this meant that they were much more intense, but the time in between gave me the time to relax. i couldn't handle the intensity for long though and after about 45 minutes on the bed i was back up rocking back and forth and walking to and from the window (just focus on making it to the window one breath at a time jacquie would say). around 3 i started to feel some pain in my c-section scar, it wasn't sharp but dull and so likely nothing to worry about but still i was aware of it. i continued to feel it and expressed my concernand so we decided to check on babies heartrate with a]the doppler i had rented as a safety net and it was still doing great in the 150's. we continued on. around 4 i started to wonder how bad it had to get before we went to the hospital? she said whenever i wanted to go was fine, that is was important to go with my gut feeling. i foolishly thought we were some how getting close to the end! i felt like i needed a change of pace, to feel like wheels were turning and so i said i thought we should go. the three of us got in her car and headed out.



once there i started having a couple of regrets, if for no other reason than all the lights and monitoring and the bitchy nurse. i was checked for progress and showed to be paper thin and 3cm dlilated so there was definate progress! (phew) after another hour we got our room and i decided to take off the TENS (which i have to say i found very helpful with pain management) machine and have a shower. the pressure back and forth on my lower back felt really great and i stayed in for about 40 minutes, sitting on the birthing ball (which jacquie acquired for me) and leaning against the wall. constantly changing positions seemed to offer the greatest relief. the contractions continued to come about every 4 minutes and they continued to get stronger.



when i got out i was hooked back up to the TENS and the monitors and babies heartrate was a little high, high enough to cause a little concern and so the on call doctor was called to come in from home to keep an eye out. it was thought that his rate elevated because of the hot water and that it would go down quickly but by the time the doctor came it had only come down slightly, however, he felt comfortable with continuing on with a watchful eye. within 20 minutes the heartrate returned back to normal, thank goodness. it was just after 7 now and we discussed the possiblity of rupturing the membranes to which i agreed. little did i know what i was in for. i heard the doctor when he said that things could get intense afterwards but i don't think it fully computed because afterwards things started to get really tough.



unfortunately i ended up falling into the category of women who after the water broke was having continual contractions and by continual i do mean it literally. i was only being given about 10-30 seconds in between to recover and they were lasting nearly 2 minutes. for an hour and a half i was having 4 every ten minutes and they were becoming more than i could handle! the doctor came in and had a look, i was up to 5cm. i asked to talk about pain medication and he explained morphine and gas as well as an epidural, he didn't feel comfortable right now to do the epi only because he was worried it would slow my progress and i was still firm that i didn't want it. i talked it over with jacquie and decided to give the gas a chance since with morphine there was no turning back. i found it difficult to alter my breathing enough to make it work though. until then i had been breathing in deep through the nose and out through the mouth but with the gas i had to inhale deeply through my mouth and the air was stale and difficult. still it gave me a new point of focus and so i kept on it. my contractions continued to be really intense and close together and the nurse commented that she didn't often see them come this way for so long. one came around 10:00 that was so intense i ended up sucking back gas 5 or 6 times in a row really long and when i closed my eyes i felt incredibly dizzy. i knew i was going to throw up and i did. it was about then i regretted having dinner at all. of course my nurse and jaquie were excited because they knew this meant progress. i felt awful and i couldn't even recover as contractions would just keep coming and coming and coming.



it was only 15 minutes after this that i started to cry and said i can't do it anymore and i really meant it. i was at the point where i wasn't even aware of who was in the room or what was going on! so the doctor came in and tried to reassure me that i was doing great and that so far i had done really well, that i was strong enough to do this. i even had a moment where i believed him! but then i asked him to be honest and tell me how much longer it was going to be, i told myself that if he said less than 2 hours i would push on. he said "i won't lie it is probably going to be another 5 or 6 hours" and that was it, in that moment all my lofty ideals about not having an epidural went out the window and i said i needed one. i sensed relief on the faces around me which made me think they knew something i didn't and that this was a good idea. i was told that it could be 15-45 minutes before someone could come and give me the epi, that from now on i just needed to focus on one contraction at a time. they were really bad at this point but i was focussing on the calm that would come with the pain relief and just working through each one. jacquie kept reassuring me and helped me to focus through the moment.



luckily i fell on the short end of the scale and the anaesthesioligist was there within 15 minutes. she explained that it would still be about 30 minutes before the pain was gone and that i needed to focus on sitting still. as many of you know this is easier said than done. while she was prepping and inserting i had three really strong contractions and just clenched marko's hand as tightly as i could and focused on staying still. i didn't even feel the needle, i was beyond feeling that kind of pain i think. i remembered her saying that it may not take the first time and we may have to try again. i decided right then and there that i would curl up and die if i had to keep going another hour! luckily for me i didn't and within 20 minutes the contractions had started to get tolerable and within 35 they were gone. it was now around 11.



there was calm present after the pain was gone and marko set up a bed in the corner and decided to nap, jacquie went out for some food and i tried to recover. i wasn't able to sleep much but the nurse i had was great and we chatted about her kids and child raising. it was hard to imagine i was the same person as before and when the doctor came in to ask me how i felt i quickly responded with "like i just won the lottery" and he said oh yeah well wait until cohen is here, that is really winning the lottery! after awhile i will admit i started to feel a little like i had failed, that i weakened in a moment of difficulty. luckily for me jacquie sensed me thinking it cause without prompting she came over and said that she thought i did so much better than most women would have been able and that i am not a failure for choosing this, that anyone would have in the same scenario. she also showed me the monitor that showed i was still having 4 contractions every ten minutes and said there is no way you would have been able to do this for so long. i am not sure she is right because i know a lot of women do but in the moment it was what i needed to hear. i knew in my heart i couldn't anyway, not for another 5 hours. i just didn't have it in me.



at this point we just wanted to wait and see. at 3 i was checked again and miraculously i was fully dilated! the doctor felt it was best to just wait and allow babies head to move it's way down to the point of showing before pushing, knowing that if you push too soon then you could expend all your energy before getting the job done. so we continued to wait and see. i was able to doze off for about 40 minutes and then my mom came into the room and we chatted for a bit. she couldn't believe i had been in labour for so long and was feeling really emotional. i know that everyone was just anxious to meet him and know that he is fine.



around 4:30 i was checked again and they would see babies head without any prompting, at this point i could also start to feel the urge to push. it was obviously not as strong as women without pain relief but it was enough that i knew on my own and so it was decided to start the next stage. for the first half an hour i was doing really well with the pushing and made great progress, we continually changed positions to try and shake things up and it seemed to be working. they thought it was going to be a few hours of pushing but shortly in they started to doubt that. i did have a period of about 30 minutes where i started having trouble though and i know that slowed it up a little. but soon we were seeing the head stay in position in between contractions and that gave me a renewed energy, i knew it wouldn't be long before he was finally here. it was at this point that i relized it was getting close to 6 which was the time my doctor, the one i have had for years, the one who was there with us when maia died, was supposed to come on shift. i secretly think he was just waiting so that she could be there with us.



it was at 6:45 that he finally decided to make his grand entrance with into the world and just like i asked he came screaming. he was put up on my chest and settled right away and it was there that he stayed for the next 45 minutes. i know it was important for my doctor to be there, to see everything come full circle and in that moment when he came out and we knew that everything was fine there wasn't dry eye in the room. expecially not mine. he wasn't weighed for about an hour and in that time he peed twice so we joked that he trying to lose weight before the big weigh in to cheat the system but the official number on record is 9 lbs 7 oz, length is 21.5 inches and head circumfrance 14.5 inches. i mention that last one because unfortunately i did tear quite badly and my doctor confessed afterwards that she thought i might when she saw his head starting to show more. let's just hope it means he is going to end up a genuis like his dad!



a few hours later all my family was able to come into the room and my mom brought birthday cake and champagne and we all sang happy birthday to him as he fed. for the first time it felt like it was real. he was really here and he was really ok. it has been perfect every since.

i hope the last two days are an indication of how he will be as he is a master at breastfeeding and so far we have had zero problems, he was weighed again today and has hardly lost any weight, he barely fusses and is very alert..oh and he is doing great in the pooping and peeing department as well. i guess you could say he is our perfect little angel, only he is not an angel he is here with us and it is great.

12 comments:

Jeff said...

Beautiful pictures. Congratulations to you all!

Becky said...

He is absoutely beautiful and I can't believe he is smiling in one of the pictures and his eyes are completely open. I am so happy for you and Marko. Your birth story brought tears to my eyes.

Barry T said...

Woohoo! Congratulations.

Tara said...

WONDERFUL!!!!!!!

Congratulations Momma!!!!

Happy Father's Day to Marko!!!!!!


XOXO's

Anonymous said...

Way to make me cry! I enjoyed reading how you used the various tools of labor to achieve a really beautiful birth experience. I was so happy to read that you escaped induction and all of of it's inherent risks to your VBAC plan. Your body is quite capeable! Welcome to the world little Cohen, it's an amazing place! And congratulations Tara and Marko.

Christy

libragal said...

At last! I can't wait to meet you Cohen (and have a beer with your mom). I love you! Muah!

Arnold said...

Wow, very cute baby! Congratulations. I knew it would go well. I'll be continually praying for you guys and the baby.

"For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb." Psalm 139:13

Peace.

Jennica said...

You guys look so happy, and you so deserve it. Congrats! Can't wait to meet Cohen!

lori said...

congratulations!!!

boy, it looks like he looks just like marko!

:)

a-one said...

That's was incredible - way to go sister! It meant so much to be there with you through it all - thank you for waiting cohen - much love, aaron

babieshourdoula said...

I am so happy for the three of you, you so deserve this, and the happiness that comes with being a family.

mm said...

Found your story through Vancouver Doula's blog.
How absolutely beautiful. How powerful and amazing. I was moved to tears reading such a beautiful birth story.
Congratulations from another vbac mama... and sympathy on the tear. I have to say I promised not to complain so long as I got my vbac... regretted that oath ever since! =)
Thanks so much for sharing!