Stephanie's Caesarean and VBAC

Stephanie has a caesarean after a long, slow labour, followed by a good experience of vbac in hospital.

1st son's birth story, c/section

Thursday July 27 we had our 41 week checkup appointment with the doctor. While we were there we did a non-stress test, just to see how Jarod was doing. We also did an ultrasound to measure amniotic fluid and take a general look at things inside.

Well, the doctor wasn't really happy with the way Jarod's heartrate looked on the NST. The rate was good, but he just wasn 't showing good variability with movement, like the doctor would like to see. Then when he was measuring the amniotic fluid, it was low. He said 5 was considered low, and I was measuring 4.

So he told us to wait a minute while he called the hospital to see if they could get us in that night to start an induction. We were really kind of surprised by that. We figured we' d at least get until Friday morning. Especially because he didn't seem overly worried about things, but maybe he just wasn't showing it to us, so as not to get us all upset.

So we came home and got everything packed up and ready to go. Made all the phone calls we needed to make, and we were at the hospital at 7:30 pm. It was really busy when we got there, so it was 9 pm before the nurse was finally able to start the pitocin. I had been having some contractions since the appointment, so the pitocin just made them more regular and a little bit stronger. They of course started the dose pretty low.

My mom got to the hospital at about 11 pm. We had talked to our doula and told her we'd call her when we needed her to come in. Did pretty good until about 3:30 or so, and things were starting to get stronger. I could also tell that he was most likely posterior, because I could really feel the contractions in my back.

Donna, our doula (the backup for Amy, the one we hired.) She got there at about 4:30. I was really happy that she got there when she did, as things were starting to get pretty intense. The contractions were coming about every 2-3 minutes, and I was really feeling them in my back. So when she got there, we got me out of bed and on the birth ball. That really helped a lot, along with having her help me focus. Brett had been doing a great job, there is just something about the softer sound of a woman's voice for helping you to relax.

We could tell that Jarod was probably posterior, since I was feeling so much of the pain in my back. So with each contraction I would lift my belly up to encourage him to turn. Surprisingly it worked rather well. Within about an hour and a half or so, I was feeling much less pain in my back. But the contractions were getting closer and stronger. I think I finally asked for some pain medication about 6:30. I considered the epidural at that time, but wanted to try just a shot of something first, to see if that would help. They gave me a shot of Stadol, which really did work pretty well. Though I felt really out of it afterwards.

At around 7:00, the new nurse came in and we were able to move to our labor room. (Since they had been so busy the night before, we had gotten put into a kind of "holding" room.) Let me say right off, I did not like the new nurse. First time she came in I could tell she was going to be difficult. So we walked to my new room, which wasn't far down the hall. First off, she walked way too fast, and she had my IV pole. Then right before we got to the room, I got hit with a contraction. Now these things were so painful, there was no way I could actually walk through them. But the nurse was like, "Come on, let's try to keep walking through this. We're almost there." I was about to tell her to "bite me!", if I had had the strength. And she kept on pulling my IV pole, like she could keep me walking.

We got settled into the room, and I asked Donna what we needed to do to get a new nurse. I could tell there was going to be a conflict. We even asked the doctor who came in to check me. Well, I wish I could say that we got her changed and everything was wonderful, but no such luck. I didn't have the right frame of mind to fight for it, and no one else really did much either. (Brett said later he wished he had done more, but I told him not to worry about it. Neither of us is very good at confrontation.)

All this time, the Pitocin was being turned up gradually. So the contractions are getting closer and stronger, and harder and harder to take. At about 8:30, I finally decided they were too much too take. They were coming about every 1 and a half to 2 minutes, and lasting what seemed like forever. And on lots of them I would get doubles, it would just never really subside from one to the next. Well, to make a long story short, I had to wait 3, yes 3!, hours until I got my epidural. I had two more shots of Stadol during that time, but of course they weren't nearly as effective as the first shot had been. I guess the anesthesiologist was really busy, there were several C-sections that he kept getting called to. It was awful. But the worst part was, during this time I had one killer contraction. It lasted 25 minutes, I'm not kidding. Donna and Brett and my mom kept looking at the monitor expecting it to subside, but it never really did. It would peak, go down just a tiny bit, then peak again. Thank God for Brett and Donna, or I never would have made it through. I really thought I would die a couple of times. I just kept my eyes closed, squeezed the nerf balls in my hands (wouldn't have recognized them as balls), and groaned my way through the contractions.

The anesthesiologist finally got there and got the epi in, and life was much better at that point. I didn't feel one bit bad about getting the epi, even though I had wanted to go natural. But I knew things would be bad with the Pitocin, so I didn't let it bother me too much. It was about 12:30 pm when all of that was finally done and everything was in effect. Then we pretty much rested through most of the rest of the day, with periodic checks to see how I was doing. And of course, evil nurse kept coming in and cranking up the pitocin. ( I don't understand why she kept turning it up. It wasn't like the contractions weren't good ones, strong and regular, and making progress. I probably should have asked. And of course she never said when she turned it up. One of us would just happen to look at the IV thing and notice it was up higher than before. Grrrrrrrrrrrrr!!!!!!!!!!)

Well, finally around 6 or 6:30 I had pretty much made it to 10 cm dilated. I think I had just a small rim, but my doctor said we could go ahead and try pushing. The epi had worn off quite a bit during this point, but nothing terrible. So when I started pushing I could tell what I was doing. I think I started pushing around 7 pm. All the nurses, and Donna, kept telling me how good of a job I was doing pushing. I could really feel it. But every time they checked, he had come down, but never very far.

Dr Myers finally could tell that he was in there sideways, so they tried with some of the pushes to help get him past the pelvic bone. He was stuck under one edge and they couldn't get him to get under it. Finally, at about 9:10, Dr Myers comes in to talk to us. He said he still wasn't real happy with what Jarod's heartrate was doing. Again, the rate was good, no decelerations, but no good accelerations with movements or in response to pushing. He discussed the fact that I had been laboring for 24 hours, and had been slow to progress to this point. He went over all the options with us. He said he was fine with letting me push for another 50 minutes or so, to the 3 hour mark. We could see what happened then. Or we could go ahead and do a C-section.

I honestly can't remember how much Brett and I really discussed it. I think I just kind of looked at him, and we had an understanding. So I told the doctor, I didn't think I could push for another hour. I was so exhausted at this point. And Jarod still wasn't coming down my pelvis, and I didn't think another hour was going to help that much. I also said, the most important thing is to get him here safely and healthy, and since he looked good at that point, let's go ahead and do the C, and not risk it. So the decision was made and we started to prepare for it.

They came in and got me, and Brett had gotten into his scrubs. I was very happy at that point to go to the OR so they could get the epidural running again, as it had completely worn off by this point. They got everything started and then sent for Brett. He got there and it was show time. The anesthesiologist had him stand up so he could watch. I had wanted the screen lowered, but I guess we had forgotten to mention it, so it stayed up. But, I could see what was going on from the reflection in Brett's glasses. So I could see when the doctor pulled Jarod out and held him up.

Then they carried him over to the nurses or wherever they take them. They got him suctioned out and he finally let loose with some good cries. It took him a bit, and it had me a little worried. So of course I cried too when I heard him crying, and Brett was crying too. Brett went over to see him and then he got to bring him over to me to see. He was so beautiful. I just couldn't believe my baby was finally here.

Then Brett went with him to the nursery while they finished up with me. It was hard having him taken away, but I felt good knowing Brett was with him. While they were working I could hear Dr Myers working on his notes. I heard him say "nuchal cord times one", so I'm pretty sure that means that Jarod had the cord around his neck at least once. He never mentioned it later, and I keep forgetting to ask. He did tell me/us after he had finished up, that the reason the pushing hadn't been very effective is because Jarod was in there transverse or sideways. He was really wedged in my pelvis, and just wasn't turning. So it was a good thing we went ahead with the C.

They finally wheeled me back to our labor room for recovery. I was shaking so bad. My jaw hurt from trying to keep my teeth from chattering. At least I knew that this might be a side effect. My mom was there and waiting and talked about how beautiful Jarod was. At some point here, I know I was given all the vital stats. He was 8 lbs 10 oz, 21.5 inches long. His apgars were 8 and 9, which I understand to be really good for C-section babies. Soon after that Brett got to bring him to me. Oh, what a sight. He was just beautiful. I couldn't believe he was really, finally here, in my arms.

Brett says that we did attempt to breastfeed while he was there with us, but I unfortunately don't really remember. I have this vague idea that we did, but nothing concrete. I was still pretty out of it from the epidural, and the fact that I hadn't slept since Weds night and it was now Friday night about 12 am. The nursery nurse finally came and had to ask Brett to bring Jarod back so that they could give him his bath and warm him back up, and do all the other stuff they needed to do.

We stayed in the room, my mom and Donna had gone on home about 11:30 so it was just the two of us. We talked for awhile about everything, then we finally decided to try and get some sleep. I think we were finally moved to the postpartum room around 2 or 2:30. It seemed like forever. Once we got settled, then we were finally able to get Jarod back in the room with us. I hardly slept all night, I just held him in my arms. We worked on breastfeeding while we were there. He nurses fairly well, though he is still having some problems. He gets really super anxious and has a hard time latching on because he gets so frustrated.

I was in the hospital until Monday night, we finally got to leave at 9 pm. Everything had been ready, we just had to wait on one of the doctor's from my office to sign my paperwork. It was like 6:30 before anyone got there, even though it had been ready since like 1 pm. It was frustrating because we were really anxious to get home, and I hated to get home so late. But we got home and got settled in. It felt so good to be home. And hard to believe that we were really home, with our baby. What a wonderful feeling that was/is. I still can hardly believe it sometimes. I can just sit and watch him for hours.

2nd son's story, VBAC

The story begins on Weds November 7, 2001. In the middle of the night. After having gone to the bathroom, I thought my water might have broken but I wasn 't sure. We planned to go into the doctor's office to get checked once they opened.

We dropped Jarod off with the sitter. We got to the office and Dr Myers wasn't there, so they sent us over to the hospital (next door) to get checked out there. Well, they checked and my water hadn't broken, but I was 4cm and 80% effaced, whereas on Monday at my appointment I had only been 3cm and 50%. I was making progress. They put me on the monitors for a couple of hours to watch baby's hearttones, since I was over 40 weeks. Everything looked great, so on our way home we went.

Had contractions all through the day and evening, but never anything consistent and most weren't too intense, though some were. However, middle of the night (early Thurs morning) the contractions were more intense, a few waking me from sleep. But again, there was no pattern to them. We called our doula Amy around 8:30 to see what she thought. She advised calling the doctor and seeing about getting checked to see if I was making more progress. We called and our nurse said to come on in.

We took Jarod with us this time, figuring we'd have time to get him back home if we needed to. We got to the office around 11:30 and Dr Myers checked me. I was now 4-5 cm, still 80% effaced, but baby had now dropped to a -2 station, having been at -3 or higher for a long while. He was very pleased to see baby was starting to drop into the pelvis. He figured this was probably the beginnings of labor. He suggested we go over to the mall and have some lunch and walk around for a bit to get the contractions going some more.

We did that and came back around 2 pm or so to get checked again. This time I was 5-6 cm, 80% and -2. Dr Myers said he felt better keeping me at the hospital at this point. Juleeta (our nurse) walked us over to get checked in. It was about 3:00 pm by the time I was officially admitted. We called to our sitter and let her know that Brett would soon be bringing Jarod over and that we were indeed in labor and hopefully would have a baby fairly soon.

I called our doula Amy to let her know we were admitted and to have her come whenever she was ready. Amy got to the hospital around 4:15 and she and I walked the halls a bit after they took me off the monitors. That helped get the contractions a little stronger, but they still never had the patterns you read about. Brett finally got back to the hospital around 5:30 pm. He said Jarod did fine getting dropped off. We were all set, ready to have the baby.

I was hungry and asked the nurse about eating; she checked with my doc he said it was fine and she brought me in a regular tray. I didn 't eat a lot, just some pasta with sauce and a breadstick. It was just what I needed. At 6:45 Dr Myers came in and checked me. I had not made any progress since he checked me at 2:00, I was still 5-6 and 80%. He asked if I would be okay with him breaking my waters, to help speed things along. I was okay with this and hoped it might get things moving. There was just very light meconium staining to the water, nothing to be concerned about though.

At around 7:45 I got up to sit on the birth ball in the shower. It felt great while it lasted, really helped with the contractions, as they were much more intense now and coming more frequently. One funny note was that they had to cover the hep-lock in my hand to keep it from getting wet. The nurse used a biohazard bag and I joked about being a biohazard. Also, Brett spent several minutes mopping up the bathroom floor from all the water. The birth ball covered the drain in the shower and we had a minor flood!

Unfortunately, the hot water didn't last long, which was really frustrating. I decided to go ahead and get out of the shower and not wait for more as things were getting pretty uncomfortable. Things were even more intense from this point, I was moaning and vocalizing to get thru the contractions. Brett and Amy were talking me through them.

By 9:15 I had had enough and decided I really wanted some pain relief. Both Brett and Amy worked to convince me to keep going, one contraction at a time, since my goal had been a natural labor. Amy began making me count backwards with her from 30 during the contractions, to keep me focused. It helped, but I still wanted pain relief. I said that I would wait until the nurse checked me to make a final decision.

The nurse, Nikki (who was a doll) checked and I was only at 6 cm. I was somewhat disappointed and knew then that I definitely wanted something for the pain. Had I been an 8, I might have changed my mind, but since I seemed to be progressing slowly, I needed the relief. I got a shot of Nubain at 9:35 to help take the edge off until I could get the epidural.

Fortunately for us, the anesthesiologist was very quick to get there. He was there by 10:00 to begin. It took him 3 tries to get the epi in my back. I did great holding still and working thru the contractions while waiting. It was very worth it. It didn't completely block the pain, I could feel pressure down low, but it took away the intense pain in my belly and back.

I called my mom around 11:00, having promised her earlier to call her and let her know what was going on. We told her, no baby yet, but hopefully before too long. At 11:15 Dr Myers was in to check me and I was now at 7cm. They were having a hard time getting a good reading on the contractions, so he put in a pressure catheter to monitor them. At 12:05 I was 7cm and -1 to a 0 station. Between 12 and 2:00 am I just changed positions every half hour or so. At 2:00 I was 7-8 cm. At 2:20 the nurse started a Pitocin drip (with my okay) to help things get maybe just a little stronger and get the rest of the way dilated. At 3:00 she suggested getting into a knee to chest position to help melt away a bit of "puffy anterior cervix", I was still 7-8 cm. I also at this point was running a bit of a fever.

At this point I am feeling more pressure and am wanting to push a bit with the contractions. The nurse encouraged me to push a few times to help with a rim of cervix that was still there. At 4:40 there is just a small bit of cervix left to dilate, I move to my left side to help. Contractions are coming every 2-3 minutes now. At around 5:00 am I am given an antibiotic as my temp is still around 100F, baby's heartrate is great around 150-160. At 5:20 I begin pushing and Nicki (nurse) and Amy (doula) are impressed with how well I am moving the baby down. At 5:45 baby is starting to crown and Dr Myers is there and starting to get ready. All are very encouraging and Brett is very excited when we are able to see the head and the blonde hair.

At 6:07 am I pushed Alexander Carl Baassler into this world. What a wonderful, joyous feeling to bring forth my baby this way. I won't ever forget Brett's voice when he announced that we had a boy! Alex was immediately placed on my belly. I couldn't believe how great I felt and how beautiful he was. They cleaned him up while he was on my belly. He was there for several minutes before the nurse took him to do some other things. She went and got the scale as we were all curious as to how big he was. The moment of truth, Alex weighed 9lbs 9 oz and was 22 inches long. His apgars were 8 and 9. I had a 2nd, partial 3rd degree tear.

Everything I experienced was so very worth it. I felt so wonderful after Alex was born. I felt like I was on top of the world. (And as of this writing, 10 days later, I still do. Though I could use some sleep!

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