Saturday, July 26, 2014

Ben's birth story

I feel like a terrible person, I started off my documenting my pregnancy and then, kind of stopped. In all honesty, my pregnancy was pretty non eventful though, which is a good thing. So, I guess that is part of the reason why I never got around to weekly updates. However, I would never forgive myself if I didn't document his birth story though -- he at least deserves that!

I finally have a free moment (and a both hands free!) to get it written down :)

As I stated, my pregnancy was pretty text book. This time around, it was a little more exhausting as I was dealing with a rambunctious toddler every step of the way. As you know, we waited to find out the gender this time. I thought it would be tough, but it really wasn't (and yes, it WAS worth the wait in the end!) I was also hoping to have a VBAC this time around, but knew that a second C-section was always possible. I specifically chose a VBAC friendly practice this time, and had positive support from my doctor's my entire pregnancy. The only stipulation was that I was not allowed to be induced and that I had to go into labor on my own. Inducing with a VBAC increases your chance at a uterine rupture -- its not a huge increase, but its enough that the practice does not want the liability, and I respect that. In talking with a doula friend, I later found out that its pretty standard across the board.

So, as part of the routine, I still had to schedule a backup C-section date in case I never went into labor and had no other choice. My practice left it up to me as to when I wanted to schedule, and were willing to let me go a week "past due" if I so choose. In basing off my previous pregnancy, I decided to schedule it for a week past my due date, to give myself a chance to go in to labor. I just had a feeling that I would still be pregnant at 40 weeks -- and I was! At my 40 week appointment, I had made absolutely no progress and baby was very high up and posterior (just like big sister). My normally optimistic doctor did not seem confident I would be going into labor on my own at that point, and I didn't think I would either, so I was being pessimistic and planning for my scheduled date the following week -- but baby ended up proving us wrong!

On the evening of June 22nd, I was getting ready for work (by getting ready, I mean I was showering and putting on my pajamas...the perks of working from home!) I used the bathroom before jumping in the shower and noticed I had lost a teeny tiny bit of my plug. I didn't think much of it, but thought it was interesting since I never had that with my previous pregnancy. I continued on with my night and logged in to work. A few hours later, I went to the bathroom again and a bigger chunk of my plug had come out -- still didn't think much of it, but texted my mom and sister to let them know. I also told my mom friends and they were all least SOMETHING was starting to happen!

Not even an hour after that, I started having mild cramping, but nothing consistent or time able. I refused to believe I was actually in labor! My mom kept insisting that I more than likely was, and that it was going to start out feeling different than it did during an induced labor. Over the course of the next two hours, I finished my shift at work as my contractions started getting stronger. After I got off work at midnight and realized this was the real deal, I started rushing around the house doing things I had planned to do that week leading up to my scheduled date -- laundry, dishes, vacuuming, and packing the rest of my hospital bag! I even tried painting my toe nails, but at that point, my contractions were strong enough that I had to keep stopping to breathe through them. Around 2a, I called my OB to tell him what was going on and gave my parents the green light to make the two hour trip down to Pittsburgh. By 3, my contractions were coming close together and getting stronger. My parents were still an hour and a half away and we were nervous about waiting at home until they could get there. Luckily, my friend Shanyn saved the day and came to stay with Audrey until my parents could get there!

We arrived at the hospital around 3:30a and they took me back to triage and hooked me up to all the monitors. After a short while, the triage Dr came in to check me. At that point I was 4cm and 90% effaced. However, the baby was still very high up, floating, and in a totally non-favorable position. His head was against my hip bone, facing the wrong direction. Deja vu. The chances of baby moving into the correct position at that point weren't great and we spoke with two separate doctors about it. They were both willing to let me continue laboring and try for my VBAC, but agreed that usually by 5-6cm, baby is typically starting to move into position. This kiddo was basically sideways. It was a difficult decision, but I knew what I didn't want -- laboring for hours and hours, only to end up with a C-section anyway. So, I chose to have a repeat C-section. Once that decision was made, things moved quickly! They had anesthesia come in to speak to me about getting my spinal, signing consent forms, etc.

They wheeled me to the OR to prep me for surgery. I remember this time much more vividly, probably because I wasn't exhausted physically and mentally! The environment was a lot more laid back and the surgical team was awesome, walking me through the spinal and other prep steps. Once I was prepped and on the table, the curtain was up and they brought Ryan in to sit by my head. I had requested my hands not be strapped down, and they allowed it, which I was thankful for! I had also requested that Ryan be able to announce the gender, and if all was ok with the baby, that they lift baby over the curtain so we could see him (we did not get that the first time, and I felt robbed of that experience!) I also spoke with the nurse and asked that she take as many photos as she could (and she did...and for that, we are SO thankful).

The surgery itself took FOREVER (no, seriously.) When all was said and done, it was about a 2-hour process. Not normal, but there were some special circumstances surrounding mine. Once the doctor accessed the uterus, my uterine window was so thin from my previous C-section, he could see the baby and amniotic fluid through it. Not good. In hindsight, having another C-section ended up being a blessing in disguise. Had I attempted a VBAC, I likely would have experienced uterine rupture -- very scary. Because of this issue, it literally took forever for them to get the baby out as he had to work around scar tissue and unfuse my bladder from my uterus, inject dye into my bladder to ensure it wasn't leaking after all of that -- hot mess! My OB was wonderful though, and was explaining to me what was going on and why it was taking so long. Finally, after what seemed like eternity, the baby was out! The nurse Anesthetist (who was also great and chatted with us during everything) apparently missed the memo that Ryan was supposed to be the announcer, because as soon as the baby was out and before they held him up he peeked over the corner and said "it's a boy.."...Ryan didn't even care at that point because he was THRILLED to have a son! Finding out at the moment of delivery was an awesome moment and I'd do it again in a heartbeat!

After we got a sneak peak, they had to take him back to clean him off, weigh him, etc. We hear his first cries -- and it was wonderful! And he kept Little boy had some lungs on him! They weighed him and announced it to us -- 9 pounds and 22" long! Considering I only gained 6 lbs this pregnancy, I'm not really sure where that big boy was hiding :) He scored 9/9 on his apgar scores and everything looked great. Shortly after that, they brought him over for Ryan to hold. He was beautiful and because my hands weren't strapped down, I was able to stroke his cheek until I could physically hold him. I am still in awe that I have a son!

They let us hold him for awhile before they had to take him back for some more checks. At that point Ryan left to go tell my poor mom what was going on because she was in the waiting room and probably wondering what was taking so long! I obviously stayed back (haha) and had to wait for again what seemed like forever for them to put everything back and stitch me back up. Apparently my uterus was so thin he had a hard time stitching it back together :/ When everything was finished, they wheeled me back to recovery where I finally got to hold my baby boy. It was love at first site -- again!

We stayed in the hospital for 2 days instead of 3 -- because everything was going well with both of us, they let us break free a day early! We had lots of visitors during our hospital stay and are so thankful for that. We truly are blessed with all of the wonderful people in our lives! Recovery is going well and baby is doing very well! I had some pain, which was to be expected and I probably didn't take it as easy as I should have, but hey, I also have a toddler and life doesn't stop!

Meet Benjamin Ryan :)
born at 6:37a on June 23, 2014
9lbs and 22"

We are over the moon in love with our little boy...his big sister is pretty fond of him too (usually) ;) We are so blessed and thankful to have two (!!) healthy, happy and beautiful babies <3

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