I have a two-fold purpose in breaking my blog-writing silence after many, many months. First & most importantly, I want to proclaim the goodness of God's faithfulness. Second, to simply document the sweetness of our birth story (for my own aging memory).
Most of you already know that it has been an 18 month process of seeing the fulfillment of God's redemption of our pain & grief. We found out in July 2013 that we were expecting a child, but lost that child to miscarriage in September 2013. Then, in May 2014, we found out that we again were expecting. After an uneventful, but physically taxing pregnancy, we welcomed our sweet Benjamin into the world on January 13, 2015.
I was 8 days past my due date and very eager to meet my first son. I had my membranes stripped for 2 weeks prior, but Benjamin was showing no sign of coming despite being dilated to 4 cm. I went in for a non-stress test on Monday afternoon. Everything looked great! Dr. Troy asked if I wanted to be checked and stripped again, joking that she didn't think it would matter anyways. I was already scheduled to be induced on Thursday, but we were really hoping to go into labor naturally because I was attempting another VBAC. I figured it couldn't hurt for her to check and try to get labor going. Twelve hours later, I awoke at 3:00 am with very strong contractions. I knew I was already dilated to 4 cm so I began to monitor them, but figured I would have a little while to labor at home. I was wrong. They were strong, painful and coming every 4-5 minutes. My original plan was to get a shower and put on some make-up, but I figured it would be better use of my time to make sure my kids were taken care of. So I set about making Hannah and Kate's lunches for school.
After an hour of "have to stop what I'm doing & take your breath away" contractions, I woke George up and told him that we needed to go to the hospital. He was a little surprised as I had tried to stay inconspicuous and let him sleep, especially if it was false labor. The original plan was to take the girls over to Matt & Sarah's house, but I didn't want to wake them &, more importantly, I didn't want to miss my epidural.
We got to the hospital about 5:00 a.m. The OB triage nurses noted that I was a scheduled C-section on Thursday and tried to convince me that they didn't do VBACs at their hospital. I got the 5th degree over what doctor told me a VBAC was permissible. I firmly told them every OB at my practice consented to my doing a VBAC. Did they really think arguing with a woman in labor was going to go over well? Anyway, I got checked in and was 5 cm. Apparently labor & delivery was very busy & I was getting the last bed. Woohoo! The only thing going through my mind though was that must mean a long line for an epidural.
I got transferred to L&D shortly after. I labored for probably another hour and a half while they did all of the IV hook-ups, blood testing, and other set-up. Luckily, the nurse anesthetist walked in as soon as I was cleared to get an epidural. I was a little nervous as my last epidural was difficult to get in, but this lady was awesome and got it on the first time. She even did it as she carried on a conversation with George about fishing. My epidural kicked in quickly and I was finally comfortable and could enjoy visitors (our parents & my sister).
Dr. Granger came in and gave us the "Are you sure you want to VBAC?" speech. I will admit that it made a me a little nervous, but he was just doing his job. He actually apologized to me after Benjamin was born & said that he was very comfortable doing VBACs, but wanted to make sure that I knew all the risks (which is only less than 1% of uterine rupture). He broke my water and we found out that there was meconium. It wasn't a big deal, but it did mean that a neonatologist would be present at the birth to make sure the baby did not aspirate on it. He also started me on pitocin to increase the frequency of my contractions & placed an IUCP to monitor the strength of my uterus and an internal monitor on Benjamin. I labored pain-free until about 11:00 when I was fully dilated and could tell it was time to push. I pushed (again...pain-free) for about 15 minutes and out came my big baby boy with a full head of dark hair.
They took him immediately over to clean him up and make sure he was breathing okay, but he was PERFECT. He weighed 8 lbs. 12 oz. and measured 20 in. We got to snuggle & nurse shortly after. Our hospital stay was fairly uneventful after that. Because he was considered a bigger baby, they monitored his blood sugar, but all of those tests came back clear as well. We stayed in the hospital until Wednesday evening and then decided to come home due to a lack (meaning none on my part) of sleep.
Thank you for allowing me to share our story. Although, Reagan's birth went just about the same, I am still in utter amazement at how perfect it all went again. God answered prayers from going into labor naturally to having another successful VBAC to being able to get an epidural to him being healthy! Thank you so much to everyone who prayed at any point during my pregnancy. My heart is still full & overwhelmed with how God has shown His compassion towards us over the last 18 months. And my heart is overflowing with love towards my son.