Sunday, September 9, 2012

What is a VBAC?

So one of the exciting things going on with us is our 2nd pregnancy.  I am currently almost 19 weeks and it is starting to feel real as my pants are too tight, maternity clothes are too big, I feel little flutters, and the "baby mail" has started pouring you.  You know what I mean the coupons for diapers, formula, cord freezing, clothes, bottles, wipes.  Marketing departments nationwide have been notified that the Condrons are having a baby.

While pregnant with K, after researching all of the different types of birth, I decided that we were going to have a natural childbirth.  I signed up for a 9 week natural childbirth class, I bought a big ball, I practiced my breathing, I read blogs of women who had delivered naturally, I read books about natural childbirth.  So how did things turn out?  I had an emergency c-section.  But you know what?  I didn't care.  I had a healthy, beautiful, perfect baby and how she got here didn't matter.

BUT, I would like to try to have a VBAC this time around.  So I thought I would write about why I want a VBAC and my journey to see how things turn out this time around.  Now, that being said, I have adult onset ADHD and my follow through is not what it used to be so hopefully this is more than a one time blog I lose interest in.

First, I thought I would write about my delivery the first time:

I went in for my 37 week check-up and the doctor sent me to the hospital for observation because my blood pressure was high.  I was sure that I would be home in a couple of hours so I did not call my husband who was 4 hours away.  I felt great, my blood pressure had not been a problem until this appointment.  I was sure, it was an isolated incident and even told the nurse so.  Her response was, "Honey, once your doctor sends you here, you don't go home until you have that baby." 

SOOO, I called my husband, who immediately freaked out and drove through a tornado to get to the hospital.  The doctor came to check on me and, of course, says, "You should stay here tonight and I will induce you in the morning."  So, there I was, no bag, no ball, none of my soothing music I was going to play.  I just laid there in the uncomfortable hospital bed with the fetal heart rate monitor wrapped around my giant belly, an alarm sounding every time I shifted ever so slightly.  This was not how my childbirth was supposed to go.  I knew the statistics, women who are induced are more likely to get an epidural and end up in c-section.  My 9 week child birth class had taught me that.

After a very uncomfortable night, they nurse came in at 6:00 a.m. (the first time I had been comfortable for more than 2 minutes, I might add) to start my pitocin drip.  Steve had arrived the night before and we were in good spirits.  We knew that today was they day we were going to meet our sweet baby girl.  Things started off good.  I couldn't really feel the contractions, we watched t.v., had a few visitors, and watched it rain.

THEN, they broke my water . . . well let me back up.  I was in a big practice and had an OB that was the "main" lady I saw, but she said I should try to see other doctors in the practice in case she could not be there at the delivery so I did.  I saw every single doctor in the practice except for Dr. Param, the only man.  Guess who came in to break my water. . . yep, I was really starting to hate my "regular" doctor.  Apparently, she was having eye surgery and would be out for 4 days?!?!?!?  I had just seen her the day before and there was no mention of this!!

After he broke my water, the contractions really started coming.  All I wanted to do was walk around, but they made me stay hooked up to the fetal heart monitor so I went to the bathroom about 67 times in 3 hours.  That taught them.  About 3:00 p.m., I decided contractions were for the birds and my 9 week natural birth class was stupid, I wanted an epidural and I wanted it now.  Luckily, the anaesthesiologist was on the floor and came over pretty quick.   Oh.  My.  Goodness.  Life was immediately better.  So Steve and I continued to talk, laugh, watch TV, and watch the rain.

At 7:00 p.m., there was a nurse shift change.  I immediately did not like my new nurse.  She was abrasive, rude, loud, and mean.  She wanted to put in an internal fetal heart monitor.  Why all of the sudden did I need that?  She said that she was having a hard time reading the baby's heart rate, so I agreed.  When she did, every time I was contracting, K's heart rate was dropping as well as my blood pressure.  She immediately called the doctor who said to prep the operating room for a c-section. I immediately burst into tears.  I did not want a c-section, but they are telling me K's heart rate is dropping when I am contracting which can mean the umbilical cord is wrapped.

I really didn't have time to think.  Within minutes, there were 5 people in my room.  Giving me a shot, hooking new bags to my IV, giving Steve scrubs.  Where was my new best friend, Dr. Param??  No where to be found.

They took me to the operating room, tied down my arms (little known fact about c-sections), put up a sheet so I could not see.  The anaesthesiologist was by my head, Dr. Param was there, 3 nurses, and they finally let Steve come in.  A funny moment in the midst of the chaos (I look for the humor in all situations), the anaesthesiologist told Steve that there was chair in the corner, meaning Steve could bring it over and sit by us.  Steve went and sat in the corner.  In his defense, it was a really crazy time.

All I remember about the c-section was feeling like I could not breathe and the nurses counting (apparently the number of gauze they put in me and took out).  Then I remember seeing sweet K, all covered in goo.  I kept asking, "Is she okay?  Is she okay?"  Then I heard her cry.  Sweet, sweet crying.  It was never sweeter (especially two weeks later when I had not slept longer than 2 hours at any time), than that first time because it means everything is okay.  Steve left my side to go take pictures, then he brought that precious, perfect girl to me.  Now, I secretly had a fear that my baby would be ugly and I would not love her, but that, of course, was not the case.  Because she was the most beautiful baby I had every seen.  She was looking at me and my heart melted.

The next few hours were a blur of baths, the worst pictures of me ever, and more nurses, aids, doctors, and finally moving to our recovery room, where we would spend the next four days.

Like I said, this birth did not go as I planned, but in the end it did not matter.  3 years later, it does not matter.  I have a scar on my lower stomach that I can't even see over my gut anyway.  What does matter is the sweet baby that entered our lives on that rainy night in July and the amazing adventure it has been to be her mother the past three years!!