It would be impossible for me to write about this birth without reflecting on Lucas’ birth. It was not a very pleasant experience, and had led me to fear birth. I was in labor with Lucas from start to finish 38 hours. 20 of those hours were active labor. I pushed for 3 and a half hours, which was unproductive as he didn’t descend. After all that I ended up having a c-section which Lucas was vacuumed out of. It took me quite a while to recover physically and mentally. It was not the natural birth I had planned. Even so Lucas came out healthy, and it was all worth it.
When I found out I was pregnant again, I really didn’t think about labor or birth for quite a while...I think I was avoiding it. My midwives reassured me over and over that I was a great candidate for a vbac, and that everything was going to be just fine. They said because I dilated to a 10 with Lucas, they had no doubts that this next birth would be vaginal and smooth sailing. Choosing a repeat c-section didn’t really even cross my mind. I was terrified of going through everything I did with Lucas all over again, but I am a little crazy I guess and wanted my natural birth! I knew for me and for my baby I wanted to try for a vbac. I tried so hard to believe my midwives, and as my due date crept closer, fears and traumatic memories started to flood my mind. I didn’t have much trust in my body, and feared the worst. I sought for support from some online groups, and even attended a full day workshop to help women work through birth trauma. Those things helped...but I still had those doubts.
My due date was December 8th, and I was fully intending to be late, as Lucas was a week late. I was hoping she would come early, but tried to prepare myself to be overdue. November 30th, I started having a lot of Braxton hicks. I hadn’t had them at all the whole pregnancy, and at one point during the day they became painful and consistent. I drank some water, laid down to see if they would intensify or go away. They died down...and I have to say I was very disappointed! The contractions continued and at times were again painful. There was a snowstorm on it’s way. I also thought I was leaking amniotic fluid...but wasn’t sure! I didn’t want my Mom to be stuck and to miss everything, so after going back and forth forever, Caleb told me just to call her. I did, and she said she would be on her way up. She arrived later in the evening. She slept on the couch and I slept on the recliner. (carpal tunnel is fun!) I had about an hour of pretty painful contractions and even started timing them. I decided to stop and to just try and get some sleep. If this was the real thing, I would need it. Turns out they again didn’t progress. The next couple of days I had very inconsistent contractions. They were still painful, so I was hoping they were doing something, but eventually they stopped altogether. I was so disappointed. My Mom decided to go home on the 3rd , and joked that I would probably be calling her later that day. Turns out she was right.
Caleb and I went to bed that evening, I couldn’t sleep and around 11pm got out of bed as I was having contractions again and couldn’t sleep. I sent my friend Mindy a text and asked if she would be on call for the night. If we needed to leave quickly, I needed someone to stay with Lucas. She said she would and I was grateful for her help. I stayed up watching tv and was on facebook. I didn’t wake Caleb because I had been having contractions for days that turned out to be nothing, and I wasn’t even sure myself if this was the real thing. They started to get more painful....but I still wasn’t convinced! It was probably sometime around 1am that I got Caleb up as I was in a lot of pain. He asked if we should call the midwives, I hesitantly called. I didn’t want to wake them up for nothing. I have an app on my phone that I was timing my contractions with...turns out it kind of sucked as it just tracked averages! I called the midwives, and Carol answered. She asked me how far apart my contractions were and I said 4 or 5 minutes I thought. Well while talking with her I had two really bad contractions that I had to breath through, and she told me they were only two minutes apart and I needed to get to the hospital. I told her I needed to call Mindy, and it might be a bit before she could get to my house. She said to call her back when we were about to leave the house.
I phoned Mindy and she said she would need to nurse her baby and then would be on her way. Caleb and I started packing last minute things in our hospital bag, and he kept asking me if we needed anything else. Mindy showed up a lot faster than I thought she would, and I am grateful she did! She came in, gave me a hug, and I instantly started crying. She asked me what was wrong and I said I was scared. She asked of birth or having a newborn again...I said of the birth! I remember thinking through those few hours that I must just be being a wimp. That with Lucas I did 38 hours of labor, and I was so afraid of what laid ahead of me. I didn’t think I could do it for that much longer, and was in a lot of pain. Mindy reassured me that everything was going to be fine. I called my Mom and let her know what was going on.
The car ride to the hospital was awful! We had tons of snow, and the roads were so bumpy. Having contractions sitting down in the car was probably the most horrible thing ever. I wanted to stand up so badly. Poor Caleb had to listen to my screaming. He was a good coach, and said to just let it all out. I told him I didn’t think I could do this, and he told me a few times that I needed to be kind to myself and tell myself that I could do it.
We got to the hospital. Caleb dropped me off and went and parked the car. I labored in the entrance while a couple people had to watch me pace and moan through contractions. Ha ha. Caleb came in and we went up to the unit. Carol was there to meet us. She told me to get on the bed so she could check me. I was so scared that I hadn’t progressed much and that I would be discouraged. She checked me and said, “well....you’re at an 8.” I said really??? I couldn’t believe it. It was very encouraging, and I hoped that things would keep progressing. Carol went and started filling up the tub so I could labor in the water. After, she had me get up and stand at the edge of the room so I could stand over the counter. Carol left the room for something. I looked down and saw fluid dripping on the floor...as I saw that I had probably one of the most intense moments of my life. I felt myself loosing control...I felt baby drop, and then had the uncontrollable urge to push. I told Caleb I needed to push, and started freaking out asking where Carol was. Caleb went to go look for her and couldn’t find her. When he got back, she was back in the room. I started screaming and saying “I need something!” In that moment I had no idea how I was going to go on without an epidural, it all seemed like way too much. Carol got right in my face...I think she may have even grabbed my face! And said “Kailey, stop screaming. What you need is to have this baby.” She was very firm with me, but I needed it. It helped focus me and calm me down. She told me to get on the bed, and she would get me the gas. At this point I threw up, I was so scared I was going to throw up all over her! I had some more contractions and Carol got close to me and told me to breathe them away.
She got the gas set up. I can’t remember if she checked me again, but because the second midwife hadn’t shown up yet, she instructed Caleb to hold my other leg. It was time to start pushing. I told Carol I was scared. She said that was normal, and that things were going fast so it was normal to be having a lot of intense feelings! This was the stage of labor I was most fearful of, but in the end was not as bad as I thought it would be. It felt so good to push! Wendy showed up soon after I started to push. I was happy to see her, as she was the midwife I had for Lucas’ delivery. I pretty much growled every time I pushed. I had my eyes closed almost the whole time, the few times I opened my eyes I looked up at Caleb, and his eyes were bugging out of his head! And he kept saying oh my gosh! It was weirdly reassuring, because I knew something was happening. My midwives were so encouraging and kept telling me how amazing I was doing. Caleb said at this point, when baby started crowning, he thought to himself, “I can’t believe Kailey is going to have another c-section, because there’s no way a baby is going to fit through there.” Ha ha. I had been pushing for a bit, then my midwives told me frantically to stop pushing! I told them, “I’m trying!” Afterwards they told me baby was almost out, and they applied counter pressure to stop me from tearing. It was almost impossible to stop pushing, but they said I did a good job.
Close to the end of things I remember saying out loud, “I can do it, I can do it” A couple more big pushes, and baby came out. I looked down and it took a minute for them to bring her up to me. I honestly can’t even remember what my first thoughts were, I was in complete shock. I could not believe I had pushed out a baby, and I could not believe I did it without any drugs! They brought baby up and laid her on my chest. A few minutes later they had Caleb cut the cord. She was so cute, and the midwives kept talking about how big she was, and that I did an amazing job. I was so curious to see what she weighed! They eventually took her over to weigh her. She was 8lbs 10oz....almost a pound smaller than Lucas, and her head was 38 cm...huge! My midwives couldn’t believe I got her out so fast. When she came out the cord was around her neck twice, and around her body once. I guess they had to kind of somersault her out, and because of that I had a minor second degree tear which required some stitches. My midwives said if that hadn’t happened I probably wouldn’t have torn at all. In total my labor was about 5 hours, 3 of those were active, and I only pushed for half an hour. Such a crazy difference from Lucas! The midwives said I was meant to birth babies and for my next one I’d better get to the hospital asap...I said, what next baby?! Ha ha
I latched Minnie on to nurse, and she had a good nurse. After that my midwives took us to the bath, and got us both cleaned up. It was so nice to have a bath with her! The midwives worked on the paperwork, while Caleb and I ogled our baby girl. When they were done I got dressed, put Minnie in her car seat, they put me in the wheelchair and we were on our way! Because there were no issues, and the midwives can discharge you, they don’t make you stay. I was so grateful for that. I hate the hospital!
Caleb warmed up the car, we got Minnie in and drove home. My Mom had gotten to our house a few hours earlier to relieve Mindy and was asleep on the couch when we walked in. She told us later that when she heard us come in, she thought it must have been just Caleb picking something up we forgot. She was so surprised when I was with him, and we had our baby too. She couldn’t believe how fast it was and that we were already sent home. We got home just in time for Lucas to wake up. I was happy for that because I was worried about him being concerned or scared that we weren’t home when he woke up. What a way to wake up...to a brand new little sister. He really wasn’t sure what was going on. Seemed to like her, but wasn’t too interested in her. He was happy to have Grandma around though. My Mom stayed for the week and I don’t know what we would have done without her! It was so nice to have her help. Caleb’s parents came the weekend after to meet our little girl.
That in a nutshell is the birth of our precious Minnie May. It was so much different than I had been preparing myself for. The days and weeks that followed I couldn’t stop thinking about the birth. Don’t know if that is a sign of trauma or what! But it just all seemed so surreal. It happened so fast. But of course it was all worth it, and we love our sweet little girl.
Here are the few blog appropriate photos I have. :)