So my due date is rapidly approaching. I’m officially 4 weeks away from it and so actually delivering a baby has been on my mind a lot lately. Currently my OB approved plan is attempt a VBAC with a definite epidural. (She is encouraging the epidural, but to me that part is non-negotiable).
So since it’s been on my mind I figured I’d go ahead and share the longer version in case anyone actually cares. (The shorter version, since I’m going to skip to the part where I was actually in labor at the hospital).
For reference, I left my house around 1pm, and Jack was born at 8:36pm. My labor came on quickly and progressed quickly and I salute all the women who go into labor and think “I can do this without drugs” because let me tell you now, I was so not one of them.
Before actually going into labor my delivery plan consisted of “Go to the hospital to have a baby. Hopefully without drugs, but not a big deal if I change my mind.” I was so proud of myself for not over thinking and over planning things, I was just going to show up and DO IT! (hahaha). (I can also tell you that I was probably not a very pleasant person during labor. It hurt, I was cranky, and Nate was a champ. I wanted silence. DO NOT ENCOURAGE ME, just stand there and let me scream, and I did scream and it felt gooood. But moving on…)
Probably 1.5-2 hours after I got to the hospital since everything had been running pretty slowly (the nurse dropped me off in triage and disappeared for like an hour) I asked them to go ahead and put in the request for an epidural. I had heard it could take an hour between the request and the actual act so I figured it hurt now, in an hour I would probably really like for it to stop hurting.
Here came the bad news. I could not have an epidural. Due to low platelets they couldn’t give me a spinal, but not to worry they could test me again later. And if I was interested I could have the narcotic, whatever that was. It would “take the edge off” so by then I was like YES PLEASE. What I remember about that drug is that “taking the edge off” does not mean that it doesn’t hurt, but it made me care less about the pain. If that makes any sense at all? So it hurt, but it also made me sort of groggy and I didn’t really mind it as much.
Let’s go ahead and fast forward to the next blood test for my epidural. Of course this time my platelets were even lower so it was definitely not going to happen. I may not have had much of a plan going into this thing, but not being able to have an epidural if I wanted one never factored into my planning!
Labor continued, I dilated to 10 cm and started pushing (you know what also felt good? Pushing. Pushing was awesome and felt so much better than the actual labor part of the ordeal, I was so relieved). 2 hours (and some pitocin later) I had still not made very much progress in the pushing department so we tried suction. I was told we got three tries and then it was an automatic c-section. (I totally had the c-section). With the suction it was discovered that Jack’s head was turned at a bad angle and he was basically stuck. So off to have a c-section I went.
Now, back to the part where I could not have an epidural… this also meant that I could not have a spinal block for my c-section and I had to be fully put under which was by far the worst part of the whole thing (in my opinion, I think Nate would make an argument towards the suction part too, but I’ve blocked that part pretty thoroughly. I know it happened, I have vague memories of it but I was drugged and exhausted and I just don’t remember it that clearly). That full anesthesia thing meant that Nate could not come into the operating room and he was stuck outside in a waiting area not able to know what was going on. He just had to wait and see. (Which is why keeping my platelets up this time is so important to me. If for any reason I have to have another c-section that’s not a big deal to me, but I definitely want for Nate to be able to be in the room with me for it.)
Next thing I knew I was in a room in a hospital bed waking up. They asked if I wanted to hold the baby and I think I said something like “sure” because I was still kind of confused. They also asked if I was cold, which I was, so they wrapped my head in a blanket. Looking back at pictures it was definitely not my best look.
Then they wheeled us from the recovery room to the maternity room and so began the longest three days of my life. Not in a bad way, just that when you only sleep for 3-6 hours a day and none of them are in a row, the nights seem like extra days so when we left it was hard to believe it had only been like 3 days because it seemed like a week. So weird.
So in order to attempt a VBAC I need to keep my platelets up. I’m seeing a hematologist (weekly now for blood tests) to help with that and have started my first round of steroids (for 4 days) to boost them. Due to my c-section last time I had another ultrasound at my last appointment and they estimated her weight was 6lb 3oz currently and everything else checked out well for us.
I hope this story didn’t scare anyone out of future child birth. Obviously we lived it and as cliche as it may be I can tell you I would prefer not to, but I would gladly live it again if I had to for this baby. Totally worth it.