Sloane’s birth story: my second VBAC
Happy due date, baby girl!
A week ago we were heading to the hospital, hoping we would be meeting the final member of our family soon.
I had contractions every day throughout the last 8ish weeks of my pregnancy. Some days they were intense, they just never got close together. FINALLY, on 10/1, at exactly 39 weeks, they stayed consistently five minutes apart for an hour while we were out to dinner with my grandparents.
We got home and took a walk around the neighborhood with hopes they’d stay close together. After about 30 minutes Ben and Jason went inside to get Benny ready for bed. Blaire stayed out with me and we did a few more laps around the neighborhood.
Finally around 10:30pm, I called my doctors office and they said I could come into the hospital. We called Jason parents to come over and stay with the kids, and made it to the hospital just a few minutes before midnight.
First we had to be in the triage room to make sure I was really in active labor and progressing. From 12-3am I continued to have contractions for about 45 seconds, 4-5 minutes apart but didn’t move past the 4.5cm I had been at earlier in the day before I had a membrane sweep at my 39 week appointment.
I was definitely frustrated at the thought of being sent home even though I was having such painful and consistent contractions. I had mostly been up and walking when not attached to the monitors, so I got on my phone and started googling what I could do with a birthing ball to help progress labor. One thing I read was to do small circles with your hips for twenty minutes, changing directions every few minutes. Holy moly, it kicked my contractions up in intensity quickly. When they checked me again at 4am, I had finally moved to a 5cm which meant I could be admitted. I was so relieved!
They started my IV and I did all of my paperwork before getting moved to our delivery room. I tested positive for Group B Strep this pregnancy, so I knew my labor would be different than Ben’s to allow for the antibiotic needed before delivery. Our pediatrician recommends two doses of the antibiotic before delivery, with 4 hours in between the two doses. They started the first round of antibiotic as soon as they got my IV in, right around 4:30am. We finished signing all of the paperwork to be admitted and then made it to our delivery room about 5am. Since I knew they couldn’t break my water until I had my second round of antibiotic (around 9am) I opted to have the epidural ASAP, hoping I’d be able to get some sleep since we had been up all night. Around 5:50am I had my epidural and I was probably asleep by 6am.
At 8:30am they checked me and I was still at 5cm. They decided to start a low dose of Pitocin because my contractions had slowed down a bit since I’d just been laying in bed, and I obviously hadn’t progressed any more since 4am. At 9am they started my second round of antibiotics and at 9:30am they broke my water. They checked me again at 10:50am and I was at 10cm. She was still up (at about a -2) in my cervix, so they said to rest while my doctor headed to help in a surgery, then they would check me again in an hour to see if she had moved down.
My epidural this time was way different for me than it was with Ben. I had a button this time to be able to administer more if I was in pain and that was not a thing with Ben. With Ben I really only felt pressure in my rib cage with each contraction. I did feel like I could move my legs to lift them when pushing, but really didn’t feel anything at all below my ribs. My epidural was also so strong, it didn’t wear off for about 4 hours after his birth (vs. the 2 hours they said is standard).
This time, I could feel pressure pretty much everywhere, but no pain. It definitely made it easier when it was time to push because I actually knew it was time to push. With Ben I pushed for two hours and never had the “I have to push now” sensation people usually talk about. This time was completely different. This time was more of a “my body will push this baby out whether I want it to or not” feeling.
Around noon I felt really nauseous and got sick. They said that feeling is normal when the baby has moved all of the way down. She was down and it was time to push. I started pushing a few minutes after noon and after a few contractions and 12ish minutes later, she was born at 12:14pm.
I didn’t need an episiotomy this time but did need some stitches while we did skin to skin and she nursed. After about 90 minutes I inhaled a grilled cheese while they weighed and measured her. After another hour, they had me take a quick shower before moving to my room. It was just a quick rinse off (I didn’t wash my hair or anything, lol!) but I did put on my own pajamas and socks after and felt SO much more comfortable.
Blaire had an early out that day, so they went home and opened their gifts from the baby before they came to visit. Blaire and Benny got to meet Sloane around 3:30pm that day. Ben was a little shy when he walked in and saw me sitting in the hospital bed. Blaire ran right over to the bassinet to explain to Ben that his baby sister was here. He warmed up after a few minutes and wanted to sit with me and give Sloane the gifts they had brought for her. Blaire wanted to hold her right away and when Ben saw, then he wanted to hold her too. They each asked before they touched her, “mom, can I touch the baby?” or “mom, can I kiss her?” and it was so sweet.
We decided on her name the next day. We were between two, but felt Sloane really fit her best. We are so happy to have the final member of our family home with us. While it’s definitely hard to know I’ll never get to experience another pregnancy, it is nice to know I won’t experience contractions or an epidural again. ;) Although in this first week she has been such an easy-going baby that she still makes me want more.
Welcome to the world, Sloane Mackenzie. We love you so much.
Read Blaire’s birth, my scheduled C Section.