So a lot has happened since I last posted. I had a NST (non-stress test) done on November 17th because (at that point) I was over due. Turns out that I had low amniotic fluid, so I was sent to labor and delivery because today was going to be the day! Half prepared (I had my stuff packed, Dan had most of his stuff packed), we nervously and excitedly crossed the street to labor and delivery. In triage they checked again to see if there were any pockets of fluid missed during the NST. Apparently a lot of things can shift and change, but the counts were still low. So it was time for induction!
We got a really nice labor room–a corner room with a very lovely view of SF. Because I was trying for a VBAC, they had to insert a foley bulb in my cervix instead of artificial hormonal cervix ripeners (they can cause uterine rupture). A foley bulb is basically a catheter they fill with saline solution to inflate to manually open my cervix to 3 cm. In the process of getting that inserted, the OB thought my water broke. Two inconclusive litmus tests (one was basic and another was acidic), a microscopic slide, and an hour later the foley bulb went in. It was probably the most uncomfortable thing I have ever endured. You have this thing in your bits that’s stretching your cervix, which they occasionally have to keep pulling on to make sure there is tension (like every 2 hours). Every time they created more tension, an influx of hormones rushed through my body on top of uncomfortable pain and contractions. I was sweating like crazy, felt incredibly nauseous (they had a bag there for me to vomit in), I was walking very gingerly to not create more tension, and moaning/crying in pain every few minutes because of contractions and my hips felt like they were going to fall apart. Just when things would settle, in comes a nurse to add more tension (GREAT!). What was suppose to be an all night affair with the foley bulb turned out to be a quick 8ish hours of craziness. The foley bulb was out and I was 3cm dilated! Yippee!!!
Then things started to turn sour. They started a low dose of pitocin to help strengthen the contractions I already was having. I was contracting on my own, but not steadily enough and not nearly strong enough (if I were to walk into L&D in that state they would tell me to go home). So the pitocin was needed. Unfortunately, after an hour my labor was becoming like my son’s. No matter what position I was in the baby’s heart rate would not recover fast enough during contractions. The head of the department, as well as a midwife, my nurse, a resident, and another OB came in to tell me the bad news that I knew was coming–I needed to have another c-section. I was still only 3cm dilated. If I were further along, they would have let me labor longer. But the conclusion that the head of the department told Dan and I was that the outcome for the baby would not be good if she were have to endure hours of labor (I still had another 7cm to go and go through the pushing stage, and there was no way of telling how long that would take). Everyone left my room for 5 minutes to let me have a cry because I was truly disappointed with the outcome. I signed paperwork for the c-section and then I was rushed into the operating room down the hall. 30 minutes later, Samantha was born.
While I was, and still am disappointed about how my labor went, I am overjoyed with the outcome. A friend told me that she was sad for me that my VBAC didn’t happen, which made me angry. Why should there be any sadness? No one died; everyone is healthy. What is there to be sad about? How a baby comes into the world, whether naturally, with drugs, or via c-section, isn’t the be all, end all. It is merely a blimp in the radar in your journey to parenting. Even my doula reminded me that my priority that I listed first in my birth plan was a healthy baby. Yes, I’m disappointed. I worked hard and did a lot more than I did with my son to help with the VBAC. But sad? No, because I have a little baby girl who I am over the moon in love with.