Thursday was our planned c-section. We were to arrive at the hospital at 5:30 a.m. and be in surgery by 7:30. Wednesday I had gone to my final appointment where my doctor checked me one more time because I had been having more episodes of rhythmic contractions and said that it would be at least my due date (Aug 27th) or later before this baby came and he was already big. She suggested we stick with the c-section and I agreed. Well, that afternoon and evening I began to have frequent painful contractions. At 1 am I awoke to very painful cramps and a backache accompanied by more rhythmic contractions. I began timing them at 1:57 and they were 3-4 minutes apart. Thinking it was just false labor, I tried to struggle through. By 3:30 however, I was exhausted and worried, thinking I would be going into a c-section without any sleep. Todd woke up and told me we should go to the hospital, but I being irrational, told him no, I was in false labor because my doctor told me it would be at least another week or two before my body would go into labor.
However, by 4:30 I couldn't breathe, walk or talk through any of the contractions, they were lasting over sixty seconds and coming almost one right after another. I couldn't take a bath or drink any water because of the c-section so I decided, having never gone into labor naturally, that maybe this was the real deal. We headed to the hospital. Several times on the way over I just clutched the car door handle and struggled throught the contractions, having to ask Todd to remind me what we'd just been saying a minute earlier when they passed.
We arrived at the hospital at 5 am and checked in. I told the lady at the registration desk I thought I might be in labor. She had a wonderful story that this had just happened to someone recently and they were able to VBAC. I told her that I was not overly optimistic that this would be my fate. However as soon as I arrived in the pre-op room my nurse asked me if I wanted her to 'check' me. I said sure, but again I was not very optimistic that I was in labor. Really, I must have been in denial. She checked me and checked my chart and told me that I had made a major change since my appointment the previous morning. She thought I should try for a VBAC. Following this she got excited, went and talked to the doctor on call and tried to call my doctor who was in route to do the c-section. She came back telling me that the doctor on call thought I should go for a VBAC and that she thought I should too. I told her I would wait and get the advice of my doctor. My doctor arrived at 7:15 and came in telling me that she would love the morning off and that I was getting what I wanted. I wasn't sure if I should be thrilled or hesitant. I agreed to be moved to a Labor and Delivery room, but I wouldn't let the idea of a c-section ultimately happening leave my mind.
My doctor broke my water to move things along and I got an epidural at 9:15. Unfortunately, it didn't feel right going in and though it worked at first it began to wear off immediately despite their giving me more and more. By 11:30 my back was hurting at the epidural site and I was honestly frightened that I had made a serious mistake in getting the epidural. It was at this point that my brother and his girlfriend brought by the children. I felt really bad when my own children were frightened to come near me. I finally convinced my nurse that I could easily move my legs and that my back was growing more and more painful. A second anesthiologist came in and a second epidural was administered. Within twenty minutes I was feeling NOTHING. I know some people aren't for epidurals, I will just say that the second one was lovely. At 1:15 p.m. I was checked again and only 6 cm. The nurse said it could be an hour or several hours, Todd was beginning to doubt my choice of opting for the VBAC. I was itching and given Benedryl that did little but make me drowsy.
I finally decided that laying flat with the epidural was doing very little to move labor along and asked if I could be moved to as upright a position as possible at 2 p.m. The nurse said that was fine. Within minutes my contractions were becoming more intense so that I could just barely feel them. At 3 my nurse came in and told me they were switching nurses. She said she wished she could have helped deliver the baby, I told her I wish she had too. She told me that she was confident that I would successfully VBAC and wished us luck. Our new nurse happened to be the very same nurse that was there when Cooper was born. She went about checking my vitals and I told her that I was feeling a lot of pressure, knowing that I'd read about this type of pressure before and that it often means you're fully dialated. She asked me if I wanted to be checked even though I wasn't due to be checked for a little while longer. She looked at me and said 'you're complete'. At this point two things happened. Our nurse set about getting the proper tables and tools set up and my mother-in-law showed up. I told her it was great timing, now leave. OK, it went something like that, I was however on drugs. At 3:40 the pushing began. I won't go into all the gorey details but 25 minutes later, at 4:05, Sean was born, weighing 8 LBS 12 OZ. They had warned me he was going to be big, but he turned out to be bigger than even the doctors and nurses had guessed. He was only 20 and a half inches long.
I had a wonderful doctor, not my own doctor, but from what I've been told, the best in the practice and a wonderful set of nurses who allowed me to keep Sean in my room so that I could nurse him. He didn't leave my side at all and was given his eye treatment and Vitamin K shot in my arms and his first bath with us close by. It meant alot that he never had to leave me and Todd wheeled him to our room in Mother Baby.
The experience thus far has been so completely different that before I cannot even begin to explain all the differences. I cannot say much about Bailey and Cooper's deliveries except that they were far worse than that which I had imagined. Sean's delivery however, came as another surprise, but this time the surprise was in our favor. I have been able to move around since one hour after delivery with thanks to my nurse and my mother-in-law and my persistence to get up as soon as possible. I have taken nothing more than a motrin. I can do stairs and sleep on my side. I had to have a c-section and almost had to have another and I will never make any judgement on those who have to have a c-section, but I am so truly thankful that Sean's labor began in the middle of the night. I'm ready for our fourth any time, maybe we'll even have a fifth.
Things have gone easier this time around even though now there are three, and we haven't had a night at home, but I feel more rested and content going into these first few postpartem weeks. Nursing hasn't been perfect, but I am optimistic that it will be successful and I know that even if it isn't that we have good, sound options to offer Sean.
Sean sleeps nonstop and I am always trying to wake him to feed him, often times unsuccessfully. Bailey and Cooper seem excited about the baby but seem to be harboring a grudge at our absence even if the lady in charge gave them unlimited juice, doubtfully watered down.
The only thing were not sure about is the child's name. He is currently Sean August Orion. August is my paternal grandfather's middle name. Cooper's middle name is also a grandfather's name. However, everyone seems to think that August is because of the month. I am not sure that I want to explain this for the rest of our lives. We are contemplating a name change already, but I don't know how easily that will be. I want to change it to Sean Michael Scott but my husband is resistent, something about some television character with the same name.
I will try and post a picture here in the next day or so.