Kenley's Birth Story
Hi! I am Julie! I blog over at http://www.back2basicsblog.com :) I am a momma to Brayden, 2.5, and Kenley, 3 months. I blog about my life as a stay at home mom, aspiring photographer, and anything else in between! You can find me on Twitter as well- @basicallyjulie.
When I was pregnant with my first child, I had just always planned on a hospital, vaginal birth. I read over the side effects of epidurals, but that was pretty much it. I really left it up to my doctor! I never had thoughts of a natural birth plan. Ever. I have absolutely no pain tolerance, and the side effects to an epidural were so rare, that I never really even gave it a thought.It sounds worse I guess than it actually was in my head!
Towards the end of my pregnancy, my blood pressure started to rise, so I had to do a 24 hour urine sample for protein checks. After the first one, I was still borderline for preeclempsia, so I was told to rest and do a repeat, just to be sure. My doctor didn't want to induce me for no reason. After the second urine sample, my blood pressure was still rising and my feet swelling, so I was induced at 38 weeks and 4 days.
The induction process didn't really scare me, because a close friend was induced and she vaginally delivered within 8 hours. I knew it could take longer, but I had no idea what I was in for! I was induced around 8pm on a Thursday (after filling out paperwork, etc) and labored all night long. They broke my water at 7am the following morning, and kept a close eye on my blood pressure. I was finally given the epidural around noon and had only progressed to 4cm. The details here are fuzzy, but around 3pm when my doctor came to check on things, I was only at 5cm. She doubled my pitocin and said that if in an hour I hadn't changed, we would have to start talking C-section. Baby was doing great, but too much longer and he would have to come out.
I was so scared. SO scared. C-section was not what I planned, and my husband (who is very squeamish) had no idea what was about to transpire. We had never discussed it. I felt like a failure. I remember asking "why can't my body just do this?" and my doctor telling me that it was ok, sometimes these things just don't go as planned.
I was rushed into an emergency C-section, and part of my epidural had worn off, so I felt them cut me. I started hyperventilating and trying to hit a high C note (as my husband says) and I don't remember anything after that. They gave me another dose of anesthesia and I went out. I remember waking up about 30 minutes later being very confused as to where I was, and the nurses telling me the details of Brayden's birth. That he was born at 6:32pm, weighing 7 pounds 9 ounces, and was 19.5 inches long. They told me that my husband, Brandon, was on his way with him so I could meet him. All I saw was a bundle in the arms of my husband and I started bawling. He was perfect. But I didn't get to hear his first cry or see him right away. As it turned out, Brayden was lodged by my pubic bone which I why I wasn't progressing. They had to do a LOT of pulling to get him out. It is probably better that I don't remember it.
My recovery was pretty tough. Since there was a lot of pulling and tugging, I was very, very sore. I didn't get up and out of bed until over 24 hours later, and even then, it was very painful and tough. Being home, barely able to move, and taking care of a newborn was way harder than I ever imagined it could be. But seeing his cute little face and knowing that we brought this little life into the world made everything totally worth it.
After Brayden was about 17 months old, we started thinking about adding to our family. I knew that I was going to have a scheduled C-section. I never gave a VBAC another thought. My doctor told me that the repeat C-section wouldn't be nearly as tough of a recovery and she knew how hard it was on me the first time. We went in to have Kenley at 5am, she was born at 7:30am, I didn't feel a thing, and most importantly, I remember ALL of it. I got to see her when they got her out, I got to hear her cry for the very first time, and I got to be a part of the birth of my daughter. I got to call family members once I got to recovery, I remember talking to people on the phone, I remember every little detail. I was so relieved. I finally got to have the birth that I wanted in the first place.
My doctor was right, the recovery was much easier. The next morning, I was dressed in regular clothes and moving from the bed to the chair. I could walk the length of the room without too much pain, and I was able to more fully care for Kenley. I still needed quite a bit of help once we were home from the hospital, because I couldn't lift Brayden, couldn't drive, etc. But overall, Kenley's birth went far better than I ever could imagine.
I was so fearful of the C-section the first time and felt like such a failure that I wasn't able to enjoy those first precious hours with Brayden. I was overwhelmed with visitors, still sad about the birth that I had dreamed of, but still in love with a precious little boy. I learned that it doesn't necessarily matter HOW they get here, but that they get here healthy and happy. That's exactly what happened. He was healthy, happy, and we couldn't have been more blessed. It just took me a little longer to realize it! Every single ounce of pain was so worth it, and though we aren't sure if baby #3 will ever be on our horizon, I have confidence that it would be worth it again.
Stay tuned to hear Lindsay's natural hospital birth story next week!