After Luana checked me, she said, "You don't want numbers, right?"
"Right. I don't care about numbers. All I care about is whether or not I've made progress."
"Well," she replied, "you've passed all numbers and the baby's head is all the way down. Do you think you're ready to push?"
I could not believe my ears! My body had been working the whole time I was sleeping, with an epidural and only 1 unit of Pitocin. I don't even know when I hit transition.
Soon I was ready to push. Even with the epidural I could feel the urge to bear down; it felt like I needed to go to the bathroom. I exhaled through each push. The first half was easy and went by quickly. I even got to feel the baby's head. I felt so empowered! Then things got harder, and the last 20 minutes were most intense (I pushed for a total of 1 hour and 5 minutes). By harder I mean I ran out of breath! It wasn't painful, just took a lot of stamina. I had to hold my breath for half the push and then breathe out the rest.
|Justin getting ready to catch the baby.|
The last push was the longest, and out came Baby straight into Daddy's hands at 3:35 p.m! Justin helped during the entire pushing phase too.
|Proudest catch of his football career!|
Justin transferred him to my chest right away for skin-to-skin contact. He was beautiful! I was so overwhelmed and couldn't stop crying. Once we saw the baby, we knew his name: Gabriel Michael.
The cord pulsed out and then Justin cut it. Birthing the placenta, only moments later, felt like my water breaking again.
I did tear a little and had to get stitched up. Ouch! By this time the epidural was wearing off, so I felt the needle.
|Nursing again--the thing I looked forward to most.|
Adam and Kirsten brought Caden, wearing his "Big Brother" t-shirt, around 6 p.m. He wanted to hold the baby right away and didn't want anyone else to have a turn. He wouldn't stop kissing Gabe either.
My neighbor came to visit me too. Once everyone left, it was unending interruptions from doctors, nurses, and other hospital staff. You'd think you'd get rest at a hospital! Anyway, hours later Gabe was measured. He weighed 7 lbs. 5 oz and was 19.5 inches long. Poor thing was tortured twice during blood tests because he wouldn't bleed (just like his mama!). We went home the next day around 6:30 p.m.
The whole experience wasn't exactly how I planned it: I wanted to do it naturally, was expecting it to be a lot faster (I was in labor for about 36 hours, counting from Sunday morning not Saturday night, with 17 spent in the hospital), and definitely didn't want to tear. But I am very happy that I had a successful VBAC and that the interventions I received helped me get there instead of making things worse. I also stood up for myself this time, like telling a nurse I wasn't ready to get monitored again yet and not allowing a male tech nurse to be present. I most definitely am preferring this recovery over that of a C-section too. Most important, I am so in love with my baby!
Read Part 1
Read Part 2