Lets rewind a bit…
I must say that after our second son was born, my husband and I were dead set on not having anymore children. I had actually asked my previous Dr. for a tubal during my c-section in 2010. Luckily he told me no. Being 21 at the time I was still pretty young and he did not want me to regret it later. Good looking out DR.! Opted for Para-guard IUD. I had it in for 4 years, until I decided to have it removed. I then relied on an app I found that tracked Ovulation, and we were just careful on those days. Turns out it was an app to help you BECOME pregnant, but I figured, hey, it will work both ways. Until I logged “starting my period”, and it was basically like “maybe next month”. LOL! It really started getting to me and I wanted to prove to that APP that I could do this. Lol Did not help that Collin (My youngest) was enrolled in 4 school, not so much my baby anymore, and all the ladies I went to high school with, and other family members were popping up in my Facebook news feed expecting. I starting humoring the idea of trying for a girl. Honestly I had been thinking on it for a while. Brought it up to my husband several times, in which he quickly dismissed. Until May 2014, when he finally gave in because he did not want me to be unhappy. God Love him.
Some Google searches lead to the “Shettles method” and “Chinese Calendar”, we tried all the tricks for a girl and waited. Come June sure enough, a positive pregnancy test!
Let the Planning begin! 4D sonograms, Gender reveal parties, picture ideas, and Nursery plans!
At 16 weeks we had a Sonogram done at Stork Vision. We had her keep the gender from us and put it in an envelope so that we could reveal the gender with all of our family and close friends at our gender reveal party. I headed over to the Vineyard Branch and picked out a boy gift and a girl gift…
Left the envelope and gifts with the sweet owner and came back for this…
My husband had just left for his 2 week hitch on the rig, so we had to wait for his return to have our party. The wait was pure torture!
Finally the day rolled around and we would find out our babies gender… I geared up in my pink, as did many others, and we headed to the park with our family and friends to finally open up that darn package!
And another boy it is!
Smiling yes… But I was actually pretty sad that I did not get my girl… Don’t Judge me!
I was CONVINCED that it was a girl!
We were really rooting for a bundle of pink but our God had other plans. My face kind of sums up how I was feeling when we found out. It was def a bittersweet moment! Bitter in the sense that I have longed to have a little girl since I was a little girl, and since Mr. Keen will be our last, I know that I will never have that. But sweet knowing that I will have yet another precious, and God willing, HEALTHY little baby boy in my arms! I know in my heart that that is all that really matters, just have to take into consideration that it was never up to me, or the Shettles Method, or the Chinese Calendar and that it was all in HIS plan! This was meant to be! I was meant to be a BOY mom! I know that we are very blessed and I am thankful for this child and the ability to conceive and carry him!
That being said, once I got over the initial shock of the gender reveal party, I really started to get excited about a 3rd boy. Started getting nursery and baby things together. Just tried to enjoy it overall. Between Dr. appointments, photography business, the holidays, nesting, my husband working 2 on 2 off, and just the overall business of life in general, time went by very quickly. I felt like I was just flying through this pregnancy. Before I knew it I was in the 3rd trimester with nothing but “Baby” on the brain. A completed nursery, and nothing to do but wait for our little man. To pass the time we had another 3d sonogram, I took some maternity photos, we attended a birthing class, and focused on pampering mommy a bit.
Photo Cred: A Vision Revealed Photography with Taylor Moore.
I started having some high blood pressures at about 36 weeks, had to do the 24 hour urine, and go back for BP checks often. Luckily it leveled out before it was considered Pre-Eclampsia. Just did a lot of resting and trying to take it easy so my BP didn’t spike again. However, at 38 weeks, I was getting pretty impatient and had to get some projects going to get my mind off baby time. We had been working on re-modeling the older boys room, so I got some things that I could work on for organizing, and paint so that I could re paint their toy box to match. I got to work. Later that day I started to get tired so I thought that I would take a break and get some food and hydrate. I was starting to see blurry spots and it scared me pretty bad. Sent myself into a full blown panic attack, blood pressure got really high, and I wound up in the ER, then sent by ambulance to Wichita Falls Hospital where I was kept over night for observation. During this time I had a lot going on, not only was I anxious to welcome my little man into the world, but I was also having BP issues, and had just lost my papa (moms side), and the morning I was to be discharged from observation, I got the call that my Papa (Dads side) had just suddenly passed! All that in a week!
Rest In Peace sweet Papa’s of mine!
Took a bit to get over the craziness just one week brought, but little did I know, just 3 days later things would start to progress!
Went for a pedicure on Thursday, February 19th, in hopes they would rub some magic spots and throw me into labor, and had an appointment on Friday the 20th to see my Chiropractor for what I hoped would be my last adjustment and even threw in some acupuncture. I read that acupuncture has had great success at starting labor! Hey, at 39+1 I was ready to start trying anything to give my pumpkin a little nudge toward the light! Little did I know, at noon on Friday, just 2 hours before my Chiropractic appointment my water would break. Seems just the thought was all my booger needed. 😉
So as I am laying on the couch about to catch a nap, my water breaks. I have always read that it is very rare to have the big gush like you see on the movies. In most cases the water almost never breaks until you are in labor or the Dr’s break it. So I felt the first little gush and ran to the bathroom and text my Doula Wendy and tell her I am pretty sure my water broke. She calls me… Well we had a metal roof put on and cannot get service in the house, so I ran out to the front porch. As we are talking about what happens next, when I should go in etc. I am standing there literally in a puddle. Like running off the porch puddle! Crazy! Dustin got a real kick out of that. Later I find out that only 10% of women’s water breaks before they are in labor. I would fall into that 10%…
Well, we decided that I had plenty of time to wait it out, that there was no need to rush to the hospital as long as I was not contracting close together and getting longer and stronger. So I cleaned up, called/text some family, did some packing and headed to my Chiropractor appointment to get that last adjustment and acupuncture. Managed to kill a couple hours but was getting pretty antsy to get to the hospital as it is a 45 minute drive and you just never know how fast things are going to progress! psh… (I can laugh now about how “fast” was not a good description for my labor). So, we got the boys out to Dustin’s Grandparents house and off we went! Finally!! BABY TIME!!!
(Thankful my doula kept a birth timeline. It helped me remember how it all happened, I was so focused on contractions, there is no way I could remember all this.)
At 4:25 pm I was checked in to Triage, where we met up with our Doula Wendy, then a bit later my mother in law! (the 2 of them + Dustin would soon become such a vital part of my story. My Team.) I changed and was checked and I was 1-2 cm 80% effaced, 0 station. I was hooked up to the monitors, and tested to see if it was indeed my water that had broken. They came in to hook me up with an annoying but needed IV Port that would bother me for days to come. Then I was moved to a room. Room 4411. The room that will now hold so many memories! I am put back onto the monitors to monitor baby and my contractions and I am told that I have to spend some time on the monitors ever so often but that after they get a good reading I can be up and mobile as I please. I knew that I needed to be mobile so that things would progress.
At 6:25 pm we started walking the halls, my contractions started getting stronger, so I started breathing through them right away, so that I could be prepared for the really bad ones when they came. Walked for a bit, then headed back to get on the monitors to see how baby is handling everything so far.
At 7:40 pm I am back out walking again, then come back to relax on the ball, my birth photographer arrives then my sister in law arrives with pizza to feed everyone… well everyone but me. I had been summoned to jello and juice diet. 🙂 By now the contractions are steadily coming, getting stronger and I am having to work through each one. I just kept my head down and breathed through them all. It was like I was the only one in the room… I just got in the zone.
By 8:40 pm things were getting pretty intense. It’s a little hard to remember much from here on out as I was fully focused on getting through each contraction. I spent my time going from the monitors, to the ball, to the halls, and back for some Jello and juice. Just doing what I could to keep things in motion.
At 9:40 pm I was checked again, 2-3 cm, same effacement, -1. Not much progress in 5 hours, but hey, it was progress. More than I have ever experienced, so I took it!
At 10 pm my team and I decided that I should try and get some rest, so I slept, well rested, (who could sleep? lol)
At 11:15 Dr. Lamar comes in and we talk about progress and the possibility of starting pitocin by morning if I have not progressed much more. Then wanted me to start some antibiotics and fluids at the 12 hour mark of my water being broken.
By 11:40 contractions are doubling up or “Piggy Backing” which I am told could be a sign of an OP baby so we start to strategize in case Keen is Sunny side up. We do different positions, knee to chest, abdominal lifts, and lunges. I am so glad that I had Wendy and her knowledge to walk to through all these things I could try. I knew we were doing all we could to get him in the right position. As rough as the lunges were to do during a contraction, I did them anyway. I had worked hard on position tactics the whole last part of my pregnancy, seeing the chiropractor and ball sitting when I could.
Saturday February 21, 2015
By 1:00 am The pain is getting intense and I am really having to vocalize (moan loudly) through them. Seems focusing on the moaning was taking my mind off the pain, so I just let it out! It’s funny because at our birthing class with Wendy we saw videos of birthing mothers and each had her own way of coping through the pain, one mother ended up yodeling, and would stop after the contraction and jokingly say, “I am yodeling” lol so Dustin and I wondered what I would do to cope. Well I moaned, really loudly at some points! At first I worried Dustin was thinking I was crazy but before long I couldn’t think of anything other than the pain, and he was really an essential part of helping me through each of them. So glad I had his support! (Later he admitted that he could have laughed a couple of times! (he better be glad he didn’t lol ) Another odd thing that helped was sitting on the toilet. At one point I asked for a blanket so that I could just hang out there a while after a restroom break.
3:00 am Our nurse Chrisha asked if I would like to be checked. I decided I did, I felt I had to know if I had made any progress.
3:20 am I am checked, 3-4, Cervix has come forward. Progress but man was that a punch in the face! I have been working so hard, my body is getting so tired and I have just barely progressed in 5 hours. My team could tell that I was getting discouraged, so the strategize a plan to keep me motivated, and amp up the support. They said if we could get things going a little we could then use the shower. ( I loved baths this entire pregnancy, so they figured this was good motivation) The plan is to walk and when we get back I could get in. So walk is what we did! I was determined to get this baby in motion, and the best way is for me to be in motion. So I pushed myself a little more, and took the walk as bad as I wanted to just throw my hands up and get the epidural. I knew that getting it now would slow things way down. I had always read that you need to be close to the end before getting the epidural to prevent that… so I put my big girl panties on and walked. Funny I say big girl panties, because big panties is exactly what I had on! LOL Gotta love those big white hospital panties.
Photo cred: Wendy (doula)!
No but seriously, this was rough stuff! Walked a bit, stopping by the room a couple of times to labor on the toilet.
Here we are creeping up on 5:00 AM I move to the ball, get round 2 antibiotics, Contractions are very very intense now. It is taking all I have to stay relaxed and stay on top of them. All I could think about at this point was the shower. I had to finish this round of antibiotics to be able to get in. I literally yelled through the contractions and at 5:54 I finished the last bit of antibiotics. Longest hour ever!
So 5:55 I get in the shower, lights off, little battery operated candles lit, water on hot, I labor some more. Dustin is so attentive and patient with me. He is being soaked, jeans, shoes and all and still he stands there with me helping me through each contraction. They are so strong and close together I just know that I have made great progress. I remember asking, “how long do they stay this way before it is time to push?” I thought I was close. The hot water was running out and the heat is the only thing that was helping, I have mentioned the epidural several times during this shower. My team was so good to keep me going, keep me motivated, keep me getting through each contraction, but I was having a very hard time staying on top of them. They were getting to me!
@ 6:50 With the hot water gone, I get out and get dressed and Nurse Kathy comes in to check me. She says 3 CM. My heart is broken! Here I am at my peak pain level and I have not progressed since 4 hours ago! That’s it, I cannot take 7 more CM with the pain at the level that it is at now. They got me, they won, I must have the epidural. My body hurts, I am so tired, have not rested in 20 hours. So Epidural it is.
7:25 AM New Nurse. Kayla, I came to love her. The epidural probably helped 😉 I don’t remember any of the nurses before her Because I was so focused on contractions, but she was really good to me. Bad news though.. I had to have fluids before I could get the epidural. So there I lay, I have already surrendered to the pain of the contractions and my coping was out the window. They were all over me, worst pain ever, and I had to lay there while these fluids slowly dripped into my IV. Pure AGONY! Finally about 20 minutes later I got the epidural! AH! Relief! It took a while for it to level out and reach all my pain areas, so I had a few hot spots for a while, but once it covered me I was freed! We all take some time to rest.
By about 8:50 AM Kayla comes in with more antibiotics, we decide I should use the peanut ball and start changing positions often in the bed since I cannot get up and about. Meanwhile I realize that Dustin has been gone, come to find out he left to go buy some new shoes because his got soaked helping me in the shower and he was uncomfortable! Poor Guy.
10:50 AM Checked… 4 CM Cervix is stretchy. Very Little… but progress… At least I’m not in pain!
11:20 AM Dr. Lamar came in. Keen’s head is lower and I am “a good” 5 cm. Puts in intrauterine pressure catheter to gauge contraction strength. He orders medicine to raise my BP to help with nausea. He considers me in active labor and hopes to see progress without pitocin since it made me nervous and increases risk of rupture. I am getting a little more optimistic. I always hear after 5 CM it goes quicker.
At 12:10 Nurse Keri, whom I also grow to love, came in to do a sonogram to check out Keen’s position. I am having a lot of back pain, even through the epidural. We suspect it is a baby position issue. Turns out it is really hard to tell. They suspect at this point that he is face presentation.
*I have to brag on my Dr a minute. He was not even working this weekend, and I very well could have seen the on call Dr. But he made special trips to the hospital in between working at his home to come and check on me! I felt very special 😉
2:30 PM I get checked. No Change. So Kayla calls Lamar, and he wants to do pitocin. I agree that it is time to try something different. I was scared of the pitocin after all that I had read, but put my trust into my Dr.!
3:40 PM I have to get another bolus of epidural for back pain.
4-5:30 pm A nurse gives Wendy a couch in a room down the hall to rest as she has had none at this point. I started getting worried about my team. Dustin got a pretty good snooze on the couch for a couple of hours but Wendy and my mother in law had had very little if any! My mom and family came to visit. This is when it gets a little overwhelming. Keri thinks she felt part of the face during an exam, an eye she kept saying, but the good news is the cervix is changing (opening) and I am 6cm and +2 . Keri called Dr. Lamar and he is on the way. I was pretty scared about her reaction. After coming so far I was scared I was going to have to get a C Section because of his position. I was really starting to get down and out and lose hope for my VBA2C! Most Dr’s would take me back for a C-section because of this… Not my awesome Dr.! He was not concerned about his unique presentation, and we pedaled forward. By now Pit is up to 4.
6:18 pm Dr. Lamar arrived. Checked me… 7-8 cm, With a contraction 8-9 cm. Definitely brow presentation. He warns everyone the face will be very swollen. Pit up to 6 MU.
7:10 pm Shayla is our new nurse. We are so excited! She is a great VBAC supporter! I had her as a nurse back on Tuesday when I was in for the high blood pressure and she had heard I was going for a VBA2C. She was very verbal about how she was on my side and wished that more people would educate themselves on the subject. She too had tried for a VBAC. When she heard I was in L&D on her shift she said she “Called” me! I am so glad that she did! She checked me, 9cm. Oh my goodness, I am doing this. My body is doing what it is supposed to. I am so close to the end. Still I had it in the back of my mind that something could still go wrong.
7:40 pm Dr. Lamar and Shayla come in, it is time to push, I am 10 CM! Best thing I have heard in days! I am nervous about how I will do because I have never done this, and I am completely numb from the epidural. I cannot even lift my legs. I am prepped to push…
(Be jealous, my husband was the best coach!)
here comes a contraction, and I push my first push. I give it my all! To my surprise Lamar looks at me like, “That was great”!
I’m doing it!
7:50 pm Taylor, my Photographer, with A Vision Revealed comes in. Just in time!
8:00pm I have them grab my mom! The face is indeed presenting first! It is very rare (about .2% of babies are born this way). I would fall in that %! With my permission Dr. Lamar invites the nurses in to see it because it is so rare, and we all wish we could take pictures, but it’s against hospital policy. I holler for a mirror, all these people ooo’ ing and aww’ing in between my legs and I wanted to see! It was incredible, I could see his little face. I was having some burning in my scar so I let Dr. Lamar know, he didn’t seem concerned and I wanted that baby on my chest so I gave it one good last set of pushes, and…
At 8:24 pm Keen was born! It was the most incredible feeling to feel him exit my body! I got a little glimpse of him, but Lamar thought it was best that he be checked out before he came to me. I totally agreed. He looked pretty banged up. It was very hard to see him that way. All I could do was cry. Cry for fear of my babies condition, I felt guilt that he looked that way because of me. Cry because I was so beyond happy that I just experienced the most beautiful birth despite all that I had been through the last couple of days, and all that I had prepared for over the last 10 months. Cry because it was now all over. My last baby was just born, my wonderful pregnancy was over, and Dr. Lamar just confirmed my scar did indeed separate and suggested I not have any more children. My body is done, wont carry any more children… But then I heard my baby boy cry! Nothing else mattered. We did it little guy!
6 lb 10 oz, 20″, My biggest baby yet. Daddy says Keen has his ears, we all laugh. Daddy has very unique ears 😉 little on the big side. 🙂
8:35 Just 10 minutes after my boy was born, I clear the room for skin to skin. My baby is placed on my chest, he is banged up, but he is perfect! I did not have to wait to be sewn up, I did not have to go to a recovery room. I stayed right there in room 4411, where I had now been for 32 hours and cuddled my baby boy that I worked so hard for. This time, I was the first one to hold him, he was put on my chest for skin to skin and had his very first feeding. He latched right on. I cannot explain to you how I felt, I love my older boys just the same, but this was a bond on a total different level! I will never forget this feeling for the rest of my life.
I/We had done it! Me, my team, my awesome Doctor, supportive nurses, just witnessed a successful VBA2C with a Face presentation baby and a wound dehiscence with no harm to mom or baby!! It was quite the experience, and a learning experience for some. Dr. Lamar had Shayla feel scar opening so that she can know for future VBACs what it feels like. (Side note, Wound dehiscence is when a wound ruptures along surgical suture. Mine was not a major separation and Dr. Lamar felt with some pitocin after delivery and an eye on bleeding and vitals that I would be just fine and not have to be taken in for surgery after all that. He was right! I got lucky!)
I was the first VBA2C he had done in a very long time, and the first in that hospital in a very long time. Sorry for Dr. Lamar I brought all several hurdles to the table, but he really handled it very well. Not everyone supported it, but those who did made me feel like a rock star! I just want to share my story to prove that even with the hurdles I brought, with a great team, God on my side, and a confident Doctor, anything is possible! If I can do it through all that, so can you VBAC mamma!
I left that hospital on such a high! I felt so close to the nurses and my Dr. I came home and added them all on Facebook! lol I never experienced that closeness with my C-Sections, I was just another surgery. Very impersonal, sterile, and cold. Not this time!
My God was in control, and this birth happened the way he intended it to be.
I birthed a baby from my vagina, and let me tell you, vaginal birth is where it’s at!! 🙂