Baby T’s birth story
After everything we (I) went through with P and her birth, I decided that if we ever had more kids, I would do things differently. With P, I went through a pretty traumatic c-section and I ended up with severe PPD. Neither of those things were things I ever wanted to experience again, to the point where I considered closing the door on the idea of anymore kids. But making things permanent is a huge decision and one that we just couldn’t pull the plug on, yet. When P was only a few months old, I met with a homebirth midwife to discuss all of my options for the future, just in case. As it turned out, I was a good candidate for an hbac, assuming a potential future pregnancy went smoothly and was complication free. When we found out we were pregnant (unexpectedly) more than a year later, that same midwife was my first call.
At my first visit with her after P was born, we discussed everything about VBACs, homebirths and most importantly, a VBAC at home. We went over the pros and cons, the risks and benefits, you name it, we discussed it. When I found out I was pregnant, we went over all of that information again and made the very informed decision that an hbac was the way to go.
I pretty much started praying from that moment on about our upcoming birth. I admit, I prayed a lot that God would grant me the desire of my heart to have a homebirth. I wanted it so badly and I knew if I prayed about it enough, He would totally let me have it. But, along with that prayer, I always prayed for safety to come first. Every day, I prayed that if a homebirth was not safe for us for any reason, that God would just close the door on it and not let it happen at all.
At every appointment, baby looked great. He had a great heartbeat and was always in a great position.Our anatomy scan revealed a perfectly healthy baby boy, with a great looking placenta in the perfect spot- far far away from my scar. Every appointment reassured us that a homebirth was in the works and there was no reason for concern.
Throughout my entire pregnancy, I was convinced baby was coming early (like 2-3 weeks early). With P, I knew she was a girl and she would be late. I was right. With this one, I knew he was a boy and would be early. All of my other intuitions were right, so of course that last one would be too.
HA! I’m quickly learning that I don’t know squat.
Baby’s due date came and went. 2 days after my due date of February 2nd, I started having contractions around 9am. This was it! A few of them were the “OH, Lord help me” kind of contractions, while others were noticeable, but tolerable. I kept an eye on them and let Mike know that things were starting. By 3, they weren’t too bad, but enough that Mike convinced me to call my midwife to let her know what was going on. By 6-ish, they were picking up a bit, so I called her back to give her a heads up. Since she lives over an hour away, she said she’d be on her way. I hung out and labored til about 11pm, when I decided that sleep would be a wonderful thing. I had a big day ahead of me and if I could sleep even for a few minutes, I was gonna do it. I went upstairs, laid down and was gone. I woke up at 2am without having felt anything for the last few hours. Between 2-4, I had a few contractions, but nothing worth getting excited over. And then, nothing. Around 8, my midwife headed home with instructions to call when things started again. I was sure she’d be back by that night and we would soon be meeting our baby boy.
5 days later, not a darn thing had happened. My midwife “stopped by” for a quick NST since I was now 1 week overdue. Baby sounded great. He had a great baseline with fantastic accelerations. We decided if he wasn’t here by Monday (the 11th), we’d do a biophysical profile just for one more reassurance that life on the inside was golden.
When we went for the BPP, baby looked pretty good. He was moving great, doing his breathing exercises and still in a good position. There was just one not so tiny problem. He was low on fluid. We headed to the office and waited for the final and official word from the radiologist. Oligohydramnios (low fluid) is technically defined as anything less than 5. Less than 2.5 is considered severe and he was right at 2.5, with only 1 pocket of fluid around his smooshed in little self.
We talked it over with our midwife, who got on the phone with several other midwives and OBs for advice/opinions/plans on what to do. In a nutshell, the bottom line was that baby needed to come sooner than later. We headed home to get things in order, pack bags and headed back down to the hospital to get induced.
My homebirth was gone. I’m not gonna lie, it was devastating. But, safety had been my prayer all along and I was trying so desperately to remeber that God’s hand was somehow in this and there was a reason for it. Plus, I still had hopes of a VBAC, even if it had to be in a hospital.
We checked in around 7pm and they inserted a foley bulb. The idea is that it stretches your cervix and pops you into labor. It didn’t work for me. I got crampy for a couple hours and lost my plug the next morning, but that was about the extent of it. After that failed, we discussed our next plan of action. The midwife on call at the hospital suggested breaking my water. I asked for a repeat bpp to recheck the fluid level first and she agreed. As I waited to go down, I started praying for a miracle and that somehow baby’s fluid would be in the normal range and we could just go home and follow up the next day.
Unfortunately, his fluid was even lower. 2.2 and now officially in the ‘severe’ range. I ‘bartered’ with the midwife, who agreed to start a low dose of pitocin first and hold off on breaking my water. I was still holding strongly to the idea of a vbac and didn’t want to be on the “ruptured membranes time crunch”. Plus, in my little world, I figured pit was more likely to start things than ruptured waters was.
Around 10:30-ish, we started the pitocin at a nice low dose, with it being upped every half hour til it put me into a nice full labor. That was the idea at least. It didn’t do much for me. I had a few contractions, but really nothing to get excited over. Baby on the other hand reacted to it. His baseline is normally around 140-145 ish, with accels in the 160s. His baseline became 170s pretty quickly (fyi- that’s not good) and did not want to go back down. We tried fluid to see if that might help, but it was to no avail. Around 12:30, baby started having major decelerations. I watched his heartbeat on the monitor go from 170s, straight down to 80s, down to 40s.
I knew it was over. I was hoping secretly that I really just knew nothing or was being over dramatic and the monitor didn’t mean squat. But, within minutes, the midwife on call came in and made it official. Baby was not tolerating things well and basically needed to be out. A section was pretty much our last resort and that’s where we were at. We “gathered our emotions” (well, Mike gathered his. I was a freakin trainwreck), got prepped and headed to that dreaded OR.
Michael Jon III (aka Tres, Tripp, Tripod, Baby T, bubba, beebee…) was born at 1:13 pm on February 12th, only 10 days overbaked.
Mike got to cut the chord…
And then held his son for the first time. Baby T got to stay right there with us the whole time.
As I was getting closed up, Mike and Tres went to the recovery room to get weighed and wait for me. He weighed in at 9lbs, 3.5 ounces and was 21 1/4″. I didn’t believe it at first cuz at first glance, he doesn’t look like a really big baby. In fact he looks smaller than P did (she was 8-7). But, when you take a second look and really look him over, his face looks like a sumo wrestler and he has rolls on his arms and thighs. Yeah, he’s a chunker.
When I got to the recovery room, I immediately got to hold my baby boy and nurse him. This was huge for me, since with P, I didn’t get to hold her for several hours. I’ll spare you all the boob shots that somehow we ended up with. A few hours later, P got to meet her new beebee. At first, she kinda seemed iffy about him, but she quickly dove right in to her new role of big sister. She even helped with a diaper change.
And that’s his story. It was completely not what I expected and not what I wanted. I’m not gonna sit here and say it’s okay because “at least I have a healthy baby”. I swear if I hear one more person say that, I’m gonna blow a gasket. I’m fully aware that that was the outcome we wanted and this is the way that it needed to happen. And I’m incredibly grateful that baby is here and safe. But, it doesn’t make it any easier. I will say that despite everything, we have had the best care we ever could have asked for with Baby T. My midwife was awesome! Throughout my pregnancy and all the way through delivery. She knew what our hopes were and helped us fight to the bitter end to try to get what we wanted. When it all fell through, she stayed with us right through the c-section to be our support and our advocate. Even the midwives at the hospital tried to get us a VBAC, going several extra miles when a couple OBs wanted to pull the plug on us ahead of time. And every single nurse we’ve had has been amazing. I’m taking that, plus my healthy baby boy and trying to remember that God is in control.
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything, by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known unto God; And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts through Christ Jesus…