Andrew Lloyd is finally here! He was born Tuesday December 27 at 4:54 pm. He weighed 9 lbs 7 oz and was 22 inches long! I was able to have a successful vbac, so I am very happy about that. Here's the story…
At 9:30 pm Monday night, I went to the bathroom and noticed that the discharge I have had for the past few weeks was tinged with blood. I was excited as I knew labor would be starting soon, although I imagined it would still be a few days. Around 10 pm I started having contractions…AGAIN. They felt exactly like the ones I had been having for weeks, so I didn't think much of them. I took a bath and started getting ready for bed. I kept having regular contractions through the bath. Hmm, that was interesting. I told Nick I thought I felt them in my back, too, so he told me to start timing them. I started at around 11 pm and right away, they were only coming at 5 minutes apart, sometimes 4 or 3 minutes apart. After an hour, I called the hospital. Since I had already been there twice, she asked if I felt comfortable waiting an hour and see if they started to fade. I said I would. I continued to time them until 1 am, and they continued at 5 minutes, going down to 4 or 3 more and more, so we left Vincent sleeping at home with my SIL and we went to the hospital. It didn't take them long to determine that I was, in fact, in labor this time and they admitted me after about an hour of monitoring contractions.
Since my SIL had to work in the morning, Nick arranged for his dad to pick Vincent up and then he would drop him off at my parents' house around noon, since he had to work as well. That way, Nick could spend the night in the hospital with me .
The contractions I had during the remainder of the night pretty much kept me awake, so I didn't sleep much. I wanted to hold off asking for an epidural for as long as possible. At around 5:30 am I told myself to wait until 6, then it was wait until 7, etc. I think I finally asked for one around 9 am Tuesday morning. The nurse said first she had to flush an entire bag of fluid thorugh me, and then I wondered why I waited so long LOL. Finally, though, the anesthesiologist (sp?) came in and inserted the catheter and administered the epidural. It worked until the first time they checked my dilation after I got the epidural, then I started feeling contractions again. I was dilated to about a 5-6, so things were progressing. After a few “refills” into my epidural (can't remember what they called them, it started with a “b”), the nurse called the anesthesiologist back and it was a different one this time. He re-did the catheter as he suspected the first one wasn't in right, and that took care of things for quite awhile. I had a couple more “refills” and by the time I got to 9 cm, they weren't working anymore and they didn't want to give me anymore.
One of the times they came to check me, they decided to break my water to help things along. I labored for quite a while after this, so I developed a fever, which I was told was most likely an infection that developed from my water breaking so long before delivery. They gave me Tylenol for the fever and would start me on antibiotics after the delivery.
Suddenly, I kept feeling a lot of pressure with each contraction as if I were going to have a bowel movement. The nurse checked me and said I was just shy of 10 cm and went and got another nurse, whom she called “magic fingers” LOL. She said she was good at getting that last “lip” to dilate to a full 10 so that I could just start pushing, since the contractions were otherwise agonizing to just sit through. So “magic fingers” came in and those two nurses had me start pushing. I was remembering how I pushed for 2 hours with Vincent with no progress, so I was getting discouraged rather quickly. Even though I knew they couldn't really tell me, I kept asking how long this would take LOL. I kept telling them and Nick to just knock me out. I was fully expecting this to turn into a repeat c-section, and by that time, I was just ready to let it happen. But Nick and the nurses would not let me give up…they were all very encouraging during the pushing stage. That's one thing I really liked about this hospital…Even though because of the gestational diabetes I couldn't have a midwife anymore, the whole staff that I came into contact with really had a midwife kind of attitude about things.
When it seemed to get close to Andrew's appearing, another nurse and 3 female doctors showed up on the scene, all with the same kind of encouraging attitude. Meanwhile, I was still expecting this to end in a c-section. They had me keep pushing, which really felt way better than just sitting through the contractions. I did notice my body was doing a lot more work for me than I remembered with Vincent. It seems once I started, I really didn't have to make much of an effort to push. I overheard one of the doctors tell another that I already had a small tear and I whined a little about that, but kept going, thinking it wasn't so bad if I couldn't even feel it. Of course, when he crowned, I freaked out with the burning and such. With all the people around me, they got me under control fairly quickly and I pressed on. Before I knew it, his head was out, a little more pressure for his shoulders, and then a gush and great relief as Andrew and the rest of the water came out. I started crying and said I can't believe I actually did it! I still can't…in the back of my mind the whole time, I guess I really thought things would end with another c-section, and now, I have my first successful vbac under my belt!
Andrew had also gotten a slight fever and was having trouble breathing, so after they let me hold him for a minute, they rushed him over to NICU while I was being stitched up, since I tore even more, but nothing more than normal, according to the doctor.
I could tell right away, recovery was going to be MUCH better than after the c-section. After all was settled down, they wanted me to sleep for a couple of hours before they moved me over to my new room. Meanwhile, Nick would go get Vincent back to my SIL and make all the phone calls. I could not sleep very well though…I was devastated that Andrew was in NICU and that Vincent couldn't meet his little brother right away, and rooming in was out of the question. After I was moved to the room I would spend the rest of the hospital stay in and hooked up to antibiotics, Nick came shortly afterward and we headed right over to NICU. It broke my heart as he was in an incubator and hooked up to all kinds of monitors and IV's. That first night we didn't get to hold him anymore, but at least we could touch him and talk to him. They had him on antibiotics for his fever as well as a solution to monitor how his blood sugar was doing since I had gestational diabetes. It really broke my heart when they had to prick his little heels to get his blood sugar . The next day we could hold him and I could nurse him finally. But, because of the concern with his blood sugar levels, we did have to supplement with formula to make sure he was getting enough into his system without the iv solution.
I got released on Thursday afternoon and we suffered further heartbreak when we learned Andrew had to spend Thursday night so they could do some final monitoring on him once they took him off the iv and antibiotics. The good thing is, Nick was able to spend the night with him in what they called a “bonding room” they had in the NICU. He just had to make sure to bring him back to the nurse for vitals and to feed him every 3 hours. I really wanted to be the one to spend the night, but Nick and I both knew I wasn't really up to it at that point…I literally got taken off my iv right before I was discharged and was still pretty sore and exhausted. Nick said I should get a good night of rest in bed at HOME before the baby came home. So I tried to rest as much as I could knowing my hubby and new baby were not home yet where they belonged. There were a couple of premies in NICU (Andrew was a giant compared to the rest of the patients there) and I couldn't even imagine what the parents go through when they have to leave their babies there for WEEKS, let alone one night.
Anyway, he's home now, and we're all adjusting to life with a new baby. The first couple of nights were rough, but Andrew's only been up 2 times a night for the past few nights, so it's already getting better. Although, I've had a case of the “baby blues” or as Nick calls it, “the hormone dump.” That's one thing I had with Vincent that I completely forgot about. Out of the blue without any trigger whatsoever I will just start crying. This is really where I remember how lucky I am to have the dear husband that God has blessed me with . As long as he's not occupied with Andrew (or at work), he takes the time to come over and just hold me until the moment has passed. He has been so great throughout all this transistion…I could just brag on him all day .
Anyway, this is getting super long, so I will close for now.