phew what a ride it was—
i spent all of my pregnancy planning to have a scheduled c-section and was at peace with that decision— i talked to tons and tons of women who told me the second time is a million times easier. i stocked up on c-section recovery items to help make this time better for myself than the last.
but in the last month of my pregnancy i did start questioning a vbac a little bit. i asked my ob and she said i’d be able to if that was my choice and that i could decide in the moment.
i spiraled about it in my head quite a bit for a while but ultimately we said i’d just make the decision if i went into labor early— which i said repeatedly would be a moot point because i never would. i didn’t go into labor with arlo so i kinda assumed i never would?!
in my last weeks of lunacy nesting mode— i decided we NEEDED to paint our bedroom 7 days prior to the c-section, because our really tall walls have looked dirty and scuzzy for a few years now and we couldn’t find someone to clean them.
so on monday october 3, we had them painted and we slept on the sofa that night to avoid the fumes. it was a terrible idea to camp out on the couch for the whole night at 38 1/2w pregnant but that shows my dedication to the nesting that was absolutely crucial haha
we fell asleep and at 3am i woke up uncomfortable and regretting that i ate cauliflower pizza without taking a lactaid lolol— i kept moving around until gid woke up and told me it seemed like contractions. i was like yea right! haha.
then we started noticing how often they were happening and googling how you even keep track because we know none of this.
i frantically asked gid to move all the furniture and grab the ladder to clean the ceiling fan in our bedroom back into their spots, just in case hahah. so at 5am while he was rearranging our entire room, i was on the bed starting to writhe in pain when my bff told me if they were happening as frequently as they were, i needed to just go to hospital and could potentially come home if it was nothing.
well they didn’t let me come home! i was in labor at that point and i was having her.
my OB was on vacation for the week (if this was my first child i would have been devastated to find this out but i really didn’t care much this time around lol)
i asked if i could potentially do a vbac just out of curiosity and they told me no, because my doctor wasn’t there and they have a rule that they won’t perform vbacs unless the doctor’s there since they know the patients situation and risks etc. i was like ok well that’s that.
but they called her and said ok we can do it if you’d like so i was back to spiraling. i can be obnoxiously indecisive — which i then became, asking gid repeatedly what i should do, asking the nurses if they thought i was insane for considering a vbac, all while trying to rush and make my decision as quickly as i could.
i’m not sure what really convinced me in the end, but i suddenly just felt really anxious about going into an operating room. it dawned on me that maybe after the years we had of fertility problems, i may have had some PTSD from my D&C and hysteroscopy.
i was also scared about the recovery, despite being told repeatedly how much better it is than the first time– i was just afraid of trying to take care of a newborn and still be there for arlo post-op. and lastly… with halloween a few weeks away, i felt like i’d have a better shot of being able to trick or treat with arlo if i didn’t have a c-section!
so i went for it, WHILE FREAKING OUT that i was making a horrible decision. and so afraid that i could end up in an emergency c-section after all this.
at this point i was having intense contractions within 2-3 minutes of each other, but i was only 1cm dilated.
they moved us into a room around 8am but i didn’t get my epidural until around 11. OH MAN that made things a lot more enjoyable.
my cervix dilated slooooowly over the next few hours while we also waited for my water to break. every time they checked my cervix, they said how ready to burst the sac was, but it wasn’t bursting. it was a veeeery long day, and i wanted to nap sooo badly but couldn’t do it. many times throughout the day i said “wow if i’d had the c-section we’d be long done by now.” gid and the nurse were like, yes, you’ve said that many times. haha. but at this point i was so determined to not end up having to do both labor and a c-section.
i realized that it was now tuesday and arlo and i were both born on a tuesday!! and then i was mildly determined to have her that day, but it wasn’t looking good at that point haha.
my contractions started becoming less regular so they gave me a tiny bit of pitocin. around 6pm or so, we were facetiming with arlo and my brother who was staying with him and suddenly i felt something coming out. we were hanging up with them and i said PRESS THE BUTTON!!! they thought i meant hang up on them so arlo was saying “PRESS THE BUTTON!!” repeatedly for the next day. he actually still says it hahah.
i meant the nurses button, because i felt something giant coming out — it was my amniotic sac but it didn’t pop, just came out as one big bubble. i couldn’t see it, but to make it extra exciting (and extra gross), the sac was super dark colored because izzy did her first poop inside me! how cute! once it came out, it ruptured on it’s own. but because there was meconium all up in there, they warned me that they would need to make sure she was ok and got it out of her lungs right away.
FINALLY, i got to 10cm. she was still really high up, but it was time to start pushing. i never planned on this, i did take a birth class back in arlo days, but i didn’t know what to do or how to push, and even though everyone said it didn’t matter– i was really REALLY bad at it haha.
back when i was pregnant with arlo i’d made a very very long labor playlist so we were able to play that and it helped the vibe. i also asked for a mirror so i could see what was happening but i’m nearsighted so that also required me to push with my sunglasses on lollll. i do have photos but i won’t be posting those. let’s just say i looked very cool in the eye area, but the rest of my face was way more strained than they told me to be.
my epidural made it really hard in the beginning, because i couldn’t really feel what or if i was pushing at all. it started wearing off and i got a little more aware of my pushing, but it also obviously got way more uncomfortable to push. they kept saying push with your butt and NOT with your face, but i found that to be impossible!!!
the contractions had become so painful that i never took a break, on every single contraction i was pushing, but it felt like i was making no progress. the TV was on in the corner and i noticed the news and late night shows continually ending and so much time passing, i started feeling like the nurse was getting antsy and impatient and i was constantly apologizing for how terrible a job i was doing.
gid was constantly reminding me to stop apologizing. he was SO good throughout the entire labor. he was never squeamish, he was always so supportive and right by my side coaching me along so lovingly. the only thing i got mad about later was that he didn’t take more photos haha.
hours were passing, i was still pushing! her head was coming down but i was FREAKING EXHAUSTED and so freaked out that i was gonna end up in surgery any minute, after ALL THIS!! the nurse went and got the laborist, who was a very no BS type of lady. she came in and was like ok it’s time to get her out and made me feel even more anxious that i sucked at pushing haha. i started the process uncomfortable, but at this point i was MISERABLE.
she finally started crowning and i thought at that point it’d get easier but it still didn’t! after even more pushing — finally, FINALLY she was getting close, but the doctor had to do a little snipping because she was pretty stuck. not ideal, but almost the moment she did it, izzy finally got out. i could NOT believe i really did it — i was so sure this wasn’t happening, but omg the feeling of accomplishment was pretty unreal.
they immediately took her to clean out her lungs and they were making sure she was crying enough and we just kept watching her nervously asking if she was ok and they were being so quiet it was the worst. then finally they told us she was good! and asked if i was ready to have her on me even though they weren’t done stitching me up– uh YEAH i’m ready.
they put her on my chest and i couldn’t believe how cute she was. i just cried and cried at first. after everything, after all the pain and suffering and years and yearning– our rainbow baby was really here.
izzy was born at 12:45am (on wednesday) after 22 hours of labor and 4 freaking hours of pushing.
they say that your second c-section and your second vaginal delivery and/or recovery are both better the second time. lucky for me, i got to experience the hard one both times!! haha.
but in the end, i am somehow really happy with how everything happened. i mean, i totally have a little PTSD from that traumatic delivery but it’s wearing off as they say it does! do i ever want to do it again? hell no.