Went to bed about 11 that night and slept well all night, but woke up to pressure waves at 6am and pink watery "show". This was quite the red flag for me. They were painless, weren't terribly strong and only every 18-20min apart but they were different. I had painful contractions with prodromal labor but these gave me the perfect feeling/mental image of a bearing down pressure with no pain. I asked John to stick around (my inductions were fast labors) and just work from home for a while just to see which way they were going to go. By lunchtime, they really weren't much stronger although they were a bit closer and not letting up no matter what I did. John really needed to go to work just for a bit so I told him to go on. While he was getting ready to leave though, they suddenly jumped to about 10-12min apart and increased in intensity and I asked him again to stay home. In the past few weeks of prodromal labor, I would be sure it was the real thing but the minute John left for work, everything would stop. I was sure it was from my body being "afraid" to labor with him gone, so I begged him just to stay home this time so my contractions didn't stop again (LOL this sounds silly looking back but I was a woman on the edge at that point lol). By 4pm I was certain it was baby time but it was going so slow. They were still about 10-12min apart but nothing was stopping them like activity, rest, showering, drinking water, etc. During this time I alternated between listening to my Hypnobabies tracks while sitting on my birth ball and pacing around the house. I wanted to get on with my day as usual but I had so much anxiety (noise and little things the kids did agitated me more than usual) I felt I needed to stay in my room and keep things as calm as possible while John took care of the kids.
At 5pm I started feeling some really strange sensations around my c-section scar. It felt like her head was popping back up out of the pelvis during each pressure wave and I got afraid. As much as I wanted a vbac, keeping my baby healthy and safe was #1 and I knew the ruptures had to happen to SOMEBODY and didn't want that somebody to be me. I was 45 min from the hospital and didn't want to risk it, so I called my ob. I knew I was probably sabotaging my vbac and drug-free hypnobabies birth if I went in to the hospital too early. As I predicted, she brought me in to L&D. The second we parked in the parking lot about 6pm, my contractions picked up to about 6-8min apart or so after hours of being stuck at a 10-12min apart phase. Got inside and was hooked up to the monitors just to make sure the baby was fine and there was no rupture. Everything looked GREAT! YEAAAA!!! Now to decide what to do from there. I was still only dilated to 2cm and 50% effaced which is what I was the week prior at my 39 week appt (and 38 week appt), so no one believed I was in "real" labor. I was also still feeling perfectly fine with a tiny bit of focusing through my contractions. Everyone was SO respectful and let me focus in quiet during each contraction and all the nurses were on board with my Hypnobabies requests and even excited about it. We agreed that going home would be a waste of time because my goal was to head into L&D at 6min apart anyway. My ob told me just to stay overnight on 24hr observation. We got a nice quiet room away from everyone else who was having their babies because I'm sure they didn't want to be bothered by us on a busy night just as much as we didn't want to be bothered by them. They took me off the monitors and encouraged me to do whatever I wanted to encourage labor or just rest. We got to a room about 7 or so and just watched tv (The Office and our other Thurs night shows...woohoo), timed contractions, talked, and walked. It really felt like a fun date night with John! I sat on the birthing ball quite a bit and just walked and drank (yummy slushies and my pregnancy fav, orange crush)and ate...I had no restrictions at all. The contractions quickly got more and more intense and were already about 4min apart. From 7-11:30 no one came in our room at all and I didn't have to deal with any monitoring. The contractions were just intense pressure with no pain although they did take a bit more focusing and strength to relax instead of tensing up. At one point (between 10-10:30ish) I sat for 30-45 min on the birth ball with my head on the bed in front of me listening to my hypnobabies tracks. I slept through most of it (or was in deep hypnosis from Hypnobabies, I could never really tell the difference) and woke up feeling sick on my stomach just a bit. I think at this point is when labor really kicked in and I started dilating fast.
When she came in at 11:30pm just to hook me up for 15 min of monitoring, she noticed I seemed to have to focus more through the contractions than I had been before (and I had my hypnobabies playing on my ipod to help me focus more at that point) and asked if she could check me. I was 6/7cm and she nearly fell through the floor. this was totally a God thing that they thought all that time I wasn't in labor because I was able to just be left alone with no restrictions just like I had prayed for. She called the doctor at home and started trying to get me admitted as a "labor patient" instead of just observation. I was ready! I felt such a HUGE exhilarating rush of energy and determination at that point. Almost instantly the anesthesiologist showed up (very creepy like she sensed my progress and needed to come spread drugs..the nurses had no time to go get her so I don't get how she knew). She looked like the mean principal from the movie Matilda and even though we were trying to joke with her she had no smiles. Looking back, that was another way God was helping me get the natural childbirth I had prayed for. She terrified me and I just wanted her out of the room because I sensed such bad vibes from her. I stayed in my BOP (Bubble of Peace....a Hypnobabies tactic to help block out negativity which could cause you to feel pain) and was EASILY and CONFIDENTLY able to smile and tell her that we wouldn't be needing her services because I was feeling no pain. No one could believe it. They kept saying over and over how calm and "easy" I was for them. At this point they gave me the IV lock but didn't hook the iv up. About 1am they checked me again and I was only to an 8. I lost a lot of wind in my sails because I thought for sure she would be there by then (I went from 7-delivery in 45 min with my other two VBACs but they were induced). Now that I look back, I cannot believe I didn't just trust God. Everything that was happening was what I had prayed for. I prayed that my labor would go just fast enough that I wouldn't tired completely out yet slow enough that it wasn't too much for me to endure.
By 1:45ish I was just a 9 and baby was still high (and possibly still posterior). She said I was EXTREMELY stretchy and if I wanted to start pushing I could but I declined. At that point I felt like my hypnobabies went out the window and I felt pain for the first time in the whole process. I couldn't focus, I felt tremendous pain, and I couldn't figure out how to get back to the peaceful place I had before. I know it was because suddenly we were being "bothered" by other people (although they were very respectful, them being there took away so much of my focus because I wanted to be polite and kind). I just wanted it all over at that point. I felt like I was quickly loosing control at that point. That's also when I started begging for an epidural. Luckily my wonderful husband and amazing nurse both knew that's not really what I wanted and knew I was SO close even though I couldn't realize that. I knew by the time they got my epidural to me and in me it would all be over, but I thought I needed something right THEN and didn't care what it was. lol My wishes changed with each contraction...one minute I wanted John touching me, the next I was yelling at him for it (and then immediately apologizing for it making him laugh that I felt that was necessary). Up until that point standing and swaying or bending over the bed was the most comfortable position, but not anymore. I just wanted in the bed on my left side holding onto the bed rails with my face buried in the railing through each contraction. My nurse was trying to encourage me to change positions and I refused to listen to anyone. John put my "Pushing Baby Out" Hypnobabies track on my ipod and put my ear buds in but I was too unfocused to listen or even "hear" anything. I just remember being annoyed that I couldn't hear what everyone was saying to me but not aware enough to take my earbuds out. LOL At that point my body was already bearing down and trying to push on it's own and I hated that. I had always heard that the pushing made the pain feel much better in a relief sort of way but it didn't so much for me. It reminded me of that uncontrollable feeling you get when you are throwing up. You know it's going to hurt and feel terrible but your body does it anyway. I didn't like not being in control of that. One thing that helped during this part was praying out loud and laying all my heart to God. At times I got nervous about her heart rate dropping and I would ask the Lord during those contractions just to keep her safe because I would gladly take the discomfort if He would protect her. Those were my easiest contractions even though I wasn't asking for them to be easy. Knowing I was doing it for her made them feel like nothing. I had totally forgotten about the "ahhh" to breathe the baby out we were taught in hypnobabies. I kept apologizing for being "out of control" and they kept saying, "Are you kidding? You are more in control than many women with epidurals!" I didn't feel that way though at all! I felt like I was a raving lunatic, but it helped that everyone was still amazed at my weakest moment at how calm and relaxed I was.
At 2:15am my ob was finally there, checked me, and said I was complete but baby's head was still at a -1. As soon as she walked in I said, "I'm SO SORRY I got you out of bed in the middle of the night!" LOL I was SO apologetic to everyone for some reason. My water hadn't broken yet, so she asked if she could break it. I said absolutely NOT because I knew it would make the pain worse. She said that it very well could make it worse for a little bit but it would go faster. I said I didn't care, I knew I couldn't handle any more pain than what I already had and with her head still being so high I knew it could be a long pushing phase. Maybe 10 seconds later I asked her if she promised it would make the baby come faster (LOL) and she said yes. I said ok. They waited until between a contraction and broke my water at 2:23am. Fluid shot out like a rocket soaking my ob and everyone laughed. She went to get booties on her shoes while the nurses were to break the bed down and get me ready to meet my baby. With the next contraction, they said I could push. With that first contraction I pushed like my life was ending if I didn't get that baby out...yes completely opposite what I had planned which was to "breathe" the baby out. Suddenly it felt as if someone dropped a bowling ball in my pelvis from several feet above. A HUGE heavy bone bending weight/pressure was felt in my pelvis, tailbone, and hips. I felt the head come out in a very sharp stinging, burning, pressure sensation and them telling me to stop pushing with lots of commotion trying to hurry and get the doctor back in there but I didn't listen. I just couldn't stop letting her be half way in and half way out with that flesh ripping/stinging feeling. She was born in that one push (with one loud beastmaster scream from me that John says wasn't loud at all I just thought it was lol) at 2:25am, 2 minutes after the ob broke my water. She was partially caught by nurses. My ob walked in just as this happened. LOL The first thing she said (as the nurse was yelling out the time of birth) was "I told you it would be faster!" LOLOL She climbed up on the bed to stitch me up so I wouldn't have to be bothered. She peed on the nurses (something we have since learned is her life's mission, to pee on everyone coming and going lol) and I was so worried because she looked so little to me compared to my other babies. They immediately put her in my gown to warm her up and let me nurse while they did all they needed to do as far as exams through the collar of my gown. lol Never had this with my other babies so it was AMAZING! Her apgar was 8/9 and she looked so healthy and alert as was I! She stayed there nursing for over an hour. They did her exam and bath right beside my bed about 5am then gave her back to me. It was simply an amazing experience. I KNOW I couldn't have done it without hypnobabies, my amazing husband/coach, and the Lord carrying me through.
Kerrigan Elizabeth was born at 2:25am weighing 6lb13oz on 1.14.11 just about 8 hours before the appointment where I was going to have to discuss c-section or other interventions to get her here. Just in the nick of time, whew! I have felt AMAZING and she has been BY FAR the most alert and content baby I have ever been around. Also, I had episiotomies with my other two VBACs and they were very painful and took a long time to heal. With my tear have had NO pain at all! It feels like I never even pushed a baby out. LOL It has been by far the best childbirth of my 5. If I am ever blessed again to have another child, I will definitely use Hypnobabies again and hopefully correct the ending next time.
Oh and p.s. when my ob came back in to see me the next evening she said as she was leaving, "Aren't you glad you didn't just go with the repeat c-section?" (I had fought and fought for a vbac for 9mo lol)
Kerrigan & Avry at 3 weeks old
Avry was born at the beginning of the snowstorm, Kerrigan at the end - 4 days apart :)