Thursday, November 29, 2012

Peanut's Birth Story - Labor and Delivery

Last belly shot 11/15/12
42 weeks pregnant

Saturday morning, November 17th at 2:00am - the morning of my scheduled cesarean section - contractions awake me from my sleep. 

Could this be it? Am I really in labor? No, I can't be. But how freaking amazing will it be if I really am in labor!?! I've never gone into labor on my own, so I wasn't sure if this was the real deal or not.

I lay in bed counting how many contractions I’m having, how far apart they are, and how long they are lasting. Man, these are close together; 3 to 5 minutes apart but manageable. I get out of bed and head to the bathroom. More mucus plug on the toilet paper. (I started losing my plug the day before.) I keep moving and walk laps around my upstairs to see if the contractions continue. They do and I am ecstatic! 

Keeping track of contractions
It’s now 3:00am. I start writing down each contraction on the first thing I could get my hands on - a box of breast milk storage bags. They are still 3 to 5 minutes apart and lasting about 45 seconds to one minute long. I start squatting through each contraction to see if I can make some progress in helping Peanut descend into my pelvis. After a few more contractions in the squatting position I feel a small, warm gush between my legs. I jump up and run to the bathroom to check it out. Not sure if it's more mucus plug or a small water leak? I wipe and notice a small pink tinge on the toilet paper. Bloody show maybe? I don’t know, but it’s looking like progress to me! I get into a squatting position in the bathroom with my underwear off. I bear through a few more contractions in that position and look down to notice more watery slimy stuff on the floor. Crap, things are happening! I’m so excited but don’t want to wake anyone just yet. I wanted to enjoy this moment all to myself. I’m in labor, people! I've never gone into labor on my own, so this was awesome and I was so proud of my body.

I continue to walk around and breathe through the contractions. It’s just after 4:00am now. I hop into the shower for some relief and to shave my legs and other areas. I've heard that if you take a shower and contractions subside that it could be false labor. Well, my contractions kept on coming! Getting a bit stronger now where I have to stop what I'm doing and really concentrate and breathe through each contraction.  I’m out of the shower and I get dressed. From all the commotion and moving around my husband awakes. I tell him I think it's time. "No way, are you serious?", he says. I give him a kiss and tell him I think I'm headed to the hospital soon and that I will call him as soon as I have an update. The kids were home and still sound asleep and I didn't want to disrupt anyone with childcare so early in the morning so I let my husband sleep.

 Down stairs I went to wake my friend Amy who had arrived back into town late the night before. She wasn't going to miss this birth and I wasn't going to allow it, so we flew her back out for the weekend since we had the C-section date scheduled. I told Amy I think it's time - contractions are 3 to 5 minutes apart. "No way, really?", she said as she jumped up off the couch. I sit down and breathe through a few more contractions. Amy realizes I wasn't kidding and heads upstairs to take a quick shower. I called my Doula to let her know what was going on.

It’s now 5:00am and things are continuing on, steady at 3 to 5 minutes apart, but still only lasting 45’ish seconds or so. By this time I was hoping to see the contractions lasting longer, especially since I was staying active, but they weren't.  As I’m bouncing around on my exercise ball I call A and M to let them know what was up. “You aren't going to believe this, but I’m in labor!” In the middle of our conversation I had to pause and breathe through another contraction.  We all decided since I was to be at the hospital at 9:00am anyways for my scheduled C-section, we might as well pack up and head there a little early so Peanut and I could be monitored. Just after 6:00am we were out the door.

At my last OB appointment my doctor mentioned that if I went into labor on my own that she would allow me to try and labor successfully. I was so excited to put the surgery on hold to see if I could attempt this VBA2C after all. Amy and I arrived at the hospital and met A and M out front. We all exchanged hugs and headed inside for the labor and delivery unit. I couldn't believe this was happening. Nothing like the threat of a C-section to throw you into labor! I was so proud.

Checking out Peanut on the monitor. He's doing great!
Once checked in, they hooked me up to monitors and checked me for progress. I was 80-90% effaced with no dilation and baby still very high, -3 station, and cervix tiled way back. Not really what I wanted to hear after being in early labor since 2am. My doctor finally arrived around 7:30am. She said I can continue to try and labor on my own, but that we need a game plan if things do not progress (like my past history of laboring with my son that ended in my first C-section due to no progression). I wasn't ready to talk games plans yet; I just wanted to see what my body was going to do over the next few hours first. My doctor respected my wishes and told me to get up and walk, walk, walk. Finally, we were assigned a room of our own to put our things down and off to walking we went.

Breathing through a contraction
as my Doula massages my back
Around and around the labor and delivery floor we walked, stopping every so often so I could concentrate and breathe through each contraction. My Doula was by my side massaging my back each time I stopped. Contractions were still 3 to 5 minutes apart and only lasting 45 seconds to one minute long.

It is now 8:00am and I was told to go back into my room so I could be monitored for 30 minutes. Peanut was doing great and hanging in there during each contraction. My doctor came back in the room and told me I had one more hour to walk, walk, walk, and then she was going to check me for progress. Back to walking we went. Around and around the labor and delivery floor, pausing and breathing slowly and deeply through each contraction. 

My entourage as we walked around L & D.
Breathing through a contraction as my
Doula comforts me with her magic touch.
A and M looking over me as I'm being checked
for progress by my doctor.
9:30am rolls around quickly and I’m back in bed to get checked by my doctor.

No progress; nothing at all.

I am devastated. Tears roll down my face. I have been defeated - again. My body is not meant to birth babies vaginally. I gave it my best shot. At least I can say that I tried. We chatted about my options - I can continue on all day with my contractions still the same and no progress being made, or we can move forward with the C-section. My Doula, whom I love and trust immensely, tells me that if I haven’t made any progress by now, I most likely won’t make any more progress if I choose to continue on, but that whatever I decide she supports me 100%.

The loving embrace of my amazing doctor.
I am 42 weeks pregnant. I've been laboring since 2:00am with no progression what so ever. It’s time to make a decision - my decision. I did not feel pressured at all. I knew in my heart what the right decision was, even if it tore my heart into a million pieces. It’s time for the C-section. My doctor hugged me and through her tears said how proud she was of me for all that I have accomplished. My Doula laid her comforting hands on my body and my IPs both embraced me with their support and love.

Accepting the reality of a C-section and "The Team" standing
by my side to comfort and support me.
I then asked for the nurse to give me something to stop the contractions. If I was headed back for a C-section, I didn't want to deal with these damn contractions any longer! That seemed to break the ice and we were all able to smile again.

M cooling me off with a wet paper towel
as I power through the last of my contractions.
I called my husband and told him to get down here because I’m going into surgery soon. He wasn't going to be in the delivery room, but I wanted to kiss him goodbye before they took me back and I wanted him to be there at the hospital just in case anything were to happen to me. The nurse continued to hook up my IV and my blood was drawn for Peanut’s cord blood kit. Amy, A and M got suited up in blue paper scrubs. Amy took the place of my husband in the delivery room so that she could take all of the birth photos.

M, Amy, and A ready and waiting for Peanut's arrival!
It’s minutes now before we have to head back into the OR. My husband is nowhere to be found and all of my calls are going straight to voice mail. The nurse sees that I really want to see my husband before we head back so she very slowly takes care of last minute preparations and paperwork. I can’t thank her enough for that.

It’s time to go and still no husband to be found. We slowly walk out of my room and past the elevators as we’re walking towards the OR. It sounds like someone is coming up. We pause to see if my husband steps off the elevator. It’s not him. I take a deep breath as we walk through the doors leading into the operating room. It’s go time.

Walking back to the operating room.
A, M, and Amy wait just outside the doors as I head back to get prepped with a spinal and laid out on the table. The anesthesiologist had a hard time with the spinal. I have scoliosis, so that wasn't a surprise. A few cuss words from me and it was done. They laid me back on the table, raised the curtain and got started. A, M, and Amy are now allowed into the room. A and M stayed near the baby warmer while Amy came over to sit by my head. I start giggling. For what reason, I don’t know. I think the anesthesiologist slipped me something to take the edge off. Whatever it was, it helped.

A and M sharing one last moment before the birth of their son.
Lots of tugging and pulling and pressure was felt. Peanut was in there good. They ended up having to use the suction thingy on his head to help pull him down and out. I remember they had to do the same thing with my daughter, as well.

At 11:48am my Peanut, Ari Isaac, was brought into this world!

He weighed in at a whopping 8 pounds, 5 ounces and he was 21 inches long.

Well hello there, beautiful. Welcome to the world.
There are so many people who already love you dearly...
As soon as I heard Peanut’s first cry, tears poured down my face. I did it. I created a family. I successfully grew this beautiful child in my womb for 42 weeks and now he is placed into the loving arms of his amazing daddies whom I love so very much. I am so proud. What an incredible experience! I may not have gotten the vaginal birth that I so badly wanted and planned for, but Ari’s birth was beautiful just the same.



 I am so thankful for my friend, Amy, who took so much time away from her own family to be here with me (twice!) and to take pictures of this incredible birth. I will never forget this moment and I now have so many beautiful pictures to remind me of this amazing, life changing experience.

To be continued......

For Peanut's Birth Story - The Recovery, CLICK HERE.


Natalie S. said...

Amazing, amazing, amazing. Makes me want to do it all over again!! So proud of you for your strength and love for Peanut and his daddies. XOXO!!!! Natalie

Michael said...

OK...I just cried tears of joy from this story. Gotta go get tissues. Thank goodness boys don't wear mascara or I'd be a total mess!

Mandie Mc said...

This is so beautiful, Annie! I'm beyond thrilled that you got to experience what it's like to go into labor naturally (I still haven't managed that one), and to labor awhile before the c-section. I'm glad you made the decision with peace, and I'm so happy for you, and those three boys!! What a blessing you are to their lives. <3<3<3

Anonymous said...

A HUGE congrats to you and the IF's! That was a wonderful blog and such an amazing story. You did make a family and that is a blessing!! Surrogacy Rocks!
Much love,

♥Kendra♥ said...

Great story Andrea, and very well written! Sorry you didn't get the birth you wanted but it sounds, and looks, like it was still amazing! And such amazing pictures you have now, they capture the moments so well...well done Amy!! Congrats to you Andrea for growing that strong healthy peanut and to your IFs for welcoming their first born to their family!! <3

pbc said...

WOWY WOWY!!! u see I've never given birth...The ONLY birth I've experienced was when Nicole had Judah (her son)... Just A M A Z I N G.... Wonderfully written, such a great humanitarian you are to provide a family for these wonderful gentlemen...SOOOO proud of my Cousin! Love you Sweetness...

Jeni said...

SO Beautiful. Great job Andrea! So proud to know ya! XOXO

Krystal said...

Amazing story!! You did a great job!

Mike and Tony said...

OMG!!! BEAUTIFUL!! Tony and I are BOTH bawling right now!!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY PEANUT!!! And how the heck do you manage to look BEAUTIFUL while you are having major surgery?!?

Heather said...

You're so wonderful Annie. I'm proud to call you my friend :)

LovelyMrsJessica said...

Tears and more tears! SUCH a beautiful birth story. JUST READING this makes me anxious to go again!!! <3

You are a beautiful person inside and out. I'm so glad i've had the chance to get to know you!