It has been just over a week since the birth of our precious Karlie girl. I look back at her birth-day as one of the greatest "joys" I have ever known. I could never imagined that one incredibly hard day would be so worth it!! The whole day was exhilarating! I would like to take credit for how beautiful she is, but when I look at her there is no question that her Creator is our Heavenly Father. All the glory to Him! I have prayed and prayed and done everything I could to have a smooth, successful VBAC for my child, and I feel abundantly blessed!! The whole day was what I hoped for and more.
The night of Aug. 21st Thad and I were watching a movie and I was realizing that some of my contractions were not feeling so braxton hicksy anymore. I had to actually focus on them a little more. I thought that after that movie I better get to bed in case I wake up with actual labor. Well, I really only got 3 or 4 hours of sleep. Some contractions waking me up, I would time them, and they seemed about 10 minutes apart, but some of them were really not strong at all. Then about 5:30 I decided to just get up because my mind was going all night, thinking this could be the day! I went down and made some toast with peanut butter and went for a walk outside. The sun was coming up and there was a nice cool breeze. I timed my contractions on a my trusty contraction master app on my phone while listening to Hillsong. They were coming every 6 minutes! I decided that it was time to wake Thad up and start making some plans for the day. Then I don't remember much about the next two hours until my doula got there except the visual of the bathroom rug as I was on my hands and knees trying to relieve some back pain. My mother-in-law came to pick up Will, he actually slept in that morning which was really nice. Then about 8:00 my wonderful doula arrived with amazing feeling back pressure and all sorts of different positions to try to get this baby to turn from the posterior position that it so stubbornly layed in for the last couple months. She really kept me moving while Thad prepared the birthing tub. Once the tub was ready...I was in it! It felt amazing!!! While in the tub I labored leaning over the edge on my knees. Jen(my doula) or Thad would press on my back and I would squeeze their hands real tight while taking deep belly breaths. On the exhale I would concentrate on the word "open," so I would in a deep voice say "OOOOhhhh,"and try to relax every muscle in my body while visualizing my cervix actually opening up. My doula had me get out of the tub once to keep me moving with more positions. About this time I lost my mucous plug and about 15 minutes later I was ready to get back in the tub. While being in the tub my contractions went from like 5 minutes apart to 1 minute apart in less than an hour if I remember right. At this point I think I said out loud that I didn't know if I could do this anymore...although I was thinking it the whole time...also that I don't think I will ever do it again. :) Thad called my midwife and she got there about 12:15. She wanted me to get out so she could check me. I did NOT want to get out of the tub again...and the last thing I wanted to do was lay on my back and have her stick her fingers up me. "...and there is no cervix," she said..."You are at a 10, fully dilated." Wow, I remember being really surprised...then again in the last couple of contractions I remember kind of involuntarily pushing. The urge was definitely there. But compared to my first experience, I was expecting another long labor. I got back in the tub for a bit, until my midwife thought that maybe getting on the bed would be a good idea. I did not like this idea, but went with it. She had me lay back into Thad on the bed and at each contraction grab my legs and pull back as hard as I could and push. I was curled so far back on my shoulders it was like I was upside down. This really helped that baby unlodge her head and turn. Thad said he could actually see the baby turn by watching my belly. Then a couple pushes later SHE was born! At 1:59 p.m. on August 22, 2011. She was 6 lbs. 8 oz. and 19 1/2 inches long. The moment she shot out of me (literally), they placed her on my chest. She was pink and beautiful and gooey. I placed my nipple toward her mouth and she went right for it. It was the coolest thing ever. I don't think she actually latched on at this point since I was awkwardly laying down while being stitched up, but she was trying. It was like she knew exactly what to do. I think in all it was about 7 hours of labor and an hour of pushing...oh yeah and my water broke during one of those pushes too, and may have splashed a little on my midwife if I remember right. :) It really was an amazing experience. I was so much more alert. I felt nourished on watermelon and fluids and did not get sick this time. I keep thinking over and over again that I had the best birth team ever, and I believe that I would not have had this HBAC experience without each of them.(including the tub)... :)
Unfortunately the recovery has been harder than expected with a significant tear and the loss of a bit more blood than usual, but I am gradually gaining strength and healing. My biggest concern is figuring out how to deal with two children now. Especially an almost 3 year old who has been acting up with quite the attitude lately. Will loves his baby sister...almost to an overwhelming amount that he can be in her face a little too much. :) I think once I am healed and we can get back to our normal routine and get outside a little more, my hope is that he will return to his normal self. But for now we are cherishing each little squeak and facial expression from this little girl and trying to get lots of rest. Who could look into the eyes of such a miracle and doubt the reality of God? I never could.
Here are a few pictures of the big day...you can also click here for a few more.
the birthing tub all prepared
must have been between contractions
It's a girl! (sorry skipped a lot of "show-to-much" pictures)
happy ending :)
Isn't she adorable!?
meeting big brother
Will REALLY likes his new sister :)
We love you Karlie!