So, If you have been really paying attention, I have said before that I am the father of 2 but there is only one birth story. Well, when I had started working on the blog, I planned on going through things in chronological order and at a much higher rate of speed. Well, the best laid plans right? Well, here is the second birth story!
So we got pregnant when my son was about 20 months old. Things went pretty well all things considered, but we decided to make some changes to our approach so we could do the best we could for a natural unmedicated VBAC. We hired a Monitrice, so we had the benefit of a Doula and the security net of a midwife. All things considered, the pregnancy went fairly well, and our OBGYN said that he thought we were a good candidate for a VBAC. Towards the end of the pregnancy, my partner's blood pressure went up, so there were lots of unexpected ultrasounds, hospital visits, and blood work. While she never got the preeclampsia diagnosis, that is where things were headed. We had an appointment with the OBGYN after doing a 24 hour urine analysis to determine if my partner was actually preeclamptic. Well, the night before her water broke. We happened to have one of those swab tests to confirm amniotic fluid, and it came up positive! Yay! This baby was coming! Her contractions picked up and were pretty steady at about 4 minutes apart. The Monitrice was at our house, and she checked my partner, and said that she was 6 cm dilated. We decided to head over to the hospital. The contractions slowed way, and when they did their intake check, they said that my partner was only 2 cm dilated. Normally we would have been sent home, but because of the possible preeclampsia, we were admitted. Contractions slowed down, and all of the other indicators looked normal. Now if you remember, one of the biggest problems when we had our son was that we were not able to walk around because of the monitoring, and we had to sign an AMA documents. One of the draws of this hospital was that they had the wireless monitors. Unfortunately, all of the wireless monitors had been recalled for service and there weren't any in the hospital. UGH. So we found ourselves back in the same position as the first go around, either monitor or sign AMA papers. At this point we opted to just go for monitoring and skip the whole AMA paperwork to avoid some of the issues we had last time. After a few hours, things had progressed a little bit, but not much. My partner got checked again, and she was dilated to 3 cm, but realistically it was going to be at least 24 hours before things really picked up. We discussed the possibility of Pitocin, weighing the pros and cons. On the one hand, Pitocin could have allowed us to have a VBAC but on the other hand it would also likely require her to have an epidural. The problems with an epidural is that they will often slow labor down, something we were not looking to do. The other issue was that if the Pitocin didn't work, we would end up with a C-section anyways, and then our baby has been exposed to anesthetic for that much longer in addition to who knows how many hours of hard labor that did nothing. The monitoring issue came up again here because the monitor was only working when my partner was lying down, but that made the contractions more difficult to bear. Since there were no wireless monitors, our only other option was internal monitoring. That one was a big no for us. If you don't know what internal monitoring is, the short version is they corkscrew a lead into the baby's head and get vitals from that. NO THANK YOU. So we were left with a choice, try to let things pick up naturally or go for a C-section. After much discussion we decided on a C-Section. Now we had a contingency plan for this. We had researched gentle family centered C-sections and even given our OBGYN the articles on it. We created a birth plan outlining what we wanted our C-section to look like. At this point, I should tell you that our OBGYN had never done a family centered C-section before in his entire career but he agreed to do it. We went in, my partner's arm were not strapped down during the procedure. As soon as the major work was done, they dropped the sheet so we could see our baby being born. The OBGYN cut the opening, pulled the baby's head out and let her (yes it was a her) emerge on her own. They delayed clamping and cutting the cord for a full minute, and brought baby to breast as soon as everything looked good. While they were closing from the operation, my partner got our daughter latched and breastfeeding in the OR. The doctor said that he really enjoyed doing the C-section that way, and thought it was very cool. He was so glad we "talked" him into doing it. We had a healthy baby girl, 7 lbs 13 oz. The C-section was so gentle, and the ability to start the breastfeeding relationship immediately was so vital. We couldn't have been happier.
I'm Matt a.k.a. The Attached Abba (Abba = Hebrew for Dad). This blog is detailing my journey in parenthood, and will hopefully provide a space for other dads to find support and insight.