Monday, September 7, 2015

Jyler's Long Birth Story

Where do I start? This is a very long birth story but cutting any of it out just didn't seem right.
Jyler James was born August 27, 2015
8lbs 5oz
19.75in. long 
August 27th was also his due date.
Once I hit 38 weeks, which was the week Ellie was born, I couldn't stop starring at the clock and calendar waiting for something exciting to happen. It was really hard for me to go past the date that Ellie was born. Maybe it was being impatient or maybe I was just excited but either way, I was ready.

My doctor and I decided I'd be a great candidate for a VBAC (Vaginal Birth after Cesarean) and while I had a great experience with a c-section I did know it was a major surgery and I thought a VBAC would be worth a try. Usually, if you choose a repeat c-section though you would be scheduled to have one at 39 weeks. So as 39 weeks approached it was so tempting not to just throw in the towel and get another c-section. Also, this pregnancy has been hard. If you remember me mentioning in times past that I had chronic upper back pain and nerve pain on my upper abdomen, it wasn't fun. So my doctor always said to call me if I changed my mind. She was very good at leaving all the choices to me and validating whatever I decided.

I had asked my doctor when we could maybe induce? She said that typically they don't induce VBACs because there is greater risk like hard contractions from pitocin on the old c-section incisions. However, if I got to my due date she agreed that we could explore that avenue.
Anyways, on Tuesday, August 25th at dinner time I got a phone call from my doctor. She said she talked to other doctors about me and she'd been hoping all this time I would have gone into labor naturally but since I hadn't I could come in for an induction that night if I chose to. Of course, I got so nervous about the idea that I could actually go in and have my baby. I am not good with choices! But in the end James and I decided to go ahead and do it. I had also read a lot about inductions for VBACS and how they usually go slow because of those risks involved. 

We took a family picture, put Ellie down for bed, finished packing out bags and headed in.

At 10pm James and I arrived to the hospital and my doctor checked me and I was the same as I had been the past 3 weeks. 1cm and 70% effaced. My cervix was also very high and hard to get to. There were two options for starting my induction either pitocin or a balloon they blow up with saline to try and dilate my cervix. After the doctor checked me she decided to try the balloon. After 4 painful attempts the balloons kept falling out so we started pitocin instead. I was also only allowed to have clear liquids from that point on. For the remainder of that night I was given small dosses of pitocin (I got up to an 8 out of a possible 30) and that morning they checked me and I was still the same!! Super disappointing.

They found different balloons to try so while it was painful the first time I thought what the heck worth another try. After 2 tries it stayed. Also, after being on call all night at the hospital my Dr was working in the office the rest of the day before her day off so she planned to deliver my baby. The balloon should fall out once you get to 3cm so all day with the pitocin still at an 8 we walked around and I stood as much as I could waiting for that balloon to fall out. But the evening came and nothing happened. My Doctor went home and a new doctor came in. The balloon can only stay in for 12 hours so at the 12 hour mark they deflated it and checked me, I was still the same. This Doctor told me no more fluids for the rest of the evening. We all decided if there was no changed by the morning we'd go forward with a c-section and I was totally ok with that. 
Now it was Thursday morning. I slept all night (minus the normal nurse interruptions) from pitocin going from an 8 to a 20 and because I wasn't really feeling any contractions the nurse assumed there would be no change. They started to bring in the stuff to prep for the c-section. Then the nurse checked me and I was 3-4cm. So we went ahead and continued with the induction. I had a new doctor now whom I really liked and she checked me and was going to break my water but my cervix was still very high and she said she really could't get to it. So again, we waited. However, after 30 hours of no food she said I could have breakfast. I had talked to my mom earlier that day and told her that she and Ellie could come to the hospital and bring James lunch. The exact same time James left to go escort my mom in, around noon, the doctor came in to check me. I don't think I made any change and pretty sure she figured out a way to get a hold of my cervix and break the water. Literally as soon as my water broke the contractions started to become very intense. There was no way I could have my mom and daughter in there. James took Ellie to play and my mom came in for a little bit. The anesthesiologist arrive quickly and James came back in.

I cried heavily during the epidural because it was so painful to sit still through the contractions but the epidural itself did not hurt one bit. He would say, "this is the worst part" then I wouldn't feel anything. So that was nice. I also had 2 nurses at the time (actually most the time since they were doing orientation or something) but one of my nurses was great at distracting me. She talked the entire time as I got the epidural. Being able to only lay a certain way was hard but it took effect quickly and the doctor lowered the pitocin to 15. My mom and Ellie were able to come back in. Ellie was so sweet to me. She knew baby brother was coming. 

I hired the same photographer as I had with Ellie and was keeping her updated since Tuesday night but after they broke my water she headed over to the hospital. 
About 2 hours passed and the baby was starting "to do funny things on the monitor," as the nurse said, so they came to check me and I was already a 7. About another 2 hours later at 4:45pm they checked again and I was a 10 and ready to push. I felt like the dilatation went really fast considering how long the past 2 days had been.

So I pushed, and pushed and pushed for 3 hours. After the first hour I think the doctor and nurse had a pow wow because the nurse came back in and said I was doing good but could do better. Between the 2nd and 3rd hour of pushing it feels kind of like a blur. Same thing over and over again I suppose. Nurses switched shifts by the 3rd hour too. I also started to get this intense pain vertically in my abdomen like my muscle was going to rip and it was really hard to push past that mostly because of fear. My doctor told me we could try the vacuum and I asked what the risks were and ultimately decided to do that. I was exhausted and just wanted him out. It was getting scary and I was crying a lot and felt like my pushing was dying down because of the abdomen pain. 

She got the vacuum attached to his head and I pushed probably 20 minutes with the vacuum which was longer than the doctor expected and not only that put it popped off 3 different times and the last time the doctor just went in and pulled his head out. The next thing I knew the nurses were on top of me maneuvering my body (after reading more about it I think they used the "Leg hyperflexion McRoberts' maneuver" along with pushing on my abdomen)  and then he was out exactly 3 hours after I started pushing, at 7:44pm. I pretty much screamed/cried loudly the entire time. It was a very intense, scary and sort of a traumatic experience towards the end. James said he saw a some of wide eyed nurses in the room. Also, now that he was out and I didn't need to feel contractions any more I pushed that epidural button again. 

Because we used the vacuum, the NICU team was in there just in case and he didn't come out crying which freaked me out but they said he was ok just stunned. He was taken right over to them and so I didn't get to hold him right away. Which really was sad for me but I knew I wouldn't be able to once I decided on the vacuum. However, Jyler started crying and checked out fine so the NICU team left and he was brought over to me. 

He weighed in at 8lbs 5oz which, woah, much larger baby than I hoped for but my doctor was right so I was prepared for that possibility.

As the doctor was trying to deliver my placenta and push on my uterus I let out a loud scream from the abdomen pain. She was a little concerned about my uterus since it was a VBAC but she called in anesthesiologist and he administered a few different things into my IV so she could assess the situation. After some time the pain started to go away and while my uterus was very sore the weird muscle pain started to disappear. 
When everything died down I asked my nurses what the heck happened at the end and she said his shoulders were stuck, shoulder dystocia. James said the doctor pulled out an arm by his head first and then maneuvered one shoulder out at a time. The nurse stated he was just a little big for my frame.
Then Jyler got his bath.

Once the epidural wore off the pain started to get intense again. My tailbone hurt really bad so the nurses moved me to my side to get me off the tailbone and told me to sleep. 

My friends and family had been texting me the past 2 days and suddenly it was dead air. James tried to text everyone just to tell them Jyler was here and we were all ok. As I started to wake up James called my sister and made a joke and I started to laugh then immediately screamed in pain. I don't even remember where the pain was but holy heck! I've been to two of my friend's deliveries and neither of them had this type of pain afterwards they were able to sit in bed and talk and smile. I couldn't do anything. Around 12:30am the nurses came in to try and get me to use the bathroom and take me to postpartum and getting me out of bed was a joke. I felt so pathetic. I didn't want to feel and act that way but all I could do was scream/cry from pain as they basically maneuvered me out of bed and carried me to the bathroom. After I attempted to pee they wheeled me into my new room.

 The new nurse told me just to sleep and not worry about feeding Jyler if he didn't wake up. However, I did have to pee a few times that night and it took lots of crying and about 30 minutes to get out of bed each time. James offered to lift me and move me but once he would start to do that I'd freak out thinking something would happen so he didn't do it. He was so patient with waiting as I moved inch by inch. Also, the times I did need to sit up to feed Jyler were just as brutal. 

The next morning came an influx of people. I think 9 people came into our room within 2 hours. My breakfast turned cold because I was talking to people the entire time. I wasn't in as much pain but still pretty uncomfortable. My doctor even came in on her day off to check in on me. She was excited that I was able to have the successful VBAC. She changed my medication dosage as I cried to her how much pain I was in and felt like I couldn't even hold my baby because the weight of his body on my abdomen hurt. But about every 12 hours I noticed a difference in pain and eventually was able to get off the bed by myself and by Saturday I was walking around better but it sure hurt to sit still.
I was discharged on Saturday and came home that night around dinner time. While I am recovering, slowly, I make progress each day. I'd say the stitches hurt way worse than I expected but now, a little over a week out, the stitches feel better but I am still very sore and can't stand for long without an intense bruise and pressure feeling. So far, I wouldn't say this has a faster recovery than a c-section. I remember at 6 days with Ellie we went and picked out a Christmas tree and went to Wal-Mart. I was also able to sit. So while I probably took pain meds and used ice in my incision I feel like the recovery was easier. But of course who knows what a second c-section recovery would have been like and obviously a surgery is more involved than a vaginal birth. So I need to be patient and take time to recover. 


  1. Oh man Melissa! That was intense just to READ! I can't believe you fit an 8 pounder out of that small frame either! lol. He is so beautiful. I love all the pictures. <3

  2. Oh my heck! yes, that is an intense and scary birth story! I was so apprehensive the whole time worrying your old scar from the C-section had ripped open inside. Man I admire you for working so hard through it all and enduring so much TRAUMA! Three hours of pushing sounds RIDICULOUSLY hard and terrible, I can't even imagine, you poor girl! Not all vaginal births are that awful and recovery so slow, I promise. Even the difference from my first two were super different. Glad he's here and you both were ok in the end, the amount of pin you went through the the whole time, Oh my word woman! If there wasn't a baby at the end for it I don't think anyone would EVER go through child birth willingly.