Two Births, Two Bugs

I am a sucker for a birth story.  Medicated, natural, vaginal, Cesarean, at home, underwater– makes no difference to me, I love reading about that moment for a mom and dad when new life emerges and a family is changed forever.  Every single baby is a gift from the Lord, and I love reading birth stories! {sigh}  In honor of LABOR DAY, Amy is hosting a link-up of birth stories.  Truly, I can’t wait for the kids to get into bed tonight, so I can curl up with a glass of sweet tea and enjoy some of them!

In honor of the day, here are my stories of how my Bugs were born… (ooooo, it makes me all excited to think I’ll get to write another one of these soon when sweet baby Doodlebug is born!)

Ladybug {June 29, 2007}

My due date was June 16 and I was really hoping that Ladybug would come then (if not a little earlier!), but I had no such luck.  I should have been prepared for her to arrive late since my mother was overdue with all three of her babies, and I am not the most punctual person on the planet.  My due date came and went as well as almost two extra weeks.  I had my membranes stripped, drank castor oil, walked about ten bazillion miles, but my daughter takes after her stubborn mother and did not budge from her sanctuary.  Every morning I would wake up and think, this would make a nice sounding birthday.  It sounds silly but I almost felt like Ladybug was never going to come.  I guess in the hormone induced craze that nine-plus months of pregnancy can cause that doesn’t sound too crazy.

My doctors finally set an induction date for Thursday June 28.  That sounds like a great birthday!  I was so pumped!  Oddly enough I was able to sleep wonderfully on Wednesday night and woke early Thursday morning in a cautious state of mind.  Everything was the last.  This is the last time I’ll shower without a baby in the next room.  This is the last time I’ll eat breakfast before I become a mommy.  This is the last time…

I thought the ride to the hospital was going to take forever, but alas it flew!  We were there and it was time!  Now it seems that on such an important day I should have been greeted with a rolled out red carpet and a fanfare of tooting horns reminding me that this was the last… but it was pretty anticlimactic to sit in a small squished cubicle answering insurance questions to a woman who didn’t seem impressed that I was about to push a baby out of a very small place!

I would have preferred not to be rolled in a wheelchair to the labor and delivery room, but I’m not sure my legs would have made it on their own, so it was probably for the best.  Two sweet nurses hooked up all the tubes and belts and monitors and they started the drip of pitocin.  This clear liquid was going to get my baby out of me?  Weird.

The morning flew by as hubby and I watched the ABC Family– plenty of episodes of Family Matters, Full House, and Step by Step.  Shows that remind me of my childhood.  Of Friday nights on the living room floor with my sisters.  Of falling asleep in my “snuggie” and drinking from a red elephant cup.  It seemed appropriate that my last day on that side of childhood be filled with reminders of what was behind me as I looked forward to meeting my daughter!

The contractions started coming and I felt very strong as I breathed through them.  I knew that I was probably going to have an epidural, but I purposed that I would hold out as long as I could on my own.  At 1:15pm the doctor broke my water.  Not uncomfortable.  The contractions really kicked themselves up in the next few hours and I asked for the epidural about 4pm.  My sisters were in to visit, as well as my parents, and my mother in law.  I felt sorry for them having to wait it out in the waiting room.

ABC Family continued to entertain Andrew and me and I was a bit disappointed when his parents brought him dinner because I was HUNGRY and women in labor only get offered the liquid dinner special.  Bleh!  All afternoon I didn’t make much progress from the 4cm I was dilated when the doctor broke my water.

At 9pm, I told the midwife I was having a lot of downward pressure and when she checked me, lo and behold I was fully dilated!  It had happened rather quickly and I remember feeling a stab of panic.   I could handle the contractions (especially thanks to my epidural), but I was not ready to push this baby out!  The midwife told me I could let the baby labor down a bit if I wanted and I agreed since I did not want to push for two hours or more!

At 11pm a new midwife came on duty and she was Irish.  Now, I’m Irish, but I mean she had the accent and everything.  This was a small detail, but I enjoyed listening to her and didn’t get as mad when she made me push because she sounded neat saying it.  She wanted me to try and few pushes and see where we were.  She told me she really thought it wouldn’t take too much pushing to get a baby in my arms.  I wasn’t sure I was ready, but listened to all the pushing instructions and agreed to try.

Pushing is probably the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life.  She eased up my epidural drugs so it hurt too.  I felt the strong contractions and pushed with every ounce of strength I could muster while the midwife held my right leg and poor Andrew held my left.

I have to take a tangent here and brag that I have the most amazing husband ever.  He knew I was squeamish about labor and delivery and was with me every step of the way.  He supported my decisions and helped me stay comfortable.  I know it was probably not easy to be with me seeing me hurt so badly, but he was so strong for me.

I pushed for an hour and a half.  No baby.  I was really feeling like I could not push again.  I had no strength.  None.  The midwife said she needed to chat with my doctor for a minute.  They both came back in and he did a check on the baby to see where she was and what was going on.  I don’t remember everything he said, but the gist was that a number of things were happening to stop the progress of my pushing.  Ladybug was turned funny and was not swiveling properly when I pushed.  She was stuck in my pelvis.  Her heart rate was remaining very high which was a cause of concern.  The doctor said he thought the best option was a C-section.  At this point I had no strength and my eyes started leaking just from the exhaustion of the day and a relief at knowing the end was near.

The midwife prepped me for surgery and she was absolutely fantastic.  I was majorly feeling the contractions now and had to just wait them out even though I had no strength.  At one point I really felt like I was about to blow chunks which made me feel even worse because I despise throwing up.  Luckily the feeling passed.

A lot of moments in here are really fuzzy.  Somehow I got to the operating room and heard everyone buzzing about getting everything ready.  I am glad it was an emergent surgery instead of emergency because everyone’s calm manner kept me calm.  I was without Andrew while they took me to surgery, but soon he was there dressed to impress in his scrubs.  (You know you married a hot man if he can make scrubs look good!)  The doctor also okayed my mom being present.  I had invited her to attend Ladybug’s birth because my mother is very dear to me and I knew it would mean the world to her.  I am glad she still got to be there.

All of the sudden the moment was there!  I felt my tummy being tugged at (a very weird sensation) and before I knew what was happening the doctors held a HUGE baby up over the curtain.  All I could think was that baby is gigantic.  And I was really surprised because everyone has predicted that I would have a petite baby.  (Pregnancy really taught me not to hang anything on other people’s predictions, they don’t know jack!)  She weighed exactly nine pounds and was twenty-two inches long.

My mom and Andrew went over while they did whatever they do to babies and I was so proud to hear my baby scored a perfect ten on her APGAR!  I knew we had a healthy baby and that’s all I had asked of God when I found out I was pregnant.

Fast forward a bit and I had a few complications in recovery and had to be there a while.  My blood pressure dipped pretty low, I was super cold and shivery, and I felt like rubber.  This is my only regret in the whole process because I could not hold my baby.  Andrew laid her beside me but I was having so many problems I couldn’t hold her or even enjoy her until I was better.  I did enjoy seeing my mom, dad, and sisters hold and enjoy her while they were trying to get me back to normal.

By the time we got wheeled to a room I was having trouble keeping my eyes open, and everything was in that dream-like fuzzy quality when you know you’ve been awake too long.  It was after 5am before we were left alone to sleep.  Andrew fell asleep quickly, but I had some itchiness because of the epidural and couldn’t sleep very deeply.

I am still amazed at the blessing God has given me and Andrew in Ladybug.  She is our sweet pea and I know I’ll never forget the long, arduous process of getting her into my arms!  I could not have asked for a better support team in Andrew, my family, and the doctors, nurses, and midwives.  I know many people might not envy my birth story since I had many interventions, but it was perfect for me and I am thankful for how smoothly the whole thing went!

Stinkbug {November 14, 2008}

Since I had an emergent C-section with Ladybug, I wasn’t sure what I should do about Stinkbug’s birth—should I try for VBAC (vaginal birth after Cesarean)? Or schedule another C-section?  I really struggled with the decision all throughout my pregnancy.  I desired to deliver him vaginally (even though I am still afraid of pushing a baby out!), but with my due date being so close to Thanksgiving, and his size looking pretty big, I decided to schedule a C-section for my due date (November 20, 2008), and hope that I went into labor naturally before that.  I figured that if he could bake longer than his due date, we would have issues with his size (just like with Olivia) and the chances of him getting stuck during labor would be higher, so that was my “back up plan”.

When I spoke with my doctor about scheduling the C-section as a “back up plan”, the only dates available for me to schedule were November 14 and November 24.  I did not want to wait until the 24th, since that would mean I would still be in the hospital on Thanksgiving, and let’s face it—who wants to be pregnant past their due date? So I scheduled a C-section for November 14, 2008—39 weeks and one day into my pregnancy.

The morning of the 14th, we were supposed to be at the hospital at 8am.  I slept surprisingly well!  I figured that it would be difficult to sleep because I’d be so excited about meeting my son!  I had gone to the hospital on the 13th to have blood work done and complete all the hospital forms and registration, so we were ushered almost right up to the fourth floor on the 14th!  They put me in a L&D room, hooked me up to the baby monitor belt, took my blood pressure, gave me an IV and began running fluids into me.  People came in and out introducing themselves, having me sign papers, and going over the procedures for the day.  It was weird to know I was going to meet Stinkbug very soon, and I wasn’t even “in labor”!  I asked if my mom could be in the OR, since she had been present when Olivia was born.  The decision was left to the anesthesiologist, and it ended up being OK.

My mom, dad, and sisters all snuck in to see me and Andrew and pray with us.  A little later, Liz (Andrew’s mom) came in with Ladybug to see me too.  They all were waiting in the L&D waiting room.

10:30am was when I was scheduled to go into surgery, but we were still chillin’ in the hospital room (watching Rachael Ray) when 10:30am came and went.  It wasn’t long after that though, when a nurse (or two?) came and robed me up and walked me down the hallway to the OR.  (I hate walking around in just a hospital gown—EWWWW!)

It was FREEZING in the OR!  There was some poking to get the spinal block started, I just remember having to lean over and hold really still (just like getting an epidural with Ladybug).  It was seriously so cold in there.  I loved the nurse who brought in warm blankets to lay on top me!  Much better!  There were nurses bustling around checking things, and calling out to each other about equipment and other things… it was very busy!  Pretty soon my doctor was there with her midwife assistant and the medical student who was observing the C-section, and it was time!  They even started the incision before Andrew and my mom came in.

During the C-section, I just remember my arms being strapped down (I hate that!) and seeing Andrew watching over the blue curtain.  It felt like awhile before there was a lot of pressure and they were pushing Stinkbug out of my abdomen.  (He was born at 11:34am.)  I heard a cry and they held a little blond baby up over the curtain!  My first thought was that he looked just like Ladybug did as a newborn—it was a sweet moment.  Everyone was talking about how big he looked and they thought for sure he would weigh over nine pounds—nope!  He was 8 pounds 2.9 ounces and 20 ½ inches long.  He scored two 9s on his APGAR, but one of the nurses swore that he was the pinkest baby she’d ever seen, and she said (numerous times) that if she had been the nurse in charge in the OR, he would have gotten a 10 on his second APGAR—way to go, Stinkbug!

While I was being stitched back together, Stinkbug was taken up to the nursery and Andrew went with him.  I remember feeling slightly itchy and they gave me some Benadryl to help stop the itching.  (I had itched after having Ladybug, but didn’t get anything—Benadryl is miraculous!)  One of the nurses was wondering what he had ended up weighing (since everyone thought he looked so big!) so she called up to the nursery to find out, and that’s when I heard his official measurements for the first time.

When I was back together again, I was wheeled to a recovery room (also very cold!) and Andrew came in there and Stinkbug was wheeled in too.  It was so sweet to hold him and kiss him for the first time!

The time in recovery is a wee bit fuzzy (understandably so!), the nurses were checking my vitals, I was snuggling my baby, Andrew was sitting with me… our families went to eat, but soon they were back.  They took turns holding Stinkbug (Ladybug had fallen asleep on the way back from lunch), and took way too many pictures of him (I started to get a little annoyed with the flashes!)

Ladybug did wake up eventually and I just remember feeling really neat when she was sitting up on the bed—my first time with both kids!  I don’t think she really knew what to think of Stinkbug!

Having a scheduled C-section this time around was very smooth.  I slightly regret not having the experience of birthing either of my children vaginally, but God was sovereign in the way each of them came into the world.  I have had to give my disappointments with my birthing experiences over to Him more than once.  Ultimately, I feel honored to be entrusted with the special task of raising them for the glory of God!

And in six weeks or so, I’ll have a new story, Doodlebug’s birth story, to share!

3 thoughts on “Two Births, Two Bugs

  1. Thank you for posting your birth stories. I love birth stories too. I still even watch TLC's baby shows. I know I'm late but I was so inspired by your post I posted mine too 🙂
    Thanks and I can't wait to hear about the next birth story! Good Luck!

  2. I found your blog via Picket Fence and love it… Birth stories are so interesting! My daughter and son were both born via emergency c-section and after that I vowed to never give birth again 🙂 We adopted our daughter from Ethiopia and it was the best pregnancy I've ever had! We're in the process of adopting twins from Ethiopia and can't wait to see their little faces! Blessings in the final stages of your pregnancy!
    Beneath the Acacia Tree

  3. makes me teary just remembering these days. I so wish that I could be part of doodlebugs birth, Can we skype? Chris and Risa did!

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