Weston’s Birth Story – Part 2

I walked over to the sink and started to wash my hands.  Yup…my hair still looked good.  I couldn’t believe it.  I was gonna have the baby.  The day was here…I am not leaving this hospital until this baby is born.  I smiled at myself.  I would have another son.  I reached over to grab a towel, and all of a sudden, I felt a warm gush of fluid.

“Are you kidding me!?” I said aloud and looked down at my pants.

I snatched at the paper towel machine…waving beneath the censor frantically…grabbing as many as the gray box would spit out at me.  I quickly pulled up my green dress that was acting like a tunic over my enormous bump and looked to see if my pants were soaked.  I expected everything from my thighs to my ankles to be soaked.  Confusion set in.  It didn’t seem that bad.  It was comparable results to a big sneeze.  I went back into the stall to assess the situation before heading back to meet Jeremy.

“Jer.”  He was still looking down at the paperwork he had to fill out.

“Jerrr.” I slurred his name into three syllables in order to get his attention.

“uh huh?” Still looking down.

“Umm…I think my water might have broken.  I’m not really certain.”  I could hear the crazy in that statement.

“What?” He finally looked up.

“Nevermind.  I don’t know.  Let’s go.”

“Wait.”  He was now confused too.

“I don’t know honey.  I think it might have.  This would only happen to someone like me…that I wait two weeks…that I work for a month to get this baby to come out…and the moment we are checking into the hospital that my body decides it’s time.  It’s ridiculous.”  He could see the frustration in my face.  the confusion.  the tiredness.  He put his arm around me and didn’t say anything.  He just knew that it wouldn’t help to talk right now.

Our hospital delivery room was really quite large.  I changed into my gown and waited patiently for the nurse.  Jeremy and I passed those silent moments with our phones in our hands…sharing snapshots online…our thoughts filling the room.  I hoped my mom could remember how to work her phone to see the pictures.  I hoped Will was alright.  I hoped he wasn’t too rowdy or disobedient.  He probably didn’t even realize we were gone with Cole there by his side.  My brain ran with each rabbit trail.

My nurse finally arrived and gave me the run down.  She would have to hook me up to an IV….she needed me to repeat all the general information from my previous birth….she would have to hook me up to continuous monitoring because this would be a VBAC.  Then she asked if I was having any contractions.  Yes.  Yes, I was.  And I think my water broke about thirty minutes ago.

I told her the situation.  I explained why I was confused.  She seemed to understand.

The following hour revolved around determining whether or not my water had in fact broken and if the baby was in the right position.  In the end, the little blue stick stated YES…it was amniotic fluid…not pee.  And yes, the baby was head down and sunny side up.   I was officially in labor.

Shift change brought in a different nurse.  I remembered from Will’s birth that different nurses could be the best thing ever and I crossed my fingers that the new nurse would be exactly what I needed.  That is when Colette walked in.

Colette was a beautiful middle aged black woman with a short haircut and delicate gold bracelets on her wrist.  She was thin and gentle looking and spoke with a island accent.  I immediately loved her.  She always gave way too much information.  I would ask a simple question…sometimes not even realizing what I wanted to know…and her matter-of-fact way of talking and the strings of answers that came from her soothed me.  She talked about my doctor, the situation, his general procedures with girls attempting a vaginal birth after a caesaren.  I could feel myself calming internally with each word.

I asked her outright…”So since my water broke, does that mean that I still have to be induced?”

“We will ask your doctor.  For now, we will monitor the contractions to see if they progress.  I’ll come back in about ten minutes with more info.”

I got out of bed and started pacing the four steps that my IV and monitors strapped to my belly would allow.  Back and forth.  Back and forth.  The non-slip hospital socks felt like stones in my feet and I desperately wanted them off.  My sweet sister had arrived with her husband and they brought a giant bag of peanut M&M’s and a two liter of soda for Jeremy.  For the next two hours, my contractions continued.  But I could tell something was off.

Colette came in with an update a little later.  She told me that Dr. Tate had been monitoring my contractions on the computer but they were very slowly progressing.  Basically he would let this happen on it’s own but if by morning nothing picked up, I would need to have the Pitocin.

It was just the news I wanted.  I could at least try.  I asked Colette if he said anything about the monitors.  I needed to walk if the contractions had any chance of getting more intense and being tethered to a four step track didn’t help.  She said she had asked that already and he said I could walk the halls.  Everything in me rejoiced.  Finally I had found a doctor that wanted me to give my body a chance before telling me that I couldn’t do it.  I turned to Jeremy and said “Let’s go!”

The socks were immediately ripped off my feet and I was ready for walking.

The first hour passed.  and the second.  the third.  fifth.  and around 3:30 am, I told Jeremy that it would be nice to take a little break.  I laid down for my ten minutes of monitoring and closed my eyes hoping that my contractions would wake me back up and hoping at the same time they would let me sleep just for one hour.

BEEP.  BEEP.  BEEEEEP.

My eyes shot open.  What happened?!  What was going on?  Did I really just fall asleep?  I pulled my phone up and saw that my alarm was going off for 5 am.

“Jer.  Jeremy…we need to keep going.  C’mon.”  He looked exhausted.  But I didn’t care.  I needed to make progress.  I needed to work.  This was it and an hour and a half sleep was just enough to get me going.  I swung my bare feet back onto the hospital floor….shuffling over to him.  He stirred.

“C’mon honey…the contractions…they stopped….and I need to get them going again.  Pleeese.  please get up and come with me.”  I pushed my IV stand towards the door.  He grunted and stretched his head to one side.

Our same pace continued.  We pushed on.  Every now and then I would stop and reach for him…rocking back and forth as I relaxed into a contraction.  But they were all the same.  Nothing bigger and nothing closer together.  It was as if my body was the pace car and all the other girls walking the halls were in the race of their lives.  I felt defeated.  Like my own body had won…and I couldn’t change a thing about it.

Five hours of walking passed.

Finally we went back to our room.  Dr. Tate had called.  The contractions didn’t pick up.  The news was bittersweet.  It was time for what I came there for.  It was time for the induction.  The good news was that I had complete peace about it.  Afterall, my water did break on it’s own.  My body and the baby were ready.  And I had been given every chance.  I got to walk in the halls…not strapped to a machine…not lying in bed.  I was able to see how far my body could go…and the fact of the matter was, even ten hours of walking didn’t push me hard enough.  I knew I needed that boost.  My engines were dead.

Colette was sweet.  She explained the way the Pit drip would work.  It was going to be slow.  I was going to be on the bed until it was time to deliver so I would need to get comfortable.  I hung on her every syllable.  They set up the bag and the waiting game started.

The first few hours didn’t feel any different than before.  As long as I was laying down, the contractions seemed to disappear.  At 10am they started the drugs and they said I probably would start feeling it around 2 in the afternoon.  Two oclock came and went.  It started getting more intense but it wasn’t exactly painful yet.  Then around four, it began to get really hard really fast.  My contractions were right on top of one another…giving me only thirty seconds inbetween for a break.  I thought surely this is it.  My sister had returned and brought with her a needed hand to hold and a a breathing partner.  We googled the stages of labor.  This has to be transition I thought to myself silently.  I had to be at least a 7.  Afterall, I came in at 2 cm…at least that’s what I was days before at an appointment.  And I’ve dilated before.  I gone through this with Will and this time everything was way more intense.

Finally it was 6pm.  The resident came in with Colette.  The resident was young and tall with dirty blond hair and started talking right away.

“Well Katie, we have just gotten a call from Dr. Tate and he wants us to check you.”

I started to feel excited.  He might think I’m ready!  This is the first time anyone has checked me since I got here and surely I made a lot of progress.  I began to feel like a child in school who was ready to hand in homework.

“Okay!” I said with a smile.  I grabbed Jer’s hand a little tighter and scooted my knees up toward my chest.

“We’ll wait for the next contraction and we’ll check you then.  That’s how Dr. Tate wants it.” She smiled.

I looked at Jer.  Trying to match my breathing to his and to relax into the next wave of pain.

“hmm….definitely a four.”  The resident snapped her rubber glove and my heart dropped.  It felt like time stood still for an hour.

“A FOUR!?”  What is this?  A joke?  A horrible mean joke?  I know a four!  I didn’t go into the hospital with Will until I was a four!  And this was not that.  I had to be farther along.  I just had to be.

“Yes.  I will call the Doctor back and tell him.”  She started to turn towards the door.

“Jeremy…jeremy…” I started to cry.  My mouth dropped open so that I could breathe but even that was hard.

“Katie…you need something. It’s okay.  I am here.  But you need something for this pain.  This is so different.”  His voice of reason was smooth and deep.  I could see it in his eyes that my pain was too much for him too.  “Please Katie.  Just ask the doctor.”

My mind raced.  I had gone so long.  But not far.  It went back to my moments with Will.  The time where I leaned onto Jeremy’s shoulders and looked into his blue eyes.  I raced back to that day when I realized how much Jeremy loved me and how he would take anything for me.  How he would never ask me to do something I didn’t want to do.  And that’s the moment I knew that here and now, he was asking me to be brave enough to ask for help.

“ok….yes…..Colette….please….is there any way I could talk to the doctor too?  I think I need something.”

A brief conversation on the phone with the doctor followed.  I asked about an epidural.  Did it reduce my chances at all of a VBAC?  Was there a better choice?  How much longer did I have?

Dr. T answered everything I needed to know.  I was going to need drugs for the pain…and I needed them now.

The anesthesiologist worked fast.  He was in with his assistant in the next five minutes.  Then Colette gave us some bad news….Jeremy would have to leave.  My source of steadfastness…my strength and calm would be gone.  I started to feel my freak out coming.  Colette immediately started talking…

“I will be here.  I will hold you.  We will be fast.  Now sit up and swivel over here.”  The next moments went by in a blur.  I cringed.  I hunched over.  I felt the contraction coming on.  I grabbed Colette’s shirt….her lapel pin pinched inbetween my thumb and forefinger.  I could feel myself pulling too hard on her nurses shirt but I couldn’t stop….finally, the doctor behind me said to lay on my side.  I slid into the pillow…instantly feeling the washing over of relaxation.

All was well…all was calm….

Jeremy came back in and I had a smile to greet him.  He rushed over and held my hands.  He had made the right decision to say what I needed. He knew that I needed permission to say what I wanted.  That my pride was too strong…and that my will was too great to give in…but I needed to.  I needed to surrender.  I needed to rest and relax and to get ready for the end.  That’s what is important here.  I had to remind myself that the end goal was not to get through without drugs…the end goal was to have a healthy baby and healthy mom…and then I wanted a VBAC next.  Drugs didn’t matter.  I wouldn’t get a crown in heaven for a drug-free labor.

Over the course of the next three hours, my water broke fully…soaking the entire bed….my body rested…I slept for an hour and I relished the pain-free progression.  There was still enormous amounts of pressure but the pain was gone.  The epidural had to be adjusted a little because I could still feel a lot on one side but the searing agony was not there.  It was so sweet.

And then Doctor Tate arrived.  He walked in with a smile on his face and his street clothes on.  He pulled on a rubber glove and told me that he was gonna check me.  The new resident was there.  She was my favorite of the residents I had met….and I couldn’t feel anything as they moved my dead legs up and chatted about my progress from the monitoring.

“Okay….you hold one leg like this” Dr. Tate said to Jeremy as he pulled up my foot to rest on his hip.  “And you…are you going to help or what?!” He motioned to my sister.

Lori popped up and ran over.  I could tell she was excited to be there and be given instructions.

“Katie, you are gonna hook your arms under your knees and pull them up to your chest.  Push down and breathe.” He was telling me to push!  I couldn’t believe it.  I was ready?!  It was time?!  I had progressed the rest of the way?!  I felt my heart beat faster and faster….I could tell the adreneline was rushing through to my head and my smile was stretched all the way to its limits.  I did exactly what he said and pushed as hard as I could.  It felt exhilarating!

“Um…um…I’m gonna have to go.”  Lori looked down at me with a white face.

“Are you alright?” I asked as I sucked in a relaxing breath.

“uhhh….yeah…I just gotta go.  the smell….”  she looked pale, let go of my leg and started turning toward the door.

Lori took two steps toward the door and I laughed.  I joked after her….”Lori, that’s the smell of life!”

I saw her round the curtain out of view before I heard a scuffle and a bang.  Next thing we knew, a nurse yelled….

“SHE’S DOWN! She’s DOWN!”

 

Birth Story Part 3 continued…

Comments

  1. Amanda L says

    Pitocin is the devil!! I had it for many hours and finally gave in to the epidural after being stuck at 9 for a few hours. So glad you got your VBAC!

  2. Cassidy says

    Hey, Katie! I was surprised to find out from a friend – after I had my VBA2C with Dr. Tate @ Emory in December – that you’d just done the same thing a month before! We have the same wonder-doctor, girl! Reading your story is making me relive mine. The part about “so… Are you gonna help or what?” And holding one heel while directing my hubby to hold the other… So familiar! :)

    Wish I woulda had an epidural, tho. Smart woman. The reconstruction was beyond brutal.

    Isn’t it just the most amazing thing to actually have your body do the work instead of the other way?? No one can understand that unless they’ve done both. I don’t know about you, but the bonding with my 3rd girlie is just totally and incredibly different! More immediate, maybe? Not to mention the nursing is easier!! So it was definitely worth it!

    A million congratulations on the birth of your little man. (My brother’s name is Weston. Such a strong name.) Can’t wait to read the rest of your story!

    *running off to write mine before I forget!*

    Cassidy

  3. Mary says

    I’ll be glad when the idea of an epidural being something to be ashamed is forever gone. We don’t expect people to have teeth drilled without novocaine. That would be considered barbaric. But labor without anesthetic is considered heroic?

    The epidural is one of the greatest medical advances of the last century. No narcotics, no altered state, no drug to the baby and greatly relieved pain.

  4. dada says

    I read a lot of a birthstores (I like that stuff I don’t know why and I haven’t have any baby yet) yours just add a whole different layer, the smell! although I don’t know what that smells like. Can’t wait for the 3rd part! :)

  5. Jessica says

    I had a vbac with my second child also. The first labor was NOFUN, I was full of magnesium and it SUCKED. Anyways, my nurse for my vbac must have been your nurses twin!! She had an island accent and totally made my vbac happen.

  6. Christina P (NS) says

    It’s about time!!
    You are a wonderful writer, part two moved me to tears faster than part one. I cannot wait for the next installment.
    Also pretty funny, that the very end of the post discussing your sister passing out from the smell runs directly into the previous post entitled Oyster Cloister – too far? Maybe, but still pretty hilarious!

  7. says

    I’m an active reader, but an inactive commenter (terrible I know). Also no children of my own, but I just wanted to say- someday if I ever decide to have children that I hope to share the delivery room- like you surrounded by indescribable love like you and Jeremy. The emotions you express brought me to tears. I love reading your story and all the emotions and details you bring are astonishing- to say the least.

  8. Jessica says

    O’h Katie – You are a powerful women! I had a very similiar story with my first. Pitocin induction and after 12 hours only at 7 cm :( so the epidural came and so did the relief and 3 short hours later my boy!

    Can’t wait for installment #3.

  9. Michelle says

    I love reading your birth story! Seriously…captivating. I am 10 days overdue with baby #2 and he doesn’t seem to be budging. I have a scheduled induction in 3 days, but I’m hoping that I’ll go into labor on my own as well. These last few days are by far the hardest throughout pregnancy. Thanks for sharing your inspirational story with us! :)

  10. says

    Wow Katie, I love this: “I wouldn’t get a crown in heaven for a drug-free labor.” So true!
    And you didn’t mention much of this but Weston was sunny side up??? Oh my goodness! My second, (a week or two older than Weston was face up… goodness it hurt worse than my first and had a longer labor! I didn’t have the option for an epidural but if I did… I would have gotten it for sure with a sunny side up baby!!

  11. Stephanie says

    What a great story!! I’m so glad to hear you had an epideral! I was on baby watch the day Weston was born and when you guys posted his beautiful first picture with his birth weight my first thought was OMG poor Katie! Can’t wait to read the rest of the story:-)

  12. Sarah says

    I have been stalking your site for Part 2 and you make me wait again?! Haha
    Guess the stalking continues for Part 3 :)

  13. says

    You are amazing at telling a story and have me on the edge of my seat :) I can’t wait to hear the rest of it!
    I’m due with boy #2 in about 5 weeks and this is getting me really excited for this moment again :) Keep up the great work! Your blog is amazing!

  14. says

    So im sitting here on the edge of my seat waiting for your next sentence and then I completely break out laughing at Lori fainting. My husband fainted for our second baby too, and I just remember being annoyed that he had to steal my moment by passing out. I can’t wait to read what comes next.

  15. kbb says

    I don’t understand were this idea came from that you have to give birth naturally and you have to breast feed. It is so ridiculous, what you have to do is what is best for you to get you through. If you go 12 hours in pain in labour who are you helping not your self and certainly not the baby, stress is way worse then any drug. And as far as breastfeeding goes the same applies if your not enjoying it then you are creating stress which is not good for you or your child. This idea of everything natural surfaced in the 60’s but the other thing that came about in the 60’s was woman’s lib…..doing what is best for you.

  16. Lindsay Atteberry says

    Wowww!!!! Youare such an amazing writer!!! I felt like I was experiencing the whole birth with you!! With my first, the doctor didn’t give me the option to walk and I had to have a c-section.. I regret that decision, and would totally have a VBAC- if there ever is a 2nd one!! Cannot wait to read the next part and experience that with you as well!!!

  17. Gloria says

    Beautifully written! This has taken me back to the birth of my four. I had pitocin and epidurals with the first two pregnancies (second was twins) and so thankful for both. So thankful to live in a time when these two drugs are available to women. Don’t even like to think about deliveries without that option, and the danger posed to some women without them. But then when #4 rolled around, I went in expecting both because that was the pattern I’d established, and needed neither. My labor with the youngest was roughly 3 hours. If he’d come during rush hour instead of early dawn, he might have been born in the car instead of the hospital!

  18. Ruth Anne says

    Ahhhhhh, the suspense!!!

    I love reading your birth story. As impatient as I am to hear the whole thing, I’m glad there is at least one more installment coming. :)

  19. Carla says

    ohhh my goodness… just when i was about to break into tears, i end up laughing! you’re hilarious and cannot wait until part 3!

  20. Joanna says

    I’ve done birth both ways, one without pitocin or epidural and one with both, and I think it’s absolutly ridiculous to put someone down for using drugs. If the technology is there, why shouldn’t we use it? I probably wouldn’t have done the epidural but that pitocin kicked my butt and I couldn’t deal with it anymore, totally different labor when I didn’t need anything to help it along!
    I threw-up horribly in both of my labors and my poor husband has an aversion to the sight/noise/smell… he tried so hard but about the third time he almost threw-up on my head, that’s when I called my mom to come be the bowl holder. There is one thing to go through labor looking sweaty and messy, a total other to do it with vomit on my head. :)

  21. annette says

    LOL! Just when I was getting teary eyed…I started laughing out loud! Only you Katie! While giving birth still making jokes!

  22. Kelly says

    OK, I am on the edge of my seat waiting for Part 3. You are a really strong writer, I feel as if I was in the room with you. Bravo to you for being able to make jokes while in labor too. So funny. Hurry with Part 3. Congratulations on Weston!

  23. Morgan says

    This story made me laugh and cry – you are a wonderful writer. Please do not leave us waiting in suspense any longer. We need Part 3!!! :)

  24. says

    I’ve been waiting for part II, now I’m on the edge of my seat again waiting for part III! Great writing. Love the honesty and detail!! Hopefully part 3 posts soon!

  25. says

    Thanks for sharing this! Though I wish I had all parts at once. :) I am about to try for a VBAC after two “failed” home births that ended in the hospital–once vag and once C-section. It will be the first time I’m in the hospital for the whole thing and also being monitored for the VBAC, so I’m a little freaked out. It’s so helpful to read other stories. Thanks for sharing!

  26. says

    OMG! such an intense story – but I definitely bust out laughing when you told her it was the smell of life! and even harder when the nurse yelled She’s down! poor thing. lol.

  27. Donna says

    Your poor sister! I never really knew it smelled, and I’ve had three children! I guess I was too busy, and my husband was obviously too sweet to tell me! Hope she wasn’t hurt during the fall.

  28. Tessa says

    I love Dr Joseph Tate. He was so good to us. Baby was in great hands.So was mama. :) And he has Krispy Kreme waiting for me after delivery. Bless him!

  29. Kendall says

    Is it weird that I am not pregnant and I am addicted to reading birth stories?? This one is a particularly great read. BTW, I am anxiously awaiting installment number three! I’ve really been enjoying the uptick in posts overall Katie. I know that must be such a challenge with two little boys now. Way to go!

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