Friday, June 26, 2015

40 Weeks AND...

40 Weeks! Phew, I'm ready!
Birth Story

Early in the day before things really got going.
 Nervous would be an accurate description of my feelings at this moment.
      By the end of the weekly Dr.'s appointment on June 11th, it was determined that the baby needed to be delivered soon. Friday was too soon for me, Monday was booked, and so Tuesday was to be the big day!
      The plan was to induce labor and then attempt a vbac delivery. I didn't think a vbac could be done with an induction. I feared the needles, interventions, and potential serious complications all weekend. I was also highly concerned about leaving Tennyson for such a long time. I busied myself getting as much as possible cleaned in the house and ready for others to care for Tennyson.
      On Tuesday, Elaine (pastor's wife at church) met us bright and early at our home. We quickly went through the basics of our home and caring for Tennyson. I was relieved that he'd wake to her and we wouldn't have to have a difficult moment separating. Soon, we were on the road to the hospital!
     It was really strange walking into the hospital without being in labor and knowing that by the end of the day we'd have a baby. In the case of Tennyson's birth, I was in full labor when we arrived at the hospital. This baby was continuing to show herself to be a different story.
     No long after we arrived, my water was broken and Pitocen was started.  This was the first time for me to experience my water breaking, and that was quite a strange sensation. Soon, contractions began but they were tolerable. In fact, I contentedly worked on handstitching together pieces of felt that would eventually create a strawberry and carrot. I confidently thought, "I went to 6cm without even knowing I was in labor last time. I can do this!" This time, however, Pitocen was involved and after frequent adjustments to the drip rate my thoughts took a turn. I was suddenly hurled into sheer agony. If I ever had questions as to what a pain level of "10" felt like, I had my answer. I buried my face into the bed and screamed with every contraction. My body just couldn't take that level of pain (and I don't believe any body can tolerate Pitocen-induced contractions naturally).
      Fortunally, anesthesiology arrived quickly. I was so grateful for relief. Yet, I was taken by surprise by how badly the epidural insertion hurt. It was like my back muscles instantly seized up in one giant Charlie horse muscle cramp. I had a spinal block with my last delivery, and didn't recall it being anything like that. But, the pain did fade as the medication took effect. This is the first instance in which I was beyond grateful for an epidural.
     Then, something happened. For whatever reason, I slipped out of consciousness. Though I couldn't feel the pain, my body was still experiencing and responding to it. I could sense what was going on around me, but couldn't respond. It was as if my body was redirecting all energy and effort away from consciousness and towards pain control. I came to to smelling salts, oxygen, and a room full of people.
     Labor continued to progress, and I "slept" (though I don't know if you can really call it true sleep). At some point her little heart rate began dropping with each contraction. It was determined that I had lost too much fluid and she no longer had enough of a cushion from the contractions. I catheter was inserted and fluid continuously added back in for her. Later, her heart rate continued to fluctuate, and an internal monitor was applied to her head. I laughed a bit to myself for having fretted over the weekend over just an iv, catheter and epidural, and yet there I was with more tubes and wires than I could have ever imagined! All that mattered to me was our utmost safety.
     Then, another incident occurred in which I slipped from full consciousness. When I woke, the room was full of people and I could tell there was an added energy. In a half-conscious and fully confused state, I repeatedly asked what happened, what was wrong, and if she was okay. The answer was simply that she was coming. (Rather strange to be told the baby is coming instead of feeling that way. haha). I pulled myself together and prepared to begin the pushing process. It was a process, indeed!
      She was in a posterior position, which made the delivery a little more difficult. It felt like it was talking forever for her to arrive! Her heart rate continued to be unstable, and eventually it was determined that she needed to be out quickly through the aid of an episiotomy. This would be the second instance in which I was beyond grateful for an epidural. Not long after this procedure, she made her way out! We did it! (It could then been seen that her cord was wrapped around her shoulder and likely the reason for her trouble during labor.) She was here and healthy!
    She was laid on my chest and we got to soak up the moment together. It was amazing getting to keep her with me instead of whisked away like last time. It was a long and difficult pregnancy, but that moment made everything worthwhile. I am so very grateful to have been given a means of carrying her full term and then deliver via vbac. The experience has been simply amazing. We're so glad she's here and a part of our family!

Annelise Michelle
6lb. 7 oz. & 19.25in. long
Born June 16, 2015
Introducing big brother to his new baby sister!


  1. Awe, she's sweet. Congratulations.

  2. Congratulations! You did it! What an accomplishment! Just a few months ago you probably didn't even think it was possible to make it to 40 weeks AND have a vaginal delivery! She is so beautiful too! I'm sure she seems huge in comparison to how tiny Tennyson was

    1. Thanks, Amy! I don't think any of us expected to see week 40! After 20 weeks of shots to keep her in, who would have thought we'd have to induce to get her out?! Haha. I'm so glad we were able to have a successful vbac. I do feel that it was such an accomplishment. One of my thoughts after delivery was, "we did it!" Another thought was, "she's huge!" Compared to my little 3lb preemie, a 6lb baby looked giant! haha! She's been an absolute joy. It's already been a bit of a challenge managing two little ones under two years of age, but I'm so grateful to God for each of them :)


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