I realize that Part 1 of our story was long. I just really think that it's important, even the fake out days. Oh, and sorry this is really long too. But hey, most of you know how long-winded I can be :)
So, at the hospital at 4 cm. This was a little scary of a number because that's where I got stuck with Isaac. The whole getting checked in and plugged in process took about an hour. Still having steady contractions. The doc came in about maybe two hours after arriving at the hospital and checked me. Even though I had heard it before, Dr. Mong gave me the whole commercial about the risks with the VBAC. He was however very optimistic and answered every single question I had. More importantly, he made it very clear that he was just going to let me labor and see what happens. Music to my ears. I was determined to not be bed bound but unfortunately , because of the VBAC they wanted me and the baby on the monitor as much as possible. So he said I could walk around the room and bounce on the ball and all that stuff, he really didn't want me walking around the halls.
At this point, doc made the decision to break my water to help the contractions along. Honestly, I laughed the whole time. It's the funniest (and grossest) feeling to feel like your peeing buckets and you can't control it. I couldn't stop giggling. But then, the contractions picked up almost immediately. I mean hard and every 2-3 minutes. ugh.....
Enter my nurse, Crystal. She was so amazing. She helped me breathe through my contractions and showed me how to position my body during them. Mind you, this part of pregnancy #2 felt like #1 because I never labored like this with Isaac. She also talked with Luke about how he could rub or hold during my contractions. She was so great.
This went on forever! Or at least it felt like forever to me. I don't know the actual time. I was determined to make it to 6cm before I got the epidural. The worst part of all was that little Simon was right on my bladder. So every single contraction was paired with terrible burning, stabbing pain in my bladder. Like I've got to go so bad but nothing's coming out, I'm gonna die kind of pain. This resulted in a lot of trips to the bathroom just for relief.
At this point, I'm seriously the cliche movie mom screaming at the nurse for my epidural and screaming with pain and squeezing the heck out of Luke's hands. Luke was so great! Poor guy had nail marks on his arms for the next day or so but he willingly allowed me to inflict pain on him as I was being inflicted with pain.
Eventually, it got to where I had no relief. Big contraction, little contractions, big contraction, and so on and so on. But I didn't want to give up yet, so I asked for some stadol. The effect was almost immediate. The nurse told me later that it was in effect for about 1 1/2 hrs, which of course for me was gone in a blink. I did get to rest during this time in between contractions, but still, the bladder pain was so so bad.
The Stadol wore off and it was back to work. Seriously, the worst pain of all was in my bladder. I know that if it weren't for this pain, I could have gone a little longer. Again, enter my nurse, who saw the big picture and helped me get through each contraction. However, there was one point where I got frustrated and just begged for it, and she said okay. At this point, I got checked. I can't remember if it was the doc or the nurse, but whoever it was, I was at 6.5cm!! Yay! I reached my goal and new for sure that I wanted the epidural.
After the epidural, everything obviously got easier and I finally got some rest. However, I got the shivers super bad. For hours, literally, I couldn't stop shaking, and this prevented me from getting more rest. But, I would take that over contractions any day! So Luke put in Hairspray (my favorite movie) and chilled the rest of the way.
When the doc came in some time later, we were sad to hear that I hadn't dialated any more. I was immediately guilty and thought I had copped out too early again, but I still trusted. Dr. Mong said that I and the baby were fine and so there was no need to jump to the c-section. Plus, we still had one more option, a little bit of pitocin to get the contractions going again. So all was not lost. We ended up not having to need the pitocin after all but it was good to know that we still had that option if I got really stuck.
Luke's feeding me ice chips this whole time, and amazingly, it's actually tricking my stomach that I'm eating. I was so hungry!
Then the shift changed. New nurse, new doc, and new fears that I would be pushed towards the c-section. The nurse was great and really nice and helpful. Dr. Martin, however was a different story. She came in all "doomsday" telling us that baby was big and I was short (literally not tall) and that my chances are slim to none of delivering vaginally. She asked us on the spot what we wanted to do. Baby was fine and I was fine so we said we're gonna keep trucking along.
Then, at about 9ish, I started feeling a lot of pressure "down there". The doc came in and checked me and 10 cm!! Praise the Lord! So I naively asked "what's next"? Pushing! YAY!!!
I pushed for about an hour. The nurse was great and Luke was great. My heart was so full of joy!! I couldn't believe that the Lord was allowing all our prayers to come true. In between each push, I was just smiling and SO EXCITED!!! I was also asking and making sure that the baby was okay. And praise the Lord, he was. I can't express how excited Luke and I were. My nurse was amazed that I was so energetic and excited. It got to the point that I was telling them when I was ready to push. AHHH!!! So excited! And all the while, Luke is still feeding me ice chips. I love those hospital ice chips!!!
So push, push, push and boom! BABY!!! I didn't think I was going to cry because I thought I'd be so excited and full of joy. But that's exactly why I did start just sobbing! As soon as he came out, Dr. Martin suctioned him all up, and as soon as he started screaming, she handed him right to me. Oh, I'm crying even now. It was absolutely amazing. GLORY TO GOD! As soon as I saw him, I said he looked just like Isaac!
Words cannot express the joy that was flowing out of me. I could not wrap my mind around how over-abundantly God had answered all our prayers. All we could do was praise...PRAISE! I started proclaiming Psalm 103, out loud.
Praise the LORD, O my soul;
all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
Praise the LORD, O my soul,
and forget not all his benefits-
who forgives all your sins
and heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the pit
and crowns you with love and compassion,
who satisfies your desires with good things
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's.
And that's the end of my story. Everything was so completely different. And though there was still pain and recovery afterward, I took it gladly, thanking God that I was in this type of recovery rather than from a c-section.
So here's my testimony, though I was faithless, He remained faithful (2 Timothy 2: 13). I look back and see how my heart was so easily deceived and prone to wander, and I'm so humbled at what He did in spite of my faithlessness. God's love for us is so great!
So please, even now, give God all the glory. Not just for the birth he gave us, but for the glory He brought to Himself because of it. Here is the rest of Psalm 103:
The LORD works righteousness
and justice for all the oppressed.
He made known his ways to Moses,
his deeds to the people of Israel:
The LORD is compassionate and gracious,
slow to anger, abounding in love.
He will not always accuse,
nor will he harbor his anger forever;
he does not treat us as our sins deserve
or repay us according to our iniquities.
For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
so great is his love for those who fear him;
as far as the east is from the west,
so far has he removed our transgressions from us.
As a father has compassion on his children,
so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him;
for he knows how we are formed,
he remembers that we are dust.
As for man, his days are like grass,
he flourishes like a flower of the field;
the wind blows over it and it is gone,
and its place remembers it no more.
But from everlasting to everlasting
the LORD's love is with those who fear him,
and his righteousness with their children's children-
with those who keep his covenant
and remember to obey his precepts.
The LORD has established his throne in heaven,
and his kingdom rules over all.
Praise the LORD, you his angels,
you mighty ones who do his bidding,
who obey his word.
Praise the LORD, all his heavenly hosts,
you his servants who do his will.
Praise the LORD, all his works
everywhere in his dominion.
Praise the LORD, O my soul.