Giselle’s due date was August 28, but she made her appearance on September 6, 2019. I thought for sure I was having her that Monday after Labor day. When I went to bed around 10pm on Labor Day, I started having contractions. I was timing them, and they were 10 minutes apart all night long. I had an appointment with my doctor that Monday morning, and I was sure he was going to tell me I was at least dialated or that the baby was coming soon.
At this appointment, I was 40 weeks and 5 days pregnant. I had a stress test just to make sure Gigi was still doing well. Everything was perfect. She was moving a lot, and her heart was strong. Of course, my contractions were now more like an hour apart, and I didn’t have any during the test. I started to feel like maybe she wasn’t going to come that day. My doctor let me know that I still was not dialated, and my cervix was too high to strip membranes. I felt anxious, and began to doubt if I was going to have the vbac I so badly wanted. Induction wasn’t an option after having a c-section with Sophia (she was breech), so he gave me until Friday to see if Gigi would come on her own. If not, then I would have a scheduled c-section Saturday morning. He said it was too dangerous for me to carry to 42 weeks, and ultimately we wanted a healthy baby.
After my appointment, Zach and I went out for lunch, and after leaving the restaurant my contractions started to pick up again. They continued to get closer and closer together until they were 10 minutes apart. At 4am, they did the same thing as before, and became more like an hour apart. I was SO frustrated! I wasn’t sleeping more than 5 minutes at a time, and I was in so much pain I just wanted her out already. I started to try anything and everything to get things going faster. Pumping, long walks, spicy food, fatty food, bouncing on an exercise ball; everything. Everyday was the same, with contractions an hour to 30 minutes apart during the day, and then 10 min apart in the evening and all through the night. By Thursday I was DONE! I was so tired from not sleeping and so sore from having such strong contractions all week long. I ended up calling the on call doctor at 10pm. He said I could not be seen until my contractions were 5 minutes apart. By 3am I had had enough, so I called him back and lied that they were 5.
We got to the hospital around 3:30am. The nurse said I was 6cm dialated, and she could not believe that I had gone from 0cm on Monday to 6cm early Friday morning. She said girl your body has been doing work this week! She noticed my contractions would not get closer than 7 minutes apart, but that I had monster contractions when I did. They were anywhere from 2-3 minutes long! She thought all I needed was a little pitocin to bring them closer together.
My doctor was not able to come in (I have no idea why…), so I had another doctor see me who was absolutely amazing. I talked to her and the nurses about how I wanted a natural birth, but they highly suggested the epidural. I was completely exhausted at that point, and having not slept all week, we were afraid I would not be able to push when the time came, and I would need a c-section. I went with the epidural, and say what you will about it, but that was absolutely incredible. I was still in a lot of pain, because Gigi’s head was pressing on my hip and back with each contraction, but I was able to sleep a little before having to push.
Very shortly after I had the epidural, my doctor broke my water and that’s when things really picked up. There was no need for the pitocin, because within an hour after breaking my water, Gigi was practically falling out. The doctor and nurses were canceling meetings and rushing to get ready. Zach had to inhale the breakfast he had just ordered, ha! My contractions were staying about 3-4 minutes apart, but I had such huge contractions that I was able to get 3 big pushes in with each contraction. After 3 sets of 3 pushes, she was out in 15 minutes!
I was beyond thrilled that I was able to have a successful vbac with Giselle. The recovery has been so much easier than with my c-section. I did tear and sitting was painful for awhile, but that felt very small compared to surgery recovery. That is just my personal experience. I know some who much prefer having surgery. Everyone is different! I also had a lot of bleeding. The nurses told me I was a lot heavier of a bleeder than most. I was told the same when I had Sophia.
We stayed in the hospital for one night before we went home. Luckily, breastfeeding has gone smoothly since the beginning. Initially, she wasn’t latching on right away and I got a little worried, but I honestly think she just wasn’t hungry because when she finally showed signs of hunger she had no problem latching. I also highly suggest seeing a lactation consultant if you have any concerns. My hospital has one available after giving birth, and I asked her in just to make sure everything looked good. She offered some great advice, and I left feeling confident I could do this again with Giselle.
It’s been 9 weeks since having Giselle, and I honestly feel good. With Sophia I had random crying spells, but definitely not postpartum depression. With Giselle I don’t feel emotional. I actually sat around waiting to randomly cry, but I never did. Giselle has been sleeping well and went from waking up once or twice a night to sleeping through most nights. That doesn’t mean I’m sleeping though. Sophia has been transitioning to her toddler bed and usually wakes up during the night. Most of the time I wake up and wait for Gigi thinking she is about to wake up to eat, but then she doesn’t. So I’m still a tired, caffeine addicted mom despite Giselle being a good sleeper.
Anyway, that is the quick version of my birth story! I will be sharing more and more as I continue this new life as a mom of 2. I will also share how this second pregnancy was similar and different than my first. So much more to come here!