Before the memory starts to dull a little, I wanted to write out Ezra’s story. Be prepared for it to be graphic . . . 🙂
On Friday the 13th, I woke up with regular contractions that were very uncomfortable. I’d had contractions a lot the week before, but these were actually regular. So we started timing them, then around 7am, we asked my sister to come and pick up Ryder. I called the midwife, and she said to call her back when the contractions were 5 minutes apart. So we waited and waited. The midwife called to check on me and told me to get out and walk and see what happens. So we walked, and we walked. And we walked. The contractions stayed about 8 minutes apart. We then made it into a date night and watched a movie. 🙂 Woke up the next morning and still had contractions. By Sunday morning, everything stopped. Very disappointing! So I finally thought well, I’ll just plan on going to work tomorrow and assume that this baby is going to be late. At 4:30 am on Monday the 16th (E’s due date), I woke up with painful contractions and knew this was it. I decided to stay quiet though and moved to the living room where I could do what I needed to do to get through the contractions and not wake up Mark or Ryder. By the time Mark got up, I was having the contractions at 5 to 6 minutes apart. So we made a plan for the day. We fed Ryder, got him dressed, and finished packing our bags. I then called the family and called the midwife. And around 10ish, we were on our way to the hospital (finally). By the way, at 4am on Ryder’s due date, my water broke with him . . . my kids like their due dates. 🙂
During my labor with Ryder, my contractions were milder but more frequent. Yet with this one, they were intense with breathing space between. So this labor was already different. After we checked in and got settled into our room, the midwife came in to see how far along I was. I was 7cm and at stage 1, which was quite good progress when you consider that I’d been at 4cm for a few days. 🙂 Unfortunately though, due to my c-section history, I had to stay hooked up to the monitors. And because this baby was so round and my belly was like a perfect ball, we couldn’t get the monitors to stay on. So I was allowed to walk for 5 minutes, sit for 10, walk, sit, walk, sit. And every time I sat, the contractions slowed down. After about 2 hours of that, I asked if we could just break my water and move forward. The midwife wholeheartedly agreed. And if you haven’t experienced your water breaking or having it broken, I think it’s a hilarious process. Maybe because I retain so much water? So I just basically poured out water for the next hour, which was great, because it helps to distract from the contractions. And it always gives us a good laugh. 🙂
Breaking my water definitely moved things along, so it was time to get in the tub and let the water help do it’s thing of relaxing me. However, I didn’t last long in the bath as I started to really feel the need to push, and I couldn’t get comfortable enough to just relax. So out of the bath I came. It was now about 5pm, and we had a new nurse assisting us. I kept asking if I could push, and she kept saying no, you’re only at a 7. She then insisted that the previous nurse didn’t admit me, so she wanted to go through the question process all over again. Thankfully, the midwife came in to check on me, and when I told her that I needed to push, she believed me. So we did one last check, and sure enough, I was complete and well ready to push. She left me alone for a few minutes, and while she was gone, the nurse started her question asking. I have to say that it was the one time through the whole process where I wanted to get really crabby. And it was the one time where I was really not happy with the nurse at all. 🙂 However, Mark handled her pretty well, so I was just able to push. It was now about 6pm, and I kept thinking okay, one hour of pushing, and we’ll be done. 30 more minutes, and it’ll all be over. Just give it 10 more minutes . . . Lord, help me get through one more push. Well, 3 hours and 45 minutes later, I’m still pushing. Ezra’s head was visible, so the midwife, nurse, and Mark were cheering me on and telling me how close I was, but I was totally exhausted. I was fighting through leg cramps as my thighs and calves would cramp after every big push, and I couldn’t just rest as the pushing was the only way to alleviate the pressure of the contraction. The midwife knew I was exhausted as well, so she suggested bringing in the obstetrician (for VBAC births an obstetrician is available at all times just in case) and seeing if she could use the vacuum to help. I cringe at the thought of using forceps or a vacuum, but I knew I couldn’t do this anymore. So the use of the vacuum would be preferred over heading into surgery for a c-section. Plus, I didn’t need to get an epidural for the doctor to use the vacuum. So we agreed.
And of course, the obstetrician was this loud, boisterous, let’s just get it done! lady who was so opposite of my sweet, calm, quiet midwife. So I think Mark and I both cringed when she came in, but hey, after one push with the help of the vacuum, Ezra’s head was fully out. After one more big push and one big tear, the rest of his body was out, and my baby was laying on my chest. 🙂 I thought, finally, it’s all over, and I have my sweet boy!! Mark was glowing after watching his son be delivered. I was just relieved to be done and to have a health baby . . . then the obstetrician announces that I tore badly, so we’re not done yet. Then she announces that the placenta is not coming out. 30 minutes later, we still have no placenta. So . . . . not only do I now need several stitches, but the doctor has to manually (meaning with her hand) remove my placenta. I won’t even go into detail, but let’s just say that the doctor felt terrible. She could not believe how I was handling everything so well without a complaint, a scream, a holler, a curse word, or any yuckiness when I was not on any pain medication. If I had been more with it, I would have just told her that it was all God and the peace of the Holy Spirit. However, I just wanted it done. I think the last 2 hours of dealing with the stitches and the removal of the placenta were far worse than the 4 hours of pushing. But the one good thing was that I was able to just gaze into Ezra’s eyes and thank the Lord for how blessed we were regardless of what was happening with my body.
So I got my VBAC . . . not the best way to do it, but I got it. 🙂 I learned that our bodies are capable of doing far more than we think. We’re able to endure a lot more pain than we think. And physically, that was probably the worst day of my life; however, I got my son. And God got me through every moment of it.
After the doctor was done working on me, they finally took Ez to get him weighed and cleaned up. The midwife, doctor, and nurses all guessed Ezra to be 8.5 pounds. He turned out to be a whopping 8lb 13oz. 🙂 And they all commented on how they could not believe how I handled the process. They said the 3rd floor of nurses and doctors were calling me “Miracle Woman”. My midwife also apologized as she said that she started to think that the baby was not going to fit through my pelvic bone, she thought he’d be much smaller, and during my labor, she had doubts that I’d be a successful VBAC. She was quite happy with the outcome, and quite sure that my next baby would come in less than an hour of pushing. It was nice to hear her say all of that. We got to tell her why I was able to go through everything with peace, and I don’t think she understood most of what we told her. But to God be all the glory. That’s really the long short of it. And my hungry Ez is calling my name . . . 🙂