Our 5-years-in-the-making miracle is here! Georgia June Ridley was born on Wednesday 2/22/17 at 12:38pm via c-section. She was 8lbs2oz and 21 inches long! We are so in love!
On Monday I was off work for President's Day. I woke up and noticed I had lost most of my mucous plug which I found to be exciting but also knew that could mean days or even weeks before labor would come and baby girl would be here. Over the weekend I felt totally the same, she was still lodged up into my ribs/lungs and I felt as uncomfortable as I had been but Monday I felt a little different. I mentioned it to Joe, mentioned it at my doctor's appointment, but we continued to just plan for her to come on March 4th.
Tuesday morning I was up early, I slept like crap and ended up deciding to just lay there awake until my alarm went off. I got on my phone and instantly felt something, thinking it was more of my mucous plug, I got up and went to the bathroom and instantly starting noticing my water was breaking. Joe slept on the couch that night and noticed he happened to be up already, I heard him in the bathroom and called for him. He said he knew instantly that something was going on. I called into work and told them what happened and that I wouldn't be in.
I started Googling "water breaking with no contractions" and found this happens in about 10% of pregnancies and that labor would start any time up to about 48 hours. It's referred to as Premature Rupture of Membranes (PROM) and it's not an emergency type of situation. I called my mom, texted my doula, and Joe stayed home with me for the day. My doula recommended going for some walks to get things progressing. My mom came over and we all 3 walked outside. I felt pretty good and had very few minor contractions throughout the day. Finally in the late afternoon a friend suggested I try nipple stimulation as they made her do it for about an hour in the hospital. I tried it and it worked immediately. Contractions started coming on and were pretty consistent right off the bat 7-8 minutes or so apart.
Around the time I started stimulation, I called the OB department and they told me their policy was for me to come in since my water had already broken because there is concern for infection. Most of what I read had said that infection can only really happen by being checked or introducing anything into the vagina after the water had broken which for me had not happened so I chose to stay at my house, get my doula over, and labor at home for a few hours. My doula came around 8pm and we labored at home, walking the halls, doing lunges, dancing around, bouncing on the ball, and working through the contractions until about 11pm when my contractions were about 4 minutes apart.
We got the hospital and got admitted and hooked up to the wireless monitor right away. They were having a hard time getting Georgia's heart beat to rise and fall, they typically like to see it go up and down and here's was staying flat. They had me turn on music and put it up to my belly (I chose Judas Priest), they had me get in a bathtub and turn on jets to see if she'd respond, they had me drinking sugary drinks to get her up, it took us awhile but she slowly started to respond. My midwife checked me and found that I was only dilated to maybe a 3-5, but she couldn't really tell without hurting me. They also determined that she was turned kind of sideways instead of post or anterior like she should have been, this is what brought on our biggest challenge. Because we found out early we planned on laboring in lots of different positions while contractions were happening to get her to turn.
In the mean time they filled the tub for the water birth and allowed me to get in and work through some contractions in there, I was making little progress and was experiencing full blown labor with no pain meds whatsoever at this point. Eventually they had me get out of the tub and get in bed and we did all kind of different laboring positions, on my hands and knees, on my side, standing, doing lunges on a stool, using a robozo, you name it, I tried it. At this point contractions were strong and I decided to try the nitrous oxide, aka, laughing gas. It worked really well to help relax me but you still feel every single pain that comes along with each contraction. It worked best after a contraction to kind of calm me more than anything.
Around 7am with little progress, a shift change for the nurses and midwife, and me being in tons of pain and totally exhausted I had Joe call my mom and tell her to come. They checked me and I was dilated to an 8 so we figured she'd be here soon. My mom got there and we continued pressing through contractions all while getting the tub filled up and ready. By 9am I was checked again and told I was complete. I had also been checked by the new nurse that came on at 7. I was told I could start pushing. I pushed and pushed, contractions seemed to be slowing down as far as I could tell but I pushed hoping she would come. Checked again and no progress had been made and she was still sideways. They let me push for another 30 minutes then told me the doctor was going to have to be called. After 30 minutes of no changes the doctor was called. She said they'd give me 2 more hours to get baby here and if she wasn't then we needed to reevaluate and consider a csection. We tried a few more things but I was so exhausted I couldn't do anymore, they suggested I get the laughing gas again and just work through my contractions without pushing so I did.
I ended up feeling really upset about needing the csection. I told myself I'd be flexible and I was trying but after all I had gone through I couldn't believe that I wasn't able to push her out myself. Joe, my mom, and my doula, reminded me of how hard I had worked over the last day and a half and that I was able to do everything I wanted to and that I had tried extremely hard but we needed to get her here safely so I felt OK with the situation and accepted that I was going to have a csection and be meeting my baby soon.
After what felt like an eternity they got me into the OR around 12pm, they did the spinal and I instantly felt better. I don't think I had ever been as exhausted in my life as I was Wednesday morning. They let Joe come in and within minutes I had her laying on my chest and got to see her for the first time. I was so thankful they allowed a could seconds of skin to skin as that was on my birth plan and something I really was looking forward to. It was amazing to see her and I just couldn't believe she was finally here! They whisked her and Joe away for their skin to skin time while I was stitched up and taken to recovery. She was born at 12:38pm.
Finally at 2:30 they took me up to meet here again. I was able to have my skin to skin at that time and she latched on and started nursing immediately. I was in such a fog and so much of those first few hours of meeting her was such a blur. We were finally all together as a family of 3 and it was so amazing. My mom and doula were there as well & we took a bunch of pictures and just relished in the moment for awhile.
Although in the end it didn't go at all as I expected, I was so happy she was finally here safe and sound. She is perfectly healthy, has no issues at all, she's nursing like a champ, and we are adjusting to life as a family of 3. Joe went back to work on Saturday and we were released on Friday so he didn't get much time home. Luckily my mom has been here and helping me which has been amazing. It allows me the time to do things like shower, and type up this blog post! The doctor said I'm a perfect candidate for VBAC and I am already recovering really well and feeling really good. We are so smitten with our little bundle of joy. My heart just bursts when I see Joe holding her and talking to her, I can just tell he is so in love with her and it's so amazing. She was truly worth every minute of the time it took for us to get pregnant with her. She was absolutely worth the wait.