Tuesday, March 03, 2009

My Precious Addison Hope

Introducing...Addison Hope!

In these pics she is three weeks old, but she is 4.5 weeks now. Here are some more.

Here is her birth story. Many of you know that Caiden was delivered via c-section because of her breech presentation. The "norm" these days is once a c/s, always a c/s. But I wasn't having it. My Mom (thank God for her legacy!) had six VBAC (vaginal births after cesarean) and I knew I could do it too. I didn't want to schedule major abdominal surgery while having a new born and a two year old. So, I made a deal with my OB, and worked and worked to get the baby in the right position, to stay in shape, and make sure my body was ready to do the job God created it to do. I found a doula who walked with me through the last few weeks of my pregnancy, prayed for me, and really gave me so much confidence that my VBAC was imminent. (Thanks Christine!!) The plan: wait until the last possible moment to get to the hospital so that I could avoid any unnecessary interventions. Now all I had to do is wait and be patient with my body.

I had prodromal labor with her for weeks prior to her birth. The week of her birthday, I was awake for three nights in a row with contractions every 5-15 minutes apart. After two nights of this I had an appt with my OB and found out that after all that work, I was only dialated at one cm, but the baby's head was VERY low. I was rather discouraged, to say the least. Wed. morning, after laboring all night, at 7 am they spaced out to one or two an hour- AGAIN. I was over it. So I got up and went in to work for my half day. I wasn't walking very fast as my back had begun hurting, and everyone asked me to please go home. Some even followed me around with their cell phones out just waiting to call 911 if I went into labor right there. I was NOT amused!! After work I went to my Mom's, put Caiden down for a nap, and cancelled the ASL class I teach my sisters in favor for venting to my ICAN sisters (International Cesarean Awareness Network- a support group that educates women about birthing options) online and a nap. I was grumpy and so tired. I dozed sitting up on my parent's couch and awoke in the middle of a nasty contraction that was all in my back. I asked my Mom to push on my back through the duration of it, and that helped a lot. However, something popped, and I didn't know what happened. Apparently I lost my mucus plug. Mom was sure my water had broken. I called my doula who reminded me that it could mean labor was starting, or it could mean we're two weeks away. That calmed me down and gave me a reality check. Mentally, I settled in for another few days of this. But then the contractions came. And came, and came, and came- closer and closer. At one point, I thought, now this is promising! ;) Both of my parents took turns helping me breathe through contractions and pushing on my back. When they weren't pushing on my back, the contractions hurt so much I almost panicked. But as soon as they pushed, I was able to regain control. There was a lot of calling back and forth to Jeff and my doula, much of which I don't really have a good time line on because I was a little preoccupied. =) I do remember Jeff asking at some point if I could hold on for another 6 hours until after youth group was over. In my head I thought we probably had a 12 hour labor in front of us, but the thought of him asking that question, and the idea that he wouldn't be there for "those 12 hours" elicited me hanging up on him for the first time ever! At one point my parents decided that we needed to move closer to the hospital - my Grandma lives practically across the street. Moving didn't sound fun, but I agreed. However, the contractions were closer than 2 min apart. I could barely take a few steps before managing another contraction. We were sitting on a piano stool because it was the only thing that allowed me to sit and gave Dad access to my back. So two steps, and someone shoved a stool under me. Up and a few steps more, and more piano stool. The neighbors must have thought we were insane. Two steps out the door, and my water breaks. Hmmm- I guess this is the real thing! =) My Mom drove, I kneeled in the back seat facing backwards, and Dad climbed in after me to push on my back. It was the hardest and funniest ride of my life. My emotions ranged from being annoyed at Dad for back seat driving (literally!), to thanking God for him with my whole heart, being ecstatic that we were going to meet our little peanut, to worrying that we would arrive at the hospital too soon and we'd have a fight on our hands, and hoping that I wasn't leaking all over the back seat of my car!! Half way there I wanted to push so badly. Dad kept telling me to blow- NOT PUSH- easy for him to say!! How do you stop a speeding freight train? You don't. So I tried not to assist my body, but there was only so much I could do.

Upon arriving in the ER bay there was a lot of discussion about where they would park, and if we had called ahead. I remember thinking- what is this, take out? I'm having a baby here people! Finally someone found me a rickety old one foot rest-ed wheelchair and RAN for her life. I opened my eyes long enough to watch people scatter as she ran with me up to L & D. The mental picture still makes me laugh. When we got up to triage, the nurses were panicked. They knew I was a VBAC and they were scared. (Winter Park Hospital has a defacto ban on VBACs- they just don't do them!) They wanted me to change into their gown, get on the bed and be checked like a nice little girl. But all I knew was that I was listening to my body and maybe that included following their directions, and maybe it didn't. I also was feeling a little protective because I was alone up there now, and didn't have anyone to support me in my attempts, no one putting pressure on my back, and I felt like I needed to stall. So after a series of contractions I jumped up on the bed backwards, kneeling over the back of the bed. Ahh, that felt better. But now I really WAS pushing. Finally I figured that feeling the baby's head descending was a good sign and I could allow them to check me. 9.5 and stretchy. I grinned like a jack-o-lantern. I had done it! I had made it there on MY time table. It was like time stopped and everything was in slow motion. That is, until the nurses realized that "I wasn't going to get my c-section"- no really?! One of them kept shoving an epidural consent form in my face and telling me to sign it "just in case" even though I kept telling her NO DRUGS!!! I remember saying, "just let me push my baby out and we'll be fine!" Finally Jeff came in and took over- no more nurses bothering me again! =) Christine arrived and was my encouragement and let me squeeze the bones out of her hand. None of the nurses were happy with me and they were really unhappy when they discovered that we had been PLANNING this, AND my Dr. was in on it with me. (Thank you Jesus for Dr. Wilson!!!!) But there was ONE L&D nurse that breezed in, and said, "honey, you've got the VBAC Queen here- I've had three of them, and we've got this!" I seriously think she was an angel sent from God. So there I was, my support team was there like walls around me, Jesus had paved my path and I was ready. I pushed for about 15 minutes and our little girl slid out to meet us. It was the most amazing moment of my life. I felt like I was on top of the world. I do NOT love Addison MORE than I love Caiden, but I DO love her birth so much more!! I think I'm still high from her delivery and the experience of my body working in submission to the will of the God who created me. Some women say that they have to forget the pain of birth before they can have another pregnancy, but I loved that process so much I would do it again today. (I am NOT however ready for another new born, or another pregnancy, or weeks of contractions, so having #3 is not a given- Jeff would be quick to tell you!) God is SO good!!! Thank you Jesus for a healthy, beautiful, precious baby girl and a quick and safe arrival!!!

Birth pictures to follow later. =)


Mama to Monkeys said...

Love, love, LOVE it!

I wish the whole world could hear your story!

Phyllis said...

Even reading it another time through makes me tear up. You are amazing! Praise God for His goodness!

Following Forward said...

Thank you for finally getting pictures on here of your precious girl, I have been so excited to see her! Your birth story is amazing and I think you are incredibly strong!!

Kathy said...

Pictures and story....a double blessing. Thank you for writing and posting in the midst of what must be crazily busy days. With our love....

agable said...

Shannon, this is such an encouraging story to me right now! I loved reading about your labor experience, as this is my first time giving birth. It feels like I am the only one who's gone through days and days of labor, but I know that's not true! Did you find yourself getting emotionally drained due to the long labor?