You would think that by the third time around you would be prepared and ready to go. No, definitely not. Adeline’s delivery was a long journey that ended with a C-section and Amelia was a successful VBAC. Going into this I knew I wanted to attempt another natural VBAC and my doctor/midwife were willing to allow this under the same conditions I had with Amelia. Even with Amelia’s VBAC being a successful delivery I was still anxious and nervous. Delivery is HARD, and you don’t forget about it (especially when you just had one in 2011). My due date was November 17th and my midwife was going out of town the 18th. I was set and ready to have this sweet child by then. I had a doctors appointment on the 16th, was 2-3 cm dilated and she did rupture my membranes to potentially get things moving. I went home, continued my day, made dinner, went to Adeline’s soccer practice. Still had no cramps, serious contractions..nothing.
That evening James had a craving (yes, he) for something we call “garlic sandwiches.” You may be disgusted but it stems from our European cultural background – garlic infused cream cheese on rye bread with tomatoes (and he adds salami on his)…delicious. I was opposed to this idea fully recognizing that I may go into labor any hour and was not going to subdue poor nursing staff to the stench of garlic. But I caved in because I have no will power with evening snacks and had one (or several) because you really can’t eat these sandwiches on your own, so we might as well stink together.
Going to bed that evening I started to feel stronger contractions/cramps. I recall being a bit anxious thinking that this might happen (I blame it on the garlic). Sure enough, I wake up at 2 am feeling like I had just peed. I woke up James very confused and not sure if I had just wet the bed or my water broke (maybe a bit TMI – it was all very awkward). Of course my water broke (just a little but a first for me). Contractions set in immediately…probably around 5 minutes apart. I stayed calm, slowly packing up my bag, going down my list. But these contractions were coming in stronger and quicker. James called the midwife and my sister to watch the kids. We left to the hospital shortly after.
Contractions were probably pretty consistently around 5 minutes apart, sometimes even 2-3, and definitely getting stronger and more painful. I got checked in, set up in my room and settled onto a birthing ball holding on to the best birthing coach dad ever. Sister #2 came and held my other hand. I have the hook up with awesome cheerleaders. But labor was just as painful as I remembered it to be. I don’t know if it was the nerves or tiredness from waking up at night, but I turned into a seriously, big chicken. My contractions had slowed down a bit, I was in a whole LOT of pain and asking (slightly demanding) for an epidural. I could tell James and my sister were trying to hold me out knowing 1. that was not in my plan 2. the epidural could cause my contractions to slow down even more and with my history I could easily turn into another C-section (I desperately did not want another C-section). They did start the IV to prep me for the epidural. My midwife (a very awesome midwife) came in, checked my progress and provided a pep talk: I was going to have this baby in the next thirty minutes and by the time they would get the epidural I would be pushing, I could do this. Well, after she set me in place and kicked my butt a bit, I got in my “let’s do this” mental state…seriously – the mental aspect of delivery is just as hard/important as the physical part. After that I got it under control I was ready to push within the next 15 minutes or so. It came fast..really fast. I had three rounds of pushes and she was out. Never underestimate your mental state of mind in situations like this.
Amazing. Every single time it has been surreal and simply amazing. Little Charlotte came flying out on November 16 at 5:49 AM at 21 inches and 7 LBS 7 OZ. If you have read my past birth stories you know that Adeline was 10 lbs 4 oz and Amelia 9 lbs 13 oz. I deliver toddlers, not normal sized little infants…7 lbs? awesome. True story, knowing the weight history of my previous two when Charlotte was weighed the initial thought was that the scale might be broken (she really didn’t look that tiny). A second scale from the ER was brought in to double check (seriously). She was still 7 lbs. :)
God is SO good. I am beyond humbled and thankful for a healthy, great delivery and this precious child. I am so thankful that I was able to push through and have another VBAC (this recovery has been the best one yet). I am so thankful for James, my family and the prayers, love and support that we had. You never know really what to expect, but Adeline & Amelia are so similar in many ways that we were definitely not expecting this little, tiny girl with a whole head of dark hair. (we are used to bald babies). (and side note, the nurses were good sports and promised we didn’t reek like garlic…although I don’t really believe them)
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart . . . ” Jeremiah 1:5
Our expectations mean nothing because God has BIG PLANS for you. You are a precious, beautiful gift and we are beyond blessed to call you our own.