I'm not sure where to start with this post. Graham's birth day was the most beautiful experience of my life. I don't want to forget any of it so I'm hoping to capture all the details here.
I had a c-section with Sawyer and while making sure he arrived healthy was the most important thing I couldn't help but feel a little cheated afterwards. I just felt pressured that day and I felt like the c-section wasn't 100% necessary. But all that mattered was I got my healthy, beautiful boy.
But, when I found out I was pregnant again I knew I wanted to try for a vbac. And I knew I needed to find a doctor who not only performed them but was also very supportive of them. So, I did a lot of research and found an amazing doctor who I loved from the beginning.
Dr. Thompson encouraged me the entire time and never even talked about a c-section. He also gave me tips on helping with my weight gain which in turn would help the baby not get too big and increase my chances of a vbac. He told me a month out that Graham was getting big (he later admitted he was trying to "scare" me a little) but it worked because I pretty much cut out all sugar I could (sugar goes straight to the baby). And he also said that an induction during the 39th week is your best chance for a vbac as long as other conditions are favorable (dilation, cervix thinning, etc.) After I started making some progress on my own we scheduled my induction for 8/22 at 7:30am.
I was a ball of nerves leading up to this day for a couple different reasons. And a lot of the reasons had to do with Sawyer actually. I didn't want to be away from him and I wasn't sure how he would handle everything. Let me just say all of that went perfectly. He did so great and our family helped out so much. We couldn't have done it without them!
A picture of Keith and me heading out the door Monday morning. Emotions were high.
After getting checked in and all hooked up. They started the pitocin around 9:00am. My Dr. came by around 10 and checked me. I was 2cm and still 80% effaced. He went ahead and broke my water and told us to prepare for a long, boring day. But it would be a fun night and we would have a baby!
I couldn't have done it without my best buddy. Keith was so supportive and awesome the entire day.
Our little family of 3 - but not for much longer.
We could only have 4 people back in the room while I was in labor. So, everyone took turns coming back and visiting. I didn't do too great taking pics during the day but everyone was just hanging out and time actually seemed to go by pretty quickly.
They measured my contractions internally which is even more important with a vbac because too much pressure can cause your uterus to rupture and not enough pressure and you won't progress any. Well, I was convinced my contractions weren't measuring right because they hurt! But according to the screen they were barely registering. The nurse told me that several things can affect the way they measure on the screen, like if they baby gets on the tube, etc. But by about 11:00 they had picked up and I was in some pain.
My Dr. gave the go ahead to get the epidural whenever. "No points for pain" were his exact words. But my nurse advised me to wait until my cervix made any kind of change just to make sure my labor wouldn't stall. And I was committed to a vbac so I toughed it out until she checked me again at 12:00pm. I was only 3cm and 100% effaced but that was some change so she ordered the epidural. I didn't need to be told twice I could get it! She ordered it but they didn't show up until about 1:15 -- by this time I thought I was going to die! I had forgotten how painful contractions were. I even made the comment on the way to the hospital that morning that I thought I could do without the epidural if I needed to. Someone please slap me if I ever say anything that stupid again!
It took an hour to kick in. It didn't take right away so I had to get a boost and then it only took on the left side so I got another boost. Finally after another hour of agony I was pain free. Praise the Lord for epidurals. Hopefully I'm not scaring anybody. It hurt but it was so, so worth it.
Graham's heart rate was good all day so that was very encouraging. He was still really high so they had me laying on my sides and rotating every hour or so to try and help push him down.
The nurse checked me at 2:00pm and I was between 4-5 cm. I was slowly but surely making progress. The Dr. came by at 3 just to see how I was doing and decided to check me again. I was shocked when he said I was almost a 10. Shocked but thrilled!
My nurse got the room all set up and at 3:45 I was ready to start pushing.
The room felt very intimate during this part. It was my Dr, the nurse, Keith and my mom (who played photographer and did a great job). We were talking and cutting up and it was just really laid back. Everyone was so great and so encouraging.
There was a little scare. His rate started dropping and my Dr thought he might have to use the forceps to quickly get him out. But it picked back up and stayed steady so he thinks he was just a little stressed passing through my pelvic bone.
I pushed for 1 hour. Graham was born at 4:45pm.
There are no words. I seriously can't describe how it felt. Creating, carrying and then giving birth to your child is a miracle.
He was perfect!
I love Keith's face. He had the same look with Sawyer. He is the best dad!
Graham was immediately placed on my chest and I got to hold him for a long time. I didn't get to hold Sawyer until an hour after he was born so this felt amazing. I also got to nurse him right away and he latched on like a pro!
Daddy comforting him while he was getting cleaned up.
Keith holding him for the first time.
Keith went and got Sawyer so he could meet his little brother. Here he is taking a peak and checking it out. He didn't really pay him much attention at first. But over the last couple of days I think he's figured out that Graham is here to stay and he has been so sweet. Wanting to hug and kiss him and love on him. Melts my heart!
First shot of our new family of 4!
Graham never left our room, which was also different than with Sawyer. They bathed him right in our room. With Sawyer they took him to the nursery to clean him up.
Getting his hair washed and enjoying it.
These moments are so precious. Nothing like the feel and smell of your new baby. I was soaking it all up.
A group shot. We are so blessed that (almost) everyone was able to make the trek out to be here for this special day. All in our matching "Graham Day" shirts!
The entire day was surreal. I keep replaying it over in my head because I don't think it could have gone any better. I wouldn't change one single thing about it. I prayed for this day, for Graham, for his arrival for months. God truly answered every single one of my prayers and I will forever thank him for it!
I also want to add that a week later and I've already forgotten about the pain. Amazing how that works!