Being that Poppy is nearly
Since I had a cesarian with Soren, I had the option of having a scheduled c-section with Poppy. I was really torn about what to do, and went back and forth many times about what would be right for me. In the end, I scheduled a c-section for October 15th. Her original due date was the 19th, so I figured if I happened to go into labour on my own before the 15th, I'd try a natural labour.
In the final few weeks of pregnancy I decided I really wanted to try for a regular birth. I started drinking a lot of red raspberry leaf tea, walking, and going to acupuncture. Acupuncture was new to me, and I loved it! It was so relaxing and I felt great afterwards. My acupuncture doctor even gave me a secret 'potion' to drink to try and induce labour naturally. As the days crept closer to my surgery date, I kept hoping my body would go into labour on its on. I think I drank the potion three times in that last week!
On October 11th, a Friday, I woke up to a rainy and cool day. Soren and I played in his playroom and took our time eating breakfast. I think we made muffins as well. I'd had a doctors appointment a few days prior and she had told me I was 3 centimetres dilated, which I was excited about. I had been having on and off contractions for a few weeks, and on that Friday they got stronger and stronger (but not very regular). The rain cleared in the afternoon and we headed out for a loooong walk. The contractions would intensify as I walked, but slowed down if I stopped. I really wanted them to pick back up so we walked a lot.
When my husband got home from work I told him that I was having contractions, and that maybe I was going into labour. He said no way. I was really set on having this baby before my c-section on Monday… so I kept on walking, and squatting, and going up and down the stairs. I called my mom and told her I was having contractions somewhat regularly, and she suggested we bring Soren to their house so we could go to the hospital 'just in case' throughout the night. Tyler was skeptical, but thought it would be nice to have a night without Soren, so we packed him up. We ordered pizza which seemed so unappetizing to me, and watched some tv.
Around 10pm I was still contracting, albeit not that intensely, but I was convinced that the hospital would admit me if I was more than 3cm dilated, so I persuaded my husband to go in. We arrived around 11 I think, and a very strange (but nice) nurse examined me. She told me that she would not admit me right then, but that 'she would bet any money that we'll be back before the week-end is over'. Hmm… somewhat promising, I think?
Back at home I tried to get some sleep, but of course the contractions picked way up. They got stronger and closer together throughout the night, and by about 5am I knew I was for sure in labour. I got ready, took a long shower, blow-dried my hair, and headed back to the hospital. I believe we arrived around 8am, and when the nurse checked me she said I was 5cm and would be admitted!!! (The night nurse was still on, and was not at all surprised to see me back.)
Because of my previous c-section I was considered high risk, so we had to walk over to the high-risk side of the maternity ward. There we met our WONDERFUL nurse, who immediately said we would be having this baby vaginally, today. There were no ifs about it - she was certain. She asked if I wanted an epidural and I said yes, although there was no rush. She put out the call to the anesthesiologist anyways, since sometimes it can take awhile. We chatted about my first birth and she sent my husband out to grab some breakfast. (For him… I was definitely not allowed to eat or drink anything.)
There was a knock at the door and the anesthesiologist had arrived, so we got started with the epidural. As with my first birth, the epidural was totally painless and took effect right away. The only problem was my blood pressure - it dropped more than it should and I had to be given more medication to level things out. The doctor was very knowledgeable and friendly, and we talked for awhile as he monitored me. My husband arrived back from parking/breakfast and was surprised to see me relaxing in bed, pain-free.
For the next couple hours we hung out in our hospital room, making some phone calls, checking our phones, and talking with our awesome nurse. It was honestly quite relaxing. I begged the nurse not to put in a catheter, so I dutifully got up every so often to use the bathroom. Because of my high-riskness I was not allowed to walk around without monitors, even if I hadn't had the epidural.
Around 1pm I was checked and was 6cm, so my water was broken. After that I started to feel more contractions, and kept pressing my 'magic' pain button. At 4pm I was checked again and was fully dilated! Time for action… ha. My nurse moved me into tons of positions as we tried to get this baby out. It was hard. I wasn't in much pain, but the physical effort of pushing was very difficult. I kept pushing and pushing… and thinking that after I'd come so far on my own there was no way I wanted to have a c-section now.
I kept begging for water, but my nurse said she was 'old school', and wouldn't let me. (Even though many other nurses allow it.) Finally she told me that she would get me a huge glass of water and a gingerale in half an hour, after I'd had my baby! I don't think this was actually my biggest motivator, but something in the room changed and we were ready to meet this little girl. A few (hard) pushes later and she was out! She was placed on my chest and she looked up at me with big, big eyes. She didn't cry much, just a few little yelps as she took in her surroundings. I was so happy! I couldn't believe I had successfully had a VBAC, and that I was actually HOLDING the baby girl I had been growing for the past 9 months.
She was beautiful, of course, and nursed right away. After a while we weighed her and cleaned her up a bit… she was still pretty calm. We were so thrilled to have had an uneventful labour and birth, and to have a perfect healthy baby in our arms. Poppy Olivia Linden was born at 5:37 pm on Saturday, October 12th.