Isla's Birth Story
Isla's birth story is completely different from Clairvaux & Adelaide's... yet also the same.
With Isla, I wanted to have a trial of labor in the hopes of a successful VBAC. As such, I had to go through the purgatory that is waiting for labor to start. I'm going to sound like such a complainer right now because I ended up having Isla "early" at 38 weeks *cue eye roll from all the mothers who have ever had to go "late"* (sorry!) But, after only having to go to 36 weeks last time, 38 seemed sooooo long.
I think my hatred of waiting was exacerbated because I went into labor a week before she was born. Now, of course, it wasn't "true labor" and I didn't end up with a baby that day. However, after officially going through a trial of labor, let me tell you this little taste was 12 hours of real labor pain. It was awful. I started to pray that my water would break (and I oddly enough had a very strong tuition that my water would break when the full moon came from very early on in pregnancy).
On the night of March 1st, the full moon appeared, and on the morning of March 2nd I opened my eyes and immediately my water broke. While still laying down, I called my husband and said, "honey, I'm 99% sure my water just broke" then I stood up and my water broke even more so I said, "I'm 100% sure my water just broke!" He came home from work. I played with C & A for a bit and got a little emotional thinking that this was my last time with just them. I had Ryan stop at the store and get some groceries and we secured some childcare for the girls (thank you friends!). Off to the hospital we went.
I always get a little crazy while pregnant and labor was no different. So on the way there, I start paying bills and playing yahtzee on my phone between contractions, you know because that's what's most important in a time like that.
We get to the hospital, my amazing doula Kate Taylor (check out her FB page with website launch soon) meets us there. A nurse agrees that my water broke and we get settled into our room. The nurses are all so happy that contractions came on their own and were very regular. I told them to not be fooled, because judging by last week, they meant nothing. We decide to go for a walk, and instantly I started experiencing back labor. UGHHHHHHH.
With back labor, I not only felt the pain of each and every contraction but also unbearable back pain that felt like all of the bones from my lower back to my thighs were trying to simultaneously snap themselves in half. But unlike contractions, the back labor did not come and go, it remained no matter what.
So I had around 12 hours of that going on until a nurse checked me and saw that I wasn't progressing. They decided to start me on pitocin. I asked to be prepped for the epidural. My OG birth plan was "stick the needle in" but because it was a VBAC I first wanted to try the unmedicated route in case the epidural would hinder progress. But since I had yet to make any progress, I figured let's get the epidural! The nurse encouraged me to try pitocin without the epidural first because she said based on what she's seen, people who get it who are as little far along as I do, usually don't get their desired VBAC. So I went for three more hours on pitocin with back labor and contractions every minute and a half. I was exhausted and started to fall asleep between each contraction.
Finally, my doctor recommended they check me for an extra bag of water, but they couldn't so I got the epidural. WOOHOO! Then they were able to check and I did have the extra bag of water. They broke it. I talked to my doula. Ryan took a nap. Three hours later, I stated I felt "different" and wanted to be checked. They were hesitant to check me but my heart rate started to rise and so did Isla's and I spiked a fever. They checked and I was ready to go.
Then for no reason whatever I got irrationally angry. My doula started taking photos and she had to encourage me to try to look pleasant in some of them because I was having hardcore RBF.
My amazing doctor gets there. It's time to push. He notices she's sunny side up (that's the back labor) so he turns her and a few pushes later, there she is! Isla Josephine!
They placed her on my chest immediately and I started crying. Ryan cut her cord. I said her name and she stopped crying and picked up her head to look right at me. I was so in love. She was perfect to me. It felt like I had waited an eternity to hold her. Ryan had tears as well. Isla and I enjoyed some skin to skin before the NICU whisked her away.
Isla an I both got an infection so we both had to receive 48 hours of IV antibiotics. Poor Ryan didn't get to hold her until after they brought her back. But we healed well and quickly.
So 17 hours and 53 minutes after going into labor we got to hold sweet Isla born on March 3rd at 2:53am. March 3rd is also my mom's birthday so we facetimed her before texting anyone else and sang her the birthday song.
I like to think of myself as a warrior for those 17 hours and 53 minutes but truthfully I owe any semblance of sanity I kept to my husband and my doula. Kate encouraged me the whole time. She helped me navigate all decisions in line with the ultimate goal of my birth--a healthy baby! She packed a bag with all the things I may have forgotten and really tasty snacks. She massaged my back for probably hours, I don't remember how long because it's kind of a blur now. But she was so awesome and she helped Ryan know the best way to help.
Ryan was my main support. He listened to me and Kate regarding anything I needed. He held my hand through a million contractions. He ate when I wasn't looking just so I wouldn't get super jealous. He was my rock that day. I fell even more in love with him.
I'll leave you with this. After everything I went through that day, I held Isla in my arms and whispered "I'd do that a thousand times again for you". Everything was worth it for this precious child! I feel indescribably blessed that I get to be her mom.