I went back and forth pretty much the whole 9 months between whether I wanted to have a repeat c-section or a VBAC. Deep down in my heart I really really REALLY wanted the VBAC, but I was also scared.
What if I went through 19 hours of labor again and STILL ended up with a c-section.
What if I just proved to myself that I really am a wuss and can't hack it.
What if I was part of that teeny tiny number of people who have complications and I can never have children again, or worse risk my life or the life of my baby.
I think if I could have quieted those fears, I would have tried a little harder for a VBAC. Instead I kinda whimped out.
My doctor was supportive of whatever I wanted to do. He was more than willing to help me try for a VBAC if that was what I wanted. He was also fine with scheduling a c-section up to a week before my due date. Since I'm a bigger girl & Aaron is a bigger guy we were always on the watch for a big baby which would make a VBAC harder since I was considered "failure to progress" with Caroline. I decided that if I went into labor on my own before my due date I would actively try for the VBAC. (I thought this was a good possibility since Caroline came 4 days before her due date.) However, if nothing was happening by my due date I would have a c-section that Friday.
Friday morning my sister and brother-in-law came over to watch Caroline for the weekend. Caroline was as excited as a 20 month old could be. She knew a baby was coming and she liked babies, so we were good there. My mom was also coming over to hang out and wait for baby news.
I snuggled and kissed Caroline until she refused to let me near her any more. We took pictures of the 3 of us for the last time as a family of 3. I rechecked my hospital bag and went over the long list/schedule I was leaving for Caroline. (It was the first time I was leaving her over night!)
Around 11:30 we headed for the hospital for my noon check in. My c-section was scheduled to start around 1. On the way to the hospital we talked about names again. We were pretty set but not knowing whether you are having a boy or girl will make you question your name choices at the last minute. Or maybe that's just me! This hospital trip was so different than the first time. We were calm & laughing. We parked in the far lot and walked in - one more last ditch effort to start labor with a 3 minute walk.
We went right up to L&D. They were expecting us and had my paper work started already. There were still about 3,794,291 questions to answer though. I was in a room much like the one I was in with Caroline but instead of a bed they had a rocking chair. They made me put on the lovely hospital gowns right away. And then the waiting started.
We both sat kind of quietly. Just letting our thoughts wonder. We did take a minute to both predict when the baby was coming, what we were having & how big it would be. The nurse came in and reminded us that we could watch TV if we wanted. For some reason that had never occurred to me before she said it.
The anesthesiologist came in and went over all the risks with me. I told her about the trouble they had with my epidural the last time and she assured me that they wouldn't have any trouble with a spinal. As I was signing the papers she got a call and had to step out. The nurse came in and said that we were being bumped for an emergency c-section. Aaron texted everyone to let them know that we wouldn't have baby news any time soon.
Around 4 my doctor came in to ask if I still wanted to do this today. He was obviously joking but I know he had to have been a little frustrated - it was late Friday afternoon and I'm sure he was ready to get his weekend started. He said it wouldn't be much longer, they were just cleaning up the operating room. It wasn't long before the nurse brought Aaron his snazzy blue suit to wear and told me it was time to put on my hair net. Oh goody! The nurse also made me drink a terrible shot of anti-nausea medicine. I still shudder just thinking about it.
This time I got to walk back to the operating room & climb up on the table. The anesthesiologist (a guy now, the lady doc had gone by then) started my spinal and it was leaps and bounds easier than the epidural. Either that or he was just a MUCH more competent doctor. While he was placing the spinal and then for several minutes after I listened to the OR nurses look through several trays of instruments and comment about how they didn't look like they had been well sanitized. Thankfully they were very disturbed by this and throwing those trays out. I did start to worry when they said they were down to their last 2 trays.
Finally more people started coming in - the baby's nurses, the doctor, my nurses, and most importantly Aaron! Right before Aaron got there I got super nauseous and the anesthesiologist had to give me some medicine through my IV to keep me from getting sick. I ended up needing 2 more of those booster shots in my IV during the surgery. Feeling so sick caught me completely off guard because that did NOT happen when I had Caroline.
The actual surgery took a little bit longer because of the scar tissue from my first c-section. My doctor also mentioned that the baby was still very high up in there. (This gave me some peace about my decision since they said Caroline was too high to help me progress which leads me to believe that even with labor I would have ended up with a c-section.)
We finally got to the pushing and tugging part. I was so excited to know who this baby was. And once again I was completely surprised when the doctor said, "It's a boy! It's definitely a boy! That's ALL boy!!" The doctor stepped to my side of the blue sheet to show me this little person who I already loved so much.
My favorite thing about this birth compared to Caroline's was that the hospital had changed policies in the 20 months since we'd been there. Healthy newborns are no longer taken to the nursery and away from the mommies during recovery. This time Aaron stayed with me and held our tiny little man the whole time I was getting sewn up and in recovery.
I would have enjoyed it even more if I hadn't gotten violently ill. With no more IV boosters of the anti-nausea meds I threw up for the next 2 hours. Which is a pretty funny trick since I hadn't eaten in at least 18 hours. I can tell you one thing - throwing up while you have an incision cut all the way across your belly is hell. There's no other way to describe it. I've thought about it more times than I can count and the only thing different about the 2 c-sections is that I had to drink that terrible anti-nausea medicine the second time. Oh the irony.
Aaron got some good quality baby snuggling time sitting right next to my bed while I was in recovery. They finally took us all back to the room and it was then time for them to take our little man to the nursery to get a check-up. At this point I had only held him for about half a minute and I hadn't tried to feed him at all yet.
While he was in the nursery, Aaron and I finalized his name and officially decided on Nathan. We also talked about how crazy it was that both of our children had the EXACT SAME birth weight and were only born 12 minutes apart. And I threw up some more.
When Nathan came back I got a chance to nurse him a little and Aaron called our families. Once again, we didn't tell them who we had welcomed to the family over the phone. They'd have to come to the hospital to find out!
I wanted Caroline to be the first one (besides Aaron and I) to meet Nathan. Since my sister, brother-in-law, and parents were with her they all met him at the same time. It was WAY past Caroline's bed time by this point and she had had a busy/unusual day so she was super tired and just wanted to lay with Mommy in the bed. But she did like to look at Nathan and wanted to touch him. She didn't seem jealous of him at all, even when I was holding him. It helped a little that Nathan brought her a present - her very own camera to take all the pictures she wanted.
Aaron's parents also came to meet Nathan the night he was born. We had lots of visitors for the rest of the weekend, but also had plenty of time to rest and get to know this little guy who stole our hearts right from the start.
We are so blessed with our two little kiddos. I'm thankful that they are both happy and healthy. I love that they get along so well right now. Whenever Caroline says that they are best friends my heart just bursts with love for both of them.