Summer's Birth Story

Thursday, August 25th. It was another "normal" day. Austin went to preschool that morning, I posted to my blog about how I hoped this baby would come on Friday, we ate lunch and settled down on the couch to watch a movie and take a nap. It was around 1pm. Austin, trying to get to his spot on the couch, rolled (gently) over me during a contraction. I felt a pop and thought my water had broken. It was actually just the mucus plug, but the contractions immediately began to hurt. I measured 2 at 10 minutes apart and called Anthony at work. By the time he got home 20 minutes later my contractions were 5 minutes apart so I called my mom. By the time she arrived another 20 minutes later the contractions were 3 minutes apart. My wise mother shooed us out the door quickly. My dad arrived only 5 minutes later to watch my kids so my mom could join us at the hospital.

In the hospital triage they measured me to be dilated to a 9. I was shocked and immediately called for the epidural! Being so far along, they recommended I get a spinal instead since it acts faster, the draw back being it only lasts for about 2 hours. I was so grateful for the pain relief! I think the only thing that made those strong, close contractions tolerable was the fact that I'd only been in labor a few hours. If I'd been going on 10 or 20 hours I'm sure I would've been insane with pain.

Once the spinal was in, the commotion around me died down, all the nurses disappeared and we relaxed for a bit. Unfortunately it took 1.5 hours for me to dilate the last centimeter and by that time the spinal was starting to wear off. I insisted that we start trying to push NOW before the spinal was completely gone. The doctor arrived a few minutes later and the VBAC effort began. After 45 minutes of pushing, the baby hadn't budged an inch. Several times the doctor tried repositioning the baby and me, but still nothing. She wasn't even descended into the birth canal enough to reach with forceps. By this time the spinal was almost gone and I was moaning and grunting and nearly crying through each contraction. The doctor suggested we could keep trying, though he didn't think the baby would budge, or we could do a c-section.

Motivated in part by the pain, I was eager to do the c-section and be done! Somewhere in the reasoning part of my brain, I also recognized that even with an epidural and a longer pushing session, it was going to be a long and possibly body-damaging delivery. I admit I am more afraid of severe tearing and life-long incontinence and other such problems than I am of a surgery. Besides, I'd already had a c-section, so that damage (severed muscles, big scar) had already been done.

After some prep and another spinal (ahhh!) we did the c-section. One funny side note... I think Summer was my most active baby in the womb. I sometimes commented that she was doing tap dances in my stomach. As I laid there on the operating table, moments from her delivery, I heard the nurses commenting to each other, "Look at that! That baby is moving like crazy in there!" She was doing apparently doing her "I'm about to be born" happy tap-dance.

Summer was born via c-section on August 25th at 6:18pm (18:18). She was 7lbs 130z and 19in long. My impression when I first saw her was that she looked just like Ruthie. I held her and kissed her and was so joyful and relieved to have a healthy perfectly formed little baby. I was also so glad to finally be done with pregnancy.

Although you may be tempted to express sorrow that I didn't achieve my VBAC goal, don't. I am thrilled with how everything turned out. I did want to have a vaginal delivery with Ruthie because I wanted that experience and the "easier" recovery. But it turned out to be a very difficult recovery. I only wanted a second VBAC because I hoped that it would somehow be "easier" than the first. But my c-section recovery was great. I was on my feet the next morning, on very little painkiller, and ready to leave the hospital by day 2 (though I was required to stay for 3). Now 2 weeks later, I feel great. I have to remind myself not to pick up Austin and not to exercise just yet, though I feel like I could. I think the tricks to a smooth recovery on this delivery was 1) reducing the pain killers so I wasn't nauseated, 2) getting on my feet as soon as possible so I could take ownership of my recovery and 3) lucking out with great nurses and doctors.

Additional thoughts on the c-section... Now that I'm a c-section gal, if (big if) there is a baby #4, it's nice to know I can be done at 39 weeks for sure (although I kind of like letting the baby pick their own birthday). Also, after this delivery, the doctor told me I couldn't have tried any harder to push that 7'13 baby out - which for me, validates the c-section I had with my 8'5 baby.

Another funny side note... Summer grew in utero with a nightly dose of Star Trek Voyager almost the entire pregnancy. So it was a bit ironic that this turned out to be the doctor who delivered her. And this is Voyager's Harry Kim. My baby was delivered by Harry Kim! It was meant to be.

After delivery, Anthony followed baby Summer to the nursery and an hour or so later I got to hold her again. Soon the little ones were on their way to visit...

At 8pm the sibs arrived to finally meet their 2-hour-old nameless baby sister.

Lots of great hugs and holds so early in life!

The cousins came the next afternoon to meet the new little one.

On Sunday evening the kiddos played hospital with the cool moving bed, while we packed up and got ready to take our little Summer home with us.

Great Grandma and Grandpa Farmer came to visit latter that day.


Welcome Sweet Girl!

Summer Johnson is here! She was born Thursday August 25 at 6:18pm. 7lbs 13oz, 19in. After an attempted VBAC, we ended up in a c-section since she was just too big for me, but my recovery is going better than my previous VBAC, so I'm totally happy with how it turned out.

Austin and Ruthie love their new sister - no jealousy or attention problems thank goodness, and they've been kept busy with lots of grandparent and cousin time. Hopefully birth story and other pics will follow soon!