My pregnancy and birth with E was far and away a different experience than I had had with L. Overall I felt a lot better, my prosthetic leg fit the whole time, and after a lot of thought I decided to go for a VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean).
Choosing to go for a VBAC meant finding a provider that would support and encourage me. I found a great midwife who reassured me that my body was capable of birthing my baby. The best thing she did for me was to remind me that it was my body and that I had choices. A couple of weeks before Es guess date I hit the the same point that I had with L, I was done. I was uncomfortable, had lots of Braxton hicks, didn’t want to be around anyone and was scared. The biggest difference this time though, was support. I had people telling me that I could do it, encouraging me and bringing me up.
On a Monday afternoon when I was 39 weeks along I picked up L from daycare. As I was putting him in the car seat I had an intense sensation that made me stop. I didn’t give it much thought as it came and went so quickly. That night L and I hung out with some neighbours and had a relaxing night. It wasn’t until I put him to bed that I realized I had been having waves every 45 minutes. I decided to go to bed early and rest while I could just in case things picked up. Sleep didn’t last long and at 1 in the morning I woke up to more waves. I spent a few hours pacing the apartment, taking a bath and trying hard to go back to sleep. At 5am L woke up for the day. By this point the waves were still sporadic but I needed to breathe to get through them. L was an amazing little doula, kissing my head making sure I was ok and even taking an early morning bath with me. It was after the bath that I decided to call someone to help look after L so I could try to nap. My best friend came over and I got some much-needed sleep. It wasn’t until I woke up a few hours later that I realized it had been awhile since I had had any more waves. I had an acupuncture appointment that afternoon and asked my brother to drive me just in case things started to pick up again. It’s a good thing I did. The moment I got into my appointment my birth really started. Waves were regular and timeable and yet somehow I made it through the entire hour-long appointment. Once I got home I told my brother to go and pack an overnight bag in anticipation of having him stay with L.
I called my midwife soon after and after she listened to me have a wave she asked how quickly I could get to the hospital. Once there and checked in I found out I was 4cm dilated. I really wasn’t handling things well, swearing, screaming and didn’t want any one to touch me. I asked for some gas to take the edge off, but I hated it. It made me feel loopy. Plus my instincts were telling me to make noise instead of breathing in which made the gas ineffective. I asked to be checked about an hour later and was at 8cm. At this point I asked for an epidural. The anesthesiologist must have been right out side my door because no sooner had I asked then she came in. As soon as the epi was placed my midwife checked me again. I was at 10cm and my membranes broke in her hand. Unfortunately, because the epidural had just been placed I had to wait to push.
I really wanted to push on my own as I felt the urge to and about 45 minutes later when the epidural wore off that feeling came. I was in control of my body. I was doing it. And I was starving. I hadn’t eaten in a day, in between pushes I kept telling anyone that would listen that I wanted a pizza. All I wanted was hot pizza. Soon her head was past my pubic bone. I got into a squatting position and forgot all about pizza I felt E crowning, the intense ring of fire and then got a small break. Her little body came out soon after. I looked down at my beautiful baby girl and all I could say was “I did it, I did it”. In that moment I knew I wasn’t a lemon. I knew I could give birth.
The only time she left my arms was to get cleaned up and have her newborn checks. Soon she was right back in my arms where she belonged. I got the birth that I had planned and hoped for for so long.
But I never did get my pizza.