Love Has No Bounds
I wasn’t sold on having another baby. We thought long and hard about this- I even asked my friends on Facebook if they enjoyed being an only child! The responses overwhelmingly said that having a sibling to go through life’s ups and downs with was a huge benefit and they wouldn’t want it any other way. I have a younger brother myself and agree! I just wasn’t sure that I would have enough love to go around, enough time to spend and enough devoted attention to give to more than one baby. I realize now that a mother’s love literally has no bounds. There was definitely some mom guilt after Roslyn’s birth, but one thing I hope both girls never doubt is how much I love them.
I love hearing women’s birth stories. They are all so unique, special and powerful. Roslyn’s story starts out fairly typical, a cold Winter’s night warmed by beginning contractions and the excitement of birth starting to build. My contractions started a good 2 days before I actually gave birth, so this go-round was a marathon rather than a sprint! After having a c-section with Lana (you can read more about here), I really wanted to try and experience birth a different way. I wanted to have a natural childbirth with Lana, so despite having an amazing delivery with her, I was still disappointed/caught off guard that things didn’t go to plan. With Roslyn, I was very intent on having what is called a VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean) which is actually pretty uncommon. Most women have or choose to have a c-section on all future births after they have their first baby by c-section.
The Marathon of Birth Continues…
My contractions continued very infrequently throughout the night and next morning. I knew we were getting close, but had a long way to go! Again I started keeping track of things with my Contraction Master app. I didn’t have anything packed yet (I was so much more laid back this time- or maybe just too tired chasing after a 14 month old to care!) so I was able to slowly get everything together throughout the day. Late that night, we decided that my contractions were close enough together to head out to the hospital. Adrian’s parents picked up Lana and we were off!
When we arrived at the hospital, I was told that although my contractions were moving along, I was only dilated at a 3. This has to get to TEN people! They told me to walk which was literally the last thing I wanted to do. I was so tired already and hadn’t really slept the night before as it’s hard to do when you get a contraction every hour or two. Adrian and I walked…and walked….and walked. For probably 3 hours. All around the halls of the maternity ward looking at all of the beautiful baby photographs on the wall. It did nothing. At this point, we were told that normally we would be sent home, however as this was a VBAC birth, they decided to keep me and let me continue laboring at the hospital. I hung out on the birthing ball for awhile while Adrian napped. So lucky!
Time To Push!
By this time, I was in a lot of pain. Pain so blinding that I couldn’t think straight whatsoever. I wish I would have tried a warm shower or bath or did some breathing techniques, but all I could do was stand and cringe with each contraction. With Lana’s birth, I felt no pain at all. None. I thought that I had some crazy high pain tolerance or that birth didn’t really hurt as bad as everyone said. I was SO wrong!!! Each pregnancy and birth can be so different and I realize now that I was just lucky on the pain front with Lana. I definitely, definitely, felt pain. If you’ve never felt a contraction before, it feels like the worst stomach cramp you can ever imagine, on top of being really bloated. They come quickly too, one right after the other, so you don’t get time to ever really recover after the first one hits!
Although I had told them initially that I didn’t want an epidural or any medication, by this time I was begging for it! I was finally given the epidural shortly after 10a.m. I think, and it was the best.thing.ever. My SIL, Adrian’s sister, Tanya, arrived a short time later to be our birth photographer! My other SIL who took our photos for Lana’s birth had just had her own baby (my adorable nephew!) just 2 weeks earlier, so was out of commission herself! The Dr. said it was time to start pushing- I watched the whole thing with a mirror which was so amazing. She had one little black curl (her hair was completely jet black at birth!) that I saw with each push. Seeing this made me so excited to see the rest of her and helped me push even harder!
We Hit A Rough Patch…
Roslyn finally burst into the world that snowy January day and she was squishy and beautiful and I held her immediately for skin to skin contact. Then everything changed.
I was only able to hold her for a few minutes, when my blood pressure suddenly dropped to scary-low levels and the baby was whisked away. I remember arguing with the nurses that I needed to breastfeed and have skin to skin and wasn’t sure why they were taking her away from me. I felt so tired and so I closed my eyes. I couldn’t move, couldn’t talk, couldn’t lift my head. I could hear people talking but they sounded really far away and I couldn’t understand what they were saying. Nurses flooded the room as they worked to get my blood pressure back up, but the medicine wasn’t working. It turns out I had some slight hemorrhaging and was going into shock at that time.
We Were Lucky
I am so grateful that Tanya was there to be with Adrian and Roslyn at that scary time. Adrian still has a hard time talking about it. Another reason I chose birth photography (read more here) is that I always worried that something would go wrong. I feel so lucky to have the photos Tanya took and they quite possibly could have been the only photos that my daughter would have with her mommy. My tears were a mix of exhaustion and pure joy! I was lucky and after a few hours, my blood pressure finally started to increase to normal levels and I was able to hold my baby again. Lana arrived to meet her new little sister a few hours later and my 14 month old suddenly looked like she was 5. I was not prepared for how grown up she would look compared to a newborn!
Although this delivery also didn’t go fully to plan, I am thankful every day that we are all happy and healthy and that I get the chance to be the mommy I always wanted to be. Did your pregnancy/delivery go to plan? If you could go back and change anything, what would it be?