Annabelle's Birth Story Part 2

April 17, 2017

Be sure to read part 1 first.

So, where were we? The epidural...aka, there's no way I could do this without one. So I ended up waiting forever for my least it felt like forever. When you are told the anesthesiologist is on his way for some reason the contractions seem to get worse....I remember the same thing happening with Sadie. But this time I really did wait a long time, like over an hour. But when he finally came I was so happy. My epidural with Sadie was perfect....I couldn't feel any pain but could tell when I was having a contraction, and could still move my legs. So I expected the same thing this time. Well. It didn't happen that way. Immediately my left leg went numb that it was basically dead. I couldn't move it at all. And my right leg was perfectly fine. So my nurse and midwife moved me around to help the epidural get to my right side...and it did...but both sides of my body were not the same. The left side was completely dead and the right side just partially numb.  Then, when my midwife checked my progress again I could feel her doing it....and I don't remember feeling anything when I had Sadie. So que me FREAKING OUT. I don't do well with pain, remember? They gave me a button to push to increase my epidural meds and I pushed that baby several times. And nothing.

Really, at this point, I should have just let it go, but instead I let it all get to my head. I just kept thinking about that 2nd degree tear on my lady parts from Sadie...and was freaking out that if that happened again I would feel it. When in reality I was FINE. And my midwife assured me I would be just fine. But mentally I felt nervous about it and overwhelmed....does that make sense?

Anyway, I continued to labor All. Night. Long. My water didn't break and my midwife was just fine with that. She wanted my body to do everything as naturally as possible. So we just waited it out. They re-positioned me every thirty minutes or so and I tried to relax. I couldn't feel my contractions but did feel a ton of pressure. Also, they were able to monitor Annabelle's heart rate with the monitors on my belly....which was good. With a VBAC you are at risk for rupturing your uterus, and the most reliable sign of rupture is a sudden drop in the baby's heart rate. With Sadie they had to put an internal monitor on the top of her head because they couldn't get good readings from the external monitor on my belly. She also had several drops in her heart rate that everyone was concerned about....but Annabelle chugged along just fine the whole time! Finally I felt so much pressure and remember that feeling with meant it was time to push! I told my nurse and she got my midwife, who said it was time!

I remember feeling mentally exhausted and not as prepared as I was when it was time to push Sadie out. I'm not sure if it was that I was not confident with my epidural or if I was just tired. My water still hadn't broken so my midwife just told me to start pushing. On the 2nd push there was this audible "POP" and water just shot out everywhere. Such a strange sensation!

And then it got REAL. After a few pushes my midwife and Jon were telling me that her head was RIGHT THERE. And I reached down and felt it! And that was all the motivation I needed. I pushed for about 15 minutes total and there she was! My baby girl! She was perfect. And had red hair! Born at 2:20 a.m. on Wednesday, March 15th. 8 lbs, 12 oz (Hudson was 7 lbs 9 oz, and Sadie was 9 lbs 1 oz).

But then it got a little scary. And I'm about to get real with you. Apparently my lady bits tore both up and down...and the tear up, a periurethral tear, was gushing blood. So much that my midwife couldn't even see it to fix it. According to my mom and Jon, blood shot out as I was pushing out Annabelle's head. And it gushed and mom spent her career in labor and delivery and she said she's never seen anything bleed like that before. My midwife couldn't stop the bleeding and I started to feel light headed and just terrible. She paged the doctor that she works with (who thankfully lives right by the hospital and literally ran over) and then a in-hospital doctor on call to help. Several people flooded in to my room at once. I tried to focus on Annabelle but as soon as they said "periurethral tear" I started to panic a little. I was convinced I would never be able to pee again (ha!). They raised my bed up super high (it seemed) and turned on every light in the place so that I was on display for the whole world to see. As my midwife was applying pressure to the area to stop the bleeding, I kept crying out in pain. It felt like she was pushing on me SO they ended up re-dosing my epidural and giving me a shot of Lidocaine on my lady bits to help while sewing me up. It was super uncomfortable. The doctor put a catheter into my bladder and both doctors sewed me up. I remember the doctor on call saying something like "the bad thing about vaginas is they are vascular, so they bleed a lot; the good thing about vaginas is they are vascular, so they heal quickly." I think she said that to me and then said it again to my doctor when he ran in. Neither of them seemed to be worried so I started to freak out a little less. But let's lay off the vagina humor while mine is literally LIT UP FOR EVERYONE TO VIEW. Several nurses kept looking too. Apparently it was a sight to see.

And you know what? I didn't even care. I was so out of it. The blood loss from the tear was classified as a postpartum hemorrhage and I ended up loosing about double the amount of blood you normally loose in a vaginal delivery. The tear down that I had was a 1st degree, which normally wouldn't need stitches but they were already stitching my other tear so they put a stitch in it anyway. And if you are wondering, I can pee just fine.

So because I was so out of it, and things were a little scary for a bit, I didn't feel that rush of excitement that I felt when we had Sadie. And I feel bad about that. We were happy and excited, but it just was just so chaotic that it didn't feel the same. And because they upped my epidural I could not walk for a long time, and had to keep the catheter in until the epidural wore off. Thanks to the blood loss, everyone treated me with extreme caution, which pretty much drove me nuts. I was tied down with so much stuff and all I wanted was to get up and walk. I ended up waiting forever because they had to walk with me to make sure I was okay. It was kind of like my c-section experience with Hudson all over again, minus the giant incision of course. So the catheter and my IV stayed in for awhile...and they kept checking my blood pressure automatically every 15 minutes. I remember getting frustrated and ripping the blood pressure cuff off and throwing it across the room. I was DONE. Dramatic much? And I said to the nurse "what do I have to do to get this catheter out???" Once I said that they moved pretty quickly...I guess they realized I was about to loose it. Once I was unplugged and allowed to get up and move I felt so much better.

We busted out of the hospital as early as possible after one night because I seriously cannot stand being in the hospital. I stayed 2 nights with Hudson (because they made me) and 1 night with each of the girls. And it was too much. GET ME OUT. I know some of you LOVE the hospital. I'm just not that kind of girl. Want to know what I do love? The hospital underwear. Give me all the mesh undies please. This ain't my first rodeo.

And if you are wondering if I would choose a VBAC over a c-section and the answer is the same as after having one with Sadie. YES. Hands down, a million times over. The recovery is so much easier. And this was my easiest recovery yet.  Also, in my opinion, a tear up is less painful than a tear down. I know that sounds crazy. But it's true. Insert all the praise hands here. I'm happy to answer any questions about VBAC, so feel free to ask away! You can read my VBAC vs. c-section post here. You can also email me at thegirlintheredshoes@gmail

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10 Responses to “Annabelle's Birth Story Part 2”

  1. I had a tear-up with my first and similar situation except no epidural and that lidocaine shot hurts like a b-word! I always say that the stitching is the worst part of the whole having a baby experience. Three babies no drugs and none needed (until the stitching comes out)! Congratulations! Babies are wonderful and birth stories my favorite read :)

  2. Congratulations!! I'm a doula & midwife assistant and have never seen a periurethural tear. I'm so sorry you experienced that! With my second I hemmoraged & didn't have an epidural so of course felt everything they were doing to get it to stop. I had the same disappointment later on when I realized I never got all those happy hormones & that joyful feeling after the baby was here. It's a rough start to having a new baby. But thank you for sharing your story! I love hearing when things don't go textbook because in many cases there's one thing or another that happens & having stories that show you're not the only one with a crazy experience helps!

  3. You're a trooper! That's a wild story and I'm glad you're okay. My first epidural wasn't super numbing so I know what you mean. I freaked out a bit because I knew I did not want to feel all that. It worked out just fine, but it seemed like a crisis in the moment for me.

  4. Congrats!! My second baby was a VBAC as well so love reading other VBAC stories! Enjoy life as a family of 5!

  5. Ahhh!!!! That tear made me cringe. Hope you are healing up well. Loved reading your birth story and Belle is such a sweetie.

  6. Sweet mama, you are one super woman!!! Wow, that sounds so hectic and so painful!
    So so proud of you, and glad all is well and healthy now x

  7. That makes me never want to have another one :) Thanks haha j/k glad you are ok!

  8. Girlfriend, this is just bananas!! I'm so glad that you are OK and that everything turned out well. I had the same experience with my first in that the epidural only worked on one side. My whole right side was totally numb, but I could feel everything on my left side. It was pretty awful. And my baby was HUGE - 9 lbs. 6 oz. - and I am TINY, so you do the math! Haha. I ended up with a 2nd degree tear, a broken tailbone, some damaged ligaments, and some nerve damage. Childbirth ain't no joke!! I don't know how you've done it three times! After my c-section with my second I AM DONE! Haha.

  9. Oh man!!! That sounds amazing and horrible at the same time. :) I guess that's the definition of a labor and delivery story. I had a 3rd degree tear down with our son and I couldn't feel the tear or the stitching because of epidural, but boy do I wish I had an epidural after that first poop experience with a down tear...OMG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  10. Laughing so hard at the good thing/bad thing about vaginas part! So glad everything turned out okay in the end, but you had every right to be terrified. Annabelle is such a beauty and I'm so happy for your family of 5!


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