Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Unexpected Delivery

We had an unexpected delivery Friday night- our baby finally arrived! We have another little girl. Her blog name has yet to be finalized... I'm thinking that perhaps it will be Petunia. She was 8 lbs 9 oz, and is just perfect.

Since she was two days late, the actual arrival clearly wasn't unexpected. What was unexpected was the manner in which she came: via C-section.

I was sitting on the sofa after dinner when I felt a pop, and thought "gee, I wonder if my water just broke?" It had, and the contractions that had been intermittent and weak all day suddenly started getting a little stronger. So we packed up, kissed Pumpkin good-bye, and left for the hospital. By the time we got there, my contractions were 5 minutes apart, getting stronger, and lasting for over a minute. Thirty minutes later, I was checked into the labor triage area, and a nurse checked me and said I was at 6 cm. I was transferred to a wheelchair and taken up to the labor and delivery room. By the time I got there, my contractions were coming every couple of minutes, lasting what seemed like an eternity, and were quite strong. I was starting to swear at people and was in no doubt about my desire for an epidural. They had started the paperwork for me in triage, so the anesthesiologist was waiting for us in the labor and delivery room. My contractions were much stronger this time than they were when I asked for the epidural with Pumpkin. I have renewed respect for women who choose to deliver without any pain medication- I would not have wanted to do it!

I remembered the anesthesiologist from last time, but only because he has an unusual name- the epidural itself didn't make much of an impression. This time, it took him several tries to get my epidural in. I kept having contractions and couldn't hold still. I also had a hard time relaxing my back. He finally got the epidural in, and I was momentarily a very happy camper. He started talking to me about how I may or may not be able to feel the urge to push, since I was getting the epidural sort of late this time, but that if I didn't push my button for more medicine, my chances were good.

Then my doctor came in to check on me. I was lucky- my doctor was the delivery doctor that night. All the nurses said that he was a great labor and delivery doctor, and I was feeling pretty good... until he looked up and said "You're going to hate me. I feel a butt."

My baby was an undiagnosed breech baby. My doctor explained that I could still try for a vaginal delivery if I wanted, but that he'd recommend a C-section in this case. He said that overall, the statistics show that there is no difference in outcomes for vaginal vs. C-section deliveries for second births. However, he estimated my baby was at least a pound bigger than my previous baby (turns out, he was right on this), and that this could mean I'd have a hard delivery. Since the biggest part of the baby is the head, and that would be coming out last, it would be risky. I knew that Hubby and I were both already pretty exhausted from the many nights of false labor, including the night before, when we'd been up until after 2 a.m. timing contractions that never got closer than 7 minutes apart. Given all of this, we decided to go ahead and have a C-section.

My surgery was quick and uneventful- the baby was born just a little over 2 hours after my water broke (my water broke at 7:35, and the baby was born at 9:52). I never lost the ability to move my legs, so I didn't have to spend too much time in the recovery area. We were in our room before midnight. I was able to breastfeed Petunia for the first time in the recovery area, and she latched on with no problem.

I was still in a bit of shock at how things had turned out, but not feeling too bad until after we got settled into our recovery room. Then I threw up. I threw up several times over then next day- I didn't really feel better until almost dinner time on Saturday, and only started eating normally on Sunday. (The nausea is caused by the anesthesia.) The the long-acting pain medicine that I'd had for surgery began to wear off on Saturday, and I started to really feel the incision. I couldn't get up easily to get Petunia when she cried, so Hubby had to bring her to me. I had a hard time finding a good position for breastfeeding that didn't hurt my incision, so I ended up not positioning Petunia well. I'm still working through the issues that caused. I can't imagine how overwhelmed I'd have felt if Petunia had been my first baby and I didn't know that breastfeeding gets much, much easier.

I'm doing much better now. I can almost walk at my normal pace, and can pick up Petunia without trouble. We did have to switch sides of the bed, though, and put Hubby next to the co-sleeper. We'll switch back as soon as I can lay on my side and turn over easily in bed. Breastfeeding is going really well- Petunia is having am much easier time with it that Pumpkin did.

Without a doubt, I preferred the vaginal delivery- even with the four hours of pushing. I cannot believe that some women actually opt for a C-section. I'd definitely take the pain of labor and the work of pushing over this longer, more difficult recovery!


  1. Congratulations!!! Well come to the world, little Petunia (I love that name)!

    Yeah, I think the the c-section recovery sucks. It really is major abdominal surgery, and people forget that. My biggest recommendation is to take it even easier than you think you need to. Both times, I pushed myself a little too far too fast and had little set backs.

    But the most important thing is that baby and you are both healthy and doing well! Congrats to the whole family! And I can't wait to hear more about the baby over time.

  2. Congratulations! I'm so glad to hear that you & Petunia (Pumpkin & Petunia...soooo cute :)) are doing well.

  3. So glad to hear that all is well. Congratulations!

  4. Congratulations, and welcome Petunia! Wow, I'd imagine an undiagnosed breech is pretty rare - I know with mine they all said, "yep, vertex" at all the late appointments. Do they think she turned really late in the process (maybe during all that "false" labor?) Casper actually completely witched sides - from left to right - in mid-labor (I was at like 7-8 cm) and boy was that a weird sensation, so I know they can move.

    I'm a big dork and would have attempted a breech delivery, if I trusted my doctor knew how to do it, but then I also had two unmedicated labors, so.

    I am glad you are settling in well and please do take it very easy so you heal fast. Call on your support team!

    How is Pumpkin taking things?

  5. Congrats on the birth! Surprise! (My husband was a footling breech C-section.)

    The C-section recovery takes time. I did better the second time because I knew what to expect, which pain med cocktail worked for me, what was the right amount of pushing myself. (Though I was really scared to be around Miss M and her flying limbs.)

    One day you'll be able to climb stairs and walk hills and carry 20 pounds of groceries. Promise. In the meantime take it easy :)

  6. Congratulations!!! And I didn't get up to normal walking speed for at least a couple weeks, so you're doing well. (Of course I spiked a fever during and after labour, so I probably had something else going on.)

    Also, I think undiagnosed breeches are more common than people would like to admit. Both my sister and sister-in-law had undiagnosed breeches, one with a midwife, the other with an OB. And I think they were both breech for a long time in utero.

  7. Congratulations. I am also glad that you and Petunia are doing well. In your situation, I would have opted for the c-section as well.

  8. Congratulations on your Petunia! I hope the recovery goes smoothly and that you feel better and up-and-about soon!

  9. paola5:21 AM

    Congratulations Cloud. Petunia is terribly cute.

  10. mom2boys6:15 AM


  11. Congratulations! And I hope the recovery goes well. I'm impressed that you're already blogging again, way to go.

  12. mary d6:55 AM

    COngratulations! Happy birthday to little Petunia!

    My SIL chose to have a C-section for her first child and we thought she was nuts. Glad to have the confirmation from someone who's done both. :)

  13. Congratulation to you though it's late. How is she now?
    Extend my regards to her.

    A Proud Mom and A Volunteer Writer about Symptoms of an Ectopic Pregnancy


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