|Squishy baby face|
Ten days ago, I was doing everything I could think of to get RH out of my uterus and into my arms.
You might recall, things were not exactly going according to plan. My doctor had started to hint that he thought I was going to be unable to have a VBAC. That my uterus was... weird.
That was ten days ago.
And ten days ago, I had had enough.
M and I watched a youtube video on accupressure to induce labor. And we tried it. We were both dubious, but we figured that moxibustion had worked so well... who knows?
The results were absolutely immediate. He started squeezing my ankles at around 9pm. By the time I went to bed, the contractions were 10 minutes apart, lasting for about a minute. RH was moving CONSTANTLY. I had gas that would embarrass an eight year old boy. *Things* were *happening*. Finally.
I woke up at 5am, still having contractions. They were more painful. They were ever so slightly closer together. They were still regular. And I promptly lost my mucus plug.
I was thrilled. I texted my doulas, I double checked my bag for the hospital, and I started snacking. Strawberries, almonds, cashews, coconut milk.
And the pain kept getting worse.
I'm not talking about the contractions- those were sort of a breeze. In fact, with my back in as much pain as it was, each contraction was actually a relief. It took more pressure off of my spine, and I could close my eyes and breathe through it. I kind of liked the contractions.
The pain, though... that was something different. It didn't come with the contractions, it came with RH kicking.
Each time she moved, I felt a screaming pain going through my lower abdomen. And that just got worse. Stronger. Sharper.
|RH, about fifteen minutes old|
When I woke up, the contractions had stopped. Completely. Nothing. Nada. Zip.
But RH was still moving like mad, and the pain from that?
They always ask you to rate your pain from a one to a ten. Ten being the worst pain you've ever experienced. I've experienced quite a bit of pain. I've gone into shock from dislocating my shoulder and breaking half of my fingers. I've spent forty hours getting tattooed. I've had five day migraines. I've been dumped out of a dump truck with two tons (literally) of recycling, and compacted a few vertebrae.
By the time I went to bed, I would have called that pain a seven and a half. As I tossed and turned for the next two hours, the pain just got worse. At midnight, I texted my doulas.
I told them something about the pain just didn't seem right.
They told me to call my OB's office.
The doctor on call didn't hesitate. She told me to go straight to labor and delivery. She told me not to dawdle.
By the time we were seen in the hospital, the pain was easily an eight. Maybe eight and a half.
|Not quite one day old|
The doctor listened carefully to my description of the pain, when it hurt, where it hurt...
Then she told me about my rock hard cervix. My cervix that still had not dilated even one centimeter.
My cervix that was apparently much, much stronger than my previous c-section scar.
What was happening, she said, was probably that my uterus was getting ready to rupture. That uterus was literally about to explode. Probably.
She didn't use those words. She was very, very calm.
She told me we had a window. She didn't know how long the window was, and this wasn't *really* an emergency, but that I really needed to have a c-section. Because if I didn't, if I kept having contractions, I was going to be in REAL trouble.
She told me we'd have the c-section in an hour, and we started getting ready.
Of course, there were *real* emergencies in the hospital at two in the morning. My surgery kept getting pushed back, because there was somebody in genuine distress who needed a c-section first.
And the pain just kept getting worse.
Finally, two and a half hours later, the OB on call came in and told me that my own doctor was on his way. We'd wait until he arrived, and then we would go into surgery. That was a little before 4am. The pain each time RH moved was up to a nine. It was pushing nine and a half.
|Numb from the waist down, but not panicking|
It took FOREVER to take effect. The anesthesiologist kept telling them to go ahead and get started, even though I wasn't "technically" numb enough. I started to have a full fledged panic attack. My doctor kept telling the anesthesiologist to keep waiting, that I would be numb soon enough.
The second the anesthesiologist said I was good to go- which I simply couldn't believe- they put up the blue curtain, rushed M in, and started.
If he hadn't been there, I think I would have been screaming the whole time. But I was basically numb, and M was holding my hand and telling me how everything was going to be just fine.
And then she was there. Eight pound on the nose. Twenty one inches long.
Nothing else seemed to matter. We were all going to be just fine.
The anesthesia took ten times as long to wear off as it should have. We waited and waited and waited for my legs to start working again, so that we could leave the recovery room and go to sleep. It took four hours before they decided to just send me up to a room anyway. Still almost entirely numb from the waist down.
But RH was perfect. She was bright eyed and beautiful. She looks like a cross between DD and my Granny. I was exhausted and overwhelmed and in love.
The next two days were hard. So, so much harder than my last delivery. Each time something seemed worse, or harder, or more painful, I would ask a doctor or nurse, "Is it just me, or was this easier last time?" And they'd all say the same thing. "No, the second c-section is just plain worse."
One week ago today, my OB stood in my hospital room and did what he does best. He told me the truth. He didn't sugar coat it. He didn't mince words. For all of his flaws, it's this trait of his that has kept me with him through the last few years.
|The last baby I'm ever going to have|
Then he told me what to expect if I ever became pregnant again.
What I should expect is for my uterus to split open.
That thin area is still there- still thin, still damaged. And now there's a new scar.
If I were to ever be pregnant again, we would need to plan on a c-section, and early. Very early. Before I could start having contractions, period.
We'd be talking about intentionally delivering a baby prematurely, possibly earlier than the twins were born. We'd be talking bed rest and "seriously high risk."
Between the pregnancy skin cancer and this...
The baby shop has closed.
One week ago today, I learned that I had just had the last baby I was ever going to have.
|My big girls|
M is talking vasectomy. I'm talking Implanon. We're both thinking... both.
It's strange. Part of me is totally ambivalent. We have three babies. We have three wonderful girls. What more could I possibly ask for?
At the same time...
One thing I didn't write about doing as we had constant outings and field trips and what-have-yous was the visit M and I paid to our old fertility clinic. The place were we did IVF to conceive the girls while M was in chemotherapy.
We filled out all the paperwork to dispose of our stored embryos.
Part of me is grieving that. And now, part of me is grieving my uterus.
But it's not happening. I need to accept that all of this is over. That we are done.
I have a ten day old infant. I have two wonderful almost-three year olds.
This is what I get.
Someday, I still want to adopt. I still want more children in my family, in my life, in my heart.
I just can't have them in my uterus anymore.
...I am done having kids.
I am not ready for that kind of absolute.