with a due date of april 30, who would have expected my march 25 to have such a hollywood beginning. after climbing out of bed and finding myself standing in a pool of amniotic fluid, my first words of the day were, dan. . . i think my water just broke.
i proceeded to putter through the morning, packing my hospital bag, showering, doing a few loads of laundry, carbo loading on food, sending out emails. labor had not begun.
when i finally went to see my ob to have it confirmed that indeed my water had broken, he ultimately had enough faith in my judgment and the vbac process (vaginal-birth-after-cesarean) to let me go back home and hope for labor. most obs at 12 hours after water breaking, especially in a five-week-early vbac, would have had me under the knife asap.
we were asked to return to the hospital by midnight, as i had agreed to prophylactic antibiotics due to the broken water. but by midnight, our various natural methods of jump starting labor during our interlude at home had not succeeded. again my ob allowed me to decide whether or not to wait it out, and i chose to wait. dan and i decided to sleep at the hospital with the grim feeling we would wake to no other option but a cesarean birth.
but at 2:15am my labor started with a bang. contractions suddenly kicked off at two minutes apart, and i was smiling through the first hour. i was permitted intermittent fetal monitoring with the doppler, another break from protocol for an active vbac hospital labor.
contractions became intense beyond belief, but the support of dan and my doula, and the freedom of being able to move around and change positions, guided me through. i definitely had thoughts of surrender running through my head. . . i'm never going to make it through several more hours of this. . . maybe i should consider pain meds. . . maybe i should break down and cry. . . maybe c-section isn't such a bad idea. . . but in the heart of it all the cleansing breath cleared the path, and the constant mantra: this is all leading to the birth of a child i have gone through five miscarriages to meet. i somehow found a peaceful oasis between each contraction, and on that beautiful island i met the strength to survive.
less than four hours from the beginning of contractions, after climbing out of the bathtub, i felt an incredible change in pressure and the urge to push overcame me like a mighty force. i called to my support team with alarm. my nurse, quite surprised i'd progressed so quickly, called dr. wolanski, who arrived equally surprised that i was as far along as i was.
and just when i thought i would never be able to push for another hour my ob said, you are going to have your baby with the next contraction.
tristan orion arrived at 7:41 am on march 26, vaginally, an absolutely perfect six pound baby boy, after five and a half hours of natural labor.
i'm grateful to dr. wolanski for allowing me to birth naturally and vaginally the way i wanted to, unhindered by the clock and electronic fetal monitoring. he exceeded my expectations. and i think he was pretty surprised when i finally kicked into labor 19 hours after my water had broken.
my dream has come true.
and so has tashi's.