Natural VBAC and then baby with special needs. — The Bump
Birth Stories

Natural VBAC and then baby with special needs.

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November 4, 2010 - two days before my due date::  

Woke up @ 2 AM with contractions 15-20 minutes apart. They started coming closer together but the intensity/ time intervals were varied. I started putting last minute touches on the hospital bags just in case. I threw up a & then right before 5 AM the contractions started coming every 5 minutes. I woke Mike up and then took a shower.  Had an appt with my midwife already scheduled for 8:30 AM and I knew that there was no way I could make the hour long drive by myself, especially having been up all night. We left for Pensacola around 7:15 AM, and what do you know? my contractions slowed down in the car. By the time we reached my midwife?s office, my contractions were becoming much more infrequent. She checked me and I was dilated 3-4 cm and was 80% effaced.

 

We walked the mall and ate before driving home since it was an hour away. At 11 AM. I hadn?t progressed, so she prescribed me an Ambien to help sleep and we drove back home. After several hours, I could not fall asleep and at about 5 PM we left for the hospital.

 

The 1 hour long ride to the hospital wasn?t really all that bad. The nurse checked me and I was at a 4. A four. That?s it! I couldn?t believe that was all I?d progressed. I walked and used the birthing ball to get things going. I had the awful monitors on the whole time (a requirement at this hospital for VBAC) but they really could not pick up much since I was moving a lot. The contractions were definitely picking up and I started to feel them move up my back. At about 8 PM, I had to lie down so that she could get a good read of the baby. I lied down on my left side and practiced the deep relaxation I had learned through our Bradley classes. The contractions had gone completely into my back at this point.

 

At about 9 PM, she came to check me and I had progressed to a 6-7. Eventually, I was able to get in the tub, which was nice. Vocalizing really helped me to relax.

 

At about 10 or 11 PM, I had progressed to 8 cm and our Bradley teacher arrived. At this point I remember feeling pretty uncomfortable. The contractions were all in my back. We walked the halls of the hospital and during a contraction I would vocalize and bury my face into Mike?s shirt. Our Bradley teacher put counter pressure on my back which helped tremendously.

 

At this point my memory of the details is rather fuzzy. I thought it was never ever going to end ? and it almost didn?t. This awful transitional labor lasted for about 4 hours. Yes, you read that correctly?four hours.

I remember throwing up. I remember the nurse checking me and I was a 9.5, but my water still had not broken.

 

I remember going back in the tub and falling asleep in between contractions and Mike thinking I was going to drown in the water. 

 

At some point, I got out of the tub and they broke my water. At that point I was ready to push. That was 3:30 AM. This is where it really gets fuzzy for me. I tried squatting but was not doing well pushing that way. I was so tired that I was not thinking straight. Finally I ended up on my side with my leg up. I have never ever worked so hard or been in so much pain in my entire life. I can?t explain the relief I felt when I heard that he had hair ? because I knew it would be over soon. They told me to stop pushing while he was crowning, but it was too late and I?m pretty sure that?s when I tore.

It all happened quickly after that and at 4:59 AM on Friday, November 5, 2010, Clayton Lee entered the world! They put him on my chest right away and waited to do anything to the umbilical cord until it stopped pulsating. I wanted to try and nurse him, but he was not pinking up or crying very loudly. I could tell he was having difficulty breathing because all I could hear was gurgling. They took him and began working on helping him breathe. They also weighed him and let us know that he was 6 pounds and 15.7 ounces.

 

Then, the thing you don't want to happen happened. The newborn nurse came over and told us that Clay would be fine, but that he had aspirated amniotic fluid and would need some help with breathing. Then she told us that when she had tried to take his rectal temperature, she discovered that there was no opening. We held him for a minute before they took him away. My mind instantly began racing and I remember just crying out, wondering what I had done wrong. Of course, all the nurses began to reassure me that it was not my fault?but what mother, upon hearing that her child has a birth defect, does not wonder if she is to blame. After a while, the neonatologist, came to talk to us. His initial words, ?Well, we have a number of problems,? were not reassuring. Clay was not breathing well and was on oxygen. He had an ?anorectal malformation? or ?imperforate anus? which likely meant a temporary colostomy and is a condition which is associated with a number of other malformations half of the time.  https://www.childrenshospital.org/az/Site584/mainpageS584P0.html

And oh yes, he also had a heart murmur. They were performing lots of xrays and tests and he would be transferred to another NICU in just a little while. After a little while, Mike and I went to see Clay. Of course, we could not hold him. We just took a picture and looked at him. He was so cute with all that hair and that adorable little face. Before we knew it, our visit was over and we went back to our room. A little while later, some ladies from the other hospital came into the room. They wheeled in this giant ?cart? with monitors, oxygen tanks, computerized panels, and then in a small clear box there was our precious little boy. He was laying on his tummy with the oxygen hood over him. He was still breathing rapidly, but being on his tummy helped him to breathe better. They gave us information on the NICU at their hospital and a pin with wings and whisked him away.

From here it?s a long story. Clay has a temporary colostomy and is growing tremendously well. He?ll have 2 more surgeries to correct his malformation, but should be able to lead a pretty normal life. He?ll probably potty train late and of course there?s the chance that he won?t potty train at all. He?ll likely have digestive troubles his whole life. But we?re hopeful. He has a small VSD (hole in his heart) which should close up. After lots and lots of xrays & ultrasounds, they determined that his other vital organs are fine. We will be watching for tethered cord as he grows.

We?ve found great hope in Psalm 139 ? especially verses 8-16  

If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
   if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
   if I settle on the far side of the sea,
even there your hand will guide me,
   your right hand will hold me fast.
If I say, ?Surely the darkness will hide me
   and the light become night around me,?
even the darkness will not be dark to you;
   the night will shine like the day,
   for darkness is as light to you.

For you created my inmost being;
   you knit me together in my mother?s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
   your works are wonderful,
   I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you
   when I was made in the secret place,
   when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed body;
   all the days ordained for me were written in your book
   before one of them came to be.

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At the hospital where I gave birth.  

 

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After his colostomy surgery.

 

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Christmas!

Re: Natural VBAC and then baby with special needs.

  • Thank you so much for sharing your story.  Your baby is beautiful and I wish you and your family the best as he heals and through the surgeries in the future.  You are all in my prayers and I hope he continues to be healthy and happy.
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  • He is absolutely handsome! Thank you for sharing your story. Have faith. It all sounds so hopeless in the beginning when that's all you hear is the things that could go wrong, are likely to go wrong and you feel overwhelmed.

    I was told my son was not meant to live, they couldn't figure out why his blood wasn't getting oxygen and he spent 3 weeks in the NICU. He was down to a 20% chance to live before surfactant was tried by a fluke. It worked. I was told that while he could breathe better to expect a long hard road of difficulties for him. It has been that for us. But I see all of the things that Connor has overcome that specialists said wouldn't be possible. He's 9 now, has finally learned to read despite being autistic and dyslexic. It's hard work all the time but I believe the effort I put into him is so worth the investment we will yield benefits from later on.

    This young man you have is meant for great things. I had a nurse in the NICU tell me that God tests some babies the most whom He expects great things from later. I'm not sure if that will help you but it has gotten me through some really hard times. God be with you, your DH and your new little man.

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  • Thank you so much for sharing your story.  The exact same thing happened to my cousins first born son.  I had never heard of that kind of malformation before, and neither had they.  They live in another country and their doctors did some amazing work.  After a few surgeries he had success!! He is now 4 years old and perfectly healthy.  Your little boy is gorgeous! Glad to hear he is doing well! 
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  • imagehappyin10:
    Thank you so much for sharing your story.  Your baby is beautiful and I wish you and your family the best as he heals and through the surgeries in the future.  You are all in my prayers and I hope he continues to be healthy and happy.

    Thank you! :o)

  • imagelilbit923:

    He is absolutely handsome! Thank you for sharing your story. Have faith. It all sounds so hopeless in the beginning when that's all you hear is the things that could go wrong, are likely to go wrong and you feel overwhelmed.

    I was told my son was not meant to live, they couldn't figure out why his blood wasn't getting oxygen and he spent 3 weeks in the NICU. He was down to a 20% chance to live before surfactant was tried by a fluke. It worked. I was told that while he could breathe better to expect a long hard road of difficulties for him. It has been that for us. But I see all of the things that Connor has overcome that specialists said wouldn't be possible. He's 9 now, has finally learned to read despite being autistic and dyslexic. It's hard work all the time but I believe the effort I put into him is so worth the investment we will yield benefits from later on.

    This young man you have is meant for great things. I had a nurse in the NICU tell me that God tests some babies the most whom He expects great things from later. I'm not sure if that will help you but it has gotten me through some really hard times. God be with you, your DH and your new little man.

    Thank you for sharing your son's story too! I really like what your nurse said abou God testing babies who He expects great things from. That will definitely be something I keep in mind. Thank you :o)

  • imagexilovenosx:
    Thank you so much for sharing your story.  The exact same thing happened to my cousins first born son.  I had never heard of that kind of malformation before, and neither had they.  They live in another country and their doctors did some amazing work.  After a few surgeries he had success!! He is now 4 years old and perfectly healthy.  Your little boy is gorgeous! Glad to hear he is doing well! 

    Thank you! It's always encouraging to hear of children growing up normally after having this condition at birth.

  • Beautiful baby! Bless you and your family!
  • A good girlfriend of mine had a daughter 6 years ago that was born with this issue...she has a family blog and talks about her a lot...www.deckardfamilyblog.blogspot.com. She had the colostomy bag and lots of other things going on...you should check it out and maybe even contact her if you have questions or concerns or just need to vent to someone who has been down that difficult road.
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  • I should also add that she is a happy and thriving little girl! I would go into further detail, but will leave that up to you if you feel like contacting her.
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  • imageLDQAM516:
    I should also add that she is a happy and thriving little girl! I would go into further detail, but will leave that up to you if you feel like contacting her.

    Thank you SO much!!! I will check that out right now :o)

  • Amazing birth story. Wow, I can't imagine getting ready to do a rectal and realizing there is no anal opening. But I'm sure they train the nurses to be ready for anything. I'm sure they stayed calm for you. That would not be the job for me, I would probably have a panic attack and scare the mom and dad!
  • Your story brought me to tears. I can't even imagine what you and you family have gone through. Your son is absolutely beautiful!! I wish you family the best and you will be in my T&P.
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