Almost 5 months after my wonderful VBAC baby was born, I'm finally writing my story.
I suppose my story really began 3 years ago with the birth of my first son. I've tried and tried to write his birth story without winding up in a ball of tears about how it all happened and I can't. I knew I wanted a natural birth, so we instantly went to the only free-standing birth center in our area. My husband was never really a fan of them, but I loved it. When I went into labor with him, I went from zero noticable contractions to horrendous contractions every 3 minutes. I began throwing up and having diahrea instantly and it never stopped. Long story short, 16 hours of this later our midwife (the only non-experienced midwife at the center) told me I was dilated to 10cm and she told me I should start pushing even though I never felt the urge to push. 4 hours later, I made no progress and was exhausted. I gave up...we transferred to the hospital 2 minutes away and I freaked out. My labor all but stopped, I was panicing and couldn't breath. I hate hospitals, I always have. Needless to say the doc on call stated the baby was in distress and I had to have a c-section. 7 minutes later my baby was out and immediately taken from me. Oh AND I had CPD....uh huh! I didn't get to hold him or even see him for 2 and a half hours because I had such a reaction to the spinal my body went into complete shock. We have video of him literally trying to crawl out of the oxygen hood they put them under...distress, my bum! I know in my soul the only reason he was in distress was because I was freaking out.
Fast forward two years, I knew I was trying for a VBAC. The local birth center is not allowed to do VBAC's and DH wasn't keen on them anyways. I thought my only option was a midwifery group within a hospital so we went to the closest one that I could find advertised. For the first 20 weeks I fought and fought and fought for no fetal monitoring, no IV, no ultrasounds, I was 'high-risk' after all. I ended up having the 20 week ultrasound for them to locate the placenta in respect to my scar, it was fine, but I had partial placenta previa which I expected and knew it would move out of the way, but that meant I'd have to get another ultrasound at 34 weeks. At our last appointment with them the midwife sat me down, opened a webpage and started to enter info in the page to determine my probability for a vaginal birth. She said they would use this probability in determining how my labor and birth would go. I WAS DONE!!! That same week I attended my first ICAN chapter meeting and heard from other VBAC momma's about home birth. I wasn't really sure if I had the courage to do a home birth but I started calling around. My DH HATED the first two CPM's but I was slowly getting him to warm up to the idea if we found the right midwife. The last midwife we interviewed was a CNM with 20 plus years experience in and out of the hospital and both my DH and myself instantly felt comfortable with her. More so then any one we had ever talked to, including the birth center midwifes. My pregnancy from then on was a breeze and having that one on one time with my midwife in my home every appointment was wonderful.
When it came time to labor, I had been having prodomal (sp) labor for about seven days and I was getting really frustrated. Finally when I hit week 40 I went in for accupuncture. Two sessions later, I was getting things going. I worked that morning and the contractions were there but not a big deal. We went for a hike up the mountain at lunch time and a switch flipped when we got home. I wasn't really in labor but I knew it was coming. I called my sister to come pick up my son (I really think having him around was stalling me out every night, I was always more concerned with him sleeping then my laboring). After my son was gone I went directly to contractions 6 minutes apart. DH called my midwife and mom who was my doula and they arrived about an hour later. When my midwife arrived she coached me on different positions and breathing, but it was my husband who I wanted there for every contraction and he was my rock, everything but him just disappeared. It was a text book labor after that...when it got really hard I got in the shower and then our hot tub which we had cleaned and turned down to a low temp. I didn't want a water birth and it was too cold outside anyways so as I got to the pushed stage I went back inside, welcomed throwing up through transition because it was a break from the contractions! :) Then things got a little haywire. I knew I had trauma from my first birth, but I didn't realize how it was going to manifest during this labor. When I really started to feel the urge to push, I freaked out and started crying, begging and screaming to go to the hospital. I was sure there was something wrong and that I was doing it all wrong. I just knew I was pushing my baby into a baby bad position. My midwife and her assistant (another CNM) assured me the baby was fine and so was I, but I was terrified! My midwife stepped out of our bedroom into the hallway and assured my husband that everything was ok and that if we were to go to the hospital I would have the baby in the ambulance, there was no way we could leave. At that same time my mom was trying to help calm me down and finally yelled at me. Niether one of us remember exactly what she yelled but it was enough of a shock to bring me back to where we were. The very next contraction as my husband and midwife were coming back into the room, I yelled "Oh my god, I HAVE to push". Two contractions later I pushed out my 9lb 8oz baby, no tearing, no problems. (CPD, my ass!) They laid him on my chest instantly and I can still remember the feeling of the cord still attached and pulling on my neither regions. :) It was amazing!!! He nursed within 30 minutes and was perfectly healthy!! We called my sister and son to come back and my oldest just wanted to know where his 'baby sister' was (he was convinced it was a girl!) :) The whole thing took less then 6 hours. By midnight the midwives left us to be a family and we all fell asleep in the same bed my baby was just born in.
I'm so glad I got this amazing experience. I wouldn't trade it for anything. I really wish more women could experience such an amazing feeling. I understand why it is such a leap of faith and I'm certainly glad we live in 2012 where most women have that choice and c-sections do save lives, but WOW more women should know what an incredible feeling it is.
Now...where's my medal! :)