Here's mine as it was written 3 days after my VBAC baby was born (he turned 2 yesterday
Noah M has made his arrival!
He was born on Monday, August 18 at 4:45 AM by an unmedicated, doula-assisted, hospital VBAC after only 7 hours of labor, much of which was spent at home. I did it!! He weighed 7lbs, 9 oz. He had some breathing problems when he was born due to what we now know is a congenital heart defect. He was stabilized here and had to be taken to Anchorage by plane and is still in the NICU, but doing well and was quickly weaned off the oxygen tent to room air. I was able to fly up with him and stayed the night Monday night in Anchorage and came home Tuesday afternoon.
The VBAC birth was more important than I ever even thought it would be, here’s the whole story:
Sunday I had been having irregular contractions on and off all day, really, I thought they were more like gas pains, totally different from any contractions I had felt when I was in labor with Daniel. We had been pretty busy Sunday getting stuff finalized for the baby (and actually Dan was really the one pushing to get stuff done, so I guess he has the better “nesting” instinct than I do) so I didn’t notice a lot of the early contractions. Finally, about 10:00 that night I had finally gotten Daniel down for bed and started noticing that the pains I was having were coming at regular intervals and getting kinda uncomfy, so I started timing them and sure enough, they were 5-6 minutes apart lasting about 60 sec. I decided to call one of my doulas and give her the heads up, just in case, but told her I had been pretty busy all day so I was going to lay down and see what they did. Well, I ended up calling her back pretty quick because laying down didn’t help at all and they were getting more intense so I finally figured it was the real thing.
So the Doulas arrived and I was using the birth ball when they got there, but that was starting to not help anymore and the contractions were getting really uncomfy at that point, but weren’t really getting any closer together or longer so they suggested I get in the tub and that’s what I did and it was wonderful, it helped soo much! We spent quite a while in there and chatted in between the contractions and they helped me to breathe through them. Finally the contractions started coming really close and even the tub wasn’t helping anymore and I felt nauseated, so they suggested that I was nearing transition and I agreed and decided it was time to get to the hospital. I didn’t rush getting dressed, I had to vomit some and then we were on our way. One of the Doulas stayed with Daniel, because My mom was originally supposed to be here to watch him, but could not come and I hadn’t had a chance to arrange for another babysitter (I was only 38 weeks, I thought I had a little more time) so I was eternally grateful that she was willing to stay, I feel really bad that she didn’t get to be there for the birth and her partner did.
We arrived at the hospital and I had my admission papers filled out but hadn’t given them back so I just had brought them with me and the stupid admissions clerk was asking me the questions instead of just looking at the paper and my husband and doula both had to tell her to just read the paper, it had all the info. So she sent me off to OB with the doula and Dan stayed and made sure I was properly admitted. I got to the room and the nurses decided I could skip triage, lol, and go straight to a room. So she said I needed a monitor strip at that point and wanted to check me. I had decided I would let the nurse check the initial check, but then after that it had to be the OB or Midwife (whichever one I ended up with). I was 5-6 cm, very stretchy (thanks to the EPO) and the baby was having decals with the contractions but was coming right back up, and she was kinda freaked about that, no one else was, not even Dan, we all knew that was perfectly normal. I guess what freaked her was that she couldn’t get the contraction monitor to work and so she didn’t know for “sure” when my contractions were starting and ending (I guess my grunting and moaning and breathing through them was not enough of an indication) so she started asking me questions about my medical history and the inevitable questions about my last labor came up and when she found out I was a VBAC, she went from freaked to all out panicking (had I not been in pain, I probably would have been laughing at her, I knew It would happen) so she decides to call my OB right away (I think that’s how I ended up with him instead of the CNM, she was supposed to be the one to deliver the baby, but I guess it worked out for the best to have him there anyway). Dan said he overheard her and one of the other nurses out in the hall discussing whether they should also call the on-call surgeon “just in case.”
Well, the OB got there pretty quickly and she was whining to him about the contraction monitor and he just told her “well, it’s pretty obvious when she’s having contractions” and that shut her up by the time I was trying to stay comfortable, tried the ball again, and that wasn’t helping anymore and they couldn’t get a good reading on the external monitor with that position, so he checked me I was at a 7-8 and he wanted to break my water and put an internal monitor on the baby, at first I was hesitant, but he said that I was past the point of no return anyway and I really liked the idea of being able to move around a little better without the straps so I agreed. He tried to break it, but apparently I had SROM’ed sometime while I was in the bathtub because there was nothing to break. So the monitor went in, baby’s heart was still consistent and he just told me to do whatever was comfortable. Contractions were coming pretty much on top of each other at this point, I had been on my left side I was checked again and had only a lip on the right so I tried laying on my right, but it was too painful and I decided I’d get gravity to help me out so I asked if the bed had a squat bar. And the one nurse didn’t even know if they had one, but the other one seemed to remember they had one in a closet somewhere and that it did attach to the bed, so they got it out and set it up and I was already feeling pushy after a couple contractions on the squat bar. The doula could tell I was pushy and so I stayed on the squat bar for a while until the pressure was too much anymore and I knew the baby’s head was right there. The doc just told me to push however I was comfortable and so I was pretty much sitting up more on my left side with my right leg up in the air and pushed that way. The told me to touch my baby’s head when he was crowning and with the next push his head was out and the doc started suctioning him and with the next urge to push, he was out. I was still sitting up and could see he was distressed, they tried to suction him at the end of the bed because the doc knew I wanted to try to wait to cut the cord, but I could see they needed to take him to the warmer so they cut his cord and took him over. He didn’t cry for the longest time but somehow I knew he’d be ok. Dan was really nervous though.
They finally got him stabilized and moved him to the nursery so I delivered the placenta and got stitched up (had a 2nd degree tear) and waited for news on the baby. As soon as I was stitched up, I asked for a wheelchair so I could go to the nursery to see him.
The FP I had picked out was there now and decided that, even though he was stabilized, his breathing was really labored, his lungs had been very wet (and I can only imagine how the situation might have been worse, had I had a scheduled section or drugs during labor) that he needed to be transferred to the hospital in Anchorage with the NICU. The FP also saw that he had several physical traits of Down’s Syndrome, so that was a probability, but really not the immediate concern.
So the medivac team was called and they told us that one parent was usually allowed to go with the baby. My OB allowed me to be discharged from the hospital so I could go and Dan was going to go back home with Daniel.
So the medivac team came and got Noah further stabilized and into the portable isolette and we were taken by ambulance to the airport, flew to Anchorage and got on to another ambulance there to go to the hospital.
They got Noah off to the NICU immediately and wheeled me to sign his admission papers but I got back to the NICU to be with him pretty soon and stayed there with him till I was just exhausted and was taken to check myself in.
I was taken to OB triage and they really weren’t sure where to put me at first, but finally figured that I should go to the postpartum unit (the NICU is right down the hall, so that was good) so I finally got settled in, had lunch, and slept for a while. When I went back to the NICU, Noah was already off the oxygen tent.
So, The birth part was absolutely wonderful! My doulas were awesome and had I not had them, I probably would have caved and gotten meds, which potentially could have caused more problems for Noah. The OB pretty much sat back and let me do my thing, which I was grateful. But I really see that God’s hand was on this whole thing. If I had ended up with another section, I would have never been able to go up to Anchorage with my baby and still probably wouldn’t have held him. I was disappointed that I wouldn’t be having a homebirth this time, but with his problems, it was better that I was at a hospital. And I think if the doctors had known about any of his problems before birth, I would have been pushed into a repeat section and I know that wouldn’t have changed his outcome (except maybe for the worse) It certainly wouldn’t have changed anything for me though.
..... and just to add now: He does have Down Syndrome and had to have his first heart operation to increase blood flow to his lungs at 3 months old and will probably be having his final repair sometime in the next couple of years