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post your positive vbac success stories here!! - Page 3

post #41 of 166

Here's my 1st vbac story...

I havent written out my 2nd yet. My 1st birth was a Csec. after a planned HB. 2 weeks past edd, ruptured membranes,No labor at all, no dilation or effacement after every trick in the book was attempted.

Sylvia's birth

On Saturday April 12th 2003 I was outside with my 2.5 YO son Hugh at about 5 PM and chased after him as he was running toward the road...this gave me a few contractions which then came once in a while until 9 ish and
they petered out. At 10 I took my dog for a walk and decided to
speed walk! Hooray...contractions were then 10-15minutes apart. I
tried to sleep but couldn't-I had to kneel during contractions. At 2
AM I decided to take a warm bath to see if they'd slow down so I
could rest- I thought I should rest & sleep in case this went on for
a long time. The tub felt great, but they got more intense and
closer together... got out at 2:45 and Steve called Tracy at 3:15.
She said to see how it goes for another hour and call back. by 3:45
they were 2-3 minutes apart and I had to be on hands and knees and
breathing very deeply to manage, so we called again, and she said
she'd meet us at the birth center. Steve called my sister and packed
the car. When Ingrid and David arrived we left. The car ride was
awful! There are soo many potholes and sitting was not the position
of choice.

We arrived and my MW Tracey was there waiting for us. We went upstairs got
settled and she checked me at 5 AM- I was at 4CM and she said my bag
of waters was bulging. I was soooooo excited! My body knows how to
do this!!! She left us alone and gave us a walkie-talkie thing to
page her downstairs where she would be sleeping. I labored on hands
and knees and at 7 we paged her to get the tub ready. I had tried
combs in my hands, the birth ball, lots of positions but between
contractions I couldn't get comfortable and in a position where I
could move to my knees easily. I got in the tub and it was heaven
(well-sort of) I could relax and rest between contractions and I felt
so supported by the water. I labored in the tub for most of the day.
Getting out to pee was really hard. At one point I tried laboring on
the bed on my side but had to get back into the water. Tracy would
appear every few hours to check the baby's heart and to tell me I was
doing great. Her quiet presence was very nice and she really left
Steve and me to do what we needed. I didn't really want to be touched
or spoken to but I needed to see Steve between contractions- he slept
on the bathroom floor a few times. One time I told him to go into
bed, but within 5 minutes I ordered him back! At about 2? 3? Tracey
wanted to check me again. She said I was mostly open but the baby's
head wasn't down, so I walked up and down the stairs a bunch of
times. At 3:30 she said she could break my waters and see if that
would get the head down. I said go for it!

So I got on the bed and she broke my water - it was dark green- I got
really nervous and the doubt monster entered my head. I said to
her "that isn't good is it?" and she said, "no, not what we want to
see, but I want you to start pushing and we'll see how the baby does
within the next hour..."

So with no urge to push I began to do so. Her head was not coming
straight, but on the right side so she came out wider through the
head. I am a fierce lion! I'm ferocious! . I am a strong woman I will
push this baby out! I am not going to the hospital! I will not have
a csection. This is my last chance to give birth the way I
crave!...these were my internal mantras for the next 2.5 hours while
I pushed and growled. I tried squatting, kneeling, going on all
fours and eventually lying on my right side on the bed. On my side
was the best position for me to really be strong. The heart rate was
strong throughout. I had no idea where the baby was, but when Tracey
told Steve "there's the head" I knew I could do it. When the baby
crowned it hurt like mad, but I was soooo incredibly excited that the
pain was minor. I knew I was almost there. Tracey told me that as
soon as the head was out they'd be suctioning because of the
meconium, but if I needed to push the shoulders out to do so. I
reached down and felt the head between contractions. Steve was
crying, and I was euphoric. Her head was out and then I pushed out her
little line backer shoulders out and the rest just slipped out. It
was incredible. She was blue for a bit but then started these
little cries & pinked right up. Steve lifted her leg and we saw that
we were the parents of a baby girl! She's so big, I said and Tracey
nodded in agreement! As soon as I delivered the placenta, Tracey put
Sylvia on my chest and it was the most incredible feeling in the
world! Once the cord stopped pulsing Steve cut it.

As I lay there with my beautiful daughter on my skin and my husband
next to me, I knew that my birthing dream had finally come true.

Tracey stitched up the tearing that occurred (she did everything to
prevent tearing) and then left us alone for about an hour. When she
returned we weighed Sylvia and were very impressed with her stats! 10
lbs 13 oz., 15 inch head, 14 inch chest, 23 incest long. Sylvia
Ingrid was born April 13 at 6PM and we were at home by 10 PM.
post #42 of 166
This is VERY long...

I woke to a sudden stabbing/ popping feeling in my cervix, followed by cramping at 1:19am on Sunday, September 25th. I could see that dh was next door in the bathroom getting ready to come to bed. When he got in bed I told him I had just felt a pretty serious contraction, and was waiting to see if more came. About 7-10 minutes later I felt another one. Then another a little while after that. I told dh that “this better be it or they better quit” because they were pretty uncomfortable. I don't think either of us was convinced that it was the real thing. I got up to use the bathroom at about 1:45, and when I stood at the sink to wash my hands, I felt a small gush in my underwear. It was just enough to leave a wet spot the size of a silver dollar. Then came a few drips down my leg. I called out to dh “we have water... I think,” grabbed a towel and went back to the bedroom. We laid there for a few minutes, excited and nervous, seeing if any more water or contractions came. A big gush later, we knew that this was indeed the real thing, and set our nighttime labor plan into motion.

First, dh called our Doula to let her know the time had come. Our original plan was to stay at home as long as possible, but because my water had broken, we felt that going to the hospital was our best option. Next, we called my OB. Dr. Z was on call and told us to head to the hospital. I called my mom next so that she could come and sit with dd until my dad and stepmom could get here, then we called my dad. Dh gathered up all of our bags for the hospital and loaded the car. As soon as my mom got here, we left.

I had been having contractions this whole time, but nothing I couldn't talk through or handle. In the car on the way to the hospital, they started to get a bit more intense and uncomfortable. I was sure that I'd be at least 3-4 cm dilated, because a week prior at my appointment I had been 80% effaced and a little over 1 cm. When we got to the hospital, dh prked the car while I headed up to the 9th floor. I got into my gown, gave my urine sample, and got into bed to be monitored for 15 minutes. My mom and dh came in at about the same time. The nurse confirmed that my water had indeed broken, and upon examining me, found me to be 100% effaced, but still only 1 cm dilated. I was really disappointed! My nurse said that I didn't have to have an IV, and that I only had to be monitored 15 minutes out of each hour, which left us free to walk the L&D floor and use the birth ball. I was really happy about that! I wasn't sure since I was a VBAC patient that they'd be that lenient with me. My Doula showed up at about this time, which was a little after 3:00am. So, I was unhooked from the monitors, and the four of us started to walk the hallways of the labor and delivery floor.

As we started down the hallway, I was able to walk through the contractions. They were coming about 5 minutes apart, give or take. After awhile, I had to stop and lean against the wall for the contractions, while dh put pressure on my lower back. We headed back in the room around 4 to use the birth ball. I sat on the ball at the foot of the bed and rocked. Each time I had a contraction I leaned forward onto a pillow and looked at pictures of dd while dh put pressure on my lower back. Sometimes the pressure felt good, sometimes it didn't... after awhile we got into a routine that seemed to work. The nurse came in after a bit to put me back on the monitor. After about half an hour, I was unhooked and we headed back into the hall. This was around 6:00am. During the beginning of our walk, it seemed like my contractions were spacing out a bit. They didn't seem very consistent. After awhile, my doula and my mom left dh and I to walk on our own. Hip squeezes seemed to be working more than the low back pressure, so he did that instead. We only got through about a lap after they left when I started to feel like I couldn't stand up for the contractions. The pain was getting intense, so we went in the room and got back on the birth ball.

By 7:00 or so I couldn't stand the pain. I told my doula and dh that I needed pain medication, which I had really wanted to avoid. By 7:30, after several positions/ techniques weren't helping with the pain, we made the decision to get an epidural. The nurse put me back on the monitor and did a vaginal exam. At 7:48 I was only 2 lousy centimeters!!! I couldn't believe it. I didn't want an epidural that early, for fear that it would slow down things more and I wouldn't progress without pitocin. I definitely did not want that because of the VBAC. We still decided that the epidural was the way to go because I wasn't tolerating the pain well. So, the nurse got my IV ready (jabbed me FIVE times during the middle of an intense contraction), and paged the anesthesiologist. We found out that he was in an emergency in cardiac care, so he would be 20-30 minutes.

The next hour and 45 minutes were an absolute blur. My contractions became so unbelievably difficult that I felt like I had transported to an alternate dimension. No position seemed to work for me. Standing was impossible, the birth ball didn't work, all fours was terrible... so I ended up staying in the bed. I did low deep breathing and tried hard to focus. As time wore on, the contractions were very close together, and extremely painful. With each contraction dh had my left hand, my doula put pressure on my back, and I chanted some combination of no, I can't, kill me now, etc. (Pretty embarrassing in retrospect.) A few times my doula had to get stern with me to get me to focus. I threw up, partially on dh, and was in the bathroom several times. At one point, dh had to go make a phone call to his parents, and my mom took over for him. She and I were in tears by the end of the contraction I had in his absence. The nurse said she paged anesthesia three times, but that they would get here as soon as they could. I couldn't believe how long it was taking, and neither could anyone else.

By 9:30, with each contraction I found myself just moaning in low consistent tones... almost like sustaining a really low note. I heard a male voice enter the room with my nurse and thought it was the anesthesiologist, but it was my OB instead. He said he wanted to check me since I still didn't have the epidural in place to see how far I had progressed. To everyone's surprise I was 8 to 9 centimeters! I had gone from, 2 to almost 9 in a little over an hour and a half. This explained how difficult things had been. I told my OB I still wanted the epidural because I had enough. Finally, the anesthesiologist showed up a little after 10, and I had my epidural in place by 10:30. He told my nurse that he only received the last page, which had been 10 minutes prior to his arrival. Who knows what happened there. Honestly, I didn't care at that point... I was just happy to have pain relief. Dr. Z told us that he'd be back at 11:30, and that by then I would be complete and ready to push.

It was amazing how different I felt after the epidural... I was myself again! I originally didn't want an epidural, for fear that I wouldn't be able to feel enough to push. But, I was able to feel each time I had a contraction because I felt tightening at the top of my uterus, and felt pressure down below. I even felt enough to move my legs a bit. It was definitely the right decision for me. We spent the hour before I started to push relaxing. I even saw a few visitors. Thankfully dh and my doula had time to relax, too.

As promised, at 11:30 I was complete and ready to push. During my first set of pushes, I peed all over the doctor. There was so much pee that he had to change his scrubs!!! We did the first couple contractions on my back, but then my doula suggested we use the squat bar. Most of my pushing was done with the bar because we found that was the way I could most effectively get the baby to come down. Dh helped me on one side, and my doula helped me on the other. Fast forward to 2 ½ hours later... still pushing! Up until this point, I felt energized and good. I only had hit my epidural pump twice, and was able to feel lots of pressure. The baby's head was right there, just not coming through. At 2:30, Dr. Z told me that we had until 3:00, and then he wanted to intervene with suction or forceps. That last half hour I was exhausted! I really could feel the doctor trying to stretch my perineum (I didn't want an episiotomy), and it was getting pretty painful. At 3:00, he asked if I was ready to try suction, and I agreed. With my next push, and the help of the suction, Jackson was born, crying loud and strong. I can't even describe how it felt when he came out of me... bizarre and painful, yet wonderful. I know I screamed my head off... I had a partial third degree tear. He was placed immediately on my chest, and I held him, kissed him, and cried for a good 20 minutes or so with dh by my side doing the same.

Jackson was born on September 25th, 2005 at 3:04pm by VBAC. Though he was two weeks early, he measured 8 pounds, 5 ¾ ounces, and 20 inches long. His Apgars were 9 and 9. I couldn't have done it with out the support of my husband and my doula, especially during the stretch of really hard labor, and the 3 ½ hours of pushing. Our family has been truly blessed by this pregnancy and birth... the difficulties of the pregnancy taught us patience and reaffirmed our faith, and the birth recharged my self confidence and reminded me not to doubt my decisions or give in to fear. Most of all, we now have a new person to love. We loved him before he was born, and our hearts are overflowing now that he has arrived.
post #43 of 166
I started feeling contractions throughout the day Saturday the 4th. They were uncomfortable, but I could tolerate them. Since I had been having similar contractions for a couple of weeks, I just put them in the back of my mind and refused to beleive they meant anything. They were getting closer together as the night went on, and my husband kept asking if I wanted to go in and get checked. But I was adamant about waiting until I couldn't handle it anymore. I just didn't want to be turned away at the hospital. We went to bed around 11pm, but I didn't sleep. The contractions were getting worse, and were about 7 minutes apart. I had to sit up in bed and breathe through them, but still convinced myself that they were nothing. By 3am, I had to get out of bed. They were getting pretty bad. I went downstairs and made myself a cup of tea, and laboured to the Beatles for awhile. I kept telling myself "I can hold off until 3:30" and then "I can hold off until 4:30", etc, etc, etc. We needed to call my mother-in-law to pick up my daughter, and I didn't want to wake her up in the middle of the night, in case it turned out to be nothing.

By about 6am, they were coming every 3 minutes or so, and they HURT! I called upstairs to my husband, flicked the lights to get his attention, and finally banged on the wall to get him to come down. His mother showed up about 15 minutes later to pick up our daughter, and then we were off to the hospital. The ride there was total hell. It really got labour going, and by the time we got to the hospital, I had to stop and complain through 5 contractions before we made it up to the L&D floor.

When I got into the triage area, I told them that I thought the contractions were about 3-5 minutes apart. They hooked me up to the monitor and told me that they'd let it run for about 40 minutes, to see how my contractions were. After about 5 minutes, the nurse came in and told me "Your contractions aren't 3-5 minutes apart, they're right on top of eachother." She checked me, and told me I was 4-5cm dialated, and that I'd be having my baby that day! She asked me about my preferences, and I told her I'd rather not have an epidural. So she told me that she'd get me a room with a jacuzzi tub. The nurse attending to me was very excited that I wanted to have a VBAC, hehe.

When we got set up in the room, the nurse came in and introduced herself. She told me that she had 3 kids, and two of them were born totally natural, so she would help me have the birth I wanted. She was great! She didn't leave my side during the entire labour, and was awesome about encouraging me through each contraction. I was glad that I didn't waste the money on a doula, because she definitely filled that role perfectly!

I was bummed out to discoverd that the jacuzzi tub in our room was out of order, but the nurse brought in a birthing ball for me, and told me that I could labour in the shower whenever I wanted to. I paced around the room for awhile, with my husband supporting me through the contractions. I tried the birthing ball for awhile, but didn't like it. The contractions seemed to hurt a bit less when I was standing. After an hour or so, I decided to try out the shower. I stayed in there, sitting on a stool with the shower nozzle against my belly, for the better part of the morning. My husband filled up a peri bottle with hot hot water and pressed it against my back through the contractions. It helped quite a bit.

The nurse asked if I wanted her to check my progress, so I hopped out of the shower and went out to be checked. I was nervous that she would tell me I hadn't progressed at all. It took SO long to dialate with my daughter, that I was sure that my body would fail me again. So I was pleasantly suprised when she told me I was already 7cm. She told me that they could break my water if I wanted, and that it might help me to progress faster. But I also knew that it would make the contractions much much more painful. And I was already in so much pain that I didn't think I'd be able to handle anything else. I told her that I'd decide after the next time she checked me. I laboured standing up for awhile, and the nurse and my husband took turns massaging my back through the contractions.

I got the shakes really badly. I hated the feeling of totally losing control of my body. It was so strange. The nurse told me that it'd be a good idea to check me again. I climbed up into the bed, and she told me that I was 9cm! She asked if I wanted my water broken, and I decided that at this point, it wouldn't be a bad idea. So she went to get the doctor, who walked into the room to see that I had already started pushing. I had no choice, I had no control over my body. It was kind of like when you have to throw up, and you really don't want to and try not to, but your body just makes it happen anyway. It was totally surreal. I remember screaming louder than I've ever screamed in my life. (My husband told me afterwards that the nurses and doctors in the room all cringed, it was so loud). And I couldn't stop myself. The doctor was frantically telling me "don't push, don't push!" but I couldn't stop it from happening. My awsome nurse checked me when all of this was happening, and said "You know what? She's 10cm, she can push."

They started rushing around the room setting everything up, and told me that I could push through the next contraction. What a weird, painful feeling. The pain was totally indescribable. I thought I was dying. I thought for sure that I would split in two. I remember being totally in denial that it was happening, thinking for sure that they'd tell me "the baby isn't coming out, we'll have to do an emergency c-section." I really didn't want the same experience I had with my daughter. To do all that work, all of that pushing, all of that labour, only to have the baby cut out of me. So I pushed like crazy. I pushed as hard as I could, and then pushed 10x harder. And eventually they told me that the baby would be out with the next contraction. I still didn't beleive them. They told me I could reach down and feel the head. It didn't feel like much of anything to me, so I still didn't beleive that the baby was "right there." With the next push, the head came out, and had a feeling of total releif wash over me. It felt so good to have that baby out. I looked down and saw the head, pushed once more, and the baby was born!

My husband cut the cord, and I was totally annoyed that nobody had told me the sex of the baby. I asked "what did we have? what did we have?" and my husband announced "It's a boy!!" (And that I didn't beleive until I saw it, either, lol. We were both so sure it'd be another girl.) They passed the baby up to me, and I got to hold him and feed him for the first time. It was great.

My son was born at 11:15am on June 5th, weighing in at 8lbs, 7oz (only one ounce bigger than his sister). He's absolutely perfect and I couldn't be happier.
post #44 of 166

LONG but worth the read.

I haven't typed up man cub #4's birth story (my 2nd VBAC) but I thought I would share man cub #3's birth story.

Man Cub #3 HBAC Story

This birth story actually starts 4 years prior. On October 11th, 1998
our (now) middle child was born via c/section. I had been
induced after my water had begun to leak. Although pitocin had made labor
extremely painful, I am to this day very proud of the fact that I got to 6 cm
(started at 2cm!) without pain meds. But after almost 8 hours of pitocin
induced hell, I gave in and got an epidural. Now many women will rave about
"being totally without pain" but to me it was very strange to be so far
disconnected with my body during such an intimate experience birth is. The
details get hazy but at some point I was declared to have FTP and a c/section soon followed.

What was to follow this birth -- the separation (I was not allowed to hold him for 8 hrs following his birth and throughout the hospital stay there were periods where he was "unaccessable" to me), the pain (physical and emotional), the rage, disappointment, and depression haunted me for over 2 years. I swore to never have another baby for fear of going through another traumatic birth experience! Then once I began working through all the hurt, I vowed that I would never set foot inside of a hospital to give birth again. It was harder to convince my husband of this! And in truth he only knew and understood my pain and rage stemming from c/section a few short days before man cub #3 was conceived.

My pregnancy, although it had its fair share of hurdles including losing man cub #3's twin at the beginning of the pregnancy, was the best one I
have had, by far. I knew the moment we conceived this little angel I now hold in my arms. I felt so much more connected to the whole experience. Cherishing the movements, relishing my expanding waistline, reveling in the glorious round goddess like appearance that my body transformed into.

Labor --

Prodromal labor sucks! For 3 weeks I had on again, off again labor-ish type
contractions. At 37 weeks I thought that it was really it, but after 4 hours
of decent contractions everything fizzled out -- leaving me rather frustrated.

As my baby and body continued to grow, I began to feel heavy, tired -
physically as well as emotionally. All I wanted to do was hold my baby in my
arms. With each bout of prodromal labor I felt myself beginning to sink into
the mindset of wanting to hurry everything up rather than trying to enjoy
those last few, short days! And it was only after I allowed myself to
surrender to the final stages of my pregnancy that things started to progress.

Tuesday -

Again, I woke with contractions - NOTHING NEW!! But the were somehow
different. I told Dave (dh) to drive to work instead of taking the train (he worked in NYC) because I thought something "might" be up but he was only allowed to go to work after he ran to the grocery store (I, emotionally, was unable to venture to the store with our 4y/o) to get some fresh fruit and cold cut, which I munched on through out the day.

Although the contractions never got regular they were present through out the day. I called a few friends and chatted with them. I even tempted fate by telling them that I thought I could be in early labor. I was sure that once
again these contractions would pitter out. I did 4 loads of laundry (which
are still sitting in the baskets 10 days after he was born!!) and cleaned all day long, can anyone say nesting??

By 10pm I finally recognized that I was indeed in early labor. I called Dave
and told him to bring home a bottle of wine so I could have a glass to help
me sleep or rest as much as possible. Poor guy had no idea where the closet
liquor store to his work was and drove around Manhattan for 20 minutes
looking for one. But I got my bottle of wine!

By the time he got home my contractions were about 8 minutes apart but not uncomfortable - just there. I grabbed a couple of pillows and my favorite
blanket and decided to camp out in our living room to allow Dave as much rest as possible. I drank ¾ of a glass of wine which didn't taste as good as I
thought it would and laid down for about 4½ hours of sleep.

Now Wednesday -

I woke up around 5am and retreated to my own bed where I proceeded to have a good cry because I would only find 2 fitted sheets for our bed and one was in the wash. I couldn't double make our bed in preparation for the birth. This was my major concern, as silly as it now seems. Dave (thankfully) just held me, let me cry and reassured me that everything was going to be okay.

We slept for another hour until I awoke with a contraction that felt
different. I breathed through it, trying not to disturb Dave, but had a hard
time lying still during the surge of the contraction. Before I knew it I felt
another contractions start to build, I glanced at the clock - barely 5
minutes had passed since I was awoken by that first contractions. I decided
to get into the shower which helped a bit. Because of the intensity of the
contractions, I suspected that the baby was in a funky position, maybe OP, so I spent the majority of my time on my hands and knees doing pelvic rocks.

After about an hour I returned to our bedroom and whispered to my half
sleeping husband, "You're not going to work today." He immediately woke up
and started to get everything ready for the day. The boys were awake soon and we let them know that the baby was going to be born today. I stayed
downstairs with them as they got ready for school, pausing and leaning over
the table, banister, or couch (whatever was close by) with each contraction.
At 8:30am Dave left to take both boys to school and I retreated to my
bedroom. I called my girlfriend who was going to help support me during labor to give her a heads up.

As I was listening to my favorite CD by Andrea Bocelli I found that breathing
no longer was cutting it and that I needed to start vocalizing through each
contraction. Never thought I would be singing a duet with Andrea!!

By the time Dave got back, 9:20 I was really vocalizing and told him to call
Genny, my dear friend and WONDERFUL doula, and tell her to come over as soon as she could. I was having a hard time because the contractions were so intense from the get go.

When Genny got here I was back in the shower and starting to get loud. She
sat in the bathroom with me and started to time them. To everyone's surprise they were last about 70 seconds and coming every 2-3 minutes, some with double peaks. I knew I wasn't in transition but how could they be so close together??

When I got out of the shower, Dave and I wound up sitting on our bedroom
floor together, with him behind me holding me as I worked through each surge. This is one of my fondest memories of labor - leaning back into him with him holding and squeezing my thighs as I was methodically rubbing his legs with each contraction. Very reminiscent of some of the stories in "Spiritual Midwifery" I did feel good to give as well as receive.

At 11am Dave had to leave to get our 4y/o from preschool and then drop him off at a friend's house, so when I heard his come into the house 15 minutes later, I was upset. I was dealing with intense labor and I #1 didn't want to
scare my son with the loud noises and #2 I just couldn't deal with his
presence. He came into the room during a lull and kissed me and my belly and
told me it was okay to make the "momma bear" noises to make the baby come out. I almost laughed until another contractions started and DS quickly retreated back to Dave's side hearing those loud "momma bear" noises. Before I knew it, Dave was back at my side, sans DS, supporting me through this labor I couldn't make sense of.

The contractions were coming hard and fast but I wasn't feeling transition-y. I was still able to carry on a conversation between contractions, still joking,
still eating lightly and there was no bloody show. But those contractions
were so damned intense. I was feeling a lot in my back, giving credibility to
my suspicion that the baby was OP, but I was also starting to feel a lot of
pressure up front… but this was nothing new since I had had a lot of pubic
symphasis pain throughout my pregnancy. I told my doula that I would give my left arm if my chiropractor would only come out and adjust my back to try and ease the PS pain.

By 12:30pm the call was made to my MW to come. I had been having contractions consistently 60-80 seconds long every 2-3 minutes for over 3 hours. We all thought that by 3pm we would have a baby. My MW got here and listened to the baby, who sounded great with a heart rate in the 140's. Dave started joking with me, calling my "Hannibal" since my BP was 98/65 and didn't rise much above that through the remainder of my labor. Once of my concerns with the MW, since I had only been seeing her for 2½ weeks (my LM had bailed on me because she got spooked that she would get caught practicing in an illegal state, but that's a whole 'nother can of worms) was that she was going to be obtrusive, and over step her boundaries, telling me what to do rather than just sitting back and letting my labor progress but she let me do my thing.

I was in and out of the shower. Laboring on the toilet, which I incidentally
rocked off of the anchoring bolts during a particularly strong contractions.
And then I climbed on top of during another intense contractions. Startled
everyone at that point. Both the MW and the 2nd MW were trying to get a hold of me and I barked at them, "I've got a hold of Dave, let go of me". I was literally trying to get on top of the pain by climbing up on my commode.

By 4 pm, I had banished the clock in my bedroom and was starting to get run
down. I asked my MW to check me to give me some idea of where I was in labor. Happily I was at 7cm, 100% effaced but baby was high. I never asked how high, but afterwards I learned that the baby was -3/-2 station. I began to cry in anticipation of holding my baby soon. I continued to labor with Dave
supporting me. I didn't want anyone else but my husband's hands on me. Even Genny, my doula, who I am especially close to could offer the support that I felt from Dave.

Because the clock had been covered I had no concept of time. In and out of
the bathroom, pausing for another contractions, squatting, leaning over the
bed, getting on my H&K, having Dave hold me in a supported squat, back to the shower - everything was beginning to blur. I was leaning over the bed and felt a distinct pop and then a gush of fluid. For the first time, my water had released on it's own!! I looked down and saw that it was stained with meconium. This was the first time I felt a twinge of fear. Janet, my MW, listened to the baby's heart beat immediately after that contractions and through the next one and it sounded nice a steady. Very reassuring to both Dave and I. (reading the notes from my labor that my MW kept, my water broke at 6pm)

I began to feel tired and needed to lay down. It was so difficult to lay down
when I was having a contractions. I started to say things like, "All I want
to do is sleep. When is this going to end? I wasn't ready for it to be so
intense the whole time" Thankfully everyone around me reassured me that I was doing great and that it wasn't going to be long before I was holding my baby. No one ever introduced their hesitation or fear - if they even held any.

Once again I got back into the shower. This time to escape from everyone ...
to many people around me. I just wanted to have Dave near me - alone. I
stopped up the bath tub drain and let the shower fill the tub as I reclined,
trying to get some rest. Dave poured pitchers of the hot water over my
stomach and talked me through each contraction. This was the beginning of my extreme low point during labor. I had been going at it for so long now. I was tired, in pain and I was really getting discouraged. I wanted solitude and there were "so many" people around. I wanted to sleep most of al. I looked at Dave and told him that I couldn't do this for much longer. He never said, "Okay we'll go to the hospital" instead he told me how beautiful I was, how strong I was and that I WAS doing it and that we'd be snuggled up in our bed with our new baby before the night's end.

Janet came in and wanted to listen to the baby's heart through a contractions, so I hoisted my belly up out of the water. After the contractions I lost my footing and my right knee went out from under me. I wound up with my right leg splayed out froggy style. I just lost it. Not only was I dealing with the intensity of these contractions, now my damned knee was out of whack. I started crying and saying, "That's it! I don't want to do this anymore. I was drugs. I can't do this much longer"

My MW and Dave helped me up out of the tub and back into my bedroom. Janet tried to help me and got right up in my face, which was the exact wrong thing to do for me at that point. I told her to shut the F&$% up, she told me it was okay to curse but she wasn't going to go away and I retorted, I'm not listening to you anymore, I can't listen to you, stop F&$%ing talking to me. Thankfully she didn't try to persist and the 2nd MW stepped in and started reasoning with me, that if I went to the hospital I would be subjected to residents examining me, an attending Dr who I didn't know, monitors, IV's,
NICU team because of the meconium in the water. Reminding me of all the
things that I wanted to avoid. It was enough for me to hold on a little whole

During another contractions the baby's heart rate deceled a bit and took a
while to rebound so Rose, the 2nd MW, wanted to tickle the baby's scalp just
to make sure we had a nice reactive heart rate, which we did but it sure was
uncomfortable for me. She let me know that I was 8-9 cm, with more anterior
cervix still present. For anyone this probably would have been encouraging but this is where I had stalled out with my previous birth. I was scared of not being able to progress past this point. I was scared that the pressure I had once felt up front, that was now pain was my scar rupturing. I was scared of going to the hospital, although no one ever suggested it. And I was scared of having to go through much more labor.

I got onto my birth ball and Rose told me that if I felt the need to push to
go ahead and go with it. I found that I could push about ½ the time, if I
forced myself to do so but it just didn't feel right. I still had a lot of
pain up front. I felt like I was splitting in two both through my pubic
symphasis and through my lower back.

It was about 8pm when I got up off of the birth ball and announced I wasn't
going to do this anymore and that I was leaving. I fully intend to march
downstairs, get my car keys, walk out the door and leave - stark naked. But 2steps off of the ball I began another contractions and wound up on my bed. I
told my mw that if I still had a cervical lip, that I wanted to go to the
hospital, that I was thankful for everyone being here with me but I was done.
She checked me and I did have a lip still but she wanted me to try to push
past I, that she wouldn't do anything but hold it as I pushed and I did push
and BAM!! That little bowling ball head felt like it was immediately down
onto my perineum. It felt like I was pushing for hours but I actually only
pushed for 20 minutes. The baby came down nice and steady, allowing for me to fully feel the ring of fire. I told my mw to cut me because I felt like I was going to tear towards my urethra. She assured me that I had lots of room and helped me with a hot compress to alleviate the pain. I reached down and felt my baby's head before it fully emerged. What a strange feeling. This soft wrinkly scalp in my hand as I continued to push our baby, my baby closer to the moment of birth.

With a roar the baby's head was free. It was such sweet relief to have the
head born. I had to wait as the MW's suctioned the baby because of the
meconium. Thankfully the baby hadn't inhaled any meconium. Again I reached
down and felt my baby. This time I was able to feel a little nose and mouth.
Oh how I couldn't wait to have this little one in my arms.

Just have to push the shoulders out and this little one will slither right
out. Right? Well, that's the way it should be but my little baby was rather
large indeed! I pushed and pushed and finally the shoulders were born, WITH one arm reach straight out. No wonder I had had so much pain up front!! I wasn't dealing with an OP baby but rather a baby with an arm up by its face. Well, with the shoulders free, this baby should slip right out. Not my baby!! Once the baby was born to its hips we realized we were dealing with dystocia - hiney dystocia! My MW reached up and help tilt my uterus towards the baby as I pushed and finally at 8:20 pm our 3rd child was born! The baby was passed through my legs and I immediately pulled him up to my chest.

To both Dave and my surprise we discovered that we had our third boy. We both had been convinced that we were going to have a girl this time. Dave actually looked a bit disappointed when I said, "It's a boy", I think he wanted a girl much more than he'll ever admit to. Because we didn't think we were going to have another boy, a name hadn't been decided upon. His name just came to me. I looked up at Dave and said the name as a question to him and he said yes, so our baby had a name.

I had Dave call for the boys and even before the placenta was born our older boys were home, discovering their new baby brother. They both were doing a
dance when they found out the baby was indeed a boy. DS #2 started singing, "I knew it, I knew it"

Placenta was born, I was stitched and then got back for the 6th time into the shower that day. Sooner than we knew it, it was just Dave and I snuggled into our own bed with this new little person that we had known and loved those prior 9 months and that we had fallen in love with the moment he was born.

This birth proved to be a lot more challenging that I had expected but it
also has proven to be so much more rewarding than I ever thought possible.
Both Dave and I are a bit saddened that it took us 3 pregnancies, 3 births, 3
children to realize how wonderful the whole experience of pregnancy and birth can be. Dave now says that he wants to have anther baby. That he can't see Man cub #3 being our last child. Amazing what homebirth can do!! It has broadened our horizons in so many ways and brought us closer together, stronger as husband and wife. I fully expected Dave to retreat into the background once Genny and the MW's showed up yet he was my rock throughout the entire birth. I don't think I will ever be able to tell him just how much it meant to me that he was there every step of the way and never once faltering in his support of me.
post #45 of 166

Macey Maureen’s Birth Story - A VBAC BREECH HOMEBIRTH

Macey Maureen’s Birth Story - A VBAC BREECH HOMEBIRTH
On Sunday night I got a call from my Midwife saying that she wasn’t comfortable going past Wednesday the 15th. Well, Brian and I DTD that night. I started early labor with my water breaking sometime between 3:00-4:00 Monday am. I continued early labor throughout the day. Brian called all the important people. My mom arrived early. I sent her home. I went for a walk and continued through the day. I took a nap as suggested by my Midwives. My mother and mother in law came that afternoon. My contractions stayed at about 10 min apart and lasting about 30 sec. I slept a bit. My contractions varied from 7-5 min apart and 30-45 sec long. About 2 contractions per hour were very strong. I got up and stayed up at about 4:30 am Tuesday. I called the midwives again at 6:00 am. One showed up at about 6:30 am. She checked my dilation at around 7 am. I was 4 cm dilated. We ate some toast. I usually have a piece with peanut butter but didn’t think I could manage it. I ate two pieces and drank a bunch of water. Then I had a strong contraction and got immediately nauseated. I said, “I feel like I am going to throw up.” The midwife said in a matter of fact way, “Why don’t you go in the bathroom and do that.” She recommended an hour walk. We left around 8 am for about an hour. I was pretty spacey at this point but I managed to walk through all of my contractions. At about the same time labor started I caught a cold, so I didn’t know if I was spacey because of the cold and I was really tired or if it was from labor. I sat down on a chair in the kitchen. I really wasn’t paying any attention to how frequently my contractions were coming but they never seemed very close. The main midwife showed up around 9a. They finished setting things up. I got in the pool at about 11a. I started to feel some pushing urges around 11:30a. They recommended checking dilation and only found a small lip of my cervix left. Since I was not fully dilated yet, I lay on the bed to ride out some contractions. With a breech, it is very important to wait until fully dilated or longer. I had the urge to poop, so the midwife gave me to go ahead to poop and push on the toliet. I was amazed at how different pushing feels from normal contractions. It felt good until Macey’s bum started coming out. It was now about 12 pm. I came back into the bedroom. The midwives suggested anyone who wanted to be at the birth come in the room at about 12:15. I only had Brian and Elliott come in. I labored on my knees for a while. I sat on the birth stool for the rest of the labor, which was very painful at this point. I could feel her bum coming. It seemed slow then but in retrospect I know I could have taken it a lot slower. Once her bum came out the rest came too in ONE push!. The midwives were very surprised. They were ready to time presentation of legs and umbilicus. You only have 5 min from time the umbilicus is out until you have to get the head out. It was the fastest breech this midwife ever had. The cord was wrapped around her neck 2 times. Maybe that’s why she didn’t want to turn. Her apgars were 10/10. She was born at 12:40 pm. I laid with her on the bed and nursed her. Her feet sprung up to her mouth because this was how she positioned in the womb. I birthed the placenta after about 10 min. The midwife checked for tear. They left us alone for a short time. The midwives came back in to with consult me about the tear. It was a second degree tear but close to a third degree tear. Basically, they recommended a trip to the hospital and I agreed. Macey and I washed off in the birthing pool. They weighed her on Brian’s mail scale because the midwives forgot their scale. She weighed 7lb 14oz and measured 23 in but she was bent up so we don’t know how accurate the length is. Macey stayed home with Brian because if you take the baby to the hospital they will admit the baby and probably not let you leave. I had many stitches. The doctor was very humorous. He recommended a spinal, which I declined. Had I wanted to stay at the hospital I would have taken it because the local alone was quite painful. We finally got home around 5:30 – 6 pm. Traffic was very bad coming home. I ate some dinner and went to bed with my new baby and Brian put Elliott to sleep.
post #46 of 166

VBAC Zach!

Sunday, March 5, we spent the day at home and I was feeling very strange—very quiet and kind of sad. I couldn’t put my finger on anything particular that was making me feel sad, and I cried inexplicably a few times. We went to my mom’s that evening to watch the Oscars and knew we’d be there late and had decided to just spend the night. I went to bed around midnight. I woke up at about 3 a.m. while turning over and realized I was really, really uncomfortable—I was trying to turn over during a big contraction. Chris was already up because of heartburn so we lay there for a while and timed them. They were about 3-4 minutes apart and lasting around a minute or so. We timed them for about 45 minutes. I decided to get up and see if walking around did anything for them. Chris stayed in bed. I did some laundry and watched some TV. They petered out. I would have one every once in a while—7 minutes, 15 minutes, 10 minutes—and sometimes they felt more like gas pains. Not really any contracting of the uterus. I decided I should try and go back to sleep if I could so I went back to bed with Chris. I had two contractions in about 10 minutes while lying down and they really sucked! It was terrible laying down, so I just got right back up. I folded laundry and watched some more trashy TV.

My mom got up around 6 or so and I gave her the update. I kept feeling like I had to poop but nothing would happen when I tried. Finally I took a huge poop and it felt fabulous! I told my mom that I would really be mad if things died and everything I’d been feeling was all just for that poop. She fixed me breakfast—oatmeal, cinnamon toast, and an orange. I got up to put my dishes in the sink and had a monster contraction. I had to get on all fours on the floor. Not long after that, Quinn and Chris woke up. Mom went to work and we got all our stuff packed up to go home. I was still having interesting contractions this whole time and was really ready to get home.

We had two vehicles there, thinking that Chris would be going straight to work from my mom’s house. So, I had to drive the car home. I had 2 contractions on the highway and couldn’t flex my leg hard enough to put on the brakes. I just put on my flashers and slowed down and coasted in the shoulder during them. Chris was right behind me. Finally I had another one right at the north entrance to the state park and realized I shouldn’t be driving—especially on the hilly curves between there and our house. I turned right and went to the Chris’s office. Chris ran inside to tell them what was going on and that he wouldn’t be coming in that day. We left his truck there and he drove us the rest of the way home.

Called MH (doula who is also a midwife) once we got home (about 9:15) to let her know what was going on. She agreed, it sounded like very early labor. She also had a homebirth client who was in labor and further along than I. So, there was a chance that she’d have to miss out on us. AND, the backup doula’s kids had the chicken pox. But, there were two other midwives and an apprentice who were available just in case and I tried not to worry about it. MH told me to walk, stay hydrated, eat if I wanted to, and call her back around noon if I didn’t need her before then.

As soon as I got off the phone I went into the bathroom to pee. As I was sitting down I was saying to Chris, “It would really make me happy if I were to lose my mucous plug or have bloody show or something. Then I’d really know this was it.” Just then I dropped my plug! I wiped and just pulled it out. It landed on the side of the toilet bowl. I was so happy and I refused to flush for a long time! I just kept coming back to it and looking at it. We decided to go for a walk around the horse campgrounds. The contractions didn’t do much on the walk. They petered out almost completely. When we got home I decided to try and take a nap. I lay down at 10:30 and slept nicely. A decent contraction woke me up at 12:15. I got up and called MH back for an update and had a few contractions about 5 minutes apart. I brewed some strong RRL tea and started drinking that. All afternoon we just kind of puttered around the house and hung out. Chris cleaned, I got our stuff together for the hospital. Chris drove Quinn down for a nap around 3. While they were napping upstairs, I sat in the living room on the birth ball and read Prodigal Summer. It was so relaxing and lovely to have quiet time to myself. During contractions I would stand up, moan, sway, swing my hips, bend my knees up and down, move my head from side to side, or many different combinations of any and all of these. Sitting down really wasn’t all that comfortable and contractions slowed down or stopped when I did. So, I spent a lot of time just walking around the house.

Quinn was so good all day. He was just very sweet and cute and well-behaved. Thank goodness!

I called MH back around 5:30 for an update. She said that her client had her baby a few hours earlier (joy and relief!) and that she would finish up there, stop for a sandwich, then come out to us. My mom came over after work, around 5:45 or so. She wanted to stick around and see what MH had to say when she arrived. My mom just played with Quinn and read books. But, at one point she started crying. When I asked her what was wrong, she said, “I’m scared. You’re my baby and I just can’t lose another baby.” (My sister died in November). I had to reassure her that all was well, everything was normal, I felt good, it was all going to be all right, blah blah blah. I realized that was so NOT what I needed right then. So, I went upstairs and asked Chris to put Quinn’s car seat in Grandma’s car to they could leave. I stayed upstairs while they got things packed up. I wanted to be by myself for a while. This whole time contractions were coming regularly and I was rocking, moaning, swaying through them. Quinn and my mom came up to say goodbye and I was quite relieved to see them go. They left around 6:30.

After they left, I sat in the living room on the birth ball and felt myself going inward. Up until now I was being very friendly in between contractions and laughing, joking around. I was done with that and ready to get down to business. MH arrived at 7:10 and listened to Baby’s heart rate. Baby sounded good—in the 150s. She asked if I wanted her to check my cervix and I agreed. She checked me around 8pm and I was 4 ½ cms. I was happy with that. She suggested Chris and I go for a walk to try and get contractions even stronger and closer together.

Chris and I got bundled up and went outside to walk. It was a cold, slightly windy, and overcast night, but things were quiet and calm. We walked down the driveway to the road and took a left—the opposite way than we always walk—just for a change of scenery. As soon as we started walking, my contractions got much stronger and a lot closer together. They were about 1 or 2 minutes apart and lasting about 1 minute. I would have to grab onto Chris’s coat and kind of squat down a little bit during them. In between I was joking and talking. It was so lovely to be alone with Chris and we were kind of giddy and excited, knowing we were going to have a baby soon. We got about half way to the rental cabin down the road and I decided I wanted to start heading back. We got half way up the driveway and I decided it was time to head to the hospital. Things were still very manageable, but getting a lot stronger. I wanted to go in before things got out of control and I would be terribly uncomfortable during the long car ride. We had counted contractions on the walk and I’d had 13 total.

Came back inside and MH called Dr. L’s service. He called right back and Chris talked to him. He said he’d meet us at the hospital. Chris was loading things in the car and kept asking, “Do we have this? Do we have that?” Finally I said, “Honey, don’t worry, we’re very prepared.” MH left a little ahead of us so she could stop at her house quickly. We left our house around 9:20 pm. I had a seriously huge contraction on the front porch on the way out to the car, but once we got on the road they slowed down again—probably because I was sitting down. I sat in the back seat and we took some towels in case my water broke. I only had 2 or 3 contractions on the ride in and those were very mild. It was a very pleasant drive with hardly any traffic. While driving through campus we passed a guy on a bike. I told Chris I was very relieved that I didn’t have to ride a bike right at that moment and we got a kick out of picturing that.

We parked in the Emergency lot and made our way upstairs. As we got off the elevator at Labor & Delivery we were greeted by an attendant at the sign-in desk. We signed up for the “No Info” list, meaning that if anyone called or came in looking for us they would just be told that we weren’t there. That way, the only people who could drop in or call were the ones we told the room number or phone number to. We made our way back to L&D and Dr. L was waiting for us at the nurses’ station. We got our room and our nurse, Carrie, admitted us at 10:30. She strapped me to the external monitors and put the hep lock in, which I knew would happen, but nonetheless was extremely annoying. I had done a great job of drinking RRL tea and felt like I had to pee constantly. But, I kept trying to time sitting on the toilet when I knew I wouldn’t have a contraction. Unlike labor with Quinn, sitting on the toilet was incredibly uncomfortable. Dr. L came in and checked me at 10:50 and my cervix hadn’t changed since MH checked at home. I wasn’t terribly surprised, given the long car ride and the change in environment. Carrie brought in a birth ball, which I didn’t really use much. Standing seemed to make contractions come faster and stronger, and I really just needed to move during them—bending knees, swaying, moaning, etc.

With little warning, I began to feel incredibly light headed and then grabbed onto Chris, afraid I was going to pass out. They put me in the bed and took my blood pressure. It was 80/44—extremely low. They started IV fluids and the baby’s heart rate flattened out. In the mean time, contractions both spread out and weakened, which seems almost good since I was strangely weak. I dozed in between. My BP slowly rose to 101/60 and I got up to pee.

Dr. L came in around 2 and checked me and there was no change. He started talking about breaking my water and starting pitocin. I asked him for some time to discuss it with MH and Chris and to think about it. MH agreed that breaking my water may be just what I needed and that Dr. L was going to want to do something to get things moving. I asked Carrie to have Dr. L only break my water and see what that did and to wait on the pitocin. He came in at 2:12 and broke my water. It was painless when he broke it and there was a LOT of clear water. The plan then was for me to keep resting on my left side in between contractions.

I almost instantly had another contraction that hit me like a freight train. It was so unlike any others I’d had up until that point. It was unbelievably intense and so incredibly painful. I was flailing and crying. When it was over, MH encouraged me to take advantage of the break in between and to totally relax. But, another one hit almost immediately and I couldn’t get on top of it. We tried to change my position in the bed, but nothing was helping. I had another one or two and during the next one (at 2:25) I moaned,” EEEPIDUUUURAAAAL!” I knew I couldn’t go on with contractions like this. Carrie was in the room and heard me and said, “Do you really want an epidural or are you kidding?” I told her I was most certainly NOT kidding. MH asked if they could check me before I decided on the epidural. She said she wasn’t trying to talk me out of it, but she was concerned that things had changed so drastically and so quickly that I may have dilated tremendously and that it would be too close to pushing for me to have the epidural. I told her that the thought of another internal exam made me want to throw up. Carrie and Dr. L were so very NOT gentle with their exams and these contractions were way to close together and painful. I knew there was no way I could NOT have a contraction during the exam. MH suggested that she give the exam and Carrie said that was fine, she’d just look away. I agreed. MH checked me and I had made no progress. Dr. D, the anesthesiologist, was right out in the hallway and came in right away. By a little after 3 I was feeling no pain. That epidural was the wisest thing I’d ever done. It was a very good one too. I could still feel the pressure of contractions and could move around in the bed but was totally comfortable. Now that I’ve had such a good epidural, I know what a terrible one I got with Quinn—it kept wearing off, I got hot spots, and I couldn’t move.

We all rested until 6:30 when Dr. L came back in to check me. I was now 6-7 cms, 90% effaced, and the baby had dropped to about 0 or +1 station. We called my mom to give her an update and I talked to her for a minute. She said, “Mandy, I remember how proud I was of you during your labor with Quinn. You are so good at this and so brave and so strong.” It really was touching to me and made me cry. I felt good, brave, and strong.

At some point in the night, the nurse came in to tell us that Christina had stopped in looking for us. They told her that I wasn’t there—like they were supposed to because of the No Info list. She had driven through the night from four hours away where she’d been on a business trip. We hadn’t asked her to come, she just felt like she should be there. I knew that she would be worried and call my mom, which would then get my mom concerned. So, Chris called my mom to let her know that we were on the No Info list. She was on the other line with Christina who was out in the parking lot and telling my mom, “I’m standing here looking at their car! I know they’re here!” We told my mom to tell Christina that we’d call her when there was a baby to kiss. Christina had nothing but good intentions by coming to the hospital, but it was so distracting to me to know that she had shown up. Chris wanted to go looking for her, but I told him we needed to just let it go and not worry about it.

At 7 a.m. our new nurse Brandee came on shift. She was so kind and cool and sweet and I liked her immediately. Chris had gone to get breakfast when she came in and introduced herself. When he came back I told him that we had a hot new nurse. She checked me around 9:25 and I was 7-8 cms and very stretchy. I also had a mild fever developing—101.4. She gave me Tylenol and antibiotics, which I tried to talk her out of because I’m so sensitive to them. She was having none of it though, for fear that I had an infection. MH said that most likely it was due to the epidural, that epidurals just sometimes cause fever.

Not long after that, Dr. L said he wanted to start me on pitocin because I’d been in labor for a while now and he was nervous about the fever. I reluctantly agreed but started crying. MH asked what I was afraid of and I told her that it was just one more intervention that I didn’t want to have. She told me that the best chance I had for VBAC was to get the baby out as soon as possible and she calmed me down a lot. By 9:50 pitocin was running.
My contractions were getting stronger and I could feel a tiny bit of pain with them through the epidural. But, compared to what I had felt after they broke my water, these were a cakewalk. Brandee kept asking me if I was feeling any rectal pressure or feeling the baby move down. I wasn’t. She kept reminding me to call her if I felt either of those because it would mean I was ready to push.

MH napped on the couch for a while so she’d be fresh for me when I was ready to push. Chris sat next to my bed and we just and chatted and rested.
A little before noon I realized I was feeling the baby move down during contractions. I told Chris and decided to just wait for Brandee to come in on her own instead of calling her in. I wanted to give it some time and see what happened. I was laying on my right side and pulled my top leg up to open my pelvis during contractions. A little after noon, Brandee comes in and I let her know what I’m feeling.

Around 12:30 Dr. L comes in and checks me. I’m completely dilated and baby’s head is at +1. Brandee sets me and the bed up to push. I start pushing around 12:40. I’m fairly reclined with my calves in stirrups. MH reminds me that we can try other positions, but this seems fine for now. Brandee and MH keep saying I’m doing a great job with pushing, but I don’t believe them. I say, “you girls say that to everyone.” But they insist that they don’t. Brandee says it usually takes about ½ hour to teach someone how to push before they start getting effective. I just couldn’t believe how easy and almost pleasant pushing felt. Very soon they can see the head. Chris is ecstatic because he says he’s seeing more of this baby’s head than he ever saw of Quinn’s. They bring the mirror over for me to watch. It’s a little alarming to see myself that way, but I look periodically because I know when it’s all over I will have wanted to have seen it. At some point Dr. L comes in and they tell him I’m doing great. He sees how effectively I’m pushing and decides to get all suited up. In between contractions I’m totally relaxed, breathing deeply, and resting nicely. We all joke around. Dr. L puts the receiving blanket on my belly and I just can’t believe that I’m actually going to push this baby out. MH keeps telling me to pay attention and remember what’s going on and reminding me that I’m actually doing it—I’m going to get my VBAC. I still don’t believe it. Then, Dr. L says, “We’re past the point of no return” and I’m still in total denial. I never said anything out loud about it, but internally I’m just in total disbelief. Crowning is slow and gorgeous (MH’s words from her notes) and I bring his huge (37 cm) head out with only a medium 1st degree laceration. Dr. L says, “the baby will be out with the next contraction” and I push with all my might. Ok, not that contraction, but the next one. He tells me to stop pushing and he guides the baby’s body out slowly, then tells me to give a small push. I’ve pushed for only 55 minutes.

Next thing I know, the baby’s on my chest and everyone is rubbing on him, trying to get him to cry harder. He’s kind of moaning. Chris yells, “It’s a boy!” and we all laugh. I’m just so amazed and shocked and automatically in love with this gorgeous little creature who’s looking right up at me. I laugh and laugh and cry and Chris and I start talking to him, “Hi Zachary! You’re so beautiful!” I hold him for a long long time and can’t believe how delicious he smells. I tell MH, “I thought he’d be kind of stinky” and she says, “of course not, you’re sweet inside!” I just hold him and stare at him and tell the nurse, “not yet” when she wants to take him away to weigh him. He’s crying and looking right up at me. I kiss his sweet little hands and just tell him how gorgeous he is. I keep telling him, “we did it, Dude! We did it!”

Zachary Caesar
March 7, 2006
1:34 pm
8 lbs, 14 oz
22 inches
post #47 of 166
Evan Michael’s Birth Story

I am going to begin this story sharing how I found out I was pregnant with DS Evan. In mid-July when DS John was 10.5 months, I started to experience some pain on my side when I lifted him. Early on in his pregnancy they discovered what they believed to be an endometrioma. I was followed by u/s and we did watchful waiting. The plan was to deal with it after I delivered him. Being a new Mom was quite overwhelming so I put off dealing with the cyst since it was not giving me any problems. After I started to experience this side pain in July I made an appt. with my Ob. We were planning on trying for baby#2 when John turned 1 so I wanted to get this taken care of. When the doctor came in to the examining room, I started to explain what was happening. I remember telling him that the pain reminded me of the round ligament pain I had with DS John in my second trimester. The first thing he did was touch by belly. He commented that my uterus seemed very high. He thought maybe it hadn’t fully come down since the c-section but then asked me if I could be pregnant. I told him it was impossible as DH and I had not been intimate for many months. He asked how long it had been and I told him likely February or March. He then turned to the nurse and asked her to get the Doppler. I asked why he wanted the Doppler and he said that he just wanted to check something out. The nurse returned with the Doppler, placed it on my belly and immediately I heard the sound of galloping horses. I looked at him incredulously and asked him what the sound was. I will never forget his response: “It is either a baby or you have a very large tumor with a heartbeat”. I literally almost fell off the examining table. He estimated me to be about 18 weeks and scheduled an u/s for the next day. I remember before I left I told him that I was not going to tell my husband until the u/s confirmed the pregnancy. I was still in a state of shock and disbelief. I picked up a hpt when I arrived home and the line was unmistakable. We had the u/s the next day which confirmed that I was in fact 18.5 weeks pregnant.

The pregnancy progressed uneventfully. I had spoken with my doctor and he seemed on board with my VBAC plans. At my 28-week appointment, my doctor called me into his office. He told me that after reviewing my operative report from my c-section, he did not believe I was a candidate. I asked him what about the report made him reach that conclusion. He said the fact that I had developed a fever, that I had pushed for so long, and all of the molding on the baby’s head. He said that my pelvis was too small and since second baby’s are generally bigger I would not be successful. He also threw around the following: “if you were my wife..., dead baby....uterine rupture...hysterectomy....” The usual scare and bully tactics. I then asked him what if I refused to have a c/s and he said he could stop being by doctor but then quickly added that he would not do that to me. Seeing how upset I was getting he said that nothing was set in stone, it was still a possibility and we could discuss it at the next appointment. I smiled sweetly, agreed and walked out of his office never looking back. The next morning I was making calls to midwives and ob’s office setting up consults hoping to find a vbac friendly provider. I met with the doctor who I ultimately chose. She was amazing and had zero worries about a trial of labor. She basically knocked down every reason my former doctor had used to support my having an ERCS.

The remainder of my pregnancy was uneventful. I prepared a birth plan that my Dr. reviewed and approved but for 2 points. I would have to have CFM and an IV. She told me that it was hospital policy for VBAC labors. I told her so long as I could remain mobile I would do the CFM. The hospital had telemetry units so she said it would not be a problem. The only other thing we butted heads on was my being overdue. She wanted to induce at 41 weeks when I wanted to be allowed to go to 42 so long as baby and I were doing well. It ended up not being an issue. On December 11, 2003 (due date the 20th) I went in for my weekly. I was dilated 3cm. and 80% effaced. The doctor who saw me that day performed what she called a “vigorous internal”. I began contracting that evening on and off. The following day I continued to contract but they never got closer together than 20 minutes. That evening I hosted a girl’s night at my house and it was a welcomed distraction. The next morning I had a bloody show and was experiencing a ton of pelvic pressure. I called my doula and she told me to get of the house and walk. Being winter in New England, I met my parents and sister at a nearby mall. DH was on a 24-hr. shift on the ambulance. As the day wore on I continue to have contractions off and on but it was the pelvic pressure that really bothered me. I called my dr.s office and they told me to wait until the contractions were coming every 5 minutes for an hour. I called DH and told him to come home because I really thought this was it. I went to bed around 9:30 and woke at 11:00 with contractions coming every 10 minutes. I labored on the toilet because it was where I felt most comfortable. At around 2:30am, I called the doctor and my doula and arranged to meet them at the hospital as my contractions were now 4 minutes apart. We arrived there at 4am and they admitted me directly to a room when they found out I had been 3cm the previous Thursday. An exam revealed that I was now 4cm., completely effaced with a bulging bag of water. The doctor on call happened to be the same doctor who did my internal that Thursday. She reviewed my birth plan and told me that I did not have to have CFM or an IV. She said to go ahead and do what felt comfortable and that they would do a monitor check in about an hour for 15 minutes. I could not believe it! She said once I was around 8cm she would require CFM and I was completely fine with that. My husband, Doula and I headed into the bathroom and I got back on the toilet. No one bothered us for almost an hour. The lights were dim, the space warm and cozy and I labored in peace.

Eventually the nurse came in and told us that she wanted to do a 15-minute monitor check. I wanted to have it done sitting up but for some reason she said I had to lie in bed. I wish I had been stronger and said no because in those 15 minutes my baby turned posterior. After the check was complete, we headed back into the bathroom. It was not long before I started to feel all the pain in my back and all the memories from my first birth came rushing back. We moved out into the room and I got on my hands and knees to try to encourage our baby to flip back. The pain was getting more intense and I was getting more frightened and less secure that I could handle this. Katherine started to do the hip squeeze and it provided some relief but her poor hands started bothering her. Scott took over but he was just not as effective at doing it. I then moved onto the birth ball at the end of the bed and by this time, the pain was agonizing. I was done. I wanted an epidural. I kept begging and begging saying, “I cannot do this.” Poor DH. He knew absolutely that I would regret having the epidural especially if it stalled labor and I ended up with a repeat c-section. He and Katherine worked so well together encouraging me to get through one more contraction. The nurse came in and I told her I had enough. I remember looking up at Scott saying weepily “Do you think I am at 5 yet?”. All the books I read said if you could hold off on the epidural until 5cm, it should not stall labor. The nurse checked me and I was 8cm!! She called the Doctor in who also checked and confirmed that the baby was, in fact, posterior. This is the most amazing part. Dr. Hernandez looked me straight in the eye and said, “Look. You came in here with a plan for an unmedicated birth. I want to help you get that. The anesthesiologist is on his way but in the meantime, lets try something.” She broke my bag of water and then had me stand up, put my arms around Scott and away back and forth, almost like we were slow dancing. She hoped this would encourage the baby to turn. She left the room to check on another patient and I do not think five minutes passed before I felt the most incredible urge to push. It was the most amazing feeling. I never had the urge with my other labor because the epidural was turned up so high. I lay down on the bed and the nurse was screaming at me not to push and she ran out of the room to find my doctor. I find it comical looking back on it because there was no way I could stop myself from pushing, the urge was just too great. Besides, Scott was a paramedic and I was confident that he could deliver our baby if need be. Soon the nurse and Dr. Hernandez were back. She checked me. I was complete! Let the pushing begin! It was incredibly hard work but I loved the feeling. The only time it hurt was when I crowned and boy did it burn. I lost control then and ended up with a 2nd degree tear but it healed beautifully. My gorgeous baby boy entered this world with a lusty cry at 7:55am, 45 minutes after I started pushing.

Welcome to the world Evan Michael Stacey!

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I have to say how validated I felt after Evan's birth in light of the fact I had been told by my previous doctor that my pelvis was just too small to birth a baby vaginally. The cutest thing happened after they moved me onto the postpartum floor. Because I changed doctors so late, the hospital paper work still had the name of my ex-doctor and when we got to the room, his name was written on the dry-erase board at the entrance to the room. I asked DH if he had seen it and he said yes and that he would be right back. He grabbed a paper towel and went over to the board and erased his name! I loved that he did that.

My advice to all you wonderful women is to have faith in yourself and your body's ability to birth your baby and surround yourself with people who share that faith with you and in you! Blessings,
post #48 of 166
Here's my VBAC with twins success story...

I researched all of my options when I got pregnant, and began researching even more when I found out it was twins. I worked with a midwife practice that was supportive and a backup OB who is a midwife in a male OB's clothing, I think ;-)

I called the midwife when my contractions were about 5 minutes apart and regular. She said that we had a problem since the only hospital in the area that was VBAC-friendly for midwives had banned twin VBAC's with a midwife two days before. The decision was made DURING another woman's labor. So we went to plan B and went to the bigger hospital (which had banned midwife VBACs during my pregnancy) and signed me in under the OB's name. I saw him during the "catching" process only, so it was a farce, pretty much. What a hassle. The next week, all of the hospitals in the area banned midwife VBAC's, so I was in right under the wire. I am working with the midwives now to go on the offensive and fight this.

Anyway...I labored for about 28 hours and delivered two full-term twins. My little boy was born first over an intact perineum and was 6 pounds 9 ounces. My baby girl was born 41 minutes later and was 6 pounds 4 ounces. She was vertex until her brother came out, then she flipped breech. The OB tried to do a cephalic version, and it wouldn't work, so he just did a podalic version and we had a double footling breech delivery. Two pushes and a tiny little tear was all it took. He said 2nd degree, but I never felt any discomfort from it, even afterwards, and my midwife said it was not a 2nd degree at all and was very minor.

I had a few more interventions than I would have liked ideally, but the end result was perfect. Because we were "breaking the rules" anyway, and I didn't want to do anything more to rock the boat and jeopardize my midwife's priveleges at the hospital, I agreed to EFM. We took the monitors off periodically so I could get up and move around, though. We weren't allowed to videotape, which still makes me angry even now. My midwife recommended AROM because my son's bag of waters was bulging out of cervix so much that his head couldn't put any pressure on it. I dilated much more rapidly once she did it and the contractions were more productive.

I also, despite my resolve not to, decided to have an epidural at around 6 cm. I was dealing with a bout of winter asthma for the weeks leading up to my delivery, and my contractions were right on top of one another with only about 15 seconds in between and 2 or more peaks per contraction. I started to panic and I could not catch my breath, even using my inhaler. I was really freaking out and white knuckling the bedside, and I completely stopped dilating and progressing. My mindful birthing class techniques were not working because I couldn't focus on anything because I couldn't breathe. The MW suggested it so that I could calm down and rest and let my body do its job. I was bawling and totally opposed to this, remembering my first (literally) paralyzing experience with my son and the horrendous epidural I got during his delivery, but I agreed to talk to the anesthesiologist. I explained my fears and my first experience, and she explained that they probably screwed it up the first time and gave me a spinal instead of an epidural. After she described a spinal, I agreed that's exactly what it was like. She recommended a very low dose, starting out really slow. I tearfully agreed because at this point I had not dilated any more for 3 hours and I was so short of breath. The epidural really was what I needed to relax my body and my airways. I could move everything and feel the contractions, but the intensity was lessened enough that I could breathe smoothly and regain my focus. I dilated 2 more cm within 15 minutes of the epi kicking in. We let it wear off some before the pushing stage. I pushed for two hours without much progress, and it wasn't until a loud pop that was my tailbone breaking happened that he descended. Two pushes after the broken bone and he was out. Apparently it was in the way and he wanted it moved, LOL.

So, even though the entire experience wasn't how I pictured it, the end result is that I had my VBAC and I have two healthy, fat, perfect babies to show for it. We all left the hospital the next day (everyone except my ped and midwife were all freaked out about it), which is unheard of here with twins. Oh well, we were all fine and I wanted to be home where I was comfortable. There was no place for my husband to stay and sleep, so I had to deal with getting in and out of the high hospital bed all night by myself (with a broken tailbone) to take care of the twins and myself if I wanted rooming in. Ridiculous.

Now, to start planning my next VBAC (maybe HBAC, since the current environment at the hospitals is so unfriendly), which will hopefully go better. I plan to insist on being allowed to videotape, and I hope that I am healthy and strong going into delivery and can truly go intervention-free next time.

Thanks for "listening"...

post #49 of 166

My HBAC in Buenos Aires

Here it goes my story. English is not my native tonge, so sorry for strange grammar or use of English mistakes.

I was at home that night of November fixing supper and chatting with a friend on the phone when I felt the need to go to the bathroom. I went and when I tried to sit in the toilet I felt as if someone would have beaten me. I had to stand up, heard a funny sound and felt some warm water. It was a leak. I t was 9:15. When I get to my room got another one of those “kicks”. I knew I was in labor although I had never felt it before since my first son was an emergency c-section... Apparently, and I said apparently cause I’m not sure now, I had a case of partial placenta abruption then.... I arrived to the hospital and they immediately took me to the OR. Five years ago, when Vicente was born I was seeing an ob gyn, and I was not at all educated about birth. This time I found a midwife who would assist my birth supported by an ob-gyn she trusted.

So, I baked the broccoli pies, I put my son in his pajamas, I fed him and answered some phone calls. My husband went to the store to buy some supplies because we had not bought anything for the homebirth since I was only 37 weeks that day.

When I had had one hour and a half of regular contractions we called the midwife. She said to call Alejandra, the ob-gyn. So we did. We asked ice cream, we put music, we felt as if a party were about to begin. I was happy, pain was manageable, pain was an inspiration. Pain was not so painful after all! One hour later, Alejandra arrived home. In the meantime, my husband put our son to sleep, I took a bath and things started to get more dense. Pain started to feel like pain was supposed to feel.

When Alejandra got home I was naked in all fours passing a contraction. The cat was by my side as if he were expressing his solidarity. Alejandra asked if she could check me. I said yes, although the moment she put her hand there a contrax hit me and I almost kicked her in the mouth. Fortunately I didn’t hurt her. She said sorry, she said everything was so smooth down there, that I was a four or a five. I remember that I asked if I could have a break. No break, she said, this is a no return path. I got in the tub again, and I started to feel I needed darkness and silence. I asked my husband to come near me, to touch a specific point in my feet and to please shut up! I also asked him to turn off the bathroom lights and the music. Alejandra was in the living room reading a novel and taking some “mate”. I started to feel nauseous. Alejandra came to the bathroom and listened to the baby. Everything was right. I went out of the water. I was shaky, I was cold and I was hot. I wanted to vomit and to poo. But I didn’t vomit, nor pooed. She asked me if she could check me. I said NO. She said, so, shall we call the midwife and the ped? I said Do whatever you want. We were like that, kind of having a surrealistic arguing until I said OK, check me. She did it. I can said that was the worst moment of labor. Laying in bed to have her checking me was horrible. Anyway it was not so bad, because when she was finished, she said these marvelous words: you are complete. It was 1 am.

And now what?

I said I wanted another tub full of warm water. She said, “Look, we don’t want to space the contrax now, we want them strong” And I said: “I need a break. I want my tub” And I had my bath. She called the midwife, I heard her on the phone saying, “Come now, she’s complete, but don’t kill yourself, baby is still high” When I heard the bell ring I freaked. I got so scared of having more people there, I was in a state so primitive. I told my husband: Tell them I don’t want to be disturbed. And so he did, he received the midwife with these words. Midwife laughed and stayed apart. Near 2 Am she passed by and I called her. She came into the bathroom, lights were still off and told me to try and push when I feel a contrax. I did it and it felt good, but I had no desire to push. I asked my husband to help me get out of the water, but I insisted: please tell them not to bother J I asked him the time. When he said two o’clock I remember that I was born at that time. I told him it was time to let this baby be born. I was so tired that the pushing seemed so hard.
I went to my room and I saw the red lights of an electrical stove they have installed there and a wooden birth chair my midwife had dropped there. I looked at those two things as if they were space blasters. I was not going to sit in that chair! I squatted, stand up, got on all fours, tried every possible position until I decided I wanted the ladies there. They came. I asked if I could push strong. They said yes. I told the midwife: baby is not going to fit. It’s no strechy enough. She said: It is. Baby can and will be born. I asked them to shut up (although nobody was talking!) Vicente was sleeping next door. I asked for strange things: I asked for water in a zippy cup, a bucket not to mess around my wooden floor with blood. I wanted to tell everyone where the towels I have prepared were but I couldn’t. I pushed strong and baby cried, I pushed again and baby was in my arms. The pedi came in (he was in the living room also), the lights were turned on. I was shaking. Babe was fine, I was fine. My husband jumped and clapped like a child. Simón was born at 2:45 am. In total, since the first contraction, labor was only 5.30 hours. I delivered the placenta, got two stiches and at 3:30 everybody had gone. Whilst my husband was saying goodbye, Vicente got up, came to my room and I showed him his baby brother. When he saw his father asked him to take him back to his room. He went back to sleep immediately. Raul (my husband) came back to bed and started to snore! I could not sleep. I wanted to tell the world I had done it. I have had the birth of my dreams.

Simón is one year and a half today, birthing him was so great that some times I look at him and think that I would like to birth him again.

During labor, only once I though about the c-section, It was in a moment that I was totally alienated by the pain and I thought that sections were not so bad, after all!

During the pregnancy I had many doubts, but every time I doubted my midwife was there telling me she trusted me and my body. At the beginning of the third trimester my placenta was low and I had some small bleeding. My father, who is a doctor, said that if he were my doctor he would have scheduled a section in week 36. Luckily he was not my doctor!
post #50 of 166
Here's the link to mine!

post #51 of 166
post #52 of 166

Triumphant Natural VBAC

Sorry if it's long but the end was all the more sweet after the beginning and middle...

Abigail’s Birth Story

My pregnancy with Abigail was much more stressful than my pregnancy with Lydia (my first, after perfect pregnancy ended up with scheduled c for footling breech). To start out we decided without any hesitation for a VBAC birth (Vaginal Birth After Cesarean). I was a perfect candidate since my cesarean was because of breech presentation and not failure to progress or CPD or anything like that. But there were inherent risks, though not much more than any normal delivery attempt in my view. The major one was uterine rupture at the incision site and at my first midwife appointment, I was told that because of this 1% risk, the hospital would want me to be monitored the whole time. I thought she said internal monitor, which left me in tears since I’d already been reading up on all this and I didn’t want a monitor attached to the baby’s head and not be able to move around or bathe or anything. I asked if I could decline and she said that it was my right but she didn’t recommend it because it made the doctor’s feel better (what about how I felt?). Anyway, after researching it even more and finding out that being internally monitored for more than 5 hours there was an increased risk of infection for baby and mother (with a VBAC they wanted me to come in at the very beginning of labor since the risk of rupture is the same throughout) I was willing to accept an external monitor for the whole time but not the internal. Turned out I wouldn’t be expected to wear an internal monitor, I misunderstood, whew!

We started a Hypnobirthing class with Marie Rossborough that used hypnosis techniques to achieve a deep state of relaxation to help with labor and birth. Mum knew some people from RISI that had used that with a VBAC with great success and I read about it on-line and it looked pretty neat. I thought it would be good to try, especially since Deborah, the woman who taught the yoga class I took while pregnant with Lydia, was gone. Rich seemed a little skeptical when I told him about it but was willing to give it a try since the first class was not binding; you signed up at the end if it seemed right for you. So we did.

Things went along well until our 20-week ultrasound. We had our first ultrasound where they looked at everything but they couldn’t see the heart well because the baby was moving so much or the placenta position and they thought it was a girl. We went for another one a few weeks later and they confirmed that it was a girl and the heart was fine but the placenta was previa. That would mean a scheduled c-section. 90-95% of previas found in the second trimester would be out of the way of the cervix by 40 weeks allowing for a normal delivery but I was still worried. They would check the location with another ultrasound at 32 weeks. They said there could be spotting and that a little bit would probably mean it was moving. Every time I went to the bathroom I worried and hoped for spotting. None came.

Meanwhile, at 28 weeks I had the glucose test and an iron test. I had low iron and they wanted me to take the 3-hour glucose tolerance test. It looked like I might have gestational diabetes! I took the test (blood drawn 3 times after drinking a glucose drink after fasting) and two of my blood sugar levels were elevated meaning that I had gestational diabetes which could hopefully be controlled with diet. I couldn’t believe it. I saw a dietician and got my blood monitor kit. I would have to check my glucose levels 3 times a day. If we didn’t control the diabetes, the baby could get too large requiring a c-section. Luckily the diet worked although when I started it I didn’t gain any weight for 6 weeks but the baby did continue to get bigger.

We interviewed a second doula (Sherry) the night I found out about the diabetes and a week or two before the 32-week ultrasound so we didn’t even know if we would need her. I cried and was very stressed but she was so nice and comforting and told me that she would be worried about me if I weren’t worried about all the stuff going on. I think I e-mailed her that we wanted to hire her if we found out that we could have a trial of labor and if she wouldn’t mind if I waited until after the ultrasound to confirm to which she replied “I would be happy to attend your birth and will await the good news about your ultrasound!”

Then it was time for the 32-week ultrasound. The placenta had moved out of the way. YAY!!!!!! I was so excited and went about getting ready for a normal delivery. Then around week 36 I had some spotting. I called the midwife and she said I should go in for an ultrasound to make sure everything was ok and that the spotting was just from the low placenta. So I went in not expecting much and they said that the placenta was still too close for a safe vaginal birth. And she was breech. WHAT????? I cried and cried while the technician got the doctor. It was beginning to seem as though each time I adjusted to one problem another would arise. Dr. McNanley explained that the placenta was only about 1 cm away from the cervix and a blood vessel was still attached so that when the cervix opened there could be major hemorrhaging. There was still time for it to move and they would check again at 38 weeks. There was also still time for her to flip and there were lots of exercises I could start doing to help her.

The next day I had an appointment with Helene and she did not think the baby felt breech. She had another midwife come in to feel the position and she also thought she felt vertex. So Helene told me to page her the next day because she would be on call at the hospital and she would call me when the triage room was clear and she would use the traveling ultrasound machine on me to see the position of the baby. She didn’t want me to start doing exercises to flip her if she had already flipped. We might flip her back to breech. I waited for the call, rushed to the hospital, illegally parked and ran up to triage where I had a stealth ultrasound and we found out that she was back in head down position. Now we just had to keep her there. I started telling her “Head down is the easy way out.”

In the meantime I went to have a special session with Marie, my hypnobirthing teacher because there was one day I just couldn’t stop crying and I was starting to feel my fear of another c-section was overwhelming everything else. The session helped immensely, so much so that I wasn’t even worried about the result of the next ultrasound.

Even though I wasn’t worried I was so happy when the doc said that the placenta had moved far enough to go ahead with the VBAC and that if there was any massive hemorrhaging, an emergency c-section could be done. Phew! 40 weeks came and went. Apparently if you have gestational diabetes and go to 40 weeks, they like to induce you, but if you are attempting a VBAC you should avoid induction because it increases the risk of rupture so they agreed to let me go beyond my estimated due date with careful monitoring. So I started going for non-stress tests and ultrasounds to check the baby’s condition and the levels of amniotic fluid. I had been having light contractions and had even gone into the hospital one night with what I thought might be heavy bleeding, but after a week past and then ten days, I gave up and resigned myself to being pregnant forever. It was Monday, November 14th and contractions had been light but regular on Sunday and I thought they’d pick up on Monday. They seemed to get stronger but less regular. That night, Rich went to bed and I was reading stories to Lydia and snuggling her to sleep. She was almost asleep when I heard or felt a pop and a lot of wet warmth like I had wet my pants or what the sometimes-large gushes of blood I had been having felt like. Since I was wearing these huge pads for the bleeding, Lydia’s bed didn’t get wet but I woke her as I tried to quietly but quickly get out of her bed. It was kind of hard when I was so huge! I got to the bathroom with gushes still coming, Lydia crying and I was calling for Rich to tell him I think my water broke. Lydia wouldn’t go back to sleep without me so I had Rich bring me another pad and I sat with her and held her hand until she fell asleep.

I came downstairs to find Rich in bed. I told him we had to go to the hospital now and he said “Are you sure? You’ve cried wolf before.” Instead of telling him he was no longer welcome at the birth of his daughter, which I was tempted to do, I told him I was sure with a dirty look. We were 10 days overdue! How long did he think this could go on! We got all the stuff together; I called Mum, Sherry (the doula, we decided she should get a few hours sleep and we’d call her from the hospital later) and the midwives. It was about 9:45 when my water broke and I think we got to the hospital between 10:30 and 11p.m. The contractions were definitely stronger than they had been but not horrible and they were about 5 minutes apart. We got to the hospital and it was a little hard walking in, I’d have to stop for contractions. We checked in and every time there was a contraction, more water came out, which I didn’t know would happen. I thought once it broke, that was it. We got in our room around midnight or 1 a.m. I think. Rivka wanted to wait in the waiting room the whole time. I had decided I didn’t want anyone except Rich, the midwife, the doula and the nurse there but she wanted to be at the hospital anyway. We had forgotten a few things like the tape machine, the Milano cookies for the one-day birthday (that’s what we did for Lydia’s one-day birthday) and the camera and the phone charger. She was going to come at 1 a.m. so I called her as soon as we got in the room to bring all the stuff we forgot.

We were in the same room we had been in the previous week when we came in when I was worried about bleeding. Rich put my pictures of Lydia and the rose she gave me up but we forgot to put the Hypnobirthing sign that Marie had given us on the door. The contractions remained about 5 minutes apart and Rich held my hand and talked me through them. I was only 3 cm and the midwife asked me if I wanted anything to help me sleep and I said no. Around 3 a.m. they started to get harder, I felt them in my lower back. They felt just like my period cramps, which at times in my life had seemed unbearable but at least it was a familiar sensation. I asked Rich to call Sherry and ask her to come in. I think I had started to get a little nervous but as soon as Sherry got there, I felt much better. Rich tried to sleep for a little bit. Sherry knew all the right things to say and knew exactly how to make my back feel bearable through contractions. Her hands were like magic and were so strong and supportive.

We took a little walk but I felt more comfortable in the room. It seemed like I had to stop walking every few steps for a contraction. The midwife wanted to give me some IV fluids to make sure I didn’t get dehydrated. I asked Sherry what she thought and she said it would help me to keep up my strength so I said ok. I was sure to drink lots of water after that. Sherry showed Rich where and how to apply pressure during contractions. I got the shivers a lot, which the nurses said was normal but they’d often go away if I put a blanket on or if Sherry helped me to relax. I felt like I had to be touching someone and having someone talk to me through contractions so Rich or Sherry would use the hypnobirthing affirmations.

Between contractions I would just close my eyes and relax. I can’t even say what I’d think about. I barely felt conscious, just deeply relaxed. I wasn’t actively thinking through my hypnobirthing exercises but it must have been working on a subconscious level (all those times I fell asleep to the Rainbow Relaxation tape maybe). I hadn’t slept since the previous morning but I felt ok since I was able to rest between each contraction. While Rich slept we tried a warm bath with hopes of a Jacuzzi but it was broken. I let them bring in the repairman while I was in the tub covered with a sheet and it worked for a while but while he was fixing stuff the power seemed to go out on the machines in the room. They said it was just a surge or something but Sherry didn’t like it and got us another room across the hall. It was bigger with a window so we were okay with that. Riv came in at some point when we were moving everything I think. Rich noticed that a Hypnobirthing sign was on the door. And we had forgotten to put ours up. Our nurse, Diana, who had attended several hypnobirths before put it up and Rich told me later that she was very proactive about making sure people were quiet and left us alone. She did such a good job that I didn’t even notice!

I felt like my eyes were closed the whole time and I never knew what time it was. Every time I heard someone mention the time I never tried to figure out how long we’d been at it; I just thought of something I read in the book Birthing From Within – “Labor has its own clock.” I remember Rich and Sherry switching off to get breakfast and Riv brought Rich coffee or something. The midwives changed shifts at 7 a.m. so April Ricotta was our midwife. We had seen her when we came in the previous week. April said we were doing great and referred to labor as “the silent marathon.” Sherry told me to do sounding through the contractions if it helped. That was what we had practiced in the Prenatal Yoga class I had taken when I was pregnant with Lydia. But I didn’t use the sounding from that class; instead I used “wwwaaahhh,” which was something from a prenatal yoga tape Riv had given me when I was pregnant with Lydia. “Wwwaaaaaahhh” was supposed to help you release any fears or anxieties you were holding inside.

Sherry suggested several different positions like sitting on the toilet, rocking on the birthing ball while leaning over the bed on pillows and switching sides. I think when we arrived I was at 3 cm and fully effaced and the next time they checked I think I was at 4 cm and then 6 cm but I guess it was taking a long time. Someone suggested trying a bath again so I could relax for what was still to come. It worked wonders. I could almost fall asleep between contractions and they slowed to much farther apart. First Rich poured water over my shoulders and then Riv had stopped by again so she took over so he could take a break and then he came back. I know he was getting tired and probably sore from the repetition of it but I didn’t really care at that point since it was working so well. I could think of the visualizations Marie told us about since I was so calm. I thought of my uterine muscles as blue satin ribbons pulling up and open and I thought about how strange it is that that muscle knows just what to do when we otherwise never use it. I don’t know how long I was in the bath but I think it was a long time.

When I got out Sherry had me sit in the glider and she sat on the birthing ball and pushed on my knees, as I’d rock, applying counter-pressure to my back. Rich would talk to me when a contraction came on. I was so relaxed - almost zoned out - as I focused on the sound of the squeaking ball as Sherry rocked with me. After each contraction which felt easier than all the rest and shorter, she would say “that one was really off the charts” and I would just think that was strange because it didn’t feel very strong. Riv took over for Sherry at some point but I was hardly noticing who was doing what. After awhile they decided to check me again since it was starting to get late. I think it was around 5 pm or something and if I hadn’t dilated much more they were going to have to consider the next course of action when we reached the 24 hours after my water broke mark. Luckily I was nearly fully dilated, just a little bit on either side, which April said would open soon enough. I had been having greatly increased rectal pressure and the urge to push. They asked my to try to go to the bathroom and said I could push a bit on the toilet. I didn’t like staying on the toilet for too long because it made me lose feeling in my legs but we did it through a few contractions and I would hold on to Rich’s belt loops through contractions.

Since I couldn’t labor on my knees because of my knee surgeries, we decided having me lie on my side would be best. I went back to the bed and continued to push and rest in between. They still came at about 5 minutes apart. I kept thinking of another thing
I read in Birthing From Within – “Labor is hard work, it hurts and you can do it.” Riv had come back and April, Rich or Sherry or all of them asked me if she could stay and I said ok since I didn’t care (because I was hardly aware of who was there). Now during each contraction I felt like I was being shocked with an electric current and was no longer in control of my actions. I don’t think I’d call it screaming, but with each one I would vocalize fiercely like an animal cry or a war cry. Rich said it was too bad Lydia wasn’t there so she could hear me when I was really mad and Riv said I sounded like I was going to sack a small village. I was quite surprised myself but I felt I could not stop or suppress it so I just went with it. April kept telling me my body was doing just what it was supposed to. She asked Rich if he wanted to help deliver the baby and he said he thought I needed him up with me. I knew he wouldn’t want to do it but I thought Riv would so I asked her if she wanted to and she said yes so she got suited up in scrubs. We decided she could cut the cord too.

After every push they’d say she was almost here and she wasn’t going back in, which is apparently what happens sometimes. April asked me if I wanted to feel her head and I said I don’t know but she took my hand and placed it on a fuzzy squishy thing which I didn’t think was really her head. She asked if I wanted a mirror to see what was going on and I said NO because I was afraid if I saw I’d lose my nerve and wouldn’t be able to finish the job. The urges kept coming and in between I’d rest and Rich would sponge my forehead and give me a drink. The yelling made my mouth dry and my throat hurt.

I felt like I was at the head of a sacred birth circle with the baby at the center. It was me, then Rich to my left (later on my right when I switched sides), then Sherry, Riv, April and Diana. I didn’t look at anyone much but I remember looking at Riv once and she looked very worried. Rich did great though and never looked worried which was good since I saw him the most. After a bit, they had me hold my leg up between contractions as well as during. Sherry and Riv helped a lot with this and Riv and April kept putting warm compresses on me to help prevent tearing. I often felt like everyone else was doing more work than I was or maybe that they had a choice about it and how amazing it was that they chose to do it. I worried a little that they might be getting bored or tired but then figured there wasn’t much more I could do about that.

At some point during the pushing stage the phone rang (we asked for no calls to the room in our birth plan). Sherry answered it and we were all curious as to who could be calling. I heard Sherry sounding confused and trying to explain that it wasn’t a good time. She asked me if I wanted to talk to Carol (Acquilano) and I said “no.” We later found out that Carol thought we already had the baby (she knew we went in the night before and didn’t think we’d still be at it) and was horrified to find out we were still in labor and felt awful about calling. Whenever Abigail sees her we tell her Carol was her first phone call.

After awhile they had me switch sides to open up the pelvis more and because my one leg was hurting so I moved to my right side. It was then that the nurse could see that my bladder was really full and sort of blocking the baby. April asked me to try to pee but I couldn’t so she asked me if she could put a catheter in to relieve the pressure. She seemed unsure if one would even fit but I said yes because I was worried about it keeping the baby from getting through or my bladder rupturing. Luckily it worked and from there I think things went along faster. Contractions seemed closer. Sherry held my left leg up to widen the pelvis and soon we entered the ‘ring of fire.’ I think during one of those last pushes April wanted me to hold back to prevent tearing but Sherry said she didn’t think I could and I did get some 1st degree tears that didn’t look that bad. After the head was through and Riv was about to catch her, they had me stop because the cord was wrapped loosely around her neck. I think that hurt the most because it felt much too wide and things (shoulders and elbows I presume) jabbing into me everywhere. She got the cord off and the rest of the baby came out on the next push. They put her right up on my chest and she was so beautiful and just looked at me all new and surprised. I kept touching her cute little nose, which would startle her, but I couldn’t seem to help it.

Riv cut the cord after it stopped pulsing and April repaired the tears. She kept telling me that this or that might hurt a little and I thought “how could it after what just happened and I don’t care anyway because I am madly in love right now.” And I just held tiny baby and felt elated. Eventually she was ready to nurse and she latched on pretty quickly. Mum was there as soon as she was born. At some point Riv had run out and called them to come. She must have done it before the pushing started, which lasted, I was told afterwards, for two hours. Abigail was born at 7:23pm on Tuesday, November 15, 2005. I got to hold her a long time before they weighed her in at 8 lbs 13 oz (after her first meal) and measured her at 21 in. After she was cleaned up, Lydia was brought in to meet her baby sister, who had brought her presents, which Lydia was much more interested in at the time but she did hold Tiny Baby (what Lydia called her all through pregnancy) with Daddy and has since defined herself as “Tiny Baby’s big sister!”

There was never a time that I wanted drugs or thought I couldn’t do it. I was just so glad that we got to try and that she was finally coming. Rich commented afterward that we got almost everything that we wanted in our birth plan (except the phone call!). I think I would have felt much more nervous if Sherry wasn’t there and April was so reassuring at the end. Rich was also much braver than I thought he would be and I think having Sherry there helped him in that regard. We let Sherry take digital pictures but I’ve only seen a few and probably won’t look at the rest for a long time. There was one that she took right after Abigail was in my arms and Rich is looking down at her that expresses perfectly how we felt and I am very happy that we have a picture of that moment forever.
post #53 of 166
post #54 of 166

Acacia Lily's Birth Story

It's a long story, but it was a long labor!...

On Tuesday evening, April 11th, I was eight days “overdue”. I had an appointment with my midwife scheduled for Wednesday evening, at which point we’d be discussing making an appointment with our unofficial back-up doctor for a non-stress test on the following Monday, if the baby had still not come. I decided to attend my La Leche League meeting, rather than sit at home waiting for something to happen. On my way home, I thought about how “normal” I felt, and wondered if this baby would ever come. I went to bed at around 10pm.
I awoke at about 1am. “Was that a contraction?” I thought to myself. It certainly felt like one. No matter. It was the middle of the night and I certainly needed my sleep. Asher (my 2 year old) woke up at about 1:30 and asked to nurse. As I nursed him back to sleep, I felt my contractions getting stronger, although they were only about 15 minutes apart and maybe 30 seconds long. Nonetheless, I started to get excited about the prospect of this actually being “the real thing”. I tried to sleep on and off over the next couple of hours, but couldn’t get my brain to shut down. I was feeling hungry, so, at about 3:30, I decided that if I couldn’t sleep, I had better go downstairs and eat something. Two slices of peanut butter toast and a glass of orange juice later, my contractions had stopped. A little discouraged, I went back to bed and slept until morning.
On Wednesday, I went about my morning as usual. Every once in a while, I’d feel a contraction or two, but they were not regular at all. I had an appointment with my chiropractor at 11am. He was quite behind, so I didn’t end up seeing him until closer to noon. On my way home, at about 12:15pm, my contractions started up again. Asher was so tired from having waited at the chiropractor’s office for so long that he went down for his nap without eating any lunch. I sat down to a light lunch by myself and started timing contractions. They were about 10 minutes apart and averaged 45 seconds long for the next several hours. When Asher woke up at 2:45pm, I realized that I was going to have a hard time keeping up with him by myself. Thankfully, my husband, Chris, would be done with work in about 15 minutes. At exactly 3:01pm, I called his cell phone and told him to come home as soon as he could. He was a bit bewildered that I had waited to call him until after he was done with work, and that I had not yet called Ginnie, our midwife. He asked me to call her before he arrived home. He also reminded me to call my mom, as she would be caring for Asher for us during the birth. She was still at work, but would be able to leave at 3:30. I said that would be fine, and that she was free to go home and change before coming to get him. There was no rush.
I called Ginnie as soon as I had seated Asher at the table with his late lunch. I could not believe I was actually saying this, but I told her “I think this is it”. She asked me for some details, and then told me that it sounded like things were still pretty early. She would cancel our appointment for that evening, and call me in a couple hours, unless I called her first.
The next hours were a bit of a blur. I was quite excited, but still not completely convinced that this was real labor. My mom came to pick up Asher, and then I did my best to relax while also keeping up normal activity. Ginnie called at around 5pm, and asked for an update. Things were pretty much the same, so I doubted that she needed to come. Chris answered the phone, though, and told her that I was not sure whether or not this was really “it”, so maybe she should come so we would know for sure. She was already halfway to town anyway, so she decided to pay us a visit.
Ginnie arrived at our house somewhere between 5:30 and 6pm. My contractions slowed down quite a bit while she was there. We decided that she should check me, and I was only about 1cm dilated, but about 80% effaced. I felt embarrassed, but she was glad she had come. I had been “gearing up” to have a baby that night. I needed to start “gearing down”, because that was unlikely to happen. She instructed me to eat a good dinner, take a bubble bath, and get a good night’s sleep. We should leave Asher with my folks until it was just about his bedtime, so that he would be tired enough to go to sleep right away when he came home.
She also thought I should know that she did have another woman overdue at the same time as me. She did not say it to scare me, but only to prepare me for the possibility that Pam, her assistant, would not be with us. Since I was a VBAC, and this other woman was a grand-multipara (expecting her tenth baby), Ginnie would be with me if we went into labor at the same time.
During the night, contractions woke me up 2-3 times per hour, but I otherwise managed to sleep well. Thankfully, Asher slept well, too, and only woke up to nurse once or twice. It was now Thursday morning, and Chris took the day off of work to stay with me and help me take care of Asher. During the morning, they seemed to be forming a pattern again, and they were really starting to hurt. Then they slowed down for a while again. It was pretty much a start-stop pattern all day, and I was growing quite discouraged. I called Ginnie, and she suggested some fresh air and a walk, so we took Asher to the park. I labored on a park bench for about an hour while Chris chased him around the playground. As we walked home, I wondered how much longer I would have to wait. I told Chris that at least I had given this baby time to come on his or her own. Even if we ended up in the hospital with another c-section, I knew our baby was ready to be born.
I tried to go about my day as usual, but I wasn’t doing a very good job of it. Asher seemed disturbed by seeing mommy in labor, and responded by asking to nurse more often. Nursing was very uncomfortable for me, and I would often get a very strong contraction which necessitated me putting him down, which only upset him more. I called Ginnie again sometime early in the afternoon to ask for some advice as to how to cope with the pain. We came to the conclusion that even though Chris was home, having Asher around was making it difficult for me relax and surrender to my labor. My mom came to get him right after she was done with work at 3:30pm. Chris made me some whole-wheat toast, and I retired to bed to try to get some sleep and listen to the CD of labor music I had made for myself. Chris sat with me for about an hour and started timing contractions again (we hadn’t timed them all day long). They were about 10 minutes apart and a minute long.
Almost as soon as we were done with our hour of timing, contractions completely stopped. Ginnie called soon thereafter (around 5pm, I think). She said, “Maybe this is the Lord’s way of giving you some rest.” I was feeling quite discouraged, but decided to trust that this was true. “Okay,” I said, “That’s the way I will choose to take this.” She responded, “That’s the way you have to take this. Everything happens for a reason.” What she didn’t tell me at the time was that, as we spoke, she was on her way to this other woman’s house, whom had just gone into active labor. God was clearly at work, just at the point when I felt like He wasn’t answering my prayers. I was tired, and I was starting to worry that my labor would never progress and that I would end up in the hospital with another c-section. I decided to send out an email, asking my friends and family who supported my desire to have this baby at home to pray for me.
Sometime around 6pm, Chris decided that, since nothing was happening at the moment, that he would get out of the house for a bit and pick up something to eat. I really wasn’t hungry, but he definitely was! As he was leaving, I got into the bathtub again, and called my best friend in Indiana. She had tried calling earlier in the day, at a time when I was definitely not up for talking. She asked me how things were going, and I told her the whole story. I asked her to pray that I would have my baby very soon. We hung up, and I sunk back into the tub and managed to get myself into a very relaxed state. I soon started to have regular contractions again.
Chris came home at around 7:15pm. I was feeling a bit light-headed, so I asked him to come upstairs and help me out of the tub. Upon getting out of the tub, I immediately lunged for the toilet and vomited. I now knew I was “really” in labor, since I had vomited through my entire labor with Asher. Chris ran downstairs to put his dinner (still uneaten) in the refrigerator and ran back up to be with me. Ginnie called, and Chris answered the phone. “Well, she’s vomiting right now,” I heard him say. She then told him how this other women had gone into active labor right when mine had stopped, and that she had just given birth to her baby. She was sending Pam over to our house right away, and she would be coming herself as soon as she could. I was quite excited to be having regular contractions that seemed to be making progress. I slipped into a favorite nightgown, sat on my birth ball and leaned over the bathroom counter. Chris rubbed my back, and I sipped Gatorade between contractions. Now, THIS was really “it”!

Pam arrived at 8pm, and not a minute too soon. I was starting to feel like I needed some help. She was so good! She knew exactly how to help me breathe and relax through the contractions. I kept thinking, “if only my nurse at the hospital knew what she knows, I wouldn’t have needed the Nubaine”. Pam suggested that I go downstairs and eat something, since I hadn’t eaten much all day. We went downstairs and Chris opened a can of peaches (the only thing I could think of in my kitchen that wouldn’t just immediately bounce). My contractions were getting stronger, so I didn’t eat much before I felt like I needed to lie down again. Pam and Chris helped me upstairs, and Pam decided to check me so she could call Ginnie and give her an idea of where we were at. I was three centimeters and almost completely effaced. I was thrilled to be actually getting somewhere! Pam also checked the baby’s position and determined that she was starting to turn posterior (just as Asher had done during my labor with him), so she had me lay on my left side with my right leg crossed over, and she and Chris applied counter-pressure to my lower back. Eventually, she had me turn over to my right side, so that my cervix would dilate evenly.
It wasn’t long before I started feeling very sick again, and soon I was vomiting like crazy. The pain of the contractions was also starting to scare me. I was shaking, and feeling very hot. Fortunately, because I was home with people I trusted, I was able to vocalize and deal with my fear. Ginnie called to say that she was now able to leave her other mother and come to us. Pam told Ginnie that I was showing signs of transition. That was so good to hear! Could the end really be in sight? I sucked on ice chips between contractions to stay hydrated, and did my best to stay relaxed despite the shaking.
Ginnie arrived at around 2am. It was hard to believe that so much time had past. We were all quite exhausted from all this hard work. I was still very nauseous and vomiting frequently. I needed to empty my bladder, so everyone helped me get out of bed and walk to the bathroom…fortunately it’s just across the hallway! I felt very weak and light-headed upon getting up from the toilet, and started retching like crazy over the sink. Ginnie handed me some Pulsatilla to dissolve under my tongue, and then we headed back to bed.
We decided to do another vaginal exam at around 2:15am, because all other signs pointed toward pushing very soon. I was only 4.5 centimeters. My heart sank. It had taken my seven hours to dilate one and a half centimeters, and I didn’t know how much more I could take. Ginnie sent Pam and Chris downstairs to get some sleep. I didn’t want them to leave, but they were so tired from constantly rubbing my back. I lied down on my left side again, and did my best to take one contraction at a time.
My freezer was now completely out of ice, so we relied on an energy drink that Ginnie mixed with water. She had me take tiny sips to avoid nausea. As much as I didn’t like having Chris and Pam leave at first, Ginnie was very good at calming me down. I got very relaxed between contractions and even started to fall asleep. There was a loud and wonderful thunderstorm going on outside, which also helped me to relax. When I started to get scared again, she talked me through my fears. The pain from my back was now radiating down my thighs instead. This was a good thing, she told me. She kept saying, “You’re handling this perfectly.” “Perfectly?”, I thought, “I’m falling apart!” My thoughts started turning negative. Surely, I will never have another baby. I won’t do this ever again! During one particularly strong contraction, I started to panic. Ginnie very patiently talked me back down to a normal breathing pattern. When it was over I told her, “I don’t know how much longer I can do this.” She reassured me that I was doing great. I calmed down and relaxed through several more contractions.
At the end of the next contraction, I felt something different that sent me into a panic again. I didn’t realize that the feeling I felt was the urge to push! More specifically, my uterus was pushing without me having much to say about it. Fortunately, Ginnie knew exactly what was going on. She checked me again…just a tiny lip of cervix. She had me turn on my right side and called for Pam to wake Chris up. It was 3:15am. I had gone from 4.5cm to complete in only an hour! Another contraction came and my body pushed instinctively again. I thought, “Oh my word! I’m wetting the bed!” only to quickly realize that my water had broken. Where was Chris? I blurted out, “I’m scared!” again. No, Ginnie assured me, there was no need to be scared. Say, “Thank-you, Lord!” So I did, and it became my mantra throughout second stage.
Chris finally showed up after what seemed like forever (I’m sure it was only a minute or two) and joined me on the bed. He and Ginnie helped me into a semi-sit position and propped me up with pillows. I needed a little coaching on effective pushing…I had never done this before! Sure, I tried to push with Asher, but he was posterior and stuck, and I was lying flat on my back, so he didn’t budge. This baby was on the move, though! It felt so good to be pushing her out. After only a couple pushes, Pam and Ginnie said that I would be holding my baby very soon. I thought, “Gee, that’s really sweet, but statistically speaking, first time through takes a good hour or two, and it has only been a few minutes”. I came to the conclusion that my brain was in some sort of a time warp and it probably had, indeed, been closer to a couple hours since I started pushing.
Pam held up the mirror and showed me that my bag of waters was still partially intact and over my baby’s head. She was crowning! In just a few more contractions, she was out. I had only pushed for fifteen minutes! I didn’t tear, either…just a little “skid mark”. I couldn’t believe that I had really done it! She was tiny and beautiful, with eyes wide open looking at me. At first, I thought she was a boy because her cord was between her legs, but I was told I should look again. “It’s a girl!” I exclaimed. Ginnie placed her on my chest and she nursed almost immediately. It took her a minute or two to “pink up”, so we thought we might have to take her to the hospital, but we rubbed her body with warm blankets and soon she was bright pink and hollering at us! What a beautiful sound! When the cord stopped pulsating, Chris cut it.
Within minutes, Chris’s mom, who lives in the other half of our townhouse, came to our door. Apparently, she had gotten up in the middle of the night and heard everything through the bathroom wall! She was completely ecstatic and gushing praise at my midwives. My mother-in-law, who had all of her babies by c-section and who had been concerned about me wanting a VBAC, declared that we had converted her. (She now tells her nurse-friends at the hospital where she works [the same hospital where I had my section] about how her granddaughter was born at home.)
So, Acacia Lily came to us at 3:30am Good Friday morning, April 14, 2006. After an hour or so we weighed and measured her. She was 6lbs, 6oz, and 19.75 inches long. (She was between 7 and 21 days “late” depending upon which method of calculation you rely on. If I had gone in to the hospital for the obligatory repeat c-section on my due date, she would have been quite tiny indeed, and probably would have spent the first few days of her life outside the womb in the NICU.) Third stage was a completely uneventful half hour. I paid very little attention to anything but my baby and felt almost no pain. We examined the placenta and there was only a tiny spot of calcification. Part of my bag of waters was still intact and attached to the placenta…Pam had cut it away with a scissors to get it away from Acacia’s face as she came out. They told me that this was unusual and could be attributed to good diet. I felt proud of how well I had fed my little girl en utero.
I called my parents to let them know that they had a granddaughter (and to check on my little boy, who had never spent the night away from me before). Then, Ginnie asked Chris to lead a prayer of blessing over our new baby. It was such a wonderful moment for our family. Everyone helped to clean up and I changed my clothes. Then, with the sun slowly starting to rise, and the birds singing in the trees outside our window, we laid down to sleep with our beautiful baby girl between us.


post #55 of 166
It's long!

Thursday March 30, 2006 I walked Ian to school and then decided to walk to the grocery store and Starbuck's since Esteban kept telling me to walk. It's almost a mile there, so it was a good, long walk. I was also pushing Luisa in her stroller – I was so tired and sore by the time we got home! I was lucky too that it didn't start raining until just as we got to the house! After I got home, I sat down and checked my email and boards – I was having some “twinges”every so often that I finally concluded were contractions. The contractions continued sporadically the rest of the day – Esteban hoped I could sleep that night so I would be rested in case labor was close. Unfortunately, I didn't sleep much at all. The contractions continued all night every 20-30 minutes and hurt just enough to keep me awake. The next morning, we decided we should let our mom's know that it looked like labor was here and wasn't going away. After Esteban talked to them, he called C and let her know what was going on since she had to drive two hours to get to our house. It's a good thing he called when he did because she was just getting ready to go to another client's house who was two weeks past due to get her started with some herbal things to encourage her to go into labor. She said she'd be on the road within the hour. Not too long after he spoke to her, I noticed that the contractions had pretty much stopped! I was so mad – I had intentionally waited to call everyone until I was sure I was in labor and since I had been having contractions for 24 hours, I was sure it wasn't going to stop. I even took a warm bath in the middle of the night that hadn't stopped them. I asked Esteban to call C to let her know. She was on the road already and said that if she didn't come, she would probably be at another birth and it was possible that she wouldn't make back here if labor started again. She said if she came, she couldn't stay for days, that we would need to get things going. I didn't want to do anything drastic, but I knew that if she wasn't here for the birth, that I might as well just go to the hospital and tell them I wanted a c-section. Esteban told her to come and in the meantime I would rest as much as possible so I wouldn't be completely wiped out. I was able to sleep about four hours and when I up, both our moms were at the house and C and De had been here and had gone to the mall. I got up and ate some food and when Esteban was getting ready to call C, she knocked on the door. We went back to my room and she checked me – I was 5-6 centimeters dilated and Fiona seemed to be posterior. I was having some contractions again, but they were sporadic and not particularly strong. We discussed what we wanted to do. C wanted me to get on my hands and knees and put ice on my low back to get Fiona to turn – which I did for quite some time. After I was done with the ice, I drank some tea with herbs and then it was time for a long walk. I drank the tea and then Esteban, Christopher and I went for a nice long walk. While we were gone, C got a call from yet another client that told her that her baby had dropped and she was expecting labor to start at any time. This caused a lot of added stress because this client is a good friend of hers and she had committed to being there for her. As far as I knew, she had committed to me too, but I guess it wasn't quite the same. C was now a bit more stressed out than before! I had one contraction the whole time we were gone, but I think Fiona may have dropped a bit farther into my pelvis. After talking to C and feeling pretty discouraged, I drank some more tea and ate some tortillas – I wanted to eat, but nothing too heavy. I then went back to our room and stayed there – I used the breast pump for two 15 minute sessions and started having contractions again. It was late at this point, everyone was going to sleep, but I was getting scared and worried that C would leave. Before we went to bed, C came back and checked Fiona's heart tones – she sounded good, but was still not in the ideal position. C said I should lay on my left side if when I laid down with a pillow between my knees in hopes that Fiona would turn and stay that way. My contractions were coming every 6-10 minutes and continued all night long. I couldn't lay down because it was too uncomfortable so I would lean to the left on a pile of pillows and each time a contraction hit, I had to stand up and lean against the crib and rock my hips side to side. After the contractions was over, I felt like I had to pee – so after each one, I went to the bathroom and peed a tiny bit (I did the same thing in Luisa's labor) I also decided to drink water after each trip to the bathroom so I would stay hydrated. Esteban stayed up with me for most of the night – he would rub my back and encouraged me to keep up the good work when I would tell him that I felt like I should just go to the hospital and get it over with. I was so scared that it was doing to go on and on and nothing would happen. I know that if I went to the hospital, I would be treated badly for trying to VBAC at home and then when they found out about my borderline diabetes and chronic hypertension, I'm sure they would have a fit – I ran scenarios over in my head about what would happen - I worried that they would call CPS and make life miserable for us! I was so tired – the contractions were painful and I was only getting a tiny bit of rest between each contraction. I was feeling a bit abandoned by C because I was laboring but I didn't feel like she believed it – with Luisa, she checked her heart tones often and so far she had only checked Fiona's two or three times. I know the labors were different since my water broke before any contractions with Luisa and she had to keep a closer watch on her, but I was feeling pretty alone in this labor. In the morning when it was light (the time change happened overnight, so we were ahead an hour) I had contraction, and had some fluid come out afterwards – I said “my water just broke” and Esteban woke up immediately. There wasn't a lot of fluid, but I knew it was my membranes that had ruptured. I was so happy that it hadn't ruptured before labor started like with Christopher and Luisa, because ruptured membraned doesn't equal contractions for me! I went and stood in the shower while Esteban went and got C. She checked my cervix and I was a 9 with an anterior lip. She wanted me to lay on my side for awhile to try to get the lip to disappear which I did for several contractions, and then she had me get on my hands and knees with the ice on my back again for at least 15 minutes since Fiona still wasn't in the perfect position. For some reason, the ice really bothered me this time - it was colder and it hurt. I managed to keep it there for about 30 minutes before I ditched it. While I was doing this and timing contractions on the computer, Esteban was getting the tub ready – the heating blanket that was under the plastic had turned off over night so the water wasn't very warm – he had to siphon a bunch out and put more hot water in so it took awhile. I was drinking Glucerna( like Ensure but for diabetics) and Recharge(natural electrolyte drink similar to Gatorade) to give me some energy since I hadn't eaten much The last few contractions I had before getting into the tub were pretty spaced out and not very long – I guess if they stopped when I got in the tub, I would have to get out again and resort to the breast pump again. Before I got in the tub, C gave me a shot of B12 – she was hoping it would give me some energy to get through the last stages of labor. I came out to the living room – everything was covered in plastic and ready for the birth! I climbed into the tub and within a minute or two, I felt like pushing! It was crazy! It was like as soon as I hit the water, my body sprang into action and decided it was time to get serious! I was wondering if C had spiked the B12 with pitocin since it was so powerful all of a sudden! I didn't even have time to float and relax in the warm water for any amount of time like with Luisa's labor – I didn't even have time to find a good position to be in so I was kind of sideways and holding onto the side during these powerful contractions. With my third contraction, I remember feeling the “burn” and I grunted out that I was pushing - it was so intense nothing that I had any control over at all. About that time, the amniotic sac really burst and I remember seeing a bunch of mucous fly out into the tub. I had to push – I wanted to get her out! The contraction subsided and I was able to rest for a minute or two before the next one hit – Esteban was on the outside of the tub beside me and was supporting my perinium. C told me to get into a squat during me next contraction – so I did – it was hard changing position but I somehow managed to do it! C checked the heart tones which I guess were fine since she didn't say anything different. I remember C asking Esteban if the chin was out and then I was pushing again. Fiona's head had been out for a minute or two so on the next contraction, C got into the tub with me and while I was pushing, she tried to free Fiona's should which was obviously stuck and not allowing her to come out. She didn't have any luck, so she said I had to get out of the tub and get on my back. She told D (her assistant) that they had to do McRoberts ( a maneuver to free shoulder dystocias) immediately. I stood up, climbed over the side and laid down on the pad we had on the floor just in case I needed to give birth outside the tub. As soon as I laid down, C called D over to apply fundal pressure while she rotated Fiona. As soon as she did that, Fiona came flying out – what a relief! It was 10:19 AM on April 1, 2006. They put Fiona on my belly and covered her with a blanket and put a hat on her. She let out a cry and I heard C say how pink she was. At some point, I remember C saying she was indeed a girl – I hadn't even thought to look or feel – I was just so relieved that she was out and that the intense pressure and pain were gone. Esteban later said he had looked because he was checking to see if she had all her fingers toes! Fiona just laid on my chest with her arms outstretched – her hands were so white and wrinkled and they looked so big! At some point, she started sucking her thumb – which was about the cutest thing I've ever seen! She was kind of mucousy sounding like she had a bad cold, so I asked C about it – she had Esteban suction her a bit to get rid of it and it seemed to help a bit. The mucous was clear which was good because she did pass a fair amount of meconium on her way out, but it was behind her, so she didn't inhale any of it. As we were all chatting, I could feel a lot of gushing fluid – apparently, I was bleeding quite a bit. I was given methargine and chlorophyll to stop the bleeing. It would stop and then start again. Once the cord stopped pulsing, Esteban cut the cord. Soon afterwards, I felt a contraction and told C. She had me give a push and I felt the placenta come out. There were lots of blood clots that came out with the placenta – she thought at first that it was an extra lobe, but it was just lots and lots of clots. After the placenta was out, the bleeding slowed down quite a bit. They got everything cleaned up and asked me if I felt like I could walk to my room. I felt like I could so they helped me up and I slowly walked to my room. C was concerned that I would pass out once I stood up since I lost a fair amount of blood, but I did okay. I got back to my room and changed into a clean nightgown and laid down on the bed. Fiona was munching on her hands a lot, so she was obviously hungry! I got myself all ready and was ready to nurse – she latched right on, she knew exactly what to do. After she nursed for awhile, they did the newborn exam. She was 9 pounds 10 ounces (my biggest one yet) had a 13 ¾ inch head and was 21 inches long. To me she looked tiny, but I guess I am used to bigger babies. She was perfect in every way. She hardly had any hair – none of my babies had much hair, but they usually have more than Fiona – her hair was dark and very short, but so soft! We got her diapered and dressed and then if was my turn to get checked out. I was still gushing every so often so I was given more methargine and chlorophyll. C checked me out and I had a small tear that she said she could either stitch or leave alone – I opted for the stitches so everything would come together evenly. It's amazing to me that I only tore a bit with both Luisa and Fiona – I felt like I was pushing so hard! When I had my two hospital births, I was cut on purpose – huge, ugly episiotomies because without even asking me. I have lots of scar tissue which was expected to tear a lot, but it didn't either time. Just two stitches in each home birth – with bigger babies! Christopher was 15 ounces lighter than Fiona and the doctor had such a hard time getting him out.

After we were taken care of, we took some pictures, I was given some herbs to take and some more methargine just in case I started bleeding again. I took a look at the placenta – there were two holes in the membrane – one was small and up high – and the other was quite big and down low. When I felt my water break in the morning, it was a small break I guess that didn't do much. There were also some hematomas between the two layers of membrane which C said were unusual and two spots near the cord on the placenta that were clear and apparently made out of the stuff that the cord casing is made of – again a bit unusual. Besides those things, the placenta was healthy looking and intact. C told me to take it really easy and to not shower alone the first time just in case I passed out. She and D packed up and took off a couple hours after the birth. It was so nice having another home birth. I am so glad things worked out for us and that I didn't wimp out and go to the hospital! I cannot imagine how it would have turned out if I went and had a c-section! Things at home were so peaceful and calm. I could get up and go to the bathroom whenever I wanted, I didn't have to be separated from Fiona and I didn't have anyone bothering me to check my vitals every hour! I felt good – never felt lightheaded or like passing out. I had no problems getting up to go pee. Esteban stayed up with Fiona the first night – she actually slept most of the night, but she was still a bit mucousy and he wanted to keep an eye on her.
post #56 of 166
sorry its so long...

I have given birth to three wonderful boys. The first two came into this world by cesarean section (c-section). After fighting the medical establishment, my third son came into this world naturally. Each of my son’s birthdays was unique in its own way and together they were the most memorable days of my life. Each day brought forth the hopes and dreams I had for each of my sons. The individual births of my sons can not be compared from an emotional perspective…each was incredible in its own way. The birthing experiences, however, can be compared from a medical perspective and can be compared based upon the quality of experience of both myself and my babies.

My first two sons were born via c-section for basically the same medical reasons. With my first, I went into labor on a Sunday. When I say that I went into labor, I am referring to mild contractions which began on a Sunday afternoon. I could talk and laugh through these contractions and they did not become intense until some time Monday. However, being a first time mom, my husband and I drove to the hospital as soon as the mild contractions began. I had no birthing experience, so it was unknown whether I would have a very fast or very slow birth. We went to the hospital late Sunday night and were sent home because my contractions were not close enough. We spent Sunday night at my mother-in-law’s home and went back to the hospital Tuesday morning after being up all night long with contractions because I felt too uncomfortable being at home. My husband and I had taken Lamaze childbirth classes, and that is what we were told to do. We had all the devices at the hospital (music, stuffed animals, etc.) in order to do our “breathing” exercises. I was placed in a room and only allowed 2 visitors at a time. My best friend was there with me and she, my husband and my mother in law traded places throughout my labor. Eventually, the doctor came in and told me that my labor was not progressing and that we were looking at a c-section if things didn’t move along quickly. This was about 30 hours after my labor began. I was offered pain medication often by the medical personnel. Not knowing the repercussions, I consented to Demerol for the pain, which caused my contractions to cease entirely. Predictably, I was soon thereafter given an epidural and rushed in for an “emergency c-section” because my labor was not progressing and the baby was “in distress”. My beautiful first son was born later that day. After waking, I was taken to my hospital room where I asked for my son repeatedly. Because I was shaking (I later learned that this was probably from the epidural) they would not allow me to hold my baby until I became very upset and demanded they bring him to me. Once he was with me, I rarely allowed him to be out of my sight; however it was very difficult go convince the hospital administration that it was in my child’s best interest to stay in my hospital room and exclusively breastfeed. The natural, peaceful birth I had attempted was never achieved. Bonding with my son was constantly interrupted by nurses and doctors whose hospital procedures were contrary to how I wanted my son treated his first few days on earth.

My second son’s birth was very similar, except the doctors did not wait until I had been in labor for 30 hours to make the diagnosis of “emergency c-section” due to failure to progress and fetal distress. I experienced similar difficulties with my second son as with my first when attempting to keep my son in the room with me and breastfeed exclusively.

When I got pregnant with my third son, I was told that there was no option to a c-section and it was recommended that I schedule one when the time neared. I did not know the exact date of my conception, since I have a very irregular cycle and was not attempting to get pregnant at the time. It was estimated that I was approximately 9 weeks pregnant at my first ultrasound and was given a Dec. 28 expected due date. I accepted the scheduled surgery and was resigned to the procedure. However, during the summer of that year I began visiting a natural mothering website for information on how to cloth diaper. During my visits there, I noticed there were many women who did not believe the current c-section rate in the U.S. was medically justified. I began researching the issue, which led to conversations with my obstetrician. When I approached the issue of being allowed to go into labor for the benefit of the baby and me, he became very defensive and stated many reasons why I should schedule the c-section and not attempt a “trial of labor”. I soon became suspicious that my doctor’s primary concern was not me and my baby when he listed his availability on the day of my labor as a justification for scheduling a c-section. I also began to have problems with pain in my lower abdominal ligaments which resulted in the doctor suggesting that we schedule the c-section for early December since I was in so much pain. My questions regarding the chance to have a vaginal delivery after my 2 c-sections (a VBAC) was met with the statement “you won’t find a doctor in this country that will allow you to have a VBAC”. These events led me to contact a local midwife and change my medical care provider when I was about 32 weeks pregnant.

I knew the path we were going to take when I first met my mid-wife. I was too nervous to have a homebirth and didn’t want a hospital birth, since I had read that many attempted VBACs in hospitals end up as c-sections. My mid-wife owned a birthing center and it was the perfect solution for us. I was very nervous in the beginning. Putting my trust in a mid-wife instead of a medical doctor was not something I had ever done before. The more I read the more I trusted in my body and in its ability to know what to do. I knew this was my last baby and had always desired a natural childbirth. This was the last time I was going to have a chance for that dream to come true.

Early December came and went. I had constant contractions and believed the entire month of December that I would go into labor any day. If I had scheduled my c-section, my baby would have been born the first week of December. This pregnancy was very uncomfortable and I became very impatient. I wanted so much to meet my son. I really didn’t want a Christmas baby. I was so nervous when Christmas came and went and there was no baby. I began to doubt my body was ever going to go into labor. I kept thinking that if I had trusted my OB, I would have been holding a 3 week old baby on Christmas Day!

December slipped by slowly and finally on Saturday, December 31, labor contractions became sufficient enough that my mid-wife told me to come to the birthing center. My contractions had been consistently within 10 minutes of each other since 6am that morning. I waited until around noon to go to the birth center, knowing that my labors were usually long but hoping that we could get through this labor quickly. When I arrived at the birthing center, we spent an hour or so setting up everything. I had index cards with inspirational quotes for my husband to read to me. I had posters with my two sons to place in the room for inspiration. I had food and drinks. Yes, midwives allow you to drink or eat anything during labor, which helped me to maintain my strength and kept me hydrated. I made several phone calls and had to breath through contractions all through Saturday, but things did not progress very rapidly. I actually ate dinner on Saturday evening with my husband and mid-wife. My mid-wife was wonderfully patient and came into the birthing room often to check on us but mostly remained in the background and allowed my labor to progress naturally and without interference. It was an amazing experience. Finally, the contractions began getting more and more intense and I lost the ability to joke around very much. However the contractions did not become shorter in length or longer in duration. I was very worried about this but my mid-wife and husband were very supportive. I knew around midnight on Saturday night that both my mid-wife and husband were very tired. Another mid-wife was called to assist around 5 am on Sunday morning. My contractions were very intense at this point. My midwife and husband then took a nap for a few hours while the new midwife helped me. I was attempting to birth in the birthing tub, but the water seemed to slow my contractions. I would be in the tub with very little pain and no progress or out of tub and into the shower or in the bathroom with painful contractions. Of course, I chose the tub more often than not! Around 7 am, while in the tub, I felt my water breaking! I had never experienced that before. It was an incredible experience and I knew I would deliver my baby shortly thereafter. Of course, he wasn’t quite ready to enter the world yet, so it was several more hours of contractions before Ethan Benjamin Joseph arrived at 4:05pm. The experience of actually birthing a baby was everything that I ever dreamed of. It was the most incredible experience I have ever had. The expression on his face was one of extreme alertness. Both of my other boys had been a bit groggy when born due to the epidural that I had received. Ethan was very inquisitive right away. My midwife handed Ethan to me immediately and waited for the umbilical cord to cease pulsating before asking my husband to cut it. In the hospital, all that had been done by the doctors. In this birthing center, we were in control of the birth of our son. He was in my arms immediately without any intervention. His cord was cut calmly. There were no bright lights, no unnecessary noises or medical equipment, and no sense of urgency.

When I finally moved from the birthing stool I had delivered Ethan on to the bed, he nursed. He weighed in later at 8 lbs and 4 ounces, approximately 8 ounces smaller than my other 2 boys. The midwife gave us a few minutes alone to cherish our new joy and quietly and gently performed the APGAR test. Since we wanted Ethan’s birth to be as peaceful as possible, we chose not to have any further medical procedures done at that time, so he was left to coo and nurse without any injections or pricks of the heel for blood tests. His eyes were very open, alert and inquisitive. He was placed by my side and I as I felt entirely exhausted after all that had happened in the last 30 plus hours, I just could not get over how much better I felt after this birth than I had with my last 2 births. I felt absolutely no pain from the birth (I had a memory of the pain of birthing, but I had no pain from a c-section as I did previously). I did not feel sleepy at all. I felt elated at the joy of my son’s birth and very thankful for my midwife and her willingness to take a chance on me and my baby knowing what to do when the time came.
post #57 of 166

Phoenix Ocean's HBAC

I wrote this a few weeks after he was born... wish I would have done it right away.
Phoenix will be a year next month and I'm 12 weeks pregnant with #3!!!

"I’ve been trying to write this for weeks. The task is very daunting, its hard to remember all the events, especially the timing of everything. There are some things I remember perfectly and others seem like a blur.

Around 2pm on Tuesday I was at my mothers and was starving. We decided to make smoothies and sandwiches. After I ate I felt so sick, I tried laying down but kept feeling like I was going to throw up. During this time I was having contractions about 10 minutes apart but didn’t think much of it as I had been having them for over a week by this point.

I felt so gross, very nauseas and decided to go home and get in the shower. I left Logan with Mom so I could rest. I was beginning to feel worse so I called Ed and told him I needed him. He came home by now it was almost 4 and I was still having contractions but wasn’t convinced yet. About 5/6pm they started getting closer like 5 to 6 minutes apart so Ed called Robin just to let her know we thought this was it.

My mom came over a while later and they were very regular and getting stronger. We labored a while with candles and my Dad and brothers stopped by, it was very imitate.

About 11pm I asked Ed to call Jeni (friend and doula) just for some support. Robin (midwife) got here just before midnight on Tuesday May 17th. There was a misunderstanding as I wasn’t quite ready for her to come. Jeni was here a few minutes later after getting lost! As this stage the contractions were still bearable and I was able to just hang out and breath and sway through them, with Ed’s help. Shortly after this Ed began to feel very sick and headed for the bath room. Robin had a cold and wasn’t feeling well either so she went to lie down since we didn’t need her.

Jeni was awesome, I remember going for a walk around 2am outside just with her, she was so supportive telling me how she knew I could do this and we talked about how people were doubting me having a homebirth. After we went back in I labored for a while in and out of the shower and tub. Ed was still sick and throwing up in the bathroom. Not long after I got in the tub and was laboring there for a while. I began to shake and get very annoyed, both signs of transition. But things didn’t seem like they were progressing. I started believing that I would have the baby by 8am.

Sometime in the early morning Jeni and Robin went outside to give Ed and I some time alone. I was in the birthing tub and we talked a little bit, then he ended up falling asleep on the floor. I remember thinking this might never end...

After that things became a blur, all throughout the morning I was REALLY trying hard to get this baby down. I tried the shower with my leg up on the stool in there, I tried the toilet which hurt but I knew it was working and I tried the birthing stool, I wanted the baby out. I was laboring alot on my own in my room.. I liked it like this.. Things were then a blur…

I remember Robin checking and I was 7cms but saying I was very stretchy, that she could stretch me to 9cms and something about my cervix not dilating on one side. She told me to lay down for 10 contractions that hurt like hell. Then I rolled over to the other side for another 10. At this point things were so intense, I remember gripping the edge of the co-sleeper thinking how this was crazy and I was tired. Finally after a bunch of contractions it worked and I was 9cms! This was one of the most intense parts of the labor...

I labored for ages and ages… thinking it would be over soon…. After I felt like I couldn’t take it I remember going to Robin who was sitting at the kitchen table and telling her that I couldn’t cope much longer and really needed it to be over.
She decided to check me to see what was going on… and I was still 9cms, and part of my cervix was in the way, it had been over 5 hours. She then gave me three options.
1. Keep laboring the way I was but she had no idea when I would deliver, things were going slow.
2. Go to the hospital or
3. Break my waters and move my cervix over that the contractions would become way more intense but it would probably make things go faster and I would have the baby soon.

She decided to give me time to think it over. I got mom to come into my room and we talked and prayed. I had so many doubts but I had come so far! Part of me really wanted to give up but the other part knew I had to keep going. I decided to get her to break my waters, this was the hardest decision ever! I was so exhausted and scared, how could the pain possibly get worse or more intense? She broke my waters and pushed my cervix over with Jeni holding my hand. I screamed, it hurt like hell!!!

I remember being 10cms and having no urge to push, so Robin kept telling me not to push until I felt ready. I was so annoyed by this I wanted the baby out!!! I labored in the tub and pushed and it hurt a lot! I finally got out and labored more in the shower, mom ended up coming in and supporting me, I was pushing in there and let out a HUGE push and mom was yelling for Robin. I remember Robin rushing in saying ‘I was laying on the couch and heard pushing noises!” She then asked if I wanted to try the birthing stool. At this point things were so intense I just wanted them over, I didn’t really mind and got out of the shower. As soon as I sat on the birthing stool I knew the baby was coming. Robin looked and she could see his head crowning already! She was yelling for Jeni and she came in. Thankfully Jeni got Ed up off the couch to see his babies birth. I remember Robin and Jeni looking at each other and Jeni asking if there was enough time for the camera and mirror. Robin said no then looked and me and said YES HURRY! Jeni ran out and came back with the camera and mirror, I’m so glad she did! We got to see the head crowning and all I remember was just trying to push as hard as I could. Robin was saying something like ‘I think its just pressure, is it just pressure? If its just pressure stop pushing.” Well there wasn’t much stopping me, I had labored for over 25 hours and I wanted this baby out!!! After only about 4 pushed he slid out and was HUGE!!! Robin put him right up on me I couldn’t get over how big he looked. I was sooooooo happy and yelled ‘I DID IT!!’ I was and still am so proud of myself, there was this overwhelming feeling of joy that I had birthed my baby!!! Without Dr’s without intervention and with people in the past telling me I couldn’t! I was so happy!

He was so wonderful and perfect, I looked at Ed and said ‘Phoenix Ocean?” and he goes “yes!”
So that’s it! I was so exhausted and so out of it, I remember asking Ed if he would hold Phoenix and Robin was like “I don’t think that’s going to work very well, he’s still attached to you” the placenta hadn’t come out! HAHA Then Robin pulled gently to see if it was coming and it wasn’t but it came pretty quickly and we waited for the cord to stop pulsating and then Ed cut it! I was sooooo tired but sooooooo in awe! J I got in the shower and then climbed into bed with my beautiful babe!

Phoenix was born May 18th 2005 at 4:38pm
weighing 9lbz 2oz and 22.5" long!
post #58 of 166

My VBAC success story

I am so thankful!My due date was 6/29, but my son decided to make an early appearance. Father's Day last week, I spent cleaning my neighbor's house. She hired me, as her mother was finally coming home 7 months after a fatal car accident in which her father died. I cleaned 11 hours! I got home 11pm and dropped on the couch. About 2:30am, I started having contractions about 9 minutes apart.

At 4am, I called my mom to stay with my 9 other kids, until my sister could get there to take the youngest 3 for the day.(My kids are 16,15,13,11,9,7,5,3and 2.)

We got to the hospital, and the contractions were getting closer together, but not stronger. For the 1st 8 births, I need pitocin to get things jump started, and then after AROM, each baby was born within the hour!

They said the most they could do to start was AROM. They did that about 11:45am. Though contractions were close, they weren't getting stronger. They said the only other thing they could do was to start pit at the lowest dose possible, upping it every 1/2 hour. If that didn't work, it was going to be a repeat c-section.They did that at 3pm, and upped it at 3:30pm. I never take any pain meds during labor other than tylenol. By the time I asked for it, I was 9 1/2 cm. I never did get any tylenol during the entire visit! Anyway, I felt the urge to push just after 4pm, and told dh to get the dr. He did, and I told her I couldn't wait. She took her sweet time, and I proceeded to birth his head, while she struggled to get gloves on and make sure he didn't go flying. I blew through the next few contractions until they could get everything ready. Aaron Michael was born at 4:19pm, weighing in at 6lbs 14oz, and 18 1/2 in long.

I was so ready to go home the next morning, but they said I had to stay an entire day, and released me Wednesday morning.
post #59 of 166
my eldest dylan was born by emerg csection 19 hrs into labour.
they said i had non-progressive labour.i had an epidural under extreme pressure.the reason it was an emerg is b/c dylans heart rate went funny and he had pooped in the water.
they told me no way i'd ever give birth vaginally....
eight years later i had my daughter alwyne.i was in the hospital for my colitis.i woke up at 2 am and delievered her at 2:20 am...VAGINALLY!!!
the idiot nurses told me to stop yelling it was nothing!!not a baby ...they send it was a BM!!!!!can you imagine?!!


3 yrs later i had another sucessfull VBAC....1 hr 20 min. for my georgie...
it's a whole other story though...:

i will never as long as i live EVER follow anyone besides myself for childbirth.
while i'll have midwives present for safety sake it'll be all me listening to my body.
post #60 of 166
Okay, so I thought I'ld post mine too. Im so so glad I had a Dr. that was pro-VBAC and actually pushed for it! My first son was born vis C-sect because he was footling breech, he was a week early and a tiny lil bugger weighing in at 4lb 15 oz. (Still a scrawny butt at age 5!!)

Here it is, and its long...LOL

On Wednesday the 11th I was feeling yucky, so when Todd came home for lunch I asked him to take the rest of the day off so we could go walk in the park. We walked for about an hour, did some grocery shopping and got home about 3PM. From then until about 1:30 AM I was having contractions about 10 minutes apart, but they weren’t too bad. I went to bed around 10PM and woke up each time I had one. Around 2AM they were closer and more painful, so we spent a half hour debating whether to call MIL and go to the hospital. Finally decided to and got there about 2:45 AM. They hooked me up and the contractions were showing up, they checked me and I was only 3 – 4 cm (grrrr) Said I could use the Jacuzzi tub (YIPPEE) so I sat in there from 4 – 5 AM. Got out and got back into bed, contractions stopped. Had maybe 3 in the next 3 hours. My dr got there about 8 AM and checked me, no progress, still 4 cm. He said I had two choices, go home or he could break my water and induce. I was a little apprehensive about Pitocin, because that increases the chance of c-sect, but decided I was there, might as well do it. So at 8:30AM he broke my water (What a weird sensation, felt like I kept peeing myself!) They hooked up my IV and started the Pitocin at 2 (On a scale of 1 – 20) Contractions started immediately, about 5 minutes apart and painful. I was allowed to sit in the rocking chair, so I rocked and rocked. Listened to music and Todd rubbed my back and feet. The nurse came in about an hour later and upped it to 4, and then they hurt A LOT, so I got a couple of shots of Morphine in the butt, which did nothing but make me super tired. Contractions were coming about 3 minutes apart and I was breathing through them with difficulty. The nurse upped me again to 6 and that’s when Conners HB started acting up. At each contraction it would go down to the 60’s, so I had to get in bed and lay on my side and they attached an internal monitor to Conners head. This was not the most comfortable position to have a contraction let me tell you. I was gripping the rail and trying not to get irritated at Todd who kept saying, breathe, breathe. By now it’s about 10:30 AM and the dr checked me and I was 5 cm! WHAT! All that pain for one lousy cm. Thought about telling my dr to just do a c-sect. From 10:30 to 11AM the contractions were coming fast and furious and I think I was moaning through them at his point. Was really uncomfortable, dr checked me at 11:30 and I was 8 cm! Had the horrible feeling I was going to throw up so Todd got the pretty pink basin and I puked through the next contraction. Made it through about 4 or 5 more contractions and had the most incredible urge to push, so Todd went and got the nurse and she checked and I was complete with a little lip. She let me do some practice pushes while she tried to get rid of the lip. A little before noon the dr came in and got me in position and had me start really pushing. It took 3 or 4 contractions and pushings before I really got the hang of it, but man, when I finally did get it, I was grunting/growling through each one something fierce and the pushing felt SO GOOD! I got in 3 pushes with each contraction and it wasn’t many before the head could be seen. I slept between each contraction, then had my legs around my head (It felt like) and pushed. Finally I got to the one that BURNED and that’s when the dr reached under and held babies head in position, at that point I couldn’t stop pushing and in 2 more the baby’s head was out, a little more and baby was out! Born at 12:22 on 2/12. I didn’t think I wanted baby on my chest right away, but they put him there and I couldn’t believe it, he was still attached AND laying on me! Todd cut the cord and they cleaned baby up, I verified that I heard correctly and he said it was a boy, then delivered the placenta and had 2 minor interior tears stitched up and then got Conner back. Was in recovery for an hour and we had the baby the whole time (SO much better than the c-sect where I didn’t see Caeden for about 2 hours after) They wheeled me to the nursery and weighed and measured baby, took me to my room while they bathed and dressed Conner, and then he was wheeled in an hour later. Had a very nice relaxing hospital stay and went home Friday night. Conner is breastfeeding like a champ and we are slowly settling into a routine. Sleep will come.

I was so so proud I did it drug free and that I was able to make it through each contraction, it was a truly amazing experience.
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