I'm looking forward to it! I'm being sure to do everything in my power to make an HBAC possible this time around. I have a fantastic birth team with the best track record for VBACs in the area, a doula, I'm taking hypnobirthing classes and I'm really educating myself as much as possible.
Good for you! What a journey into the world your little one had! Good luck!
Here is the story of Owyn Samantha's birth...
My due date was February 25, but still no baby. I was in school full time, so I went to class the day of my due date and received many looks of sympathy from classmates and professors. I decided then that I wouldn't be returning to class anymore, baby or not. I had an appointment with my midwife on the 26th and she stripped my membranes. I was a stretchy 1 cm dilated and about 80% effaced on that day. The next morning, my mucus plug started coming out. It came out in several good size globs throughout most of the day. This was a Friday so we spent the evening at my aunt and uncle's house with family members. The weather was calling for a snow storm to come through overnight, so my grandmother was convinced I'd have the baby the next day thanks to the snow storm.
I woke the next morning at 6 to about 6 inches of snow outside and could not go back to sleep. I laid in bed for a while telling my baby it was time to come out, today was going to be her birthday, if she'd just cooperate. We only had one more day of February left and I really had my heart set on a February baby (mostly just because I like the birthstone). Nothing was happening. DH spent the day in the garage with his dad working on the furniture he was building for her room. I watched a movie while I walked around the house feeling restless and impatient. I got online and read some birth stories that really just had me feeling even more impatient. I remember reading one story where the mom said she really believed having a good cry and surrendering to the fact that she had no control over it is what sent her into labor. So, I took a shower and cried out of frustration.
After my shower I used the bathroom, I was still losing tiny bits of mucus all day. I sat down on the couch and thought "Really? I have to pee again?". So, I stood up and my water broke. But it wasn't huge, I couldn't be certain. I'd never done this before. So, I called my mom and told her what happened asking if she thought my water broke or if I peed my pants. She laughed at me and said it sounded like my water was breaking. So, I called DH and told him what was going on. He came inside and asked if he should call it quits in the garage for the day... nothing was really happening yet, no contractions just small spurts of fluid that would come out every so often. He cleaned up in the garage and came inside to keep me company. I was still feeling restless, just waiting for something else to happen. So, we decided to go ahead and pack our bag for the hospital since it looked like we'd be heading there at some point that day. This was about 4:00 in the afternoon. I called my SIL, an OB nurse at the hospital where I was delivering, and told her what was going on. She was excited since she was working overnight that night and asked if she could be my nurse and said to keep her updated.
Eventually, DH and I got too restless just sitting at home. We were supposed to have dinner at my sister's that night and since nothing was happening yet, we decided to go ahead and go over there to pass the time. Everyone was at my sister's... my parents, my aunt and uncle, my nieces and nephews and both of my sisters. We ordered Mexican food and just waited. Finally, at around 8:30 in the evening, I had my first contraction. And it hurt. They quickly started coming at about 4 minutes apart and they hurt. I was having back labor from the beginning and it was no fun. DH asked if I wanted to go home since there was such a crowd at my sister's. The thought of getting into the car and driving home only to get back into the car later and drive to the hospital did not sound appealing to me. Plus, my water had already been broken for about 5 hours at that point, so I knew we'd be heading to the hospital soon, so we decided to go ahead and drive up there. We had a 45 minute drive ahead of us, so we headed out. My mom rode to the hospital with us and my sisters followed us there shortly after.
Once I got to the hospital, all I wanted was to get into the bathtub. My back labor was killing me. Nothing helped, not walking, not sitting, not changing positions. I wanted the water. I waited while I got checked in and they checked the baby and my blood pressure and took some blood. My nurse (my SIL) called my midwife to let her know I was there. They checked me before I got in the water. My water had completely broken by then and I was only 2-3 cm dilated. Hospital policy only allowed me to be in the bathtub for about an hour since my water had been broken for so long... about 7 hours by the time I made it into the water. The water helped. It still hurt, but I could stay on top of the pain. I could feel he contraction coming rather than being hit by it like a truck like I was out of the water. My hour went by way too fast, then I was back in bed to check the baby. I was only a stretchy 3 cm at that point.
My contractions had become irregular. I would have 2-3 on top of each other, than not have one for 10 minutes or so. My water had been broken for over 8 hours, so there was talk of pitocin to regulate my contractions. Once I heard the word pitocin, I gave in and asked for an epidural. With the back labor I was already having, I knew I couldn't handle it with pitocin. The epidural was given and brought some relief for a while. DH tried to nap, my sisters left to get me some snacks since I was starving at that point. I tried to nap while we waited. It didn't last long though. I was 4-5 cm when the epidural as given and my SIL checked me before she left the room to check her other patients, I was almost 6 cm. Almost as soon as she left the room, I started getting strong pain in my tailbone. With every contraction, I could feel the baby push harder on my tailbone. Even with the epidural, it was very painful, almost worse than the back labor I'd been having. She came back about 20 minutes later and asked if I wanted to be checked since I was hurting so bad. I did and I was just over 8 cm.
At that point, she called the midwife to let her know things were going pretty quick now and to come now. Shortly after that, I wanted to push. I was 9 cm and waiting on my midwife and felt like my baby was going to come out of my butt, still lots of pressure on my tailbone. Once the midwife arrived, I was almost fully dilated with just a small lip in the way. I started pushing while the midwife helped open me up the rest of the way. Pushing was something I could handle! I felt frustrated at first because it seemed like the pushing wasn't doing anything. I couldn't feel her moving down, I asked for a mirror to see but couldn't see her head at all. It didn't take long though and I could see her starting to move down. The mirror helped me focus on where to push, when I could see changes happening, I'd keep pushing just like that. Finally her head was right there and when my next contraction started I looked at my midwife and said "She's coming out now, okay.", closed my eyes and pushed my baby girl out at 6:28 in the morning. She missed her February birthday by just a few hours!
The rest was a whirlwind of details I can barely remember now. She weighed 7 lbs 3 oz and was almost 21 inches long. She had a head full of dark hair was the most beautiful thing I'd ever seen. She took to nursing right away with no problem and was wide awake for hours after she was born. It's hard to believe she's already this 2 year old little girl about to become a big sister!
Julia was born in water on August 22, 2008 in her very own room in our home.
When I was about 38 weeks' I began to leak amniotic fluid (a hindwater leak), which I did not realize was fluid for a day or two. At my midwife's appointment they confirmed it was amniotic fluid and asked how long it had been happening for. I didn't really know because it was a relatively small amount and those of you who have been pregnant before know that by the end of a pregnancy there is a lot going on down there. In any event, our midwife sent us in for a non-stress test to make sure the baby was ok (she was) and said that she was hoping I would go into labour in the next 24 hours. They gave me a castor oil concoction to take if I wasn't in labour by the next morning. I went for an acupuncture appointment that afternoon, had the best sleep in months and fortunately woke up at 6 a.m. to mild contractions.
Labour was mild for the first 6-8 hours. My husband and I walked around the neighborhood, made cookies and watched the Olympics. Around 2:00 pm (8 hours in) things were feeling much harder so I called the midwives. They thought it was too early but agreed to come and check on me. Of course, I was only two centimeters dilated at that point but we decided to break my water to speed things along given the leaking that had been happening for who knows how long. That really intensified the contractions and I laboured on my side and leaning on my husband for four hours longer. It's amazing how time flies when you are in labour land . At one point, we were lying on the bed and I was relaxing through contractions. My contractions stopped for a full twenty minutes and we both fell asleep! When I woke up, I asked my husband to call the midwives to come back. My midwife arrived and I was 6 cms and she told me they were sticking around this time. I was relieved that she was going to stay. My husband set up the pool and called my mom to come over for the final stages.
I continued to labour (mostly on the toilet), however, my midwife convinced me to go up and down the stairs a few times. I squatted through a few contractions with the help of my husband. Eventually, around 9:30 I was told that I was close to fully dilated and I could go into the tub. I immediately felt better in the water but the pushing phase was much harder than I thought it would be. The tub was slowing down my contractions so after about an hour, the midwives got me out of the pool and onto the bed. I pushed on the bed and on the birthing stool for another two hours. When the baby began to crown, they said I could go back into the tub for the birth. It still took a half an hour of pushing but eventually out she came. It was such an amazing feeling. My midwife brought her to my chest and we looked into each other's eyes. She didn't cry at all just looked around wide eyed. It took us a few minutes to even remember to check if she was a girl or a boy.
The placenta delivery was uneventful and I was moved to the bed to relax while the midwives weighed her and checked her out. Then we both got into the bathtub for a bath with my dog sticking her nose in to check us all out. Around 3:00 a.m. after honey and toast and tea, all three of us were tucked into bed and the midwives left. All in all, while it was certainly the hardest thing I've ever done, I felt amazing and powerful and grateful to have had such a peaceful and empowering birth experience. I was on a high for at least a week after before the reality of a new baby and all the hormones kicked in :)
Here we are about a minute after she arrived.
Mcacat- what a beautiful story and picture!
Mabel's Birth Story, June 1, 2002
I started having contractions at noon on May31. My due date was June 1. I was visiting my parents for the day. The contractions weren't really painful, just very noticeable. At one point in the afternoon I tried to take a nap but couldn't sleep. My parents drove me home around 7 pm (they insisted I shouldn't be driving). After getting home, her dad (my xh) and I went for a walk around the neighborhood. Up until about midnight or 1 am, I would rock and moan during contractions, and then we would watch silly internet videos in between.
After 1 am, the contractions were closer and more intense. At that point, I didn't want to talk. I had all the lights off and I just walked around the house in a big circle. Whenever I had a contraction, I would stop and lean on her dad. Around 3 am, he called the midwife.
I had heard so many stories of women getting to the hospital and being at 1 cm, etc, and I didn't want to do that. I was very concerned that I would go in too early!
By the time the midwife returned our call, my contractions were 1 min apart or less, sometimes double peaking. She had us go to the hospital. I believe we got into triage around 4:30 am. I was still rocking during contractions and was very calm and on top of the pain. The nurse checked me and seemed shocked. She asked how dilated I thought I was, and I answered, "Two or three cm?" She laughed and said I was 9.5 cm with a bulging bag of waters.
They put me in a room and called my midwife. She told them to monitor me for a while to be sure. I'm not really clear on that one... isn't that supposed to be pushing time?? :) Anyway, they did. I was not allowed to get up after that. I was kept on the monitor for the rest of the time, which was frustrating. You know, everyone staring at the monitor and telling me, "Here comes one!" Finally, my midwife got there at 5:30 am. She said she should break my water to speed things up. I didn't think they were slow, but I let her. After that, the pain was much more intense. I think I yelled once or twice. I pushed for two hours, unfortunately on my back with my feet in stirrups. Totally not in my plan, but I wasn't up for arguing.
Mabel was born at 7:35 am. She was 21.5 inches and 8 lbs 5 oz. They gave her right to me. I didn't tear at all, and had no complications and very little pain afterwards. My birth was fairly easy, and most of my labor took place at home. I was bothered by the fact that when I got to the hospital, all of a sudden my labor needed to be managed! Also, the nurses drove me batty for the next day. I couldn't sleep for an hour without one coming in and telling me to do something! Those things, though minor, are what convinced me to have my next baby at home. :)
Wow Amanda! Awesome that you showed up at 9.5cm and had no idea! I love that!
I'm not posting mine as text because 1. they're very long and 2. anyone who wants to avoid birth stories that aren't positive shouldn't read mine. My second was a VBAC, to say pretty much everything, which required an epidural. Not wanted, required, so the story isn't for FTMs AT ALL. But they're my births and I will share them. Just as links:
Home birth! I was lucky enough to score a midwife this time (getting one here is like winning the lottery).
My midwife is supportive of my want for no testing at all, and no interventions. She's agreed to basically hang out in case we need her but to just let me do my thing.
Awesome! I read your birth story and I really hope you have a positive experience this time! :)
My first birth story is quite long and traumatic, so it can be found on my blog, here for those that want to read it-
I can not believe the way you were treated. I am so sorry you had to go through this. I wish you the best for this birth.
Elsa's Birth Story, November 11, 2004
I chose to have a homebirth with Elsa as my first labor went so well. I started having strong contractions every evening around 8 pm at around 39 weeks 5 days. They would last most of the night. Twice I actually called my midwife out! At 40 weeks 4 days, I had the same pattern of contractions. I got out of bed at midnight to rock on the birth ball for a bit to help with the pain. Almost immediately, my water broke. Their dad called the midwife to come.
With Mabel's 20 hour labor, my water didn't break until I was pushing. I was very relaxed the whole time, and felt on top of the pain. I never screamed or cursed or lost modesty. The minute my water broke with Elsa, labor felt 100 times worse than with Mabel. I never managed to get my breathing or relaxation techniques to work. I spent the entire labor naked, screaming obscenities, and yelling at everyone to leave me alone. I tried getting in the tub, but it didn't help at all.
I have no idea when the midwife got there, but I do know I was trying the tub out at that time. She checked me and I was 8 cm. I think I went and hid in the walk-in closet for a while... something about the dark and being alone was appealing.
Around 3:50 am, I put on my bathrobe (didn't even bother tying it shut!) and told dad and the midwife to take me to the hospital for some drugs or I would drive myself. I'm censoring the curse words. My midwife suggested checking to see if I was ready to push, so I flopped down on the bed. I was 10 cm and ready to go.
At that point, I didn't even have the energy to move. I just laid on my back, pushing with the contractions. In between, the midwife asked if I'd like to get in a better position or take my bathrobe off or feel the baby's head. I yelled, "NO!!!" to all of these.
Elsa was born at 4:11 am after 15 min of pushing. She was 9 lbs 7 oz and 22.5 inches. I remember feeling how big she was! When her head came out, her body didn't follow easily like Mabel's. I had to wait for another contraction... I believe I was begging the midwife to pull her out. I had already made everyone promise not to look between her legs as I wanted to be the first to know the gender. She was placed right on my chest, and I remember sort of holding my breath and then looking and being so happy to have another girl! She didn't cry at all; she just laid on my chest and looked around.
By the way, Elsa was born on the bathrobe. I still have it! :)
So, my labor was around 4 hours. Or one week and 4 hours. Either way! If you can't tell from my tone, I find the whole thing pretty funny now! It was the complete opposite of my first birth. It was a good experience and I am happy with it, even if I did act like a crazy woman! I'm definitely hoping for a longer, no-broken-water, less intense labor this time, though.
Here's a picture from about 5 mins after she was born. :)
Amanda, I love that picture. So sweet! I also love the humorous way you tell the part about putting on your bathrobe and demanding to be taken to the hospital. I know that feeling. In both my labors I reached that point where I was like, "I'm done, time for someone else to have this baby because I'm leaving."