Sorry it took me so long to get this up! We've been doing some serious babymooning. :)
I had my first contractions on Sunday night the 19th. They weren't very strong, but they were coming regularly and I started to get excited that I might have a baby on Monday. I went to bed to try to sleep through as many as I could. I woke up several times and they were still there, still coming regularly and the same strength. When I woke in the morning they were much lighter and more irregular and faded out by 10am. The same thing happened Monday night, only the contractions continued through the day on Tuesday. When I woke on Wednesday they were gone.
At my 40wk appointment that day I was dilated 1cm and 60% effaced. I didn't have a single contraction until Wednesday night. When they came back they were stronger and as the night went on they became closer together and stronger still. At 1am they were two minutes apart so I called my mom to come up to stay with DS. She's two hours away, so when she arrived at 3am we were up and ready to go. We went into the hospital and I had not made any progress since my appointment, so they had me walk for an hour to see if I could progress a little. It didn't work and they sent us home.
The contractions continued, but I was able to sleep through them again. We slept until noon and when I woke up they were still there, but now only at 8 minutes. As Thursday evening came the contractions were getting closer together again, but not much stronger. We made it through Thursday night and on Friday they were getting stronger. We went in around noon to be checked again and I was a “loose 1cm.” I was very disappointed in the lack of progress when I had been having contractions for so long and they were so regular all that time. After an hour of monitoring they checked me again and sent me home.
As the day went on the contractions grew in strength. It got to the point that I had to moan to get through them. My mother was getting very nervous, but we called the OB and he said to make sure they're coming regularly and getting stronger. He said to time them for 2 hours before we came in. My mom timed them for an hour and a half and started to become very nervous that I wasn't going to make it to the hospital, so we went on in. When they checked me in triage they said I was 4cm dilated. I was ecstatic to hear that I had finally made some progress! The nurse wanted to feel what the baby did during a contraction, so she kept her hand in while I had one and when I did my water broke. I was disappointed that my water had broken early in labor, because I had an emergency c/s with my first after PROM, but I was happy to hear that I was in for the night. That 30 minute drive was rough with such strong contractions.
I got into a room and in 45 minutes the nurse checked me to find that I was 8 cm! 4 cm in 45 min! She said it was a “squishy 8” and we tried a push, but I needed more progress. Soon after that I started to feel the urge to push. This was the hardest part of the entire birth. It was another 45 minutes before I was fully dilated and every 3 minutes I had to resist that urge to push. I was so happy when she finally said I could push. After 2 pushing contractions they could see a little sliver of her head. The next contraction I pushed and she came completely out! From a sliver of head to fully out in one push! The nurse was amazed. She said because it was my first vaginal delivery they expected things to go at the same pace they would for a first child. She said that in 25 years of work she had never seen a birth like it. I pushed for under 12 minutes and for only 3 contractions.
I had no pain killers and was absolutely elated to have had a successful, natural VBAC. I felt so strong and at peace in those moments. It was healing and validating and I was ready to do it all again! Baby Lizzie was beautiful and perfectly healthy and we are all over the moon!
Thank you to all the lovely ladies here who have been so supportive and encouraging through the entire process. I love the community that we have here in our DDC!