I started to get a little antsy since I definitely didn't want to go past my due date since I grow big babies, and if they felt the baby was too big, they wouldn't want me to keep going (which meant either possibly an induction or another c...) So I started a few capsules of eve primrose oil - nothing regular - just when I remembered to take it.
Then at 38w, I woke up with contrax that were a bit stronger than usual. Nothing long or regular, but I became aware of their strength. So I started to visualize their glory and welcomed the waves to open up my cervix. When I went for my 38w appt that afternoon, my cervix was 2-3 cm dilated and very favorable (soft, stretchy, loose). I was pretty happy that at least something was happening, since in my last 2 pregnancies, nothing happened at all, even after my cerclages were removed.
I drove home around 4:30 that afternoon, and while cooking dinner for the kids, I realized, I'm not very hungry - these contrax are kind of strong... I told DS, jokingly, to pack his stuff, and that we'd be home in time for the superbowl. I made a list of things for me to remember to take during the 'last minute' (camera, battery, towel for the car, my phone, vitamin water...)
Later that night, the contrax became pretty regular, so I thought it might have been a result of my mw appt, and things would peter out if I took a bath or 'slept it off'.
When I took a bath around 8pm in our big tub, my 5.5 yo twin girls were along my side, way past their bedtime, helping me to 'open up the balloon' in side my belly so the baby could come out. They were fascinated, and I was in heaven. Then I tried to sleep around 9pm, and DH came up shortly after... I didn't realize it was already 11 pm, and I hadn't slept a wink, but became aware that the contrax were not slowing down.
The odd part was I was completely fine and coherent between contrax. They definitely got stronger, and then I gave in and said "Oh no, not another nighttime labor.." I dreaded starting labor at the end of a long day like last time...
So I gave in to the fact that 'this is it' and DH asked about contrax timing. I thought they were still really short, and far apart. So he started timing me - they were actually 45-60 seconds long, and 2 min apart. I had him time me for another hour or two - then I realized, my grouchiness was in full force, and this was the real thing. (funny how he though if he repeats himself but louder, then I'll answer during a contraction!) When I started getting dizzy and shakey, and wanting to push on the toilet (and realized my water had broken), then I said - ok, maybe we should go. I couldn't stand the thought of driving to the hospital if I felt any worse. My mom came over an hour later, I crawled into the back seat, and in a mere 32 minutes of speeding through red lights, we were at the hospital. It was 1:35 am.
During the ride to the hospital, instead of breathing through the contrax, and relaxing, as I remembered with the Bradley classes, I lied down in the backseat, groaning, squeezing my butt cheeks, and PUSHING! I just couldn't bear it. I said WTH - if I ruined it, so be it. I couldn't stand it, and I couldn't bear going through another 12 hours of this just to get to 10cm. I said to myself, one way or another, by 9 am, this baby will be born. (I was definitely in transition but didn't realize it... doubting everything! and ready to give up!!!)
They brought me right up to my beautiful room, and examined me. I was complete and at +3!!!!! I was totally shocked!!!! My mw and amazing nurse sat me up on a birthing stool on the bed. I was determined not to let the baby 'slip back up' and end up with another c. They said it was a one way street at this point. I pushed with all my might and I could feel the urge this time!!!!!! . I watched him crown in the mirror. It hurt during the 'ring of fire' as I didn't slow down to let the numbing sensation take effect... I was still too scared that if things stopped, I'd end up with a c! 35 minutes after I arrived in my room, Dante was in my arms and latching on right away!!!!!! I ended up with a 2nd degree tear, but I didn't care as all I could think was NO C - KEEP GOING!!! HARDER!!!
It was beautiful. Quiet. Calm, just DH, MW, and Lisa, our nurse. Dim lights, no IVs (just an internal monitor during labor, which was fine with me - VERY reassuring, gave me confidence to push harder. I could hear the waves of DS's heartbeats ride in sync with my own heartbeat and contraction waves.)
After he was born, they admitted me. I then said, oh yes, would you like my birth preferences? LOL! We all laughed. They did everything I could only hope for.
Dante was born at 2:17 am, 8 lbs 10 oz, 20" long.
So that's my vba2c story.
Thanks for listening! (hope it's not confusing - I'm still a bit tired!)
here are pix:
It was my second VBAC to attend but the first was at a birth center in bali. so fabulous!!! my friend is planning a HBAC for march that i hope to attend depending on how far apart we give birth!
I could hear myself vocalizing in my sleep, and I was rocking my hips. Finally I had a contraction that woke me up at 11:55pm. I didn't wake up TJ cause I wanted to see if there was a pattern. Every 5 minutes another contraction. I had to go on my hands and knees and rock and vocalize to make myself comfortable. The deep throaty sounds made everything hurt more so I just hummed to keep my throat and mouth open. Rocking against the sofa I had to laugh cause I sounded like a vacuum. I decided to wake TJ up at 12:30 and send him to the store, we still hadn't gone grocery shopping and I needed fuel for me to labor well. After he left I went to the bathroom and even more show and now my mucus plug, I knew this was really it. I called Jessica and my doula, Jacie, around 1am to let them know I was in labor. This part was a piece of cake, between the contractions I was perfectly fine, just doing busy work and pacing to keep things moving and prepare for our homebirth. I was expecting a very long labor after Tate's 23 hours so I told them both I wasn't quite ready but the contractions hurt a lot more than I expect and would call as soon as I was ready.
While waiting for TJ I paced and picked up dirty clothes, and wanted to puke, I could taste dinner again. By the time TJ got home the contractions had gotten even stronger, right on top of each other all I could do was moan, pace, and sway. I couldn't rock on my hand and knees anymore because it made it more painful. My body wanted to stand up. I got an extended break between a couple contractions and I wanted to be in the water, I needed the water as hot as possible without burning my skin. TJ turned on the tub and I had him call Jacie. She said she'd take a quick shower and be on her way. Sounded good to me. I got in the tub and relaxed I even got to lay down until the next contraction came through. It was the longest strongest one yet and it forced me to stand. No position or noise made me feel any relief all I could do is roar. After that one I got another short break and I plopped down in the tub and fell asleep leaning against the bathtub wall until the next contraction hit. After that one passed I laid back as much as I could but that brought on another contraction and it threw me on to my hands and knees. Now I was fighting it "no, no, no" I called out "I don't want this, I want an epidural" and for a brief second I thought "This is why women schedule c-sections." I called TJ as the next wave ripped through my body "no, no, no, I can't do this, I need an epidural, this really hurts, get my clothes, get Tate, we're going to the hospital." He reminded me I didn't want to do this (go to the hospital) and was I sure I wanted to leave? I was sure so he did as I asked. Though he was a bit confused and trying to talk me out of leaving the whole time. He got Tate into the car and came back in for me. I was dressed walking very slowly carefully to not bring on another one of those awful contractions. Nothing helped during the contractions, and even in-between them I was hurting. My body wanted to push but the sensation was so different than what i remember from Tate, I feared something was wrong. This sensation to push isn't like last time, and it's just too soon, so I fought it. Fighting it made me so tired. I wanted to sleep, I wanted to wake up when it was all over.
I shuffled through papers on our kitchen table and looked for a pen to leave a note for Jacie telling her to meet up at the hospital. I started out the back door and the roaring continued. Jacie could hear me and got to us as I was walking up the steps. She tried to tell me to come back in and I told her "I don't know if I'm complete, you can't check me, I need to go now, I need the epidural, I'm going to have a beautiful VBAC, I just want a NAP!" I got in the car and another wave ripped through me. I wanted to escape the pain, escape my body cause that's where the pain was.
Poor Tate was very confused by the noises he heard me making but he stayed so calm. We finally got on the road and I braced my self for every bump. I had 2 big contractions and I felt my body want to push again, but it didn't feel like it did with Tate I can't be ready to push. We pulled up to the emergency bay and I pulled myself out of the car and another contraction hit. A security guard had just come around the corner and he tried to help me, that made me furious! "Ma'am are you ok?" What a ridiculous question to ask, I'm roaring, I'm in obvious pain and he asks me if I'm ok? "don'ttouchmedon'ttalktome" was all I could say, exactly that fast. I walked in the door, Jacie behind me, TJ getting Tate from the car (which remained in the emergency bay for a while) and told the security guard at the desk "I'm here for an epidural." Jacie kept reminding me to breath for my baby, I needed that reminder.
Now we had to register, I was so annoyed I wanted something for pain. They wanted my social security number, why ask me that question, can't they read minds? Don't they know I have no time to tell them 9 numbers? The contractions I had in the lobby were just as irritating as the questions I was being asked. I kept reaching down to hold my self it was the only thing that felt good and Jacie knew it was time to push. Thankfully I had to have stitches in April so that already had my information, most questions all I had to answer was yes. The man doing the registration was scared, and another woman started taking over. It's not my fault that they can't read minds. Once that was over a nurse came around with a wheel chair, which I didn't want to sit in but I didn't want to walk either, so I sat and she sprinted down the hall to the elevator. I kept saying "I hope the epidural is ready." Jacie reminded me it takes them some time to prep for that and I knew in my gut I wasn't going to have it. Good, I didn't really want it anyway. Jacie, TJ, and Tate couldn't keep up with the sprinting nurse she told them to go up behind us. I thought that was funny but I wanted my support with me at the same time.
When we got to the l&d room another contraction hit and the nurse tried to talk to me. "I need to check you and monitor your baby, and you need to put this gown on" my thought you don't have time to monitor anything what I said was "fine! let me finish the contraction." Once it was over I stood up peeled off my clothes and put on that annoying gown walked to the bed and sat down. It was so hard to move, moving him brought him down deeper and deeper and made the contractions stronger and closer. She told me to lay down, to check me and assemble the monitors. What a terrible idea I told her "You can check me here, I don't need to lay down," "no you have to lay down," so I grumbled and got on my side and another wave. She waited for it to be over, though at that point it didn't matter being looked at made everything hurt. "You're complete with a bulging bag of water" and Jacie told me "that means you get to push" Hooray! I was told to wait for the doctor too late, I was already pushing. Mid-push I said "I don't need a DOCTOR to catch my baby! my husband can!" Then I felt something come out, I pooped, I must have pooped it feels so hot and gross. I just wanted someone to wipe it off me. It was my bag of water. TJ said it look like a little water balloon. Someone broke the bag, I asked if it was clear and it was. After they broke it I pushed again felt his head descend into the birth canal it was so warm and soft. One of my thoughts was "oh wow that's a head." I kept pushing and roaring and holding my breath, thankfully Jacie kept reminding me to breathe for my baby, breath deeply, and that made my pushes much more productive. Just having her there kept my thoughts positive. While pushing I chanted "open" to myself and a few times out loud with "I'm going to get huge" thrown in for good measure.
"I feel burning, I'm tearing!" Someone tried to massage my perineum I told them to stop pulling on me. That wasn't where it burned. I was tearing, I knew the faster I pushed the faster he'd be out and the faster that pain would go away. I felt his head descend further into the birth canal and I pushed his head out and reached down to feel him. That's my baby's head! I can't believe it, his head it out, I'm going to have him vaginally! After I let that register and I got to feel how warm and soft his face and head was. I pushed again harder and harder, I just wanted the burning to stop. He seemed to fly out of me. On to my belly, hairy, warm and wet, a little dusky too but perfect. It dawned on me "let the cord pulsate" too late they already clamped it. There was a resident and a doctor there and I didn't realize until that point. He told her(resident) to feel the cord and of course it had stopped pulsating. They cut the cord and I tried to get our little man to nurse, he just wanted to look around. He was still looking dusky so they brought some oxygen over for him and he pinked up almost instantly.
Now they wanted the placenta out so they "massaged" my uterus. Massages are supposed to feel good and that didn't feel good. I don't remember what I said but TJ told me the nurse said she was going to be gentle and I very loudly told her she wasn't. They told me to push, with my new baby in my arms it felt so awkward to do but I bared down then I felt it plop into the birth canal, they told me to push again. It felt like it took more effort to get the placenta out then it did to get the baby out. I was in shock he wasn't supposed to be here yet, and he looked so tiny next to Tate. Jacie and I agreed he was probably on the higher end of 7lbs. They continued to massage my uterus after the placenta came out I was bleeding a bit more than they liked so I got a shot of pitocin. While trying to fall in love with this new little person my second degree tears were numbed so I could be stitched up. As soon as I thought to ask I asked when we could go home, they said they'd get us out as soon as possible. The stitching was started right around the time the baby nurse came in. I quickly shouted "no eye goo!" she asked before she did anything else other than the exam. His apagars were 8 and 9. We refused the PKU, Hep B, and blood sugar testing as well. We got quite a story about refusing the blood sugar tests because he was such a big baby weighing in at 8lbs 12oz, 20.5" long and his head was 14." He finally latched on at 4am and stayed there until about 6:30. Jacie kept us company until then, while TJ took Tate home to sleep even though he didn't.
My nursed finished asking the questions that were supposed to be finished before the baby was born, and warned me that the afterpains would probably be worse this time so I asked for some motrin as a preventative measure. After TJ left the nurses changed shifts and I made a couple phone calls. I wanted to get up to try to use the restroom but since my first nurse left no one had come in. I was left to sit in my own fluid, bleeding all over the bed and had yet to be given anything to put on. There was even blood on the floor (which was still there when we left). So I called the nursed to try to go to the bathroom and let Jacie get some lovely newborn time. The nurse came in and filled a peri bottle with warm water and brought me an ice pack. I reached down to feel, I was so swollen. It was worse than I expected. I couldn't go pee (I couldn't relax in the hospital) so once we got me rinsed, iced, and my bed cleaned up I walked back. I started feeling dizzy, it felt like there was cotton in my ears. I felt the same way after I had stitches earlier in my pregnancy. So I'll never know is that was a reaction to blood loss or the local anesthetic. But my BP was a little high and with the dizziness they decided to get the oxygen on me. That helped immensely.
I told Jacie she could go ahead and head home, we were both bummed that neither of us brought our camera for that amazing insane birth. I enjoyed having along time to just sit with my baby and fall in love. After a while I called TJ back to the hospital. We made arrangements with my father-in-law, Tom, to take Tate for the day. Now time to figure out a name, all pregnancy long he had been Rider, and the last few weeks I really doubted that name. I mentioned Kaleb and TJ wasn't disgusted by it so Kaleb it is. I didn't want to lose the Rider and I also wanted to remember TJ's grandpa who we lost earlier that year, Wendall. Kaleb Rider Wendall. TJ wasn't sure about the double middle name but it works now.
I wanted to have breakfast cause I was hungry (blueberry pancakes, hash browns, and a yogurt parfait), I was drinking as much fluid as possible, and shortly after breakfast arrived so did my AMA discharge papers. I signed everything we just had to wait for the newborn exam. Dr. Yoder came in, our doctor, and checked him out she said everything looked good, then another doctor came in (her superior I assume) to warn us about leaving early and tried to talk us into a 24 hour stay. I wanted to go, I wanted my midwife to meet the baby she helped me grow, and to get the amazing at home recovery. After a 3 hour labor, less than 10 minutes of pushing, and a 7 hour hospital stay with breakfast we were on our way home. Jessica got there about an hour after we did and got to see our gorgeous little boy. It was a phenomenal birth, an amazing pregnancy, and recovery was a breeze. I do it again in a heart beat with a few minor tweaks.
Sami , wife to , mama to Tate 10/14/05, Kaleb 12/17/07, Bram 3/13/10-11/17/12, Alden 2/1/12, October 2014
As soon as I found out I was pregnant again, I read what I could about VBACs. I kept up my running practice through the 7th month. I tried to be mindful of my eating and weight gain, and I tried to meditate at least a few times a week. I found a midwife with tons of VBAC experience through the local ICAN chapter and I did whatever she suggested. I had chiropractic care through the second and third trimesters and I worked with a Birthing From Within mentor/therapist to process grief from the first birth and fears around the impending one. In the last month I tried everyday to visualize a smooth, uncomplicated labor and birth. Through it all I reminded myself that my goal was just to do my best.
Two days before the EDD, we’d just put DD to bed when I noticed that I was having the urge to have a BM but nothing was coming out. The urge/pressure started coming at regular intervals so I started timing them, even though the sensation felt really different from what I remembered with DD. I called my MW about an hour later who said to keep watching them, rest as much as possible, and call her in a couple hours. At about 11 pm I called her again, they were coming about 6 minutes apart, lasting 40 seconds. She said to rest some more, and call her when they intensify/come closer together. DH and I were excited and nervous, not really believing this was it. I kept looking in on DD, feeling a little sad that this was her last night as the only child and she had no idea. I did have some little waves of panic as well, and doubt. I tried to just come back to my breath and the present moment and let the fear flow away.
DH called my mom (who would be taking care of DD) and my lovely doula. Then we turned the lights down and lay together in bed. All the mental prep work we’d done really started to kick in, and as the contractions intensified these things naturally occurred to me: to just get out of the way of my body, to just soften and let go. It started to get kind of dreamy at this point. My mom and a family friend arrived around 1 am. At about 2 am, the contractions were coming every 4 minutes and I had to really concentrate so DH called the MW and the doula. They all arrived about an hour later. We also called a mama friend who lit a candle for us (shout out to my homegirl Mcsarahb!).
I’m not sure how much time passed. I just remember the sensations of pressure and pulling, I remember the darkened room and the quiet voices. DH, my doula, and the MW took turns being with me through the contractions. I remember being concerned that DD would wake as my moans got louder. Mostly I was lying down on my left side. At some point the MW suggested I labor on all fours with some pillows under me for support. I began to vocalize at the height of the contraction, “ooooopen.” This seemed to help keep my jaw and neck somewhat relaxed. For some reason, I pictured my uterus as a big, glowing green muscle flexing. I remember hearing in my head a Dusty Springfield song, “No Easy Way Down” which was strangely reassuring. Also something I read from Dr. Sears kept arising in my thoughts, to “welcome the good work of the strong contractions.” I found comfort in that term, “good work.”
At about 4:30 I heard DD wake up and DH went in to talk to her. I worried she would get upset but my doula reassured me she was fine. A little while later my mom, our friend, and DD left for breakfast and to stay at my MIL’s apt for the duration. I was relieved when they left and really let loose with the moans.
My MW checked me and I prepared myself for her to say 4 cm, but I was actually at 7! She had me labor on my right side as there was a lip. I think at this point they set up the birthing tub.
Not long after that I remember sitting on the toilet, holding onto DH’s waist and noticing at the height of the contractions I was beginning to grunt. It was at this point the contractions started tumbling into each other and I was saying, “It’s not stopping!” But even then, I wasn’t scared. In fact some part of me throughout the labor felt very calm, and at this point the calm part of me had a thought, “oh, hmm, this must be transition.” I do remember being really tired at this point, and a few times at the peaks I was saying, “I can’t…” Somehow I thought that if I didn’t actually say out loud, “I can’t do this, take me to the hospital!” I could keep going and I think that really worked!
I was checked again: 9 cm with just a little lip. I was nervous about pushing with the lip as that was an issue with DD’s labor but the MW said I was good to go. Getting into the tub really took the edge off the contractions. Mostly I was in kind of a frog position, sitting back on my hands and knees.
Pushing was a surprise, probably because I wasn’t really allowed to push naturally with DD’s labor. I really didn’t push this time – pushing was doing me! All I did was hang on for the ride, and take deep breaths and sips of Recharge between contractions. My face would grimace on its own and I made animal sounds I’d never made or heard before. I remember noticing the growing light through the curtains, the soft edges of the inflatable tub on my face, the floating bits of “flotsam and jetsam” in the water. What got me through this work was again focusing on the moment, and reminding myself that this would eventually end.
I could feel the bag of waters bulging at the outlet and finally it broke. The MWs encouraged me to reach down and feel the top of the baby’s head – I couldn’t quite believe it was really baby. After a bit I heard one MW say to the other, “Tug of war?” Then they gave me one end of a towel and told me during the next contractions to try to pull the towel away from MW. This was super exhausting but effective.
I asked to lay down on the bed for a while and just as I was standing the MW said, “the head’s out!” I immediately squat back down. The MW rolled up her pants and got into the tub. DH grabbed under my arms while the MW reached in for the baby and told me to push as hard as I could with the next contraction. I gave everything I could and felt the baby turning and moving out. Next thing I knew I was sitting against the side of the tub, DH’s arms still holding me up, the baby (which looked huge to me!) on my chest, the MWs throwing a blanket on him and rubbing like crazy. After several seconds, he pinked up and I looked down at his face – my boy! He looked just like my father, his nose, his eyebrows, his signature frown.
After only an hour of pushing, DS was born at 8:52 am on January 16, 2008. He weighed 8 lbs 8 oz – bigger than his sister and I didn’t tear! Hooray for HBACs! And hooray for all the people who made this beautiful birth possible!
born 11:48 am
8 lb 11 oz
19 ¾ inches
I woke up around 4am and just knew I was in labor. I was having contractions about 10 minutes apart. I went to wake Frank who has been sleeping in our guest room since I had been too restless lately and keeping him up and we time contractions together for about 30 minutes and then I left him to sleep a little longer. Around 6 am they were around 5 minutes apart so I called my mom, Dr Tate and Guina (my doula). Guina told me she was at another birth but got me Teresa to sub for her By this time I knew we had to get going so I woke Frank and as soon as my mom arrived we hit the road. Luckily we only live a few miles from the hospital. What was so amazing was that it had snowed during the night and everything outside was dusted white. We went straight for the hospital and I managed to stay very calm through every contraction. They hurt but not nearly as badly as when I labored with Jacob when my water broke on its own and we were in back labor. When we finally got to the first room and they checked my cervix the nurse was so surprised I was already dilated to 8 cm and that I managed to walk into the room. It was somewhere in the 7am range at this point. This was the last time I walked anywhere for quite some time. Not that I planned to stay in bed on constant monitoring, I just didn’t want to move. When they had a room for me they wheeled me there as I just tried to breathe through the contractions that were coming pretty fast at this point. Around 8 am Dr Tate was there and I checked me and I was at 10 cm! We talked for a minute about breaking my water and on the next contraction he broke it and right after we started to push. We pushed for awhile and I wasn’t making too much progress so we tried a whole bunch of different positions to try to find one that would work best for me. I pushed on my hands and knees, on my side, squatting. I think the truth was I just wasn’t ready to push. The nurse suggested we take a 20 minute break and I just sit upright through some contractions and we see if the baby might move further down in my pelvis and give me a break. When Tate came back I got back in his favorite position and we got to work, and it was WORK. In the end I pushed off and on for 3 ½ hours. What really motivated me was when Dr Tate took my hand and helped me feel the baby’s head. When she finally started crowning I was in such disbelief that I was actually doing it. I was really giving birth! Dr Tate coached me every second I pushed. He stretched me out and counted and encouraged me the whole way. I had so many times when I didn’t think I could do it but he didn’t let me give up. We never talked about any real interventions. He just kept me focused. In the end watching my birth in the mirror was the most amazing experience of my life. I am truly still in a state of shock that I actually did it. After when they told me how big she was I couldn’t believe it, my C-Section was for a 6 lb 15oz baby and here I just delivered a 8 lb 11 oz turkey! Small pelvis my ass…………. We started nursing pretty quickly and Esther is doing great. Honestly I have not recovered nearly as well. I am exhausted and incredibly sore. I saw all my insides on the outside during that long pushing, but this recovery is nothing compared to my section and I am ecstatic!!!!
I'm 5'4", 108lbs and my son was born by emergency c-section after 13 hrs of induced labour weighing 9lbs 3ozs. He is now 2.5yrs old, amazing, and has mild CP which we feel was due in part to a mismanagement of my labour (looong story)
I became pregnant with our daughter 3wks after our son's 1st birthday. I was teriffied. Every doctor insisted that due to my "small stature" and tiny pelvis as well as my son's birthweight, I would (and I quote one doctor here) "Never, ever be able to deliver even a very premature baby vaginally." "You should just schedule a c-section. You'll be just like Victoria Beckham. Be glad you have slim hips."
Well upon hearing that, I decided not only to switch doctors but countries as well, returning to my home in the Caribbean to set about my goal of acheiving a VBAC. My husband and I pored through VBAC books and found an incredibly supportive OB/GYN who after reviewing my history felt there was no "good" reason why I shouldn't be able to go for a VBAC. It was a breath of fresh air...
My pregnancy went much more smoothly than my first and I was relaxed and happy with the support I received from my doctor, family, and friends. Toward the end of the pregnancy, I admit, I panicked a bit and began to doubt myself, even calling my doctor and asking to schedule a repeat c-section, but he was very level-headed and reassuring and I began to feel upbeat again, even hiring a doula who has since become like a second mom to me.
My labour began 2wks early with a nagging backache. I took a nap and woke up shortly after with a bit of the runs. We called the doctor at 12.48am and he told us to start timing contractions. We counted contractions for an hour as I walked around the kitchen making peanut butter sandwiches and cracking jokes. I wasn't in any real pain at that point. We made our way to the hospital at around 3am, checked in, and waited. They hooked me up to a monitor for a quick listen to the baby then let me get up and walk around the room. My doula and doctor arrived, I was examined and was 5cms dilated.
Things speeded up very very fast and I started to mention an epidural (something I had insisted I hadn't wanted) but there was no time. My waters went with a gush, I was examined again and the doctor found her head was on its way. Three pushes and one episiotomy later (I was tearing way up near my clitoris ) and my daughter was born! 4.59am (just under 2hrs from the time we arrived at the hospital) weighing 7lbs 7ozs...so much for subsequent babies being bigger!
I had her delivered to my chest and started right in with the breastfeeding while the doc stitched down below. I was so dazed and amazed at what I had accomplished! No pain relief at all. I was in awe of my beautiful baby and myself. My husband was just speechless...
I did wonder if the episiotomy had been necessary since I had been in a semi-upright position but after awhile all that mattered was that I'd been able to have the drug free natural birth I'd always dreamed of!
My VBAC baby just turned one on March 21st '08!
It was a long road but a unbelieveably healing journey. I love both my children and although their births were so very different, I don't think I'd change anything... I learned so much from both experiences.
I feel so bad for not having posted my story or responding much here
but I do want to say all of you have been in my prayers.
Jackson William was born on March 13, 2008 at 9:10am, weighing 6 lbs
2ozs and 19.75 inches long. He is my VBA2C and I am so thrilled that I
Background info: M first csection was the result of an ultrasound done
at 42 weeks saying that I was carrying a baby over 10 lbs. I am
4'11.75 and had been told I would not be able to have a baby over 7lbs
vaginally. Well after that ultrasound I was scheduled for a csection
the next day. That night, as I was stepping into my bathtub, my water
broke. I should have stayed at home and labored (hindsight is 20/20)
but instead went to the hospital where they wouldn't even send me home
to labor or at least attempt a vaginal birth. I had csection and my
son turned out to be 9lbs 3oz and 22 inches long
Not having much information about VBACS and not knowing about ICAN, I
was told when I was pregnant with my second that no VBACS were allowed
in KY where we were living at the time. So according to my surgical
records, I was given an elective csection (I did not elect to have
one...i was told I had no other choice....once again hindsight 20/20)
My second was 7lbs 10oz 20.5inches long.
This time, when we moved to StLouis and before I got pregnant, I went
searching for a pro vbac doctor. On mothering I met a wonderful friend
who directed me to my doctor. he said everything looked okay and I
would be allowed to attempt a VBA2C.
My pregnancy progressed well and at 37wks4days, an ultrasound was done
to check my uterine scar. The next day my water broke.
At 3pm, March 12th, my water broke and my doctor had told me I needed
to come to the hospital when it happened. Well by the time I packed my
bag, called hubby home from work, dropped the boys off at a friends, it
had been 3 hours. When I arrived, the doctor at the hospital labor
triage did not believe I was going to VBAC. She had to call my doctor.
She examined me and said I was 3 cm dilated already. As long as I kept
progressing then I would not be put on pitocin. If I had not
progressed after 6 hours, my doctor wanted the pitocin started.
They had me settled in the l&d room when the nurse examined me...I was
not even 1cm. The doc had gotten it wrong. I was put on monitors and
not able to walk around. Well at 10pm, I still had not progressed so
pitocin was started. From 10 until 3 am, the pit was slowly increased
until the pains were so intense and so close together that I asked for
an epidural. At the same time because of the pit induced intensity,
the baby was getting stressed. The epidural slowed things down
allowing me to relax and the baby to relax.
at 7:15am I was checked and at 5cm. At 8 am my doctor came in and I
was at 7cm. At 8:30 am I was fully effaced and dialated. The doctor
thought I was going to have to push a long time since Jackson's head
was still high, but after a few pushes(30 minutes later) the doc was
called in. I pushed for about 10 minutes and out popped Jackson. I
pushed for a total of 40 minutes. Luckily my epidural had been wearing
off, so I was able to feel the contractions and able to feel my pushes.
It was the most incredible experience, to deliver my baby the way it
should be done.
I know I had all the medical interventions : getting to the hospital
early, pitocin, monitoring so I couldn't move around, and an epidural.
I did have a husband who encouraged me and my determination to have my
baby and not have another csection. We want at least 3 more children
and by doing this, it kept that opportunity open.
I was in labor for 18 hours though.
Jackson is wonderful. Recovery was so quick and incredible for me.
Nursing has been so much easier, and all is well.
Thank you for reading and I am sorry it was so long!
On Monday, Jan 28, I was 41wks 5days pregnant. My midwife told me she didn't want to wait until Friday to go into the hospital because I was a VBAC. We agreed to go wednesday right at 42 weeks, hoping they would agree to do pitocin rather than automatic repeat CS. In a last ditch effort, I took Castor Oil (again- after trying unsuccessfully on Sat). My sister took DS for the afternoon so I could have peace while doing the castor oil. DH got home from work around 6pm and I was crying uncontrollably. I was so upset- I basically had given up. I was trying to accept that my body was just simply broken (after trying every natural induction technique except cohoshes), and we were weighing the risks. DH wanted to just wait until Friday as long as I still felt the baby was fine (this is unbelievable if you knew my DH!). I was more unsure of myself and wanted to do what was best for the baby, even if that mean another CS. After we talked, and I cried, the castor oil still hadn't sent me to the toilet so we had sex. Afterwards, we layed in bed a while and I started feeling crampy, and a lot of pressure on my cervix (I knew the baby was low). I got up after about 30min and went to the bathroom (castor oil kicked in!). After pacing around for about an hour, I decided this HAD to be labor! The pressure was more and more intense, even though I couldn't really pinpoint or time "contractions". Eventually I was leaning over the bathroom sink with the pressure waves, and they started to come as waves- and not constant. I took a shower and it felt SO good, but I was afraid of using the hot water because I wanted the birth pool to be warm. DH set up the pool, my sister came over, and at this point (around 9pm) I was moaning with each contraction. We called my MW, and she came at 10pm. After this my memory gets really fuzzy!! I got in the pool soon after she arrived, and I labored in there most of the night. I got out a few times to pee. I had to be leaning over the side of the tub/kneeling with contractions, there was no way I could sit down anywhere but the toilet. I made lots of low tonal sounds, and kept saying "ohboyohboyohboyohboy, ohmanohmanohmanohman". I got mad at one point and wondered aloud why I couldn't say "ohgirlgirl or ohwoman" but it just didn't feel as good to say it that way! Once I got to the point of saying I can't do this, the contractions got really long, and had long breaks in between- everyone there knew I was in transition. I hoped I was, but also feared I was only 5cm so I had my MW check me. I was 10cm with only a lip of anterior cervix!!! I had layed down in bed to be checked and had a few ctx there- but I was FALLING ASLEEP in between ctx, so I probably layed there with DH for about 30 min. I would startle awake when the contractions came, and DH says I was snoring! HOW is that possible? I got back in the tub and I had no urge to push. I was most afraid of pushing because I'd never pushed with DS. It took me a while to wrap my mind around the fact that pushing my baby out was the only way out of this! The baby had been communicating with me through the whole labor by kicking me. I think he kicked at least once every 15min to let me know he was fine. I felt we were both completely safe. During this time of being complete and no urge to push, I told him to keep kicking me while I was pushing. Eventually, my MW encouraged me to push with the next contraction to see how it felt, and when I did, I felt the baby's head move down and felt the skin stretch a little. This scared me a little because it was a different kind of pain than the contractions. But once his head moved down, my body took over, and I had no choice but to push. I pushed and it felt really good- I was bracing myself with my sisters arms, pulling against her for leverage. There isn't much leverage pushing on your knees in a pool! I was making loud ROARING noises at this point with pushing- it was extremely primal and unlike anything I'd ever heard come out of me. I pushed a while, and finally my MW told me to push his head all the way out. I pushed his head out v.e.r.y. slowly. After his head was out, I felt an urgency in her voice as she told me to push again. DH was in the pool with me at this point (he surprises me again!) and was encouraging me to push also. I did, and when his body slid from mine it was absolutely incredible. I turned over and DH put him on my chest. He was blue and floppy and my MW breathed in his mouth a few times while we rubbed him with towels. I said "please cry for mommy baby" and he let out a little squawk! It was so beautiful. We sat in the tub a bit, and then we got out and I layed in bed to deliver the placenta.
Reflecting on the birth, I never imagined birth would be that way. I never imagined how intense it would be, both physically or emotionally. I never doubted myself during labor until transition, and I felt safe the whole time (both surprised me about myself). It turned out that the baby had the cord tightly around his neck, and also a moderate shoulder dystocia. Both of which can have serious complications, but both were managed quickly and efficiently by my awesome experienced midwife. I never even knew those things happened until hours later! People have told me since the birth that I am so brave, etc. In my heart, I truly know that it was not anything heroic that I did (I have NO pain tolerance), this was simply the way my body was made to birth. This birth has changed our family forever, and we look forward to sharing our story for the rest of our lives. I surprised myself with the strength that I found, and I have no doubt that every woman posesses that same strength.
Emily, WOHM to Joshua (05) River (08) HBAC, Rylee (09) HBAC and Levi (coming 8/11) planning another HBAC
When I woke up I felt like I was having some crampy like contractions. I thought this might be the day but was not sure. We decided to stay home from church that day. Throughout the day the contractions were getting worse but they were never unbearable. As 3pm rolled around Dan made the decision that abby should go and visit her friend Zelda and have a sleepover. He claaed our friend and she said to bring Abigail on over. He drove the hour round trip to drop her off. By the time he had gotten home my contractions were getting really painful and close together (about 4 minutes) so I decided to call the midwife.
She calls us back and says to head on over to the birth center so that she can check me. We decided against me going straight to the hospital because I wanted to avoid any interventions and stay true to my VBAC plan. She checks me about 6pm and I am 1.5 centimeters dilated and 85% effaced. I was SO upset. She does a NST and says that my contractions are close together, baby is doing well and to go home and labor more there. Call her if my water beraks or if they get closer together. She also gives me a Lunesta to take in an attempt to get some sleep that night. I was to call the birth center in the morning so that one of the midwives could check me that day and see how I am doing.
I get home and decide that I will take the Lunesta at 8pm and try to go to bed. We call people and tell them that it will be a while before they hear from us again.
8:20pm: My water breaks. I call to Dan and tell him to call the midwife now. I hop in the shower because that is the only thing that makes me feel any better. She says to go to the hospital and that someone will check me and let her know if she need to come yet.
8:56pm: I am admitted to the hospital. I am 5 centimeters dilated and 100% effaced. I kept telling people that I felt like I had to poop and they would say to blow through it. It starts to feel like it is all out of my control and that my body is taking over.
9:10pm: The on call OB comes in and checks me and says that I am at 9 centimeters and that they need to move me to a labor room right away. The tell me to not push yet but let me know I only have a few minutes left. I get to the room and give three big pushes.
9:17pm: Vivian Kathleen is born. She weighs 8 pounds 3 ounces and is 20.5 centimeters long. I have a second degree tear but it is nothing compared to the post op pain of the c-section.
on the 15th of December 2007 while in the bath tub.
I told the baby she was welcome to come anytime regardless of who
was on vacation or whatever. It was all up to her. She gave me a
little kick which turned into a contraction. Told my husband before
he headed to work- I think this is the day.
I went about my day- hitting costco and the bank.....My mother came
home to spend some time with us. We ate lunch and then decided to
watch a movie- Namesake if anyone cares. It was a very sad story,
but I suppose very fitting. I had some painful contractions and
then told my mother I think this is it. I wanted to watch the rest
of the movie, so I got on the birth ball for good measure.
Contractions were about every 5 min apart starting at 2pm. Called
my Doula Megan to give her a heads up. Called Carla too. Told her
not to post in case it all stopped. Which it didn't obviously.
Carla and Megan both told me to get some rest- it's a marathon
My mom went home to change and get some food for us to eat, got a
couple more movies too- Ratatouille- didn't really watch any of it
though- as contractions were about a minute long and a minute
apart. Which they remained the entire rest of the labor. Geesh.
Blew up the birth pool some more and got it all ready. My mom asked
if we should fill it, told her no didnt want it to get
cold....Called my husband and told him to pick up the phone if I
called because this might really be it.
after all that I got into my sons twin bed and closed the door.
Breathing through the contractions. I moved into my bed after that
and called the doula- she headed over. I think I called the midwife
too. And I cried a little while telling her the contractions are
I just laid in the bed and breathed quietly with my eyes closed.
Completely in my own space. My doula got there and came into the
room and sat quietly on the floor next to me while I breathed
telling me I was doing great. TOld my mom to take my son to her
house now(6ish?)- I gave hime a kiss goodbye- then a contraction
came and he was jumping on me- and all I could say was grab him.
When they left we moved into the living room trying different
positions- hands and knees, birth ball, leaning on things in each
position. What felt the best was swaying and doing hip circles
(practicing my belly dancing while preggo must have really helped).
I had my eyes closed for most of the time. Drinking water in between
contractions,trying a hard candy to keep my mouth moist, spat that
out after the next contraction. Made a peanut butter sandwich, took
two toddler size bites and that was the end of that.
Megan thought that by the sounds of it probably still had a long way
to go. Got back in the bed for some rest- much worse. Saying I can't
do this for much longer. Back to swaying and tried some lunges.
Trying to bring baby down and into good position. Apparently my
contractions are typical of back labor, but the positions like hands
and knees were among the worst.
We moved onto the toilet to let me release all my tension. And I
knew that would hurt from previous potty breaks. She grabbed me a
pillow because I was so tired. I believe that was around 9pm.
Stayed there for a long time. I am not too sure of time so bare
Called the midwife, Megan talked for me saying how tired I was. I
think at that time she was thinking about coming over. Called her
back saying I wanted to be checked- thinking that if I was at 3cm I
wanted to go to the hospital and get me one of those lovely mind
numbing epidurals. (sarcasm halfway) But if I was 8cm I could hack it.Pretty soon
after that, one contraction came and my body began to push. I
remember the sound and the feeling, like everyone says it is
supposed to happen. A roar from deep inside comes to the surface
and I said OH MY GOD and my body bared down.
Megan said are you pushing? And I said yes- she called the midwife
right back (10:59 pm according to later cell phone checks) Saying-
she's pushing, and I could hear laughter- what a great feeling to
hear others happiness for ones self. Continued to push on the loo
and Megan tol me to check for the head- all I could feel was mucous
and my bag of waters. During each contraction Megan gently held my
face telling me that I was okay, reminding me to relax my face. I
would lift myself off the toilet using the wall and the sink
counter. Now I know why my arms were so sore afterwards.
The midwife and the student came. She walked into the bathroom with
her flashlight and checked me after sitting there for a minute and
said she could feel the head. She said we could either move to the
tub or the bed- damn we didn't fill the tub- which Megan kindly
pointed out. So the bed it is. I got up right after that
contraction knowing I didn't have much time until the next and
waddled over to the bed. Talking about how weird it felt to walk
with a head between my legs. Got onto all fours and pushed through
a contraction and then laid on my side which is when my water broke
a little. Megan was behind me supporting my head and my leg in a
really awkward position for her. The midwife grabbed the EVOO and
stretched and rubbed. The student grapped the hook so my midwife
wouldn't get drenched. It was full of meconium. She told me that
we needed the baby out as quickly as possible and that we may need
to resuccitate because there was a lot of mec. It's funny but even
though these are really scary things to hear, I felt so confident in
my and her abilities- I knew we would all be fine.
They guided me through pushing reminding me to breath deeply. They
told me to reach down and feel her head- she had a ton of hair.
What an amazing feeling.
I talked to the baby telling her we could do it. We were going to
be okay. They said You Can Do It. I pushed a few more times and
her head crowned, which gave me a couple of labial tears, but oh
well. Then the most amazing feeling of a smooth body turning and
her body sliding out. 11:48pm. I held her and said we did it baby,
we did it. And cried. Thank God. Then I said a minute later was that
my placenta- yes it was-thank god for that too. I was asked if I
wanted to cut the cord- um no thanks I just gave birth.
They began massaging my uterus- Yooouuchh. I was having alot of
bleeding, but all was well after a while. We thought it might be
best to go to the loo to release any excess. I got into the shower
and washed away the blood while sitting on a stool in the tub. The
hand held shower head it one of the best creations ever. Talking
with the student midwife all the while. Basking in all the greatness
of what just happened. Got back in bed after they changed the
sheets, called my husband a million times finally leaving a
message. A hello- your daughter is here it's time to come home!
He called in shock saying how is phone was charging in the office
while he was working on some cars- and who can blame him for not
being there the whole time. Especially when with my son it took me
forever and 42 hours just to reach 9cm.
(I know this may sound incredibly strange to not have him there-You
all have to understand that my husband had been very afraid. I
didn't want any fear around me or negative energy, so I surrounded
myself with people who had complete trust in the process, I knew all
along he wouldn't be there for most of it, didnt think he would miss
the birth,but no one expected things to happen so quickly either-
He got home and cried when he saw his daughter at home in our room
and showered her with love and kisses. He held her for a long time
and just looked at me in amazement.
There is so much I am leaving out here, and I am still processing it
all myself. Mostly the feelings I felt I suppose. It was an
entirely spectacular experience. I am disappointed that my husband
wasn't there, that I didn't get to use my tub or video tape anything-
but the scenario could have been much different and all these
things could have been done if I had another 42 hour labor. I
however wouldn't trade the labor and birth experience for a few
pictures and a dip in the pool. I wish you all could have been
there with me, I felt you all in spirit though.
Yasmina is auch a loving baby. She loves to be held and snuggles
great with me. My son Malik has been so gentle with her. He gives
her kisses and rubs her head. I have't seen any jealousy yet.I am
doing fantastic. What an amazing difference, words cannot begin to
describe. I can't wait until I can see you all at the next meeting
I go to. I would love to go in January, not sure how it will all
work out though. I have to add that I took a bath on wednesday I
think. Aahhh the simple things in life that we all come to treasure.
I hope to add to this post one day soon. There is so much more to
Missing you all. Greatful for everyone and all their support. God
For those of you who don't know, I was forced into birthing at home (albeit with a midwife) due to a strange set of circumstances. Well, it was either birth at home with a midwife, or schedule a cesarean. I was informed about my choices at 36 weeks of pregnancy and it did not sit well with me. I stressed out about it forever, freaking out that we were too far away from a hospital. So, I started reading my natural childbirth books and I watched a great video about natural childbirth (Barbara Harper's Gentle Birth Choices) and slowly I became excited about birthing at home in a rented tub.
Fortunately once labor started I never once thought about any of the fears (uterine rupture and post-partum hemorrhage) I had had about being so far away from a hospital. There was a moment at 9 centimeters that I had a low pain in between contractions, but the midwife assured me it was my ligaments (or some muscle) stretching b/c I had been doing squats. I took her assurance and didn't think of it again.
Labor lasted for about 24 hours but it was only during the last 6 hours that I was truly working hard, two of which were spent pushing. Felix was born as planned in the water and I couldn't be happier. We are both doing great! I try to imagine having that same birth experience in the hospital and I know it never would have happened. It's hard to say if I would've even felt that comfortable in the birthing center. I hope this story encourages and empowers those of you who are now pregnant wanting to birth vaginally. You CAN do it!
Mom to James ( 5/2006), Claire ( 6/2008), furry kitties Calvin and Bob, and wife to Dennis.
So what I'm actually looking for is advice from anyone in the southern michigan area, first off I'm new to this board so I don't know where to look, so sorry if this is in the wrong spot, second I just need to find a dr. or someone who will allow me to deliver the way I want to deliver and should be allowed to deliver. After all isn't it my body and my choice?
Momma to DD (12/04) and DS (11/09) .
I survived 16 mos! Ask me about breastfeeding a baby with posterior tongue tie, high palate, and weak oral motor skills- whew!
mom to all boys B: 08/01, C: 07/05 , N: 03/09 , M: 01/12 and far too many lost ones
Momma to DD (12/04) and DS (11/09) .
I survived 16 mos! Ask me about breastfeeding a baby with posterior tongue tie, high palate, and weak oral motor skills- whew!
Eight months later I was pregnant with DD and I was dead set on a VBAC. It wasn't easy to find an OB who would somewhat support a VBAC but I was lucky I guess. I hired a Doula who completely had my back, my DH wanted a VBAC as bad as me.
Due Date came around, no signs of labor. I had my membranes stripped twice, took castor oil twice and was induced on August 13th. After six hours on pit DD head was at -2, I was 5cm and 20% effaced and my OB wanted to C/S. My head nurse talked him into letting me go home since babygilrs heartrate was just outstanding and we were all doing awesome. He let me go and asked me to be back on the 15th. So, on the 15th we were back, I got checked, I was 6cm and 80%, head at -1 (all odds in my favor) and put on pitocin. Two hours later my water was manually broken and about another hour later our beautiful DD was born. She was 8lbs 3oz and 20 inches long. Even thought I was being induced it was still amazing. I loved everything about it. I did get an episiotomy since her heartrate dropped dangerously low and we couldn't let the cord stop pulsating but in the end we're all happy, healthy and definetely proud that we did it. No CPD after all. My OB told me at my first visit that I have an adequate pelvis for birthing babies.
Kaibyn's birth story really starts about 13 months after his big sister's birth by cesarean. I was unsure if I would ever have more children, thinking I would have to have them by cesarean and unwilling to go through that again. A chance meeting opened my eyes to the reality of VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean) and I became obsessed. I started reading everything I could about VBAC and birth in general. I talked to women who had been there and finally didn't feel so alone. Slowly I began to regain the confidence I had lost in my body and in birth.
Another 13 months later, shortly after marrying my soul mate and the best father I could ask for my children, we decided we were ready for another baby. I was sure I wanted a homebirth, but Kenny was still nervous about the idea. We were surprised when I become pregnant my first cycle after stopping birth control and made an appointment to meet with two local homebirth midwives. They spent an hour with us, answering questions and giving their own backgrounds. When we left I didn't even say anything before Kenny said “Let's do it.”
My pregnancy was uneventful until around 37 weeks. At this point my blood pressure went up into the dangerous zone. I spilled a small amount of protein at that week's visit and I was more swollen than I like to admit. Laurie and I discussed dietary changes to prevent the symptoms from becoming pre-eclampsia, in which case she would have to transfer my care. I worked very hard to follow her advice and avoid the hospital, with Kenny pushing every day to make sure I ate right. The next week I didn't spill any protein, though I was still swollen and my blood pressure was still a bit higher than Laurie liked to see. By the time I went into labor my blood pressure was high, but in the safe range.
Throughout my pregnancy we had kept quiet about an actual due date. We knew I would most likely go past 40 weeks, as I had been induced with Talena at 41 weeks, 2 days. I was not surprised to see 40 weeks come and go with no sign of labor. Three days later, on Wednesday night, I was having some painful contractions while baking cookies. I had been having Braxton Hicks since about 16 weeks (which I loved because I never had them the first time) but these actually stopped me in my tracks for a minute. They only come about once every hour so I didn't give them much thought.
The next morning I woke up around 6 with fairly regular, painful contractions. I could breathe through them and it was pretty funny when, as I was trying to get up to use the bathroom, I ended up on my hands and knees over Talena. She woke up and asked what was happening. I told her Mommy was having pains in her belly that meant the baby was coming like in the book we had read. She was very excited for about two minutes, then wanted her usual apple juice. I got into the bathroom and lost some of my mucous plug, another new experience for me. Just before 7 I called Laurie and told her we could cancel our appointment that afternoon. She listened and timed a few contractions and told me to keep in touch. I couldn't believe how strong the contractions were already. I never expected labor to start so intensely, but maybe all those Braxton Hicks really did help. Around mid-morning Talena asked if she could go downstairs with my mother-in-law so we called and filled her in, then sent Talena down.
I decided I wanted to get out of the house for a while. I felt very claustrophobic right then. Kenny and I ran some errands and got a pizza (his former co-workers couldn't believe we were out getting pizza while I was in labor). All the while I was having contractions that would stop me in my tracks. We got home a few hours later and cleaned up the house a bit. By 4 o'clock I decided that I needed a little more help than just Kenny and we called Laurie over. She checked the baby's heart rate with the fetoscope, listening through a contraction, and said he sounded great. He was low enough already that all future monitoring had to been done with the Doppler. I consented to a vaginal exam to see how far dilated I was and was a bit surprised to find I was only about 2cm with my cervix still far back and the baby's head more or less in front of it.
I labored through the night but my contractions never really became regular. They would come 2-3 minutes, then 6-7 minutes, then 9-10 minutes and back to 2-3 minutes. I was in and out of the tub, using the warm water to relax and rest in between contractions. When I was out of the water I was leaning on Kenny for support, which killed his back. He would sit down between contractions (or get something to eat or drink) and I would sometimes just snap my fingers at him to get him up. He encouraged me to eat and drink as well, but I couldn't stomach much. Laurie checked me a few times overnight, but I asked her not to tell me my progress.
On Friday morning I started having back pain with the contractions and at some point had pulled a muscle in my left side, probably lying in the tub. I don't know if things got more intense or if I was just hungry, tired, dehydrated, or a combination of the three, but I was starting to have trouble getting through the contractions. I would start to lose myself and Kenny or Laurie would have to bring me back down to work with contraction instead of fighting it. The baby's godfather called a few times to check on us (and make sure Kenny was taking care of himself) and could not believe the noises that were coming out of me.
Laurie checked me again and the baby's head was still in front of my cervix. She could pull it forward a bit, but it would go right back where it was. We tried every position we could think of to get him into a more favorable position to put pressure on my cervix and dilate it but nothing was working. Laurie had been keeping in touch with her assistant, Emily, so she could come over when the birth was near, and Emily suggested one thing we hadn't tried yet. Laurie inserted four Evening Primrose tablets directly into my cervix and I rotated positions every ten minutes (side, back, side, hands and knees). Lying on my back was the most painful thing but I got through it by reminding myself how much I wanted to give this baby the calm, gentle birth he deserved.
Around 3pm I started losing control. I was tired, my whole body ached and I wanted so badly to hold my baby in my arms, but I was still only dilated 3cm. I was crushed when Laurie told me, I thought I must have been at least 6 or 7 by that point. I said that I thought maybe it was time to go to the hospital and get some help. At first Kenny tried to fight me and reminded me that I could do this (exactly what I wanted him to do), but when he saw the look in my eyes he knew I was right. Laurie said our options at that point were either the hospital or a good strong drink. I had barely eaten in two days, I hadn't had much to drink, and we were all pretty tired. I knew that if all this kept up I would eventually become physically exhausted and that would mean a second cesarean. Surgery was not an option.
Laurie called the hospital and spoke with the lead midwife on duty (we later found out she had been Laurie's nurse when she delivered her first son 18 years ago). She explained the situation and what we hoped for in transferring. The midwife said she had to consult with the OB staff and would call back. She called back a little later and told us to come right in. Apparently the OB's wanted to bring me in under their care and she said absolutely not, there was no reason I needed a doctor. I called my mom in tears to tell her what was going on while Kenny went to tell his mother. I was so upset she couldn't understand me. Once she knew what was going on she said told me not to be upset, that I was doing a great job and making the right decision. Just hearing her say that, and knowing she would meet us at the hospital, really helped then. We got some things together while Laurie cleaned up some of her supplies and we left.
The ride to the hospital was short and terrible. Every pothole was torture. We pulled up to the hospital and a staffer put me in a wheelchair and brought me up to L&D while Kenny parked the car. My mom was already there and I don't think I've ever been so happy to see her. The staff was expecting us and we got the last open room. They put wireless monitors on me so I had complete freedom of movement which was great. My nurse asked if I had been using a birth ball at home and gave me one. I had thought about buying one but never did and I wish I had because it was great. About this time Laurie was out copying my pre-natal records for the hospital and Emily arrived. She introduced herself and immediately started massaging my lower back. It was exactly what I needed.
The nurse gave me the hospital's blanket consent form to sign and even in my present state I managed to read it and change the things I needed to (no Pitocin, no Hep. B, vitamin K or eye stuff for the baby). Then the anesthesiologist came in to talk about pain relief options (standard for all laboring women whether they plan on it or not). After some discussion I decided to get a shot of Nubain right away. It took the edge off enough to let me relax and rest a bit,
As soon as a room with a tub opened up, I was moved without even being asked if I wanted it. I guess they figured since I had been in the water so much at home I might as well continue. Unfortunately, I filled the tub too hot and overheated pretty quickly. I think it had to do with not having a window like at home. Soon the Nubain had worn off and I was in a lot of pain again. I labored a while longer, doing the same moaning and hanging onto Kenny I had been at home. By now my mom and Emily had left and it was getting late. I decided to get an epidural because I still wasn't progressing. I knew the epidural would probably mean Pitocin, but at that point I knew it was the right thing to do.
Sometime before midnight the anesthesiologist came and gave me the epidural. I asked for a very small amount and was very happy when I never lost movement in my legs. With the epidural came an IV, which meant being in bed, but I didn't mind at this point because I just wanted some rest. I actually managed to sleep a bit, as did Kenny and Laurie.
A few hours later the hospital midwife came in and said my contractions had really slowed down and she recommended Pitocin. Kenny immediately got defensive, but I stayed calm knowing she was right. She asked why we were so against it and I said that as a VBAC we were worried about the increased risk of uterine rupture. Kenny and I shared a look and silently agreed that the Pitocin was a necessary evil at this point. I also knew that my uterus, scar and all, must be pretty damn strong to have held up through this much labor already. I revised the consent form from earlier to allow a Pitocin drip at 3:30am.
By this point I had finally dilated past 3cm and once the Pitocin was started it was just a few short hours before I was complete. When the nursing shift changed they joked that they assigned me the crunchiest nurse on staff. My epidural was wearing off a bit which was great because I was starting to feel an urge to push. I could feel the baby moving down and immense pressure. Someone asked if I wanted to try the squat bar and set it up. The midwife suggested breaking my water because there was a bulging sack in front of the baby's head. It seemed logical to me that I would want his head, rather than a small bit of amniotic fluid, presenting first. I don't remember a whole lot about the pushing phase, but it did not seem like the hour and 15 minutes it was. Time seemed to stop then. I remember making a lot of noise and sinking deep into myself. Three times I distinctly thought that a repeat cesarean would have been so much easier, but I never said it aloud. I knew that as hard as this was, it was exactly what I wanted, what I had worked so hard to get to.
It seemed like forever before I finally felt the baby crowning. I didn't experience the ring of fire many women talk about, but I did feel myself tear. I reached down and felt his head as he was crowning and it was the most amazing thing ever, my heart actually skipped a beat. Laurie told Kenny to look at his baby. He took a quick peek and came back to my side. She told me later that with each contraction the baby's heart rate naturally dropped, but every time I touched his head it sped up again. When I felt myself tearing I wanted to stop pushing so badly to help prevent it, but my body wouldn't let me. As his head came out I dropped to my knees. Laurie and the hospital midwife told me I had to get up, there wasn't enough room for him to come out. Somehow I managed to throw myself back onto the bed, I imagine it probably looked pretty comical. Once on my back I kept pushing. There was a sudden sense of panic as Kenny and a nurse were told to hold my legs back. I realized his shoulders were stuck and just kept pushing. Had I been able to change positions I would have, but I had almost no strength left an my whole body ached. I saw more than felt the midwife grab and pull a bit, then I felt him leave my body with what felt like gallons of fluid. I think I laughed. I was a bit surprised by the amount of liquid since my water had been broken, but considering how little there was before this point it made sense.
Kaibyn William was born at 8:34am on Saturday, July 26, 2008. There was a bit of meconium in the fluid so the cord was cut immediately and he was taken over to be looked at. Kenny went with him. When someone announced his weight (8lbs, 9oz) I exclaimed “That's it?” I had been expecting a nine pounder. I could hear the pediatrician suctioning him (which I didn't like much) and saw Kenny happily cut the cord. The hospital midwife gave the cord a few gentle tugs (which I asked her not to) and told me we needed the placenta out because I was bleeding a bit more than she would have liked to see. I gave a push and it slid out easily. I asked to see it and it was beautiful.
A nurse brought Kaibyn over to me, all wrapped up. It wasn't how I wanted to meet him, but it was still perfect. He was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen and I fell in love instantly. The pediatrician came over and told us they wanted to observe him in the NICU because he wasn't breathing quite right and they wanted to give him antibiotics because I hadn't been tested for GBS and my white blood cell count was a little high. I told him that my daughter had been sick the week before but to go ahead. Kenny stayed with Kaibyn while Laurie helped the midwife stitch the tear. They upped my epidural and gave me a local while they did it. The midwife had a hard time and called in an OB because she couldn't locate the exact sight of the bleeding to stitch it.
As soon as I could get up (a couple hours later) I was in the NICU with Kaibyn. He had some air around his heart and lungs that hadn't been pushed out completely during birth, but nothing serious. He latched on right away to nurse and hasn't stopped since. His nurse was quite surprised. In a matter of hours he was out of the NICU and in my room with me. The only times he left my side was to get his antibiotics.
Kaibyn's birth was the most amazing, healing experience of my life. I am so much more at peace with my first, traumatic birth and was able to truly celebrate my daughter's third birthday three weeks later for the first time. Even though I didn't have my homebirth this time, I birthed my baby on my terms, and nothing and no one can take that away from me.
WHAT: VBAC: A Panel Discussion
Location: Unitarian Society of Ridgewood
113 Cottage Place, Ridgewood, NJ 07450 US
When: Saturday, September 20, 2:00PM
WHO: Holistic Moms Network of Bergen County and Birthnet of NY/NJ Present...A panel of childbirth experts
COST: $7 for general public; $5 for Holistic Mom or Birthnet members
The purpose of this panel discussion will be to help answer questions about Vaginal Birth After Caesarean (VBAC) including:
Who is a good candidate for VBAC?
What are the benefits of having a VBAC for mother and baby?
What are the dangers, if any of VBAC?
What can a women do to increase her chances of successful VBAC?
How to find a supportive VBAC midwife/OBGYN?
What are the insurance issues?
The panel on September 20th will consist of childbirth experts including a Midwife, an OBGYN and a Doula, as well as women who have had personal VBAC experience.
Advance reservations for the event are recommended but tickets will be available at the door on a first come, first serve basis. Tickets for HMN and Birthnet members are $5; $7 for the general public. Reservation requests and/or questions should be sent to [email protected]. The Unitarian Society of Ridgewood is located at 113 Cottage Place, Ridgewood, NJ 07450.
PLEASE FEEL FREE TO FORWARD THIS INVITATION AND BRING FRIENDS!
If you would like to pass out flyers for this event please e-mail [email protected] to request them. thank you!
We finally got to the hospital at 6:30 am and there I was a stretchy 6 cm with a bulging bag. I labored very peacefully, so peacefully everyone swore i had an epidural! My back started to hurt around noon and one of the midwives was rubbing my back.
At 12:40 when my water broke, I was 8 cm and that is when panic set in. I stalled at 8 cm with N*1 and thought for sure that was it and I was done and headed for a c-section! I asked for an epidural and because I did so well during labor no one answered me. I said I was serious and asked our Doula to do a Hypnobirthing fear release which was interupted but both she and I knew that I hit a mental block.
Between there it was discovered that he had some meconium in his fluid but both midwives assured me it was just because he was overdue and nothing to fear. By 2:40 the supervising OB came in and said I was 10 cm and +1.
I started pushing shortly after and due to the twin pregnancy, my belly flopped to one side. Literally C held baby up in the proper angle and thank goodness I had a good midwife who knew what to do! By 3pm I had the epidural which unfortunately only numbed my toes and by 3:20 N*5 was born! I had minor "skidmarks" after a short 20 minutes of pushing. I literally walked out of the room and if you ever had a c- section, you'd understand how neat that was!
A VBA2C is the most empowering thing ever. I worked hard for it and was prepared to fight but because I had a great team of midwives, I was succesful. C was there and was my rock, between him and our Hypnobirthing doula, I don't think I could have done it...
N*5 was 7 lbs 13.8 oz and 22 inches long!
The babies are a bit confused as I'm stuck herein the hospital for 24 hours but they met the baby briefly for a few hours. N*1 thinks it's great I didn't have a c-section and I'm glad to be "whole." We go home in less than five hours and I can't wait!!
As copied from my blog (ignore the missing pictures):
Where Has the Time Gone?
Our twins are 6 months old today. Hard to believe that they've been here that long! Their birth was one of the most spectacular events of my life. One that I would relive many times over, given the chance. I know that sounds weird to some, but let me tell you why...
The worst part of the second trimester was discovering that my OB was no longer on board for a VBAC. At my 16-week visit, she wasn't sure she wanted to be the attending for a twin VBAC. She had never had a patient want to VBAC twins before, but she was pretty certain that the extra pressure on my uterine scar would increase my chances of rupturing during labor. However, she didn't come out and say no right away, she wanted to do a little research first...
So did I. I was devastated. Relieved that she hadn't said no, but certain I didn't want to be anyone's first. One of my close friends had recently delivered so I went with her to her 6-week visit and was able to ask her doctor about her views on VBACs. She told me that she thinks all deliveries should be cesarean. At least I saved myself a consult fee!
I got online and found a local doula who was able to refer me to an OB in town who had delivered triplets vaginally. Not VBAC, but still a good sign. I also did a consult with another OB in Gilbert. Both were completely on board. I left both consults feeling the highest of highs. There are still doctors out there who care about what the mom wants and thinks and feels and take research into consideration. (The numbers show that there is minimal difference between the rupture rates during the delivery of a singleton versus twins. Granted, there are additional items to take into consideration with multiple fetuses, but rupturing is the most used excuse to get out of doing a VBAC.)
We went with the local OB so we wouldn't have to make a 2-hour drive in labor (or wear out our welcome with the Fulpses). Not to mention that I was thrilled to see him. Not once in my 2-hour consult (yes, he spent 2 HOURS talking with me and I wasn't even a patient of his at the time) did Dr. Maciulla try to even recommend a cesarean. He even apologized for the things that happened during Trevlyn's birth - like not getting to see her for over half an hour after she was born - when he was in no way involved! I just felt from the beginning that he could understand my feelings - not sure how, as he's never given birth - and he didn't think I was crazy. At the same time, he knew all the statistics and had all the experience to put me at ease that he knew exactly what he was doing.
The Third Trimester
To put things into perspective, I had someone comment to me at 6 months that I must be due soon. Well...not exactly. That was November. I was due the end of February! Yes, I was rather large.
Throughout most of the pregnancy, Baby A was vertex, but Baby B was stubbornly remaining breech. (We were still on for the VBAC. It's most important that Baby A be vertex to complete dilatation, but even that isn't completely necessary.) I saw a chiropractor as well who performed the Webster technique to help ensure proper alignment for a vaginal birth. Ironically, she was due the day before I was!
I honestly love being pregnant. Getting to carry twins was an incredible journey. However, I do remember around Christmas time literally having to roll myself out of bed. Getting up to go to the bathroom - even from a sitting position - was quite the task. Sitting on the floor was virtually out of the question and bending over was to incur such pain that I became rather skilled at picking things up with my toes. I felt very fortunate to have a lot of support from family and friends who were willing to help clean our house and even brought in meals once a week.
At 34 weeks, I had another ultrasound and got another disappointment - both twins were breech. Fortunately, my doctor happened to be passing the ultrasound room right about then and asked how things were looking. I told him. Baby A was measuring 5 lbs. 5 oz. and Baby B was measuring 6 lbs. 1 oz. He said that was perfect and we still had plenty of time and room for the babies to flip. I sure didn't feel like they had room! But what a relief that he still didn't schedule the c-section.
That night I got online and researched every position known to man that could possibly help the babies flip. For the next week I did pelvic tilts 2-3 times a day and laid in an inclined position every night when James could help me up and down. When I went in for my 35 week visit, both babies were vertex! A lot of people may think getting babies to flip just by body positioning is a bit superstitious, but I'm a believer! In any case, I wasn't going to risk my VBAC by not trying!
So at 35 weeks, my doctor informed me that we "had won". Babies looked great, I was far enough along that we weren't risking preterm labor. In fact, now we were hoping for it!
Five days later, Tuesday, January 29th, my water broke just after noon. (My water had also broken with Trevlyn so I was certain.) I was so relieved! My doctor is only at UMC on Tuesdays and Thursdays. What timing!
I decided to wait for the contractions to start. But they didn't. By 4:00 I decided it would be best to call my doula, Angela. She told me I should call my doctor. His nurse told me I should just come in.
It was a rush to get James home and all the last minute things packed for us and Trevy. (I still have no idea how Emily got here so fast to watch her for us!)
I was admitted to triage just after 5pm. (The resident doctor, Dr. Long, was FABULOUS!) I was 4cm dilated, 70% effaced with Baby A at a -2 station. Hmmm...I was also 4cm when I got to the hospital with Trevlyn. I wondered if that was a bad sign. Apparently not.
After some chastisement from my doctor about how God must hate him for making him be there for a 2am delivery, he confirmed that things looked good and we could check in and headed off to another hospital for another delivery while I labored.
Angela arrived around 8:30. The labor was going really well. I was dilating about 1 cm every 2 hours. Okay, not flying through, but definitely progressing.
Our nurse, Mayra, was wonderful as well. One thing about being in a teaching hospital is that you get a lot of attention and everyone tells you EVERYTHING they're doing! I never felt like I wasn't in control of what was going on.
Dr. Long came in about every hour to talk to me and check on everything. She was so calm and supportive. She's going to be an excellent obstetrician.
Dr. Manson, our anesthesiologist, gave me the epidural around 9:00. After much discussion, we decided to proceed with the epidural. I had previously talked to Dr. Maciulla about anesthesia and he told me I would definitely want it if Baby B flipped breech once Baby A was out. It also seemed a reasonable precaution in order that I would at least be able to be conscious, should an emergency c-section become necessary. I requested the lowest dosage possible. He did a great job on that. The pain of the contractions was definitely dulled, but I could still move quite easily. (I did end up having to have the epidural placed a second time, which ended up being the most painful part of the entire experience, but Dr. Manson was very nice about the whole thing.) Pitocin was offered - it was also declined.
I reached 8cm around 1:30am. Baby A was at a 0 station and I was 90% effaced. Time to call Dr. Maciulla. He arrived about an hour later and told me I was then at 9cm, 90% effaced and baby was at a +2 station! Unbelievable!
The OR was prepped and waiting for us. (All multiples are delivered in the OR.) Nurses were scrubbed up and they let us know they were ready for me to hit 10cm, just give the word. I was ready too. I wanted to laugh - Dr. Maciulla had called it - these babies were going to be born at 2am! Or not...
Minutes became hours. Around 4:30am, one of the nurses came in at one point to ask me if I could wait on hitting 10cm because ours were the only babies cooperating and they'd had to use both ORs on the maternity floor for c-sections. As long as I wasn't one of them...
At 5;30, Dr. Long returned as well to tell us that a number of babies were "misbehaving" but if the twins wanted to come, they'd squeeze me in.
The biggest scare came at 6:00am when Dr. Manson came in to tell me that his attending had told him to give me a medication bolus to prepare for the c-section. Almost instant panic. Fortunately, I was able to keep myself together and asked why we were having a c-section. I looked at the monitor and the babies’ heart rates were perfect, contractions were coming pretty consistently every few minutes apart and lasting for about a minute. I could feel that they were nice and strong. I was dilated past 9cm, almost completely effaced and baby A was in a +2 station. How could I possibly need a cesarean? I politely asked why we were having a c-section when everything looked good and asked if Dr. Maciulla was no longer in the hospital. Dr. Manson said that maybe he had misunderstood and maybe it was another patient so he would check.
While he was gone, my heart rate just sped up and I noticed the contractions subside significantly. I tried to breathe as evenly as I could to get things going again. I was hoping that I would suddenly reach 10cm while Dr. Manson was gone. He did return shortly thereafter and confirmed that he had the wrong patient.
Dr. Maciulla came back in around 6:15. I think he must have just slept at the hospital. Somehow, he didn’t look very tired, which was a relief, but I know he was up a good part of the night and can’t imagine how he can put together too many nights like that. He checked me again and I had made more progress, albeit not to a 10. I was 9.5cm dilated and 95% effaced. He said that we could try the pitocin and get the labor over with. I told him I was fine with the progress and would really rather give it more time. I was still 6 hours away from the 24-hour deadline they give you for delivery once your water breaks. Dr. Maciulla never brought it up again. I know he understood as much as a man can how badly I wanted my VBAC and how hard I’d worked to know just the way I wanted things to go. Since I was still making progress, there wasn’t any reason to rush into the pitocin.
By 6:30, my contractions were coming every 3 minutes and lasting at least a minute. The peaks on the monitor were hitting around the top line so I knew they were pretty consistently strong and I was still making progress. However, try as I might, I still could not feel the urge to push.
las, 7:00 came and brought a shift change. Dr. Long and Mayra both said goodbye. I was sad that Dr. Long wouldn't be there when the babies finally decided to make their appearance. At the same time, it hit me that I was going to have my VBAC. I truly felt that I was well past the point of a rupture.
Dr. Maciulla came in at 8. Turns out I had a bit of an anterior lip remaining and that was the only thing holding delivery back. Then he said the sweetest words - I could push! I'd never even gotten close with Trevlyn. He left me to work with Donna, my new nurse. She was wonderful, too. It took about an hour to get Baby A to crown and then we were off to the OR. Everything seemed very surreal. I could see the finish line!
The operating room was all set up for me. The only thing that I didn’t like seeing was the arm pieces attached to the table for the cesarean. I was pushed past that section of the table and transferred from the labor bed. I really could have walked myself over. I could still feel my legs and it was great to be in control. Even the few nurses and doctors who were in there at that point commented that I had a lot of feeling still, apparently, by what I was able to do.
Once I was on the table, the room seemed to fill with people. The resident doctor told me that I was just a couple of pushes away from baby A. I couldn’t believe it! Finally things were ready and I was allowed to push with the contractions. He was right. It was only one contraction and a few good pushes before Landon Joseph, all 5 pounds, 7 ounces of him, arrived at 9:19am. There was just a brief relief of the pressure and then there was more in my pelvis. The doctor had reached inside to grab whatever he could of baby B. I wasn’t allowed to push right away. Doctor Maciulla got baby B on the ultrasound so he could tell what part the resident had hold of. He was holding one of her feet, but baby was in no mood for cooperation. She was basking in the new-found room in my uterus and was happily swimming around.
Then came another of the peak moments – if not the ultimate – of the delivery – I was told to push when I felt the next contraction. It was all me! I got to say, “Here it comes” when I felt the contraction coming on. No one had to tell me from a monitor and they just all bore down with me. I grabbed my legs and pushed. I could hear Dr. Maciulla telling the resident how to turn the baby, where to hold on to the baby. She was indeed going to be born breech, feet first. I had to keep my eyes closed while pushing so I couldn’t see everything. Definitely a lot more pressure than baby A. I could hear Donna helping me count while I was pushing. James was there on my left telling me I was doing a great job. I gave a few really strong pushes before I had to relax my head back and take a deep breath. There was no waiting for another contraction, it was just push, push, push and one gigantic tidal wave as baby B’s sac ruptured. Another push or two and Callie Dyann emerged into the world, weighing 6 pounds, 3 ounces at 9:24am. I opened my eyes and saw her flailing little body. The tears came. We did it! I had my VBAC!!!
I got to see both of my infants the second they came out of me. I saw their cords and how thick and strong they were. I heard their little cries. It was truly a miracle birth and worth the months of consults, the hours online finding support groups, the tears of being told I shouldn’t even attempt a VBAC because I’d never had a vaginal birth and definitely not now that I was having twins! All the reading, the visits to the chiropractor, hiring a doula…I would do it all again in a heartbeat.
I had two c-sections. First one in 1996 for "failure to progress". Stalled labor after induction - I dilated to 4 in the first 7 hours and then was at 4 cm for the next 7 hours with no change. Did have epidural, didn't really work (still had pain) and baby was 9 lbs 4 oz with a large head. Complications included a post-partem incision infection and the blood loss of surgery made me anemic (my hematacrit was 40 going in to surgery and 27 coming out - not good! I think anemia is anything under 32)
Next c-section was in 1998. Doctor did an ultrasound and said baby would be 9lb 10 oz - scared me into a repeat c even though I didn't think baby was that big. Baby was born by scheduled repeat c at 39 weeks. Family took bets on how big baby would be - I guessed 8lb6oz - and guess what? He was 8lb 5oz! I learned later that moms who have previously given birth are statistically more accurate at guessing their babies weight than ultrasounds! Complications were post-partem hemmorrage (I was basically on bed rest for about 3 weeks because every time I got up and moved I would bleed heavily. Not fun when trying to take care of baby and 2 year old out of state from family!)
Needless to say I did not want another c-section! I was certain that I could birth a baby vaginally given the chance and with a supportive doctor. I found one! A younger female OB. At about 35 weeks I started having lots of practice contractions every afternoon for about 4 hours. By 38 weeks I was dilated to 2 cm, and soft. I was thinking baby was getting pretty big and I did not want to try the vbac with a baby over 8 lbs. Doctor offered to strip my membranes which HURT like ?@#$ and didn't work for me. A few days later I was induced using pitocin. I prefered to stay mobile. I sat in the rocking chair and rocked until I reached 4 cm. Then, I stayed at 4 for a while. I was getting scared that it was going to happen again. Is it possible I can only dilate to 4!?! Nurse recommended change of position to laying on left side. Everything I had read about vbac said stay mobile, stay upright, etc. but I thought I'd give it a try. Sure enough, this worked.
Contractions got really strong, and I thought I would have to endure another 6 hours of that intensity and I wasn't prepared for that. I decided to try the epidural. Again, it didn't work completely and only numbed one side - I still had a lot of pain. Next check I was at 8 cm. About 40 minutes later, pain is intense. Nurse checks..what is that? The baby's half-way down the birth canal! She is as surprised as me and goes to call the doctor. I am so happy that tears stream down my face. Tears of relief, and joy. I am not broken. My body works just fine and I am going to give birth to my baby. Three pushes and he was out. No episiotomy and just a small tear. Healthy baby boy weighing 7 lbs 13 oz.
I was on cloud nine for days. I didn't need a speck of help and didn't want to even stay in the hospital. I felt wonderful. The soreness down low was nothing compared to recovering from a c-section. I laughed at I dropped something off the hospital bed and could easily bend over and pick it up. My baby was born at 5:27 pm and we were home by lunch the next day.
Now my "baby" is seven, and to our wonderful surprise, my new husband and I are expecting our first together in November 2008. Another surprise was that I had to again search for a supportive doctor (we are in a new state). I originally went to a midwife with a great reputation, but she was acting funny about a vbac ("its not recommended after 2 c-sections") and wanted me to go to a perinatologist to check on the condition of my uterus. What? Umm, excuse me, but I've already fought that battle...next!
I found a supportive OB who is "mom-centered" and very non-alarmist in his approach which I think is important in putting vback fears to rest. I am now 34 weeks and looking forward to another vbac. This time I plan to forgo the epidural as my research has shown there are side effects that I didn't know about for me and baby and quite honestly its just not worth it since it doesn't even give me full pain relief anyway! I am going to go natural with a supportive husband and possibly a doula (we are still interviewing and trying to decide).
I encourage all moms trying for a vbac to do exactly that - try! Every birth is its own story and it won't end up exactly how you plan, but research says you have more of a chance having your vbac than another c-section! Trust your instints, surround yourself with loving positive people, and look forward to welcoming your baby to the world.
Love and blessings!
Mom to DS(17) DS(15) DS(12) My gifted, quirky, wonderful teens!
Mama to Jack 11.08 and Liam 9.11 and due with boy #6!
Blissfully married to the love of my life since 8.8.8
I guess it all started on Tuesday October 21st (my due date lol) at 4am. I woke up to some contractions and when I couldn’t go back to sleep I decided to take a bath to calm them down. It worked a little and I was able to get back to sleep around 6am.
Woke up again at 9am and took another bath to calm the contractions again before Christopher woke up. They weren’t bad and I could do things through them but they had a bit of a bite to them. I continued my day like normal doing dishes, folding clothes, cooking, etc. I wasn’t sure it was the "real thing" or not because the previous Friday I had had 14 hours of contractions that fizzled away. So I wasn’t about to get all excited in case this wasn’t it.
Fast forward to about 6pm. I’m tired and these things have been happening all day now. A tiny bit stronger but not too bad. I made supper and afterward Christopher was exhausted so we let him take a 30 min nap. I tried to take one but after lying down I just couldn’t. The contractions were too painful for me to sleep through so I just got up and started timing them to see what they were doing. At this point I had been having about 15 hours of contractions and they were still all over the place. 5 mins here, then 7, down to 6, and up to 8. Blah!! Frustrated the crap out of me!
Got Christopher in bed and was totally exhausted so I tried yet again (in vain) to lie down and rest around 9pm. Nope. Just wasn’t happening. Tony was getting ready for work since he had to be there in an hour. I called him in there and said "Hey do you really need to go in?" At this point I was like, "Man this is hurting... he may need to stay home!" So after seeing me through a few contractions he decided to call in. We called our doula (Steph) to give her a heads up that we would probably be calling her later on. Called my mom and told her to come get Christopher and she did.
By the time my mom left with Christopher (shortly after midnight) I could NOT get comfortable anymore. I tried lying on my side (nope), on hands & knees (uh-uh), rocking on birth ball (forget it), leaning over my bed (nah), lying on my back (OH HELL NO!), and finally I decided that I wanted in the tub. So I hauled my fat ass into the shower... OMG! That felt so awesome. I had the shower just pummeling my back for a while and then soaked in the tub for what seemed like forever. Tony called my doula and she headed over and got to the house around 1:30am or so. At this point I was moaning through all of my contractions and felt this intense urge to lean back during each one. It took a LOT of focus but it wasn’t too bad. I just had to reach that peak and as soon as it was over I was happy again. My contractions never got regular. But they did get closer. 2mins, then 4, then 3, then a few more 2’s. It made us a little hesitant to go to the hospital because we didn’t want to get there too early, but at the same time we didn’t want to get there too late either. So at about 3am we decided that we better go ahead and head out.
I hit the transition stage in the car (oh what fun that was, lol). Tony was so great and was talking me through it... telling me how great I was doing, that I could do this, to just breathe, and that I was so strong and that we’d soon have our baby girl. I started moaning really loudly and started to feel a bit out of control. I got a little freaked out that things were happening too fast. So I made it a point to focus on everything around me to try and slow the labor down. And it worked... the contractions got a little less intense and paced out just a little bit longer. Then we made it to the hospital right around 4am.
I literally could not sit down in the wheelchair that was brought out for me. So I had to travel across a LONG sky bridge, down another LONG hallway, go up and elevator, and then make my laboring ass all the way to the Labor & Delivery department. I swear a man built that hospital because no woman in her right mind would torture a woman in labor like that, lol. All the way to L&D I was leaning back against the walls, partially squatting backwards against whatever was there. I scared a poor janitor who was mopping the floor. I felt so sorry for the man, lol.
FINALLY made it L&D where they rushed me into a room because I was just moaning like crazy, lmao. They had me get into a gown and got me into a bed to start the 20min fetal monitoring strip that was necessary right when a patient was admitted. They had to lie me all the way down to check and see how far I was dilated... OUCH! Whoever thinks that a laboring woman should be on her back is WRONG!!!!!! But anywho, I was dilated to a 8/9 and my bag of waters was bulging. Everything started getting sooo intense and each contraction was taking me to a new place. I remember it hurting but at the same time it was so... what’s the word... I can’t even find the words for it, but it felt so right. The pain wasn’t even a factor. I was in my own world just taking this wonderful and crazy ride. I was having a hard time breathing right through the contractions so the baby’s heart rate started going down a little and they had to hook me up to oxygen and coach me a little on breathing. They hooked me up to IV fluids and started to do scalp stimulation on the baby to make sure that she didn’t get to the point of distress because it looked like that’s where it was heading. The next thing I knew, I needed to push. I was dilated all the way to a 10 so they told me to go ahead and push if I needed to. Suddenly my water WHOOSH broke all over the place and I went back down to a 9 since I no longer had the added pressure of the water bag keeping me at 10cm. There was a moderate amount of meconium in the water so that got the nurses concerned a little and they told me that they would have to suction her out right after she was born to make sure she didn’t swallow anything. But I still had to push and could not stop myself. I quickly went back to a 10 (in like a minute) and my OB walked in...
He was gowned up and ready to go in a flash. He got situated and started talking me through things. I, at that point, was lying back, but wasn’t flat. I guess you’d say I was in a semi-reclining position. It was the only thing that felt good and I couldn’t do anything else. They kept telling me to pull my legs back but I literally couldn’t. So 2 people (I can’t even remember who) helped to push my legs back so that I could open my pelvis more... God the urge to push was sooo intense!!! I kept letting out high pitched noises which was not conducive to getting her out and was depriving both me and her of oxygen. So with a little encouragement from my OB and a few other people I started groaning and grunting while pushing. OH MY GOD THAT FELT SO GOOD! The next thing I knew, Tony was saying "There’s the head!" I rested for a minute and then BOOM! I started pushing, pushing, pushing, and then suddenly I felt relief. I had her head out!!!! They suctioned her mouth and nose out and then I pushed the rest of her body out. Because of the meconium, I wasn’t able to hold her right away like I wanted to but that was just fine by me. I did it. After a little over 25 hours of labor and about 5 minutes of pushing I gave birth to my daughter. And it was amazing.
Katherine Elizabeth was born at 5:14am on October 22nd weighing in at 7lbs, 14oz and was 20.5 inches long.
They immediately cut the cord and suctioned her out the rest of the way while I was watching. She was so beautiful. She started crying and I swear that was the most glorious sound ever on earth. They got her cleaned up while my OB stitched me up (I just had a minor tear that took 3-4 stitches) and told me what to expect as I came down from the adrenaline high from the delivery. I was shaking all over the place and was freezing cold. It was crazy, lol. A couple of minutes later they placed my baby girl in my arms and I was in heaven. She was staring at me like she knew exactly who I was. I waited to stop shaking before trying to breastfeed her so Tony held her during the meantime. I finally stopped shaking and as soon as she saw that nipple she latched on for dear life and started nursing like she had been doing it for years.
After that things just went great. We stayed at the hospital (which had amazing staff) and tried to rest as much as we could. Other than being tender from my tear I was feeling great. Katherine got a clean bill of health and the pediatrician who looked her over said that she was just perfect.
We got released the next day at 2pm much to our pleasure. She slept through the whole ride home and we got settled in. We had that 1st nights to ourselves to catch up on some much needed rest and her big brother came home from Grandma’s house today. He gave her lots of kisses and wanted to hold her. He absolutely loves her and will often come over to pat her head or try to share some of what he has, lol. She’s a doll and is such a good baby. She’s breastfeeding wonderfully and just loves to snuggle.
Well that’s about all for now. I hope ya’ll enjoyed the birth story (if ya’ll could read it all, lol... sorry so long)
Amy Lynn, Loving wife and mom to 3 sweethearts. Christopher (8/06), Katherine (10/08), and Matthew (09/11). 2 time VBAC Momma and NCB & BFing advocate.
For those of you that got to use a mirror - did your hospital provide it or did you bring your own?
For #2, I went into labor at 3 am on Dec 2,2008, but I was worried
it might be false b/c I had been having Braxton-Hicks for weeks. My husband Chris
had been up with our 2-year old, Annelise, the night before (she had had a nightmare or something) so I wanted to wait as long as possible before waking him.
After I realized that the contractions were 5 minutes apart, each was
about a minute long, and all together had lasted about an hour, I
called the midwife on call at Mass General Hospital at 4 am. She thought it was real
labor b/c the contractions woke me up, and I had major diarrhea (gory!
). B/c I was still worried it might be too early to go into the
hospital, she told me to run a bath and immerse myself to see how that
may or may not affect the contractions. I soaked for an hour, and the
contractions stayed consistent.
Annelise woke up from another nightmare at 5 am, and Chris went to
soothe her. He heard me splashing in the tub, and immediately started
running around in a happy excited way and gathered my 1/2-packed
suitcase (I really thought I'd be late so I had planned to finish
packing later in the week) and called his parents to come over and be
with (slumbering) Annelise.
My contractions became slightly stronger as Chris drove us north to
Boston. We arrived at MGH at 6 am. A midwife checked me and said I was
fully effaced, the baby was zero station, and I was 5 cm dilated!!
This was quite a shock b/c while the contractions were strong, they
were bearable. This was totally different from #1, when I was induced
by cervidil and pitocin - when I was 2 cm, I was in agony and asking
for an epidural and the nurses thought I was a total wimp.This time, I
was able to withstand the pain until I was 7 cm before I said to the
nurse (Dorothy) "I'd like an epidural now!" In conclusion, laboring
without being induced was a piece of cake compared to enduring induced
The nice thing about MGH was that they didn't need to catheterize me
when they gave me the epidural like New York Hospital (where Annelise was born) did. So when I pushed, I
didn't feel like I might also push out the catheter or something. And
my epidural wasn't one of those push-button ones that I controlled, so
one less distraction. Also, the midwives/doctors only checked my
cervix about 3 times vs about 10 times at NYH. My OB came in to see
me, which was really nice b/c I requested a midwife to the attend the
birth and she totally didn't have to do that.
The midwife on call, Tina, said the baby was still 0 station, and that
she was posterior instead of anterior. She had me lie on my right side
to encourage the baby to turn around. It sort of worked, but Dana Lu
changed her position several times before being born.
At 12 noon, I was fully dilated. I pushed, and pushed, and pushed
again, and I was disappointed that the baby wasn't out yet (probably
only 10 minutes had passed, ha ha). I couldn't really feel the
contractions at this point. However, the epidural gradually wore off,
and I could definitely feel them by about 1 pm. I could feel myself
getting sore and raw from all of the digital exams, and the exertion.
I kept pushing, but I think a lot of my pushes were ineffective b/c I
kept pushing down instead of up, and the baby wasn't moving down. We
tried every position possible: all fours, straddling the bar,
side-lying, etc. At about 1.30, I became pretty exhausted and
discouraged. This was made worse when the midwife said she was a
little disappointed that she hadn't seen more of the baby by that
point. I was sooo sad to hear this but with the next push I actually
moved the baby a significant amount. Throughout all of this, the
baby's heartbeat remained a strong 140-150 bpm, and Chris was so
helpful and strong, constantly coating my head with ice chips, when to
exhale, and telling me I was doing great. At 2 pm, however, I became
discouraged again and I said to the midwife, nurse, and Chris, "I give
up. I want another c-section" and they all looked so sad and
crestfallen. The nurse had suggested that I look in the mirror about 5
times prior, but I was ambivalent b/c I was so focused on my
discomfort (mostly the pressure). She finally brought it to me so I
could see Dana's head. This motivated me a little bit, but then I also
realized that I was very, very swollen down there from the pushing I
had done, and if I had to ALSO have surgery on top of that pain?? No
way! At this point, I started yelling (I had been trying to be quiet
and a "good" patient before this) at Tina, Dorothy, and Chris, "Tina,
this REALLY HURTS!!!!! I CAN'T DO THIS!!!" for example. Then the "ring
of fire" came on just before 2.30 . . . I could NOT believe how
horrifically painful this was. Wow. All of those movies of women
giving birth and stories I'd heard were so real to me! I thought of my
grandmothers, their mothers, and every mom I knew . . . my epidural
was non-existent at this point. The relief I felt when little Dana Lu
finally slipped out was indescribably wonderful. Holding her in my
arms immediately after was nice of course.
She was 8 lbs, 15.5 oz, 21 inches. The midwife said if she was just 8
oz less and if her head had done the "banana" thing babies' heads
usually do (her head stayed very very round), then I would've only had
to push for an hour at the most. I pushed for 2.5 hours.
I tore to the 3rd degree (4th degree is worst), and all of the nurses
I encountered were very proud of me when I'd tell them I was a VBAC.
I'm healing really well, so I do think this recovery is better than a
c-section. However, if we go for #3, I'm certain that baby will be at
least 10 lbs! So maybe I'll schedule a c-section. I don't know yet.
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