My first pregnancy seemed fairly simple, I had no issues other than “baby was measuring big”. I was seeing an OB at the time, whom I really only saw maybe 3 times through out my pregnancy due to her being in the hospital. Although I barely knew this woman I was expecting her to bring my baby into this world, patiently. Well as my labor moved into 41 weeks I was willingly scheduled for an induction the day after my birthday, not knowing the risk.
On March 13th, I arrived at the hospital at 6 am 3 cm dilated. They got me hooked up to everything and got the pitocin going by 7 am. An hour of so later I was at 4 cm and not really in much pain but everyone advised me “if you want an epidural get it now!”. Blindly I went ahead with the epidural, which at the time was the worse pain I had felt thus far. Once this was done we waited and waited a bit longer.
Around 2 pm the OB came to check me and suggest she break my water to help progress labor for I had been at 6 cm for a few hours. I allowed her to do so. Around 6 pm she came to check me, I was still 6 CM. At this point my OB insist we do a c section because baby is not dropping and the risk of infection is becoming greater. (I did not know that risk of infection is not typically until 24 hours after your water has been broken, your water can even break and replenish itself!). As a first time mother with little birthing education I panicked. In my mind I thought “shouldn’t we wait a bit longer?!” But my heart said just do it, my baby is in danger.
After just 12 hours of labor they wheeled me back and 30 minutes later my beautiful baby boy was here. 9 lbs 7 oz and 21 inches long. I didn’t get to see him for nearly an hour after his birth, there was no skin to skin and my husband was not even allowed to cut the cord. The recovery was even more traumatic than the surgery. Not being able to eat normal for a few days, the gas pain, the pain of standing up, etc.
A month after our first son, Landon, turned one we found out we were expecting again. I continued to go to an OB, this time a different one because my previous had quit. I had a feeling my first birth was not given enough time but I really liked this OB, she mentioned a VBAC before I even had the chance and was very encouraging, she even agree’d that many OB’s now are not very patient and end up doing c-sections. However she insisted I have an epidural due to the risk of uterine rupture. I was NOT okay with this. At 6 months pregnant I spoke to a family member about her midwife that delivered her boys at home.
The idea of a midwife and home birth became very appealing to me. It was then I was introduced to my midwife Darlene. We met at a coffee shop and it was a very comfortable, nothing like an OB. She was very sweet, positive and insightful and very confident in my efforts to VBAC. Although my belly measured ahead she never once try to scare me with “your baby is too big”.
My due date was approaching quickly and I wasn’t showing many signs of labor. A few contractions here and there, baby wasn’t dropping, I hadn’t dilated or hardly effaced.
On December 31st around 4:30 pm I started having close contractions and they did not ease up. By 6 pm we knew I was certainly in labor. Darlene came over along with my doula, Gina, and my sister as well.
By the time midnight rolled around I seemed to be in hard labor but I was not progressing much at all. I had loss some mucus plug and was around 2 cm. My contractions were strong and almost unbearable. Darlene checked Kadens heart tones and we both heard a drop in his tones. It was then we decided a transfer to the hospital would be best. We arrived at the hospital around 12:30/1 (honestly I was in so much pain, I wasn’t paying attention).
Although I had planned for a non medicated birth I came in begging for an epidural. After 2 hours I finally had my epidural, which didn’t hurt nearly as bad as my first. Once the epidural kicked in I was able to rest for a bit. My body had got to 5 cm on it’s own then just like my first labor, it stalled. I stayed at 5 cm for 12 hours, the length of my first labor and baby still had not dropped. By this time there was a different OB than the original and she was very calm and suggest that maybe we break my water or get me on a slow pit drip. I discussed the options with Darlene and decided, al though it was risky I would allow my water to be broken. If it didn’t progress after that I would allow a pit drip. Luckily we never needed that.
They broke my water around 10 am and after that it was a slow progression. Finally around 8 the nurses came in and said I was at a good 9 to 9 1/2 and baby had finally dropped but the right part of my cervix hadn’t melted away yet. My epidural had worn off and they had me on my hands and knees for a while, ten minutes on each side with one leg up in a stirrup.
They started to encourage me to push and after 28 hours of labor and no sleep I was EXHAUSTED. I couldn’t push hard enough and baby kept going back up into the birth canal. He was coming out asynclitic, which means head of the baby is presenting first and is tilted to the shoulder. He was facing up and to my left. Apparently that’s another reason they were moving me around quite a bit.
I pushed as hard as I could not once thinking of a c section as an option, I heard his heart rate drop slowly and I pushed with all I had to give and out came my sweet baby boy! All 9 lbs 9 oz and 23 1/2 inches long. I had did it! I got my VBAC! And with an even bigger baby after being told my body couldn’t do such a thing. The OB that delivered Kaden admitted she was having OR prep to bring me in for a c-section right before I pushed my baby out. I felt a bit of fear knowing I was so close to being sliced open again.
I’ve never felt so proud as the moment I got my VBAC. We did skin to skin immediately and did delayed cord clamping so baby could get all of his blood and this time my husband got to cut the cord! Once he was clean up we attempted to breastfeed, that took some work and a lot of help from Darlene, nurses and Lactation but thankfully with their help and my patience I am going strong and loving breastfeeding nearly two months later. Postpartum was amazing. I could walk afterwards, eat and shower all with no issues! I had some pain from stitches but it wasn’t nearly as bad as my c-section postpartum recovery.
I’m also amazed at the patience of all of the nurses. They were the same nurses from nearly two years ago with my first son but it was like they had all turned into caring, sweet people. Before I thought of them as heartless and a bit vicious really. It really restored my faith in birth. I would have absolutely LOVED a home birth but I still got my VBAC and had amazing support!! My husband, Darlene, Gina and my sister stuck around the entire 28 hours and they all got to watch my son enter the world. My mother in law was there for his birth as well.
He came into the world into so much love and excitement and I’m hoping that’s just what this life has to offer him.
-mother to Landon and Kaden
-wife to Brian