Empowered- The VBAC Birth of my Second Son

I had convinced myself that I was strong and that my body knew what to do, so when contractions started the day before my edd, I was excited to prove myself. The thought of uterine rupture never even came into my mind during my labor.

Tuesday, May 31, 2006- I had my OB strip my membranes at my appointment that day and within hours was having sporadic contractions. By 9:30pm they had become more evenly spaced and that is when I count the beginning of labor. Contractions continued 3-4 minutes apart most of the night. Good thing I didn't go in to the hospital based on timing or I would have been there a long time and probably ended up with more interventions and possibly a c-section. As it was, I again labored alone through the night, updating online friends and doing random chores, making sure everything was ready. At one point I sat and watched Jason sleeping peacefully and it was bittersweet to think this was my last night with just one child.
Wednesday, June 1, 2006- Around 7am my contractions slowed to 10 minutes apart and I was able to sleep between them for about an hour. I believe my body knew I needed some rest. At 8am they picked up again to about 6-7 minutes apart. My husband woke up and I told him this would be the day. Luckily at that time he had graduated from college and was working from home, so there was no need for him to worry about work or school that time.

We decided to head in to the chiropractor and stopped to eat at McDonald's on the way. I only ate some hashbrowns, funny how my body craves carbs in labor. My chiropractor made sure things were aligned and did some work loosening my muscles and it immediately cut my labor pain in half, it was wonderful. We then called our family to let them know what was going on. My mom headed up and DH's mom told us to call when we got to the hospital since she was in class at the time.

I labored at home for a few hours. Again my contractions were felt all in my back, but I had DH push on my lower back during each one and it helped immensely. My family showed up around noon and we headed to the hospital. They didn't have a bed ready right away so we sat in the waiting room for half an hour. My OB walked by and saw me there and was excited that she'd be seeing me again soon. At 12:30 they took us back to a room. Jason stayed out in the waiting room with family members.
I was checked at 1pm and found to be 7+cm already. I was so happy that I'd already gotten that far so easily. I let them know that I was not getting an IV and that my OB said a hep lock would be fine (IV port), and that I did not want them to offer me drugs. The first nurse seemed a little annoyed with my requests but luckily I only saw her once before a new nurse came in. They monitored me for a bit until I asked to walk the halls. My mom and I walked the halls and chatted, stopping every few minutes for me to lean against the wall and have her push against my lower back. I'm not to sure on the timeline from 1pm until the birth, but I think it was around 3pm when they had me stop walking to be checked again.

They couldn't tell if I had progressed any more because my bag of waters was bulging so much. They thought I was maybe 8cm and asked if I wanted them to break my water. I said that we would wait a little longer and see what happened. Eventually, maybe around 3:45 I agree to let them break it because I wanted to be done.
During this time I had a wonderful nurse. When I'd first arrived she had asked for my birth plan, read over it, and said "Great!". She stayed with me almost the whole time, suggesting different positions for me to try. I liked sitting on the birth ball, but that position was making the baby's heartrate drop so I wasn't able to stay there. I also liked being on my knees leaning into a pile of pillows, and stayed in that position for maybe half an hour until they wanted to put me on the monitors again.

By this point I was in transition and every contraction had me moaning. Being in the bed with monitors on was excruciating. I was squeezing my moms hand and DH was trying to put counter-pressure against my back but it wasn't working from that position. Finally the nurse helped me get my breathing under control and that got me through the hardest part. As I breathed "Hee-hee-hooo" over and over during contractions I tried to just imagine my little baby boy. I felt like I was only getting a few breaths between contractions.

Around 4:30 they checked me and found that I had just a little lip left and asked me to push a little to see if we could get past it. It worked. I was finally complete and ready to go. They went to fetch my OB and suddenly I had a bunch of people run in an turn me on my left side and put an oxygen mask on me. The baby's heartrate wasn't looking good so they were trying to get it back up. Luckily that helped, but again the oxygen mask was suffocating. I just tried to continue my breathing while the OB was coming. I had my mom, sister, sister-in-law and DH with me. MIL didn't make it in time for the birth, but my dad ended up being in there when he was born too because he had come in to help give me a blessing.

Finally I really started pushing around 4:45pm. I was still on my side, holding my right leg up and pushing with all my might. After maybe 10 minutes they got the bed set up in the normal delivery position. I had wanted to try pushing while squatting, but by that point I didn't care, I just wanted him out and didn't have the energy to ask to try another way. My oxygen mask kept slipping down but they kept putting it back on, it was so annoying. Shortly after I started pushing in that position they started saying we needed to get him out quickly because his heartrate kept going down. I just made myself push harder. Pushing hurt but I just kept thinking to myself that I did not want another c-section so I kept going.

They asked me if I wanted to watch and I said yes, so they brought a mirror over. I took one look and thought "Oh crap! What was I thinking?!" and didn't look again. It made it suddenly very really that I was going to push this big baby out of such a small hole! So I closed my eyes and just pushed and pushed and pushed. The ring of fire was even worse than I'd thought it would be. The pain made me want to stop, but at the same time it made me want to push harder to get it over with. My OB told me that she could tell I was going to tear and gave me a shot of lidocaine before he came out.

5:15pm- Finally my baby's head came out. I was still in pain and wanted to keep pushing but was told to wait just a minute. His hand was up by his face and she needed to pull it out to un-stick his shoulders. Finally I was able to give another push and out came my little boy. I immediately ripped the oxygen mask off, thinking Thank God!
"Oh my gosh! I did it!" were the first words I said, and kept repeating over and over. Jacob was placed on my chest while they hurried and clamped his cord. He wasn't crying and was very gray. They wanted to rush him over to get some oxygen and almost didn't let DH cut the cord, but he was able to while I got to touch my child's slippery warm body for a few seconds. My next thought was surprise about his hair. Jason had been born with thick, dark hair and so I expected that again. But Jacob was almost bald and his hair was blond. I had only a few seconds to process things before he was whisked away to the warmer.
I suddenly remembered that nobody was taking pictures. As they took him away I yelled to DH, "Pictures! Get the camera!" After just half a minute I heard my little boy start crying. Dh was over there snapping pictures. Jacob sounded so angry. They weighed Jacob and told me he was 8lb 14oz and 20". I was shocked, I thought he looked smaller than Jason had been, but he was only an ounce lower. That made me feel good that even with another big baby I could do it. My OB was still busy with me, waiting for the placenta to come out. It came out after about 5 minutes, then she started stitching up my 2nd degree tear. I needed another shot of lidocaine to numb the pain. She was still busy with the repair when they finally brought my baby over, 10 minutes after he was born.
I held him and admired him for a little while, then let him be passed around to family members while I finished getting stitched and cleaned up. They took turns holding him for about 10 minutes. Then I got him back and was able to try breastfeeding 35 minutes after he was born. (The only way I have any idea about this timeline is from the time stamp on our pictures, hurray for digital cameras!)
He was not the immediate pro at nursing like Jason had been. It took a few minutes to get him to latch on the first time and he didn't nurse for long. At 6:20pm they told me it was time to take him to the nursery to get cleaned up and I was going to be moved to my postpartum room. In my room I ate dinner and talked with family that came in and out. I was exhausted but my mind was still pumping adrenaline. I was so happy that I had been able to have a VBAC.
Around 8pm Jacob was brought back to me. He was passed around more and we nursed a bit until family left and we settled down for the night. That first night Jacob slept so well, though I slept horribly because I kept waking up to check on him.

The recovery from this birth was very different from my c-section, in more ways than one.

1 comment:

Lots of VBA3C Stories said...

Kara, I'm really happy to have found your blog recently! Is it all right with you that I copied the link to this post and pasted it on my birth stories site? --> http://lotsofvba3cstories.blogspot.com/p/vbac-vba1c.html