Welcome to my “I Want a Baby to Come Out of My Vagina” series. I had a c-section with Dessa so I am focused on having a VBAC this second time around. I’m prepared to accept that some things are out of my control and that despite my best efforts, my vagina might never see a baby exiting through. My goal is always to have a healthy baby with a healthy mama. But my vagina isn’t going down without a fight. This series will chronicle my journey to attempting a successful VBAC.
I think the best place to start is with my pregnancy with Dessa and her birth story. My pregnancy was a smooth ride; aside from the massive belly and boobs, some itching here and there and giant puffed hands and feet, I had no complaints. I felt great. I ate well and exercised until the end. Well specifically I didn’t do anything but sleep my first trimester then worked out a lot in my second and just did lots of walking in my last trimester.
I read a ton of books on labor and delivery; I focused on trying to have a non-medicated birth. I truly believed I could deliver naturally. I educated myself on exactly what happens to your body in labor and, the nerd that I am, created my own binder with labor and delivery info.
I was due on Wednesday June 28; I worked until the Thursday immediately before with no signs of labor. I didn’t have any Braxton Hicks and barely dilated or effaced before going into labor. Never had any real bloody show either.
The Friday before my due date noticed the baby wasn’t moving as much. I called my obgyn and she said to go into the hospital to get monitored. They hooked me up to the machine and sure enough all was fine and unbeknownst to me I was having contractions! I left the hospital and all was well.
Monday I bummed around and midday I started to get cramping I hadn’t experienced before. It took me forever but I realized these were contractions. Nothing to write home about because they were still fairly far apart. My husband and I went about our day and even made a trip to Target.
Once the evening hit the contractions hadn’t yet increased in intensity but they were starting to have a pattern to them. I didn’t feel uncomfortable and was able to go about my business. Later into the night, I’d say between ten and eleven, I started to get uncomfortable and the contractions were much closer together. I pulled out the medicine ball and started bouncing away. Jeremy started to put into practice the massage techniques we’d used to manage the pain – tennis balls, lower back pressure, massaging pressure points, etc.
Around midnight we decided we needed to rest up because I was obviously in labor. I called my doc and asked her when she thought I should go to the hospital. The contractions were pretty close but still bearable. She stayed on the phone with me and we chatted for abit. She told me that because I could hold a conversation during the contractions, I was probably still ok to stay home.
We went to bed and Jeremy was able to sleep a bit. I actually was able to close my eyes here and there but I spent a lot of time back and forth between the bed and medicine ball. At some time in the middle of the night I had the urge to pee and got up from bed. As I was making my way towards the bathroom, I felt this very sudden squeezing pop and my water broke. This is where things started moving in super speed.
The car ride there is a blur but I remember having to fill out some paperwork and talk to way too many people. The contractions were beyond strong at this point and I could no longer focus on managing the pain with all the hustle and bustle going on around me. They examined me and I was already 4 centimeters dialated. When the nurses asked if I wanted the epidural I gave in and said yes.
Once the epidural hit I was on cloud nine. I hated getting it because it hurt like hell but afterwards you could have sawed off my leg and I wouldn’t have felt a thing. The epidural slowed things down and they gave me pitocin to get things going again. The pitocin caused me to dialate more but also caused the baby’s heartrate to drop on several occasions.
The first stage of labor went by smoothly. I even think I slept in between contractions because I couldn’t feel anything. When I finally got to 10 centimeters, it was time to push. My obgyn was fantastic and did perineal massage the entire time I was pushing. I pushed for a little over two hours. We could all see her head but she just wasn’t progressing past the bone.
It’s not all crystal clear at this point but after some discussion about the health of the baby who’s heart beat kept dropping and then going back to normal, we decided on a c-section. A giant team of folks came in and I was given more drugs. I started freaking out a bit and just wanted to go back to the quiet phase of just me, my hubby, the obgyn and the nurse.
The c-section went by super fast and our daughter arrived without complications. Mom and baby were happy and healthy!
Reflecting back I think the reason things turned out the way they did is because I got the epidural. Once I got it I had zero feeling and couldn’t even feel myself having contractions or really pushing. I have no regrets and am just grateful we both made it alive and well.
Tune in next week when I’ll talk about the choices I’m making now to work towrads a successful VBAC. If any readers have had a VBAC, I’d love to hear about your experience. And if you have any resources to share I’d love to learn about them!