Our Doctor told us around 20 weeks that we could have a trial of labor and try for a VBAC IF we went into labor by our due date. On Monday, the day before our scheduled c/section we told our doctor we would not be at our c/section.
Our Doctor told us we should get on a plane and go to Seattle to have our VBAC. That it was not safe for us to stay here and have a VBAC. She called down to the hospital in Seattle and they said I wasn’t a high risk patient so it would be fine for us to come. My husband and I felt strongly that we were going to stay here – this is where we live, this is where our help is, and this is what the plan had been all along.
On Thursday I had a past due non stress test (which baby passed with flying colors) and checked my fluid level (which was 16cm and needed to be at least 7cm)! Our Doctor talked with us about our decision to have a VBAC and tried to convince us that a c/section would be the best choice. He asked if there was there anything that would change our minds? We said no. Our Doctor said we needed to schedule a new c/section day if I didn’t go into labor on my own. We agreed at 10 days overdue we would “comply” and have a c/section. If we were in labor before then we would labor and give birth naturally. If not a scheduled c/section it would be.
On Sunday while leading worship at our church I felt my first “real” contractions that I knew was going to lead to labor. Our Pastor had been preaching on Kingdom, as he read Matthew 6:31-34 I had peace that “all these things will be given unto us!” All the battles we had fought would soon be over and our healthy baby would soon be here! We had endured much and were “pressing on toward the goal to win the supreme and heavenly prize…Philippians 3:14 Now we were going to “run with patient endurance and steady and active persistence the appointed course of the race that was set before us” Hebrews 12. I was tired Sunday afternoon so I took that as a sign to start resting up! I took a nap that afternoon with my 20-month-old daughter. We made an appointment with the midwife for Monday morning.
All night long I had contractions. I just kept telling myself to sleep. I didn’t know if we were in for another long 38 hour labor like my first born which ended in a c/section after failure to progress past 6 cm for 20 of the 38 hours. I continued to sleep between contractions. Monday morning came and I remember asking my husband if he was ready to be a Papa again! We called the midwife and told her we were going to miss our appointment cause I had contractions all night! She said she would come by in the afternoon to check on me. I was finally dilated a little – 2cm. By late afternoon my contractions were lining up and becoming stronger. I tried to rest and take it easy. When I went to bed of course they got even stronger. Something about laying in bed that makes me so uncomfortable – it did with my last labor. I didn’t want to get to the hospital too late because I was a VBAC patient (since the hospital doesn’t allow VBAC’s, but they cannot deny anyone care). I felt like I was going to be sick and had the chills. I had my mom pray with me for baby to come safe and sound and for me to have a safe delivery. We got to the hospital around 1 am on Tuesday.
I got all checked in. I was only dilated to 2cm!!! NOT what I wanted to hear, but I knew we hadn’t come this far and fought all the battles we did to end up with a c/section for failure to progress. I got my IV and they began antibiotics for group b strep (GBS). I had a rash break out on my legs, which was an allergic reaction to penicillin. They stopped the IV and flushed it out of me. Then began a new antibiotic for the GBS. The on call Doctor came in and said, “You’ve raised quite the controversy with your VBAC.” I said, “so I hear.” The doctor asked if there was anything that would change my mind. I said “no.” He then asked me to tell him the risks of having a VBAC. I did. I then signed the form to decline a c/section. In the morning my contractions had stopped. I didn’t get discouraged but I was bummed – hurry up and wait? The nurse came in at 7:30 on the new shift and suggested we just go home! I couldn’t believe my ears! That was the best news ever! What an answer to prayer! She said she would go talk to the Doctor about it. He came in and could tell I wasn’t “in labor” and agreed to discharge me! I was so excited to be able to go home where I was comfortable and come back when it was really time!
I rested the rest of the day on Tuesday. I was finally having good contractions again about 8 minutes apart. I didn’t know why everything had happened the way it did, but I knew God’s timing was perfect and He would see us thru till the end. The 10 days of waiting past my due date seemed longer than the 40 weeks of waiting! We tried to go to bed only to find I couldn’t find a comfortable spot in bed. Finally I went to the living room so I could sit on the green chair. I had some serious pressure from top to bottom. I knew my water was getting ready to break, and I could not find relief any which way – sitting, standing, laying. We called our midwife and she came to the house. She checked me and I was 4cm. I labored on the birth stool, toilet, leaning on the counter, and “dancing” with my husband. It was wonderful being able to move around and have such a supportive husband, midwife, mom, and sister. I had a very intense contraction and my water broke!
We checked into the hospital and I was dilated to “5ish.” Not as far as I had hoped for, but I stayed focused and knew I was going to have the natural vaginal birth I desired! I labored on the birth ball and leaned into the bed till 5:30 or so. Then I made my way to the bathroom and laboring on the toilet and leaning on the sink. These contractions felt very different – they felt good and I could feel the baby coming down further. The nurse came in around 6 am and suggested we get checked again. I made my way to the awful bed! I hate the bed when I am in labor (this labor and my last labor)! The nurse checked me and said, “so do you want the good news? You are 9cm and getting ready to push!” I was so happy!
My midwife rubbed my back between each contraction. My husband was a great emotional/mental support for me, as well as a physical support. He sat behind me at my side by the birth ball and helped me stay focused and reminded me everything God had promised us. He whispered in my ear, “You can do this, you are doing a great job” over and over. My sister was fanning me with my daughter’s “Mudpies for Mother” book. My Mom made sure I was drinking lots of water and apple juice as well as praying for me! The midwife told me my contractions would space out and I would have a little “break” before the pushing. I am so thankful she told me that because it did slow down and I kinda nodded off to sleep once or twice and rested up before pushing!
A few more contractions came and the Doctor came in and checked me. It was time to push! I made it! After 9 months of believing for a natural vaginal birth we had made it! God was faithful! I pushed for a little under an hour. Baby’s heart rate dropped twice because I was busy pushing and pushing and not breathing! I got some oxygen, but in the meantime the Doctor said, “We need this baby qout I am going to do an episiotomy to try to help your baby out.” I mumbled “ok.’ That didn’t prove to be effective so then he said he was going to use the vacuum – after 3 tries (that’s all they are allowed to do) and a 2nd cut nothing was helping. When a vacuum is used it’s protocol that the c/section team is called. They wanted baby out so he could breathe on his own! Everyone was saying, “You need to push this baby out, come on, push.” My husband was telling me “that’s it, good job, push like that again, I see baby’s head!’ I knew the stress in the room was growing as more and more staff filed in the room, but I had peace in my heart and knew God had not brought us this far for it to end any differently than it did. I knew you were fine and you would come out healthy and whole. I stayed focused and had 3 final pushes that were finally effective and birthed my VBAC baby!
At 7:32 am my husband announced, “It’s a boy!” (we had not found out the sex of the baby). The Doctor put my baby boy up on my belly and I met him for the first time outside of the womb! What an incredible feeling. I felt amazing! I had my natural vaginal birth, my little (or not so little) baby boy was finally here! I only held my baby for a minute and then they wanted to suck him out and check on him since his heart rate had dropped. He scored an 8 on his APGAR and got all sucked out and checked out great! Everyone was quite impressed when the scales showed 10lbs 2ozs!!! The Doctor dropped his head and said, “and you measured small!!!” (I measured 3-5 cm small from 30 weeks on). I breastfeed my precious baby boy and snuggled him skin to skin!