When I found out I was pregnant with my third baby, I decided that I had a lot of learning to do. I have had two c-sections in the past and this time I wanted to have a VBAC. I started by looking for a Dr practice other than the one I had my first 2 babies with. I looked for recommendations from other moms. The first Dr. I met with, his first words were "so you want to schedule your c-section?" Nope - after meeting too many that could deliver me even though midwives were a part of the practice I had an uneasy feeling and started looking again. About half way through my pregnancy I started going to ICAN. I was directed to some VBAC friendly Dr.'s in my area who at 30 weeks I switched to upon their recommendation.
I knew I didn't feel right and it was late but I was going to do EVERYTHING so there were no regrets this time. I would trust my instinct. I listened. I read. I talked to many people. I went to mothering conferences where I was exposed to midwives who I had never encountered before. I learned about medications that I hadn't been educated in before which I had taken while laboring, thinking no problem. I was going to know everything possible. I was going to go natural; to avoid a blood pressure drop that had occurred with 2 previous births that scared me so bad I never wanted to look down from a room on my body again, like my last experience in birth. I wasn't going to have an epidural for that reason. I had a plan to stay home as long as possible. I was admittedly scared of going into the hospital where I might want the epidural if they made me lay in bed. I wanted to be active and labor to the pushing stage. As I began thinking of this laboring till the last possible moment before going in I started to wonder if I waited too long whether my doula could deliver a baby and whether I wanted her to.
Homebirth popped in my mind but I couldn't do that. Well, I would just talk with her [midwife] and ask questions. I would keep my Dr. because I needed him for security but slowly after questions were answered and visits were made decided I was going to try homebirth. I saw both, although I loved my Dr. I was a little leery of going in a hospital after my two previous experiences. I always felt like it was their call on my birth and not mine. I felt more relaxed and less scared at home. It took me a while to go from total faith in Dr.'s to trust in myself and a midwife at home. I made my choice through educating myself. I learned the facts and the risks at both and decided I would be prepared. No regrets for not having tried everything possible to make this birth my VBAC. I truly did so much toward this birth by talking, asking and reading I felt like I could do it and I wasn't scared because I did everything possible to make it happen the way I wanted.
After all this, I hit hurdles with a baby that liked to move around a lot and in my 37th week my baby wasn't moving from its position to my utter frustration. I had worked so hard anticipating this birth.
Start Monday through Thursday with a breech baby at Monday's appointment! I decided a chiropractor is what I needed to try and do. I made it to 3 appointments that week.
I talked to my Dr. on Friday saying, "Let me try a version, please." He said later that night he would call. My contractions got from 12-25 minutes long. He never called. At 6:45am on Saturday I worried that my dream was going to die with a breech baby. I paged him with my contractions at 5-6 minutes apart. I was afraid I was already too much in labor for him to try a version. He called back and said come right in. We would see.
I went right in about 8:00. As I entered the room with the nurse I told her I was there for a version. My baby was breech. She said well he will section you for sure if you are breech. Um.... thanks, lady. Then they came in and told me I was at 1cm but baby was now transverse. My heart sank knowing automatic c/section. He said my fluid was on the low end and doing a version was riskier. With my midwife and husband there I asked if we could just try. I mean if I had a uterine rupture I was there. He agreed. With two movements a resident calmly turned the baby head down. I say calmly because I screamed so loud you could hear me a building away. It hurt like hot place but it worked. They wanted a strip for 20min and couldn't get one on flipper so told me to walk to make sure baby stayed and I had a calm no chance of rupture. I walked through contractions one hour around and around walking faster when one came but it worked great. Came back and flipper settled. I was at 4cm and 85% effaced. They told me I was in active labor I could stay. I said I want to go home because it wouldn't be for awhile. We left at about 12:45pm. We went picked up lunch and went home at 2:00pm.
I called my doula with things getting harder to deal with. She said she was on her way. At 3:05 she arrived making me happier that someone besides Chip was there. I had frightened mom away coming home in labor. She said why didn't you stay in the hospital? Me - in no mood - told her because I didn't want to. I told my doula I wanted to walk through contractions and that it really helped so we started at the living room. We walked into the kitchen and at 3:20pm I had to stop at the sink for a contraction that I couldn't walk through. Holding onto M and the sink, bending over, my water broke and I had to push. M jumped on the phone with midwife, "She is pushing!" "Lora try not to push but breathe through if you can." She yelled for Chip cleaning up in the background to come and help. She had to go outside and get her stuff. No one expected me to go this quick.
I remember midwife arriving vaguely. I pushed for 2.5 hours. I went from toilet standing/leaning against Chip's hands which I had to hold both all the time or I had a cow, to in the bath. No deal there - not comfy - to bedside to toilet most of all. Kept saying I can't do this much longer. Man, Chip was strong because he was there holding me up while I squished his hands. Sitting on the potty I felt some things moved, said so and because M saw blood and was worried we moved me reluctantly into the bedroom.
On my back so she could check she told me to stop pushing to pant. I did, but a contraction pushed the baby out on its own and I saw a head then one more and baby slipped out feet crossed out onto top of me screaming. That is when I heard "our baby is here" and in came the girls who had been in the hall with Granny who had arrived back to take care of them for me not knowing all that had started until she got here. I had talked to my sis briefly asking her to please keep Granny there doing whatever because I wasn't in the mood. They saw baby and were a bit worried until reassurance from me that everything was great and they could see baby soon but after we did some stuff.
Well I was ecstatic. No pain kept me from saying, "I did it". Chip still holding my hands because I wouldn't let him go was a great help. Chip announced to my surprise it was a boy. Oh I was so elated! He was asked if he wanted to cut the cord. He first said no but came back and did it anyhow. We announced the name and went back to tell Granny and girls. The girls were right. They said all along it was a boy.
M said she had to talk to me a minute. She said I had torn. I didn't know. Was it bad. She said yes, pretty deep. She could it but would call in someone else that she wanted it done right that I had extra skin that normally should have been gone years ago. So in weighing options we went to the hospital. Basically went through ER because I was no longer maternity. Couldn't find my dr. there somewhere but got knocked out and in OR patched up. It was a good decision though. I don't regret it. Chip was there with Cliffy and I nursed him after I woke up in a room for about 3 hours stayed and went home.
I am so thrilled. I wouldn't change anything for any reason. The tearing would have happened at a hospital so no regrets except they would have probably sectioned me at a hospital by then. Ah, I am so proud of my little flipper. He is so cute. A pretty baby and so good for me as I write this. Still have to get healed but it's almost good as new.
Love you guys. Thanks for all your encouragement and well wishes.
Lora, HBA2C, Fairfax Station, VA