How I had a Successful VBAC

It is coming up on Thadd’s one year birthday and I think it’s about time to write his birth story. I will say his birth story is much more boring than his sisters. No rush Csection or drama. He was late so I had time to prepare and plan for his arrival. Even my parents had time to fly in before he was born and were able to be big sisters baby sitters while Mommy and Daddy had an extended hospital stay.

Around the 39 week mark I was starting to get impatient. My sister had told me that if I had my membranes stripped that I should go into labor within 24 hours. Yeah, I had my membranes stripped 3 times and this kid didn’t budge. I even spent the last few weeks of my pregnancy at the chiropractor hoping that would get things moving along. No such luck. However, the Chirpractor was able to take away all my aches and pains so at least make those last few weeks as comfortable as possible.

So, I called my parents and asked them to fly in on Sunday. Hoping that I would go into labor before Wednesday. Wednesday my doctor and I scheduled a VBAC. I was nervous but the fact remained that my parents were only available to help until they left the following Monday morning so I didn’t have the luxury of recovering from a csection with a 2 year old and a newborn. I HAD to have this baby vaginally in order to survive. I was very motivated and my doctor was very optimistic. 

Due to complications with my son’s kidneys I was scheduled to have him at the big hospital in town and was not able to deliver at the smaller hospital that is less than 5 minutes away from my house. My doctor was a rockstar and called his colleagues at the larger hospital to fight for my choice of a VBAC. I was so thankful he called and spoke with the doctor that would be on duty the day I went in to have my son. Who knew a doctor could be a cheerleader? I was so lucky to have a team of doctors and nurses that were supportive of my decision. I was told repeatedly that they would not do a csection unless it became medically necessary. If I got a fever or my son’s heart rate dropped he would need to come out immediately.

And so it was, at 6:00 am on Wednesday morning 11/11/2015 I went into the hospital to give birth to my son. The nurse hooked me up to the machines and miraculously I was having contractions I just couldn’t feel them yet. They inserted a blub to help get things moving along. The nurse told me that the bulb could be in there for as long as 8 hours. If nothing happened after 8 hours then it was time for a csection. At this point I was told that they would not give me pitocin as this could be very dangerous and rupture my uterus. “One step at a time” was what the nurse kept telling me. Once the bulb fell out they would be able to break my water and hopefully that would put me into active labor and baby would come. But he didn’t come. The bulb fell out on it’s own after about 3 hours. I was excited! I didn’t have to wait 8 hours.

Step one complete, now it was time to break my water. I was poked and prodded by two midwives and one midwife in training before they called the doctor in because they couldn’t get my water to break. It took about 30 minutes for them to actually get the tool inserted. Then, when my water didn’t break I started to get nervous again. But I was committed. I just didn’t have the time to recover from a csection. I HAD to have him vaginally. The doctor was called in and she snapped my water like it was nothing. (Thank God) What a strange feeling, like I was urinating but just couldn’t stop it. So funny, and so exciting. I think my husband and I giggled the whole time.

And then we waited. We watched some Friends, played some cards, mostly played a game called Rummikub. Everyone was waiting for the news of the arrival of the new baby boy! And still he didn’t come. “Update?” Was a text message I got a few times. And the update was… “Still playing Rummikub” It was time for my nurse to go home. She wished me luck because she just knew he was going to be born before midnight. She wouldn’t come back on duty until the following morning and by that time I would be in recovery in a different part of the hospital.

At about 8 pm I decided it was time to get in the tub at the hospital. This was an experience I was really looking forward too with my daughter but never got the chance. My husband and I continued to labor, walked around, played more Rummikub, sat on the labor ball, got a back rub, and we waited and waited. I took my tub bath which was so nice and soothing. It gave me a slight break to just breath and relax and be weightless. At this point I was ready for the epidural. I was so hoping he would come fast and I could try that whole “natural birth” but it wasn’t in the cards for this baby boy.

I needed food. I needed sleep. The doctor came in and approved me to eat. Did you know you should do 2 things before you go to the hospital to give birth? Poop and eat. They may just take these two privileges away from you if you don’t do them before you go. Just sayin. The last thing I ate was a very light breakfast at 6 am. The doctor gave me the okay to have a little something to eat before I got the epidural. It took around an hour and half to actually “get ready” to have the epidural. It finally came at 10:30 pm. And it was the relief I wanted and we fell asleep.

In the middle of the night I woke up with extreme pain running down my left side. Something was wrong. I rang for the nurse and my husband jumped up. It was time! He had to be coming out! Nope, just needed to roll over onto my side and push the epidural button again. Back to sleep I went.

I woke up the next morning to my nurse coming back on duty asking what I was still doing laboring with this baby. “He was supposed to be born last night!” It was time to talk to the doctor on duty and come up with a new birth plan for the rest of the day. The nurse told me that the doctor on call today was a new doctor and she had no idea how she viewed VBAC’s. Yet again, nerves flooded me. I was progressing but very, very slowly. The new doctor came in and she looked to be about 18. Sweetest little blonde I’d ever seen. She came in to talk to me and was so calm and relaxed. The nurse came in to help me “fight” for my VBAC but it wasn’t necessary. The new doctor was already on board without a word from me or my nurse. She said it was time for some pitocin or this VBAC was not going to happen. Baby HAD to be born before tonight. Needless to say, she was an awesome doctor and I was so thankful for her. She had the nurse change my monitor to one that was inserted into my uterus to make sure everything was okay on the inside.

Pitocin is awful. If I’m ever in the same situation again I would still opt for the pitocin but it just made me feel terrible. If you’ll remember, I was told that if the babies heart rate drops or I get a fever I will have a csection.

After laboring all morning I decided that if I was going to push this baby out I would need a nap. And so we napped. My husbands phone rang and it was work. He asked me if he could take the call and I said it was fine. Inside I was dying. I felt like I had the flu. I had chills and ached. I knew I had a fever. I started talking to myself in my head while my husband took his phone call, “I’m fine. I just need to fully wake up. I’m fine.” Then I NEEDED to poop or throw up or both. Something needed to happen. I pushed my nurse button. A nurse came in that wasn’t my regular nurse and I was checked again. “Whoa! Hello baby!” The nurse said. She didn’t even “check” me. She just took a look. “You’re having a baby!” She went to get my nurse off her break to tell her that it was time to push. I thought “Really? I think I need a nap. And maybe a barf bag. I feel like a truck hit me.”

But it was time. And so I pushed. I pushed and pushed and pushed. I did my best to politely ask my husband to shut his mouth. He knows my love language is words of affirmation, so he was trying his hardest to encourage me and give me words to help me through labor. But at that moment I wanted him to never speak again. It makes me laugh now, he was so sweet and I was ready to inflict pain on him. Oh labor. 

I listened to my husband and my nurse talk about karaoke. My nurse asking me which songs were my favorite to sing. All of this while I was pushing a baby out. I knew she was trying to get me to think of other things and it was working but it was also so very annoying. She was so sweet. I think anything and everyone is annoying when you’re in labor. Right? I *think I pushed for around 2 hours when the doctor came in and sat down. During the previous 2 hours she would come in take a look, maybe check me, and then walk out. Which by the way, is so frustrating and annoying. She sat down and it was time. Then her eyes went to the screen to my left, she then looked at me and said “Babies heart rate is dropping. Either I push him back in and we take him via csection or I use suction to pull him out.” In that split second I had to decide what I wanted I thought “All this work and now I have a csection? No.” 

I said “Pull him out!” One last HUGE push and my son came out into the doctors arms. He was finally here! 34 1/2 hours later he was finally born. I had my baby boy. It was an amazing feeling.

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  1. Whew! You did it! My son was born on 11/11/2013. I don’t know what a bulb is so now I have something to research. So glad you had supportive doctors! That was a very intense story. You can be very proud of yourself and your strong drive!

    1. I was extremely fortunate for such a supportive doctor especially since she was new and this was one of her first rotations. The nurses just didn’t know how she would handle my situation. Thank you for your kind words!!!

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