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I had my 36.5 week appointment with my OB on 10/3 at 10:30am. The whole week and a half prior to that, I had been having a ton of contractions, and in the couple of days leading up to the appointment had felt pretty crummy, so I expected that dilation had probably started. At my appt, she did a cervical check and was shocked to find out I was 4cm, 50% effaced. I could see the wheels turning in her head as she decided what she wanted to do. We had a cesarean scheduled for 10/23, and a vbac had not been an option that she or I felt was a good one given that Jamison had been measuring so large the entire pregnancy, and with my history of hemorrhage and long labor resulting in c/s. BUT... we started discussing the possibility of a vbac that morning since IF I went into active labor, he would most likely be a more manageable size than he would have been at full term, and it just seemed like my body was lending itself well to an attempt. Plus, she said it would be necessary for me to get into a real solid labor pattern before she would even be allowed to do a c/s on me at 36.5 weeks. So, I signed the consent forms for a VBAC so that I would have that option available to me, and we just left it at, "we'll wait and see what feels right once I get to the hospital". She decided to send me home since I wasn't contracting, and said she didn't expect to see me at my appt. the next week. She also gave me instructions that if my contractions started coming 6-7 minutes apart like they had the day before, to call her, and if my water broke to get in the car and call on my cell while driving to the hospital!
Literally the minute Josiah and I pulled into our driveway after my OB appt, the contractions started again. At first they were really sporadic, but sometime between 1 and 2 pm, I started to get more worried. DH was at work, and had taken the train to work, so he didn't have a car. Around 2, I called him and told him that I really didn't think I could work that evening, and I was beginning to think I needed to give the OB a call, but I was hesitant because I didn't want it to be a false alarm. He recommended that I lay down and take a nap with Josiah, and see if the contractions slowed, and then to make a decision. I hung up the phone with him, and immediately had 4 contractions back to back that were 1-2 minutes apart. I called him and told him I was calling the OB. The OB told me to get myself to the hospital as quickly as possible, which set of a crazy chain of events. I was home alone with Josiah, and knew my Mom was working from home 10 minutes away, but she wasn't answering her phone. So, I packed Josiah up in the car and we drove to her house. Her car was in the driveway, but she wasn't answering her door! Fortunately I have a house key, so I let myself in, and it turned out she was just getting out of the bathtub LOL!! She scrambled to finish getting herself put together, and to notify work that she couldn't work the remainder of the day (she was on her lunch break at the time), and then right as I was getting ready to leave, she realized that Josiah didn't have his carseat installed in her car. So, I installed a carseat, and THEN drove to L&D. DH's company paid for a taxi, and he met me at the hospital. When we checked in around 4pm, I was 5.5 cm, 75% effaced. I still wasn't feeling any significant pain. My OB sat down with us, and we talked through our options and decided that the best course of action was to attempt a vbac. She assured me that if at any time I changed my mind, c/s could be performed, and we agreed that it was in my best interest to go that route if my labor ended up being really long and drawn out, because I couldn't risk having an ultra tired uterus and hemorrhaging again. She left, and the OB on call introduced herself to me. She was wonderful! I laid in bed for several hours, just collecting my energy, enjoying the calm before the storm. The day had been so crazy, I wasn't in any hurry to get things going quickly. Each time she checked me, I was further along. When I got to 8cm, my cervix was still really posterior, and I was still smiling and chatting with DH and the nurses. The OB couldn't believe it, and told me this definitely was atypical behavior! By then, she was slightly worried that I was so far dilated and still so posterior, with no really hard labor yet. So, she told me relaxation time was over and broke my water and told me to start walking or using the exercise ball. By now it was about 11pm. The contractions started getting stronger, but were still manageable. Then around 1am, BAM... turned that corner and felt the need to push. She checked me and said the cervix was now forward, but I was still only 8cm, and to please not push yet, to try to breathe through the contractions. That was the ONLY time I considered calling anesthesiology. But then, I just switched mindsets, and decided to concentrate on one contraction at a time. 3 contractions later, my body involuntarily started pushing and I was crowning. They scrambled to get the room set up, and I started pushing sometime around 3am. Even once pushing, I was still not convinced I was actually going to have a vaginal birth until almost the very end!
A woman was admitted to the ER while I was crowning who was ready to push, and whose baby was having heart decels. She was placed across the hall from me, and my OB (only one on call) was watching her baby's heart decels on a monitor in my room while trying to birth my baby. Things got scary with the other baby and the nurses from the other room kept saying they needed her, but she couldn't be two places at once! Finally, things got scary enough with the other baby, that she told me that she hated having to do this, but if I couldn't get the baby out on my next contraction, she was going to have to give me a small epesiotomy so that she could get the baby out quickly and run across the hall to the baby that really needed her. She numbed me up, I had one contraction where I made progress but baby didn't come out. Then I had about a 1 minute lull in my contractions. She decided to run across the hall to check on the other baby, and gave the nurses orders to deliver my baby if needed. She ran out of my room, we heard a long high pitched scream from across the hall followed by a baby crying, and literally 45 seconds later my OB was running back into my room, stripping off her gloves and grabbing new ones. She said, "Okay, the other baby is delivered and is fine. That Mom isn't overly happy with me! But now we can relax and have YOUR baby!"
Jamison Anthony was born six minutes later at 3:58am on October 4th. He weighed 7lbs 4oz, was 19.5 inches long, and had a 14 inch head!!! I am still in shock that I ended up with a drug free vbac, because I had spent my entire pregnancy getting myself prepared for a second cesarean, getting mentally ready for the recovery from that. I've had people congratulate me on getting "the high" of a vbac, but to be honest, I don't feel that way about it. Both of my births were empowering, even though one ended in c/s with every possible intervention, and the other was a drug free vbac. Both were special in their own way! I am just so thankful that things went well, and that Jamison is okay. He is in special care nursery because he is still learning to regulate his breathing, but we expect him to be able to come home within a week of delivery. They said he would have been MUCH sicker if I had ended up having a c/s instead of a vaginal birth, so I am thankful to God that my body did what was best for my baby. And now, I can truly say that I've done EVERY kind of birth! Chapter closed... our family is complete!
Thank you so much for sharing! I truly believe everything worked out perfectly. Exactly how it needed to happen. Jamison is just too darn cute and I'm so proud of you Hope your lady bits heal quickly and Jamison will be home with his family ASAP!!!!!!!!