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My labor started on Tuesday, February 2nd around 4p with contractions that were about 7 minutes apart. I had been due on January 28th so I was a few days “over due”. Since we were planning a home birth, I called the midwife and told her. She asked that I keep her updated and let her know when my contractions hit about 5 minutes apart so she could start on her way over. I called the midwife around 8p to inform her that my contractions were 3-4 minutes apart and that we were setting up the pool. The midwife arrived around 9p. I labored all night in and out of the pool thinking that I was doing well and progressing nicely. Around 9a I asked to be checked for dilation hoping that I was almost complete since I had been laboring for so long. When checked, I was only 4cm! At this point I was frustrated. DH and the midwife told me to take a hot shower; I did and told them that I wanted to transfer to the hospital for pain meds. After the shower I got dressed and they made me walk the block to see if we could get labor going. After we got back from the walk, they had me walk up and down our stairs. By this time I was begging and crying for DH to take me to the hospital for pain meds. The midwife checked me again and I was about 6cm, I told her that I wanted to go in and that’s what we were going to do. The midwife FINALLY called over to the hospital to let our back up doctor know we were coming in for pain medication. The OB department started to get everything ready for me so when we got there we didn’t have to do a whole bunch of paperwork and that we could just start the IV and get my meds.
I felt really bad transferring to the hospital because DS2 was home with us and we had to leave him with our doula (who he knew well). But what got to me more than anything is that Bryce was sobbing! Our doula tried to put Bryce down for a nap until MIL came to get him but in doing that she let him cry in his room for an hour and a half without being comforted at all. When MIL got here she said that he was sobbing in the corner of his room and it took better than 10 minutes for him to settle down with her.
On arrival to the hospital the staff had everything ready for me. They placed my IV, administered nubaine and had the anesthesiologist readying for my epidural within the first 45 minutes. Once I had the epidural they checked me and found that I was at 7cm. It was probably another hour or 2 before the OB said that he wanted to AROM. I asked him a bunch of questions and we determined that we could AROM safely. After we AROM, I didn’t make much progress at all. Every time I would switch sides to lay on, my cervix would have a thicker edge on the side I was laying on but was a stretchy 7cm maybe 8cm. We finally decided around 1a to see about inserting a pressure catheter between baby and my uterus. With the IUPC we found out that my contractions just weren’t adequate. When we found this out, our OB asked to use a very small amount of pitocin. We discussed the pros and cons, were made aware even more so to what to watch for in terms of UR and decided to use the small amount of pitocin. We started at 1ml and worked up to 5ml at 45-minute intervals. I finally made it to 9cm and still had a thicker edge every time we switched positions. The nurse we had, who was AWESOME, had me lay over on my belly as far as I could go and sleep for an hour or so. After that time she checked me again. I was at 10cm with 100% effacement!!! I asked to labor down for about an hour and see where we were at that point. I was allowed to do this with no questions! By the time I started pushing it was about 8a on February 4th! I had my epidural turned down some so that I could still feel my legs so I was able to push effectively and help hold my legs. I started to push and wasn’t being very effective. The nurse that we had had over night was still at the hospital because she wanted to be there when baby was born since she had taken a personal liking to DH and I. (Plus she was really adamant that we were NOT going to a c-section again and she was going to make sure of that.) DH found her and asked her to come back into the room and help me push effectively. She finished the paperwork that she had to do on me and came back into my room and helped me figure out how to push properly. Around 10:15a I asked for a break in pushing. The nurse that was on duty for me went and got the doctor because baby wasn’t moving down anymore with my pushing and I was getting very tired (DH said I’d push for a couple contractions and start to snore when I would stop pushing!). The doctor came in and felt around to see what was going on only to find out that my baby wanted to enter this world sunny side up! I made the comment of “no wonder why my tailbone hurts!” The decision was made at that point to use forceps for delivering his head. The doctor asked the anesthesiologist to directly bolster my epidural so that I didn’t have to feel the forceps, so we had to wait for that to take effect. By 10:45a the epidural was in full effect and forceps were in place. The doctor told me to start pushing and he started to pull a bit and delivered baby’s head. DH then took over and delivered the rest of baby! DH was so proud to deliver baby and get the chance to be the first one to announce, “Babe, you were right, it’s a boy!” Admittedly, DH was a bit disappointed because he wanted a girl but was OK with another boy. Merrick Dwight was born into this world at 10:57a after a 43-hour labor that included 3 hours of pushing! Merrick was my first baby to be laid on my chest (well belly because his cord was short) and DH cut his cord after it stopped pulsing. The nurse, our birth photographer (who is a good friend), DH and I all cried. In the end I ended up with a 1cm or little bigger urethral tear that didn’t need to be stitched. We came home the next day around 12:30; Merrick was just over 24 hrs old!
I was SO lucky to have found the OB I had because he allowed me to labor for so long and was going to let me continue on even though my waters had been AROM. He is a true gem! We were also so very lucky to have the nurse we did who stayed with us until the very end. I am so very glad and relieved that I had a successful VBAC!
What an awesome story! I am so glad you had such a great midwife, OB and nurse through the whole labor. Merrick is way too cute and your story really has me looking forward to my attempt if this child decides to come.