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June 4th, 2007
7lbs 10oz, 19 inches
This birth story kind of started long before we even thought of having this child. My first baby's birth ended in a unexpected c-section and it was devastating to me. I never even considered not having a VBAC. It was just something I was determined to make happen. I spent lots of time going over the events of Jillian's birth and learning what went wrong and what we could have done differently that might have changed the outcome. I read lots of books about VBACs and natural childbirth, talked to other VBAC moms and read their stories. I just educated myself on all the aspects of childbirth and after learning I was pregnant with this baby last September, I was determined to not only have a VBAC, but to do it as intervention-free as possible, as I knew that by choosing to let nature take it's course and by letting labor start and progress naturally, that was my best shot at getting my dream birth experience.
When my due date came and went and after having about 3 weeks of prodromal labor, I was starting to get discouraged. I was feeling anxious and afraid that I would be forced into choosing intervention if I went very much longer [ast my due date. I had an ultrasound and midwife appt. scheduled for June 7th at 41 weeks.
So on June 3rd, that evening I was posting in my journal about having some light bleeding and stuff and people were telling me to call the midwife etc. Shortly after that, I started having some contractions that really felt different from the ones I'd been having. I still didn't think it was labor pains, as I was convinced that I wasn't going to go into labor on my own.[:|]
My sister was visiting, so she and I and Jillian went to my dad's house to eat supper. I was still having those contractions there, but there was no regularity to them at all and they were pretty far apart. But when I did get one, I had to kind of stop what I was doing and concentrate b/c it was very uncomfortable. Like I said, they just felt different...
So after we got back home I sat down and was going to time them. I could tell by then that they were starting to come every few minutes. Still not real close together but I noticed some regularity to them. Well, I sat down to time them but didn't really get to for long because my aunt came by to chit chat with my sister about wedding stuff and then shortly after that, Jeremy comes in and had just wrecked his car. He hydroplaned and hit a ditch and he was pretty shook up about it.
But anyway, so I was kind of worried about him, etc, but still noticing contractions.
After about an hour, Jeremy calmed down enough and so did I and we were just kind of talking about whether I should call my doula or not. All of a sudden I got a REALLY strong contraction and I had to breathe through it because it was so strong. Then about 5 minutes later I got one that was pretty strong as well. So I then decided it was time to call my doula and ask her what she thinks. So I talked to her on the phone and she said since I've been having the spotting and contractions, I should call the midwife and just see what they say. So I called the hospital and talked to the on-call midwife. I explained to her what was going on and she asked how far away I was from the hospital and when I said an hour, she told me that with the combination of the spotting, contractions and me being already 5cm dilated, I should come in.
So...we got our things ready to go. I called my mom and told her so she could leave too since she had about a 2 1/2 hour drive to the hospital. My aunt was already there, so I just packed Jillian an overnight bag and she left with my aunt.
We left the house around 11:00pm. At that time my contractions were coming about 6-7 minutes apart and were pretty strong, but still not terribly painful. We drove an hour to the hospital and by the time we got there, the contractions had gotten to about 4-5 minutes apart.
We got up to Labor and Delivery and met the midwife and she sent us to Room 4. Once in the room, I got into the lovely hospital gown and hooked up to the monitors. The midwife came in and checked me and I was 6 cm dilated, 90% effaced and the baby was at -1 station.....so I was definitely staying.
She said she wanted to get about a 20 minute srip on the baby then she wanted me to get up and sit on the toilet for about 30 mintues because she couldn't tell if the baby was OP or OA. I'm not sure why she wanted me to sit on the toilet, but I guess it was to help bring her down.
So while I was on the monitors, the contractions were still coming about 3-4 or so minutes apart. They weren't bad, but I had to kind of breathe through them at this point. The midwife wanted to get an IV port started since I was a VBAC'er, but she said I didn't have to have a bag going if I didn't want. And she said I could drink as much water as I wanted and that it was important to stay hydrated if I didn't want the IV, so that was great! I got to drink fluids as I wanted to.
They got the IV port in and drew blood for labs and I stayed on the monitor for about 20 minutes. The baby looked awesome, so she got me up and I sat on the toilet for 30 minutes like she wanted me to. After that, I rocked in the rocking chair back on the monitors. After a litte bit, though, I just asked them If I could take the monitor off because it was bugging me and also, it wasn't picking up the baby's heartbeat good in the chair anyway. So the nurse let me off of them and I spent some more time rocking, standing, etc breathing through the contractions. Jeremy and my doula were in there helping me and both were being so wonderful about helping me breathe through the contractions.
After a while they needed to monitor the baby again, so back in the bed I went so they could get a good strip on her. The midwife came in and said that after they got a good reading on the baby, she wanted me to get up and take a shower. Again, I'm not sure why she suggested this, but I think she just wanted me to be up and moving and out of bed since the baby was still kind of high up.
So after being on the monitors for a little bit, I got in the shower for about 20 minutes. The water felt SOOO great on my back and eased the pain of the contractions tremendously. After the shower, I just kind of rocked and stayed upright standing and breathing through the contractions with Jeremy and my doula. By this point the contractions were really strong and pretty painful. I was breathing through them well and wasn't feeling any pain inbetween contractions but the contractions themselves were painful.....it helped to be standing up and moving, though. They hurt the worst when i was laying in bed.
Around 6:30am or so, the midwife came in to check me again. I was 8cm dilated, 100% effaced, but the baby had moved to a straight up OP position and was now a -2, so she actually lost station. This totally freaked me out because it is the reason I had a c-section with Jillian and I was like "Oh no! Not again!" and I got kinda panicky. But then the midwife said it was okay, that we just needed to get her to turn. She had me stay in bed and lay far over on my left side as much as I could get over, almost on my stomach. This made the pain of the contractions VERY bad. It was at this point that I asked for some pain medicine in my IV. I knew I didn't want the epidural...but the pain was unreal and I had to have something to help if I was going to have to stay in bed. SO I got some Stadol in my IV. It didn't help the pain of the contractions much at all, but it did relax me very much in between contractions and I was even kind of dozing on and off in between the contractions then breathing through the contractions one at a time. They were very painful.
The contractions continued to get even stronger and more closer together. I was so focused on getting through each one...that combined with the Stadol, everything after this point is kind of fuzzy to me. I mean, I remember everything but I was in a lot of pain with the contractions and that Stadol had me kinda loopy. I remember laying there and all of a sudden during a contraction I felt a hard POP down below. I was like "OMG what was that!!" It totally freaked me out. I first thought my water broke, but nothing was leaking out so I didn't know.
At one point, the midwife came in and said that she wanted to put in a IUPC to measure the strength of the contractions to make sure they were effective enough. She was concerned about the baby's high station and she wanted to make sure my contractions were strong enough to bring her down. So they put that in and my contractions started picking up even more. They were reading very high on the monitor. She asked me if my water broke and I said I didn't know, but I didn't think so and she said it must have because there was no water bag there. She was going to have to break it to put in the IUPC, but it wasn't there. SO I determined that it must have been that hard POP I felt earlier. They were having trouble keeping the baby's heartrate with the external monitor since I was laying so far on my side, so they put in a internal monitor to make sure the baby was tolerating everything well. I didn't really want that but at this point I was incapable of even thinking much less arguing with my midwife. So they put it in.
She checked me again when she put in the IUPC and I was 9cm 100%...and baby wasn't OP anymore, but she wasn't OA either. She was now facing my leg. The midwife said this was okay, but we just needed to help her finish rotating. So she had me get on my hands and knees in the bed and said she wanted me to stay like that until I felt the urge to push. I am not sure how long I labored like that on my hands and knees. The pain was so intense. I remember I got another shot of Stadol which sent me into another universe in between contractions but never dulled the pain. I labored like that for however long, then the midwife came in and was going to check me again and all of a sudden my body just took over and there was this overwhelming pressure to push. My body just started pushing and I couldn't stop it. I was being very vocal at this point. LOL. Moaning and pushing and I just remember my doula telling me to breathe and don't waste my energy on being vocal but hell, I could not control it, I had to make noise! The midwife checked me, said something about being complete with a little lip left and to push and she was going to hold in back while I pushed so the baby could come down. I pushed a few times then I just remember them saying to flip on my back and we'd have a baby. I kept saying "I can't! I can't!" and they were like "Yes you can!" LOL So I somehow managed to get over on my back. THe midwife and my doula held my legs back and I pushed maybe 5 or so times and out she came!!!
Addison was born into this world at 8:47am. As soon as she slid out of me the pain stopped. I was just in shock. I couldn't believe it...I DID IT!! I got my VBAC!!! My doula kept saying "Jamie, you did it!" and I was crying, Jeremy was crying...it was an amazing moment. Truly surreal.
They put her on my chest while they wiped her down and I stared at her and was just in shock....I couldn't believe it was real. The midwife delivered the placenta ans examined me for tears. She said I had one tiny nick, but it didn't even need a stitch. woohoo!!
They took the baby to the warmer to check her over and then gave her back to me and I breastfed her for the first time. She latched right on and nursed for a while. Jeremy left the room to go call family and friends and share the news. My mom and sister came in there and met the baby and stayed while I finished recovering. I stayed in the LDR room for an hour then they came and got the baby to take her to the nursery for a couple of hours and moved me to my PP room.
We got to come home after 24 hours since everything was going well with us both.
It was an amazing birth experience and not to sound braggy or anything, but I am so proud of myself. This was a huge accomplishment for me and something I've been working towards for a long time. I did it!!!!!!!!
I read this in your DDC right after you had your VBAC. I don't want to cry again, so I won't read it right now, but you truely inspired me. That is so awesome you got your dream birth and you should be so proud of yourself. I am proud of you!