Charity is one of my best friends…all the way back from high schoolI really admire her courage & determination to have a vaginal (and natural) birth after 2 c-sections. She had a super tough labor & delivery with Fiona, but she says it was totally worth it – and still wants more kids! Thanks for sharing your story, Charity – you are such an inspiration!
Let’s see where do I begin this journey…. It started out with a lot of research, reading books, and searching the internet. After weighing all the pros and cons, I finally decided that attempting a vbac – as opposed to a repeat cesarean – was much better and safer for me and the baby.
I had my first c-section because my daughter was frank breech; it was a scheduled c-section. Then 20 months later, I had a trial of labor which failed after 20 hours and only progressing to 6 centimeters. The doctors said we must have a c-section since my water had been broken for 16 hours already. Not knowing much at the time, I agreed.
So 21 months later, this time around was going to be different!!! Although the stakes seemed higher since I had been cut twice I still felt it was worth a shot and still safer than a third cut!!
I had a wonderful pregnancy with no complications. I was due Tuesday, Sept 21st, 2010 with my third little girl! I had hired a doula at 19 weeks gestation and was determined to avoid a c-section – if I could. I loved meeting with my doula, April. April gave me a lot of peace about the decision of going for a vbac and seemed completely confident that my body would know what to do and would carry me through.:) I also decided that if drugs were known to lead from one intervention to the next, I was not going to go that route! I wanted to have a vbac and I didn’t want to go the easy route(epidural) and then end up with a C because of it. So I said from the get-go I wanted to go all natural!!
At week 38 and three days my mucous plug came out. My parents live overseas and I was hoping for them to be here when the baby came so I was nervous she would be born too soon. My parents still had six days before they got here. So I had everyone praying hard that she would wait! Ha! And WAIT she did! 39 weeks passed, 40 weeks passed, then one day, two days, three days…….
All the while, as things got closer, I was losing more and more of my mucous plug. Friday the 24th I had a morning appointment and ultrasound. The tech said she looked big, measuring 9lbs 11 oz on ultrasound. Also, she said I had lots of fluid so that wasn’t a worry. To my delight, the tech said she had chubby cheeks!:) I love my babies with some meat on them!!!:)
I talked with the doctor and he said I had two choices to continue to wait till I go into labor on my own or they would have to do a c-section because as a vbac patient you can’t be induced, which I didn’t want anyway! Too dangerous!
We started praying that she would come soon, REAL soon, since she already seemed pretty big. Doctor Bowen said that could be anywhere from 1 lb off either way, so I tried not to stress about it. Friday was a busy day we went to a funeral and were busy the rest of the day then I told my mom, “Let’s go to the mall and walk around, I want to get things going!” I already had four different times where I thought I was in labor because of contractions but they would stop after about an hour or two or sometimes longer. I was ready for the real deal and no more false alarms!! At least I thought I was ready……………..
So we went to the mall and had lots of fun and laughs! As I was having contractions my mom was having hot flashes so we were quite the pair that night! Ha! Ha!
I came home and was still feeling the contractions and they were intensifying more and more but after several hours and a hot bath I still didn’t want to tell anyone afraid of another false alarm. Andy, my husband, was getting nervous because contractions were now 4 min a part. I finally let him call my parents and doula and they said we should go to hospital so we did. My contractions started at around 8pm and we finally got checked into our room at hospital at around 2am. Contractions were hurting but they weren’t horrendous YET. I had to be monitored intermittently,which was 20 min out of every hour, but felt like an eternity because I wasn’t allowed to do much during that time. It made me all the more thankful that I could move around the rest of the time. When I first got there I was 3 to 4 cenitmeters dilated so that was good to know; I had gotten somewhere from my last check which was an easy 2 not quite a 3 as Dr. Bowen said at 39 weeks. I had moved a little which was good. For the next several hours I tried to get comfortable from being massaged by my husband, mom, doula, etc to walking the halls some. We walked for a total of 2 hours and I believe that really helped.
Then they checked me again and I was in between 5 and 6. That was exciting but I was hoping for more – but beggars can’t be choosers – I was just thankful for anything really! So I went from the bath tub to the bed to the ball to walking to everything I could think of, even squatting. My husband was so supportive and had my back most of the time, literally. Then Dr. Bowen came in and checked me and said I was in between 6 and 7. He left for awhile and came back and said he thought things were being slowed down by my bag of water that was bulging at my cervix so he asked if he could break it.
This worried me because with my last labor they did a c-section because my water was broken for too long and I hadn’t progressed fast enough but I was reassured by Dr Bowen and staff that I was far enough along that that wouldn’t be a problem. Also I was fearing that the pain would increase even more but I had to get her out, no going back now! So I said yes to breaking my water. After breaking my water they saw that there was meconium in it, which Dr. said it seemed like baby might be in distress, so they just watched her heart rate the whole time during contractions and after. During contractions her heart rate was plummeting so they gave me an oxygen mask and told me I needed to breath better. That helped with her heart rate! Plus the oxygen helped me too!
He broke my water at around 11am and I was starting to push by noon. Oh this was not fun. The contractions hurt bad enough and came so close together but now I have to push with this! She was pretty high up and I had to push for what seemed like an eternity and come to find out was just over 4 hours!!! So it was a long time! I literally thought as I was getting close to the end that I was going to die from exhaustion!
I had never felt so helpless, exhausted and in such excruciating pain as in those moments that seemed to go on forever. And the nurses, Dr. Bowen, mom, and Andy all were saying, “We see her head keep pushing!” but everytime I looked all I saw was my bloody bottom and just barely something inside the slit. I thought, “Man I haven’t even gotten her head out of there!! It’s never going to happen!!!!” I wanted to give up but there was no turning back I had to get her out.
Finally it came to the breaking point where I had pushed and pushed till I had nothing left. There was a point I almost passed out. My eyes started to roll back into my head and that’s when everyone got frantic in the room! I mustered up all the strength I had in me and gave three more pushes! I pushed through the burning, ripping, and tearing and just held out that last push with every last bit of strength I had left and then……I heard it, “Her head is almost all the way out!!!!”
At this point I was still feeling an intense burning but had to wait for next contraction, which seemed like forever, to push the rest of her out. Just when you think you have felt the worst of it, there’s more! Ha! Ha! So now I had to get her head and body all the way out! I gave two more huge pushes and out she came!!!
The relief and joy is inexplainable! Words cannot express how wonderful it felt when they put my beautiful Fiona on my belly and I wrapped her in my arms!! I was laughing and crying tears of joy as Dr. Bowen sewed up my THIRD degree tear! I was just so happy it was over and I finally was given my prize for all my hard work, my precious little butter ball Fiona.:)
I didn’t learn until later, but at one point, Dr. Bowen and the nurse were talking about the fear that she was stuck and they weren’t going to be able to get her out! Thank the Lord people were praying for me!!! Because God brought her out eventually!!!:) They said Fiona was such a trooper everytime I would push she would be doing her part trying to turn her head this way and that to get through and they also saw her kicking her feet in my belly trying to move down!!! So precious!! They said we were a great team!!!:)
There is nothing, ABSOLUTELY NOTHING, like giving birth naturally! It is the most painful thing you will ever experience but also the most liberating and joyous thing too. After making it through that I feel like I can conquer the world thru Him who gives me the strength!!!
I feel like God gave women this ability to show them their strength, the depth of their love, and what sacrifice truly means!
It was an amazing experience and I wouldn’t change it for the world. And I still want more babies!!! Ha! Ha! Call me crazy, I know I know!:)
Fiona Joy was born four days overdue at 9 lbs 9.7 ounces and 22 inches long! Right when she was born she was wide awake and nursed right off the bat like a pro! I was able to bond with her immediately; much different than my other two born via C-section. She’s my VBA2C:)
Thanks for reading! peace, kelly and melanie.