Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Paige's VBAC Story

Again I want to thank Paige for sharing her VBAC story with us!

Paige's VBAC Story:

"Despite all my gentle attempts to naturally induce myself I was not going into labor. I had to really fight to get to 42 weeks, especially after I agreed to the US to check the baby's size and they estimated him at +9lbs. They scheduled a c-section for the day I hit 42 weeks. That was a Sunday. Here's the rest of the story...
Saturday morning at 6am I woke up and felt my first real contraction. It felt nothing like anything I'd felt before so I thought it was the real thing, but was afraid to get my hopes up again. They continued regularly every five minutes for over an hour so I knew something was really happening. I took a shower and they started coming one on top of the other so I called my doula. While she was on her way they evened back out a bit. My mom came and got DD and I settled in to what I thought would be a pretty quick labor- since they were already so close together and lasting about 45 seconds. Over the next few hours they got to every 2 minutes and stayed there. All. day. long. I should have tried to do other things to take my mind off of labor, but I was so afraid that if I stopped concentrating on the contractions they'd stop coming and I'd end up on that OR table the next day.

Around 6:30PM that night I called the oncall MW because my doula was afraid I was going to get too worn out and she wanted me to try to speed things up. I'm so glad I called the MW because she assured me that the surgery was definitely off since I was in labor. I didn't realize I'd been worrying about that all day- like i was trying to labor on a time clock. She told me to relax, make myself comfy, take a warm bath and let labor take its own course without trying to speed things up. I felt so much better. I sent my doula home- that was actually a big relief. She was starting to stress me with suggestions of how to speed things up and I was tired of being stared at.

So i took a hot bath, relaxed, laid down in bed, tried to watch SNL and dozed between contractions for a while. DH was so sweet and comforting. After a few more hours the contractions weren't getting closer together but they were getting harder to deal with and more intense so I decided to head to the hospital. I'd been in labor about 18 hours at that point, though I lied to the MW when I got there and said the contractions had started early afternoon sometime. I really didn't want to be on their clock.

The drive to the hospital sucked, but we got there Sunday morning at 1am. We got lost trying to get in to the maternity ward but a friendly security guard helped us out and let us in the door that was locked after hours. The nurses recognized my name from the surgery roll for the next morning and were really excited for me that I was in labor. I was 5 cm when I checked in and incredibly happy to hear it. I had a heplock for ABX (I was GBS+) and was on continuous monitoring because I was VBAC, but generally comfortable and able to move around. I decided not to worry about whether they were getting good monitor readings and that made things easier. I used my yoga ball to sit on, lean on, drape myself over. I squatted into contractions some, I laid on my side for a while. Basically I tried every position in the book and just tried to generally stay mobile.
By 4am I was 8 cm and 100%effaced. I heard that and cried with happiness. Then my body decided that it was done for a little while and I stopped progressing. It was probably good cause I was able to sleep a little bit, but after a few hours they started talking about internal monitors and pitocin so my body kicked back into gear. In another hour or so I got to 10cm with a cervical lip that just wouldn't go away. I was getting frustrated at that point because I felt like no one was telling me what to do to make it progress. The doula was useless at this point (im sure she was worn out) and I was getting so tired and just frustrated. The pain really wasn't much of an issue for me, I was just exhausted from lack of sleep and a long labor and just READY FOR THE BABY TO COME OUT.
Then shifts changed and this angel of a nurse came in and started quietly making suggestions about how to stand, where to put my feet, how to curl my back forward instead of backward to get the baby around my pelvis. I got to the point where they said i could try pushing past the lip but the baby kept slipping back. The midwife (the same one I had talked to the night before on the phone) assured me that at this point I WAS going to have a vaginal birth, but they thought a "whiff of pit" would strenghten my contractions and make them consistent enough to actually push the baby out. I was still falling asleep between them at this point. I didn't even notice the pitocin, but once they gave it to me it took about 45 minutes of pushing before the head came out (at 11:13am after 29 hours of labor). I was laboring on my back at this point holding my feet and pushing against my own hands with some help from my aunt on one side and the nurse on the other with my mom holding my head and helping me curl into a shrimp position. DH was waiting to catch the baby and my sister was watching over his shoulder. My eyes were mostly closed but I have a few mental images of seeing their faces as the baby was coming out. I thought it would be embarrassing but it was encouraging because they both looked so amazed and impressed. Then the head popped out and everyone cheered.

The amniotic sac was still intact and she had to burst it by poking her finger in his mouth. Then they told me to stop pushing because his shoulders were stuck. DH was not able to deliver him because the midwife had to manuever him a bit, which caused a pretty good tear, but when I felt his body slither out everyone in the room cheered. They put him up on my belly and I reached down and felt that he was a boy. They had to take him away pretty quick because he was in a little bit of shock from getting stuck, but they assured me that he was just fine and they kept him in the room to check him over. I delivered the placenta (that thing was huge!!!) and then they stitched me up. The stitching was the first time I said the word "epidural" the whole time I was in labor. OMG that was the worst part of the whole experience. I tried to hold the baby to distract myself, but I was yelling so loud I had to give him to DHuntil they were done. It took forever, but they finally finished and gave my baby back to me. I offered him my nipple and he immediately latched on and went to town. Like he'd been doing it forever. It was wonderful. It was the most healing, amazing experience of my life and I hope every woman can experience something like it."


  1. I'm so happy for you! When I'm pregnany again, I'll be back! Take care.

  2. Excellent post. Congrats!