You've got to give a little, take a little,
And let your poor heart break a little.
That's the story of, that's the glory of love.
To tell the story of Bunni Larue, I have to give a little background. The stories of Sylvia Joleigh and Justus Brooks are condensed but will give an idea of how I approached Bunni?s birthl (Sylvia and Justus' full stories). My husband and I met in a Yahoo chat room in January 2005. He was in Korea at the time, and I was in college in NC. We spent months talking on the phone mainly, and then I drove to meet him for the first time in June 2005. It was like we had always been together. We got married in May of 2006. He has done a year in Korea, two years in Iraq, and a year in Afghanistan. We have been stationed at Ft. Hood, TX and Ft. Richardson, AK.
Somehow in there, we have been able to conceive 3 precious babies. It took us about a year and a half to have Sylvia. There was a point in time that we thought we might not be able to have children. So we were ecstatic to find out we were pregnant with her. He was deployed and made it home on mid-tour leave just before my labor started. She was born 3:18 a.m., December 18, 2008 at exactly 39 weeks gestation; 8 lbs. and 19 inches long. I had an infection called chorioamnionitis, which led to a very necessary emergency cesarean under general anesthesia, and a week stay for her in the NICU. The day after she got home, he had to report back to Iraq, and didn't see her again until she was six months old. Sylvia was named after his grandmother. Sylvia was also a Goddess of the Forest and mother to the founders of Rome; Romulus and Remus. Jo and Leigh are our mother's middle names.
Within 6 months of John coming home, I got pregnant again!! I'm pretty sure the magical moment happened the night of Sylvia's first birthday... he.he.he. The next 9 months were extremely stressful. We moved several times and John left for Afghanistan exactly a year after he had gotten home from Iraq. Justus came at 12:59 a.m., September 17, 2010 at 42 weeks gestation; 7 lbs. 12 oz. and 19.75 in. long. I planned a HBAC (homebirth after cesarean) in NC and labored at home for 48 hours. I can't remember the exact times, but I think I was nearly complete for 7 hours. My cervix began to swell at 9.5 cm with an anterior lip, when my midwife broke my water at 9 cm there was meconium, and based on several factors I made the decision to transfer. I also ultimately made the decision to go to cesarean. He had been posterior and asynclitic, and my mom said the cord was wrapped 3 times. John was in a terrible spot in Afghanistan and missed Justus' birth entirely. He came home a week later due to the cesarean and me needing help, and then did not see his son again for 10 months. Justus is a very old Latin name and Brooks is John's middle name.
You've got to laugh a little, cry a little,
Until the clouds roll by a little.
That's the story of, that's the glory of love.
We knew we wanted another baby, but had no idea how fast it would happen. Within a few weeks of John's homecoming from Afghanistan, we conceived again. There was never any doubt in my mind that I would go for a VBA2C (vaginal birth after 2 cesareans). I knew I would not try another homebirth for a couple of different reasons, and mostly because I had a provider in mind who I knew would support me. I went back to work to occupy my mind, and I focused on not really focusing on anything.
As usual, my pregnancy was easy. The only difference was that I had a variety of skin rashes and weird things like itching under my ring, and an allergic reaction to mango skin. I have always been blessed with perfect blood pressure, no gestational diabetes and no complications. I had very little morning sickness and even that was just nausea. I did not take a standard prenatal but took Vitamin C, D, and B-Complex, as well as a magnesium supplement. The one thing I did do is go to the chiropractor religiously. I knew in my prior births that the baby's positions had really worked against me, and not only that, but all the aches and pains I had felt before had disappeared once I began seeing Dr. Jen. By the end of the pregnancy I had gained about 12 lbs. and I was GBS negative. Then the sicknesses began!
At 40 weeks pregnant I got a nasty stomach bug that really depleted me. I was out of work for several days. I went back for one day with a little tickle in my throat and thought I was getting a cold. Come to find out, at nearly 41 weeks pregnant I had the flu! Influenza A. It was terrible and I was very, very sick. Thankfully I started taking Tamiflu almost immediately which made it slightly shorter-lived than usual. I prayed for her to wait a few more days so that I could regain my strength. It was around this time that I started losing my mucus plug. At my 41 week appointment I was 2 cm and 50% effaced, but I was having no contractions whatsoever. Everything was oddly quiet down there. I was elated as this was where I was after being up all night the first night I labored with Justus, but after a couple of days I started to get down on myself. We were doing non-stress tests about every other day, and the baby always looked fantastic. My OB mentioned trying a Foley bulb a day before 42 weeks if I wanted.
That Friday rolled around and still... nothing! I went in for my appointment and agreed to the bulb. It was actually a nifty little contraption called the Cook Cervical Ripening Balloon. There were two balloons, one on the inside of my cervix and one on the outside. He filled them each with 80 ml of saline and sent me on my way. The insertion was not painful at all, but sitting upright was not very comfortable. After a visit to Wal-Mart, once I got home, contractions were coming hard at 10 minutes apart. I also started a cotton root bark, blue, and black cohosh regimen. The balloon stayed in for 12 hours and then I removed about 20 ml of saline and it came out fairly easily. I knew this meant that I was at least 3-4 cm dilated. As soon as it was out I felt instant relief and realized just how miserable I had been all day. I continued contracting through the night on my own, and then by morning, we were back to nothing once again.
Happy 42 weeks to me. This was probably the hardest day of the whole pregnancy. This was officially the most I had ever been pregnant. I kept thinking that statistically my chances of successful VBAC had dropped. I countered that thought by acknowledging that I am not a statistic and that I bake my babies longer, but I was really down on myself. I reached out to my doula. What was the latest she ever had a mom go to? 43.5 weeks with my OB and after 36 hours of labor she birthed her 11 lb. baby vaginally; also a VBA2C. I suddenly did not feel so bad for myself. Then I reached out to another ICAN friend who had gone past 42 weeks. She had gone on to have a HBAC after 55 hours of labor. What an inspiration! If she could do it, so could I. I had my pity party for the day, and by that Sunday I was in a good place. I felt good physically and emotionally and it almost turned into, "Let's see how long this baby really is going to cook!" I stopped all the herbs, rested a ton, and decided I was not going to do anything for a few days.
Monday I had a non-stress test at the hospital. She looked beautiful on it, and I did not get checked. I did not have one contraction the whole time. There was no other mention of any sort of induction, and my OB had left the ball in my court as far as going as long as we needed. For once I felt totally in control of the choices for my body and baby. Tuesday I had contractions all day long that were about 15 minutes apart. They started to increase in intensity, and by evening were 5-6 minutes apart but nothing unbearable. I woke up in the middle of the night starving and still contracting, and then by morning, everything stopped.
On Wednesday we had a biophysical profile. I think that is what held up my contractions. I got nervous, and hoped all was well with the baby. We scored 10 out of 10. My fluids were not fantastic but not bad either. The placenta was showing some slight signs of aging, but nothing too concerning. The ultrasound tech estimated her weight at 7 lbs. 6 oz. At my 39 week consult with the other doctor, they had estimated 7 lbs. 7 oz. She looked great and we went in for another OB appointment. This time when he checked I was 4.5 cm and about 75% effaced! Yes! I knew it would not be much longer and it was likely that my next round of contractions would not stop. Dr. Elrod brought up castor oil. We went and got some afterwards and I let it sit ominously on the kitchen counter hoping that seeing it there would send me into labor. I knew deep down that once contractions started again, they were not going to stop.
The next morning, John and I went and had a big breakfast at IHOP. We did some shopping and by the time we got home it was about 10:30. I decided to give the castor oil a try. I mixed 2 oz. with 2 oz. of orange juice and chugged it down. This is where everything starts to go fast. I waited 30 minutes and started my herbal regimen; one dropper of cotton root bark, one of black cohosh, wait 15 minutes, another dropper of cotton root bark, and a dropper of blue cohosh. I did this for an hour. I started pooping almost immediately from the castor oil. By 12:30 pm contractions were coming lightly about 5 minutes apart. Deep down I knew this was it. Suddenly they started to intensify. Then by 1:30 they were 3 minutes apart. Some were even lasting 2 minutes long! But I was confused. I could walk and talk just fine through them. Everything time wise was moving fast, but the intensity was workable. I decided to call our babysitter just in case. John went to get Sylvia and Justus from school, and Skylar got to the house at about 3:30 pm. John was gathering last minute stuff, and I was sitting on the edge of the bed. I?m still talking and joking through contractions hating to leave so early but instinctively knowing that go time was near.
At 3:45 I heard and felt the pop deep within me. There was no doubt in my mind about it; my water had broken. But there was no water. I stood up and felt a tiny dribble. What I did see, thank the powers above, was clear!! I had prayed for clear fluid. When I sat down on the toilet there was lots of mucus and bloody show, but very little fluid. It was pretty clear why very shortly after when another contraction hit. She was down deep in my pelvis. It rocked my world! And from there they kept coming fast and hard. There was no more talking or walking. I was moaning through every one and trying to make my way to the car.
That was the worst car ride of my entire life. John was driving fast. Traffic was heavy as usual for 4:00 pm on a Thursday coming out of Anchorage. I had a hard time relaxing. At 4:30 pm we got to the hospital and were told to wait in the lobby. I went to the lobby bathroom and started puking. I was sweating and shaking. From that point until around 10:00 pm everything was a blur. We had the worst nurse ever in the beginning, and John promptly fired her. I can?t remember who said it, but it always stuck in my mind, "Chances are if you don't like your nurse, she doesn't like you either. The difference is, she can't fire you as a patient, so go ahead and do her the favor of firing her." She kept harping on the monitors, which I wasn't refusing! The only thing I refused was lying in the bed to be monitored. Luckily, baby girl was cooperating and we could get her heart rate beautifully while I was standing.
Dr. Elrod came in and checked me and I was 5 cm and 90% effaced. Oddly enough, the information did not bother me. I did not have time to think of it. In hindsight, when I think of Ina May Gaskin and her talk of the Sphincter Reflex, I think that is what we had going on. I was scared, I could not get into a groove in triage, and I felt like I was on display. There was a point where her heart rate was dropping into the 70s and 80s during a contraction. He did not say anything but I saw a brief look of concern on his face. Luckily it popped right back up as soon as the contraction was over. I knew she was fine the entire time, but we did see that it happened when I bent over during the contraction so I tried to stand up straight after that. My doula also had me talk to my baby and connect with her telling her everything was ok. I have looked back on this moment and I am extremely thankful for Dr. Elrod's confidence. I think if it had been anyone else, they would have taken me straight to cesarean, even though decels during contractions can be totally normal.
All I wanted was to hide in the bathroom... alone. I think my body was further along than what the dilation told. I could feel the pressure as if I could not sit on my bottom. Contractions were 2-3 minutes apart, and lasting at least 1.5 minutes long. I was also doing this funky double-peaking. The first one would come, it wouldn't ever let go, and then it would hit again. Then the second one would be normal.
Finally we got a room. I got the hep-lock. Shortly thereafter I started puking again. When I puked I would get lots of bloody show. I got the telemetry monitor which is the exact same thing as the other monitors but on a pole so you can move around. Then I got in the tub. It did not provide the relief I was hoping for and that I remembered with Justus. How in the world had I made it 48 hours at home with him? And I didn't feel like I could go another hour with her? I thought hard about it. I was fighting the contractions and could not let go and work with them. All I kept thinking is how fast everything was going. I asked for the epidural. My doula held me off for a bit. Then I asked again. I was sure. I talked to my doula, then to John. Then Dr. Elrod came in and asked why the change of plans. I told him that I knew I was fighting the contractions and if I could just relax I thought she would come. I knew I did not want narcotic medications. Everyone was extremely supportive and John said he was with me as long as I would have no regrets. I was sure.
I had to get fluids first which took FOREVER. Then the anesthesiologist started with an extremely low dose that did nothing. It did not take effect for quite a while. I felt as though I was climbing the bed with the contractions. They were so intense. In the meantime I also got a shot of Phenergan for nausea. It was just enough to take the edge off. Finally, after what seemed like an eternity the intensity of the contractions started to ease.
Amazingly, only about an hour after the epidural took effect, I felt a lot of pressure. At 11:00 pm Dr. Elrod came in to check and I was 10 cm and +2 station! That was fast! It made me feel even better about the epidural and in that moment I knew I had done what I needed. I tried pushing a few times and decided that I should rest. I was exhausted, and the pushing was not very effective. She just wasn?t quite ready. Around 3:00 am, we tried a few more pushes. Still not quite ready. I slept and let the epidural wear off.
At 6:00 am it was time. I was feeling contractions again and a ton of pressure. Everything was so calm and relaxed, just as I had imagined. There was just Dr. Elrod, a nurse, my doula, and John in the room. Nobody counted at me. There were no bright lights. I tried holding my legs and pushing, but I got the most from doing tug of war with the nurse. She got a towel and I pulled as hard as I could with the contractions. I was also getting a horrible cramping in my back that slowed me up a bit. It did not seem like I was making much progress.
Finally John said he could see a bit of her head. They brought the mirror in for me so that I could see too. Dr. Elrod stepped out of the room and I continued to push with the nurse. All of a sudden I felt her slipping down and the nurse jumped up and said "Whoa!" and placed her hand over my vagina. This was oddly amusing to me; what was she going to do, hold the baby in? Her head was half-way out, and I told them with the next contraction she would come. I began to cry. My doula told me not to be afraid, but that wasn?t it. I was doing it. She was doing it! My body was doing it! I wasn't even pushing! Then I felt a pop as I tore. Dr. Elrod came in and John was trying to put gloves on. Poor guy, he had one glove on, and Dr. Elrod goes, "It's your baby man, you better catch her!" Right at that moment, he threw the other glove down as I felt her wriggly arms, legs, and body slide right through my pelvis, and out in a perfect anterior position. At 6:49 am, he scooped her up as she pooped all over him and laid her across my belly. Fifteen hours after my water broke, and nearly 8 hours after I had reached 10 cm, my husband caught our baby girl... our vaginal birth after 2 cesareans.
As long as there's the two of us,
We've got the world and all it's charms.
And when the world is through with us,
We've got each others arms.
Time stood still. That was the most beautiful moment of my entire life. She was not breathing yet but I knew she was just fine. Nobody took her. They placed a blanket over top of the two of us and we rubbed and talked to her. Another nurse, one of my favorites, came in and was talking to her telling her she needed to cry. I knew she was fine. I felt her take her first deep breath, as the outside world filled her body. It was as if we were still one; her skin to my skin and her cord still attached to me. She never did cry, and the nurse finally said, "Well, she's breathing and looks great, oh well!" I did it. We did it. I had prayed many nights that we would do this together. I could not believe it.
The cord stopped pulsing quickly. I was surprised by that. It was totally limp and white and John cut it. Then slowly my ears began picking up the sounds of the room. Was that a faucet running? "Is that my blood?" I asked. I could hear it pouring off the bed. Dr. Elrod looked up at me and said, "Yes. I know you did not want the Pitocin Ariel, but you need it now! I don?t want to be talking about transfusion in a few minutes." I was bleeding a lot, and in my state of bliss I did not care what they did to me. My uterus was not clamping down. They ran the Pitocin, vigorously rubbing my belly, and then after a shot of Methergine the flow began to slow down. Later, we estimated about 4 cups of blood loss. Dr. Elrod stood up and held his arms up, "Just to give you an idea," he said. He was up to his elbows in my blood. I gave a slight push with the next cramp and felt the warm, softness of her placenta slide out. I asked to see it. It was big and healthy looking. No wonder she was nice and content in there. I ended up with a 2nd degree tear, and he said he checked my scar from the inside to see if that's where the bleeding was coming from, but it was perfect.
I must have held her skin to skin and nursed her for two hours before curiosity got the best of me. Instinctively I knew that she was my smallest baby so far. I wanted to know what she weighed. The nurse took her and weighed and measured her; 7 lbs. 1 oz. and 20 inches long, born at 42 weeks and 6 days gestation. She was my smallest, but longest baby! Then the nurse gently bathed her. She loved having her hair washed, and I loved watching my beautiful girl being cared for so intimately.
Bunni is a short form of the Goddess Berenike, the Bringer of Victory. Larue is my grandmother's middle name.
So all in all, it did not go exactly as planned, but I was prepared for that. It went exactly as it was meant to. I had waited a long time to write a birth plan because I did not know what I wanted. All I saw was the VBA2C and a healthy baby. Nothing else mattered, and I have no regrets. I have asked myself at least once a day, "Regret the epidural?" and every time the answer is, "Nahhhhh, I don't regret it one bit!" The only thing I wish I had done was go to the hospital when my mom had told me to (you know when I was still a bit confused about what was happening since I could walk and talk through contractions). I had this aversion to the hospital, and overall they were awesome! I wish I had a little more time in the beginning to integrate what was happening in my body and to reconnect inside before everything hit so hard. The biggest lesson I learned is that it is imperative to have a team that truly supports you. If it had not been for my OB, I do not know if we would have made it to a VBA2C. Especially since she waited until 42 weeks and 6 days. I do not know of anyone else who would have supported me to that extent. I am one happy mama, and I am excited to see what the future holds for our little bringer of victory.
You've got to win a little, lose a little,
Yes, and always have the blues a little.
That's the story of, that's the glory of love.
That's the story of, that's the glory of love
Zoe Adara's VBAC Birth Story
November 27, 2012
This is not a quick birth story because it was not a quick birth. But before I can start on Zoe?s story I have to first mention a few things about my son?s birth. As much as I felt I was informed about birth beyond the average woman (and sadly I was!), I know looking back I wasn?t informed enough. When I showed up to my 41 week appt with Aiden I thought I had given him enough extra time and had no issues when the OB said that he was not comfortable with any mom going past 41 weeks and I would be induced. At 41+3 I was induced (weekend got in the way of a sooner one) and I did not do well with the cervidil, AROM, and pit circus. It was not enjoyable in the least bit. Aiden did not enjoy it either. I had a c section. I hated how we were separated for over 2 hours after birth. I hated that I laid in recovery without any information about my son. I hated that he was given formula during this time. It was not how a mother and baby relationship should start. I knew immediately that I was going to VBAC (vaginal birth after c section) with my next child. I started researching more birth information and asked questions of other VBAC moms. When I discovered I was pregnant in March of this year, I knew what to look for in a VBAC friendly provider. I was very fortunate to have found a great office just an hour away thanks to another local mom. I asked them questions and felt comfortable continuing my care with them. The one negative? I had a 42 week limit. Considering how many moms seeking VBACs can?t find a provider that supports a full term pregnancy (a mom is NOT post dates till 42 weeks), I was happy. Other than PUPPS annoying me in the last month, I had a very normal and boring pregnancy. I saw CNMs (certified nurse midwives) the majority of the time.
Zoe?s birth story starts at 41 weeks (my estimated due date was 11/14). At that appointment I knew I was being put on the clock. I had an NST (non stress test) and quick ultra sound to check on Zoe. I saw an OB and talked about my options and risks. He was clearly nervous but respected my wishes to be given more time for my body to work. Next appt and another NST was set for 41 weeks and 5 days. I did not want to show up to that appointment. After looking at what little research there is on castor oil I did take 2 tablespoons at 41+3, a Saturday. Nothing happened (I was not okay with taking a larger amount that many do). That evening I took 2 tablespoons more. I woke up Sunday at 3am with my first pressure wave (hypnobabies language for contractions). I had pressure waves all morning and they even got to be 3-4 minutes apart at one point. With the help of hypno tracks I was easily able to work my way through them. However, they slowed down the afternoon. There was much walking and letting Aiden nurse as much as he wanted. Waves picked back up that evening and I worked my way through them all night. I did not sleep. I knew something was different because by now my waves were in my back, not just my front like they had been. I showed up for my Monday 41+5 appt having waves every 20-30 minutes. Zoe passed her NST, but the ultra sound showed that she had shifted herself asynclitic only a bit more wonky than a typical asynclitic presentation. She was leaning way far to one side at an angle and had the back of her head presenting first. I knew then that the OB was going to want to finally set a RCS (repeat c section). I was prepared to ask/argue for a foley induction, but with her presentation I was no longer comfortable with that. I envisioned the awful labor I had with my son that ended with a CS. The OB was definitely not okay with induction of any kind. He told me chances weren?t high that she?d shift for me to have a VBAC, but he?d give me my wish to not have a RCS till 42 weeks exactly and if I showed up in labor then I would be given the opportunity to VBAC. I had lots of hope and was immediately on the phone texting my best friend and on FaceBook messaging a group of over 20 women who had been supporting me from around the world. Yes, that?s right there was a huge FB chat going on for my birth and while I haven?t met most of these ladies they were on day and night offering advice and support from AZ to Canada to the UK to Laos to Australia. They got on the ball when I told them what was happening. While I was eating lunch after my appt, they sent me numbers and information on chiropractors within 2 hours of me that may be helpful. After lunch my husband drove the entire family (Aiden always went with me to every appoint even the ones at the end) over an hour away to a chiro who said she?d see me and see if she could help. Turns out she was a VBAC mom herself. She worked on adjusting me some and stretching out my round ligaments, which were way off balance and allowing Zoe to lean waaaaay off course. She gave me my ?homework? and said if I?m not in active labor by the next afternoon she?d see me again and do her best to get me in active labor before my RCS. I left there with waves coming every 7-15 minutes. That evening I followed her suggestions which started off with a long relaxing bath. I watched Zoe shift herself from the far side. Then my husband and I worked on the pressure points she had shown me. By 10pm I was back in active labor. It took off quickly and I put all my energy into staying calmed and focused. My husband called his sister to come pick up Aiden at 1am. I have a fantastic sister-in-law to get up in the middle of the night and drive an hour to get Aiden! I spent the entire night changing positions and trying to ride my waves despite the horrible back labor I was still experiencing. I?m not sure if I vocalized it out loud, but I spent a lot of time repeating ?deeper relax? and ?open, open, open.? I listened to easy first stage from hypnobabies a lot, but don?t recall paying attention to any of it. For once the lady?s voice didn?t annoy me and acted as a constant calm presence. Meanwhile my husband did his best to support me and do everything he can to make the waves better for me. He reminded me to use the bathroom, to drink water, suggested snacks, gave me back counter pressure, gave me heat packs, and reminded me to move around and change positions periodically. He spent a lot of time texting my best friend and even getting on my FB chat to make sure he was doing what he could. I?ve since heard that he was worried that I was going to give birth at home due to how my waves appeared to him, but I knew that I was not in danger of that. I knew I had lots of time left to go, which at that point wasn?t comforting to my poor back. By 4am my husband decided it was past time to get me to the city that our hospital was in since it?s an hour drive there. At the suggestion of my chat ladies, he called around and found a hotel for us to go to. I refused to go to the hospital, so it was a good compromise for us. I wasn?t a fast mover with my intense waves, so it was 6am before we arrived there. The ride sucked. I ended up laying down on my side in the back seat with a heat pack on my back. I turned my hypnobabies birth track up way loud (headphones on!) and when I couldn?t be quiet reminded myself to moan through them keeping my mouth loose. When we arrived to the hotel, my husband drew me a bath in this huge jacuzzi tub and grabbed me food from the hotel to eat (ate bacon, eggs, tots, and part of a biscuit!). I moved between the tub, the toilet, the shower, and the bed thanks to my husband?s urging. I?m fairly certain I told my husband a few dozen times that I was done and take me to the hospital for an epidural. He reminded me that I didn?t want that. I told him I needed to sleep. I was really struggling at this point to stay focused and calm with the back labor. Looking back it was way better than the pit labor I had with Aiden, but at the time I couldn?t focus on that because I was so sleep deprived. All I could think about was how the waves now hurt and that I wanted to sleep. I did keep moving back to the bed to lay down on my side so I could rest in between waves. The bad part of this is that the waves hurt more in this position. Getting on my hands and knees, leaning over anything, and heck just standing was beyond what I could physical handle at that point. At 10am my husband called the OB office at my urging. I was pissed that they said to go into the office and not to the hospital. Though once there apparently I highly amused everyone (thanks honey for sharing!) by asking for my hairbrush because I was not going inside with my hair the way it was. I somehow walked inside and waited for them to call me back. I just remember standing in the waiting room with my hypno on my headphones trying to keep quiet so I didn?t scare all the old people and pregnant ladies. When I was called back they checked the heartbeat (which was great) and checked me ? 5 to 6cm! OB came in and sent us off to the hospital with paperwork in hand for my VBAC! All I could think was ?FINALLY!? We arrive to the hospital minutes later and learned that everyone was right ? parking SUCKS there. My husband dropped me off at the entrance and he went off in search of parking. I walked inside and registered myself. Let?s say that sucked too. Especially because they told me to wait there for a nurse and it took what felt like hours for a nurse to come (at least a half hour in reality!). I somehow (where did the energy come from?!) walked the 10 minutes to the room they wanted me in. I stripped down and told the nurse that there was no way I could lay down in the bed on my back for a 20 minute strip like they wanted. So we tried with me sitting and finally laying on my side so I could keep getting counter pressure from my husband (this whole time I?d say ?wave? and he?d run over to help me). She was picking up the HB way low on me and it was only at 100. I was getting concerned. The OB came in and saw that and was clearly concerned and said that it was time to do the prep for a RCS. He kept looking at me and I know he was thinking about how much I wanted my VBAC. I shifted onto my back and I have no doubt I was screaming through the waves at this point. A whole bunch of people ran into the room. I got shaved down there, got my line in with saline, and more. The midwife on call from the practice was there too. Things were busy and a bit of a blur. However, Zoe?s HB improved and the OB said to wait and that if the HB stays like it is he?s okay with me continuing to labor. I was checked at some point and found to be at 7cm. Knowing this kicked in my head that I could still have my natural VBAC. Due to the issues with getting her HB still on the external monitors, I agreed for internal monitoring. At this point getting my VBAC was way more important. He asked to break my waters. I knew this was potentially going to make my waves speed up, but I was very worried about my energy and knew I couldn?t labor much longer. Told him to go for it. He broke my water and I immediately went to 8cm. ?Not much longer now? I remember thinking. He left and said I was going to be under the midwife again! She came and checked up on me. I did ask at some point for something to help take the edge off and was given Stadol. I knew I couldn?t labor out of bed due to pure exhaustion (it was in the afternoon by this point!) and the bed was making my waves worse. I screamed/moaned through the peaks of the waves and used hypno to survive the going and coming of them. I stayed on my side mostly so my husband could keep providing counter pressure and heat packs. The Stadol made me feel loopy, but I was able to keep my calm better and focus on getting through each wave one at a time. At some point I noticed the waves changed, but I would never call it much of a push sensation. It took me several before I realized what it even was and told the nurse. The midwife came in again all happy and helped me work through pushing. She was very encouraging. I chose when to push and how long I could manage it. She was great at offering suggestions, but still letting me call it. However, it was very rough on me since my back labor was still there and I didn?t often feel a great sense of pushing. I had no idea until later how long I?d been pushing. I just knew that after awhile I was completely collapsing between pushing waves. I knew I had exhausted myself completely. My husband thought I was ?being zen? when really I was struggling to stay awake period. The midwife mentioned that I might need assistance because the heart rate wasn?t staying steady and called the OB in. He recommended forceps and quickly told me risks. I agreed because although I knew I could push her out I was too far past the exhaustion point to manage it (I did keep trying when urges hit though). It hurt like hell pushing her out with help of the forceps, but she came out quickly at 4:56pm. Turns out I had been pushing for 3 hours! No wonder they were concerned and no wonder I was having issues staying awake! Zoe was immediately placed on my stomach. I left her there till the cord had stopped pulsating. I was still struggling to stay awake, but the shocked that she really was here after all my waiting was starting to wake me up. I did receive a pit injection as per my birth plan. The placenta came out quickly without me paying much attention. I had my girl on my chest and offered her the boob if she wanted it. She was perfect! However while she was on my chest the OB became concerned about my bleeding and got my permission for a full bag of pit. There was much fussing around me and I remember having lots of pain from people pressing on my stomach. I tried my hardest to concentrate on Zoe, but I?m pretty sure I let out some screams. Soon though the local worked and they were able to stitch up my 2nd degree tear (I was told that I had torn before the forceps) and my bleeding calmed down a lot. Once they were done with me down there I finally felt awake from the ecstasy of having my VBAC. I was able to enjoy the beauty in my arms. I was amazed and shocked that I had accomplished my goal. Everything I had gone through was suddenly 100% worth it.
Definitely not my ideal birth, but it was incredibly powerful and healing. My body can go into labor. My body can dilate. My body can birth a baby. I got my VBAC. I got my precious baby girl. And all interventions were done with my consent and explained to me. I have no regrets. And the best part? My recovery has been nothing compared to that of a CS!!!
ETA: Had my VBAC in east North Carolina. If you're in the area and want more info, please PM me. I highly recommend my provider office and hospital!