This is my vbac story. It wasn't the way I had pictured it (had more interventions than I would have liked), but with my circumstances I got the BEST possible outcome! My only regret is that I put my baby on a timeline because I had a repeat c/s scheduled. I just happened to go into labor naturally 2 days before that and delivered the morning before the section. I desperately wanted a vbac but was too scared to not have a "back up" of a scheduled c/s. If I am blessed with another baby, I will definitely be going for a more natural vbac and NO c/s will be scheduled just in case. I've had GD with my past 2 pregnancies and my OB used that as a scare tactic, in my opinion, to deliver early (induced at 40w with E and scheduled rcs at 39w[according to lmp, 38w5d according to ovulation] with C). I will NOT let that happen again. I am not going to give another baby an "eviction date" just because they *might* be big because of the GD. And, by the way, my babies were nowhere near being big. Ugh. The more I think about it the madder I get at my OB and myself. Oh well. Know better, do better...that's my new motto.
I had been contracting for days. I didn’t really think it would turn into anything...especially since finding out at my 38 week appointment that our baby girl was transverse. I had to come to terms with having another cesarean birth, even though I could have postponed the c/s. That’s a completely different story though. *sigh* Anyway, on the evening of Dec. 19 (38+3), our daughter Emily’s 2nd birthday, I started having pretty consistent contractions that were more intense than the ones I had been having. They felt like light menstrual cramps with some cervical pain and a slight backache. I doubted I was in labor though, but since they weren’t going away, we went ahead and called my mother-in-law to come pick up Em and I called the doctor. The doctor on call said it sounded like maybe we were going to have a baby tonight (I doubted it), and that I should come in. As soon as we got in the car my contractions slowed from every 5 minutes to every 7 or 8 minutes. I thought for sure they’d send us home. We stopped at Arby’s on the way to the hospital since we didn’t know how long we would be there, and thinking maybe I would need the food for fuel later during labor. Good thing we did.
When we arrived at the hospital (at10:30pm), I put on my best “I’m in labor” face while filling out paperwork. I don’t know who I was trying to convince, the nurses or myself. We were immediately put in a room and I was put on the monitors. The nurse asked lots of questions while I was contracting. I told her my pain was at a 3...noticeable, but very bearable, often laughing and smiling through contractions. One of the residents checked my cervix, I was at 2cm and 80%. This was surprising to me since I was just at 1cm 50% on Wednesday with no change from the week before. She said she would come back in a couple of hours and check me again and we would decide our plan of action from there. If there was no change I would be sent home. If I had changed, then we would prep the OR for my c-section.. She did a quick ultrasound to check fluid levels, etc., since baby hadn’t been moving much and it was determined that our stubborn baby girl was still transverse.
In the meantime, I was chatting with my nurse, Alice, about my birth experience with Emily, my desire for a vbac, and my disappointment of baby girl’s position. Alice was a phenomenal nurse. Well about an hour after the initial cervical check, I needed to go potty. Alice came in to take the monitors off of me, and I mentioned in passing that my contractions were getting stronger. They’re at a 5 now, I told her. Not horrible, but moderate. I was having to really concentrate through them...and breathe. I was feeling a lot of cervical pain. She mentioned it to the resident OB and she came in to check me again. I was now 4cm and 90%. “I’m in labor, y’all!!” is what came out of my mouth! lol I was so excited just to have gone into labor on my own. Because no matter what, baby girl was ready to be here and I wasn’t forcing her out before it was time.
This is when it got interesting. Since I had progressed, the OB on call came in to talk to me. He (Dr. Joseph) was fantastic. He was an older gentleman who was what I would call “seasoned”. I could just tell he had been doing this for a long time and had a lot of experience. One might even call him “old school”. He was explaining protocol to me and said that we would be doing my c-section within the hour. Alice mentioned to him that I had desired to have a vbac, and he smiled really big and said, “Well, let’s get an epidural in you and we’ll try to flip the baby. You are a great candidate for vbac.” I was elated. I really didn’t need the epidural pain-wise because the contractions weren’t THAT bad, but I had to have it for the version because from what I understand it’s painful, and also in case the version didn’t work I would be immediately taken to the OR. So I got the epidural around midnight and a while later many doctors and nurses descended upon my room. (side note: the epi was stronger on my left side than my right) They did another quick ultrasound before the version to make sure of the baby’s position, and you know what? She had already flipped. No version needed! I couldn’t believe it.
Dr. Joseph then slowly broke my water so he could make sure baby’s cord didn’t prolapse since she had been transverse, then they let me labor and get some rest while I progressed and would check me again in a couple hours. At around 1:30 I started feeling contractions on my right side. I knew this might happen since the epidural was stronger on my left side. Alice came in and turned me on my right side to try to help gravity bring the meds to the right. I told her that my pain level was at 7 now. At 2ish I was checked again and I was 6cm and 0 station. I requested a little more medicine for my epi (they had only given me about a 1/2 dose to begin with), but was kind of hesitant about it because I felt contractions, but my legs were completely numb. It was a weird sensation. Then at 3:45 I was feeling pain on my left side. I mentioned this to Alice and she seemed a little confused as to what exactly was going on with me. She sent for the resident to check me, and when they checked me I was “complete complete complete and +2”. OMG. I was about to have a baby.
They asked if I wanted more epidural meds since I was feeling so much pain, but I said no. I wanted to have SOME control, and since I couldn’t feel my legs, I wanted to be able to feel my contractions. Yes they hurt, but let me tell you they were NOTHING compared to the contractions I had with Emily. Pitocin is the devil. The nurses and techs came in to prep the room and we did some practice pushes around 4 since my legs were still numb. I was really worried about whether I would be able to push since I couldn’t really feel anything down there, but my practice pushes were very productive. Alice said, “Oh yeah, this is so a vaginal birth. Even if something were to happen now, and you needed help, the worse case scenario would be forceps”. This made me feel so confident in myself. I started pushing for real at 4:17. We skipped a few contractions while they were doing more preparations and 14 minutes and 4 pushes later I gave birth to my beautiful daughter Chloe Madison Taylor. They told me to quit pushing because her head shot out of me. They delivered her shoulders then pulled her out. The feeling of her coming out was unbelievable. It was like a total release of pressure. It was amazing. They suctioned her nose and mouth, Daddy cut the cord, then my precious baby was placed on my chest. I did it. I had wanted that for so long, and finally my day came. They let me love on her for a while then took her to be weighed and measured. They delivered the placenta, which I asked to see (very cool), then began to clean me up. The resident checked my uterus and had a bit of a concerned look on her face. “She’s really thin, do you want to take a look?” she said to Dr. Joseph. Dr. Joseph then checked my uterus and said, “Yes, uterus is very thin, but the scar is completely intact.” Relief.
I tore a little when she came out since it happened so fast, so the doctor stitched me up while baby was being assessed. I still can’t believe that I had a vbac. It’s so amazing. I know it wasn’t “natural” or free from interventions, but it was mine. And I loved it. I’m a rock star.