I’m still trying to process everything that happened with my VBAC. Thankfully, I have this blog to write about my experience and share my story.
If you have been following me you know that I’m a big advocate for VBAC’s. I have a series called VBAC Stories where fellow mothers shared their amazing VBAC stories.
I thought it was important to share stories like this to help VBAC hopefuls gain confidence and inspiration. I know their stories helped me.
My VBAC Story : Unexpected Crazy Fast Delivery
My story began three weeks before my due date. My body was showing all of the signs of impending labor. I was getting consistent contractions, loose stools, nesting, and intense pressure down below. I went into my 37 week appointment and was sure the doctor would tell me I was dilated. I anxiously sat on the examine table and my doctor came into check me. When I laid back she started her examine (which was extremely painful). It felt as if she was digging for gold. After she was done, I expected her to say I was at least 1-2cm dilated. She took off her gloves and threw them away. “You are still high and closed my dear. I can’t even feel the baby’s head”. She then turned on the ultrasound machine. “Let’s see where this baby is at”.
She turned on the screen, and I started to fear that the baby maybe breech. However, the doctor told me she was resting on the left side of my pelvis head down.
After leaving my appointment I was very discouraged and fear started to set in. I started to feel like my VBAC may not happen.
Over the next week my impending labor signs persisted, and at my next appointment I declined getting checked. I just couldn’t handle the disappointment if I wasn’t progressing. I continued to walk and do lunges to help my baby get into position. I also broke down and purchased a yoga ball. I bounced and did all kinds of exercises to help position baby. I even started getting really good contractions. I started to feel confident that things were headed in the right direction.
My 39 week appointment was the next day and I was sure my body had made progress. My Mother-In-Law had flown in to help us with the kids for when I went into labor. She came with me to my appointment. I kind of bounced into the office that day, because I just felt my body was moving into the right direction. I happily sat on the examine table ready for my check up.
Again, I laid back on the table and once again my doctor started checking me. And once again she couldn’t feel the babies head. She pulled out the ultrasound machine and discovered my daughter was resting in the middle of my stomach. She was head down, but very far up.
My doctor offered a c-section, which I declined. There was no way I could get a c-section because the recovery is brutal and I needed to be able to care for my children. I couldn’t get induced since I had a previous c-section, so the only thing I could do was wait. My doctor said that she would only allow me to go 10 days overdue. Panic began to sit in.
After we left the doctor me and my family prayed together that God would help me achieve a vaginal delivery. My faith was wavering at this point because I wasn’t confident my body would go into labor on it’s own. Since it seemed like the baby wasn’t coming anytime soon, my Mother-In-Law flew back to Ohio.
That night I cried while in the shower. I just didn’t feel like my VBAC would happen. With my 1st VBAC my water broken and I was induced with pitocin. I never got a chance to go into spontaneous labor. I begged and pleaded with God that He work it out. Then a little voice told me to trust God and the baby. Each day I started to trust that my body knew exactly what to do.
My contractions completely stopped for two days, and my anxiety grew. I had it set in my mind that I was going to end up with a c-section. I figured I should mentally prepare myself so I wouldn’t be disappointed. Every time I tried get comfortable with the fact that I probably end up with a c-section a sickening feeling came over me and I would start to cry.
On Monday night September 5th I started getting painful contractions. They weren’t consistent and it was only one every two hours. These contractions woke me from my sleep. They continued with this pattern throughout the day. I also started to get a lot of watery discharge which I thought was my water leaking. I monitored the baby’s movement and if I felt a change I would go straight to labor and delivery. On Tuesday night I started to have contractions once every hour. They were very intense and painful, very different then the Braxton Hicks I was feeling a couple of weeks before. I slept on the couch that night because the only way to get through them was to moan, and I didn’t want to wake my husband.
The contractions followed me into the Wedensday morning. I asked my husband to stay home from work and look after the kids so I could go to labor and delivery. As I drove there I had two more very painful contractions. Once I got to L&D they quickly put in a room and hooked me up to the monitors. A bubbly nurse with a southern accent came into check to see if my water had broken. “Nope hun, your water isn’t broken”, she said sweetly.
My shoulders slumped down in disappointment. At this point I was hoping for any sign of labor. I told her about my painful contractions, which stopped when she hooked me up to the monitors (go figure). “You are not contracting according to the monitor, but let me check you to see if you are dilated”. When she checked me it was quick and painless. “You aren’t dilated but you are losing your mucus plug”.
I perked up! That was enough for me to gain my confidence back. “Really”? I said surprised.
She checked the monitor one more time before I left. “You had one very big contraction but it is not enough to keep you, so I’m going to send you home”. As I drove home a smile spread across my face, my body was actually progressing and I wasn’t imagining things!
When I got home I continued my regular routine. My contractions were still one every hour but I had to stop and breath through them. Around lunch time I went to the bathroom and I had lost my mucus plug. I called my husband in excitement! However, he didn’t understand the full extent of what it meant. LOL.
Once we were settle for the evening me and my husband watched The Office on Netflix. My contractions were coming two every hour and I no longer could laugh at the funny parts of the show. I fell asleep for about an hour and was awoken at 10:30 by a very painful contraction. I had to sit up. My husband rubbed my back through the contraction. Soon another contraction hit. I didn’t time them because I was sure it was another bought of false labor. My husband told me to time them. So I started to keep track of them on a contraction app I downloaded on my phone. The contractions were not consistent, some came 5 minutes apart and some were 10 minutes apart. I started to moan and breath through each one because the pain was so intense.
“Call the hospital and ask them what you should do”, my husband suggested. I really was hesitant to call because I had been earlier that day and didn’t feel like driving another 30 minutes if it was a false alarm. After the next few contractions I finally broke down and called. The nurse told me I should come in. I waited for a bit and then my contractions stopped. “It’s a false alarm”, I told my husband. Everyone was dressed just in case, so I suggested we try to get some sleep.
I went to lay down in the living room and Bumble Bee came to cuddle with me. As I laid there a very painful contraction hit me. I jumped up once the contraction was over and told my husband we better go.
We loaded the kids up and headed to the hospital. There was no time to call our back up child care person. On the drive there my contractions started to become more frequent and intense. I had to moan through them. The kids started to get worried and I reassured them that “mommy was okay”. The drive to the hospital seemed to take forever. I continued to breath and moan through each contraction. When we arrived at the hospital my husband ran into the emergency entrance to grab me a wheel chair. He rolled me and Bumble Bee into the waiting area (Bumble Bee was sitting on my lap), while him and Honey Bee parked the car. The attendee checking me in kept asking questions, but I couldn’t answer because my contractions were about 5 minutes apart. I moaned loudly as I sat and waited for my husband. She called a nurse from the back to rush me up to labor and delivery. Soon my husband and Honey Bee joined us and we rushed up to labor and delivery.
Once we got to labor and delivery the nurse knew exactly who I was because of the call I made earlier. They quickly got me into my room and had me change into my gown. I kept having contractions through it all. I laid back and the nurse tried checked me but she couldn’t feel anything. So she called another nurse into check me. I expected not to be dilated at all. The second nurse felt around for a bit and finally said “You are 7 cm dilated”. I couldn’t believe it! This morning I was closed! They hooked me up to an IV. I was ready for an epidural. Now if you’ve read my Visual Birth Plan post you would know that I didn’t want an epidural. Well, I scrapped that plan once I felt how painful the contractions were. I was tired and needed relief. Me and my husband asked how long it would take for me to get a epidural and they said once the IV bag was 75% empty.
A sweet nurse named Heather coached me through each contraction. She said encouraging words like “you are doing great, keep it up”. Her words truly helped me get through each painful contraction. My kids sat quietly through this all. Finally it was time to get the epidural! Hallelujah!!!! LOL. The anesthesiologist came into the room and started to administer the epidural. He gave me a few numbing shots. Every few minutes he would ask me do I feel anything and I could feel EVERYTHING! It was so painful! He kept poking me with the needle and it was so hard sitting still through each contractions. Nurse Heather held my hand and continued to whisper encouraging words in my ear. After about 10 minutes the epidural still wasn’t taking so I told him I didn’t want it anymore. The pain from getting poked in the spine with a needle and the contractions was too much.
He said “are you sure” and I said yes. He said that the bones in my spine are close together so it is hard to administer the epidural.
Once he left I broke down crying, “I’m scared” I said to my husband. He rushed over to my side. “Why honey”? “Because I’m going to give birth naturally and…I’m scared”. My husband looked at me and said “you can do this Honey”. I wiped my tears away, and though I still felt scared the baby needed to come out.
The nurse checked me again and I was about 8 1/2 – 9 cm, and the baby was still up high. I told the nurse that I felt like I had to pee and asked could I go to the bathroom. As I sat on the toilet, the pee would not come out, but there was an intense feeling of having to pee. My husband turned on the faucet to see if that would help. I tried my best to pee, but it still wasn’t coming out. It was the worse feeling ever! As I sat on the toilet I ask God out loud to help me get through the pain. I felt the baby shift and soon I felt the need to push.
I started to grunt and moan and my body began to involuntarily push. The nurse came into check on me and instantly recognized that I was trying to push the baby out. She pulled the help string and a group of nurses came rushing in. “You have to get to the bed”, she said sternly. However, I couldn’t walk. “I can’t”! I yelled. “You have too”! She exclaimed. Two nurse helped me waddle over to the bed.
“I guess sitting on the toilet helped bring the baby down”, she laughed. As soon as I laid on the bed I started to grunt and my body began to push. The doctor ran into the room and put on her robe. Soon my mouth started to make sounds I never knew it could make. I started to scream in a high pitched voice as each contraction hit with an intense feeling of pressure.
I continued to grunt, and the feeling of having to pee grew more intense.”I feel like I have to pee!” I yelled. I screamed one last time, and my doctor said in a firm voice “Nikki stopped screaming. If you want these pushes to be effective I need you to concentrate and push like you mean it”. Her stern voice helped focus me, and with all of my might I pushed once like nobodies business. I said a prayer out loud “Lord please let this go fast”. Suddenly I felt a gush and felt my daughter’s wiggly body come out of me. She sat Ellie on my chest and I was in shock that I couldn’t believe that she came out in only one push. I held my little baby and kissed her, and thanked God. I looked over at my husband and he was wiping away tears. My husband kissed me and said “you did get great”.
After only 4 short hours of labor my daughter was born at 3:41 am in only one push. Throughout it all my faith wavered and I questioned if God heard my prayers. Looking back I see He had the perfect timing for everything. I’m so thankful things worked out the way they did. Since my mother in law left we didn’t have child care, but God made it so that my labor and delivery was quick. So quick in fact that the kids didn’t have time to leave the room. They actually got to see their baby sister being born.
I didn’t hit me until the next day that I had a VBAC. I sat in my hospital bed looking at my newborn, and I started to cry tears of gratefulness and joy. I was thankful my daughter was born healthy and joy because my body wasn’t broken after all. Even though my doctor told me my pelvis was too small to fit a baby through it when I was pregnant with Honey Bee.
Healing has been going great too. I didn’t tear even though she came out fast and besides the back pain from the failed epidural I feel like myself. I’ll be honest and say I will NEVER want another natural delivery. I thought I had a high pain tolerance until this experience. LOL. Though I’m sure this is our last child.
Thank you for reading my VBAC story.