Born 10/11/12 at Tampa General Hospital. Story told by Sophia
My history includes two cesarean sections. With my first son my water broke prematurely and when I went into the hospital they started me on pitocin right away. I was not dilating at the rate they were comfortable with and after more than 28 hours of labor they saw that his heart rate was dropping. Being new to the whole thing I agreed to the C-section right away. I mean you’re telling me his heart rate is going down and I know that a baby needs a heart rate! If only I knew then what I know now…..
I learned a lot after that but not enough as I would soon find out with my second. My second daughter, I decided to go with a home birth at 36 weeks because I felt that my doctor was pulling the whole “bait and switch” on me at the last minute. I was told that the baby looks to be about 8lbs and that by the time I deliver it would be at least 10 lbs. So he was suggesting that I schedule a repeat cesarean. After that meeting I found a midwife that was willing to take me so far along. Forward to labor day and my water broke, just as before, and I was forced to transfer after 12 hours because of Florida laws that stipulate that a midwife can only stay with a women after her water breaks no more than 12 hours. I was not anticipating another premature rupture and within 24 hours I had another cesarean. The emotions and disappointment that came with the second cesarean was nothing compared to the first. I felt like I had failed myself. Both of these babies were posterior. My first was 8lbs 9oz and my second was 9lbs 10oz.
This time WOULD be different. I joined “Shapes” lost 25 lbs, started eating right and found a chiropractor that would be there for me when I got pregnant. I joined ICAN and read every book I could get my hands on. I was obsessed with watching labor videos and asked every women I knew so many questions about their labor. I was becoming an expert on the topic, now if only I could get my VBAC. My planning started way before I got pregnant. I knew that I had to get the baby in a good position and I had to take care of my health. Throughout the pregnancy I saw this chiropractor and she adjusted me every month. Towards the end of the pregnancy I was going once a week for an adjustment. Also with my history of PROM I increased my intake of Vitamin C and learned all I could about how to get the baby in just the right position.
I started having prodromal labor and started losing my plug at around 40 weeks. It was coming out very mucous like and I knew that the time was getting close. Also as 40 weeks I started getting really bad diarrhea. I thought I was getting sick but there were no other symptoms. It was like my body was getting ready and cleaning itself out. I was happy about it because up until then I had been constipated and it was not pleasant. The prodromal labor kept coming and it felt a lot like period cramps. If I walked around the mall or took a walk around the neighborhood they would get so bad that I had to stop every now and then. At 40 weeks 3 days I started having the same kinds of cramps and menstrual like pains only this time they did not stop when I sat down or moved. My husband and son came home from school around 4 and I started dinner, all the while having really uncomfortable cramping. I still was in denial and just ignored it. I knew I was NOT going to the hospital right away like I did before so I continued the household chores for the day. I knew that if this was it, that I needed to get some things done for my family first. I cooked and cleaned and got bags packed for my little ones.
The cramping kept getting worse from then on but they were still very irregular so I did not know if it was the real thing. By 8pm that night I knew it was the real thing. They were contractions and they HURT. They were very irregular, coming every 3 minutes and then spacing our to 5 or 7 minutes. It was weird because I always thought that when they were close together it meant that it was almost time to push. My contractions were very close together but not so intense. I still tried to rest and pretend like nothing was happening but by the time 10pm came around I was in a lot of pain. I decided to call my doula who was also my chiropractor and she had just come home from another birth so she sent over her backup to be with me until she got some rest. I also called my two sisters to come and be with my kids. I told my husband to get some sleep but he was too excited. The doula came and put some herbs under my tongue to speed and regulate my contractions. I sat on the birth ball and walked around. I ate and drank and just tried to get through each contraction. We all sat around and talked a bit. By 1am I was not myself and only focusing on my contractions. I was not comfortable any longer so we packed up and got ready to leave for the hospital. My husband, one of my sisters, and backup doula were all with me. It was nice having the doula there because she knew all the hospital policies and locations so I didn’t waste time checking in. All the while I am dealing with painful contractions on the birth ball and just sitting around talking with everyone.
As soon as I got into triage I had a doctor come in and tell me she was not comfortable with allowing me to VBAC and although my doctor agreed to allow me, it all depends on who is on call that night. I told her that was fine but I was NOT going to have a major surgery unless there was something wrong with the baby or me. She left and a midwife came in and read all the risks and procedures of both. I agreed and signed all the papers they needed and kept on contracting. The doula had some herbs and things that she would put under my tongue every now and then secretly. She also had a way of helping my deal with some major contractions by pushing on my knees and that really helped. I knew I did not want any pain medication and I wanted an all natural VBAC. I did not want anything interfering with my progress. They checked me and I was 4-5 cm! I was so happy to hear that. I had never reached that far with the first two and to hear that was so uplifting and energizing. They wheeled me into my room and there I sat just dealing with each contraction as it came.
It was 7 am at this time and they checked me again around 11 am and I had reached 6 cm. This is when my mood changed and the energy in the room had dropped significantly. I was going to scream! I was calculating that it took 4 hours to get 1 cm and I still had 4 more cm to go! The contractions were so hard and hurt so bad that I was contemplating getting the epidural. I gave up about 5 times in that instance and my doula could see it in my eyes. My family and doula were not just talking to me and reminding me of what I wanted and getting me back on track. Without my support team there I don’t know what I would have done because the doctors and nurses were just waiting for me to give up. It is sad to think about it now but they really have no idea of the effort you go through to get what you want from your birth. Now my doula wanted to get me up and move me around. I was walking around and when the nurses had me hooked up to the monitors I just told them I needed to pee. I would get unhooked and walk to the bathroom and walk around the room until they told me to lay down again. The nurses were really nice and never gave me a hard time about anything. It was almost like they were happy to see that I had a doula that was there taking care of me too. My chiropractor/doula had rested and was in the hospital by now. She just kept talking me through the pain and I just kept focusing on each contraction at a time. 45 minutes later I started feeling contractions that had a pushing feeling at the end. They felt better and I kinda liked these more than the first contractions. I asked if we should call the nurses and my doula was like, “no you don’t want them to come in now they are just gonna want to tell you when to push and you already know what you are feeling. Just keep doing what your body is telling you”. So I did. I listened to my body and I just pushed a little every time I felt like it. It felt good to stand through these contractions so I stood by the bed and sat on the ball if I needed. I did this for about 15 minutes and with one of the contractions I ended up pushing a little harder and my water broke on the floor. I was so happy and couldn’t believe that I was actually doing it! Everything I read about and saw is actually happening! My support team was so happy and they were cheering my on. After that I got back into bed and my doula got the bed in a chair position dropping the legs and raising the head part. It was like I was sitting on a big comfy chair. I was pushing all over the place and how ever I wanted. Every time a nurse came in we assured her everything was fine and I kept on pushing whenever I felt like it. After about 10 minutes I started feeling a burning sensation and my doula lifted the blanket and she saw the head! Now we called the nurses. They prepped the whole room and got everything ready. Things slowed down a little now and I did not feel like the contractions were coming as fast or strong. I guess it was my body getting a break for the real deal. After about 5 minutes I got a really big contraction and had to push hard. 3 more of those big pushes and I had the baby out and on my chest!!!!!!!
I just sat there with my baby on my chest. He was beautiful and like nothing I could have ever imagined. It was the most amazing feeling I had ever felt in my life. In an instant I was overcome with love and joy! Tears filled the room. My mom, sister and husband were just in awe and so proud and I could feel their relief that it was all over. I had my VBAC and I felt healed. I felt like a new women. I got everything I ever wanted! I got delayed cord clamping, and took the placenta home like I wanted. I tore a bit and had a couple stitches but it was nothing like the stitches I would have received had I had another c-section. I did it! ALL NATURAL VBA2C!