Sunday, May 16, 2010

My VBAC Birth Story

So this may be TMI, or explicit, for some to read, so read at your own risk. However, I wanted to document what this birth was like so I am doing it here.
Saturday, May 8th, I experienced REAL contractions for the first time. I timed them and they were about 5 minutes apart for 2 hours, but then they stopped. On Monday morning, while I was at work, I started feeling like my period was coming. I was having really low cramping and some contractions. I went to the Midwife and they said I was experiencing Prodromal Labor (Pre-Labor). They checked my cervix and said I was 90% effaced but only a fingertip dialated. They also said I could experience this for weeks. OH GREAT!!
Tuesday night, May 11th, I went to work, still having some very mild cramps/contractions. Then I went to Stroller Strides and worked out. While I was there I was chatting with my friend Abbie about my labor book. I told her I was waiting for her letter before I would go into labor. That night I received an email from Abbie, entitled "Now you can go into labor" with her labor focus letter. I literally walked upstairs after laughing at the title, went to the bathroom and realized I had just lost my mucus plug. I came downstairs and told Josh and started laughing about how ironic this all was! Again, losing your plug doesn't "really" mean anything, I could still be pregnant for hours or weeks.
So in an effort to move things along I told Josh it was time to have sex (Midwife orders)! haha! So afterwards, we went to sleep, but I started having contractions. I figured they would go away. By midnight, I was really uncomfortable, so I decided to get up and start timing them. I went to the bathroom and headed downstairs to time contractions. After a few that were 3.5 to 4 minutes apart, I thought I peed on myself. Quickly, I thought maybe my water broke. I ran up to the bathroom and as I sat down another big gush...this made me think I hadn't peed myself, my water broke. After this, the contractions started getting closer and more intense. I woke Josh up and we called his mom, telling her this could be the real deal. She came to the house and we were off to the hospital.
By the time we got to the hospital, I had soaked my pad, underwear and pants (it was definitely my water). I checked into triage and realized that quickly that these contractions were NOT letting up. The nurse checked me and I was still only a fingertip dialated. Needless to say, I was rather frustrated, but since I was a VBAC and my water broke, they admitted me.
I got to the room and my midwife came in to check me again. I was still only a fingertip, but we knew that could be an issue due to some cervical surgeries. So she checked me and within one check broke the scar tissue. I went from a fingertip to 2.5 cm in that check and the rest of my water broke on the table.
This is when it got intense. I decided to labor in the bathtub with the jets on. I was in there for close to 3 hours. I had made a playlist of songs that we sing at church that I listened to again and again. It was my escape to another place. I felt pretty in tune with my breathing and was handling things pretty well. Then it was so intense I wasn't sure I could handle them anymore. I decided I needed some medicine. So I got out of the tub and they checked me again. I was almost 5 cm. This was great but I knew I had 5 more to go. I decided to get a shot of Nubain. It didn't take away the pain but it allowed me to doze off a bit in between contractions. I labored hard for what seemed like forever. At 8cm I begged for an epidural, I was sure I couldn't do it and was in a lot of pain. However, I had the most amazing team at my side. The most amazing thing was hearing my husband sitting at my side saying "You can do this, you've made it this far, you are doing amazing." It was so encouraging to hear him have such amazing faith in me. So no epidural for me. Finally it was time to push. It was one of the hardest things I've ever had to do. I labored on my hands and knees for a long time trying to turn the baby, who was trying to come out sideways. I finally went to my back and started pushing there. About 1.5 hours into pushing they had to due an episiotomy because baby's heartrate was starting to dip and if we didn't get baby out soon, a C-section was in my near future. After they did that, I experienced the WORST pain I've ever felt...and then, HE was here!! The most amazing feeling was them laying our son on my chest and seeing my husband crying, realizing we had a son! My VBAC was the painful, hard and the most rewarding thing I've ever done! I am so proud of myself and the way it all turned out. I had an amazing, supportive team and a God that helped me realize I can do All Things Through Him Who Gives Me Strength.
So Roman William made his arrival on Wednesday, May 12th, 2010 at 10:25am after 10 hours of labor and 2 hours of pushing. He weighed 7lbs, 11oz and was 20 inches long and is the most perfect baby ever.

The last picture of me smiling, in triage

The next time I smiled, meeting our son, moments after birth

7lbs, 11oz
20 inches long

Daddy holding his son for the first time

After his first bath


C and A said...

SOOOOOOOOO proud of you - you are the strongest person I know. I've been to that beautiful 8 cm moment and know EXACTLY how you felt - which makes it even cooler that you were able to power through. I know that you will be an inspiration to all of the other VBACers out there! And to the rest of us, too! Congratulations on a wonderful labor and beautiful baby boy!

STEPHANIE. said...

Heather! You pushed a baby out of your vagina! Wahoo!!!! I am so excited for you guys...a little boy! Yay! You are such an inspiration to me and it is so refreshing to hear a vbac story. Congrats!

Alisha said...

Congrats!! I remember I was on all fours, mooing like a cow at 8 cm or so. I thought I was going to die--I wanted to die because of the incredible pain!--I remember telling God it was okay if this was my time!