Part 2 – Pias Birth
With my second daughter I had an extremely healthy pregnancy. In addition to nursing my toddler throughout, I remained very active. I taught Pilates, yoga, water aerobics, weightlifting, and spinning. I also did personal training right up until the end. I would have been teaching the morning I went into labor had it not been Christmas Eve. Staying fit and healthy only helped improve my chances of a successful VBAC.
I began my pregnancy with my existing OB, the one who had delivered my first baby, but I became increasingly uncomfortable with her. I knew that she had her own interests at heart and not mine. I decided at 31 weeks to switch. After switching OBs, my new doctor wanted to do an ultrasound because I measured a week behind. While I am not crazy about them, I let her do it because of my first pregnancy experience. I did have low fluid towards the end, or so I was told.
During the ultrasound my OB told me the baby measured perfectly but was transverse. My heart dropped. I was NOT having another csection. She advised me to do inversions a few times a day to help the baby turn.
After consulting with my “Mama Tribe” and doing quite a bit of research, I looked into spinning babies, the Webster technique, and moxibustion. I still had nine weeks to go and felt confident the baby would flip. Nevertheless, I didn’t want to take any chances. I scheduled an appointment with my chiropractor and began doing headstands (more than ten a day), an elephant walk on all fours, cat/cow, downward dog, and any inversion that was suggested. I even put a flashlight at the bottom of my belly and had my husband and daughter sing and talk to my belly encourage my second baby to flip. You name it; I tried it – in excess.
Despite my best efforts, my OB could tell the baby had not turned at my 33week appointment. I called the chiropractor and immediately scheduled another series of appointments with him. I also scheduled to have moxi done.
The very next day I had a chiropractic session and walked around for a bit before leaving the office. While still at the office I thought I felt the baby turn. Excited, I asked the doctor if he had the same suspicion. He looked at my belly and agreed. Just to be safe, I headed to my moxibustion appointment and during the consultation the practitioner felt my belly and confirmed the baby was already headdown. I was so relieved!
At my 34week appointment the baby was still in the right position. We were all ready for my VBAC!
At 7:30 a.m. on December 24th, just two days before my guess date, I began to feel my body kick into motion. My birthing waves were three minutes apart, all day long. Around 5 p.m. we went to the hospital because I felt like I had been in labor for a while and the waves were getting stronger.
When we got there, my husband completed paperwork and the nurses went through all of the questions for pain management, vaccinations and circumcision, etc. I had to fill out a separate form that was strictly for VBAC patients which included warnings of all risks to the baby and mom. I felt it was yet another scare tactic, UHG! The last place I wanted to be was a hospital.
When we were finally ready to move beyond paperwork, the nurse checked me for dilation. I was only two centimeters. After being monitored, they told me my contractions were three minutes apart, which I already knew. When I asked to be taken off the monitor so I could walk around the nurse looked at me like I was crazy. She said I had to be monitored the entire time because I was a VBAC patient.
I informed her that the two OBs and nurse practitioner I had been seeing assured me I only needed to have intermittent monitoring. The nurse called someone, got in a very heated discussion, came back and insisted I had to remain on the monitor because of ACOG regulation. I then asked about eating and drinking and she said I could only have ice chips. Very upset, I asked if I could go home. She looked shocked and advised it was safer for the baby and me if I stayed, but since I was not yet admitted, I could leave. Again, I felt like the last place I wanted to be was the hospital. I really wanted a Home VBAC to begin with, but that was not an option.
The nurse called the oncall OB to let her know I was there and wanted to leave. I never met that doctor because I switched practices at 31 weeks. She was out Christmas shopping, so she came in, checked me, and agreed it was probably best to go home so I could walk around and not be stuck in bed with the monitor. Against the nurse’s wishes, but in agreement with the oncall, we left. I labored at home with everyone opening Christmas Eve presents (I would not recommend this) the rest of the evening. My birthing waves were starting to get stronger and were still three minutes apart.
Around midnight, the birthing waves were much, much stronger and I remember thinking they were so annoying! We went back to the hospital. Once we settled in, we gave the nurses Christmasthemed cupcakes. Some would disagree with this, but I was a VBAC on Christmas Eve/Christmas Day. The nurses were working on a holiday and I needed everyone to be on my side, even if it meant bribing. I think it was a nice gesture. Nurses can be very underappreciated, in my opinion.
My new nurse was great! She only asked me one time about pain management and when I told her I wanted an unmedicated birth, she smiled and with a playful smirk said she was going to keep the door closed. When she checked me, I was only 4 centimeters dilated so she told me to get up and walk around. She called the oncall doctor to let her know I had been admitted. The doctor asked about breaking my waters and if I wanted Pitocin. I declined, my body knew what it was supposed to do and I was confident in that fact. With that, the nurse left the room and said she’d be back in a bit.
After walking the halls for a little over an hour listening to my Hypnobabies (love Hypnobabies!), and breathing through my birthing waves. I returned to my room and asked my husband get the birthing ball from the car. I needed to figure out how to get comfortable. While I waited, I climbed into bed in a tabletop position and rocked back and forth. Just as he came back I sat down in the bed with the plan of getting on the ball after the next wave. Before I could make that switch, the nurse came in and checked me. I was still at 4 centimeters. It was 2:41 a.m. and she planned to check me again at 4 a.m.
Before the she could close the door behind her, I had a birthing wave so strong it brought my bottom half out of the bed. I thought. “What the hell have I gotten myself into!?”
I was in transition! I told everyone it was time to push! My mom ran to get the nurse, who rushed back in to check me again and felt my bag of waters. She looked shocked, but reassured me, “Don’t worry, I have delivered babies before. Your doctor is probably not going to make it!”
With the next wave, my waters exploded all over the place and I knew I could do this, I needed to do this! I just had to breathe.
I was on my back. I wanted to squat, but everything happened so fast that I couldn’t get there. I had six major birthing waves. During two of them the nurse told me not to push. Yeah right!
The doctor got there for the last two pushes. After the first, she said she was going to give me an episiotomy. I looked her straight in the eye and demanded, “You are NOT cutting me!”
The next push was the last one. It felt so good to get the baby out. A surge of feelings I have never felt before overwhelmed me. The doctor handed me my little, baby girl while she stitched me up. It took 32 because I tore. I’m sure it was because I delivered while lying on my back.
I couldn’t believe it, I did it! I had an unmedicated, allnatural, hospital VBAC!! I DID IT! One of the first things out of the doctor’s mouth was, “another successful VBAC!”
My baby was born was born at 2:59 on Christmas morning, weighing 6 pounds and 5.5 ounces. She was 19 inches long.
My husband got to tell me the sex of our little GIRL and cut the cord. I had to give her up after only holding her for a couple of minutes because there was meconium in my waters. As soon as I got her back, she latched on like she had been nursing for years.
I did it. I got my VBAC baby! I DID IT!! The journey to heal from my csection had now begun.