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Birth, Babies, & VBACs.






Warning.  

This post is about birth.

Vaginal birth.

I have given you fair warning.

If you don't like that word, just don't read this.

Have you closed the page?

Go away.

Good.

So no one is reading.

I am only writing this because on a few occasions people have asked about my VBAC and have mentioned that they don't know anyone who has ever had one. I figured I would write about mine so that perhaps it could help with your birth decisions :)

First let me say, there is no judgment here.

None.

How could I judge?  Birth is unpredictable, sometimes uncontrollable, scary, and awesome.  So no matter what you did, it was the right thing for you.

What is here was the right thing for me.

A Brief History
I had D via emergency c-section 3 weeks early.  The "emergency" was high blood pressure.  In some cases this can lead to preeclampsia  a very serious condition.  In my case, 6 months of blood pressure medicine later, I was diagnosed with something far less threatening.

White coat syndrome.

Sound serious?

It's not.  It means I'm afraid of doctors.

I mean not literally, but my blood pressure is high at the doctor's office and no where else (except the dentist office... they freak there too).

So my "emergency" was anything but.  My "high blood pressure" was anything but.  I was uneducated, uninformed, and terrified (hello white coat syndrome) about what was safe and what was in my best interest as a mama. 

I thought that was the job of the doctors and nurses.  

Well.  

After I was given drugs NOT APPROVED for use in laboring women, or to put women into labor, or for pregnant women, or for breastfeeding women, surprisingly, D didn't react well.

Read more about misoprostol  here: 
NIH 
Drug Danger



After his bad reaction over a series of hours, they tried to remove the miso (ick, gross), and stop my labor.  

He still wasn't doing well, so <24 hours after arriving, he was delivered via c-section.

Thankfully he was ok.  Unfortunately, my lack of knowledge continued, my milk didn't come in for 7 days, and I continued to have "high blood pressure."

-----------------------------------------------

Flash forward almost three years...

-----------------------------------------------

I'm much more knowledgeable about my wants and needs and I know a lot more about birth.

I have an amazing doula.




I have a successful VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean).

----------------------------------------------------

So.  I wasn't DYING to have a VBAC.  I know there are people that want to do things naturally, that want to have a baby as God intended, that want to prove that they can do it, all fantastic reasons for a VBAC.

They are not MY reasons.

I... want to get out of the hospital.

In addition to my white coat ridiculous syndrome - I also have hospital hatred.

No offense nurses, doctors, cafeteria workers.

I hate it there. 

I hate the windows that won't open.

The non-organic milk.

The processed food.

The gross bathrooms.

The scratchy sheets.

Those air mattresses that adjust constantly.

The fact that the bed is also a scale.

The 13 channels (3 of which are the same).

The CONSTANT nighttime interruptions the night after being in labor for three days and having a baby.

I want OUT.

So.  That was where my desire for a VBAC was born.

Sure, after reading the interwebs I learned about how awesome I would be if I had one, and how great they were for the babies, and how babies should come on their own time, and all the great things that come with natural childbirth - ALL bonus for GETTING OUT of the hospital.

So.  If you're looking for the story - here it is.

Let's start with 1 day before my due date.

I break my back.

(walking down icy stairs in April).

I go to work (yup, I was still working) suffer through the day, call my doula who suggests a chiropractor.

Or as I like to call them... hocus pocus.

Well - thankfully he did relieve some of the pain - and write me a note to NOT go back to work anymore.

So.  Bed rest.

Sounds awesome, but still isn't (I was on it with D too because of my "high blood pressure") - this time around bed rest included considerably less peanut butter m&ms, damn organic lifestyle and no Dawson's Creek marathons.  Booooo.

3 days before my scheduled (just in case, back-up, I would find a way to skip it anyways) c-section was scheduled (a week past my due date) I went into labor.

Don't get too excited.

I called my awesome, amazing, doula.  In the middle of the night. #theydon'tgetpaidenough

She came over, chatted, hung out, slept on my couch.

I was having contractions every 5-7 minutes.

All night.

Doula went home.

All day.

All through my nephew's birthday party.

All night.

All morning.

All afternoon.

Until my 3pm doctor's appointment.

I decided perhaps I should make my way to the hospital.

They were getting a little closer and certainly hurt more.

<I'm not a complainer, screamer, whiner>

When I arrived, they locked my doula out in the waiting room while I was in triage.

"oh I see you already had a c-section and you're late" they said.

<translation - "how soon can we get you to the OR?">

"how are you feeling?  how often are your contractions?" they said.

<translation - "if you don't progress on our timeline we will just send you to the OR">

"oh you're 5.5 cms already!!?!" they said.

<translation - "oh you're serious about this VBAC, we should let your doula in and get you in a room."

So, they admit me, THREE days to get to 5 cms CRAZY.

I hang out, get attached to all sorts of hardware (which by the way you CAN decline - YOU are in charge).  I get some antibiotics because I am group b strep + (again you can deny these- not my style though).

They have me on a monitor that I can only walk 3 feet from, I walk in crazy, you belong in an institution style circles for hours.

My doula calls the nurse she knows and gets her into our world.

She is AMAZING.

My doctor is on call.

1 in 16 chance.

Amazing.

She wants to break my water (you can say NO), I say yes.

WHY? because I am worried after being in labor for 3 days, that I won't progress fast enough (according to their timeline) and they will throw me in the OR, slice me open, and MAKE me stay in that hospital/jail for 5 days.

My fantastic, angelic, wonderful, amazing doula, recommends that IF I want to get an epidural I get it before they break my water.

Smart lady.

<note: I am all for natural childbirth - as is my doula - after a discussion we decided - I decided - that a broken back is not usually part of natural childbirth and that I wanted some pain relief - sometimes your back (coccyx) breaks OUT in childbirth, mine was broken IN already - be jealous>

My nurse, doula, and husband were awesome.  Lots of laughs, sarcastic jokes, making fun of horrible residents, etc.

At 12 pm I started pushing.

3.5 hours of pushing is tiring.

My doula and nurse did everything they could think of to help, push bars, positions, sheet to hold onto, fluids, juice, hot towels, cool towels, throw up buckets, they were amazing.

3.5 hours later my little babe was born, on the date of my scheduled, I'm not going anyway c-section.



And here is my love now:

If you have questions, concerns, NEED to know more, need doula recs, contact me!  I am happy to help you.  I am very happy with my decision.

I was allowed to walk an hour after I had him.

I was out in ONE day.  Home with my big boy and my little boy.

Seriously - ask if you have questions.  I am happy to help :)  You should be able to PM the page through the link.

I just realized I didn't say "vaginal" again.

Vaginal.

Here is my quick list of tips if you want a VBAC:

  1. GET A DOULA
  2. GET A DOULA
  3. Get your doctor on board - make sure they are supportive or a trial of labor/VBAC - if they aren't find a new one
  4. STAY AT HOME AS LONG AS POSSIBLE - the hospital clock starts when you arrive - keep that in mind when you *think* you are in pain at home
  5. Stay home longer
  6. EAT before you leave your house (thanks doula!!) - once you get to the hospital they treat food like it is some rare treat you can never have.  On your way to not going to the hospital too soon - go out to eat.
  7. Walk
  8. Make sure YOU are making your decisions (even if you are memorizing the doula's words - they have to come from your mouth - it's easier if you agree!)
  9. Know that some of this all is left up to chance.  Even the most prepared trial of labor may end up in a c-section.  Be at peace.  You have a baby!
  10. GET A DOULA



Hop on over to these blogs where - if they are lucky - I'll share this :)     





20 comments:

Lori @ EncourageYourSpouse.com said...

WOW - what a journey! Many years ago, 24 & 28, I had our kids via c-section. I was a younger mom, and we didn't have any clue that it was even possible to NOT go the route the doctors instructed. Fortunately both kids were fine, and I found it easy to recover from the c-sections. I do know a few doulas, and would absolutely support our daughter-in-love with that choice (if that's what she wanted - when the time comes). Thanks for the insight. Really! :-) I always love to hear and learn!

Joan Hobbs said...

I had two very successful VBACs - 21 and 19 years ago. My doctor was NOT on call with my c-section. I've always been convinced that it was my negative relationship with the doctor that was on call that that caused the c-section in the first place. Congratulations on your beautiful boy! (Stopping by from Link Love Thursday)

KT said...

I LOVE my doula :) I'm glad you like the post! My c-section recovery was pretty easy too - like I said... I just wanted OUT of the hospital ASAP :)

KT said...

Interesting - now that you say that my doc wasn't there for my c-section either (and was not the one that sent me to the hospital). Thanks for stopping by!

Alana Taylor said...

I had an emergency c-section with my son {who is now 4 years old}. My hubby and I have been trying for about two years to have another child, with no success... yet. I have always said that I wanted to try for a VBAC. Luckily, my doctor's office has midwives {btw, how do they differ from doula's?}.

Thanks for sharing this. Especially in your non-judgemental/great sense of humor way... I appreciate that!

KT said...

Glad you liked it. A doula is not a medical position (although many of them are midwives that can do a home birth if you're interested in that). When they are with you they are there for labor support (positions, massage, sneaking you food, encouraging) - many also know lots about all of the drugs that the hospital is giving out (ie: if the doc comes in and wants to give you x, the doula can't say no for you, but can explain to you what the drug is). They also usually start your labor with you at your house, letting you stay home longer and be in the hospital less. They stay with you after the baby is born for a couple of hours of breastfeeding support etc. They usually meet you a few days later as well to check in. Here is the info from my doula's page about her role: http://www.givingbirth.net/birthDoulaCare.aspx Good luck! Hope it helps!!

A Proverbs 31 Wife said...

White Coat Syndrome, so good to finally have a name for my disease! lol. I have heard nothing but good things about doulas. In fact there is one right in my area, and I know that when I get pregnant we are calling her. Found you at consider the lilies :)

KT said...

Can't recommend a doula enough! They are the best :) make sure whoever your care provider is knows about your white coat syndrome!

Michelle K said...

Vaginal. Ha -- love it! What a precious boy!

Shannon Brown said...

This is wonderful! I had high blood pressure towards the end too. Luckily my midwife told me to eat an entire cucumber everyday, ugh, and go swimming and that seemed to do the trick. I totally agree about hating the hospital. That is a huge reason I had a home birth and now that I've had that luxury there's no way I'll ever go back (by choice, anything can happen in birth though.) I'm featuring your post on this week's link up!

KT said...

:) thanks!

KT said...

Thanks for your kind words and the feature! I appreciate it and hope it helps others!

Lisa Lynn said...

Thank you so much for sharing this on The Creative HomeAcre Hop! I hope to see you again tomorrow! Here's the link:
http://www.theselfsufficienthomeacre.com/2013/02/the-creative-homeacre-hop-3.html

Have a wonderful weekend!

Petite Hermine said...

That's great that you had a great doula! If you have one, definitely recommend him/her to others :) Unfortunately not all doulas are equal and you gotta make sure you are selective with them. I've been told of bad experiences where the doula wasn't flexible when the patient changed her mind about things (like an epidural among other things, which in your case, your doula respected your decision), which put both the patient and her baby's lives in danger. There were other situations in which the patient had to fire the doula during labor. Just like there are great doctors and mediocre doctors (as well as variations in all career fields), some doulas are just not good :(

KT said...

Of course! I agree, like in any profession, there are people who are made to do it, and people who should never do it!!

I think interviewing and prenatal visits are essential in determining whether you and a doula are good with each other. I too know doulas that are not supportive of keeping to the mom's desires (especially in cases of pain relief, circumcision of a baby, etc). With that said, I would encourage women who are going to attempt a VBAC to do the work and find a good doula. I know that without mine, I would have been more likely to go to the hospital at the first sign of labor (3 days before I gave birth) - there would have been no way they would "let" me labor for three days - and I would have had another c-section. Not the worst thing in the world for sure... but I would have been at the hospital longer which was what I was trying to avoid. Here are some reasons I would support finding a good doula, one that agrees with you, supports you, no matter what!! Birth is totally unpredictable and you need someone that is going to support ALL of your decisions no matter what they are!
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/05/080529162613.htm

KT said...

:) Thanks for hosting!

Kristi Campbell said...

Wow, so amazing. My sister-in-law had a c-section with her first and argued with me forever about how she would always have to have a c-section. I was like "um no, I know that some people can NOT have one..." blah blah. Anyway, she's dumb and you're awesome. And your doula sounds amazing - especially the advice about eating first. Somebody should have told me that.

KT @ OneOrganicMama said...

Well, I definitely agree with you, I am awesome - haha :) - Like I said - it's not for everyone and I don't judge, but I was happy to get the heck out of the hospital... and I can't say enough how much I LOVE my doula.

Cate said...

I will be delivering my forth child by (fingers crossed) VBAC, after two vaginal births and a true emergency cs. I an considering a doula although the cost might be a factor in our decision unfortunately. My midwife is fully on board with our decision to have a VBAC, so I am just hoping everything goes smoothly!

Cheryl said...

My first four children were born via cesarean. The next SIX have been VBACs, with the last two (both weighing over 11 lbs each) being born at home (not kidding :P). Here's the amazing story: http://treasuresfromashoebox.blogspot.com/2010/05/youve-had-how-many-cesareans.html

Well-meaning folks used to say to me, "You had your babies the 'easy' way." Now I say, "I had 4 cesareans and I'd rather give birth to a toddler on my kitchen floor than to have another surgery!" Congratulations!

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