This post is about birth.
I have given you fair warning.
If you don't like that word, just don't read this.
Have you closed the page?
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
Doula went home.
All through my nephew's birthday party.
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.
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.
<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.
Here is my quick list of tips if you want a VBAC:
- GET A DOULA
- GET A DOULA
- Get your doctor on board - make sure they are supportive or a trial of labor/VBAC - if they aren't find a new one
- 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
- Stay home longer
- 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.
- 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!)
- 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!
- GET A DOULA
Hop on over to these blogs where - if they are lucky - I'll share this :)