Thursday, October 4, 2012

Vaginal Birth After THREE C-Sections- A Hospital VBAC Birth Story

Umm...WOW!  Women are amazing.  Birth should be as natural as possible.  We are being sold a bill of goods.  LOVE this VBA3C story!
Enjoy!
(You can find more VBAC stories under this link.)
 
 
-So, I would love for you to first give a brief rundown of your first birth/s and what you feel like happened and why you had a c-section.
 
When I first got pregnant over 6 years ago, I was so uneducated on birth. I did not take the time to educate myself, even though my own mother had two VBACs naturally! I knew from the start that I had no desire to experience pain in childbirth and would have an epidural. I was the kind of person that always said, “Well you don’t get a medal for delivering naturally!” Yeah, I was that girl. I found an OB that I thought was really nice and stuck with her. I didn’t know I should interview different Drs, and ask them the hard questions. I just thought she was nice, so I was cool with it. I didn’t know anything about hospital interventions. I just assumed that most everyone delivers in the hospital with an epidural and everything was just fine. Little did I know, I would be delivering at a hospital with one of the highest c-section rates in all of TX! I was so naive. 
 
All that to say, I gained way too much weight that first pregnancy and was swelling a lot.. On top of that, I had developed PUPPS, an awful rash. 3 days before my due date, I went to my regularly scheduled appointment with my bags packed. I did not want to leave without my baby. My Dr took one look at how miserable I was and said she would consider inducing. She did an U/S and said that the baby was measuring over 9 lbs so she would make the decision to induce. I was admitted that afternoon, given cervadil that night and was started on pitocin first thing the next morning. I was given the epidural immediately and my bag of waters was broken. I was hooked up to the monitors, flat on my back and just laid there all day. 
 
Little progress throughout the day. Each time my Dr came in to check me, she mentioned that we would have to consider a c-section if I did not progress faster. By 4 pm I had not progressed past 4 cm, so my Dr said if I hadn’t progressed within the hour, we would do the c-section. Within 20 minutes I was a 10 and ready to push! Unfortunately, I couldn’t feel myself pushing. I was told to push harder but felt so out of control because of the epidural. After 90 minutes of unsuccessful pushing (we only saw the brief crowning of my son’s head) I developed a fever and the baby’s heart rate start to race higher. I was immediately prepped for the OR and within 20 minutes my son was born. When I got pregnant with my second child, I asked my Dr if I could do a VBAC. 
 
She said I could and would support me in it, but I had to go into labor on my own and the first moment something went wrong I would have to have another c-section. Again, I was so na├»ve, I just trusted her word. 2 days before my due date, I took my blood pressure and it was just slightly over what is considered normal/borderline high. My Dr asked me to come in to see her. The nurse took my blood pressure and mentioned that she didn’t think it was anything to be worried about. My Dr came into the room with a cheerful grin saying, “Well guess who is having a baby today?!” I was dumb founded. 
 
It didn’t seem fair, but I felt helpless, like I had to just trust her judgment. 2 hours later my daughter was born. The whole room gasped when she came out at 8 lbs 13 oz and the Drs and nurses said, “Well it’s a good thing you had a c-section, you wouldn’t have been able to give birth to her!” My Dr tried to make me feel better by saying, “Well she just wanted to look pretty for her Christmas pictures instead of having a cone head!” (since she was born 2 weeks before Christmas.) When I got pregnant with my 3rd child, I just gave up. When I went in to see my Dr, she said, “Well you don’t get a choice this time. You will be having a repeat c-section.” That about sums it up!

-What made you desire a VBAC when they seem so hard to come by in the current obstetric climate?
 
When I got pregnant with my 4th child, I was terrified. My 3rd child was still only 9 months old. I was so scared of having another c-section, especially being so close after the previous one. I was also terrified of having another epidural as I’d had a horrible experience with it during my 3rd c-section. For some reason, the thought of VBAC came to mind again. It seemed crazy. I didn’t know if such a Dr even existed that would allow it. I just knew I needed to at least find out. I began to ask around in “birthing circles.” Three different people from three different sources and locations told me the same thing, “You need to talk to Dr. C.” I scheduled a consult with him and knew immediately that I wanted to try a VBAC with him. He believes in the woman’s ability to birth and believes that every woman should have a choice in how she gives birth. He has been doing VBACs for over 30 years. My husband and I left his office that day completely confident in our new Dr.


-How did you find a care provider who would support you?
 
See above – I asked around, joined ICAN.

-What was labor like for you?

Labor was the most exhilarating yet scary experiences of my life! I think I am still a little bit on my VBAC high 7 months later. It happened pretty quickly. Transition was the most difficult. I asked repeatedly for drugs. Thankfully we never had time to even have the drugs discussion. Less than an hour after transition had started, my baby girl was born! During the pushing stage, I was really scared. They showed me my daughter’s head to encourage me to keep going. This actually didn’t encourage me, since I had seen my first son’s head the first time I tried to deliver vaginally. That unfortunately had led to a c-section. I began to wonder if I was even capable of pushing out a baby! My amazing Dr just kept telling me how wonderful I was doing and my amazing support team continued to encourage me until my baby was born.

-What helped you VBAC?
 
Preparing myself mentally, physically and emotionally. I had an amazing doula who was by my side every step of the way (who had also had a VBA3C herself with the same Dr!) My husband was an amazing support to me and my faith in God really is what kept me going all the way through.

-How did you prepare for your VBAC (was there anything you did differently)?
 
I did everything differently this time! I educated myself. I took Bradley classes (although I ended up not finishing the class, I do still feel I benefited from it) and read books on the Bradley method. I ate healthy (Brewer’s diet), went to a Webster certified chiropractor in my last trimester. The last couple of weeks before my due date I drank Red Raspberry Leaf Tea and used Evening Primrose Oil to help prepare my cervix. My doula was concerned that the baby was posterior, so I used techniques from the Spinning Babies website to try to get her to move.

-Describe your VBAC birth story.  We would LOVE to hear about it!
 
A couple of days after my EDD, I went to see Dr C for my normal visit. I had been having some off and on contractions over the weekend that seemed to be more than the usual Braxton Hicks. He had not checked my cervix yet, so I asked him if he would this time. I wanted to know if what I was feeling was real, since I had never experienced any contractions with my first three babies! He checked me and said I was about 1-2 cm. For me, this was progress. I had never dilated on my own before! He told me he was going to strip my membranes. I was a little surprised, but trusted his judgment. He said it was obvious that things were already starting (I was also 50% effaced I think) and this would just help things along a little. Dr. C was scheduled to go out of town the following week and I was nervous about him not being around for my birth. He told me he didn’t think I had anything to worry about. He said if I hadn’t gone into labor by the weekend, to come in the following Monday and we would talk options. I really wanted to go to 42 weeks without any kind of induction but he seemed convinced we wouldn’t even need to have that discussion. 
 
The sweep was painful but quick. He told me he thought he would see me within the next 1-2 days and I went on my way. I went to my chiropractor later that day and she told me my belly looked different, like the baby had dropped quite a bit. That night I went to church like I normally do on Wednesdays. As I walked around, I felt like things were changing. When I went to the bathroom it felt like I may have been leaking. When I wiped there was a little bit of blood and some of the mucous plug. When I went home that night, I was still leaking. I called my doula to let her know. Since I was GBS positive, I knew that if my water broke I would have to go to the hospital within 4 hours to get antibiotics. I did not want to go any sooner than that. I wanted to labor at home as long as possible. She said it was hard to say whether it was amniotic fluid or not. It could just be urine. She told me it was best to get as much rest as possible, in case it was a leak and I was going into labor. I drank a little bit of wine and went to bed.
 
I woke up around 4 am to intense cramping. It felt like I had my period! I got up and went to the bathroom. More blood when I wiped and more mucous plug. I went into the living room and sat on my birth ball to start timing my contractions. Sure enough, they were already 3-5 minutes apart for a steady hour! Could this really be happening already? I decided it was time to wake up Steve and call my doula. By 7 am my contractions were getting stronger and I was having more and more bloody show. My doula suggested I take a shower and said she would soon be on her way. While I was in the shower, I had several contractions that were pretty intense! At 9:25 am, just before my doula walked in the door, my water broke with a gush!
 
Once my doula got there, we worked a lot on trying to position the baby since she was still posterior. We joked that I was paying her to torture me! It was no fun at all, but worth it if it meant getting my baby in the optimal position for birth. By 11 am, I said I felt it was time to head to the hospital. It had been over an hours since my water had broken and I knew I had a 30 minute car ride ahead of me. I was instructed to get there within 4 hours for the antibiotics, so I felt it was time. By this point, I could barely talk through the contractions. The car ride was torturous. I felt every single bump! I thought we would never get there. The moment I stepped out of the car, I felt another gush and my water completely flowed down my leg! It was pretty gross.

I checked into my room around 12:15 pm. Dr. C. came in right away to check me. I was only 3-4 cm! I was so disappointed. I couldn’t believe that I wasn’t further along when I was really having a hard time tolerating the contractions. I began to fear the worst. Was I in for a long hard back labor since my baby was posterior? Was I on a time clock now that I’ve checked into the hospital? Would I not be able to tolerate the pain and need an epidural? The nurses immediately began asking questions and I could barely answer them through the contractions. Then they tried to put the IV in to give me the antibiotics. Apparently I have bad veins and it took three different nurses in the matter of an hour to finally get it in! It actually helped to keep my mind off the contractions. 
 
Once the IV was in (hep lock, so I could move around!) the contractions started to get even worse. It was about that time that I began to say that I could no longer do this and that I NEEDED drugs! My doula kept whispering in my ear encouraging me that I was doing great and that we would talk to Dr. C about my options. Suddenly I felt like I had to have a BM immediately. Dr. C checked me and I was 8 cm, 100% effaced, +1 station. My doula took me into the bathroom and I began to push! She quickly whisked me away from the toilet, checking to make sure baby wasn’t coming out and yelled for the nurses to get Dr. C. back into the room. He came in, checked me, and sure enough, I was 10 cm! 
 
Pretty soon after that, the pushing began. It felt so good to finally push and not just have to deal with the waves of the contractions. It was still painful, but a different kind of pain. It was amazing to feel in control of my pushing instead of just being told to push harder when I had the epidural and could not feel anything. There was a moment half way through pushing where I felt like I was not going to succeed. They showed me the crowning of my baby’s head, hoping that it would encourage me. It did not. I remembered seeing my son’s head crowning during my first vaginal attempt. I never made it past that point. I was terrified that the same thing was happening again. I said, “I don’t think I can do this anymore!” Dr. C just smiled and said in his calm way, “But you ARE doing this! You are doing great!” 
 
For some reason, I believed him, and 15 minutes later, my baby girl was born! I swear I heard angels singing when I felt her slither out of my body. I said, “I just did that? I really just birthed my baby?” I couldn’t believe it. It was the most amazing high I have ever experienced in my life. Shelby Morgan was born at 2:59 pm, just 34 minutes of pushing at 8 lbs 10 oz and 21 3/4 inches. Amazing how I was able to birth an 8 lbs 10 oz baby, when the Doctors and Nurses at my previous hospital said there was no way I could’ve birthed an 8 lbs 13 oz baby!
 
Then the most amazing moment happened… my baby was placed on me immediately after birth. We gazed into each others eyes, and it was a moment I will never forget for the rest of my life! We tried nursing immediately and within one hour she was nursing great! This was an experience I had never had with my c-sections. I did not get to attempt to nurse with my first three children for 3-4 hours after the birth!
 
Truly amazing. I wouldn’t have done it any other way. All natural, vaginally after 3 c-sections. I couldn’t have written a better story! I just give God all the glory for this amazing experience!

- Has the postpartum experience been different than your other birth/s?  What about it surprised you?
 
Absolutely! The most amazing thing was that minutes after the birth I was able to stand up out of bed without any pain!! That to me was the most surprising. It felt so good to have done it unmedicated and not have to deal with incision pain. Breastfeeding was so much easier from the start since I was able to have immediate skin to skin and start nursing immediately. I was surprised at how painful it was to urinate after giving birth vaginally. I had a small tear that was painful for quite some time. Otherwise it was a pretty easy recovery.

9 comments:

Miland A said...

I was just running through random post on google to get some necessary details of C-section delivery and just got here. Really this post helps me a lot to understand lot about all of it now!!!

Ren3 said...

Thank you for posting this wonderful story. I have also had 3 c-section and desire very much for a natural birth. Thank you for letting me know it is possible!! God is truly amazing!!

Laila said...

Thank you so much for sharing your amazing story, it is encouraging! If I may ask, how old is your third child? Did your doctor make a decision on VBAC based on when was your last c-section was?

Laila said...

Thank you so much for sharing your amazing story, it is encouraging! If I may ask, how old is your third child? Did your doctor make a decision on VBAC based on when your last c-section was?

Dys Dewi said...

Really good story.. I've been days reading VBAC stories to gimme some encouragement.. and yours really touching me. It's good to have Dr and nice doula like that.. hope I could get one for my soon.. thanks for share :)

anne marie larner said...

My last c/section was 8yrs ago

anne marie larner said...

Is it possible that i could have a vbac after 8yrs ago? Plz help��

Heather Tamimi said...

This is wonderful And I want to do the same I got cheated out of my other births lied to at the hospital and pushed into c section i was scared didn't know what to do I had already given birth to a 10 lb 11 oz baby but vbac but because my first was c section she i got pregnant 10 yrs later they said laws changed you have to have a c section but now i have had a total of 3 and i want to have another baby I know my body can do it how do I get ahold of Dr C t5hank you so much!!

Natasha Ibarra said...

Where is doctor c located?

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