I also posted this on the VBAC board, but I feel like I was here a lot leading up to my birth so I wanted to share here as well.
I wanted to wait as long as possible for baby to arrive on his own. I made it to 42.5 weeks, before we decided to do an induction. I felt, at that point, the risks to the baby were starting to outweigh the benefits of going into labor naturally.
We went to the hospital for his induction on Sunday, August 14th at 8:00am. When we checked in I was 3cm dilated, 50% and -2. We decided to start the induction by inserting a foley catheter. After that was inserted the midwife suggested pumping to help start labor (she knew I wanted to keep the induction as natural as possible). I pumped 15 minutes on and 15 minutes off. I was getting regular contractions about 3 minutes apart. They weren?t bad and definitely manageable. At 2:50pm the foley catheter came out.
3:40pm ? They checked me and I was 5cm, -1 and 70%.I was feeling pretty discouraged with my body because when I stopped pumping the contractions started really spacing out.
7:00pm - I hadn?t progressed any further and the pumping wasn?t putting me into active labor. We decided then to break my water. I really thought that would send me into active labor. It didn?t do much of anything. In fact, the contractions started spacing out even more and I eventually almost completely stopped having them. My doula came to the hospital around 9:00pm. We discussed my options, and decided to sleep a few hours and decide what we wanted to do then. I really wanted to avoid pitocin.
Monday August 15th
I woke up moaning in my sleep several times. A couple of hours later my doula gently woke me up and told me my contractions started up again while I was sleeping and I was moaning through them. I was so excited, but I didn?t want to scare them away! We decided to get up and walk the halls to hopefully help them keep coming. The walking did not help, in fact they started spacing out again. I was checked again and I was 7cm, -1 and 90%.
4:30am - We decided then to start a low dose (2) of pitocin because I still wasn?t getting consistent contractions or in active labor. I didn?t want to keep doing what I was doing because it had been almost 24 hours since we got to the hospital and I knew I had a long way to go and wanted to conserve my energy. The contractions picked right up and were consistent. They were definitely bearable and I was able to talk and joke in between. We decided to walk the halls again to hopefully help me progress. I labored in many different positions, hands and knees, on the birth ball, leaning on Philip (that was my favorite one). They were getting stronger and harder to talk/joke in between. I decided to labor in the tub to help me relax. I labored in the tub for 2 hours. It was very helpful. I actually fell asleep and would wake up and moan to get through contractions. I was very focused on deep breathing so I wouldn?t tense up. After the tub I let them check me again. I was still 7cm but he had dropped to 0 station. We started realizing that relaxing was helping me progress, not the typical walking/stimulation you always hear about. We upped the pitocin again to a 6.
3:00pm - The midwife on call (not my midwife) was pushing an internal monitor pretty hard. I did not want this at all. She was bothering me a lot so the nurse told her not to come in unless I asked her to come in. I got another opinion from the OB on call, we decided to labor another couple of hours before we put an internal monitor in.
4:30pm - A couple of hours went by, no change, and the midwife was harping about the internal monitor again. Then she threw some scare tactics at me, telling me about how ?last week? she saw a VBAC mom labor with pitcoin for hours, ended up with a c/s and her uterus was SO THIN she could the baby?s hair sticking out. I told her to let us think about it, and she started throwing around ?c-section? a lot. I decided to get the internal monitor, mainly because I was tired of hearing about it. It was SO painful while she was putting it in. Then I heard her tell the nurse to get the doctor because she didn?t get it in right. Ugh. I got up to go to the bathroom and that?s when the contractions started getting really bad. I thought it was because of the internal monitor, but I think I was going through transition. I could feel the monitor inside me with every contraction. After about 15 minutes with it in, I told her I wanted it out NOW. She came in, told me the internal monitor showed my contractions were strong so there must have been another reason I wasn?t progressing. Again, then she started talking about a c/s. I told her to go away and let us talk about it. The contractions were becoming unbearable. I wanted to crawl out of my skin.
5:30pm - At this point I had been on pitocin for about 13 hours. Forget the deep moaning, I was just trying to get through the contractions alive. I felt like I was basically screaming through them (my doula said I wasn?t, but it felt like I was). I would plug my ears and scream through each one. After about an hour of that, I told them I couldn?t do this anymore. I had been at the hospital for about 34 hours. I wanted an epidural. My doula and husband were really great about making sure that was what I REALLY wanted. It really was what I wanted and I don?t regret it now. I knew I was tensing up with each contraction, likely making them a lot less effective.
7:30pm ? the anesthesiologist arrived. I was in so much pain; I couldn?t stop swaying through contractions. I had no idea how on earth he was going to get this needle into me without paralyzing me, because I literally could not control my movements. Right as he was inserting the needle I felt a contraction coming on. It was by the grace of God I didn?t move a muscle. I was breathing so fast through the contraction and I couldn?t believe I didn?t move. God did it, not me. I was able to relax so much after I got the epidural. My doula reassured me that relaxing was what helped me progress before, and that this very well could be what helps me dilate those last few centimeters. Of course, after I got the epidural, they all started in on me about the c-section. They told me how long I?d been in labor, how long I?d been on Pictocin, more scare tactics. Again, I told her to leave and we?d talk about it. They had been monitoring baby?s heartbeat (which was perfect) and my temperature (for infection because my water had been broken) and it was also perfect. There was no reason for a c-section other than a long labor that was stalled, so I told her no.
8:00pm the nurse and midwife came in because the baby?s heartbeat had dropped to 100bpm and had been there about 5 minutes. She then told me we had to go to c-section NOW for my BABY. She made me feel like I was the most selfish person and a horrible mother for not wanting a c/s right then. I agreed to the c/s. The midwife left the room to alert everyone. My doula told me that I should ask to get checked again because I?d had the epidural for about an hour and it could have helped me dilate more. I told her I doubted I had progressed further, but they could go ahead and check me. They checked and I was 9cm!! The nurse told me to give a practice push, I did, and she said ?Whoa! He?s right there! I?ll go get the midwife!? Everyone around me was literally cheering and high fiving (my doula, husband and awesome nurse). I was so exhausted I couldn?t be excited just yet. They got everything ready for me to start pushing and I was so tired, I didn?t even want to push, but I knew I had to. I knew I didn?t have the energy to push for hours and hours so I HAD to make each push effective. I pushed for about 20 minutes when she told me she could see his head! I reached down and was able to feel it! A couple of pushes later and he was out! They laid him on my chest and I just couldn?t believe it. I couldn?t believe he was here and I actually did it!
Chase Daniel arrived at 9:32pm on August 15th 2011 after 37 hours of labor. He was 9lbs 1oz and 22 inches long. They took him away a couple of minutes after he was born because he had some mucus in his lungs. They brought him back after a few minutes, completely healthy and we were able to have skin-to-skin and start breastfeeding right away. My recovery has been amazing. I can?t believe how much better I feel than I did after my c/s. I was up and walking to the bathroom a few hours after delivery! To God be the glory. I had so many people praying for this VBAC, it?s incredible. I definitely didn?t do this myself. I am so blessed!