Birth Stories

Harper's VBAC Arrival (long)

Let me start by saying that my first birth experience ended in a csection due to an infection called chorioamnionitis. I never labored so I wasn't exactly sure if I would be capable of a vbac but I knew that I wanted to give it everything I had.
My due date was January 13 and I was so convinced that miss Harper would be a December baby since I was "full term" on the 23rd. Well needless to say the 23rd came and went and so did the new year. I knew that my OB was willing to go two weeks past my due date so I was still very hopeful. On January 12 at 1am I began having contractions and by 3am they were 5 minutes apart so I called the OB and they had me come in. So we packed up the car, took Alexis to my parents house and headed in. They hooked me up and determined that the contractions were indeed 5 minutes apart but I was 1.5cm which is what I was at my appointment the week before. So I walked the halls for an hour and sadly made no progress, so I was sent home and was advised to call if the contractions pick up in intensity.

Throughout the whole day I was having contractions but they had started to space back out. That night I was hopeful that things would pick up so I went to bed early to try and get a good nights rest. At 1am on January 13th (due date) I woke up to contractions that were 3-5 mins apart and had definitely increased in intensity so I called and went on into the hospital. Once I got there I was checked and was STILL 1.5cm...really? They must be joking. So I walked the halls and the contractions picked up to every two minutes so after an hour I was checked again and what do you know.... I had made NO CHANGE! The monitors showed that I was having consistent contractions so I knew I wasn't crazy. I was so upset and embarrassed. I always said that I wouldn't be one of those people to go to the hospital and get turned away but I was turned away twice! The OB actually came in and suggested I give up and just go for the csection. I'm sure most people at this point, after two days of labor would have totally caved but I knew I could do it. I went home knowing that I would not be stepping foot in that hospital until I was without a doubt in full blown crazy labor.

The next morning once again around 1am the contractions returned. I woke up my husband and told him I was having contractions yet again but was going to go lay on the couch and see what happens. So I went downstairs and tried to rest the best that I could but I knew this was it. I broke out the contraction app and started timing. I was at 8 minutes apart. I would try and sleep in between them and once I felt one coming I would hit the start button, breath through the contraction, hit end and go back to sleep. By 5am they were 5 minutes apart and I couldn't rest in between them anymore. I got off the couch and took a hot shower. I must say that was so helpful with the pain of the contractions that I could have stayed in there for hours. Once I got out I kept having a lot of bloody show every time I went to the bathroom so this was it for sure!!! I went back to the couch and labored some more. I decided to let my husband sleep and once he woke up around 8am my contractions were at 3 minutes apart so I told him we had to go now. His response was, how about you go and see what they say and I will stay here with Alexis...needless to say my response wasn't pleasant but I said we have to go now before it's too late!! That definitely put him into gear!!! I called the OB and we dropped off Alexis at the in laws.
The ride to the hospital is 20 minutes but it seemed like 3 hours. I was so afraid we wouldn't make it. I missed everything with my 1st daughter because she was sick and rushed away. Since I was a vbac I was afraid that I might rupture and have an

emergency csection and miss everything once again so I went into this knowing I wanted the epidural "just in case" of a rupture (If you don't have the epidural during an emergency they will knock you out for the csection so that's why I was so scared). Once we got to the hospital they were taking forever in triage I just kept saying hurry hurry hurry. The nurse finally arrived and checked me and said well congrats! You did awesome and are definitely in labor. I was a good 6cm with a bulging bag of water!!!! Woooooo!!!! After 3 days I did it! The nurse rushed to have me sign a million papers. I continued breathing through every contraction. Once we got into our room they started the IV and administered my antibiotics. Since my first was born with an infection they gave me antibiotics as a precaution. After an hour the anesthesiologist arrived. I was already shaking from the pain and after I got the epidural I started to shake even worse. They then checked me and I was at 7cm and it was now around noon. The OB decided not to break my water to reduce risk of infection. She wanted to let nature take its course. I fully believe that if she would have ruptured my bag then that Harper would have been born sooner but there's really no telling for sure. Around 4:30 pm I started feeling more pressure so I was checked and was 8-9. The OB decided to go ahead and break my water since it didnt want to break on its own. After that I started feeling the contractions again and was having to breath through them. The anesthesiologist came in at 4:45 to top off the epidural and said if it hadn't kicked in by 5 that it probably won't work at all. Well it didn't work.
At 5:15 my body literally started to push with the contractions so I called the nurse. At 5:30 she confirmed that I was 10cm. I requested to labor down for 30 minutes so my body could do its own thing. At 6 the nurse came back in and said she wanted me to practice push and advised that the pushing process could take 1 to 3 hours for first time pushers. So I started to push and she immediately stopped me and told me to not push and to breath through the contractions. When you need to push you NEED to push. It's a feeling that is uncontrollable. I did the best I could but kept telling her that I couldn't help it and that I had to push. The OB was on an emergency call but finally arrived at 6:15pm. I pushed through 3 contraction and Miss Harper Ann arrived at 6:30pm!! She was immediately put on my chest. They let her lay there forever and it was so so amazing! To actually be able to hold your baby as soon as they are brought into this world is indescribable! She is such a wonderful addition to our family and I am so happy that I stuck it out and was able to have my vbac. This was a very night and day experience for me. Recovery was a breeze! If you are a good vbac candidate I highly recommend just going for it. There are no words to describe how truly wonderful this experience was. I feel so blessed!

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