XP: Team Green VBAC Birth Story (warning: very very long) — The Bump
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XP: Team Green VBAC Birth Story (warning: very very long)

So flashing back to last week, I was not feeling well. I haven't really complained about anything the entire pregnancy, except my sciatic pain. I suddenly developed horrible congestion & insomnia at the exact same time, so I was miserable.

We did just about anything to jump start labor....except castor oil (no WAY!). I even went up to work after the 4th to have my membranes stripped, and by the Wed night, I was resigned to think that nothing had worked & induction was still set for Thursday morning. My mom was in town, and we were finalizing plans for the next day. I spoke w/MIL about 7:15pm to update her, and let her know what to expect for the next day too (she's 8 hours away).

I ate fajitas, but I only felt like eating one fajita b/c eating small amts made me feel full pretty fast. I had a few ctxs after eating, but I didn't think anything of them b/c I'd had false labor that lasted for hours at least three times in the last two weeks. I was standing around, helping to clear the table and it felt like I had a "glob" of discharge, but it felt more liquidy. **TMI** I really thought it was some of the after effects from that morning's sexual encounter. I excused myself & ran up to the MBR, sat down on the toilet, and liquid streamed out like I was peeing, but I hadn't had the urge to go. Then I peed a very small amt, and I checked out the toilet to find a hazy clear yellow color. So, yup, my water broke @ 7:45pm.

I got super excited, and called for my DH to bring me a beach towel. I hadn't felt any real ctxs, and since I planned an unmedicated VBAC, my plan was to wait until I started really getting uncomfortable before I went in. I had been 1-2cm/thick (less than 50% effacement), so I wasn't in a huge hurry. My labor w/DS did go pretty quick once I started hurting after my water broke. DH came upstairs to find me standing cross-legged in front of our sink. I told him my water broke, and he was looking all over the floor for a puddle! LOL! I then explained that he needed to finish getting his stuff together while I showered b/c you never know when I would start hurting, so I wanted everything packed and ready.

I took a shower & noted a few cramps, so I pulled out the ctx timer...they were 2-3.5 min apart! I decided that sitting on the ball would be best to help the baby come down. I sat on it until 11:30, and I really noticed I began hurting more, so I changed clothes, loaded up & headed to the hospital. The ctxs were every 4 mins, but pretty painful. The car ride sucked! I checked-in at midnight, answered all of my admission assessment questions while being upright, and moved to the bed to be monitored & examined before I could be up some more. 3cm/90%/-2, and the most excruciating 30 mins of my life in that hard bed!

At the end of the tracing time period, my coworker/labor nurse asked me if I wanted to use the ball, and I rolled from my right side to get out of the bed, and the heartrate fell down to the 70s from 130s. We thought it was me, but quickly discovered that it wasn't. I went to each side in the bed, and finally to all fours. I instructed DH to plug in the oxygen mask while everyone else scurried around, trying to do something to get the heartrate back. By the time it had been down for five mins, my nurse went out to call my OB, and she was on her way. I knew what that meant: emergency c/s. Unfortunately, anesthesia needed more labs before placing my epidural/spinal, so I would have been put under general. :( The HR was down for 7mins total before it made the slow climb to the 90-100s. I was still on hands & knee, fully prepped for the OR, and awaiting my OB (there was a stand-by OB, if we really needed her).

I kept telling them that the baby's HR at the office had been in the low 100s at the office since third tri, and even when I came in for monitoring after my fender bender. I was cussing myself & my baby (not my proudest moment) for showing out, etc, trying to take slow breaths to bring back up the HR. The charge nurse finally calmed us ALL down, and the HR was back to 115 by the time my OB got there, and it was tracing beautifully to show us it was still okay in there. This really put the fear in me though, and I really didn't want to be put to sleep. We didn't know if it was b/c of the incision/possible rupture that the HR fell, or just the baby getting tangled in the cord & losing all if the fluid cushion that made the HR do that. I opted for an epidural b/c I knew I wouldn't be able to NOT be monitored & I'd be most likely confined to the bed.

After the epidural was placed, I had no cervical change, but my OB didn't let the dropped HR deter her from my plans to VBAC. We decided to see what my body would do, and she waited until 6am to check me: 4-5/90%/0station. She placed the pressure catheter to monitor my ctxs closely, and started pitocin at a low dose b/c my baby was still having HR dips to 70-90s from a changed baseline of 140-150s & I had a fever starting (the increased HR is normal for a fevered person). Some dips were w/ctxs (which are ok, b/c they returned to the regular HR pretty quickly), but I'd also have random dips throughout monitoring. They were becoming more frequent. All signs pointing to get the show on the road, so we started the pitocin, antibiotics, and got a Tylenol suppository.

0715: 6/100%/0 vaginal exam by the dayshift RN. I had recently also started to have some high BPs due the anxiety of the whole labor process, VBAC, possible failure due to the HR issues, and b/c I'd never gotten past 8cm w/DS. I still had the SCDs (leg pumps to prevent blood clots that c/s patients wear) on since the big HR fallout, and I told my next shift nurse that I was leaving them on until I started pushing.

0800: Asked for an exam b/c of pressure :8cm/+1 station.

0900: 8-9/+1. I'm getting really nervous again b/c I feel like I'm failing. The dips are more pronounced, lasting longer, and more often falling to the 70s. I feel like I'm running out of time. I praying, and asking everyone to pray hard for me. My labor nurse told me that my coworkers had prayed for me & were rooting for me.

10:00: Anterior lip that I can't push away yet, so I sit-up. Plan is to push in 30 mins.

11:00 My nurse returns to find me blowing more through ctxs (the earlier pressure never went away, it just became more intense). She thinks the lip is lessened & I tried pushing. My OB really wants me to push since the HR is now consistently dropping w/each ctx. I test pushb well, so we set-up the room.

11:10 Start pushing. After 5 ctxs of pushes, we figure out that while I'm moving her great, she's OP (face-up). OA (facing your tailbone) is the best/fastest way to push. We aren't sure baby will tolerate the pushing for very long, so she goes & calls my OB, who is famous for rotating babies while moms are pushing....one of the reasons I chose her.

11:25 OB arrives, comments on how well I've progressed w/a few pushes, and rotated the baby w/2 pushes. Then she says since I'm close, but still need to push a bit more, she was going down the hall, etc. Two ctxs later, my nurse is calling for all staff to assist in my baby's birthday party.....we are amazed at my  pushing!!

11:34 I push the baby out as the OB dons her second glove & gets into position! Emerson Claire "Emmie" is born! The OB flips her over & does a double take and a stutter because she's a GIRL! All along, I'd envisioned I was carrying a boy, and almost everyone I knew thought I was having a boy!

DH & I looked at each other & cried! We were in shock! Our OB even guessed boy! LOL! I had a small 2nd degree from pushing her out so fast, and it hasn't bothered me as much as the hemmies have! They've been super painful (I can't sit, let alone walk much without tearing-up). My milk is in & breastfeeding is going pretty well. I feed every 2-4 hours, and I'm having to wake her some at night. I'm just praying I don't get engorged. I've already pumped 2 oz after this afternoon's feed b/c I was so miserable!

Sorry this was so long, but with my background, I knew I'd have more details.


High-risk L&D nurse...If in doubt, go to triage!

Trevor Calvin 12.10.07 7:26pm 7lbs2.5oz 19.75in

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Emerson Claire 07.07.11 11:34am 7lbs7oz 20.5 in

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Re: XP: Team Green VBAC Birth Story (warning: very very long)

  • This is a great story, thank you for sharing! I was certain I was having a boy too, and I cried for a good minute when I was told it was a girl. I wanted a girl so bad, but would never utter the words out loud.  Emmie is a great nickname!


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  • Congrats on your baby girl and your successful VBAC! Awesome job!
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