I’ve never shared a birth story here, mainly because I started this blog when Coop was already 6 months old. But I love reading birth stories. Like, I’ve-read-hundreds-of-birth-stories-online-throughout-the-years love birth stories. And each one of my kids’ births have been SO different, I always want to remember them and tell them about the day they were born. So, for posterity and all that jazz, here’s the story of Emmy’s birth – a successful induction VBAC birth story.
I had a very uneventful 3rd pregnancy (much like the first two). I gained a healthy amount of weight, didn’t have gestational diabetes or high blood pressure, and had no major physical symptoms to complain about. I carried very similarly to my first two pregnancies – small. My first was an emergency c-section due to the baby’s heart rate not tolerating labor. My second was a successful VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean). And having a VBAC for my third was the plan…
My due date was March 7th, and my OB left to go on a 3 week trans-Atlantic cruise on February 25th, not to return until after my due date. So delivering with him was out the door. Nonetheless, things were moving along on their own: I was 3cm dilated from 36 weeks on. I went to see another doctor in the practice a week before my due date. She measured me using the measuring tape and asked if my OB had mentioned anything about my fundal length measuring so far behind (33 weeks, to be exact). Uhhhh, no. While she reassured us it was likely just that there was a small baby in there who had already “dropped”, she wanted to do an ultrasound to check things out. I was ready right then and there but “now” wasn’t an option, so I scheduled it for the next morning. Meanwhile, I tried to stay away from Dr. Google and finished up some things around the house.
The next morning rolls around and the ultrasound tech performs the biophysical profile, which measures fetal heart rate, breathing, body movements, muscle tone and amniotic fluid. Everything looks great with baby and he or she is measuring at 5lbs 11ounces. Great! But the OB still wanted to see us in her office. Shit!
Her recommendation, because the baby was measuring on the cusp of 10th percent in size and I was already 3cm, was to induce. I *really* wanted to avoid any interventions because my first baby was an emergency cesarean section and my second was a VBAC. Generally, any labor interventions can increase the risk of a c-section, so naturally I was concerned. Our doctor assured us that using Pitocin to induce when the cervix is favorable (ie dilated & thinned) had a high success rate.
We left the doctor’s office nervous, unsure of how to proceed, and also ready to meet the baby. Ultimately, we sat in the car while I ate an entire bag of Everything Pretzel Crisps (seriously, if you haven’t tried them, do yourself a favor and grab a bag) and googled the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology’s recommendations on inductions and VBACs. And then I called to schedule my induction.
They scheduled us for 10pm that evening, so I went home, packed, cleaned up the house, went and got a manicure, and got a prenatal massage – #priorities. We picked up the kids and spent some time with them before they went to Grandma’s for a sleepover. Then we drove to the hospital to meet our new baby – the first time I had ever done so without being in active labor.
We checked in, got settled, and I got an IV with fluids and then Pitocin. I’ve heard nightmares about Pitocin but they started me on a very low dose and dialed it up slightly every 1/2 hour and it honestly wasn’t bad. I could start feeling contractions but nothing overwhelming; the worst part was the nurse coming in for vitals every 1/2 hour, making sleep difficult.
Around 4am I had had enough and asked for my epidural. This was the part of labor I was most nervous about; my epidural with my oldest was amazing, total relief. My epidural with my second HURT. So I immediately told the anesthesiologist this time that it hurt last time and I really wasn’t up for that again; she looked at me like I had two heads. And then she gave me the perfect epidural. Sweet relief.
Around 5:30am, they broke my water so that things could move forward on their own. At 6:15am, I was 6cm dilated. My nurse suggested that I lay on my side to see if that would help work the baby down. She was still in the room a few minutes later when I told her I felt pressure and she checked me again – 10cm, ready to go! They called the doctor and when I asked if I could switch positions, they told me to stay put to keep baby in until the dr arrived. Ohhhkay.
Around 7:30am, it was go-time. In one contraction and 1.5 pushes, baby Emerson joined our family. My husband announced that baby was a SHE and I was so relieved that she was here, healthy and so excited to have another little girl.
She was born 6lbs 1oz and 19 inches long and just perfect, with dark hair and bright eyes. It was love at first sight.
Recovery has been great, she’s been a very good baby so far, and she totally goes with the flow and sleeps through everything here at home. The perfect tie-breaker for our family <3
Were you induced? C-section? VBAC? Tell me in the comments! Be sure to check out more Motherhood posts before you go!