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Baby Auggie is almost three weeks old – here’s the story of his birth – a successful VBAC birth story!
Leading up to my due date, I knew I wanted to have another VBAC. This would be my fourth – and final – baby, and my 3rd VBAC after delivering my first baby via an unplanned/rush c-section 7.5 years prior.
If you want another VBAC success story, read Emmy’s induction VBAC birth story here.
The Back Story
From about 18 weeks on, I had a condition called Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction. It was terrible. I’ve never experienced constant and intense pain and it’s honestly hard to describe how much it impacted my quality of life for the last 22 weeks of my pregnancy.
I was in physical therapy, which kept things in check, but not an hour of the day went by that walking, sitting, laying, or just living, in general, wasn’t painful for me. Blog post on this coming, for those who want to read an entire update of how much pain I was in ;).
Needless to say, by 39 weeks, I was ready to meet our baby. We never find out the sex of our baby before he or she is born but I had a VERY strong feeling I was baking a boy.
At my 37 week appointment, I was only 1cm dilated, which was discouraging (even though I know things like that can change very quickly). I’ve always been a person who goes FULL full term with her pregnancies, so I’m not sure why I thought this would be any different. Side note: obviously I want healthy babies, but having a healthy, full-term baby sooner would’ve been great :).
At my 38 week checkup, I was ‘almost 2 cm’, which was a good sign, but I still felt like I’d be pregnant for a while.
At my 39 week checkup, I was 39 weeks and 2 days and 3cm, which made me feel like baby would come on his/her own before my due date. Emmy was born at 39 weeks on the dot because I was induced, which meant that I was more pregnant with my fourth baby than I ever was with my third.
Because I was still considered a VBAC, my Doctor didn’t want to induce until after my due date had passed. So we scheduled an induction date for the following Monday, which would’ve been 2 days post due date. I left that appointment feeling optimistic because there was an end date in sight.
I spent the day Tuesday tying up loose ends for work and got my nails done. #priorities.
Evacuation Tactics + Inducing Labor
By Wednesday, I was ready to make things HAPPEN. As if I had any control, right?!
I was definitely not in labor but wanted to get the ball rolling so I decided to schedule a last-minute acupuncture appointment, which was super interesting. I have never done acupuncture before and the only available acupuncturist who could take me that morning was very… authentic.
The doctor was Chinese – which makes sense as acupuncture is a form of Eastern medicine – but there was definitely a communication barrier happening. I also had Emmy with me and it’s not ideal to take a 2-year-old with you to get acupuncture, honestly ;).
The doctor ended up doing a couple of needles in my back and using a heat lamp over my belly while I laid on my side. Technical description, I know ;). Then she did two needles in my ankles while also using the heat lamp on my belly. Lastly, she gave me some kind of powdered walnut supplement and a really strong ginger tea to drink and told me to come back the next day… which was not happening because I was not signing up for daily acupuncture appointments.
After this little experiment, we went to grab Cooper from school. It was a gorgeous day, especially for February, so I decided to walk the kids to the park for some fresh air + with the hope that walking would also help the baby out.
–> Stop reading if the gross parts of labor gross you out… <– Later that evening I lost my mucous plug, which is always a good sign for me that labor is coming.
–> OK safe to read again <– Wednesday night, we went to bed around 11 PM after a major bout of nesting, which literally took until 39 weeks and three days to kick in. I *had to* frame and hang four photos that had been sitting on Emmy’s floor for about six weeks. HAD TO GET IT DONE! I should’ve known that this would be the last night we would have without a baby.
I woke up around midnight to go to the bathroom and was having mild contractions but fell back asleep. I woke up at 1 AM to a MAJOR contraction which also woke Chris up. I think I actually jumped out of bed.
After a few of these pretty intense contractions, Chris insisted that I call my mom, who was on standby to come to watch the kids should I go into labor in the middle of the night. For whatever reason, despite the fact that my contractions were 2-3 minutes apart and so intense that I couldn’t talk through them, I was still in denial. Luckily, Chris knew by looking at me that this was IT so he insisted that I call her. And then I got into the shower.
I was able to blow dry my hair (again, #priorities) and get dressed in the middle of my intense contractions. Meanwhile, I felt a lot of pressure, (TMI ALERT) which kept me on and off the toilet, which started to freak me out because I thought I was progressing pretty quickly. I have NEVER had a fast labor – all of my labors have been at least 12 hours.
My mom arrived about 30 minutes after we called her and when we got in the car to head to the hospital, I was literally on all fours in the passenger seat having a contraction. I couldn’t even sit down.
It wasn’t until we were actually en route to the hospital that I had Chris call my OB because I could barely speak. It was about 2 AM when we arrived at the hospital and at that time of night you have to enter through the ER.
My VBAC Birth Story
By the time I got upstairs to labor and delivery, I could barely speak at all and my breath was DEFINITELY taken away with each contraction.
Thankfully, they got me into a room right away and checked me before I was even finished filling out paperwork… I was a “solid 6 centimeters, almost 7”. Cue panic.
I am not a person who handles pain well; I have a very low pain tolerance coupled with no desire to have an unmedicated labor or delivery. So when the nurse told me how far progressed I was and nurses filled the room prepping it for delivery, I
minorly freaked the eff out.
Luckily, they told me there was still time to page the anesthesiologist and get my IV placed (you have to have an entire bag of fluid IVs before you can get an epidural).
Welp, the first attempt to place an IV on me failed. I couldn’t feel my feet or hands – because I was hyperventilating – because my contractions were right on top of each other. There were multiple nurses trying to place my IV in the other hand and PRAISE when they got it placed.
After delivery, Chris asked me if I’d heard them say ‘if we can’t place this IV she’s going to have to go natural’ which I am SO HAPPY that I did not hear… 😳
Luckily the anesthesiologist was ready after my IV was in and the nurses – one’s name was Valerie, which was oddly comforting – helped me breathe through the contractions as the anesthesiologist placed my epidural.
The anesthesiologist warned me that I might not feel the full relief since I was so far along, but luckily I got some MAJOR instant relief. From that point, I felt really great. My doctor arrived and broke my water – it’s NEVER broken on it’s own – and we just waited.
At one point, the baby’s heart rate wasn’t great, so they gave me an oxygen mask. This made incredibly nervous, as this is what happened with my oldest when she ‘wasn’t tolerating labor’ and I had a rush c-section.
My doctor reassured me that if we needed to get the baby out, we could, and that the heart rate was not so low that we should worry.
Around 5:45 AM, it was go-time! I was excited, nervous, and ready to meet the baby who had been making me so uncomfortable for half my pregnancy :).
We never find out the sex of our babies but I had a strong feeling that the baby would be a BOY – and I was just a few minutes away from finding out if I was right ;).
Pushing was kind of a blur but after about 3 large pushes, HE was here – with a loud, strong cry. One of the four best moments of my life.
Usually, Chris announces if the baby is a boy or girl, but I pretty much instantly saw that he was a he!
They handed him to me and let us snuggle. He was just precious, so fresh and bright-eyed. He nursed like a champ and weighed in at 6lbs, 10oz at 19 inches long.