- 8 months ago
- Wedding: October 2013
I wanted to share my VBAC birth story! I was induced from 0 cm at 37 wks 6 days and it was successful! Hope it helps someone. Warning: super long!
8/14/19 – 37 week OB apt. Blood pressure was borderline high so the doctor told me to monitor it before the next apt.
8/15/19- 37 wk 5 days- I went to the zoo with friends and my toddler. My friend lent me her blood pressure cuff for monitoring and my Bridal Party was very high. I took it a few more times and it remained high. I called the OB and they told me to go to L&D.
2:25 PM- Arrived at triage at L&D and was monitored for several hours. I tested negative for preeclampsia, but my Bridal Party readings were high enough that they didn’t feel comfortable sending me home at 37 weeks 5 days pregnant. Dr. H was the doctor on duty and spoke to us about our options. I very much wanted a VBAC but was still measuring at 0 cm dilated, 50% effaced. Dr. H said that an induction would be very difficult given my stats, and that she couldn’t even insert a foley bulb because I wasn’t at all dilated. I would have to start with LAMS sticks (seaweed sticks) that would slowly dilate me to 1 cm over several hours and would be painful. We decided it would be best to do a repeat C-section. I was told that it was a very busy night in L&D and that we could expect to do a C-section about 8 PM. I was pretty bummed but the VBAC didn’t sound feasible.
5:45 PM – Admitted to the hospital to a pre-op staging room. We met our nurse, K, who was very nice. I mentioned that I was disappointed that I wasn’t going to attempt a VBAC, and she seemed confused about why I couldn’t attempt it. K ended up speaking to Dr. H because she knew how much I wanted to try, and they told me that an induction was still on the table if I wanted to try it. Our scheduled C-section got pushed back due to an emergency C-section, so we had time to discuss our options. K urged me to give it a try and told me I would likely regret it if I didn’t even try. If it didn’t work I would get a C-section but would know that I had given it my best shot. I’m so glad she advocated for me. She was so supportive and amazing! This wouldn’t have happened without her! We decided to go for the induction VBAC, and Dr. H came in to discuss the induction plan. She gave me a 50% success rate.
– Insert Laminaria (LAMS) sticks to dilate from 0-1 cm over 4-6 hours.
– Once dilated, insert a Foley bulb to dilate to 4-5 cm over several hours.
– Use Pitocin to start contractions and hopefully get to active labor.
– Overall estimate of 24 hours.
11:30 PM- Moved to a labor room with a labor bed. Induction with LAMS sticks. K gave me an IV narcotic which made me feel very high and super relaxed. The team started inserting the LAMS sticks into my closed cervix and estimated they would need 4 large sticks. However, as they started inserting the sticks my cervix started to open and soften, and some of the sticks fell out. It was very odd and unexpected! Just from the stimulation they provided my cervix dilated from 0-1cm immediately. They were able to remove the LAMS sticks and instead insert a Foley bulb.
Throughout the night, K checked the Foley bulb every few hours but it wasn’t ready to be removed. The Foley bulb did start contractions about every 2-3 minutes even without pitocin. They started to get painful but spaced out some so K started Pitocin to continue and regulate the contractions. I had an epidural inserted at that point which was more painful than I thought but which really helped the pain. I felt nothing during contractions after that but was unable to sleep because I was so anxious!
7:30 AM- Shift change and my nurse switched to A. As soon as A tried to remove the Foley bulb it came out. Dr H came in soon after to check my cervix and I was at 3.5 cm dilated, 75% effaced, and station -3. Dr. H “accidentally” broke my water during the cervix check. After my water was broken they said that cervical checks would have to be at a minimum to reduce the chance of introducing bacteria and causing an infection.
Around noon- Cervix check by a resident doctor. No real change. Dilated to 4 cm, 75% effaced, station -3. A continued to monitor contractions and kept increasing my Pitocin amount. She said that I wouldn’t be able to go past a Pitocin level of 20 due to my previous C-section. Dr. D came by and rechecked my cervix to confirm no change, which was surprising due to the pressure I was having in my butt and vagina. She inserted an IUPC which would measure the strength of the contractions and determine if they were strong enough to create cervical changes. Also at this time, she let me finally eat as a C Section did not appear imminent. I had not eaten since noon the prior day and was very happy to eat my Pop-Tart (Apple Cinnamon flavored).
4:00 PM- Cervix check again by Dr. D. We were very disappointed that there was still no cervix progression. My contractions had been borderline adequate/not adequate for several hours, and I maxed out on the top Pitocin level of 20. Baby’s heart rate was also consistently dipping with contractions and I had to change positions frequently to try to stop the dips. A reduced the Pitocin level to 18 to reduce the stress on the baby. The IUPC picked up that the contractions were now all in the adequate range despite the reduction in level. We decided to give it about 4 more hours and if there was no further cervical change that we would do a C-section. Dr. D and A said that it was likely that the induction wouldn’t work due to the stall in progress but that there was always the chance that my body could start to respond because inductions were unpredictable. I was no longer feeling any pressure (or pain due to the epidural).
6:00 PM- Started to again feel pressure in my butt and vagina. The pressure did start to go stronger. A said it may be a good sign that the contractions were pushing baby’s head down, causing me to feel pressure.
6:30 PM- Andy went downstairs to dinner. Pressure continued to increase and I started to feel the beginnings of needing to push. Consistent contractions.
6:40 PM- Told Andy to come back upstairs from dinner because of the building pressure.
7:00 PM- Pressure began to get very painful during contractions. I had to squeeze Andy’s fingers to get through the pain/pressure and was focusing on breathing and moaning. A was excited but disappointed that everything was starting to happen toward the end of her shift.
7:30 PM- Shift change. K was my nurse again! I started to get the urge to push during contractions. K and A both came in the room and told me to continue laboring as I was doing and working through the pain. They said that I would have to wait until I felt the pressure and urge to push all the time and not just during contractions. Contractions still 2 min apart. A left at shift change.
7:45 PM- Contractions 1.5- 2 min apart. I started to feel some pressure in between contractions and a strong urge to push during. The pressure was very painful. K wanted to wait to get a cervical check to make sure I would be dilated enough when they checked. I was pretty confident that I was far dilated from the pain I was in. K went to find Dr. D and when she returned she reported that Dr. D would be down to check me in 10 minutes. I had another contraction that was super painful and yelled that I felt like I was pushing. K left the room again to find the doctor and returned with a resident doctor.
8:00 PM- The resident doctor completed the cervical check while I was contracting and in pain. Andy watched her face during the check and said he could tell she was surprised. I was 8 cm dilated, 100% effaced, and at station 0! Dr. D came down and said she was very surprised I was so progressed. They all admitted that they didn’t expect the induction to work after such a long stall in cervical progress. Dr. D checked me again and I was at 9.5 cm and ready to start pushing. Because of the extreme discomfort they gave me a top-off through the epidural catheter. I felt that her head was in my vagina and the pressure from it was extremely uncomfortable. More people entered the room and we started the process for pushing, which was a huge relief! Dr. D taught me how to push and said it could take several hours to push.
8:10 PM- Time to start pushing! I felt so emotional knowing tHat this VBAC might actually happen! Andy held my left leg and K was holding my right leg applying counter pressure while I held my upper thighs and pushed. Dr. D provided perineal massage. I did three pushes per contraction and was able to rest in between pushing as I felt extremely fatigued and like I could fall asleep. The head was visible early on and Andy could see more of the head with each round of pushing.
9:04 PM- I pushed out the head and shoulders and Rosalie Elizabeth was born! Andy was very emotional watching the birth. Dr. D cued me to look while she was being pushed out and I was able to see her. Immediately, Rosie was put on my stomach so I could hold her for the first time. She was covered in vernix. She was struggling to cry so they suctioned her airway and then she started crying loudly. It was amazing to finally have my baby on me after the long labor! I was so emotional knowing that I had actually achieved my VBAC!After a couple minutes, Dr. D asked if we could cut the cord because it was very short. Andy was able to finally cut the cord after several snips and then she was able to be moved up to my chest. Dr. D took pictures at this point calling it her moonlighting job.
9:40 PM- Placenta was finally delivered. It took 30 minutes to figure out how to deliver and involved more painful pushing. The doctor said it wasn’t typical to have difficulty delivering the placenta but that I had a very narrow birth canal. Over the next hour, I was stitched for 2nd degree tearing which was deep and widespread. During this hour, the nurse took Rosie’s stats and APGAR score (all great, 6 lb even). I got to cuddle her and Andy did his first skin to skin. I also got her to latch for the first time. After everyone left, we were overjoyed to have some family time with Rosie!