I guess you could say our mission for this birth beyond a healthy baby and healthy momma was a VBAC. We unfortunately had to have a csection with Jack and although the recovery was tough, I did recover quite quickly. But now we had a 23 month old running around and that same recovery would be a lot more difficult. Not being able to pick him up And cuddle him as he was used to would have made me so sad. Not to mention the practical things like being able to drive him to daycare would mean Dave taking a lot more time off with which just wasn’t feasible.
We had a VBAC consultation and we were given about a 60% success of being able to have one. My age played a factor as well as how things went with the delivery of Jack which was 40 hours of labour and only got to 6cm dilated. They recommended scheduling a csection for our due date and see what happens prior to. If we went into labour naturally… Great! If not, they didn’t want me going over 40 weeks so that’s when we would have the csection. Our midwives agreed with the approach and so the waiting began! Would I go into labour naturally?
Well we certainly helped things along. Acupuncture and membrane sweeps were undertaken and a week prior to my due date my water broke at about 2:30am.
I ended up having to go into into the hospital right away for antibiotics so I called my mom who came over to look after Jack. This was about 5am. I was pretty emotional. Not about the impending birth but leaving Jack and not knowing how long it would be until I saw him again.
After our first round of antibiotics we were allowed to go back home so we saw Jack off to daycare and 4 hours later went back to the hospital. My contractions at this point were about 5 1/2 min apt but I was working for them. Lunging and hip shaking. As soon as I stopped, they stalled. At the hospital I was about 10 min apart again and only 1 cm dilated. This was very reminiscent of labour with Jack and after a consult with the OB,we decided to induce. At this point, I wasn’t optimistic about having a VBAC. And to top it all off, Jack was sent home sick and I was so sad I couldn’t be there for him. Every time I talked about him I started to cry.
I had decided early on that I would see how far I could go without the epidural. I really don’t know why I waited so long again. I had one contraction that literally brought me to tears and I was calling for the drugs! I was able to get it pretty fast but really it was probably an hour before I was pain free. Again, I curse myself for waiting so long!!
They finally reexamined me again after the epidural was in place and I was 7cm! I actually couldn’t believe it because after all I went through with Jack, I wasn’t convinced my body could do it naturally. At this point I really felt like the VBAC was going to happen!! Now to just sit back and relax while the epidural took the pain away and I dilated the rest of the way!
2 hours later I was ready to start pushing! It was kind of a weird thing. Pushing and not really knowing what was happening. Thank goodness I had my doula, midwife and the nurses who were amazing coaches and of course Dave who was a constant support.
After about 30 min, they realized the baby was ROP so they called the OB to see if they could turn the baby. The next 45 min were a blur. Pushing, then trying to turn the baby, the extreme pain, then the vacuum, more pain, me saying I couldn’t do this, people multiplying in the room. Every time I opened my eyes there were more nurses. I think there were 4 nurses, 2 OB’s, a midwife, our doula and Dave. I feel like there were more people too but I found it all so overwhelming so kept my eyes closed.
Everyone was amazing though. All the voices telling me I could do it and to not give up. Because I wanted to give up but I also wanted it to be over so every time they told me to push, I pushed despite the pain and the voices in my head saying “stop”!
I remember my doula kept saying to look your baby is being born but Until I felt them put him on my chest I didn’t believe it was close to being over.
And then we had this beautiful little boy. What a moment. Seeing him on my chest and seeing his perfect little face. And it made all the pain worth it. I didn’t get to experience this moment with Jack so it was a cherished one indeed. Cole Griffin Ryan was born at 7:30pm on February 18th.
Dave and I both got to do skin to skin with him and before we knew it we were heading up stairs for the night. We had done it! And our little family was now complete.
I laugh now as they were cleaning up Cole and instead of basking in the moment I said that I would never do that again and had the room laughing. Of course I was thrilled by our little boy but I wasn’t prepared for that kind of pain and am quite content to never go through that again. We have a fabulous family of four and I couldn’t ask for anything more.
I experienced two very different births. And have two amazing little boys to show for it. Life is good.