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CAM Birth Story #39: Jennifer’s First VBAC

In honor of Cesarean Awareness Month 2010, we will be filling the blogosphere with stories from real women (and their families) who know first-hand the consequences of a 32% cesarean rate. Each day we will post at least one birth story submitted by these women. Prepare to be moved (hint: grab a box of Kleenex)!

From Jennifer…

AJ had a GI appointment on December 6. We had waited 3 months for this appointment and I was afraid I would miss it being in labor with Evan. I was just over 38 weeks at this point, but had been in threatened labor since 34 weeks. We left the appointment at 3:30pm and I had my first contraction in the parking lot!

We went to eat dinner at my mother-in-law’s house that night. We were watching Wheel of Fortune at 6:30pm when I started having contractions. I went home about 7:45pm with out AJ and my husband so I could take a bath and see what happens since they were coming 10 minutes apart at this point. They didn’t stop and got to be 7 minutes apart! I decided to go to bed and try and rest. While in bed, they spaced out to 12 minutes apart but they were so uncomfortable that I had to get up. I decided to move to the couch about 11:30pm. I just wasn’t comfortable laying down so I hopped on my birth ball and starting playing on the computer.

They were getting more intense now and coming 7 minutes apart. At about 2am they were getting pretty intense and I really had to breathe through them, though they weren’t really painful. I decided to start getting ready to go so when we hit the magic 5 minutes apart I’d be ready to go! I showered and went in and told Adam we would need to go soon. I didn’t think we needed to rush so I went back and started getting dressed in the bathroom. I had a few contractions while I was getting ready and my husband came in and said those were only 3 minutes apart! I decided to hurry at that point. We got everything together and AJ woke up right then so we were all set. It’s about 2:55am now and we drop AJ off at mother-in-law’s house.

We show up at the hospital about 3:30am. Things started to get really hard at that point as the contractions were coming much closer together and were more painful at that point. They checked me and I was 5-6 cm and I opted for the epidural at that point because the contractions were coming back to back with no break at that point. I had to get some IV fluids before I could get the epidural and do my paperwork so it was 4:45am before I got it. The last hour was spent scaring all the other mommies on the floor with my yelling! About 5:30am I felt a trickle between my legs and thought my water had broken. I was wrong, it was blood! I called the nurse and she called the DR and got me cleaned up and tried to see if my water was broken and she couldn’t tell. I was 6-7cm at this point and I tried to tell it should be soon. She just smiled that ‘this lady is crazy and has no idea what she’s talking about’ smile. The DR had just told the nurse to watch me and make sure baby kept looking good. With every contraction though I was having more blood!

About 6:15am Evan’s heart rate got really high. The nurse gave me some O2 to see if it would help. At 6:30am Evan’s heart rate took a drastic drop into the 60s and I got rolled over immediately to see if it would help. My DR showed up right then just to check on me! What amazing timing! The DR checked me and I was 10cm, which was a blessing because Evan needed out NOW! I’ve never seen so many people move so fast. The NICU team was in there, nurses, the DR, lots of people! He tried to break my water and there wasn’t anything to break. We now realize I had little to no fluid at this point and who knows how long that has been an issue. The DR gets the forceps out, I give one big push and he pulls and Evan Thomas Girard on December 7! He’s blue and not crying. I’m bawling at this point because I birthed my baby and he’s not crying! Something I could not accomplish 18 months and 10 days ago, I accomplished now! Evan was my VBAC baby! He starts to cry and it’s the best sound ever. We were all so relieved to hear him. It was 6:43am, almost exactly 12 hours after labor started. He was 7#8.1oz and 19″ long. 5 ounces bigger than my cesarean baby!

My placenta is delivered and confirms that I had a placental abruption. My blessed VBAC was almost a medically necessary cesarean. I held him while I was stitched up and got to breastfeed him immediately after that. A far cry from the 8 hours it took to get AJ to feed after my cesarean. This birth was really freeing for me. I was NOT broken, I could birth babies vaginally and it was just amazing even if it’s nothing like I had imagined.