So my first child was born by cesarean after an induction (I got stuck at 9 cm, agreed to an epidural, pitocin was increased, baby's heart rate became erratic, and I couldn't push her out fast enough). We decided to try for a VBAC (Vaginal Birth After Cesarean) and we found both a supportive, wonderful doctor and a hospital capable of responding to an emergency should that arise.
At 3 days past 38 weeks, my water broke. I didn't have any contractions at that time (morning), but called my doctor anyway to let her know, and also to find out what she wanted me to do. She told me that if I felt calm and safe, it was ok for me to stay home for a while and see if labor starts on it's own, but in the event that it didn't, in 24 hours we would have a cesarean.
I stayed home and tried to relax. I trusted that my body knew what to do. I talked to my baby, which I know might sound silly, and told him it was time for him to come out to Mommy and Daddy's arms and that we loved him and couldn't wait to meet him.
Time passed, and the contractions started. They were very easy to handle. We went out to lunch (I wore a giant maxi pad because sometimes more fluid came out). We came back home, I took a nap. In the afternoon, things were still
calm, contracting every so often, but no big deal. And in the evening things began coming faster, but still easy.
When night fell, something about it being dark told me it was time to go to the hospital. I didn't feel like I was in active labor, but I just felt strongly *it was time*. We went, checked in, got set up in our room with our nurse, and she started my iv access (which was placed just in case an emergency arose). She checked me and I was only 2 cm. Not active labor, but obviously I should be where I was given the circumstances. She also suggested that I try to get some rest because it might be a very long night. I took her advice.
Around 10pm, I woke up. I asked my husband for some water or something so we he went to ask the nurse. While he was gone, I felt and heard a loud *pop*. I did not know what it was, but the fear of VBAC is a ruptured uterus at the incision. I became fearful. I pushed the nurse call button. I told them what happened and my nurse rushed to check me.
There was no bleeding and no unusual pain, so she did not feel there was a rupture occurring. She put in a call to my doctor anyway (of course) and while she was at it, she told me that I was dilated to 3cm. She began charting on her computer in the room with me about what had happened and my progress, and things started changing. My contractions became much more intense. Pretty soon I started involuntarily moaning like a ghost. I started feeling overwhelmed. And I asked my nurse, "Why do I sound like a ghost, how could I possibly be in transition????!" She said she had just checked me and there was no way I was there yet...
I continued sounding like a ghost and getting in increased obvious pain. She stopped charting and watched me. And agreed with me on how I sounded, and asked to check me again, even though it had been maybe 10 minutes at the most since she last checked (and I was 3cm). I wholeheartedly agreed! And when she checked, to her shock, I was 7cm.
She put in another emergency call to my doctor.
Within 15 minutes, I was 9 cm. My doctor was there. 3 covered sterilized tables were rolled into the room with me, with around 10 or 12 staff members. I knew those sheets were covering equipment for emergency surgery.
It was the hardest, most overwhelming pain i've ever felt. It was accompanied with fear. What if I was stuck again at 9cm? What if I couldn't push him out? What if something bad happened? I felt overwhelmed and like I was literally having a heart attack and dying. But I wasn't.
My nurse yelled at me to focus on her and listen to her instructions. They were going to turn my son so he was facing to the side instead of to the front to increase the odds that he could be birthed vaginally. My doctor had both of her hands inside me holding my son facing to the left, I was dilated to 10 obviously. My contractions were non-stop. They were peak/higher peak. I had no relief, no reprieve. And even if I had wanted an epidural, it was wayyy too late for that.
My nurse instructed me to push, my doctor held my son in position. He descended. His head could be seen. I wasn't quite able to get him out though. I wanted to be in a different position to better open my pelvic outlet, but when we tried turning, my legs got charlie horses and it was even worse to bear. I was so afraid I couldn't do it. I wasn't able to do it with my daughter.
And after an hour, my doctor said she wanted to use a vacuum and go ahead and get my son out. I agreed. And with two horrible, excruciating, contractions and pushes - out he came.
7lbs even. 21 inches even. At 11pm on the dot.
My VBAC. My son. Healthy as a horse. I required 1 stitch. I remember my son being cleaned up while my doctor dealt with the placenta etc and I unhappily joked, "Even when it's over, it's not over." The sterile tables cleared out. And I had avoided unnecessary surgery for the sake of protocol.