My c-section in 2009 was very unnecessary. It was an induction with sedatives, Pitocin, epidural and Stadol. I slept for 24 hours and they woke me up to “push”. Tired from all the medications and not being able to feel anything to push, I ended up with a c-section. I knew for my next pregnancy that I would try for a VBAC.
After going to 2 other doctors, I found a doctor that was willing to let me try for the birth I wanted. My entire pregnancy, I read articles and blogs, trying to prepare myself mentally and physically for a non-medicated hospital birth. I tried my best to stay active, healthy and educated.
On Sunday, December 15, 2013 at 39 weeks 2 days pregnant, I woke up at 4am with painful contractions. I had been having Braxton Hicks contractions since 27 weeks, but these seemed different. I tossed and turned, trying not to wake up my husband and our 4 year old son. I started timing the contractions and they were about 7 minutes apart. I sat on my ball and rested my head on my bed and just let the contractions come. I also paced my house for hours, which only seemed like minutes. Around 9am, I decided to text my doula, Jessica Tero. She told me she thought I was in labor and I needed to wake my husband and head to the hospital. He was so calm when he woke up, which was opposite of how I imagined him to be. He packed our bags and called his mom to come stay with our son.
Around 11am, the contractions were now about 3 minutes apart so we headed to the hospital. My wonderful doula checked me in, so I just went straight to triage. My doctor was not on call and did not show up to the birth. This bothered me. We had plans. I had a specific birth plan with her, but luckily the doctor on call was fantastic. He checked me and I was 6cm. He let me labor any way I wanted to. (Lights off and on my labor ball is what I liked best.) He checked me every hour for 2 more hours and I was still at 6cm. He asked if I wanted my water broken, but I told him no. My doula immediately suggested that I go use the bathroom. At first, I thought, “I don’t need to use the bathroom. Are you crazy?!” but I did what she said because that’s what I hired her for. As soon as I tried to use the bathroom, I had the urge to push. I couldn’t stop pushing. I knew this was wrong because I was just checked and only 6cm. After a few pushes on the toilet, my water broke. The wonderful nurse and my doula moved me over to the bed and I was checked again. I was 10cm and baby’s head was right there. My doula lead us in a quick prayer as the nurses called the doctor back. He suited up just in time to catch my baby.
Our surprise baby was another beautiful boy! He was born at 2:09pm and was placed directly on my chest, which was a great feeling! (Opposite of having him whisked away like my c-section with my first son.) My sweet little boy was not breathing well and would not cry, so he didn’t stay on my chest too long. He was taken over to the infant table where they tried to get him to cry. Nothing was working. I cried to have my baby back. They hooked him up to some monitors and gave him to me for some more skin to skin. He instantly started to cry. Skin to skin is so important. It’s all he needed.
Having a VBAC really means a lot to me. It was important to me to prove to myself, and others, that I wasn’t broken like my previous doctor made me feel. It’s possible to have the birth you want. Some have to fight harder than others; but in the end, it’s worth it. Without my great support system, my husband, mom, doctor, doula and answered prayers, I could not have done it.
Brooke is 31 years old and is from St. Amant, LA. She and her husband Hunter have been married for 8 years. They have two boys, Gavin (4) and Grant (4 months). She is a stay at home mom and decorates cakes as a hobby.