When Brayve was 7 months old I became pregnant again. No, this was not on purpose, but a wonderful blessing all the same. When I found out, I was scared again. Obviously, my last experience was pretty terrifying. Right away I started researching my options. I had heard the saying, 'once a csection always a csection,' but I knew that I could never schedule a cesarean. I found out about VBAC, Vaginal Birth After Cesarean. I was relieved to know that I had another option, but did read a lot about how it was recommended that the scar should have at least 18months to 2 years to heal before trying a VBAC. Glory was due to be born at about 16months post cesarean. I switched providers to a group with midwives, and was told that I seemed like a good candidate to try a VBAC. I was satisfied with that, but decided this time I should educate myself more. I spent the next 9months reading books, watching birth videos, and reading articles about birth, VBAC, uterine scar ruptures etc. I was a little worried, but the negative outcomes were such a small percentage that I had to think positively about it. I stayed in great shape by continuing to jog/walk at least 4 times a week for at least 3 miles per time until my 9month of pregnancy where I transitioned to only walking 3 miles. With Brayve I didn't exercise much and I gained almost 60 lbs. I was swollen from head to toe! I was back to my prepregnancy weight before I became pregnant with Glory though. I only gained 33lbs this time, and felt great!
My goals for this birth were to try to stay as relaxed as possible, try to do a lot of hands and knees to help my baby get into the anterior position, and try to stay at home for as long as I could considering I was terrified of going to the hospital. I knew my chances of having a VBAC went up if I could do this naturally, and in order for me to do that I knew staying at home as long as I could was the best option. I hired a doula, the only one I knew, because I had also read that my VBAC chances went up if I had that support. I also knew that having a midwife instead of an OB helped me.
At 36 weeks I went in to have my Group B Strep test and was positive. They told me that I would have to come in early so that I could have penecillin administered so the baby didn't get an infection. After researching about that I found out that the chances of an infection coming through the birth canal was low, and a bunch of other stuff that lead me to decide not to take their advice on coming to the hospital early. At this point I became nervous because I realized then that I didn't have the most supportive team I could have. My doula did not want to be called unless I was being admitted into the hospital, which meant I was going to be doing all the hard work alone since I was not going to the hospital until I felt it was unbearable. I also realized that the midwives I chose, whether they meant well or not, were still employed through an OB office and still had to follow hospital protocol. I felt that, even though my family wanted to understand, they couldn't because they all had their natural quick births and I felt like every time I talked about it with them or my husband they seemed to get that glazed look that people get when they aren't interested. My baby and I were alone, but in it together, so I had a talk with her. I told her that I would try my hardest to give her what she deserved, and that it would help if she could just turn in the right position.
My due date was November 14th, and I went into labor on Thursday, November 11th 2010 at 10pm. Up until that point I had been doing pelvic rocks, visualization, and spent a lot of time on my hands and knees hoping that she would turn anterior. My contractions were about 10 minutes apart or so for a couple of hours, and I was able to sleep on and off through them. Then at 5am the next morning I woke up to an unusually uncomfortable one. I timed them for an hour and realized they were 6 minutes apart, but they were the exciting kind that I felt uncomfortable with, but not too uncomfortable. I went about my day taking care of Brayve. Alex had to take his CDL test that afternoon, and I told him that more than likely this labor was going to be long and that I didn't need him yet and to go ahead. I picked him up at 3pm on Friday after he had passed his test, and we went home to relax. At this point the contractions were 4 or 5 minutes apart and I had to stop to breathe through them. Around 6pm I had an english muffin with peanut butter and jelly on it, some orange juice, and water. My mom came over to watch Brayve so that Alex and I could go for a walk because that is what I felt like I should be doing. It was dark, cool, and misting. It was beautiful and so relaxing. Alex suggested that I try to walk through a contraction instead of stopping to see how that felt. It felt great! When we got back my mom stayed for a little while longer, and then she took Brayve to her house to put to bed since I was pretty sure we would be going to the hospital sometime that night.
I got into the tub around 9pm and Alex sat and read a book to me. I laid on my side for a long time trying to relax through the contractions that were now 3 mins apart and feeling pretty intense. Around 11 my eyes shot open and I started crying to Alex about how I didn't think I could do this anymore. He said that it would probably be a good time to go to the hospital and I agreed. He unplugged the bath, and I stood up. All of a sudden I felt a little pop and realized that something had come out of me. I had read and researched so much before hand that if I was in the right state of mind I would have known that it was my water breaking, but since I was already standing in water and couldn't see how much came out of me I honestly thought it was my mucus plug. I was just basing that on the theory that I didn't think I had lost it yet, that is what happened first last time, and it was discolored not clear like amniotic fluid should be. I got violently shakey and began to giggle uncontrollably. I emptied my bladder to try to give the baby more room, and we got ready to leave for the hospital. At some point in time Alex called our doula.
When we got to the hospital the contractions were very painful, and I was dreading laying down to be checked. The midwife on call was the only midwife that I hadn't seen since the first visit at 6 weeks pregnant. This made me a little nervous because I felt like I knew nothing about her. Luckily though she was so loving and her voice was very calming. She told me that I was 7cm dilated and 100% effaced! Victory!! She also asked when my water had broken which I then realized that was what happened when I stood up in the tub! Another victory!! I was admitted and had to be hooked up to IV and given penecillin which I hated! It gets kind of hazy from there. I knew I was in incredible pain, but they told me that I was transitioning and that I would be at 10cm within a couple of hours, so that gave me the drive to keep going! Four hours later I was checked and told that my cervix was swollen and that I was now only 6cm dilated and only 70%effaced. I told them to get me an epidural NOW! She tried to talk me out of it, and told me that I had said I wanted it natural, but in my head I was thinking, "I'm fucking going backwards…what the hell is natural about that?!" I got an epidural, and was told to try to sleep. Unfortunately I couldn't do that because I was able to think straight again once my pain subsided and decided that I just screwed myself. I was hoping for the best but preparing for the worst. I did feel some pressure feelings in my bottom a few times and had to wake my doula up to ask her if that meant anything. It seemed like everybody just sloughed me off after I received the epidural. After that I was just monitored… not really reassured. Around 5:30am I began to run a temperature. The midwife checked me again and I hadn't made anymore progress and she said that if I was running a temperature she was worried about the baby considering my water had broken and there was meconium in it. I agreed that it also made me nervous and asked her if she was thinking a cesarean was best. She admitted that those were her thoughts, and I told her I wanted to meet the OB that would be performing it. I felt very supported and loved in the decision because I had my doula, midwife, OB, and husband all rubbing my arms, legs, and smoothing my hair back. I was still very upset and crying, but at least it was better.
I can remember my experience in the operating room better than the first time because I hadn't had any nubain, sedatives, and I wasn't AS sleep deprived as the last time. It actually felt more terrifying then the first because I was so aware. I knew what it was like recovering last time, I knew I had a fever and was in fear of infection for me and my baby, and new that my blood pressure was low. I could hear the machine beeping, and people were whispering. I really was having an out of body experience because felt like I was somewhere else. I honestly thought that I was dying and could feel myself slipping away, and I completely gave into that. At 6:15AM on Saturday morning, Glory Reign was born after 32 hours of labor weighing 8lbs 9oz, 20.5 inches long. She was posterior, stuck in my pelvis, and trying to come out forehead first. She also had a very large head. I was not given a sedative, but once again I fell asleep immediately. I do not remember what she sounded like, what she looked like, what she felt like. I did not see her open her eyes for the first time, and I was not the first to hold the baby that I had housed and nourished for the last 9 months. When I got back into the room that Alex and Glory were waiting for me in I felt detached. I was almost too exhausted to open my eyes or even care. I was asked if I wanted to hold her and I said no, that I was too tired and thought I might drop her, but really I just didn't want anything to do with her. I felt no connection with her at all. As soon as she heard my voice she started crying and trying to look for me. The sound was pulling on my heart strings, and I decided that she needed me. They rolled me onto my side because all she wanted was food! She latched on great and has eaten like a champ ever since. She definitely is a momma's girl!
In the hospital a couple of days later one of the midwives that I had seen often throughout my pregnancy came in and had a talk with me. She told me she was sorry that things didn't turn out how I wanted, but that she was so proud of me for trying so hard. Then she decided to tell me that when she did a cervical exam on me earlier on she noticed that my pelvis felt tilted and narrow. I wasn't sure what to think about this information. I couldn't figure out why it would be that way. I kind of wish she would have told me that before hand, but at the same time I could understand why she wouldn't. She didn't want to give me negative information. The next midwife that came in told me that I better schedule my next csection with them because it would be dangerous to try that again. That same midwife I have heard is now studying to be an OB. I don't know if that is true or not but it makes sense because she seemed to be the most medically based one there.
My daughter is now almost 6 months old. She is beautiful, healthy, and still nursing. I have completely fallen in love with her. My incision has healed wonderfully! The dissolvable stitches that were used last time were not used this time. I had staples that were taken out in the hospital before I left. The OB completely cut out my old scar and made a new, thin, straight one. I do not have that pocket of fluid above it anymore. It still is numb and still feels very uncomfortable and tender to touch, but it is better than before.
What I know now is… if I knew for certain that I would HAVE to have another csection my family would stop at two children. However, my husband and I have always wanted four children, so my journey to a better body started the moment I walked out of the hospital for the second time!