A tale of two VBACs

These are my own personal VBAC birth stories. By Sarah Fogle

1st VBAC.Born July 2011

Growing up vbac was a normal thing to me. I was a vbac baby. So I never thought anything was scary about it. If my mom could do it, so could I! I never had a care provider tell me that I couldn’t vbac my entire pregnancy. I was very fortunate in this. I no GD, no HBP, no GBS, nothing. Aside from normal aches and pains and some SPD it was a rather uneventful pregnancy. Then at my 38 week appointment I learned I was only 1cm dilated. I popped up in shock and said how is that possibe? I was 2 last week! My Dr said she thought the baby was breech now (reason for c/s with last baby) and sent me to the main office for an ultrasound. Sure enough my daughter was head up with her noggin right under my rib. The u/s tech was rude, saying things like “maybe its just the way your uterus is shaped”. I said then why was my first baby head down? She shrugged. So I met with a Dr I had never met before and he told me my ‘options’. That I could wait and see what baby did, but he didn’t think baby would flip on her own or to just schedule a RCS. I started crying and asked about a version and he said he would attempt one if I wanted at 39 weeks, and if successful we would induce and if not a RCS. If only I had known better I would’ve said a big fat SCREW YOU! So he left the room and I pulled myself together and walked out. We were right next to the nurses station and I heard the Dr tell a nurse to schedule a version for a week later and to go ahead and have an OR booked because it was probably going to end up in a RCS anyways. The Dr has no idea I heard him say that. I was LIVID. I wanted to punch his stupid face in. I turned to my husband and told him repeat cesarean my ass, I was going to push this baby out. I was also told that after 2 cesareans you cannot try for a vbac(again I wish knew then what I know now!). So I went home and looked up how to turn a breech baby and found spinning babies. I basically hung myself upside down off my recliner for the rest of the day (thursday) and then slept in the recliner (which is how i believe she flipped breech in the first place due to the arching of my back in the recliner). When I woke up friday her head wasn’t under my rib anymore. I was 99% sure she was head down but didn’t want to get my hopes up. I go about my day and noticed I was contracting some. Every 15 or so minutes. Went to a friend’s daughters birthday party and she noticed I was contracting and made a comment about the cupcakes kicking off my labor. That evening I was contracting about every 10 minutes and my husband asked if he should call into work but I said no, go since its literally a block away. I called my SIL over to come sit with me while my older kiddos slept and about midnight my contractions were 8 minutes apart so I called L&D(I wanted that extra day of gestation which is why I waited til midnight lol) and the nurse thought I was insane for not coming to the hospital sooner since I was a VBAC and baby was breech(maybe). So I go get my husband from work and about 2-3am we get to the hospital. I’m 3cm dilated and the nurse thinks baby is head down. They keep on the monitors til about 6am when the nurse says i’m still 3 and wants to send me home even though I’m contracting every 5minutes. So everything is unhooked and I go to the bathroom to get dressed and the contractions start coming every 3 minutes and are super intense. I was not prepared for that! While I’m barely managing these contractions the nurse is having me sign discharge papers!! My husband was not happy with the nurse by this point. She said maybe go eat something and walk around and then come back. I couldn’t leave the room. My husband didn’t want to take me anywhere for fear of having the baby in the car on the side of the road since we lived over 30 minutes away. So an hour passes and DH cannot take it anymore and demands the nurse comes back in and checks me, what do you know i’m 4-5cm!! She calls the Dr and he comes in the portable u/s and confirms baby is head down! YAY! So off we go to the L&D room (we had been in triage). Baby was tachy and the nurse scared me a little suggesting an epi in case her HR didnt recover after fluids and I agreed. The epi took forever to go in and only worked on my right side which was horrible. I was 6-7cm after that and it was 11am by this time and I had just texted family saying it still might be a while when all of a sudden I was telling my DH and BFF I NEED TO PUSH. We ring the nurse and she said she would be there in a minute. She wasn’t. Damn dirty liar I thought. So my BFF runs and gets a nurse, she says “I just checked you!” I said CHECK AGAIN! I need to push! Lo and behold I’m 10cm and she tells me to give a practice push, so i barely bare down and she yells ‘STOP! I can see baby’s head!’ She pushes some buttons and more nurses come in and they’re saying don’t push the Dr isnt here yet, I said I don’t care you can catch! And she said it was more paperwork for her….do you think a woman about to push a baby out cares about paperwork? Finally(i say finally but it was all less than 15 minutes) Dr comes in and starts getting read and says go ahead and push so I do and he stops trying to tie his gown so he can catch her head. 2 more pushes and my 8lb baby girl was out with a ROAR. The nurses asked how I had pushed an 8lb vbac baby out so quickly with no tears and I simply replied “I’m Awesome!”. Everyone loved that! Recovery was great. We went home 24 hours later and nursed for 13 months.

2nd VBAC. Born Sept, 2013
With my son (before we knew he was a he) I knew I would vbac again. What I didn’t know was all the problems I would encounter this time.
At about 29 weeks I ended up in the hospital with a suspected kidney stone, but no one wanted to do CTs or anything to confirm( I ended up with surgery to remove the stone when my son was 7 months old). I went to the OB to get a follow up visit and an antibiotic to ensure no kidney infections or anything arose. On the way home from that appointment I was stopped to make a left turn when a big old Ford F350 diesel rear ended me at 40 mph. Thank God none of my girls were in the car with me. It totaled my sisters car that I was driving and I refused to get out of the car until an ambulance was there because I was scared I had hit the steering wheel or my water would break if I moved. My husband was a few cars behind me with his grandmother(she had a broken foot that day!) and he came running over and ripping bystanders out of his way while I was freaking the absolute hell out because I wasn’t feeling movement from our baby. After several hours at the hospital we are all deemed ok and to go home and follow up with OB and regular Dr in a few days. So we do that and I was put in 2 different type of physical therapy for my neck/shoulders/back and hips for about 5-8 weeks. I literally was living from appointment to appointment. PT 6x a week and OB visits bi weekly then weekly. Thank the Lord for my chiropractor, he helped me so much through all of that.at 32 weeks a Dr I had never met told me a RCS would be safer than a second vbac. I looked at him like he had 3 heads and told him that was a lie and spewed statistics at him until I was blue in the face and he was on his cell phone calling the hospital telling the nurses to make sure they had squat bars. He left the room like a dog that had just been whipped for peeing in the floor. Boom. I probably went a little overboard on this poor Dr. But I was not about to deal with any crap from anyone, I was already dealing with enough of that! At my 37 week appointment I was 3cm dilated and about 50% effaced. The Dr didn’t think I’d be pregnant come Monday. So the next day (Friday) my husband and I went and had a date day and ate out and walked around lots of stores and I was contracting a lot. So we went on to the hospital and I was effaced more but still only 3cm. The nurse was hateful and didn’t want me to be in labor at only 37+2. Even though my last 2 babies had not made to even 39 weeks(36+6 & 38+2). She tried to make me feel guilty for contracting every 5 minutes at this gestation. Because you know I have complete control over that right? So a few hours go by and I’m 4cm although the nurse wasn’t happy about it. The Dr comes in and asked me if the nurse told me what we were going to do. I say nope, tell me! She said she is going to do a ‘rough exam’ since she can’t do anything to help me along since I’m not 39 weeks/ or in established labor quite yet (6cm). So I agree and the nurse has the most sour look on her face. I wanted to kick her. So glad there was a shift change and she left. I walked to the L&D room and had the most sweet nurse that was so excited for me to VBAC and totally supportive of me not wanting an epidural this time. She only came to check on me every 2 hours or if I buzzed her throughout the night. Since I had to have( I didn’t know I could refuse that at the time) CFM I asked for a ball and for them to go ahead and find that squat bar. I had so much control this time. At 7cm a different nurse brought in some pitocin and I asked her WTF she thought she was doing and she said it was just for afterwards to help the placenta. I told her it better be, because if she hooked that up to me she would see this IV get ripped out of my arm faster than she could blink. She never came back in my room. But my sweet nurse gave me lots of encouragement and saying I was the most calm woman she had ever seen at 8cm without an epidural. Boy did I swell with pride right then! I was mooing my way through my contractions and my DH and BFF took turns pressing on my back and unplugging me so I could make my frequent trips to the toilet. After being at 8cm for a while I asked the Dr to break my water. I promised her that within 3 hours we would have a baby. She broke it and I flooded the bed and the water was splashing up her forearm and past her elbow. We had no idea I had so much water. Things got scary for a minute when she said there was a cord next to Bubs head. Not in front of it but beside it. She pushed it back a little but wanted me to stay put in the reclined position for a little while to see if bub would move down past it. I closed my eyes and prayed that he would. During this time the contractions got really hard and I asked for a half dose of stadol, just enough to help me relax between contractions which were almost back to back to back and some were double peaking. But praise the Lord my bub’s heart rate never dropped through it all. The Dr did make me consult with the anesthesiologist just in case of a ECS but I was feeling confident we wouldn’t need him. About 2 hours after my water being broke I started to feel bub move down and a nurse confirmed that the cord was out of the way and I only had a lip of a cervix left. Which I wanted to push past but she wasn’t sure I could, I had a different nurse now since I had been there in labor for about 14 hours by this point. I rolled from one side to the other until I couldn’t take it anymore and I my body started pushing for me. Holy crap, is that maternal fetal ejection reflex no joke! The nurse came in and she watch the monitor and told me not to push and I said I wasn’t but on the monitor she could see my body was doing it for me so she pushed some buttons and the room was busy! My MIL was going to leave but I asked her to stay because this was the last grandbaby she was going to get from us and she missed the last birth by about 20 minutes. So I sat up and there was no time for a squat bar because the first push and his head was out, 2 more pushes and a few roars later and he was out and peeing on the Dr! Then he was on my chest and it was all over and everyone was crying (everyone had been waiting for this little boy for years!) After being on me for a bit they took him to be weighed and stuff while the Dr delivered the placenta and cleaned me up. He was my smallest baby at 7#11oz..Again no tearing just some road rash (I was worried about this with both vbacs because I tore pretty good with my first child). The down side to having no epidural was that when the nurse went to wash me up down there that soap stung so bad I almost came off the bed. I begged her to just splash water on me instead. After an hour of skin to skin and breastfeeding they moved us to the PP room. Here is my moment of triumph. I was so scared to put my legs onto the floor and afraid my legs would be jello and that i would fall (like after my first). But I stood up and my legs held. No jello legs, no tingling. I looked at the nurse and both of us LIT UP in excitement. I pushed my baby in the little bassinet across the ward and it was like a victory lap to me. I had never been able to do that. I was always wheeled in a chair and someone had to bring me my baby. But not this time. I did it. Me! By myself! I’m tearing up now just thinking about how awesome it felt. I was able to shower immediately with no help from anyone. We went home 24 hours later and that recovery was even quicker. Sadly we were back to the hospital at 4 days old because of pretty bad jaundice and stayed for 2 days. But it was ok. I was able to move and take care of my baby. It was wonderful.

My son just turned 2 and is still breastfeeding. ❤

I am extremely passionate about supporting VBAC mothers. Every woman who wants to VBAC should be able to try. Sometimes it is difficult getting the support you need in order to do it. It can be hard talking to family and friends who don’t understand. I understand. I will support you no matter what. You are strong, you can do it.


One thought on “A tale of two VBACs

  1. Pingback: My baby is breech, now what? | Trinity Doula Services

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