A VBAC After 3 Cesareans

Pierce's Birth

Teddy Bear
Photo © Creative RF/Getty Images

My history:

With my first baby I was young, and scared. My husband and I didn't take classes and were going to the local clinic. I went into labor at about 41 weeks. I accepted some demerol upon admittance (around 2 cms), contractions slow, I get pitocin, I get epidural (still 2 cms). Not much progress after about 6 hours, so they do an ultrasound to estimate the size of the baby. Their estimate is 7.5 lbs and 23".

I labor and get to 9 cms and 0 station, no further progress, meconium, and I was starting to run a fever. I have a cesarean. James is born weighing 10 lbs 13 oz and 19 3/4 in.

The second time around I had some preterm labor. James isn't even a year old, I decided to schedule my second cesarean. I goes into labor again at 35 weeks. They decide to do the cesarean right then. Nathan is born weighing 6 lbs 2 oz. He also was not the girl that 5 ultrasounds had predicted. James and Nathan were exactly 51 weeks apart. Nathan died at 4.5 months due to SIDS.

The third time I want a VBAC. I chose a doctor with a 75% cesarean rate and he also delivered the most babies every year. This baby is due about 3 days before Nathan's birthday. So about 37 weeks I take castor oil and go into the hospital. They say, "You're not in labor!" So I'm going home. Dr. X comes in right after that says, "Fetal distress, let's do a section..." Jenna was 6lb 9 oz.

And now this story:

I really want a VBAC this time. I get the names of some great doctors and check them all out. I am completely bewildered when none of them will take me for a VBAC. We are both very disappointed. However, the clinic (same place James was born) is very willing and encouraging towards VBAC.

We stay with them.

Everything was going smoothly until 35 weeks. This baby turns to a footling breech position. They offer to try two things: 1) External Cephalic Version, at least getting the baby to frank breech and they will attempt a VBAC; or 2) Schedule a cesarean.

The successful versions aren't done in my town. Although, it was my only chance. I chose the version, and it worked! Versions around here never work! Now it was a waiting game and a pray that baby stays put!

Around 38 weeks I am really tired of being pregnant. I choose to wait it out, although there were moments when a scheduled cesarean seemed to be the easy way out.

I tried various herbs and and finally gets contractions. They start to work I want to go in, so we call our doula.

She met us there. Nick and Robin are sent to the waiting room for an hour while they check and admit me. They finally go back and I am 3 cm, 75% and 0, in the office I had been 2/50/-1. So I was moving!

They check me at 3 am, same deal. They want to do an amniotomy and pitocin.

I refuse because I want to remain mobile.

5 AM: Same, I agree to the amniotomy, but refuse the pitocin. I ensure that I can still get up. I go to the bathroom first.

7:30 AM: My cervix hasn't changed. I agree to the pitocin. They tell me I am dealing very well with the contractions but I don't want Nick or Robin to touch me. They up the pitocin every 30 minutes.

10 AM: I am 4 cms dilated, 100% effaced and 0 station. Finally progress! I had been so worried that they were getting antsy about doing something. Robin says I am visibly more relaxed, she tells Nick and I that everything looks good.

10:30 AM: I am very sleepy and not dealing well with contractions. I was really fearful of them upping the pitocin at this point. So, when they come in to up the pitocin I requested Stadol. This allows me to sleep a bit in between the contractions, and Nick and Robin try to doze as well.

12:15 PM: The stadol has worn off and I want more. It seems to help and the baby is doing beautifully. So they go ahead and give it to me. It didn't take the pain away but it greatly reduced the pain and made the contractions seem shorter. I am nearly 6 centimeters dilated and the baby has moved to a +1 station. I am nearly dancing on the ceiling, along with Nick and Robin. Robin continues to remind both of us that this is further than we had ever gotten with James as far as station goes.

2 PM: 7 centimeters and more stadol. Losing control when the nurses barge in and want to do exams without telling me. Robin tries to explain to the nurses that I just need some warning before they touch me.

3:40 PM: 9 centimeters. The rest of the time I feel "pushy" through every other contraction, but I am not experiencing an overwhelming urge to push. They continue with the relaxation and massage that are possible without touching me much.

5 PM: lip! I am feeling pushy and the nurse wants to push the lip. I start crying. Nick tells the nurse to go away. YEAH NICK! Few more contractions and it's beginning to get overwhelming at the peak. I screamed each time to get someone to check me. Robin tries to remind me that the nurse will want to push the lip, let my body do it for me.

5:15 PM New doctor (my 4th), looks like he's a tall 12 year old comes in. He is very nice and explains everything. He checks me and I can see the head! Off we go to the delivery room. Thank goodness they had suited up a bit before. I am very much in control now.

5:25 PM: Newest nurse tells me to get on the operating table after everyone had promised me a bed delivery. She says that my past history deems it necessary. The other not so nice nurse agrees. Nice doctor isn't in the room. Another masked man (I later find out is the attending who wants to see this VBA3C) says, "No, let her stay on the bed." They want me to do lots of purple pushing, Robin whispers in my ear that I am doing great, that the baby is right there and that I should push however I feel like pushing.

Nick is very excited and keeps running to the foot of the bed while trying to hold my hand. Two many doctors in front of the mirror for me to see. Robin said that she could see that the baby must be crowning by the look on my face. They don't cut me!

5:42 PM: Pierce Allen is born! I am in tears! Nick and Robin in shock! Nick gets to cut the cord, a first for him.

I had a first degree tear that hit two arteries. The doctor and I talked later he was so excited for me too. The first nurse we had had, who had also had a VBAC had just gotten back on duty, she teased us about not waiting 30 minutes. If it would have been possible she would have been a much nicer nurse.

I do not regret anything! It was perfect. I loved having my husband and a doula, even if I didn't let them touch me.

He is such a great baby and breastfeeding is going well. My recovery has been different from the cesarean but better in many ways.

To everyone else, I say: "Follow you heart!"

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