Allie’s Birth by VBAC

Allie’s Birth by VBAC

Mama: Bonnie N.

Stats: 7 lbs., 10 oz.

Type of Birth: Vaginal

Birth Location: Home Birth transfer to Hospital

Primary Care: Midwife & Obstetrician

Image by Fresh From God Photography

Alexandra Joan was born on April 27, 2011 at 4:06 p.m., after 10 hours of labor (and WEEKS of pre-labor)! She was 7lbs 10oz and 20 inches long.

I decided on a home birth VBAC (Vaginal Birth After C-section) because I didn’t feel like my doctors were supportive of me trying for a VBAC in the hosptial. I did three years of research before deciding on this. My first birth was a 30 hour induction, ending in a c-section due to failure to progress. My first birth was a bad experience that I didn’t want to relive. I was healthy and knew the risks of uterine rupture were low.

My labor started off early in the morning on the 27th. As my husband, James, was leaving for work. I asked him to get me an organic pop tart and a glass of milk because, all of the sudden, I was starving. He brought me my food and left.

The moment I heard his car pull away at 5:58 a.m., I heard a weird rumbling sound and felt a huge gush of fluid. I tried to call him, but the cell phone service in our area is spotty. I called my midwife and my mom in the meantime. I didn’t start having real contractions until my dad unexpectedly showed up at 6:30 a.m.

My contractions started out intense and I was thinking “This is going to go so quick, I bet I’ll be done by the time James gets home.”

I was able to reach him and James got home around 7 a.m. and immediately started setting up the birth tub. My midwife got to my house at about 10:30 a.m. and I was in so much pain. This labor was nothing like my labor with my older daughter, Anna. My blood pressure was raising high and then back to normal again. Allie’s heartbeat was also unsteady with my contractions. It was not enough to worry about at the time, though.

I kept begging to get into the labor tub. I was cursing like a sailor and getting really serious with the pain. Then at noon, they let me get into the tub. The water felt amazing and helped a lot with the pain.

I was only five centimeters dilated at 1 p.m. My contractions were starting to become unbearable. I tried to zone out while listening to my MP3 player and my mom was rubbing my back and head. I was trying to use the hypno-birthing techniques, but they were not working for me. I started to bear down with my contractions and was having to roar through them. My dad left because he was too upset watching me in so much pain.

My midwife kept suggesting to walk or get out of the tub and I just couldn’t do it. I was becoming so tired. She checked me and told me that I was only 7-8 cms dilated and I needed to stop pushing. I tried to stop, but I couldn’t. My scar from my previous c-section was starting to hurt more and more. I was having back labor, front labor, my pubic bone hurt and then my scar was starting to hurt.

Allie’s heart started decelerating more and more with each contraction, but stayed fairly stable when I changed positions. At about 3 p.m. I felt deep down that something was wrong, I just KNEW I had to get to the hospital. My midwife still wasn’t concerned, but I had to go with my instincts and my instincts said it was time to go. After much arguing with everyone in the house, I finally put my foot down and said “I cannot do this here! I want pain medication and a hospital bed! LET’S GO!”

The ride to the hospital (35 minutes) was absolute torture! My body was on auto-pilot and I was in more pain than I had ever experienced in my life. We walked into the labor and delivery ward and the first thing I said was “I need an epidural NOW!”  I had no idea how soon I would deliver. One of the nurses said “I don’t think we even have time for an IV.” My heart sank.

I honestly thought I was going to the hospital to be c-sectioned. I just wanted the excruciating pain to end. My home birth midwife and James stayed with me the entire time and held my hands.

The staff was immediately concerned because my blood sugar was 330 and Allie was measuring 42-43 weeks. The hospital midwife didn’t seem too concerned, but the doctor advising her was saying things like “shoulder distocia, diabetes, “big baby, c-section.” All the while Allie’s heart rate was barely registering on the fetal monitor during my contractions. They didn’t have time to give me an epidural or IV pain medication.  The hospital midwife said “Okay, now, Bonnie, I need you to push this baby out fast, okay?”

I pushed for five contractions and the midwife cut an episiotomy (much to my chagrin), but the advising doctor was adamant because of Allie’s “big shoulders.” James was such a huge support and was coaching me to push harder. James watched to make sure they didn’t pull on Allie’s head as to prevent a traumatic birth injury. Allie crowned and the hospital midwife said “Stop!”

Allie’s cord was wrapped twice around her neck, under her shoulder, in her hand and down her leg. She said “Okay, one more push and here’s your baby!” and she was out.

They laid her on my chest and she was screaming the most beautiful sound I’d ever heard. She was safe and I got to hold her on my chest for 20 minutes while the hospital midwife stitched me up. I was still in a considerable amount of pain, even though everyone was saying “You shouldn’t be hurting anymore.” My hips felt like they were broken. They gave me a narcotic and after that kicked in, I felt so much better.

Image by Fresh From God Photography

Anna, my best friend, Summer (who is an RN and was unable to be there for the birth) and my parents got to come in while they were still cleaning us up.

We got to try breastfeeding immediately and Allie latched like a champ! It was amazing.

There was still some concern over my blood pressures, my blood sugar and my platelet count.

Over the next day I had numerous tests run on me to make sure I was okay. I had an x-ray on my pelvis and I indeed separated it during delivery. The separation isn’t big enough to warrant medical treatment, but big enough to cause me massive pain. Still, it was WAY better than my first c-section! My blood platelet count lowered a lot, so they kept me an extra day. They released me once they realized that the numbers were stable from the night before. My blood pressure and sugars stabilized as well. I had all these red dots all over my face and chest because I pushed so hard that my blood vessels broke.

Overall, my hospital experience was amazing.

Image by Fresh From God Photography

Literally, EVERY SINGLE person (other than the cut-happy doctor) was nice and very professional. All of the nurses were super helpful with breastfeeding and helping me with the baby. There was even a nurse who gave me a hand massage and served me tea and cookies. They let me opt out of many interventions that I didn’t want and they were totally supportive.

I’m not really sad about ending up in the hospital because I think it was for the best. My instincts were telling me that I was no longer safe being at home. My home birth midwife told me later that she felt like I needed the pressure to push to get Allie out as quickly as possible. Allie was in distress at the end and if I had been at home I may not have had the increased urgency to push. It was her way of telling me that I made the right decision.

I loved laboring at home and I’m even thinking about trying to have another home birth. But if I can’t, I’m good with the hospital, too.

Image by Fresh From God Photography

5 Responses to Allie’s Birth by VBAC

  1. What a beautiful birth story!

  2. GREAT VBAC story, you’re going to inspire lots of Moms, Bonnie!

  3. Fantastic story, thank you for sharing! So inspiring!

  4. Love the story, Bonnie! Happy that you had a much better experience at the hospital the 2nd time around.

  5. Awesome. Love hearing VBAC stories.

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