Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Meagan's VBA2C

In 2011 I delivered our first baby girl Via - Cesarean. After 12 hours of labor and getting to 3 cm dilated I was told that I needed to go to the OR for "Failure to progress." I was really sad but trusted in my provider that a cesarean was needed. 

We became pregnant again in 2013 and I wanted to VBAC. My provider said that he was supportive and seemed to be on board. At 36 weeks I had a weird feeling when I met with him but was too scared to switch or do anything about it. March 2014 my water broke just like it did the first time and after 18 hours my body had not yet kicked into labor. My provider came in and said that it had been long enough and even though the baby and I were not showing any signs of distress or infection the chances of infection were high and we needed to go to the OR. Once again heartbroken, I agreed and walked down to the OR. 

When we found out we were pregnant again in 2015 I knew from the get go what I wanted for this pregnancy and birth. I knew most everyone would be skeptical of my choices and at times I can admit I was nervous myself. I gathered all my records from Lainey and Lyla's births and took them with me to each doctor and read them over and over again myself, trying to catch any REAL reason for my last two c sections. I was told by most that they felt it was safe for me to have a VBA2C (vaginal birth after 2 cesareans) A few said they didn't believe I ever really had a chance to labor and I just didn't find anything I felt really should make it so I couldn't try. I found an amazing provider (Dr. Sean Edmunds) who was very supportive and I felt very comfortable with him. But something still just didn't feel right to me about birthing in a hospital. 

After meeting with a midwife that I attended a birth with over the holidays something told me that's where I needed to be. It took some prayers and lots of time but At 24 weeks pregnant we made the final decision that I was not going to birth at a hospital even with my history. I didn't share this info with people because it was something my husband and I felt was right and I was worried that I may get some fear/skeptical, negative thoughts questioning, stories etc. and I didn't really think I could really take any of that in. (I know sounds selfish.) Anyway I started seeing a midwife who I absolutely adore at 24 weeks. After meeting with Danielle Demeter I knew that she was going to do everything in her power to help me achieve this goal. I hired a team of doulas (yes multiple doulas) who I knew would be exactly what we needed in this birth. Ric was soooo supportive, thought I was crazy but he supported me all along. 

When the time got closer I got nervous. Started questioning my decision. I kept asking myself: was fear getting to me all of a sudden? Why would I be feeling this way after feeling nothing but positive for months. I kept telling myself to stop being so stupid and go back to the original plan of birthing at the hospital. Fear was most definitely getting in the way. I asked Ric for a blessing of comfort and reassurance a few weeks prior to my due date and it was IMMEDIATELY confirmed that we were doing the right thing and things would be okay. 

Fast forward to 40 weeks 4 days. He was 4 days past his due date and I was still pregnant. I was very content being pregnant; I was in no hurry to get him out. The pregnancy was already different in a positive way. No stones, very little heartburn, chiro visits, special herbs were taken, I was able to stay active, etc. etc. I was getting so anxious for the day to come. June 28th I had this HUGE ballll of energy and I couldn't understand where it came from. It was a great day playing with the kids, hanging out with friends, and just enjoying being pregnant. June 29th I woke up at 3 a.m. miserably tired but wide awake for some reason. I took a bath, played on my phone, did all these things to make me tired and nothing worked. When I was in the bath I had all the lights off except for my phone flash light. I looked down into the tub and noticed little floaters in the water. I drained the water and re-filled the tub. Sure enough more floaters appeared. I picked one up (yes maybe a little gross right) but when I did it felt slimy like mucus. HMMMM MUCUS PLUG??? I finished the bath and got out. 

I finally fell asleep at 7 a.m. and woke up at 8 a.m. ready to be a mom for the day. All day I felt nauseous and sluggish I didn't know what my deal was. I continued to see mucus throughout the day. Some of it was pink tinged. I was excited since this was a sign that something was happening inside. I knew it could be days still, so I didn't get my hopes up. We went to bed around 11:30 and I woke up to a powerful Braxton hicks contraction at 1 a.m. I was able to go right back to sleep but kept being woken up by these "powerful" BH every 10-12 minutes. Finally at 2:30 I realized these were not BH, they were real contractions. I was in aweeee. I kept falling asleep but around 3:30 something changed and suddenly the pressure of the contraction was making it way to hard to lay let alone sleep. I got up and started walking around pacing and decided that I wanted to maybe get an idea of how long they were lasting and how far apart they were. They were 45-60 seconds long and 4-5 m apart. 

I was sooo excited. This had never happened to me before. I couldn't believe I was feeling contractions. I kept it to myself and just labored on alone in baby boy's room and the bathroom -- really anywhere I could get comfortable. I was feeling them up front but also had a strong pressure very low in the rectum area. Around 6 a.m. things had picked up a little and I felt a small leak. I believed my water had broken. This was a fear of labor I had all along, 'cause it's what happened with the girls. Anyway. I kept going but things started to slowwww way down. I was bummed. I showered and got ready and only had a few contractions. Ric went to work and things started picking back up. I had this unreal pressure in my bottom that never went away and intensified when I had a contractions. Ric came home around 11 and drove me up to Park City to meet with my chiro and my midwife, which I already had my normal week visit scheduled. I was checked and was told I was 1 cm 90% effaced. I was excited but also a little sad because I felt like I worked so hard all morning and to only be a 1!!!! But we went home and I kept on going. One of my beautiful doulas, Robynne Larsen Carter, and cousin/sis/doula Hillary came over and did some Robozo stuff and essential oils on me. We had realized that baby boy was posterior which made sense to me with how things were going.

That evening things had started picking back up a little and Ric and I met my midwife and chiro at the birth center to get checked. I was told I was 2 cm at that time and we decided that a foley bulb would be something to try and help me get to 4 or 5 cm. It gave me some real motivation. We got home and it wasn't even 10 minutes later the foley popped and came out. I knew that it happened for a reason. I was meant to do this on my own. I was meant to figure out what my body and baby needed to get him out. 

Ric went to sleep around 3 a.m. after my adorable Hillary came to take over. She held me, tickled my back and helped me cope through all of the contractions. Around 6 a.m. we took a walk. I suddenly had this energy again and I didn't know where it came from. I was exhausted. On the walk the contractions pretty much stopped again. We finished our walk and something changed. I started really feeling the contractions; they were way more painful and consistent for the most part. I wrote my team and we decided to meet at the birth center at 9 a.m. to assess things and come up with a game plan. My mom took the girls and we drove over to see what the plan would be. I was checked and was told I was 4 cm 100% effaced and baby was +2/3 station! Meaning LOW!!! But he was still posterior. Which explained my rectal pressure I was having. She said well I think we are good to go upstairs and labor and have a baby 😳😭 I couldn't believe my ears!!!!! I kept laboring on and on changing positions, eating, drinking, doing everything I could do to get comfortable. 

Hours later I was checked again and I was 6 cm. I was starting to doubt myself a little. Even though I've never been past 6 cm before I was feeling like I couldn't cope much longer. Ric, Danielle, and all my doulas kept reminding me that I was doing it and it would be okay.

As the day went on I got more and more tired and just wanted a break but there was not going to be a break until he was here and I knew that. Ric gave me a blessing as 7 beautiful women surrounded. The Spirit was incredible. So so so strong! We needed this baby to flip anterior!!! Around 5 pm or so we did an NST on him and I got all worried. Everyone seemed to be doing things around me but not really telling me what was happening. I looked at Ric started to cry and said "I'm scared, babe." He looked me right in the eye and said. I'M NOT SCARED it's going to be OK! Right then I gathered this new confidence remembered his powerful words in his blessing and sat there straddling the toilet waiting to see what was going to happen. 

Baby was great on the monitor and I suddenly had an urge to push. I didn't know if I should be pushing so Danielle checked me. She didn't really say much after and just walked away? I was so confused. She knew that I she couldn't tell me where I was at. I was obsessed and getting way into my head the entire day. Not even 5 minutes later she walks in and starts putting chux pads all over the floor. I looked at one of my doulas and said "What is she doing? I'm confused." Seconds later she brings in a squatting stool!!! My eyes apparently opened wide I knew what that meant but I didn't think I could be ready. 😳 I turned to my doula again and said "what is she doing?" And she said "getting ready -- I think it's time to have a baby." WHAT!!!!!!! Noooo noooo wayyy Danielle invited me over to the stool and set Ric up behind me. She checked me again and said hmm 9 cm nooo 7+ cm wait hold on....... next contraction she said COMPLETE!!!! Words I always wanted to hear and never did. I was nervous excited confused etc!!! She looked at me and said "your baby is coming; it's time to push!" I was so ready! Contractions felt good now and almost hard to recognize. Next contraction I pushed 3 times. I don't feel like I ever held my breath I just ROARED like a lion. 

She said "Meagan. feel your baby; he is right there!!!" I reached down and could feel his head!!!!!! This was happening! I looked all around me and saw the excitement on all my doulas' faces and got a rush of adrenaline. She said okay next contraction push again I took a deep breath and told myself "you CAN do this! You're strong!!!" I pushed and felt an incredible amount of pressure. She said "don't push, hold right there," so I took a deep breath and just held as best as I could. She said give me some grunts. I did 2 grunts and I gave one more small push and she said "Meagan GRAB YOUR BABY!!!" I reached down, felt his head and made my way down to his shoulders where I could grab him and pulled him out and lifted him up on my chest! I couldn't believe it!!! Ric held me and we looked down at our baby boy! 

I looked all around the room and everyone was crying. I couldn't believe what just happened. I did it, I actually did it!!!!! I pushed him out in 7 minutes. I kept saying "YOU GUYS!!!! I DID IT!!!! YOU GUYS!!!! I DID IT!!!!" I held him and held him and he just chilled. He didn't cry he just had his hands open wide and looked around. I rubbed him and he started crying. The emotions were overbearing. After 38 1/2 hours of hard labor our sweet 6 lb 15 oz baby was here safe in our arms. Ric told me he was so proud of me and held me tight as we cried!!! Later on I was told I had 0 tearing and was ready to head into the bedroom whenever I wanted. We walked in 25-30 minutes later and he started nursing right away! It was ammazzzzing!

I am so grateful for the constant reassurance from my Heavenly Father letting me know I was making a good decision and blessing me with this ability to deliver him vaginally safely after 2 prior c-sections. Although I questioned myself many times, I had Ric and my team there to remind me I was strong and I could do it!!!! I don't know when the shock and excitement will ever wear off but as of right now I just want to share my story with everyone and talk about that moment over and over again. It was the most incredible experience. I want to tell the mommas who may be preparing for any VBAC to please believe in yourself. Study, do your research, talk with multiple doctors, and go with your gut. Good Luck to any VBAC mommas out there and thank you so much for letting me share my story with you today!


Webster Kirk Heaton -HD (1080p) from Meagan Heaton on Vimeo.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Samantha's VBA3C

Trigger warning as I do mention our three previous traumatic deliveries. You can do it ladies! :)

VBA3C of Maverick 

Our first baby was a cs in 2007 for "failure to progress" after a completely unnecessary, 3 day long induction at just over 41 weeks. I was young, 21, and didn't know any better. My cervix was completely unfavourable, never got past 3cm. Babe was 8lbs, 2oz. Recovery was horrible and included a spinal headache lasting over ten days. 

Second baby, again, was induced (2010). Told by my OB that induction would increase chances of a successful vbac. This time, got to 7 cm before my OB "called it" as baby's heart rate was starting to rise and I had "stalled out". In the OR, my epidural stopped working and without any discussion, despite there not being any urgent need, I was given a general anesthetic (GA) without any consent or discussion. The last thing I remember is the anesthetist saying he'd rather "just do a GA so I can get out of here on time today". My husband was completely traumatized as well as they told him to go change into scrubs and then refused to let him in the OR or update him on myself or baby for over an hour. Recovery was again, horrible. 

Just before I became pregnant with babe #3 whom I had in 2013, I had graduated nursing school in 2011 and had started working in labour in delivery although I was still very much a newbie. When it came time to find an OB I chose an OB at the hospital where I was working and chose to deliver at the same hospital thinking that the best way to go about a vaginal birth after two caesareans was to have a supportive team. What more support could I get more than with the people I worked with? I assume since I was a well like staff member that I would get the loving support from my peers… I was very wrong. I refuse to schedule a section at 42 weeks, knowing that if I had that date looming over my head it would stress me out. I went into labour on my own at 41+5, progressed super quickly from 2-7, and then the shift changed. I was bullied, harassed, yelled at, hubby was taken into the hallway and berated by the on call OB about how I had a "30-50% chance of killing myself and baby" etc etc (though hubby still tried to support me throughout). Nurses sat outside my room talking about how foolish/stupid I was. Finally in tears I gave up, bawled on the way to the OR. During the surgery I started to feel everything and the anesthetist had to actually order the OB to stop while she topped up my epidural - the OB kept saying "we're almost done" when I was saying that I could feel the sharp/sutures and was begging her to stop. In postpartum nobody came to visit me from my unit, and the PP nurses were miserable and rough. I finally left against medical advise, under 24 hours postpartum, because I couldn't handle it there anymore. My OB phoned me 6 weeks postpartum to ask why I hadn't scheduled a follow up. I told her I was seeing my family doctor. She then told me it didn't matter that if had a cs, only that I'd had a healthy baby. I told her I was glad she felt that way and hung up. (I never did go back to the hospital where my last cs took place/where I'd worked - we moved out of the province). 

Fast forward to 2015, pregnant (surprise!) again. We had moved to our new province and I was working in L&D at a brand new hospital. I applied for care and even got interviews with a few midwifery practices; while they all believed I could birth vaginally, they couldn't take me for "insurance reasons". Another practice would only take me if I agreed to be seen/followed by an OB as well and it HAD to be at the hospital where I was currently working, as they were the most evidence based hospital in the city and were the best chance of success. I refused, as I had learned that I couldn't forcefully advocate for myself amongst coworkers when I knew I'd have to return to work there (had learned that with babe #3's birth). I knew I couldn't put myself through the trauma of an unsupported hospital vbac attempt so I decided to have an unassisted home birth. I got meds (I have hyperemesis with all of my pregnancies) and ultrasound requisitions from the walk in clinic. 

Finally at about 37 weeks I went in to triage at another hospital just to get checked out/reassurance as I had been feeling very faint and dizzy that day - baby and I were both fine, just very dehydrated. During that visit, the resident started giving me the lecture about home vbac. I cut him off mid sentence and told him I didn't care what he thought, and to keep his opinions to himself. The OB however, overheard and flat out told me he'd support me in a hospital vba3c, and that I wouldn't be the first patient who'd wanted to vbamc. He then stated that the rupture rate for a vba3c was "roughly the same as after one cesarean, about 1-2% give or take". I was impressed he actually knew the stats. However, I told him thanks, but no thanks, as it was unlikely he'd be working that day that I went into labour, and then I'd be stuck defending myself and my choices to whomever was on call. He gave me his home number on the spot, and told me he'd email (with my permission) the rest of the OBs and ensure they knew about me and were aware not to harass me in labour. He was very arrogant but I sensed he was honest, so I agreed to at least meet him in his office to discuss the possibility. At that visit, he agreed with everything I told him I'd need to consider a hospital birth, no induction, no scheduling of a cs, no IV, no continuous monitoring, and especially, no harassment. He wasn't happy about me wanting intermittent monitoring but agreed. I still didn't plan on going into the hospital unless needed, but I kept it to myself. 

At 40+3, just after supper, had my first contraction. After three more, very painful, 5-7 minutes apart, I knew it was labour! I sat and rocked on a yoga ball while hubby packed the kids' bags in case they had to go to the neighbour's house (which we'd pre-arranged just in case). He also packed a hospital bag for me at my request just in case. After the first half hour, contractions ramped up to 30-60 seconds apart and lasting a full minute. I wasn't getting much of a break - so into our huge oversized tub I went! There I laboured for another hour and a half, only getting 20-30 second breaks most of the time between contractions. I knew the lack of breaks between contractions would likely stress baby out, and I just had a feeling there'd be meconium whenever my water broke... So I told hubby I needed some gas and we should head into the hospital. He dropped off the kiddos at the neighbour's and we headed in, 30 minutes away. I was now feeling major pressure, but all in the front, and had a feeling it was the bulging amniotic sac. 

At the hospital in triage, to my surprise, I was treated respectfully when I refused continuous monitoring and also to lie on the stretcher (had to be standing for contractions!) The OB on call was the partner of my OB, and she was very calm and welcoming. The resident on call was amazing. Nobody got frustrated, even when I couldn't finish a sentence or answer questions as I was still only getting 20-30 seconds between contractions, which where now lasting 60-90 seconds. I allowed a cervical check after ensuring the resident knew I did not want my water broken. I was a very stretchy 4cm with bulging membranes. 

Within another 20 minutes, in our labour room I was using gas for relief, and suddenly had an uncontrollable urge to push, I was 6 cm now so tried hands and knees position to relieve the pressure. Immediately, my water broke with an audible pop and soaked the bed. There was thin meconium, as I'd guessed, but baby's heart rate (still using intermittent monitoring) was fine. I literally pushed and pushed for over an hour (couldn't stop!) and was still 6-7 cm. over the next few hours I tried gas, then IV Fentanyl, then finally asked for an epidural as I still couldn't stop pushing and was STILL only getting 20-30 second breaks between contractions. I told the nurse I wanted an epidural. 

The anesthetist was great, I couldn't sit so he inserted the epidural with me lying down at my request. It only took on one side, but it relieved the pressure/urge to push. I continued to use gas with the epidural. I insisted on trying hands and knees, sitting, etc and trying to get up to the bathroom, and our nurse was supportive of it all. Finally we were 8 cm, then 10 and +3 station. I wanted to wait for an urge to push, and everyone was agreeable. I never did get much of an urge but did start feeling some pressure. As baby was crowning, his heart rate plummeted and wasn't recovering. I figured he had his cord around his neck (normal occurrence) but after quite a few minutes went by I agreed to let the OB help him out with a vacuum. She barely pulled once and he came flying out with a tight nuchal cord and a good sized gush of blood - OB wonders if placenta had concealed/partially abrupted at some point. We got delayed cord clamping (hubby got to cut the cord for the first time!) and skin to skin. I got a small second degree tear. I got 90 minutes of Skin to skin and breastfeeding time uninterrupted at my request before babe was weighed and measured etc. He was 8lbs, 4oz, my biggest baby yet! So much for CPD. ;)

It was the single most amazing and empowering experience of my life! My husband never doubted me throughout pregnancy or the birthing experience, he was my rock. I also knew all along that I could do it and believe it or not I can't wait to do it again! Someday, that is, when we're ready for baby number five LOL. It's three weeks after the birth today and I'm still on a complete high! I feel great. So many people told me that I couldn't do it that I wasn't meant to birth my babies vaginally – and I proved them all wrong! Validation feels so good and my sweet baby was so worth it. Keep fighting for your birth experiences ladies! They really do matter and they really do have an impact on your life whether positive or negative.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Janette's VBAC

My first birth was with twins. I was living in Mexico, and my mom was visiting for a very limited time. She was scheduled to leave the week of my due date, but we thought the babies would be born early since they were twins. But, nope. We waited for 3 weeks with her there, then I asked to be induced at 39 weeks. I was given Cytotec (I think), orally. at about 6 p.m. It started some contractions, but they were not strong, and I took another one at midnight. We went to the hospital shortly after that, because my blood pressure was up. At the hospital, I think I got Pitocin, too, but there were no real contractions. Actually, it was kind of like a constant one, but it wasn't painful at all, so I don't think I really went into active labor. at about 6 a.m my doctor wanted to do the c-section, so we did. I guess, officially, it was failure to progress.

My second birth was a VBAC 2 1/2 years later. We were still in Mexico. I had a different doctor and a doula who had taught me some childbirth classes. She was awesome and I highly recommend doulas. She worked closely with my doctor and he did a lot of homebirths -- so he was more like a midwife in his approach to childbirth. I told him I wanted a waterbirth and he said that would be no problem. I went into labor 1 week before my due date (although i was prepared in my mind to go 2 weeks past, since I had never gone into labor with my twins).

I wasn't sure it was the real thing when labor first started--the contractions were intense, but short. And I was surprised how fine I felt between them. We called the doc. He came to the house and arrived right after my water had broken. He did the only vaginal check I had the whole time, and said I was 100% effaced and dilated to a 5. He asked what we wanted to do -- we had planned to go to the hospital where they would let him bring in a pool. He was fine if we had decided to stay home, but at the time I wanted to go to the hospital -- although I should have just stayed home!

We got to the hospital, and the contractions were getting closer together. I was taking them on my hands and knees -- I couldn't do it in any other position. I rocked back and forth a lot and moaned. Then I hit a wall -- I didn't know how far along I was and I thought to myself "I can have hours and hours and hours left of this, and I can't do it!" So I told everyone I couldn't do it anymore -- I needed something. They were still filling the pool, and my doula said, "Before we go for an epidural, try getting in the water." That water made all the difference -- it was still painful, but it took the edge off to the point where I was able to cope with the contractions again.

Looking back, I think I was in transition, because after I got in the water I started feeling like I wanted to push. When I told them this my doula said, "Go ahead and push -- you don't need anyone's permission." So, I started pushing and pushed with all I had. It took nearly 3 hours of pushing, I think, but at the time it did not feel like that long. Finally as he was crowning my doula suggested I get upright, and sure enough, out he came. She was a huge support -- physically and emotionally. He was a big baby -- 8lb. 10oz. (a full 2.5 lbs bigger than my twins had been). I was so glad I didn't find out how big he was before I pushed him out -- I thought, "There's gotta be nothing worse than going into labor knowing you have to push out a 9 lb baby!"

The whole experience was incredible. I couldn't believe how easy recovery was -- and I'd had an easy recovery from the c-section. It was amazing.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

About Lots of VBAC & VBAMC Stories

To submit something to be added, please email lotsofvba3cstories @ gmail . com. Have a lovely day!

This blog was created by a pregnant mom who had had three babies by cesarean and was collecting stories of VBA3C (vaginal birth after three c-sections) to inspire her as she prepared for a home waterbirth. She wanted as many stories as possible all in one place. That's why it was originally called Lots of VBA3C Stories. Then she decided to expand it to include VBAC, VBA2C, and VBA4+C stories also.

Click on a tab above. 
Each page is a list, alphabetical by the mom's first name. The lists are numbered so everyone can see how many mamas have succeeded with birthing vaginally after one or more cesareans! Notice that some are written and some are videos, and some took place in homes or birth centers and some in hospitals.