A Successful Vaginal Birth After Cesarean
Frank came into this world on May 9, 1998.
The days leading up to his birth seemed long at the time, but, as I look back on them, seem like minutes now. Frank is my second child; my first son was a C-section, a procedure that I might have avoided had I been more confident that "I could do it". My mother was my coach this time; she is the one who gave me the confidence that I needed to deliver vaginally. My labor started on Wednesday evening, May 6th, when the first "minor" contractions began. I called my mother, who lives close to 500 miles away, to tell her that I think "things were starting to happen", and she made plans to make the drive up so she could be here by the next evening (we figured we had lots of time since my first was a C-section). Mom arrived Thursday evening, but, by then, the contractions seemed to be getting further apart rather than closer. By Friday morning, they were over 10 minutes apart, but Mom and I decided a visit to the OB wouldn't hurt. I went in to the doctor, she checked me, and said it could still be a few days. I went home disappointed. Mom was already here - NOW was the best time, not "a few days". Mom decided I should go ahead and plant those flowers I had bought a week ago, that it might help "get things moving."
IT WORKED! By 2:00 a.m. or so, the contractions were three minutes apart! We called my husband's mother to come over to stay with our 2-year-old, then my husband and I got in our car, with Mom following in hers, and headed over the hill (a 30-minute drive) to the hospital. On the drive over, the contractions became 5 and 6 minutes apart rather than the 3, but I was happy that they were still "close enough". Upon arrival, I was checked and told I was only at 3cm, but they let me stay (probably because I was a VBAC).
At any rate, soon, the labor was in full force as far as pain goes, so I consented to the IV pain relief that was offered, as well as an eventual epidural. Unfortunately, the epidural didn't "take" on one side, but it helped, and that was very important at the time. Also, I realized days later, the epidural helped me as far as the pushing goes. I didn't feel any pain, was still conscious enough to push every time I was told, and this whole stage lasted only 20 minutes - which is great considering this was my first vaginal birth.
My mom was terrific! She rubbed my lower back through EVERY contraction for so many hours (my husband stood silently in the wings at my request). Finally, at 12:44 pm, my second son came into this world, screaming his head off for everyone to hear. It was the most beautiful sound in the world! After my husband cut the cord, he was immediately put in my arms, which is a moment I will remember and cherish for the rest of my life (since my first son was a C-section, he was taken away after I briefly got to kiss and smell him - I didn't get to hold him until at least two hours after his birth!)
I'm so thankful that my OB and others encouraged me to try a VBAC - holding my son immediately after his birth was worth every single minute of pain.