Shannon called me at 2PM on Thursday and said her water had broken not long after her induction massage!  I was happy to hear she was having some pressure waves already.  She was going to get ready and have her parents come over for the big kids and head over towards the hospital.  (She lives about an hour from the hospital and we thought maybe we would meet at a park and walk awhile before going to the hospital.)

I had a meeting at my boys school at 3, so I got all ready for the birth and made plans for my boys and headed to the meeting.  She texted me during the meeting and said Pressure waves were 4 min apart lasting a minute and she wanted me to meet them at the hospital.

I prayed on the drive to the hospital that she would have real support in her desire for a VBA2c.  That everything would go smoothly and that she could have the birth she worked so hard for.

I got to the hospital around 4 and she was getting settled in her room.  The nurse was asking all her questions and Shannon and the baby were being monitored.  She was about 4cm.   All was well.  Shannon had to sign the waiver which she acknowledged the risk of VBACs.  But that was really one of the only times it was mentioned.  I was thrilled.

We realized we didn’t have a birth ball and we called our friend Missy to see if she would bring hers and she did around 5.   Shannon continued to have pressure waves about every 4 minutes, but they were not very intense.

One of the best choices I think Shannon made was to not find out how dilated she was during the rest of the birth!  You will soon find out why.

She got checked again around 6:15, per her OB’s request.  The nurse was great and didn’t tell us how far along she was.    During shift change at 7, I was getting some juice for Shannon and overheard the nurse tell our new nurse she was still 4cm.

Our new nurse was AWESOME. She was a VBAC mom herself and was the perfect nurse for us.  It was hard to do much to speed things up being hooked up to the monitors.  We paced by the bed, we sat on the birth ball.  Her nurse said she would try to get the OB to allow a good walk in the hall.

Around 9 PM Shannon started feeling nauseous with the pressure waves, but they were not really getting closer or much stronger.

At 9:50 after many hours of a perfect baby on the strip, we got “permission” to walk the halls. I think this was another key in the success of her VBA2C.  The nurse encouraged Shannon to Power Walk.  I was glad for the reminder, because we were all getting sleepy by then and had started out at a leisurely pace.  Her reminder helped us kick it up a notch and we power walked it for a good 30 minutes.

We stopped and did a belly lift with each pressure wave.  They started getting closer every 2-3 minutes and lasing a good minute.  It was working!  She still felt nauseous and I wondered how much longer she would go on.  But Shannon said, “This is 100 times better then throwing up with an incision!” and she just kept on walking.  That is when I felt sure we would have a VBAC if nothing got in our way.  She had some powerful motivation.

By 10:45 we were back in the room and on the monitors, baby still looked great.  Shannon was still having pressure waves 2-3 min apart and they were really strong.  She started to feel pushy and she got rechecked at 11:15, again she didn’t want to know where she was at.  (Great choice – no numbers to discourage her.)

At this point Shannon was saying she wasn’t handling the pressure waves very well.  She was still doing great, but I could tell it was harder for her to relax through them.  She was still feeling nauseous and an urge to push but it wasn’t time yet.  I was hoping she was in transformation (transition).  I went out to chat with the nurse.  I asked how dilated she was.  She was at 5cm and baby was really low which was giving her the urge to push.   This information made me think she had at least a few more hours to go.  I needed to find out what her main goal was.

I went back to Shannon.  I did not tell her where she was at.  I did ask her, “What is your goal?  A VBAC or an un-medicated birth?” She thought for a moment and said the VBAC.  A few minutes later when she again said that she wasn’t handling things well, that she was so tired and asked what she could  have to help her.  I said an epidural could help you to get some rest and have the energy to push when the time comes.  She chose to get an epidural.

She had the epidural by 11:45 and she rested listening to a script until about 12:25. Her nausea had disappeared and she was easily able to rest.   At this point they checked her and she was 8cm.  I can’t remember if the nurse told Shannon that or not?

At 1:30 she was checked again and was 10cm +2 station. The OB came in and Shannon tried to push but couldn’t feel anything.  We talked about different options and she chose to have the epidural turned off.

By 2:10 she was feeling pressure consistently and we started to push.  She did awesome.  The baby looked great for the most part.  A few dips of the heart rate here and there.

Her baby was born vaginally by 3:14.  A completely normal length of pushing for a first time vaginal birth.

I was so thrilled and honored to be there. I was very impressed with how supportive the nurse was.  Shannon’s OB was supportive too.  I am so proud of Shannon for working so hard to make her VBA2C happen.  She and Brian made a great team and I am glad I got to be there to be a part of it!  I loved when Brian was walking me out, how excited HE was about how her birth went.  He was so proud of Shannon and thought that the vaginal birth was so cool after 2 cesareans.

I see how everything lined up just like it needed to in order for her to be successful.

  • Her working so hard to find a supportive care provider – which ended up proving to her care provider how serious she was.
  • Her water breaking on Thursday.
  • Her pressure waves starting on their own.
  • A wonderful nurse who was truly supportive of VBACs.  She had done research before doing her own VBAC and knew it was really a moms choice.
  • Her OB staying on board with her plans.
  • Being able to walk the halls.
  • Her baby looking perfect on the monitors
  • Not finding out how dilated she was, (later when talking she said it would have been so upsetting to find out she was “only a 5” after all that walking.)

Thanks Shannon for letting me be your doula!  It was wonderful.  🙂

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1 Comment

  1. thanks for that story! It just shows that although you can’t “control” the actual birth, that you can set yourself up for success by picking the right provider and being informed!

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