#4: Successful VBAC
Location: Washington, DC
How pregnant: 38 weeks, 5 days
First baby: No, this was the second time
Hours in labor: 10 hours active labor
Delivery type: Vaginal
Did you have a birth plan?
The only birth plan I had was that I wanted a VBAC, of which my doctor was supportive, and it happened!
When did you know you were in labor?
I was noticing some cramping feelings for a few days, but it was not regular and it wasn't really painful. Then I lost part of my mucus plug on Friday night and the rest of it on Saturday night. The contractions began to speed up and get closer together, so I began timing them. I tried to sleep that Saturday night but they kept waking me up. They were not terribly painful but definitely noticeably uncomfortable.
What happened before you went to the hospital?
At around 2 a.m., my water broke. After that, the contractions became a lot more intense, closer together, and more painful. I took a quick shower and we headed for the hospital.
What happened first when you got to the hospital?
We went to the L&D unit and they checked me in. They took me to a room right away. I got undressed and into a gown. They checked my vitals and my cervical progress. I was about 4 cm dilated.
What did contractions feel like?
Waves of intense cramping. The baby was moving a lot during each contraction. They became more intense. Yes, I guess it was what I expected -- maybe it was a little more painful.
If you had no pain medication, how did you manage contractions? Was it what you expected?
I did get an epidural eventually, but I spent about 2 hours laboring without it which was tough! The contractions became more intense and sometimes I felt like I couldn't breathe, even though everyone was telling me to breathe. I was trying to find a peaceful place but it was really hard. I felt angry and frustrated at times.
If you got an epidural, how did that work? Was it what you expected?
It took a long time for them to get to me, I had an epidural with my first child (who ended up being born via C-section) so I knew what to expect. Sit on the edge of the table, they put a needle in your back. It did not hurt, but it was very difficult to stay still and sit up straight while I was having painful contractions. Once I had the epidural, everything was great. Once it was almost time to start pushing, they made sure it was at a low enough dose so I could still feel a little bit while I was pushing, which was really good because I did not tear at all (and my baby was over 9 lbs!)
What happened immediately after your baby was born?
They immediately put her on my chest. I cried and was just overwhelmed by all of it. I was surprised (since my first child was born via C-section) that everyone left the room except just one nurse, and that they were not in a hurry to take the baby away for testing or whatever. They just let us hold her and cuddle. It was wonderful.
Anything else you want to add?
I highly recommend trying for a VBAC if you had a C-section on your first time around! It was the best experience of my life and my recovery was so quick and easy. However, I would also tell first-time moms not to get too down if you do end up having a C-section. No matter how your baby is born, it's still an incredible thing to give birth and there is nothing in the world like it!
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