Sunday, September 13, 2009

My First VBAC

About a week and a half ago I got a call from a mom to be who was due in three days. She had a previous cesarean birth with her son and after much reading and discussing with her husband they thought that a doula would be very helpful for them for the VBAC (Vaginal Birth After Cesarean) birth they desired to have with their daughter. Usually I get weeks to prepare with clients, but these were special circumstances because we were so close to the due date.

In her eighth month of her pregnancy she changed care providers from her doctor to a group of midwives who practice at a local hospital. (Side note: changing care providers late in pregnancy is always an option if you are not satisfied. As long as the baby is still inside of you, you have choices. Get the kind of care and birth that you desire!) So, after she changed groups, she decided to look into a doula. Thanks to a referral from a previous client, she was led to me.

As her "due date" came and went, she was visiting the midwives to assure that her pregnancy was still going well and that she and baby were fine. Of course, everything checked out and she was given 14 days past her "due date" before they would do any sort of medical intervention.

On Friday, six days past her "due date", she had an appointment with the midwives for stress testing. Her cervix was dilated to a four, but she and baby were fine and she was not in active labor so she went home. I went over to her house to work with her. She had taken Castor oil, been walking, and was ready for anything more at that point. I arrived early in the afternoon and worked with her for several hours doing acupressure and labor enhancing massage techniques. She was having contractions and things were seeming to move forward, but when the evening approached, I felt it best to let her rest and try and get a good nights sleep in case labor did come on. I did not want her to be too tired for what was ahead of her.

On Saturday morning, I woke up to find I had not received a call in the night. When I called her that morning, she told me she had gotten a good nights rest and that she felt that things had progressed in the night. I told her I would come later that afternoon to work with her more unless her labor started before then. At about 4:00 that afternoon, I went back over to work with her some more. This time not much was happening. The contractions were few and far between and she did not feel as though they were as productive as they had been the day before. Her mother and sister arrived at about 8:00pm. Again, I decided that it would be best for her to rest and at 9:00pm I left them for the evening with instructions for she and her husband to take a walk and relax.

On Sunday morning at 2:24am, I received a call from her husband telling me that contractions had picked up. I didn't get much information other than they were coming on stronger than ever, but told them I would head over to help them labor at home, and it was their call on whether to head to the hospital at that point. It took me about 10 minutes get dressed and head out the door. I said many prayers on the way. I was unusually calm as I drove down the road in the middle of the night. The streets were bare and the rain was falling. I had a good feeling that this was going to be okay. Just as I approached the highway to turn left toward their home, he called and told me they were headed to the hospital. I could tell there was no time for talking and I told them I would see them there. I took a right onto the highway instead of a left and headed to the hospital downtown. I parked in the parking garage, which can be kind of scary at that time of night. My birth bag was in the trunk and I wasn't sure what to take out of it or take the whole thing in. I popped the trunk, hurried out of my car, grabbed the bag and got back in my car and locked the doors. I searched for a couple of minutes through my bag before deciding just to take the whole thing in. After all, there is no telling how long these births can last. With my cell phone in hand and my purse and birth bag tucked tightly against me, I headed for the parking garage elevators down to the ground level and into the hospital. I was greeted by a security guard. He asked me who I was coming to see. I said "I am a doula, and I need to get to maternal observation." "A doula?" he replied. Well, once we got that all straightened out, I was off to meet them on the maternity floor. I waited in maternal observation. When I saw the dad behind the double doors I got my things and went on back. He rushed past and told me he was headed to the restroom and she was in room 4. I thought I heard room 4, but then I second guessed what I had heard when I got down the hall. Then I heard the moans of a woman in labor and he nurses in the room calling her name. I knocked on the door and two nurses suddenly yelled at me to move the wheel chair in the hall out of the way and that the baby was crowning. They were telling my client not to push as they rushed her in the bed down the hall to labor and delivery. I ran with her, leaving her husband behind. I wasn't really sure what to do, but felt she needed someone with her, so it was with her that I stayed. As she approached L&D the nurses rolling her bed were shouting, "she is crowning!" About six nurses rushed into her room and I moved off to the side while they got her squared away. They pulled up her gown and I could see the baby's head. Her mom and her husband got to the room and we all squeezed past nurses to get up next to her as she began to push.

At 3:24am, just one hour after I received the phone call, they were holding their baby girl in their arms. She did it! She had a VBAC! It was a success for them and for me, as now I can say that I had my first VBAC and it was successful doulaing experience and they can go on to have many more children vaginally as they plan to.

When we all settled down after the birth to admire the baby, I sat on the sofa next to my unopened birth bag. You just never know.


Michelle said...

LOl. How wonderful. I was on edge reading what was going to happen next. I am so glad that everything went well, and mom and baby were happy and healthy. Congrats on your first VBAC!

Estee Marie said...

Thank you Hannah! I truly believe God led us to you to help us.