After finding such a supportive doctor in Dr. Damon Cobb D.O.-OBGYN, for my May 2012 VBAC attempt, I knew just where to go when I found out I was expecting my 5th baby! My pregnancy went well, no complications at all. I am considered ‘high risk’ because I had 2 prior C-sections. I also had a history of pre-eclampsia with my 4th baby, and multiple pregnancies put me in the high risk category.
Dr. Cobb never let any of these “high risk” factors discourage me. I was screened extra closely for pre-eclampsia. I was required to do 24 hour urine collections and analyses, but thankfully, every time the results were normal.
My due date came and went (as it does for 95% of women). At my 41 week prenatal check up Dr. Cobb gave me some suggestions to get labor going. He never mentioned a C-section, but did tell me if this baby didn’t come naturally by 42 weeks, we would need to consider it and discuss all options.
At 41 weeks and 1 day I came across a ‘labor dance’ which mostly consisted of a lot of squats and lunges but I decided to go for it. I was tired after about 2 minutes of it and called it quits. I took a nice relaxing shower with the hot water flowing down my back while I leaned and lunged on the wall. Then I went to bed and slept.
I woke up the next morning around 5 am. I tossed and turned a bit and couldn’t get comfortable. I got up to use the bathroom then tried to get some more sleep before my older kids woke up. It was a Saturday morning and I was looking forward to getting to sleep in a bit. I tossed and turned some more and by 6 am resigned myself to the fact that sleep was not coming. I was hopeful that my inability to get comfortable was an early labor sign. So I got up drank some water and sat at my computer for a bit. I was hoping being upright and staying busy would help encourage some contractions to start.
By 7 am, my kids woke up and I still hadn’t felt a thing. So I fed them breakfast and sat and chatted with them for a while. By 8 am my husband woke up. I still didn’t feel anything that said ‘labor’. I told my husband I had been up since 5 am, and I was feeling sleepy now. So I went back to bed and fell asleep instantly.
I woke up again around 12:45 pm feeling uncomfortable again and still couldn’t find a comfortable position. I got up to go to the bathroom. My husband offered to make me some lunch. I wasn’t feeling very hungry but decided I should eat something so I asked for some toast. When I went to the bathroom I saw that I passed a bloody show. I was so excited! It was a sign that something was happening. I told my husband that I was pretty sure labor would be happening soon. I took my toast back to bed to try to rest before labor started. But, again, I couldn’t get comfortable!
Around 1 pm I decided to get up and let gravity help me out. I walked laps around my back yard for about an hour. At 2 pm I came inside to watch a movie with my older kids. The moment I sat down I had a ton of pressure in my bottom. I stood back up and couldn’t feel anything. I slowly lowered myself to sitting just enough to feel the pressure. The pressure subsided and I was able to fully sit down. A couple minutes later the same pressure came back. I stood up and couldn’t feel it at all. After about 30 minutes of this going on I felt pretty confident the pressure I was feeling was contractions.
I couldn’t feel them standing up, and they didn’t hurt anywhere except my bottom. So I decided to get back to walking laps in my back yard to help speed things up. About 30 minutes into my laps, which was around 3 pm, I started feeling the pressure while walking. It didn’t hurt and I only felt pressure.
By 4 pm I had to stop walking during the pressure, I would lean over and sway my hips until the pressure subsided, then continued my laps. My husband asked if we should start making some phone calls. I was pretty sure this was labor so I said yes. He called his aunt who was going to watch our older kids while I called Dr. Cobb. He told me I could stay home for as long as I wanted. He passed the word on to the hospital that I would be coming in that evening.
I continued to walk laps around our back yard until my husband’s aunt showed up around 5 pm. By that time I was thinking I wanted to get to the hospital pretty soon. So my husband loaded up the car so we could leave as soon as I gave the word.
We left for the hospital around 6 pm and arrived by 6:30. I had pre-registered at the hospital weeks ago but for some reason they couldn’t find my paperwork. I had to sit at the nurses’ station while I filled out a form and got copies of my ID and insurance card. I finally got into a room by 7 pm. I got changed into a hospital gown and was asked to lie in bed while they got the monitors and IV in place. My entire labor was spent standing and walking and I was not prepared for the amount of pressure I felt once I finally put my body weight on my bottom!
Each contraction was so intense. I just wanted to jump out of bed and sway my hips as I had been doing. But the nurses wanted me in bed until I got the IV in. They had such a hard time trying to get my IV in, they had to call the anesthesiologist to do it. After about 30 minutes of attempting to get the IV in my water broke. Another 15 minutes and a total of 8 IV attempts later I finally had a line in.
Since the anesthesiologist was in the room she offered an epidural and I gave in and got one. The epidural was in place by 7:50 then they checked my dilation; I was 8cms 100% effaced. The epidural took instantly and I was able to rest, but by 8 pm I felt ‘pushy’ and pressed the nurse call button. She came in and told me that Dr. Cobb was coming up the elevator right now. She started getting the room ready for delivery.
I started pushing around 8:15 pm and 6 minutes later at 8:21pm my VBA2C baby was here at 41 weeks 2 days. I was able to have skin-to-skin time with her and feed her right after birth! She was a healthy 8lbs 8oz.
While I did give in and get an epidural, even though I had planned a med free birth, this was my absolute best birth experience out of all 5 of my births. I am currently 38 weeks pregnant with my 6th baby and I am planning a med free VBA2C again.