Ryker was born naturally, my second vaginal birth after two prior c-sections (VBA2C). My first baby was born via c-section 9 years ago and I always blamed the epidural that I wished I had not gotten as it slowed my progress and I wasn’t able to get him in position even after being able to push with him. I was so close that my Mom could see his hair and if I had a doula or someone to encourage me to try a different position I think I could have delivered him naturally, but I was not educated back then.
My second baby was born via planned C-section because it was only 13 months after the first c-section and I was not given an option, even though I went in to labor on my own.
With my 3rd child I decided to drive out of town to Dr. Dorn in High Point as he was the only OB doctor I could find around me that would encourage me to have a vaginal birth after having two prior c-sections. I switched to him at 20 weeks in my pregnancy. A supportive physician is so important. I ended up getting diagnosed with gestational diabetes and the baby was measuring very large. At 34 weeks his head measured 40 weeks (his head is still so big it never made it on the growth chart, lol). He still gave me the option to try to deliver naturally. I had a successful all natural VBA2C with Dr. Dorn and Natural Baby Doulas at High Point Regional in 2017. It was amazing aside from having to use the sqaut bar / his extremely large head. If I would have had an epidural I would have not been successful! Thankfully my doula kept me grounded. Unfortunately, my oldest son was in the PICU in another hospital and my Mother had to be with him so she missed it. My baby was also born with his cord wrapped around him and had to have CPR immediately so I was unable to hold him on my chest and have that immediate bond like I longed for as he had to spend time in the NICU. Thankfully he was fine, but the birth experience was very traumatic to say the least and I missed the after birth experience I dreamed of.
With Ryker, my fourth baby, since I had a natural delivery prior I was able to see the midwives at Wendover OB-Gyn and deliver at Women’s Hospital in Greensboro. They were amazing and so supportive. Of course the first call I made when I had the positive pregnancy test was to my doula to put me on the books. I knew I would not ever want to deliver again without them by my side, especially not naturally. They are AMAZING to have in the room with you during birth for support! My baby was diagnosed with having a two vessel cord (single umbilical artery) which I had never heard of and scared me to death. We had to have a lot of extra test done and there was a high chance I would not be allowed to go to my due date. Everything else with the pregnancy was perfect! No gestational diabetes. He grew perfect size each visit. The pregnancy was wonderful!
At 39 weeks since everything looked good and my fluid level was good I was told I was allowed to go to my due date but no further. I decided to wait it out. A few days before my due date I went in and I was not dilated at all. My midwife decided to try a Foley balloon for me to go home with to see if it would help with dilation and natural induction. It was uncomfortable but manageable. I even went swimming with the kids the next day until it fell out even though I was in early labor with very painful contractions every 20-60 minutes for 3 days straight, but it still did not progress though so I was scheduled for induction on Sunday morning on my due date of September 1.
That morning at around 1:00 I woke up with intense contractions 8-10 minutes apart. I was able to labor at home until around 7am with the contractions 5-10 minutes apart. I decided to go to Biscuitville before the hospital of course. When I arrived I was a little over 6cm and 90% effaced so induction wasn’t necessary as labor was in full force on its own already. I was glad I waited until my due date and let my body do its job when it was ready. Unfortunately after my water broke around noon my contractions slowed down instead of picking up. I had a nice break for a homemade piminto cheese sandwich from my mother in law but I was still only 7cm and they decided to start me on a low dose Pitocin around 12:30pm. The nurse hooked it up about the time my contractions picked up on their own to 1-2 min apart and things got very intense. Luckily I was able to be off the monitor and walk and use my ball. The most helpful thing was the back rubs from my doula and my husband holding me up during contractions so I could stand and let my legs dangle and relax through the pain. This worked well through the intense pain. The contraction pain kept getting worse and by this point at 1 min apart we thought I was still not dilated enough yet and had a ways to go. We were contemplating epidural because I knew I couldn’t last much longer and needed to rest/ relax if labor was going to continue more hours. While they went to get anesthesia set up, I was desperate and decided to use nitrous oxide but I was miserable and told them I couldn’t hold it to my face because I was nauseated. My midwife Daniela came in and I was sitting on my ball by the bed. She took a look at me, touched my back and abdomen and told me it was time to get in the bed. The reason I was ready to cave in for the epidural was because I was in transition and the baby was coming.
Sure enough as soon as I got up on the bed it was time to push. Once I started pushing it only took me 6 minutes and he went straight to my chest. Delayed cord clamping and my husband got to cut the cord and he stayed on my chest for several hours nursing aside from getting measurements. It was the most perfect moment in my life. The feeling was indescribable and everything I had longed for when I missed it the first 3 times.
On his due date Sept 1, 2019, he was born at 3:06pm. 7lb 11oz. (much smaller than the 2 babies prior to him). 20” of perfect! My mother, husband and doula were all in the room supporting me. My Daddy and inlaws were outside the door and got to come in to see him be weighed and such right after birth.
The healing from natural births was much easier on me and made maternity leave so much more enjoyable than with my prior c-sections. I was so thankful I had the opportunity to deliver naturally. Aside from my selfless husband Travis who was my absolute warrior, My wonderful midwife Daniela Paul and my doula Jessica Bower with Natural Baby Doulas were absolutely amazing and I know I couldn’t have done it without them! They will forever hold a special place in my heart.