The moment that I learned I was pregnant with my second child I was certain that I wanted to have a vaginal delivery. Since my first pregnancy required a c-section delivery I knew that chances were likely that I would need a second one. Still I wanted to try for a VBAC (vaginal birth after c-section).
When I initially met with my OB she informed me of the criteria for VBAC: low transverse incision (also referred to as the bikini cut). Since my first delivery was done in this manner I knew that vaginal birth was a possibility for me. The remaining criteria that we reviewed included me going into labor naturally and not going over my due date. Women who have had previous c-section deliveries cannot have their labor induced as other women because the drugs that they give to induce labor (e.g. Pitocin) can cause the previous c-section scar to ruputure. The final criteria was a non-breech presentation.
As my pregnancy progressed I was excited about the possiblity of VBAC. The baby was in the right position as I neared my third trimester and I had not encountered any complications such as gestational diabetes, pre-term labor, or pre-eclampsia. When I reached 36 weeks I began seeing the OB weekly. At the 36 week visit I was quite disappointed to learn that while my cervix had softened it had not began to dilate and my hopes of VBAC began to fade. The doctor advised me of some natural remedies that I could use to promote dilation (nipple stimulation with a breast pump, sex, walking and so on). With the exception of sex (which wasn’t an option given my break up with the ‘father’) I tried everything she suggested PLUS squats, lunges, and painting! LOL. 37 weeks rolled around and I was hopeful that something had changed. The doctor decided not to examine my cervix at that visit, but pre-scheduled me for a c-section just in case. She then advised me that she would attempt membrane rupture if I had dilated any by 38 weeks. Time was running out and my hopes for the type of delivery that I wanted were far from reality.
Wednesday, Dec 26th, two days before my son’s original due date and one day before the pre-scheduled c-section my city was hit with the biggest snow storm in 18 years. The OBs office called to reschedule my appointment, but I insisted on making the 5 minute drive just to see if I had made any progress. After an uncomfortable vaginal exam I learned that my cervix still had not dilated. When the nurse practitioner left the room I cried and the last hopes that I had held onto for a VBAC faded permanently. Despite all of my efforts I had not been able to experience the kind of delivery that I wanted.
The rational and logical part of me knew that having a healthy and safe delivery was most important for both my son and I. But the reality of being a single mom who would be on driving, lifting and activity restrictions for two weeks following a c-section delivery heightened my anxiety.
Happily my son Reid was born Thursday, December 27th at 4:39 pm. He weighed 8lbs 4 oz and was 20″ long. It’s hard to believe that he will be a week old already tomorrow. We have been home for three days now and are getting adjusted to our new life. As for me, I am trying to take it easy and rest so that my body can heal and that I can enjoy my new bundle.
While I did not have the type of delivery that I wanted, I have everything that I need.
Thanks for reading!