I can't even believe I am writing this post about my VBAC because I was sure I was not going to be to do it. My first delivery was via c-section and recovery was rough and painful. I also wasn't thrilled with the whole post-delivery experience in the hospital as well so I really wanted to try for a v-bac this time around.
With my first delivery, the reason for a c-section was (in my doctors terms) "because of baby, not mom" which meant I was a great candidate for a v-bac. There are many reasons why people have to have another c-section so I was grateful my doctors were on board with my plan.
April 17th (three days before my due date) rolls around and I start having mild contractions. They didn't hurt and felt dull so I assumed I would go into labor within a day or two. By 11pm that night they came on full force. I was having at least 10 contractions an hour and they were so painful I could barely stand. They also wrapped to my back which happened last time so I knew they were the real deal. I wanted to try and stay home as long as possible so I got in the shower to see if they would calm down. By 2am they were unbearable and we had to head to the hospital. I called my parents to come over and stay with Joey and we were on our way!
We checked into the hospital and I was 4cm dilated and admitted. The last time it took me a while to dilate, so I wanted to try and wait as long as I could before getting the epidural. I was able to hold out until about 6am and then requested it. We hung out for a while and then at about 1pm the doctor came in and told us that his heartrate was high (160-170 BPM) and they don't like to see that for consistent period of time. I was on pitocin, so they took me off of that and said they would give it a half hour and if his heart rate did not go down, we would have to do a c-section. I was of course upset, but also understood we needed to do whatever it took to have a healthy and safe delivery. Luckily, his heart rate went down and I started dilating on my own without pitocin within the half hour!
At about 6:30pm I was 9cm dilated and the doctor told me we were going to start pushing soon. I couldn't believe it. At 7pm I started pushing and HOLY SH*T was it hard lol. I ended up throwing up twice and getting a raging headache so it made pushing even harder. My epidural ended up wearing off a bit so I could feel each contraction which helped with pushing. I couldn't feel the pain of the contractions so I would definitely recommend taking your epidural down a little so you can feel with each push.
8pm comes around and I am still pushing. They told me it was normal for first time vaginal deliveries to push between 1-3 hours so I was prepared to keep going for a while. The doctor came in and said that his heart rate was now dropping and they needed to get him out so they ended up doing an episiotomy and at 8:24pm Noah Jude was born.
I was able to have him on my chest and feed him right away which was honestly magical. I didn't have that experience with my c-section. I also felt like myself which was a relief. With my section I had the shakes, felt cold/nauseous and didn't feel like myself so it made it hard to be in the moment.
Recovery was different for sure but I think for me, both my c-section and VBAC had it's challenges. I ended up having a 3A tear which meant a lot of stiches and swelling. It took me about 2.5 weeks after delivery to move around and be back to normal. Here are some of the things that really helped me recover at home:
Overall, I was so happy I was able to have a VBAC and of course our little Noah!