The VBAC Birth of Eli Stephen
Eli Stephen was birthed at 11:52am on February 11, 2009 by successful VBAC. He was 9 lbs 4 ounces (almost 2 lbs more than Matthew) and 20.5 inches long. I birthed with a great and patient OB, amazing doula (Debbie), and loving and super supportive husband by my side. I was 41 weeks and 6 days when he was born.
I began laboring early Tuesday morning (Feb 10th) with pretty consistent contractions 3-5 minutes apart. After 2 hours, we called Debbie as I was 5 cm dilated at my last OB appt and was expecting a fast labor. Boy was I wrong. My labor slowed down, but I continued to have contractions every ten minutes or less. I tried getting some rest, but the contractions hurt way worse lying down. I knew I was getting too tired to labor effectively, so at 6:00pm, we decided to go to the hospital to see if breaking my water would help progress things along. My membranes were ruptured by my OB at around 8 pm. Labor did pick up, and I was in active labor at around 10 pm. I was now 6 cm and he was at 0 station. I labored without measurable progress until 2 am, when I decided to get an epidural to help me relax and get some rest. The anesthesiologist was horrible and took 4 different attempts to place the epidural. The one good thing is that they allowed Debbie to stay in the room during the epidural placement. Once the epidural was placed, we all got some much needed sleep.
At around 8 am, I was completely dilated on half of my cervix with a good lip left on the other side. At 10 am, I was completely dilated, and the epidural had worn off to the point that I knew when I was having contractions and had painful pressure, but they were manageable. My contractions had really died down, so we started pitocin on a tiny dose to try to get them closer together, so my pushing stage would not be so long. I labored him down until 11 am, when I decided to try to actively push. After pushing for about 40 minutes, I had made enough progress for the nurses to call my OB. I really thought they were calling my OB too early, as I thought I still had much more pushing to do. Debbie showed me with a mirror how close he was to being born by showing me that his head was almost fully out. I did not believe that he was going to be born vaginally until that point. My OB came in, I pushed a couple of more times and his was born!! I did have a small tear, but my recovery has been amazing!
Although my labor was much longer and not as natural as I expected, I am totally ecstatic with the result. My OB was incredibly patient and did not pressure me at all. In fact, most of the time, we had to call her to request more intervention. She was content to let us labor our way for as long as the baby and I were in good health. I felt in control of all of the choices I needed to make during the labor, and am pleased with the choices I made given the circumstances.
We were all surprised with how big he is. It all goes to show that the weight of the baby is not a problem, it is all about the positioning. I totally credit chiropractic care with helping with this. He has been in a great low anterior position for the past 2 months. Matthew never descended as low after three hours of pushing as Eli began in labor.
I am still in shock that I had a vaginal birth. It was an amazing experience!! If I had written this story before Eli was born, I would have written a different story, but the birth experience we had was perfect!