Your mom had an unplanned cesarean with big sister Madeline and was determined to have a VBAC this time around. She did her homework, carefully chose a care provider who would support her wishes, and hired a doula to help her and Chris through childbirth. That’s me, and this is your birth story from my perspective.

When I met Betsy, she shared her experience with Madeline’s birth. There was still a lot of disappoinment and sadness surrounding those memories. We focused on getting her as ready and prepared for a good Vaginal Birth After Cesarean this time. She did her reading, took a class which helped her and Chris learn ways to cope with labor, and talked to me and her care providers about what she needed this time. She was doing all the right things to line herself up for a successful birth!

We patiently awaited signs of your arrival. Betsy was eating well, doing her exercises and stretching, and knew you’d come when you were ready. We knew you would not be a “small thing”– but hoped you wouldn’t wait too much past your due date to come.

Things started around midnight on your exact due date! Betsy started noticing some regular contractions that felt different from all those Braxton Hicks she had been experiencing for weeks. By 2:30am they were anywhere from 6-10 minutes apart, and were lasting 90 seconds. She called me for my advice– knowing they were a good distance from the hospital, should she go in? After chatting with her on the phone, listening to her “talk through a contraction”, I recommended she wait til they were much stronger, and were taking more of her full attention.

By 6am she called again and merely said “I’m ready.” I could hear in her voice she was working through the contractions now… I didn’t have to ask how far apart they were or anything. She said she was shaky and feeling a little nauseous– a good sign. I said I’d meet them there.

I was already in front when they pulled up at 6:35am on Sunday 9/16/12. I ran upstairs to get a wheelchair and helped them get into labor and delivery. Betsy informed me her water broke in the car just as they pulled up, and her contractions were strong, steady, and long. She was doing beautifully but definitely had to stop and breathe through them. The nurses prepared to put her in a “triage” room– I mentioned her water had broken, and they said “Oh that changes things”… so we headed directly to Labor Room 3 and got settled.

Betsy has spoken to Dr. Sebestyan on the phone on the way in. She was not in the hospital so asked our nurse, Nina to do the exam. At 7:05am Betsy was already 8-9 cm, her cervix was thin and the baby’s head was well applied– that was amazing news!! I was so excited Betsy had done exactly what she had wanted– spent most of her labor at home and showed up when it was really time to have a baby! I told Chris to go ahead and move the car and to hurry back!

Meanwhile the nurses had to get Betsy admitted to the hospital. They made various attempts to draw her blood and get her IV set up– unsuccessfully. Meanwhile Betsy was working hard, vocalizing and trying to stay relaxed through the contractions, which were coming every 2-3 minutes and very powerful. She even started gently bearing down and indicated she was feeling the beginning urges to push. We kept her calm, encouraged her, and offered a sip of water here and there. She was a little queasy, so I placed a washcloth with some peppermint oil under her nose to ease that. At some point the nurses “realized” she was a VBAC and rushed around, getting the right consent forms to sign… Betsy hardly looked at them, focusing just on labor.

Dr. Sebestyan arrived at 7:30am and did an exam– she was “almost there”– just a slight lip on one side, and the baby was at 0 station. She encouraged Betsy to go ahead and push a little to move cervix out of the way… Chris was way off in the corner- I teased him it was ok to come out, this was his baby too!

Betsy had great control and pushed very effectively. By 8am Dr. Sebestyan checked again and said she had already moved the baby down to +2 station– it was looking great for a vaginal delivery!

Simon, you were looking great the whole time– your heart rate was steady and strong. Dr. Sebestyan asked to have anesthesia come in and at least set up an IV just in case– Betsy was a little dehydrated and being a VBAC they needed a line hooked up in case of emergency. Finally that was done and we could focus just on pushing!

Betsy was doing great but I asked her if she thought the squat bar might help to have something to “push against”– she ended up using it as a leverage for her legs, which brought you right on down. By 8:35am, we could see your head “right there” and Nina had to ask you to STOP pushing so she could get Sebestyan back in for delivery!

It took a few moments, but once everything was ready, we encouraged Betsy to push again, and your head gently emerged, followed by your body– at 8:41am. Everyone remarked what a big guy you were! You were placed immediately onto your mama’s belly, where she could touch and hold you for the first time! She was so relieved and joyful, Chris was in total awe of what he just saw! I took a few pictures, to capture those moments, of your parents meeting you for the first time. After Chris cut the cord, the nurse asked “Do you want to know how much he weighs?” and Betsy said sure… You were a whopping 9 lbs 9 oz!! A full 12 oz larger than your sister, a 14 inch head, and 21 ¼ inches long. You had the biggest feet I have ever seen!

You were returned quickly to enjoy some skin to skin snuggling with your mom (after daddy snuggled with you for a few moments) After about an hour you finally let us know you were interested in nursing, and after a few tries, you got it. Betsy was so happy, so relieved, and I was so proud of her– she did amazing!

Comments are closed.

Does a doula really make a difference?
Families report having a postpartum doula improved breastfeeding outcomes, increased their confidence as parents, helped them get better sleep, and improved their emotions, including reducing symptoms of depression and anxiety.