Evelyn's Birth Story (Rachel's VBAM - Myomectomy)

Baby's Name:  Evelyn Lock
Stats:  7lb 6oz, 19.75 inches.

August 3rd 2011

Evelyn's birth story began two years previous when I elected to have myomectomy surgery to remove a grapefruit+ sized fibroid because prego hormones can make them grow bigger and cause complications (plus this is too big for laproscopic removal). It's similar to a c-section except you have a vertical incision. I was told that I would not be able to birth vaginally most likely, but after the surgery the OB said they would let me try. I got pregnant roughly one year later, switched to the UNT midwives and here we are.

I had a weekly checkup with the midwives at 1 day post due. They don't do exams unless you want one, which I didn't. So there were no signs of labor thus far (other than a darker than usual discharge – could it be a mucus plug?). At noon later that day I had a contraction that I knew was more serious than the Braxton Hicks I'd become used to. These continued on roughly every ½ hour for ~ 2.5 hours. I went about my day and took a short nap being sure to eat a hearty lunch just in case. Then they spaced to roughly every 15 min for another 2.5 hours. I called my husband at work ~ 3:30 and told him what was going on, to wrap things up in case he didn't make it in the next day.

By 6pm contractions had shortened to roughly every 6-8 min and I had my first serious labor contraction. We thought things were progressing quickly, so we readied our bags for the hospital while I was still active and able. I tried to eat but was not able to. We called our Doula and Midwife at that point to let them know what was going on. Contractions stayed every 6-8 minutes for a while. They varied between very serious and then there would be one that wasn't so bad. We got into the shower and I stood there for ~ 30 minutes - it was so nice and warm. I was really in labor now! I had previously been in denial as contractions weren't serious at first and were pretty spaced out, but there was no longer any denying it. We planned to labor at home as long as possible, so we wanted the Doula to come over and stay with us for a while before we headed into the hospital to make sure everything seemed ok and normal. I think my husband was checking in with her every so often to keep her posted. Once contractions got to every 4-5 min and were serious, we asked her to come on over ~ 9pm. I didn't want to go to the hospital too soon for fear of interventions, being 'watched' or 'timed' and was even planning on not telling them exactly when my water broke if it broke at home early on. Luckily, it didn't. Our Doula arrived and suggested various positions and sitting on the ball to help baby's position and labor to progress. Contractions continued and got closer together at about 3-4 minutes apart and were quite strong. They suggested now we go since it was ~ 30 min to the hospital. We had called the Midwife earlier to give her a heads up and to request one of the birth suites with a tub be held for me. They finally got me to agree to go at ~ 11 pm and finally got me loaded up ~ 11:30 pm. I rode in the back seat of the van on my knees facing backwards and leaning over the seat with the seatbelt on. I had 9 contractions on the way there. My hubby was telling me to remember our honeymoon biking across Spain and all of the fun we had to keep my mind off of contractions in the car. Once we arrived, they sent us back to the nurse's station and I signed a few documents b/w contractions very calmly. No triage room on my back with a nurse examining me (yeah). We also gave them our birth plan and they put it on our board as our goal. My nurse put me on a 20 minute strip of fetal monitoring with a long chord and I could stay close to the bed or on all 4's in the bed if I wanted. It went by quickly and they took it off satisfied that baby was doing great. The midwife came in ~ 2am and did an initial exam (quite painful) and said I was 5 cm and 100% effaced. Then I got into the tub for about an hour. It was so relaxing I think contractions slowed for a bit and I took a few cat naps. Then I got into the bed on all fours and swayed and did pelvic rocks. Moving around got contractions cranked back up for sure. 5:00 AM I am standing and swaying and starting to feel a lot more pressure. 6:00 AM I am ready to get back in the tub for some rest. 6:30 AM I am out of the tub and our Doula suggests doing some squats and sit in sort of a squat position using hubby as a support behind me. 7:30 AM I am on the bed using the back of the bed for support. Our Midwife comes in to say goodbye and she rubs my back for a few minutes. She says the next Midwife will be in in a few moments. 8:45 AM Our Doula suggests I get on hands and knees because she is starting to think Evelyn is in a funky position. 9:00 AM Our new Midwife comes in to visit, She thinks baby is OP.. which is facing up instead of down.

She has to leave to assist in a c-section, but will be back. We try to do a few things to get her to turn, like sifting with rebozo, turning her every 2 contractions. Doula suggests hubby and I try to sleep in between contractions. I awake with contractions and get a little sleep in between, but they are very strong. 11:00 AM I wake up b/c baby has turned and it feels like I'm having a strong contraction that doesn't go away for ~ 15 minutes. I feel like giving up and am starting to not care what happens, just wanting it all to be over. This isn't like contractions that come and go, it is overwhelming. Our doula suggests calling our Chiropractor (who is also a Midwife and specializes in pregnant women and babies) to come and adjust me to aid in turning Evelyn the right way.

11:55 AM Our Midwife comes in and checks my cervix. She is 0 station 8cm and 100% effaced. Evelyn is still OP. Also she notes that I have a cervical lip and to lean back with contractions to help baby's head move past this. 12:15PM Contractions seem to space out a little, our Doula helps hubby and I get set up with him sitting behind me and leaning back. She then runs to get something to eat and meet up with Dr Crisp our Chiropractor. 12:43 PM The Chiropractor and Doula return to find me sitting very comfortably in bed with hubby and so the Chiropractor works around us. She does Myofacial release and some cranial sacral therapy. Just as the nurse comes in my water breaks with a pop.. it is stopped by the sheet and bedding. They all help me up and leaning over the bed so Dr Crisp can adjust me more. I am very nervous it will hurt (mainly b/c I'm exhausted and tired of being in pain), but it didn't hurt at all. Dr Crisp wants me to walk around a bit and she adjusts me as I walk to make sure it will stay. She actually got the baby to turn around facing the correct birth position!!! 2:40 PM The Chiropractor has to leave. Our Doula starts filling the tub back up. Things are progressing and contractions are strong and steady again. 3:00 PM I walk around the room one more time and then get into the tub. The baby is still kicking and doing well with contractions when they use the hand held monitor ~ once an hour just to check her stats. The nurse was almost apologetic about having to monitor me occasionally.

4:00 PM I am feeling tremendous pressure and feel like pushing. Our Doula lets the Midwife know, but she's still busy with other moms. 4:45 PM I start to push more seriously, but all still in my timing. They start to see a little bit of head, less than a dime size. The Doula runs down the hall and tells the nurse that she is seeing a lot more progress. I continue pushing and the nurse starts to set things up. The Midwife comes in and puts her gloves on. I feel like I need to move a little bit (I've been sideways in the tub, like a spider and my legs are getting sore and almost numb), the doula suggests one knee up and one down and I do that through 2 contractions on each side. Then I go back to laying a little backwards in the tub, sideways. I kept thinking it feels like she's crowning but based on everyone's faces and their casual conversation as I roar and moan through pushing contractions that she's not that close. So I get back on one knee for a couple of contractions each putting everything I've got into it and the midwife finally says, ok turn back sideways it's time to push your baby out. I gave her two good pushes and with the second she says just breath the rest of the way through it baby's head is out. The cord was around her neck and one shoulder was out, but the second was caught a little, so the midwife wrangled her the rest of the way out. What a release! 5:29 PM Evelyn is born and placed on my chest. I can't believe she's finally here, and this labor is over! They let the cord pulse until it is done. She was so calm and alert I asked if she was breathing ok. Once the chord was cut they got me to the bed to birth the placenta and be cleaned up. Within a few minutes Evelyn is placed back on my chest (daddy was holding her while I moved). She starts nursing quickly and very well.

I am so grateful to each member of my birth team and believe that without any one of them (plus our Bradley birth method instructor) things could have gone much differently. What a wonderful, enriching birth experience I was fortunate to share with them and our daughter!