When a pregnant woman aims for a VBAC, she also prepares herself for the possibility of a repeat cesarean.
by Junessa Rina Uy-Mendoza
I was aiming to deliver via vaginal birth after cesarean or VBAC but some circumstances arose.
Early labor started on December 11, 2016 at 3 am with 1-minute contractions, every 10 minutes. This lasted up until 7 am. I tried monitoring my contractions again at 9 am and I saw that it is now coming every 8 minutes.
To while away the time, we decided to go to the mall to walk and buy some baby things. At 2 pm, I noticed that the contractions have become closer together, now 5 minutes apart. I contacted my doulas, Doula Velvet and Doula Ros, and called them about my current situation. I also contacted my OB, Dr. Menefrida Reyes of St. Luke’s Medical Center, Quezon City.
We arrived at St. Luke’s at around 5 pm. They performed an IE and did initial fetal monitoring. I was already at 3 cm. Dr. Reyes instructed the residence on duty to admit me, and I let my doulas know that I am for admission.
We chose to stay at the birthing suite because I want to walk, squat and do some labor exercises and not to be hooked in the fetal monitor. If ever it was needed, I want just the fetal doppler. That is also why I chose Dr. Reyes who is pro-natural and unmedicated birth.
I had dinner with my family and just relaxed at the birthing suite. At 12 midnight, the resident OB performed an IE and we were happy to hear that we are now at 6 cm. My contractions have become shorter and stronger. Wow!
I instilled in my mind that “every contraction is a sign that my baby is coming!” My mucus plug released at 1 am, but still my baby was at station -3. Doc Menie came and asked if she can break my water bag to possibly help in my baby’s descent.
I performed many labor exercises with Doula Ros, managed the sensations through breathing and rested smart. At 4 am, I went up to 8 cm. Great! Almost there!!! This time I am 100% effaced and baby is engaged at station zero! Fast forward to 6:30 am and I am almost fully dilated but the head is stuck in station zero. Sigh!
Doc Menie asked me to lay down on my left side. The head of the baby is still not engaged in the cervix because some tissues are blocking the cervix. She asked me to push hard in the next contractions, and I did with all my might!
Still the head of the baby did not descend. She assessed if she can use an instrument to pull the baby out, to help me achieve my VBAC instead of a repeat CS. But because of the tissues blocking the way, she explain to me and my husband that a CS is needed this time.
My labor has been intense and long, and I and my loving husband, agreed. Our baby Aze came out at 8:05 am via c-section, weighing 3.45 kgs! He was big and cord coiled.
Wooohhh!!! This day is the BRAVEST DAY of my life!!! I can’t imagine that I can go up to almost 10 cm without complaining, without asking for pain medications. With every breath I made, I inhaled the love for my child and exhaled confidence that I can give birth.
At first, this is not the birth story I really wanted because we underwent repeat CS. But this experience will surely make me a better person, a better wife, better daughter for both my parents and in laws and mostly a better mom for my children.
I did a GREAT JOB! I am BRAVE! I did it up to the last minute to the BEST I CAN!!!
Thank you to my birthing team: My doulas Velvet and Ros who always reminded me that I am doing beautiful with my breathing technique and that I am strong, and that I can do this. Doula Velvet coached me on what to do before and during the labor. Doula Ros patiently massaged me to ease the pain and did not leave me up to the last minute of this fight.
To my OB, Doc Menie Reyes, you’re really an angel to us! You never left my side even though my labor was an all-nighter.
To my husband, John Phillip, thank you. Thank you for being so supportive with my decisions and for loving me and our children.
Above all, thank you dear Lord for this beautiful birth experience. You never failed us as You promised.