Birth Story Part Deux

Okay, so if you read Birth – Round One, you know I ended up having a c-section. So when I was pregnant with my second son, my doctor asked me if I’d thought about my birthing options. I just said “Er, I thought I’d have to have another c-section. Isn’t that the rule?” Turns out it isn’t anymore. She suggested I try giving birth vaginally this time. That’s when I started to sweat – well sweat more that I usually do when I’m pregnant which is up there with a Tijuana toilet tank. If I’d had it my way, I would have had a zipper installed where my first incision was so we could just pop any subsequent children out. So I made a deal with her, if she gave me an epidural before I was induced, then I’d give it a try.

[note: My doctor decided to induce me at 38 weeks in an effort to have me give birth to a slightly less mammoth baby than my first son (who was 10lb 1oz. at 41 weeks), thus avoiding breaking me open like party favour. I thought this was a very good idea.]


Twas the Night Before Birthin’

I got my delightful Foley induction the night before I was scheduled to be induced and the doctor on call at the hospital asked me if I had any other children. You know, just making chit chat as he’s pumping a balloon up in my cervix. So I said “Yes, I have a two-year old son. He was a c-section so we’ll see how this whole doing-it-the-old-fashioned-way works” Well, both the doctor and the nurse gasped. “You’re having a VBAC?!” Um, I guess. “Are you sure you want to do that? VBACs can be very dangerous and there’s a chance your uterus may rupture during delivery!! Have you discussed this with your doctor?!”

Are you fucking kidding me?!

Isn’t there some kind of code that you can’t scare the crap out of any woman without underpants on? “Yes, I’ve discussed this with my doctor, she’s the one who talked me into this!” Then in a very uncharacteristic move, I decided that I wasn’t going to panic and that these two could just suck it. I loved my doctor. She delivered me one healthy kid and I have no reason to think she wouldn’t do it again despite what these two unprofessional strangers were telling me. They made me sign a release saying that “I understood that my body could break apart like a wet paper bag if I chose to go through with a ‘vaginal birth after cesarean section'” and I went home.


Once again, the Foley did dick all.

So in I shuffle with my husband and my useless Foley in place at 38 weeks to get my glorious epidural and my baby.

First up is the summer solstice. Did you know every pregnant woman on the planet goes into labor on this day (except for me of course)? There were 12 other babies being born at the same time and, as far as I could figure out, my doctor was the only one there to deliver them.

Second up, the nurse informs me that one of the anesthesiologists is retiring so all the other anesthesiologists are at his party. Um, like a drinking party? Like I’m going to have a drunk anesthesiologist? I’d prefer a sober doctor inserting a needle into my spine so if that could be arranged and put on my chart somewhere that would be great. No, no, I’m assured, they’re just having cake.

After a little while, my anesthesiologist arrives.

He looks sober enough and I’ve felt labor pains before so I take my chances with him. I assume the position of being crouched over a pillow holding my husband’s hands in a death grip and then I feel it. MURHTER FURKIN OUCH! Now, the first time I had an epidural I was in labor. I would have let someone take a shovel to my head if it would have stopped the pain so I failed to notice that a needle in your back hurts. No, no, don’t run away from reading this screaming “I can’t do this!!” You can. It’s over and done with before you know it and then a feeling, that I can only describe as a delicious full-body buzz, washes over you (well, it did for me) and you’re oh-so good. I didn’t care what gasket was going to blow with my VBAC – I loved my drunk doctor and his yummy yummy epidural.


Time to Push

Things are going along quite well and my doctor (who has been around as much as Dr. Meade when there were about 9 acres of wounded Confederate soldiers in Gone With the Wind.) decides I can start pushing. How novel. I haven’t done this before. So she leaves me to check the 12 other women and the nurses have me grab the back of my knees and pull them up to my chest and push while holding my breath. Honestly, who came up with this position? Did somebody research the most humiliating position on earth then pair it with the one that is least likely to work with gravity? Well, winner winner chicken dinner, they found it.


Can I Get a Face Up?

I do this delightful yoga pose that I will call “gasping monkey” for about 5 minutes when I’m told to hold the press. It looks like the baby might be facing up. The doctor is called back to do a little feel around and, sure enough, he’s facing the wrong way. They decide to roll me on my side for a bit to see if he’ll move on his own. This is when I decide that my husband can’t be there. For some reason, I hadn’t really thought of what he would be seeing with this kind of birth and it turned out that I was more comfortable with the thought of him seeing my internal organs sitting on my chest than I was with the idea of him seeing me poop on a delivery table. I said, “I’m so sorry but I don’t think I can do this with you here.” And him, being the brilliant man he is, said “No problem. Whatever you want. I can wait outside if you’d feel better about it.” After a few minutes pondering the fact that he would miss the birth of his son because I had a shred of dignity left, I said: “Okay, you can stay but just keep above my shoulders”. He agreed.


Still No Go

The nurse came back and did a little feel around and decided that the baby shifted and I could push again. Assume gasping monkey. Still nothing. So the nurse, who was kind of smug up until this point decided that I wasn’t pushing hard enough and she was going to get the doctor to see if my epidural should be turned down. Now, I didn’t say anything at the time but if anyone had tried to turn my epidural down, I would have dragged my body out of the hospital bed like a beached Little Mermaid and garroted them with my IV tube. Not going to happen so back the hell off.


Time to Get Out, Kid

My doctor comes back and says “Nope, she’s pushing fine. The baby is still facing the wrong way.” She then looked at the machine that goes ‘beep’ and said: “I’m going to get this baby out of you, okay?” Hell yeah, get this kid out. So she grabbed a pair of forceps (and I suspect a backhoe) and said “PUSH”. She grabbed a hold of him and all his 8lbs 11ozs came into the world.


Bring Me Drugs

The next few minutes were spent putting Humpty Dumpty back together again then all was well. All I could think was “This was the way to go. I felt great and no scary incision.” The nurses asked if this was my first baby. When I said “no” and I was promptly wheeled into the furthest, darkest corner room all by myself and it was glorious. Then my epidural wore off. Sweet Baby Jesus was I in pain. I felt like I had been hit by a truck then run over by a snowblower. After what seemed forever, a nurse poked her head in and asked how I was doing. I said I was in quite a bit of pain so she asked if she could take a look. All she said in her awesome Jamaican accent was, “Oh girl, you’re messed up good. I’m getting you some drugs.” Did I mention she was awesome? She brought me ice, drugs, and something that resembled dinner but I didn’t have to cook it so it was awesome too.


I actually stayed in the hospital a day longer than I did the first time with my c-section. But if I had to do it again (and I won’t) I would say that doing it the old fashioned way is the way to go. I think if they hadn’t used the jaws of life on me, it actually would have been pretty easy experience.

At the end of the day, I had another healthy baby and I was there to enjoy him no matter how mulched up I was. Crack and VBAC are both indeed, whack.

And that, boys and girls, is the end of the birth stories. Hope you enjoyed them.

Topics:Birth, Stories
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  • I’ve had 1 section (breech baby) and 2 VBACS (1after an ECV due to a SECOND breech baby) All gave me healthy babies and all were good experiences. None went according to plan:) At the end of the day, just get it over with and take that sweet baby home so the REAL fun can begin!

  • I had a c-section and a VBAC too! I was never in labor the first time though because my baby was breech and my c-section was scheduled, so labor was a whole new experience for me with my VBAC. Like you, I have no recollection of the epidural hurting because I was a) fairly doped up on far less effective pain meds already and b) in too much pain to care at all. What I do remember is the (male, 60ish) anesthesiologist trying to explain the mechanics of an epidural to me at 3:00 in the morning while I was in the middle of an excruciating contraction, and telling me I could labor epidural-free for a while if I wanted so I could get "the flavor of labor." If I could have done anything other than grip the bed rail and try not to scream, I would have punched that man in the face.

    The nurse anesthetist who actually administered the epidural, on the other hand, was an angel from heaven. He showed up when I asked for him and didn’t try to make much conversation. Of course, I had a brain full of Stadol at the time so he really could have done basically anything and as long as it ended in an epidural, I probably would have been okay with it.

    All that said, the actual birth of my son was pretty cool and I felt really empowered by delivering him vaginally. I’d definitely do it again, but get the epidural up front because I don’t need to experience any more of the "flavor of labor!"

  • I was dying of laughter at some of the things you said and how you described them 🙂 you’re a great writer and congrats on the boys!

  • I am fascinated that you thought the epidural hurt. (Seriously. Not being sarcastic.) Is it because the NONSTOP CONTRACTION OF DOOM made it seem insignificant for me? He even had to reposition it like, three times. But then, I was literally having no rest period between contractions, so yeah, I guess pretty much everything was an improvement.

  • I know this is years later, but you just posted this link on Twitter, so I have to comment:
    I didn’t have a C/S, but my first birth was so very different from my second. Both my kids were "sunny-side up". Unfortunately for me, by the time they realized it for both, it was too late to do anything. I’m apparently a super pusher, because each kid was born within 3 pushes. Like, the doctor almost dropped my 2nd because she wasn’t expecting him to pop out so fast. Did the pain come because of the forceps? I had a lot of pain with my first, but I had an epidural and all sorts of stuff going on because she was preemie. I didn’t have the epidural with my second (though he was over 2x her size) and didn’t experience as much pain. I have to wonder if we experience more pain with the epidural, or if we’re just so used to the pain that it becomes background noise when we don’t have one.

  • Funniest stories I have ever read in my 60 and some years,and so so real and grounded.
    It brought back some vivid memories way back when I had my children and of course I had to share it wih my pregnant daughter ,and every other women that had will have or even thinks about motherhood! Thank you for your true to life stories,I really never loughed so much!

  • I had the same VBAC reaction from the hospital staff. I didn’t get my regular doctor (try not to give birth on a 4th of July weekend) and the scary doctor I had ( sounded very similar to your round one water breaking guy) was very against VBACs. I was told no pain meds and had to stay in bed with a monitor. I ended up with another c-section, during which Dr. Jerk relayed the story of a Boston Red Sox player’s wife whose uterus ruptured during her VBAC. If I ever see him again ( not likely since my baby is 23) I am going to kick him in the balls.

  • "Gasping Monkey" I LOVE IT! I’m preggers with my third right now… and told my husband that if at any point while I was pushing someone told me "one more push" I was going to punch that person- whoever they are- in the face. With both our boys that was all I heard- and for over an HOUR with our oldest. "One more push. Just one more push and baby will be here." Yeah, right.

  • my first was "natural" – they waited too long to give me the epidural, so they gave me a different kind…still got poked in the back and it hurt like crazy cuz i had to sit up and it felt like the baby was between my legs already. i was induced with her and it took me 4 hours to get the kid out. 9lbs 2oz of baby is a lot to push out and i had 3rd degree tearing from it. took me like 6 months b4 i could sit comfortably. #2 & 3 were both c-section and i went home from the hospital with almost no pain. I will take a c-section any day over the natural birth. my 2nd and 3rd were 9lbs 11oz and 8lbs 12oz which is why we went with the csection. planning on c-section for #4 in 10 days and this is my last baby. last checkup i was measuring 39 weeks and still 3 weeks away from my actual due date. P.S. i just found this blog today and i love it.

  • add 33 hours to the beginning of that story, them actually turning down the epidural from a 12 to a 2 (whatever that means. All I know is it means holy-mother-OUCH), and ending up with a c-section because baby would NOT move and you've basically described my birth experience.
    And oh yeah where I live VBAC's aren't an option so no we will NOT be having any more children.

  • LMAO! My water broke this year on the Summer Solstice! I was so excited thinking I'd see my baby girl on my 2nd favorite day of the year (Halloween being first)… I, however, was having a homebirth, so I just waddled around my home for 3 days with water dripping, leaking and gushing out into my super-stylish depends diaper before I finally went into labor at 11 pm. I delivered her that coming morning in my bathtub. She was born on my Grandparents' anniversary/brother's birthday, so it ended up being even more special of a date to me. I just thought this was funny cuz you said everyone goes into labor on the Summer Solstice except you…and although my water broke…labor never started for 66 more hours…so I am right there with ya miss. 😉

  • Oh my lord, is it okay that I was laughing my ass off reading this?
    The "jaws of life" line is oh so graphic and hysterical. 🙂
    I love how every mom likes to share their birthing story. Props to you for being brave enough to do the VBAC thing. I had twins the second time around, so they didn't give me a choice.

  • Gina, if I had to do it again I would do a VBAC. All the nasty stuff that happened with my 2nd birth was due to an inexperienced nurse and my son facing the wrong way. If he had cooperated, I'm sure it would have been a really fast recovery.

  • So BethanyW and PChick, if you could go back and have a "do over" for your 2nd child birth, you would choose VBAC? I am looking at a similar choice. And I got the same reaction from the older dr's in the practice. My 1st birth was via c (baby was breech so a c was "required"). I too had Mr Hotty as an anesthesiologist – scheduled c, no complications, no pain, easy-breezy-lemon-peezy. I am considering a VBAC b/c recovery time is faster but I am not afraid to do another c, esp if I can get the same delivery team – including Mr Hotty. Thoughts?

  • Were you a fly on the wall of my L&D room???
    Difficulty 'getting started' – check.
    Doctor with inappropriate comments – check.
    12 other women giving birth at the same time (during a tornado)- check.
    Anesthesiologist (who I loved) poking my back painfully – check.
    Very experienced OB – check.
    'Gasping Monkey' position – check. (And a second check b/c they made hubby hold one leg while I pushed)
    "Sunny-side-up" baby who was stubborn about turning over – check.
    Forceps delivery – check. (and another 2nd check b/c I also had med students helping)
    Putting humpty-dumpty back together again – check (and why didnt we know about the after-birth pain BEFORE birth??)
    Feeling like humpty-dumpty had fallen apart again after the drugs wore off- check.

  • I had to read this out loud to my husband it was so funny! I had my little one "naturally", poop on the table and all. Isn't the birthing process glorious?? On a side note, the hospital I was at made my hubby leave while I had my epidural. It would have been nice to be able to have someone familiar on the other end of my death grip.

  • Wow! That was slightly terrifying for ME. lol
    I'm pregnant with my second, and even though I did it "naturally" the first time, I am still a little scared and not ready for it again because I feel as if I forgot everything I learned the first time lol.

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