Kerry’s Story – VBAC


Kerry’s Story

       Ian James slid into this world at 9:25 PM on October 12, 2009, after a speedy 2-hour     labor. His big sister, Celia had been born via cesarean section after a long and difficult labor. With Ian, we were hoping for a vaginal birth (VBAC), but knew that anything was possible. We had been preparing for birth with lessons in hypnobirthing with Sara Shelley. Sara had attended Celia’s birth as our doula and also made it to see Ian arrive.

On the day of Ian’s birth, a Monday, I had an appointment with Chris Bontrager, our midwife. It was 5 days past Ian’s estimated due date. I was 4.5 cm dilated and my cervix was soft and ripe. Chris swept my membranes and we discussed my “post-dates” plan, which included scheduling an induction for the following week as a possible last ditch effort to avoid another C-section if I hadn’t gone into labor naturally by then. Despite my dilation, I really didn’t think I’d be going into labor anytime soon, mostly because Celia had been 2 1/2 weeks late. In fact, I had run into the mall right before my appointment to buy a pair of maternity tights and some extra large and wide shoes in case I needed to attend a conference at work on Wednesday!

That evening I felt a little crampy and grumpy. Then, while putting away some of Celia’s clean laundry, I felt my first contraction. It was 7:28 pm. Jim was bathing and putting Celia to bed. I went downstairs and debated whether to go to Safeway as I had planned. The contractions were quickly becoming too strong to do much of anything. I got on the couch and turned on the hypnobirthing relaxation CD I had been listening to regularly in preparation for labor. I listened to the CD, tried to relax, and timed my contractions for about a ½ hour. The contractions were manageable but coming regularly – less than 5 minutes apart – and lasting about 60 seconds. I called up to Jim that he should get Celia to bed quickly because I was in labor!

Jim came down and I told him to start making calls – to the midwives, my parents, and our friends, Nick and Navis, who were going to stay with Celia while we were at the hospital. I had been in labor about an hour. Chris told us to come to the hospital. Our friends arrived just as I was going through transition. The contractions were coming one on top of the other. As we were heading out the door for the hospital my water broke in the kitchen. Then I started feeling like I needed to push. The drive to Shady Grove Adventist Hospital is about 35-40 minutes without traffic. I was feeling like we might not make it and I didn’t want to get in the car. I was saying we needed to call 911. We were in the driveway for a few minutes while Jim convinced me to get in the car. Our friend Nick actually did call 911!

We had a very hairy drive to the hospital. Jim drove with the hazards on, weaving through traffic, and honking at cars to get out of the way. I couldn’t resist the urge to push with most of the contractions as I held myself up off the seat the entire ride. We made it to the hospital in about 30 minutes, got a wheelchair, and raced to the maternity wing. It was like a scene out of a TV show, as we were raced to a labor and delivery room with people diving out of our path. I was transferred to a bed and Chris came in. She checked me and asked Jim and me if we wanted to feel the baby’s head! It was very soft and squishy. I began to focus on “breathing down” the baby as I had practiced with hypnobirthing. Jim and Chris held my legs. In between pushes I was able to rest a little. About 10 minutes later, after about 4 pushes, Ian popped into the world and was brought to my chest. I could hardly believe it! He was so beautiful! — Kerry

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