Brandon Michael made his appearance at 6:59pm Thursday, October 1, 1998. He was born via VBAC at home after 48 hours of labor including 5 hours of pushing. It was a lot of HARD work, but I did it!!!!!! His head was acynclitic, he was 10 lbs 2 oz and 23-1/2 inches long and had a 15-inch chest, but HE CAME OUT!!!!!!! It was sooooo amazing watching his head crown and then come out. I got to hold him immediately, Daddy got to cut the cord, we got to see the placenta (we're planted it with a tree), I got to be the first to dress him. MUCH better than my cesarean experience with my first child, who was posterior and 8 lb 14 oz!
I started having contractions on Tuesday September 29th (a day after my due date) but really didn't realize that's what it was. It felt totally different from my posterior labor. They progressed during the night, and we called our midwife at 4 am when contractions were 2-3 minutes apart and lasting 90 seconds. When she got there, I was 3 cm and 90% effaced. She went home.
Labor slowed considerably during the day on Wednesday, but picked up again Wednesday night. We called the midwife again and at 5 am, I was 6-7 cm dilated and 95% effaced. Labor slowed again during the day, but still progressed. At 10 am, I was at 8-9 cm and the bag of water was bulging, so the midwife and I decided she should break it. It worked! At 1:30pm, I was at 10 cm but had an anterior lip. (Boo!) I was ready to die at this point and tried to talk the midwife and doula and dh into going to the hospital. Thank goodness, they didn't let me! The midwife had me get in the tub at 2 pm and she held the lip back while I pushed, even though I didn't have an urge. Soon after, I got the urge and was ready to get to work.
We tried many different positions, including squatting, but he just wasn't getting past that lip. I again tried to talk them into going to the hospital. They told me to try the McRobert's position (supine with legs WAY up to chest) for 20 minutes (at 4 pm) and if nothing worked, then we would decide. Well, it worked. He started coming down a lot faster and easier. I got my confidence back and worked really hard.
They kept showing me the mirror so I could see progress. I recommend this to ANYONE. The more I could see, the harder I pushed!! His head was born at 6:57pm but was slow to come out. Then his anterior shoulder was VERY difficult to get out and the midwife had to assist in the delivery. He was just so darn big and was snug all the way! Those last couple minutes happened so fast! But, at 6:59 pm, he was out and on my chest! I did have a second degree tear that needed repair. His apgars were 8 and 9. No problem delivering the placenta, which was ENORMOUS!
My doula was WONDERFUL! I'm so glad that I had her there and encourage ANYONE to use a doula. She really kept my head on straight and didn't let me give up.
I also have everyone on the ICAN (International Cesarean Awareness Network) e-mail list to thank for all the encouragement and support. Without them, I could never have had the birth I wanted. I recommend homebirth to anyone who believes that birth is a natural process and that our bodies are created to give birth. Had I been in the hospital, there is no way an OB would have let me push for 5 hours or let my labor drag on the way it did. I would have had Pitocin or ended up with a forceps delivery or a repeat cesarean, which I did NOT want.