When I got pregnant this past spring, I really struggled with whether I wanted to attempt a VBAC or just go with a repeat c-section. After a lot of thought, research and discussions with my doctors, I decided that I wanted to try for a vaginal birth and that I had a good chance of success.
To prepare for my birth this time I did a lot of things differently. I listened to Hypnobabies self-hypnosis tracks every night from 30 weeks on, I visited a Webster-certified chiropractor for the last few weeks and followed many optimal fetal positioning techniques to avoid a posterior baby. I drank cup after cup of red raspberry leaf tea, avoided negative birth stories/people and just tried to have a general positive outlook for the birth.
Hypnobabies prepares you for a natural drug-free delivery, but when I mentioned not getting an epidural to one of my doctors, they weren't very supportive. They basically mandated continuous monitoring, an IV and when I was ready, an epidural. I was initially upset by this, but since my main goal was healthy baby/mommy first and then a VBAC, I focused on that outcome, and didn't dwell on having to have a natural birth. I did plan on waiting until I was pretty far into active labor before I got to the hospital so I didn't have time to get an epidural or at least be far enough that it wouldn't slow my labor down.
Okay, fast forward to 39 weeks. I started losing my mucous plug on Dec. 18, a week before my due date. I knew that this could mean something or nothing. I also began a pattern of having contractions every other night that kept waking me up but never amounted to anything. Some nights they would be 10 mins apart for 3 or 4 hours. Never painful enough to get out of bed or wake up Neil, but enough to not be able to ignore completely. I hoped that those contractions were beginning to dilate me, but by my appt. on Dec 23, I was still 1cm and not effaced at all. I was very discouraged at that appointment as I set up an ultrasound for Dec. 30 and began to talk about c-section dates. I started to think I was going to go very overdue again and be walking into another c-section.
Once Christmas Eve came, I was happy not to be having a baby so I could enjoy the holiday! My mom and I were busy with food and gift preparations and getting everything ready for Christmas Eve appetizers and Christmas Day meals. We had a wonderful Christmas morning opening gifts with Lila, my parents and brother and his fiancee. That night, after we got Lila to bed we watched a movie with my parents (We Are the Millers) and I bounced and did circles on my birth ball for 2 hours and laughed! I think that started everything!
That night I had contractions overnight again, from 2-6am about every 10 mins. But again when I woke up, they were gone. I was starting to get disappointed that I was now officially overdue. Mom and I decided to get Lila out of the house and we did some after-Christmas shopping and returns that morning at Target, TJ Maxx and Ulta. I felt totally normal just very pregnant.
When we got home, I started noticing lots of pink-tinged mucous every time I went to the restroom. I had some back pain but nothing bad. I ate some leftovers for lunch and decided to take a bath. I remember lamenting to my mom how I was upset to be past my due date, since I was kind of hoping to go early this time. She said, "Well you are only 12 hours overdue!"
At 1pm, I took a HOT bath and visualized how my birth would go. I talked to Rosie and told her I was ready to meet her. I completely visualized how my labor would progress and the feeling of her being placed on my chest and hearing her cry for the first time.
Around 2pm, I was getting ready to take Lila up for her nap. I decided to stretch out my back by doing some cat/cow stretches. As I was stretching, I felt and heard a pop! I got up and I said to my mom, "I think my water just broke!" I went to the restroom and I had a lot of mucous plug, streaked with blood, and some water that trickled. I put on a pad and came back out and put Lila down for her nap. I thought that if this was the real thing, I'd be happy to have spent that time with her...
Read Part 2.