Not According to Plan

Photo Credit: Ashley Navarro

Things didn’t go exactly as planned but after 43 long hours of labor, I got my VBAC!!

From the get go with this pregnancy I was on top of “all the things”.  I ate 6 dates a day, drank Red Raspberry Leaf Tea, took a hypnobabies course, took a mama natural course, saw a pelvic floor therapist, acupuncturist, Webster certified chiropractor, found an incredibly supportive midwife, and hired a doula. I felt so prepared and ready to conquer labor naturally, unmedicated.

I started early labor spontaneously Tuesday at 8:30pm when I was 41 weeks 2 days (after giving up hope that my body would do it on its own). I saw my midwife the next morning and opted for a sweep and a check, I was 3-4cm and 50% effaced. I went home and contractions started getting stronger and longer through out the day/night. We live about an hour from the hospital so I decided to go in around 10:30 on Wednesday, once labor progressed to having contractions every 3 minutes lasting a minute long. When I arrived around 10:30pm I was 6 cm and 100% effaced, water was still intact but bulging. My doula arrived about midnight and after we got there we started working on positions/movements. I got checked again around 2am and they said I was still at 6 cm. My doula suggested we rupture the water so we can keep progressing, once we did that things got super intense. Contractions were way worse and harder to handle, I was losing energy as I hadn’t slept in over 24 hours. I was screaming, cursing, and in excruciating pain I thought there’s no way I can make it to transition if it meant it was going to get worse. I was checked again and was at 7cm, I begged for the epidural so I could at least rest and have energy for pushing. The epidural was placed around 3am and I was able to sleep for 3 hours (just what I needed). I got checked again at 6 am and was 8 cm, baby was at 0 station. My midwife and doula suggested pitocin but I was already accepting more interventions than I was comfortable with so I held off to wait to talk to the next midwife on call (my absolute favorite midwife). Once she came in we talked over the options, and decided to give it some time to see if I could progress on my own. I asked them to turn down the epidural so I could get moving and let gravity work for me. They checked my again around 9 am and I hadn’t progressed much, my contractions were slowing down (thanks epidural 🙄). So we decided to start Pit, low and slow. I kept thinking in my head how I had fallen down the rabbit hole of interventions and was losing hope that this would happen. Thankfully my midwife was so so patient and never once lost hope in me. Through the whole process I kept moving in bed, getting on hands and knees, inversions, squat bar, flying cowgirl, exaggerated side lying. If you decide to get the epidural, make sure they lower it so you can still feel your legs and contractions. I felt like without doing this I wouldn’t have been able to progress as well. Around noon I was almost complete but had a small anterior cervical lip, so we kept moving and then finally around 1 pm I was complete. I pushed for 2 hours and he was born at 3:23pm.

My intention was to decline all interventions until 42 weeks and have a completely unmedicated VBAC, but sometimes things do not go as planned. I am so so happy with this birth, it was a night and day experience compared to my first birth. I felt heard, I felt like I had a voice. This is your sign that you own your body, speak up and follow your intuition.

Birth Story shared by Ashley Navarro

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Sarah Ziroll

Sarah Ziroll