The Second Perfect Vaginal Birth After C-section: The VBAC Birth of Gina Marie! by Shel Franco
The induction starts at 6 a.m. I am 37 weeks pregnant, 1 cm dilated and 60 percent effaced, hooked up to a Pitocin drip and hugged by the fetal monitor. I wait for those first contractions. I chat with my husband and doula, doze off a few times and worry that this birth will end up like my first induction – with a 10-pound, 6-ounce Cesarean baby.
The nurse asks how many contractions I feel. “Nothing,” I say. The doctor checks my progress. “Nothing,” he says. It’s noon. I’m depressed. Sunlight starts to stream through the window. I move to the rocker and feel rejuvenated and more at peace. At 3 p.m. my doc returns for another vaginal exam – 3 cm and 80 percent effaced. He breaks my water bag. I am at the point of no return. If nothing happens, a C-section is certain.
I sway on my birth ball. My doula massages my hands and places a soft bag of warm lavender on my neck. The nurse talks softly to me. A childbirth pep rally at its finest. At 5 p.m. I am 5 cm and 100 percent effaced, but still nothing.
Then I have a contraction. It hurts. I ask for an epidural. I beg, actually. “It’s too late,” my doctor says. “You’re going to have a baby.” I’m not ready. I feel the baby move down. I have to push. I’m not ready. I push. I ask for pain relief. “Why is pushing so hard for me?” I ask. He says, “Because it’s the only part you feel.” He is right.
Then her head is out. Her body is out. The most perfect moment of my life. I barely notice the second-degree tear. She is just too beautiful. All those moments of nothing finally turned into something – 8 pound, 14 ounce Gina Marie. The answer to my heart’s wildest dreams.