Zander's birth story starts way back after Kinley was born. We had an unexpected c-section with Kinley that I was devastated about. There was nothing emergency about the section, in fact I pushed for 5 hours with her, she just didn't want to come. She was doing great and the dr said I could push another hour but mentally, emotionally and physically I couldn't do it anymore. We opted for a c-section before things did turn into an emergency. You can read more here and here.
After that experience I knew that if we were going to have another baby I was going to do everything in my power to have a vaginal birth. I did not want another c-section. I started researching everything I could find about a vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC). When Kinley was 19 months old we started talking about wanting to add another baby. I wanted them close in age, Matt could have waited longer. So we decided to start trying not knowing how long it would take to get pregnant. It didn't take long. The beginning of August we found out we were expecting baby brooks #2. We were so excited.
I knew the first thing I wanted to do was change providers. I was not 100% happy with the care I received at the practice I was at. Not only because I ended in a c section but the overall care throughout my pregnancy I was not thrilled with. So I didn't see any reason to stay with them for baby #2, even though they did do VBACs. Did you know not all practices will let you VBAC? That is crazy to me!
I probably called about 5 practices seeing if they would allow a VBAC. I finally decided on one and set up my first appointment. Their office was close and we would deliver at the same hospital we had Kinley at. Another bonus....it was across the street from our house. We went to our first appointment and were more than thrilled to find out we were due April 15, 2016. I was pretty certain my due date would have been due April 21, 2016 with the notes I hd taken while trying. My due date did get changed at a later ultrasound which I was very happy about. It was extremely important to me to have the correct due date because I knew I would not be able to go over 41 weeks so I wanted to have the date correct.
A lot more research happened by the time I had my next appointment. I became a part of local ICAN groups as well as Facebook VBAC groups. I had found out that Princess Anne had the highest c-section rate in the city. That was very concerning to me. I had also spoken to a few doulas who had suggested we look into delivering at DePaul and switching practices. We actually went back and forth with this decision because DePaul was about 45 minutes away. Ultimately we knew that a 45 minute drive was nothing for the birth experience we wanted, we weren't going to stay at a hospital because it was convenient. So again I switched practices and providers.
At this point we hired a doula to be a part of our birthing plan. Something we didn't even consider with Kinley. Though again I wanted to have everything in place to have the most successful birth as possible. They were there for any questions I had throughout pregnancy and towards the end they were on call for me 24/7. They were a great support through out all of it and if we did it again I would most definitely use a doula again. You can not put a price on having the birthing experience you want. I really stress the you want part because it really is all about being an advocate for yourself and being in charge of the care you receive. I knew how I wanted things to turn out this time, I was going to do my best to make it happen.
We had an overall smooth pregnancy. We did have a scare after our 20 week ultrasound due to a possible heart defect but later found out he was as healthy as can be. I didn't have gestational diabetes this time so we didn't need any additional ultrasounds so we thought. We were told they wanted to do an ultrasound between 37 and 38 weeks to look at his size due to me wanting to VBAC. I wasn't thrilled about it since ultrasounds can be so off but I understood. Needless to say that ultrasound never happened because Zander wanted to enter this world early like his sister.
I had continued to do research throughout the pregnancy and read many successful VBAC stories. I never doubted myself and knew that I was able to give birth vaginally. I knew remaining positive and believing in myself was going to be key in the birth I wanted.
Fast forward to the morning of Wednesday April 6, 2016. I got up at 4:30am to pee for about the 10th time. I walk back to bed and before I get in, thankfully, a huge gush of water! It lasted for what seemed like forever but I am sure it was a few minutes. I told Matt I was pretty certain my water had just broke and I needed some towels. It was the craziest feeling ever! My water didn't break with Kinley so I was in shock. My midwife said we had to be to the hospital by 5pm so we went about our day to start to get contractions going. I knew this would be our last bump picture and our last picture as a family of 3. Our lives would forever be changed.
Stay tuned for part 2 :)