I just read this fabulous story from a mom that I have been in touch with on her journey to Vaginal Birth After Cesarean or VBAC. I asked her if I could share because it is truly an empowering story. I love that this mama knew what she needed and didn't hesitate to advocate for it, even when it meant signing out against medical advice.
In her own words....
I had my 40 wk appointment with midwife on 2 january. I was 2 cm, 50%, and she thought she cold feel the seam presenting OA. She swept my membranes and we discussed 40-42 week management plan.
On the early morning of the 3rd around 2 am, my membranes released. I was having very mild contractions so I put a pad on and tried to rest as much as I could. Around 7-8 that morning, contractions were still intermittent and mild so we ate breakfast and went on a walk. That helped a little but not a lot so we went back home, put away the christmas tree, vacuumed, ate lunch and I decided to call to check in with l and d where I happened to know my midwife from the previous day was on. I told her I still wanted to do early labor at home which she didn't have a problem with. I didn't ask how long ;) but she did tell me once I checked in, the only way I could leave was against medical advice... The entire time after rom, I monitored my temperature, fetal heartrate and movement, drank a lot of water to keep the amniotic fluid flowing, and checked fluid for any odor as a precaution...
That night when the OB's came on, they had the L and D Nurse call to advise me to come in... I was very non committal about coming in since at that point I knew the midwives were gone for the night and that I was on the Docs clock....
Contractions pretty much stopped that evening so my partner and I decided to get one more "good" nights rest and then go in the next morning since we would have been about 30 hours ruptured at that point, and most importantly shift change would be complete and there would be a midwife back again ;).
We got to the hospital around 830, still very mild contractions so I decided we should go for a walk to relax and get mentally prepared. I started having consistent, more intense contractions on the walk while listening to hypno babies birth day affirmations, and after an hour of walking we decided it was time to go in. We checked in around 945, confirmed rom and consulted with the midwife who said "you don't look like you're in active labor" which was pretty funny. We discussed options for stimulating contractions but opted to start with a nst and check. The nst was fine, I was having contractions and baby was fine, and I was 4cm, 75% effaced, the midwife was glad that I had made some progress from the previous day. She advised that I should be admitted with continuous fetal monitoring then asked what I wanted to do. I told her that I wanted to leave Against Medical Advice and keep walking since that had really been helping.
At that point I knew we'd just be walking around the hospital or outside but that I wanted to be moving, so we went downstairs and tried to walk to Starbucks but I could barely make it a minute without having to stop for intense contractions.
We made it to the end of a hallway where I sat and leaned forward on another chair for about 45 min of super intense contraction where I was sweating, nauseous, and completely zoned out. At that point we let our doula, know it was time to join us. I wasn't coping very well with the intensity but my husband just kept reassuring me that I was doing it. At a certain point I started vocalizing with the contractions and involuntarily pushing a bit so I told my husband it was time to go back to L and D.
He got me a wheelchair since I couldn't walk, and I kneeled on it backward as he pushed me through the hospital, moaning with each contraction (i would have loved to see people's reactions to that in hindsight). We got back to L and D and they wheeled me straight back to a room. They helped me undress and get on the bed in a inclined kneeling position where the midwife confirmed I was 10cm with a small lip and told me to keep pushing!
Baby was born 25 minutes later and I got to pick her up put her straight to my chest where she immediately latched like a champ! There was never time to even get an IV started and the nurse held the heartrate monitor the entire time by hand. All newborn procedures were delayed and there was no pressure to deviate from any of the things we wanted like delayed cord clamping and letting the placenta deliver naturally (which it did 21 min later).
The placenta looked great, no signs of infection and she had apgar scores of 9, 9. The peds were concerned about risk of infection and were surprised we were "let" to go so long with rom but our baby passed every check with no issues.
We're home resting and nursing and enjoying quality family time which is wonderful.