Artwork

Treść dostarczona przez Meagan Heaton. Cała zawartość podcastów, w tym odcinki, grafika i opisy podcastów, jest przesyłana i udostępniana bezpośrednio przez Meagan Heaton lub jego partnera na platformie podcastów. Jeśli uważasz, że ktoś wykorzystuje Twoje dzieło chronione prawem autorskim bez Twojej zgody, możesz postępować zgodnie z procedurą opisaną tutaj https://pl.player.fm/legal.
Player FM - aplikacja do podcastów
Przejdź do trybu offline z Player FM !

Episode 276 Samantha's VBAC with a Special Scar & Gestational Diabetes

1:08:21
 
Udostępnij
 

Manage episode 400927391 series 2500712
Treść dostarczona przez Meagan Heaton. Cała zawartość podcastów, w tym odcinki, grafika i opisy podcastów, jest przesyłana i udostępniana bezpośrednio przez Meagan Heaton lub jego partnera na platformie podcastów. Jeśli uważasz, że ktoś wykorzystuje Twoje dzieło chronione prawem autorskim bez Twojej zgody, możesz postępować zgodnie z procedurą opisaną tutaj https://pl.player.fm/legal.

We are following up on last week’s informative episode on gestational diabetes with a gestational diabetes VBAC story!

Samantha’s first labor ended in a traumatic Cesarean with her first baby, but she didn’t find out many details of what happened to her until she requested her operative report months later. Samantha found out that she had a lateral scar extension.

Despite this and other odds that felt stacked against her (i.e. her gestational diabetes diagnosis!), Samantha was determined to do absolutely everything in her power to put her in the best position to achieve her VBAC.

And she DID!

Additional Links

Leslee Flannery’s Instagram

Needed Website

How to VBAC: The Ultimate Prep Course for Parents

Full Transcript under Episode Details

Timestamp Topics

2:18 Review of the Week

6:32 Samantha’s first birth story

9:37 Scheduled induction

13:04 Complete dilation, pushing, and stalling

15:49 C-section

22:15 Official reason for C-section

25:15 Recovery

26:57 Second pregnancy

42:46 Labor

52:34 Feeling pushy

55:42 “You’re not going to need a C-section today.”

1:02:39 Finding supportive providers

1:05:53 Prep tips for listeners

Meagan: Hello, hello you guys. It is likely a cold winter morning or afternoon. At least here in Utah, it’s February and I don’t know. It’s not something that was intentional, but it seems like this month we are talking about gestational diabetes. We talked about it last week and coincidentally enough, the story today that we are recording talks about gestational diabetes today. So I’m excited to dive more into that and talk a little bit more about that.

We were talking about this just before we started recording. It’s becoming more common but it’s not talked about enough so it’s probably fitting that we are doing two episodes this month on gestational diabetes. We have a really great story for you today. We have a C-section that was begun with an induction then she got a double-whammy with an asynclitic and a posterior baby. I’m really excited to hear what your diagnosis was on that, Samantha, because I always get so curious when we know we had fetal positioning if we get that CPD diagnosis and things like that.

2:18 Review of the Week

But of course, we have a Review of the Week so I’m going to share this and then we will dive right into Samantha’s story. This was by lindseybrynneohara. Shoot. I always butcher names. It says, “An invaluable resource. I found The VBAC Link shortly after my first daughter was born via Cesarean after a planned birth center birth. My second turned home-birth Cesarean as well. I have found a home in a CBAC (Cesarean Birth After Cesarean).”

You guys, for everyone that doesn’t know this, if you’ve had a Cesarean birth after a Cesarean, please know that we have a group for you too. We know that sometimes after not having a vaginal birth, it can be hard to be in a VBAC group, so we have created this Cesarean birth after Cesarean group and it’s amazing. She says, “I’ve found a home in the CBAC group these ladies put together. It helped me through some dark days of postpartum and processing my unplanned repeat Cesarean. You can find VBAC groups all over the place now, but a group for those mamas who are grieving the loss of their VBAC, they can’t find. Not so much. This is a very special group where I feel completely supported, heard, and respected for a birth I sometimes struggle to call mine and my baby’s. I am now diving into all of the VBAC after two Cesarean and VBAC after multiple Cesarean content from over the years and I am finding so much comfort and hope in these brave women who have come before me. I just have this strong feeling I will get to be one of them.”

Ooh, that just gave me the chills.

“I hope to share my story with you when that day comes. I’m learning so much about birth and myself as a birthing woman. I thought I was informed for the first time, but there are so many layers of understanding past births and planning for future births especially when C-section is involved. Thank you for the well-researched evidence-based content and special stories.”

Wow. That review literally gave me chills and made me emotional. You guys, when Julie and I– Samantha can see my eyes. No one else can, but really, they are tearing up. When Julie and I created this group and this podcast and this course, this is why we did it– to help people feel exactly how she was describing. To feel loved, to feel heard, to find a place of education, and to understand that you’re not alone because sometimes it can feel so lonely. Just so lonely.

So thank you for that review. I am literally crying. Thank you for that review from the bottom of my heart. As you can see and as you know, we love reviews. They truly make everything that we do. It warms our hearts. It helps people just like you find this podcast. It helps people find the course so they can find the information and it helps people find that Facebook group. You can leave it on Google. You can leave it on Apple Podcasts. You can leave it on social media. You can leave it on Facebook. Message us. Wherever. If you love The VBAC Link and you have something to share, please let us know because we absolutely from the bottom of our hearts love it.

6:32 Samantha’s first birth story

Meagan: Okay, Samantha. Now that I’m trying to soak back up the tears that wanted to flow, I mean, I don’t know. Yeah. Sorry for being so vulnerable here.

Samantha: No.

Meagan: Wow. That just touched my heart. But now that I can see the screen again, I would just love to turn the time over to you. And also, thank you for being here with us.

Samantha: Thank you so much for having me. I’m so excited. This is my second goal after getting a VBAC. I need to be on The VBAC Link’s podcast.

Meagan: Oh.

Samantha: But same thing as the review was saying, it’s an invaluable resource. I had no clue what I didn’t know going into my first birth, 100%. My story starts in 2020, I guess. I found out I was pregnant in August on my birthday, actually, I found out.

Meagan: Happy birthday to you!

Samantha: That was so exciting. My pregnancy went super well. I had a bit of leg pain at some point, but I was seeing a pelvic floor physio. She fixed me up really well and everything was perfect. I had an anterior placenta so I learned a little bit about that, but it shouldn’t have been a problem so it was fine.

I was due May 7. That was the due date that they gave me. I don’t think it was necessarily accurate. I think I was due a little bit later. I think the 11th or 12th. I was tracking ovulation and stuff like that. So at 39+5, I had my doctor’s appointment. He sent me for a growth ultrasound. Had I known what I know now, I would have said, “Nope. No, thank you.”

8:19 Blurry vision and feeling off

But he was estimated at being 7 pounds, 10 ounces. Then the week after, Tuesday night, I had this weird episode I want to call it. I was sitting on the couch and all of a sudden, my vision got blurry. I ended up with a headache and I was waiting to see if I should go in or not. I felt off. In the end, I went into labor and delivery because it was the height of COVID. I didn’t want to go to the emergency room and all of my symptoms had subsided by then. They thought it was an optical migraine.

He said, “Look. We can’t do anything for you. You’re having some contractions. Nothing crazy.” I wasn’t feeling anything, so they were like, “Look. You have your doctor’s appointment tomorrow. Just talk with them.”

Meagan: Talk to them there.

Samantha: Yeah.

So the next day I went in and he was like, “Oh, it was probably just an optical migraine. You’re fine now, so whatever.”

Meagan: I’ve actually never heard of that.

Samantha: Right?

Meagan: Optimal–

Samantha: Optical, like in your eyes.

Meagan: Optical. Interesting.

Samantha: Strange. But it put me a little bit on edge so that’s why I’m telling that part of the story.

Meagan: Yeah, set the story.

Samantha: He told me, “You’re almost 41 weeks. It means you’re overdue.” I’m like, “Okay.” He’s like, ”The rate of stillbirth goes way up now.” I was like, “Oh, jeez.” Of course, that puts fear right into your heart.

9:37 Scheduled induction

He’s like, “We’re going to schedule the induction. It’s going to go great. It’s going to be amazing. You’re going to have your baby in the next few days.” He’s like, “Look. We’re really booked next week so I’ll set you for Thursday. Thursday, first thing in the morning, come in.” They call me. They were like, “We are ready for you.” I got there at 9:00 AM.

The plan was to put a Foley bulb in, but the doctor who was on rotation at that time came in and said, “You’re already 2 centimeters. It’s not worth doing the Foley bulb at this point. We’re just going to start you on some Pitocin if that’s okay with you.” I was like, “Okay. Whatever you say. I trust you. You are a doctor.” Had I known.

Anyway, we stayed in that room until 5:00 PM that night because they didn’t have a room to start Pit yet. So from 9:00 AM until 5:00 PM, I was just sitting there having random contractions that I never felt and wishing. I had a gut feeling. I told my husband, “We shouldn’t be here. I shouldn’t be induced. This is not what I want to do.”

Meagan: Oh really?

Samantha: But I didn’t know I could leave. I didn’t know that it was a thing.

Meagan: Women of Strength, it’s a thing. It’s a thing. You do not have to be there.

Samantha: There was nothing abnormal about the baby’s heartrate. There was nothing going on. They did a mini ultrasound just to check his position. He was head down. That’s all I knew really. I was at a -2 station. I was 60% effaced, 2 centimeters. Everything was fine. My body was fine. He was fine.

We started Pit at 5:00 PM, but they were ramping it up quite quickly. I wasn’t feeling anything at this point.

Meagan: They took forever and then ramped it up.

Samantha: Yeah, they were like, “Hello, welcome.”

Finally, they broke my waters the next morning at 6:00 AM.

Meagan: Do you know what dilation or what station you were at that point?

Samantha: I was around 3.5 centimeters at that point.

Meagan: Okay.

Samantha: Yeah. They were like, “You’ve progressed a little bit, but you are not moving fast enough for us.” Okay, cool.

Meagan: Oh, so they broke the water real early.

Samantha: Yeah, because they checked me at 1:00 AM and he said that baby was still too high to break the waters so he was like, “Okay, we will wait until the morning.” I was still the same dilation so he was like, “Okay, let’s do this.” I was like, “Okay, whatever you say.”

They did that, and then all of a sudden, the contractions got real. 100% real. So by 10:30, I decided to get the epidural because they were messing with the Pitocin like crazy. They kept upping it. My contractions were back-to-back. I had no break. It was insane. I was like, “What is this? I can’t survive this.”

Meagan: Yeah.

Samantha: I was 5 centimeters at that point and I was like, “I still have halfway to go. That’s a lot.” I got the epidural and my nurse was really fantastic actually. She got the peanut ball for me, put me in the bed, was rotating me every 30 minutes. She was actually my biggest happiness point. She was amazing.

Then my doctor, my actual OB wasn’t on call that weekend and he had left a note in my file saying that if I gave birth while he was there he wanted to attend because he had seen me since I was 18. We had this really good relationship. So he came to see me and he was like, “I’m leaving for the weekend. Good luck. I’ll try to come visit you after the baby’s born.”

I was like, “Okay, bye. I wish you had been there, but you know, Cest la vie.”

13:04 Complete dilation, pushing, and stalling


Meagan: Yeah.

Samantha: so then at 4:30 PM I was complete. It went pretty quickly from 10:30 to 4:30. I had done the rest of the remaining 10 centimeters, but they said the baby was still quite high, so they gave me two hours to labor down. Well, they said two hours. It ended up being about three.

Then there was a change in staff and that’s when things stopped going well, unfortunately. My nurse had to leave. She said her son’s birthday was the next day. I was like, “No, don’t leave.” She was like, “I was asked to do overtime, but I really have to go.” I was like, “I get it. Go ahead.”

So then this new nurse comes in with a student doctor, a medical student of some sort. It’s blurry because I was at 10 centimeters and ready to push, but things were really awkward between this nurse and the doctor. He wanted to get in there and help and she was like, “No, this is my job,” so he left and then he came back and he was like, “I was told I have to be here.” She was like, “Okay, fine,” so she came and sat next to my head and let him do whatever he had to do. You know, that type of thing. But it was super uncomfortable in the room.

Meagan: Weird.

Samantha: Yeah, it was so weird and I was so uncomfortable. Anyways, so then I started pushing and they told me his station was about +1 or +2, but he never moved in the hour that I was pushing. He stopped tolerating when I was on my right side near the end.

Meagan: Didn’t like that.

Samantha: Yeah. I had horrible heartburn too. I felt like I was going to throw up fire. So fun.

So finally, we pushed for an hour. The doctor on call came in, didn’t even look at me almost, didn’t really introduce herself, nothing and just said, “C-section.”

Meagan: Whoa.

Samantha: I was like, “Excuse me?” At that point, I had a bit of a fever. They gave me Tylenol. They said it could have just been from being in labor and from pushing. I was like, “Okay, whatever you say if that’s normal.” They were like, “But we have to get you to a C-section now,” because he had a decel for 4 minutes at 70 beats per minute. They were nervous.

At this point, the medical student had his fingers inside rubbing the baby’s head to get him back.

Meagan: Yeah, sometimes they do have to stimulate the baby.

Samantha: Yeah. Between every push, he was doing that. Then this one was the final, I guess, they called it there. It was really strange. She’s calling a C-section. She was like, “I’m going to call the doctor.” I’m not sure if she meant the OB or the surgeon. She goes off. The nurse is still getting me to push. I’m like, “How is this an emergency if I’m still pushing?” I was so confused.

Meagan: Baby’s heart rate returned at this point, I assume.

Samantha: Yes, exactly. It was just very strange.

15:49 C-section

Samantha: Anyways, so then they wheel me down to the OR. We had to go to the regular operating room because they only have certain hours during the day from 9:00 to 5:00 which I guess is when they do the special delivery OR.

Meagan: Interesting.

Samantha: Yeah and it was a Friday night, so we went to the regular OR. The nurse and the anesthesiologist were amazing. They took pictures and stuff like that before. They gave me the spinal, then my husband was allowed to come in while they were doing the test cut. I didn’t feel anything so he was allowed in.

Meagan: It worked, yeah.

Samantha: Yeah. They didn’t tell me much during the surgery at all. I don’t even remember meeting the actual surgeon other than them saying, “This is so and so. He’s going to do your surgery. He’s great. Don’t worry about it.” I was like, “Okay. Do what you’ve got to do.” I never heard from this man ever again. He didn’t come to see me post-op.

Meagan: Stop, really?

Samantha: I don’t know who this person was, really. The person who cut into my body never came to talk to me after. I had no clue what happened.

Anyway, so it seemed to go pretty routinely. He was pulled out at 9:13 PM. He was 7 pounds, 10 ounces so what they told me he was a week prior was what he was that actual birth. His APGAR scores were 9 and 9 so he was not in distress.

Meagan: He was doing okay, yeah.

Samantha: Yeah. My husband cut the cord. Everything was fine. Then they brought me to the recovery room, but it was the general recovery room because L&D was closed for the night so I was left alone. My husband took the baby and went to postpartum.

When we got there, the nurses said, “Oh no. Not another one.” Yeah.

Meagan: Like another C-section baby or another person?

Samantha: Any baby. Another person. Yeah, and he was like, “I feel great.” He has all of our bags. I had my boppy. I had his bag. He’s carrying everything. He’s got the baby in the pushing cart thing and nobody is helping him. They just shove him in a room in a corner and they say, “Do skin to skin. Here. Change his diaper. Done.” They left him there for four hours with a baby.

Meagan: Four hours?

Samantha: Four hours and didn’t go check on him.

Meagan: Oh my gosh, I’m so sorry and you were still in that recovery room for four hours?

Samantha: My bloodwork and all of my vitals were all over the place because I had hemorrhaged which I didn’t know at the time. I was shaking uncontrollably. I kept on falling in and out of sleep. I guess they had given me morphine. I was so itchy.

The whole time, I’m just worried because you hear about the golden hour, the golden hour. I was freaking out the whole time because my plan was to breastfeed and I was freaking out. So then a nurse comes at one point and she’s like, “Here. Call your husband and ask him what the baby weighed.” I was like, “Okay.” So I call him and he was like, “Yeah, he was 7 pounds and 10 ounces.” I was like, “Okay,” then the nurse was like, “Okay, give me my phone back.” I was like, “What’s going on here?” I was so confused. It just didn’t make any sense to me what was going on.

So finally after four hours, they brought me back up because I guess the spinal had worn off and my vitals were stable enough that they could move me. I got there at 1:15 AM. I finally got to meet my baby for real. They had only brought him over for a picture. He was on my chest for 30 seconds and they were like, “Let’s go.” That was that.

I found a lot of things after the surgery. I found out I had hemorrhaged because I needed a blood transfusion the next day. I never found out about the extension on my scar until I got my reports when I got pregnant the second time.

Meagan: Because no one came in and talked to you.

Samantha: Nobody. The medical student came to talk to me about the transfusion.

Meagan: And in a controlled– an extension for listeners, she now has a special scar.

Samantha: I got it after and it was because of my pelvic floor physio that I had an inkling of it because I went to go see her and she said, “Your exterior scar is very long.” I was like, “Oh, well they told me he got stuck. He was pretty stuck.” They said they tried to push him up during the C-section. He didn’t really move so they ended up using the forceps in my C-section which I found out from the pediatrician the next day. I had no clue.

Meagan: Really?

Samantha: Yeah.

Meagan: Wait, so they used forceps externally pushing up or with you cut open?

Samantha: Yeah, with me cut open I’m pretty sure because he had the marks on the sides of his head.

Meagan: So that’s where the special scar came from.

Samantha: Yes. They cut me further to get him out and so he ended up with a huge hematoma on the side of his head because he was OP and asynclitic. They told me his chin had been extended as well.

Meagan: Triple whammy.

Samantha: I don’t know what happened to this poor child.

Meagan: The baby was high and we broke waters in a less than ideal position and he came down and said, “Whoa, the flood gates just opened,” and came down in a wonky position.

Samantha: Exactly. It was great.

Meagan: Then we had Pitocin cramming him down there.

Samantha: Yes, exactly. So when he came out, he had that huge hematoma on his head that they told me would resolve on his own. He had a pretty intense torticollis looking back now. In all of his pictures, he’s got his head completely to his shoulders, this poor child so he did chiro and everything for that.

Meagan: Sideways, yeah.

Samantha: And I burst all of the blood vessels in his eyes by trying to push him out so hard. So poor baby.

Meagan: Oh my gosh.

Samantha: Yeah, so my milk took a lot longer to come in because of all of the trauma.

Meagan: And blood loss I’m sure.

Samantha: Exactly. He was jaundiced. He lost more than 10% of his weight because they had pumped me so full of liquid that he probably lost all of the excess weight that wasn’t true weight.

Meagan: Yes.

Samantha: But they didn’t explain that to me so they were all panicked.

Meagan: So in retrospect, he was probably smaller than 7lb,10oz.

Samantha: Exactly. Yeah, and he also had a tongue tie that we ended up revising at 4.5 months after trying absolutely everything not to, but we did it and everything went well other than that. Our breastfeeding journey was a bit tough at the beginning. But, you know.

22:15 Official reason for Cesarean

My official reason for Cesarean was the arrest of descent and fetal distress.

Meagan: Okay.

Samantha: Yeah. The worst part is in the report, they didn’t mention the forceps in some of the reports. Some of them do have forceps in them. Honestly, I don’t know what happened. It was on some reports, some not. It was very confusing, but it did have the extension on there. They said it was a 4cm extension on my uterus.

That’s where the hemorrhaging happened because they hit that nerve on the side apparently.

Meagan: Oh.

Samantha: Yeah. That’s what the doctors at the new hospital where I gave birth to my second told me when they reviewed my chart. She was like, “Okay. This is what happened to you. It shouldn’t be a huge red flag for your next birth. You didn’t hemorrhage just because. There was a reason.”

Meagan: Yeah. That probably actually was nice for you to find out and have that validation a little bit.

Samantha: Exactly. On the report, it said my waters had been broken at 6:30 on the night of the 13th when they were broken at 6:30 AM on the 14th. They recorded it as being 12 hours longer than I had my waters broken.

Meagan: Interesting.

Samantha: So I was like, “Hmm. That’s nice. That’s nice to know.” They never mentioned my fever and they reported that I pushed for two hours, not one.

Meagan: Wow. Crazy.

Samantha: Yeah. I was very upset when I read these reports.

Meagan: Did you have gestational diabetes with this baby?

Samantha: Nope. My sugars were completely fine.

Meagan: Crazy. Crazy.

Samantha: In the moment, I didn’t realize how traumatizing the birth was. I was like, “We’ve got to do what we’ve got to do.” Literally, I said, “Put my big girl pants on. Let’s go.” But it’s when I was going through it in my brain and talking about it that I realized how much it affected me.

Meagan: Absolutely.

Samantha: That was a huge part of my VBAC prep after. I read “How to Heal a Bad Birth”. I did all of that. Yeah. It was intense. And something they never tell you about C-sections– I had the worst gas pain in my shoulder.

Meagan: Oh yeah. It gets stuck up there. Me too. With my second C-section, no one told me that either and I was like, “What? Is this my milk? What is this?” I didn’t know. This was literally what I said, “I want to stab a knife in there to release it,” because it was so strong.

Samantha: Right? I thought I pulled every muscle in my body from pushing and it was just gas.

Meagan: Our body cavities get air after being cut open and sometimes it can get trapped and it travels up to that shoulder.

Samantha: It was the worst so just for anybody thinking they are dying from something when they are just healing from a C-section. You know, it’s fun.

25:15 Recovery

Recovery went pretty well. I was seeing a pelvic floor physio and did a ton of scar mobilization. We were always working on the scar especially because it was huge. It was so long. That was part of my prep even before I got pregnant.

Then at my 8-week postpartum– it’s supposed to be 6 weeks but it was just delayed and it was on the phone because of COVID so that was fun recovering from a C-section not knowing if your scar looks okay.

They had put Steri strips to close the scar and said, “They should fall off within a week.” Four weeks later, they were still on. I wrote an email and I was like, “Do I take these off?” I started Googling and it says it can cause infection. I was like, “Oh, great.” So another thing they didn’t really advise me on so that was fun.

Meagan: They didn’t give you good post-op care.

Samantha: No and we were in a semi-private room. It was just uncomfortable. It was not a great experience. One of the nurses made me cry and it was hard to make me cry in those first few days. I was completely numb and done. I was a shell of a human, to be honest looking back on it, and she managed to make me cry. She came in and she was like, “You didn’t do this. You didn’t do that.”

I was so overwhelmed. I had a brand new baby.

Meagan: I’m so sorry.

Samantha: It was not great. So at my 8-week postpartum appointment, I asked about VBAC. My OB was like, “Yeah, you’d be a great candidate. You got to 10 centimeters. You were pushing. Everything is great.” So I was like, “Excellent.” He was like, “Just make sure that your births have to be two years apart.” I said, “No problem. I have marked it on the calendar. We’re good.”

26:57 Second pregnancy

So then I did end up getting pregnant really easily again. My due dates were a week apart.

Meagan: Oh no way.

Samantha: Yeah, so this baby was due on the 22nd.

Meagan: Okay.

Samantha: Because my son was born on the 14th, but his due date was the 7th but they ended up being a week apart. I was like, “Well, I got my two years. There you go.”

Meagan: So they are 24 months apart?

Samantha: Yeah.

Meagan: Oh, they are. Okay.

Samantha: Exactly. I went to see my OB at 10 weeks. That’s when he sees you. He sent me for an ultrasound early around 8 weeks just to make sure everything was good. I was pulled from work because of COVID and for violent children. I’m a teacher, so we just had to make sure that everything was viable and everything. We did that. I went to see him at 10 weeks. First, he tried to date me earlier than I was. I knew for a fact that I was not again. Again. I was like, “No. We’re not playing this again.”

Meagan: Good for you.

Samantha: I had my appointment with him and he told me. He started saying, “I think your best option would be being induced at 39 weeks. But I can’t make you do anything. But I need you to go into labor spontaneously before 40 weeks if you’re going to have a VBAC.” I was like, “Hmm.”

Meagan: Red flag.

Samantha: Exactly. I had started listening to The VBAC Link at this point so I was like, “That’s not good. Okay.”

I spoke to my chiropractor who was working on my son who had helped him with his torticollis and everything and she said, “The secretary had a VBAC and with this doctor at a different hospital so I’ll text her. I know her well. I’ll text her. I’ll get you in.” She got me in with this new doctor.

I went to go see her and she was like, “Yeah. You’re a great candidate for VBAC. I don’t see a problem.” I brought her my operative notes because she had to wait for them to be transferred. She was like, “The extension worries me a little. I just want you to get checked with a specialist.”

Meagan: I was going to ask you if she said anything about your special scar.

Samantha: Yeah, she did. I made an appointment at the special, I guess it’s maternal-fetal medicine.

Meagan: MFM, yeah.

Samantha: It’s called [inaudible] in French. Everything is in French, so it is at-risk pregnancies. I had to go see a specialist there. I made my appointment. I waited and I was panicking. I was like, “I need to have this VBAC. I need this.”

I show up to my appointment. I waited for five hours then we were told the specialist had to be called for a C-section. I was like “I get it. If I were that person and I needed extra hands, I get it.” But then she told me, “You haven’t even had your ultrasound for 12-13 weeks.” She was like, “There’s no point in me looking at your dossier” or whatever.” I was like, “But it’s not about anything except for my extension.”

She was like, “No, no. Just make another appointment after your ultrasound.” I left there in tears panicking still. I was like, “I don’t know if I can even try for this VBAC. I may just have to sign up for another surgery. We don’t know.”

So I went back a few weeks later. It was about a month later. It was a long time I felt panic and nerves. So then I saw this other doctor and she was fantastic. I literally left that appointment telling her I loved her. She was so nice and evidence-based. She took out files and showed me statistics and everything. She explained my previous birth.

Meagan: Wow.

Samantha: She was fantastic. She was like, “You made it to 10 and you were pushing. The baby was just in the wrong position. You’re a perfect candidate.” I was like, “Okay.” She was like, “And the extension is lateral so it was all in the same direction.” She said, “Same direction or low, we have no problem with. It’s if it goes up that we start looking at things a little bit more seriously.” I felt super relieved after that. She told me the reason for my hemorrhage. It was her who told me. She asked me, “Did they try different positions?” I said, “No. They moved me from side to side but pushing, I was all on my back.”

She was like, “We would have gotten you up on hands and knees. We would have done squatting. Did they try to manually turn him?” I said, “Absolutely not. Nothing happened. They literally left me on my own.” She was like, “We would have tried all of those things.” It really validated my whole experience.

Meagan: Absolutely.

Samantha: She is known for doing VBAC after two Cesareans as well. She is one of the only doctors at that hospital who will do it. She is amazing. So that relieved me a lot.

In between that, I hired my doula from a company called Mother Wit. She was fantastic. Her name was Megan Tolbert so I felt like I had a little bit of VBAC Link having a Megan of my own.

Meagan: I love that.

Samantha: I was seeing a chiropractor every two weeks and near the end, once a week. I did pelvic floor physio once a month. I did acupuncture once every two weeks and near the end, I did three intensive types of get-me-into-labor sessions. I did massage therapy just to relax myself because I was pretty high-strung. I did the dates starting at 36 weeks but that was also with the GD diagnosis. It was rough. I did red raspberry leaf tea. I did pumping and hand-expressing colostrum. I had read how important that could be for a gestational diabetes baby. That was something that was really important to me because I had been separated from my first for four hours.

I was like, “This poor child didn’t eat.” I brought my colostrum with me to the hospital and it can help with their sugars. That was really important to me. I walked every day. I did curb walking. I did Spinning Babies Daily Essentials. I read How to Heal a Bad Birth. I read Birth After Cesarean: Your Journey to a Better Birth. There was one story on GD in that book. That’s why I bought it.

Meagan: Hey, listen. You’ve got to find the stories, right?

Samantha: It was so hard to find gestational diabetes stories at the time. It was really rough.

Meagan: Was there a lot of emphasis on your diagnosis of gestational diabetes? Was there a lot of, “Hey, you’ve got to do this? This has to happen,” Or anything like that?

Samantha: They weren’t as on top of things as I thought they would be because the doctor I was seeing was a family doctor. She was a GP so everything above a healthy, regular pregnancy, she would send me to the at-risk clinic. They were really the ones who dealt with that. She had sent me for just routine bloodwork. My fasting numbers came back borderline so she was like, “Look. Now you’re going to have to do the 75-gram three-hour test, two-hour test, sorry, here.” I did that. I had a gut feeling my whole pregnancy that I had gestational diabetes for some reason. I had no proof. No proof, but it just kept on popping up. It was so weird.

I had a feeling that morning and I got my test results that evening. It was really fast. I did them privately. It was 5.3 so here it is measured a bit differently than in the US, but I don’t remember the conversion. But the cutoff was 5.2. So at 5.3, I was just over but because gestational diabetes usually gets worse before it gets better, they are very safe in diagnosing.

But I never actually got an official diagnosis. I just had the prescription sent to the pharmacy for my monitor.

Meagan: Insulin?

Samantha: No, thank goodness.

Meagan: I was like, what?

Samantha: They were like, “You are booked for the information session in two weeks.” It was two weeks after and they sent you some documents to read over. So I was like, “Okay. This is not enough. I need to find more information.” I spoke to friends. I ended up on a Facebook group called gestational diabetes Canada which was amazing and I ended up following somebody on Instagram named Leslee Flannery. She was fantastic so if anybody needs her, look her up. She is amazing.

Meagan: I’ll have to look her up too.

Samantha: She is @gestational.diabetes.nutrition on Instagram and she is just fantastic. She really normalizes it because there is so much stigma with gestational diabetes. You think that you caused it and she really debunks that. I really got in my head about that and I was really afraid for my VBAC chances because if you end up on insulin, they really want to induce you by 39 weeks so I was panicking which doesn’t help your numbers by the way.

Meagan: It doesn’t. We talked about this in last week’s episode. We talked about cortisol not helping, lack of sleep not helping, and yeah. It’s crazy but cortisol raises things.

Samantha: Exactly and for me, it was only my fasting numbers that were the problem. Those are the hardest to control because apparently, those are the ones that are influenced the most by hormones and by your placenta. So that was really rough.

Meagan: Yeah. We talked about that as well. We talked about choline and certain foods and not cutting things that impact our hormones. It’s this cycling thing.

Samantha: Exactly. So a lot of people are told to cut carbs completely, but what I learned is that if you do that, then you end up spiking your numbers even further because your body takes over.

Meagan: You have to find a balance.

Samantha: It was really intense and all of my chances of my VBAC were going out the window. I was crying at every appointment. At his 20-week ultrasound, the big ultrasound, he was measured at the 96th percentile. I was like, “Oh my goodness.” I left there bawling my eyes out. I could not get a hold of myself for three days. Everything was just crazy.

I redid my bloodwork three or four times and finally, there were no more antibodies so that was just let go. We don’t know what happened.

Meagan: Interesting.

Samantha: Yeah. It was just another scary bump. I don’t know. It was intense. The gestational diabetes diagnosis really sent me for a loop too. I found this pregnancy I was very stressed because I was so set on getting my VBAC. But thankfully, I had my doula so I could send her all of my crazy emails late at night when I was panicking and she always talked me down from that ledge of panic. I also listened to a podcast from a somatic therapist who said that stress in your pregnancy can be a contributor to things like gestational diabetes and things like that. I know that put a lot of pressure on me and reading about the facts of gestational diabetes really made me feel a little bit better about that. It could have been, but it’s not something that you can stop.

It was nice to know that but gestational diabetes diagnoses really are hard when you are trying for a VBAC, I would say.

Meagan: It is. It is which is why we had Lily on last week because we get the question so often. We get the text, “I was diagnosed. Can I still VBAC?” Asking the question, “Can? Is this still possible?” The answer is yes.

Samantha: Exactly. So apparently, there is a spike between 32 and 36 weeks most of the time. That’s when your gestational diabetes will be at its worst because apparently, there is something to do with the baby’s growth. They have a growth spurt at that time and then usually, it tapers out at the end. My numbers all of a sudden just got better. It was a relief near the end. I was like, “Okay. Let’s wrap it up. We’re doing all of the things.” I was doing my birth affirmations. One of them was, “I am a Woman of Strength,” let me tell you.

Meagan: Yes you are.

Samantha: My Hypnobirthing tracks– I did the ones by Bridget Teyler. She’s amazing too. All of the things getting ready. So then that leads up to my appointment at 39 weeks and 2 days. Everything with the gestational diabetes was fine at that point. They told me, “Look. We’re going to treat you like a regular pregnancy. We won’t talk anything until 41 and 4.” My doctor was not a big fan of inductions for VBACs because of the increased risk, but she was like, “Look. If we have to, we will look at it then. Until then, let’s get you to go into labor spontaneously.”

Meagan: Let’s just have a baby, yeah. Trust your body.

Samantha: Yeah, but I did opt for a membrane sweep because I was getting not close. I wasn’t close because I was only 39 weeks and 2 days but I was like, “Look. I want all of the chances on my side of going into labor spontaneously.” I had started losing my mucus plug so my body was doing what it had to do. I had never had any of that with my first son at all.

I was like, “Something is going on.” I started having more intense Braxton Hicks a little bit more often. I was like, “Things are going to happen. We need to do this.”

Meagan: You could feel it.

Samantha: I had the membrane sweep. After, she checked him on the ultrasound. He was LOA. He was head down. Everything was good. So I was like, “Okay. He’s in a good position. Let’s do this. Okay.”

42:46 Labor

The next evening, I started getting my Braxton Hicks. Looking back, I was probably in super early labor but didn’t realize it because they were starting to get uncomfortable. I’d have to sit there and breathe for a minute. Nothing crazy, but I was like, “Huh. I felt that. That’s weird.” I was at my friend’s house and I was like, “Okay. That felt weird. I’m just going to go to the bathroom and go pee.” I came back and was like, “There’s a bit of blood. I’m going to head home just because I want to sleep.”

I went to bed and then I woke up at 4:43 AM with a contraction. I was like, “Oh. That’s uncomfortable.” I had listened to so many stories about prodromal labor that I was just convinced that this could be prodromal labor for three weeks. I was in complete denial.

I kept on trying to sleep, but they were coming every 10-15 minutes. They would wake me up each time. I wasn’t resting super well. They started picking up around 6:30. I texted my doula at around 7:30 and I said, “I don’t know if I had a bit of a bloody show. There is a bit of darker blood.” She said, “Probably not considering it wasn’t fresh blood,” and all of those things. “But rest. Drink water. Do all of the things. Move around when you need to,” and things like that. It was fine. I said, “Okay. We will continue and I’ll let you know if things pick up or not.”

So my husband got up at 7:45 with my first son and did all of the things. I stayed in bed because my body just kept telling me, “Lie down. Rest.” I could not fight it. I was like, “Okay.” I lay down in the bed. Fine. I didn’t even time my contractions. I was really convinced I wasn’t in labor. It was the weirdest thing. I didn’t eat enough.

Meagan: This happens. This happens where we’re like, “No, I can’t be.” We want it to be so bad, but we’re like, “But it’s not. It’s not.”

Samantha: Exactly.

Meagan: We’re in denial. From having zero contractions from the first that I felt and having just Pitocin contractions, I didn’t know what to think of this. I was like, “They are uncomfortable. They hurt a little, but I’m sure they’re just going to fizzle out and we’re going to be fine.”

So then my first son went down for his nap around 10:00 and my husband had to go to work to drop off his keys because he was changing positions so that was his last day. He went to go say goodbye and everything then he came back home and went downstairs to watch TV and kind of left me on my own. He figured it was better to just leave her alone. She’s going to be fine.

Meagan: Yeah. Just let her do her thing.

Samantha: Yeah. So at 11:55, I texted my doula and I said, “My contractions are still far apart.” I feel like they never got much closer at that point. It was 10-15 minutes, but they were getting more intense. She said, “Okay. Do some hands and knees positioning. Maybe take a bath. Continue breathing. Relax,” and all of those things. So then at that point, I said to my husband, “Okay, call my sister.” She was coming to watch my first son. She was on her way to a hair appointment that I didn’t know she had because she didn’t tell me. She knew I’d freak out, so we called my mom instead. She came.

She was like, “Sam, are you timing these contractions? Is your husband? What’s going on?” I was like, “No. I haven’t actually taken out my timer. I don’t know.” She started following me around with a pen and paper. “Those were four minutes apart. You need to leave right now.” She was like, “You’re not going to have this baby on the floor at your house. No. You need to go.”

Meagan: Was it active like you were really working through them?

Samantha: 100%. I was moaning. I was trying to do a low moan to try to get through them. She said I sounded like a wounded animal at the end of each one because they hurt. She was like

“You need to leave right now.” I was like, “Well, I need to shower.” She was like, “No, you aren’t showering right now.” I was like, “Yeah, I am.” I had my piece of toast that I took one bite out of. I was like, “Maybe I should eat some more before I go.”

Meagan: Yeah.

Samantha: I was in too much pain to eat at that point so I was like, “Okay, I’m going to shower. It’s going to be fine.” I got in the shower and it was literally the best feeling of my entire life I think. I was like, “Why didn’t I do this earlier?” But I was not in the mind space to do it earlier. Every time a contraction hit me, I had the instinct to get up and walk or sit on the toilet. I think my body knew that those were the positions that helped the most and then in between, I would lay down because that’s what my body told me to do. I was just listening. I was along for the ride.

Meagan: Hey, that’s good.

Samantha: Yeah. So then I texted my doula at 12:45. I said, “I’m going to shower, then we are going to the hospital.” My husband, during this time when my mom got there, was packing his bag because he hadn’t and was getting all of our last-minute things. I had a list like my birth affirmations. I wanted to bring them with me and things like that.

I got in the shower and got out. We left for the hospital at 1:06. It took us about 40 minutes to get there so there was a bit of traffic.

Meagan: There was a drive.

Samantha: Yep, but I was so lucky. I only had about four contractions the whole time. They had spaced out. My body knew what to do, man.

Meagan: I was going to say your body knew what was happening.

Samantha: Yeah. So then we got there. My doula had gotten there about five minutes before us so I saw her at the entrance. This guy stopped to talk to me for two minutes while I was in active labor waiting to go to labor and delivery. He was talking to me about my day and asking me when my baby was due. I was like, “Today.”

Meagan: You’re like, “Right now.”

Samantha: I don’t think he realized, but then I met up with my doula and I had a contraction on the way while we were walking. A guy passed by like, “Uh-oh.” I think he realized and put two and two together.

So then we got there and went to the front desk. He was doing his paperwork going all slow and whatever then I had another contraction and he said, “Oh.” He got up and he walked away real fast and so they got me to triage and the woman, the nurse who came to check me said, “Look. We’re going to check you really quickly and see where you are at, but I think you are going to be going to a room right away.”

My sister-in-law had given birth at the same hospital two weeks before me and she showed up at 3 centimeters in a lot of pain. I was like, “If I am at 3 centimeters right now, I don’t know if I can do this.” But I got in my head. I was like, “I’m going to be super low dilation.”

Meagan: Those numbers, they mess with us and they really don’t mean anything, but man, they impact us quite a lot.

Samantha: Yeah. I remember saying that to my doula. I was like, “If I’m at 3, I’m going to scream and then get the epidural. I can’t continue like this.” The woman was checking me and I’m waiting and I was like, “So?” She was like, “You’re an 8.” I said, “Oh my gosh.” I was like, “I can do this.” It gave me a new spunk. I was like, “I’m ready. Let’s go.” So they put me right into a room and they apologized. They were like, “We have to get everything ready,” so they were bustling around. They turned down the lights. They got me a yoga ball and all of those things. They were like, “Look, we’re really sorry to be in here. We’re going this as fast as possible then we will leave you alone.”

They never even saw my birth plan because we got there at 8 centimeters and there was no time, but they wanted to put in the IV and my doula said to them, “Look, does she need an IV?” They said, “We just want the port at the very least.” I guess just the saline lock.

Meagan: The hep lock?

Samantha: Yeah, the hep lock, sorry. They did that and they wanted to monitor the baby’s heart rate. Those were the two conditions that they wanted to have. Because I was so far along, it didn’t really bother me. I didn’t want to fight that fight. It was not something that was worth it to me. I was like, “Cool.”

I was laboring standing up next to the bed, then the doctor came in and said she wanted to do her own checks so that she had her own line of where things were I guess. So she checked me and by then, I was already 9 centimeters. I had already gone up another centimeter.

But what’s funny is I guess I went through transition at some point, but I don’t know that it was. Everyone always says that transition is crazy. I didn’t have that.

Meagan: Maybe you went in the car with distractions and stuff.

Samantha: Yeah. In between contractions in the car, I was falling asleep. I was so tired. I don’t know. Transition was not that bad for me, so I was lucky for that. So then the doctor said, “Look. Your bag of water is bulging. We can either break it artificially or we can wait and see when it breaks by itself.” I said, “Okay, let me wait.”

She left and I continued laboring and I was like, “You know what? We are at this point. I’m 9 centimeters. They couldn’t tell me his position yet because my water was still in tact.”

Meagan: It was probably so bulgy, yeah.

Samantha: So I said, “Just call her back.” She was like, “Well, it’s going to get more intense.” I said, “It’s going to get more intense. Let’s do this.” I’m like, “Okay, hold on. I have another contraction coming.” I was on the bed. I turned over and all of a sudden my water exploded. They even wrote it on my report that I saw after, “a copious amount of liquid”. There was so much. So I was like, “That’s good that that didn’t break in the car because that would have been a mess.”

Meagan: Yep.

52:34 Feeling pushy

Samantha: So then they cleaned up. I was standing next to the bed again and then all of a sudden, I felt pushy. I was doing the pushing sounds and my doula said, “Look. You need to concentrate. Tell me if you cannot push.” So the next contraction, I was like, “No, no. I’m pushing.”

They wanted to check me again because they didn’t want me pushing before 10 centimeters so they did do a lot of checks, but I wasn’t too worried considering how close I was to the finish line for infection and things like that because I wasn’t a huge fan of cervical checks going in, but I was like, “We’re near the end. Hopefully nothing bad will happen.”

So they checked me. I was already 10 and he was at a 0 station at this point, but he was LOA. They checked him, so he was in the right position so that was great. I was worried because my contractions were wrapping around to my back at that point, but I assumed that that is probably pretty standard when you’re that low, I guess and things are getting more intense. But I kept on saying to my doula, “If he’s OP, if he’s OP, if he’s OP–” I was so scared that he was going to end up in the same position as my first son especially because I had another anterior placenta. I read somewhere that that could cause positioning issues. I was like, “No, not another one.”

He was fine. That was a huge relief in that moment. Then I tried a few different positions. On my hands and knees, I thought I was going to love that but I hated it. I could not push like that. I ended up on my side. I pushed a lot like that, but I was pulling on the rung of the bed and I don’t know if I was using too much energy like that, but the doctor looked at me at one point and she was like, “Look. I know you don’t want to be on your back, but maybe just try. If it doesn’t work, we’ll try something else, but try it.”

I really trusted my team at that point. They had really been very aware of everything I wanted. They gave me choices. They were really evidence-based, so I was like, “You know what? This is a good team. Let’s try.”

Meagan: Why not?

Samantha: So I went on my back and all of a sudden, my contractions were being used. My pushing was a million times better so I guess that’s what I needed in that moment as much as I really hated to be on my back. I was like, “Maybe this is what I needed.” He descended really well to a +3. I had the whole team there around me. I had my husband up here next to my head and then my doula was next to him, then I had the doctor at the foot of the bed, then I had two nurses on the side and they were so good together. Apparently, they are a team that works together a lot, so they bounce off of each other and it was so supportive. They were always there telling me, “You’re doing it.”

Pushing was so hard for me though. So many women say, “Pushing was really where I felt empowered and like I could do something with the contractions.” Pushing was the most painful thing I’ve ever experienced, so I don’t think I went in there thinking about that.

Meagan: Yeah.

55:42 “You’re not going to need a C-section today.”

Samantha: I was shocked by that, but she also, at one point, said, “You’re not going to need a C-section today. We are past that point. This baby is coming out vaginally. No matter what happens from here on out, you’re good.” My eyes just filled with tears. I was so happy at that point.

Meagan: I bet.

Samantha: They started getting stuff ready at the end of the bed and I was like, “This is a really good sign. This means that baby is coming.”

Meagan: Yeah. Constant validation.

Samantha: Yeah. They were so nice. They offered a mirror which I accepted. Some people say mirrors really helped them. They were like, “Oh, we see his head.” There was a nickel-sized piece. I was like, “No.” I have so much more to do. I found that not super helpful. The doctor– I don’t know how I feel completely about this, but she did warm compresses and stretching of my perineum while I was pushing. I didn’t end up tearing, so I don’t know if that ended up helping for it or not and they poured a lot of–

Meagan: Pelvic floor work before too.

Samantha: Yeah, exactly. I did a lot of that. They poured a lot of mineral oil on his head to try to get him to slip out a little bit easier because I was having more trouble. I don’t know if those things are evidence-based necessarily, but in my case, I didn’t tear. They may have helped. They may not have helped. I’m not sure.

Though they did tell me I wasn’t using my contractions as effectively as I could have been. I guess they said I was starting to push too early in my contraction and then not pushing long enough. They were really trying to coach my pushing.

Meagan: Waiting until it built a little bit more.

Samantha: Yeah, exactly. I mean, at that point, he was having a few decels so I think they were getting a little bit more serious at that point. They told me every time I put my legs down between contractions that he was slipping back up a little bit. They had the nurse and my husband hold up my legs at some point.

I was exhausted at this point. It was 12 hours. It wasn’t super long, but I think because I hadn’t eaten enough or drank enough water. But they did let me eat in labor even though I was already 8 centimeters. They were fantastic for all of those things so I didn’t have to fight that.

So yeah, then at one point, his head was crowning, so the doctor actually had to hold his head in position between my contractions because he kept on slipping back in.

Meagan: Oh.

Samantha: Yeah. It was really intense and the ring of fire when somebody is holding that ring of fire there is no joke.

Meagan: Yeah.

Samantha: It was rough. Yeah, then at one point, the mood just shifted in the room. She said, “Look, if you don’t get him out in the next two contractions, I have to cut you.” I said, “Excuse me? You have to what?” I was like, “An episiotomy?” She was like, “Yes. He is getting serious now.” He had a few pretty major heart rate decels so she was like, “I’m giving you two more.” They got the numbing stuff, I guess lidocaine ready. They dropped the bed down at that point so it was completely flat. I guess she wanted to have a better view of how she was going to cut.

I pushed harder than I’ve ever pushed anything or done anything in my whole entire life and all of a sudden, I felt his head come out. I was like, “Oh, you didn’t have to cut me.” It was right down to the wire. I pushed him out by myself and it was just like, “Oh my gosh.” It was the best feeling in the whole wide world.”

Then she said, “Okay, stop pushing,” to check, I guess, for shoulder dystocia because of the gestational diabetes for the cord and everything. She was like, “Okay, he’s good. Go ahead and push him out.” They said, “Grab your baby.”

I pulled my baby out onto my chest.

Meagan: Best feeling.

Samantha: It was the best feeling in the whole wide world. I cannot describe it. The best. I had my VBA and I just kept saying, “I did it! I did it! I did it!” Everyone was so happy in the room and I had a very, very minor tear in my labia and that was it. It was night and day for my C-section recovery.

They put the baby on me. He didn’t budge from my body for 2.5 hours.

Meagan: Oh, such a difference.

Samantha: Oh my gosh. It was fantastic. He laid on me and I talked with my doula and my husband for an hour and a half until my doula left and then they came in and weighed him and did all of the things afterwards and checked his sugars which they have to do for gestational diabetes. They check sugars four times. Everything was good. It was just fantastic. It was the best, the best feeling in the world.

Meagan: Oh, I am so happy for you. So happy for you and so happy that you found the support and the team and everything. All of the things that you had done did add up to the experience that you had.

Samantha: Yeah. I went into this birth saying, “I’m going to do all of the things so that if I do end up in a C-section again, I know I did everything possible.” I needed that for myself.

Meagan: Yeah. That’s something to point out too because really, sometimes you can do everything and it still doesn’t end the way you want, right? That’s kind of how I was. I was like, “I want to do everything so in the end, I don’t have the question of what if I did this? What if I did that?” Sometimes that was hard because it meant spending more money on a chiropractor and spending more money on a doula. We had to work on that. Sometimes it’s not possible for some people and that’s okay. VBAC can be done doing those things, but that’s how it was for me too. I mentally had to do all of these things to just have myself be like, “Okay, if it happened. I can’t go back and question.”

Samantha: That’s it. You’re at peace with everything you did. It’s funny. The doctor that I switched from, so my original OB, my doula had three VBAC clients all at the same time. We were all due around the same time. Two of us switched from him. We all started under his care and two of us switched. I ended up with a VBAC. She ended up with a repeat C-section but dilated to complete so she was very happy. The third person stayed with him and he pulled the bait and switch on her at 36 weeks.

Meagan: So she had an elective?

Samantha: She ended up with an elective C-section. I was like, “Oh my goodness. Thank goodness I followed my gut and I switched right away.” Intense. Insane.

1:02:39 Finding supportive providers

Meagan: Yeah. Support really does matter. Support is important and in our Facebook group, we have The VBAC Link Community on Facebook, if you go under “Files”, you can click our supportive provider as well and this provider will be added to that list. Do you want to share your provider’s name?

Samantha: Yeah. Her name was Dr. Choquet. She was fantastic. I think I already submitted her name to be added.

Meagan: You did, yes.

Samantha: I loved her and Dr. Lalande was the one I consulted with for my extension who was super and is known for doing VBACs after two C-sections as well.

Meagan: Lalande?

Samantha: Yeah. I also submitted her name as well. Both doctors practice at LaSalle Hospital. It was a further drive, but 100,000 times worth it.

Meagan: Yes. Sometimes it’s hard to go far or you get worried about it, but usually, something good comes out of it.

Well, congratulations again, and thank you so much for taking the time today.

1:03:53 3-5 prep tips for listeners

Before we leave, what 5 or maybe 3-5 tips would you give to the listeners during their prep? What were your key things for prepping? What information would you give and suggest?

Samantha: I would say that the mental prep is 100% the work that I did the most that I think benefited me in terms of Hypnobirthing tracks. We did the Parents Course by The VBAC Link which was very helpful, I found, for getting my husband on the same page. He can tell you everything about VBAC now because he took that course.

Meagan: I love that. So it helped him feel more confident.

Samantha: 100%. He was pretty on board from the beginning, but it just solidified everything in his brain. He was like, “These stats. Obviously, we’re going to go for a VBAC.” He was super on board after that for sure.

Meagan: Awesome.

Samantha: Then it armed me with the stats. My parents were very nervous about me trying for a VBAC and things like that so it really helped me arm myself. And just mentally, knowing that my chances of rupture and things like that were so much lower than the chances of actually succeeding in a VBAC so really, the mental prep and knowing that doing everything, I was going in there as equipped as I could be with the most education having done all of the prep work and then you have to leave it up to your baby and your body. Really trusting that and I didn’t think the mental game would be that intense.

Meagan: Man. It is.

Samantha: It is.

Meagan: It is intense and really, it can be especially based on what trauma we’ve had or what experiences we’ve had. There can be so much that goes into it and we have to find the information in order to even process sometimes and work through that and then you mentioned all of the amazing things you did. You did pelvic floor. You did acupuncture. You did dates.

Samantha: I wrote everything.

Meagan: You did it all.

Samantha: And for the dates, I did them with peanut butter and a nut on them to balance the protein and the sugars.

Meagan: That’s my favorite way. That’s my favorite way that I eat dates as well.

Samantha: I broke them into two in the afternoon and then two after supper because that’s when my numbers were the best for my gestational diabetes and I always took a walk after supper so that really helped.

Meagan: Oh, I love that.

Samantha: Because a lot of people, I would hear say they couldn’t do dates because of their gestational diabetes but as long as you can balance your numbers, it’s still a possibility so that’s helpful and just finding all of the information about gestational diabetes was tough to find, but really important for my mental game as well.

Meagan: Yeah. Absolutely. Oh, I love those tips. Thank you so much again and congrats again. We will make sure that we get your docs added to and your doula and everybody added to the list so people can find them because support is a big deal. It’s a really, really big deal.

Samantha: And thanks to The VBAC Link. Honestly, the only sad part is that there is not much of Canada that is covered yet, so finding my alternatives that way, but everything else was covered by The VBAC Link 100%. I tell everybody about The VBAC Link. The other day, I went for my COVID shot and I told my nurse– her daughter had just given birth via C-section and she wanted to go for a VBAC. I was like, “Get her a doula through The VBAC Link.”

Meagan: Oh, that’s amazing. I love that. Thank you so much.

Samantha: Thank you so much for everything you do. It was a game changer, 100%. Absolutely.

Closing

Would you like to be a guest on the podcast? Tell us about your experience at thevbaclink.com/share. For more information on all things VBAC including online and in-person VBAC classes, The VBAC Link blog, and Meagan’s bio, head over to thevbaclink.com. Congratulations on starting your journey of learning and discovery with The VBAC Link.

Our Sponsors:
* Check out Dr. Mom Butt Balm: drmombuttbalm.com
Support this podcast at — https://redcircle.com/the-vbac-link/donations
Advertising Inquiries: https://redcircle.com/brands

  continue reading

308 odcinków

Artwork
iconUdostępnij
 
Manage episode 400927391 series 2500712
Treść dostarczona przez Meagan Heaton. Cała zawartość podcastów, w tym odcinki, grafika i opisy podcastów, jest przesyłana i udostępniana bezpośrednio przez Meagan Heaton lub jego partnera na platformie podcastów. Jeśli uważasz, że ktoś wykorzystuje Twoje dzieło chronione prawem autorskim bez Twojej zgody, możesz postępować zgodnie z procedurą opisaną tutaj https://pl.player.fm/legal.

We are following up on last week’s informative episode on gestational diabetes with a gestational diabetes VBAC story!

Samantha’s first labor ended in a traumatic Cesarean with her first baby, but she didn’t find out many details of what happened to her until she requested her operative report months later. Samantha found out that she had a lateral scar extension.

Despite this and other odds that felt stacked against her (i.e. her gestational diabetes diagnosis!), Samantha was determined to do absolutely everything in her power to put her in the best position to achieve her VBAC.

And she DID!

Additional Links

Leslee Flannery’s Instagram

Needed Website

How to VBAC: The Ultimate Prep Course for Parents

Full Transcript under Episode Details

Timestamp Topics

2:18 Review of the Week

6:32 Samantha’s first birth story

9:37 Scheduled induction

13:04 Complete dilation, pushing, and stalling

15:49 C-section

22:15 Official reason for C-section

25:15 Recovery

26:57 Second pregnancy

42:46 Labor

52:34 Feeling pushy

55:42 “You’re not going to need a C-section today.”

1:02:39 Finding supportive providers

1:05:53 Prep tips for listeners

Meagan: Hello, hello you guys. It is likely a cold winter morning or afternoon. At least here in Utah, it’s February and I don’t know. It’s not something that was intentional, but it seems like this month we are talking about gestational diabetes. We talked about it last week and coincidentally enough, the story today that we are recording talks about gestational diabetes today. So I’m excited to dive more into that and talk a little bit more about that.

We were talking about this just before we started recording. It’s becoming more common but it’s not talked about enough so it’s probably fitting that we are doing two episodes this month on gestational diabetes. We have a really great story for you today. We have a C-section that was begun with an induction then she got a double-whammy with an asynclitic and a posterior baby. I’m really excited to hear what your diagnosis was on that, Samantha, because I always get so curious when we know we had fetal positioning if we get that CPD diagnosis and things like that.

2:18 Review of the Week

But of course, we have a Review of the Week so I’m going to share this and then we will dive right into Samantha’s story. This was by lindseybrynneohara. Shoot. I always butcher names. It says, “An invaluable resource. I found The VBAC Link shortly after my first daughter was born via Cesarean after a planned birth center birth. My second turned home-birth Cesarean as well. I have found a home in a CBAC (Cesarean Birth After Cesarean).”

You guys, for everyone that doesn’t know this, if you’ve had a Cesarean birth after a Cesarean, please know that we have a group for you too. We know that sometimes after not having a vaginal birth, it can be hard to be in a VBAC group, so we have created this Cesarean birth after Cesarean group and it’s amazing. She says, “I’ve found a home in the CBAC group these ladies put together. It helped me through some dark days of postpartum and processing my unplanned repeat Cesarean. You can find VBAC groups all over the place now, but a group for those mamas who are grieving the loss of their VBAC, they can’t find. Not so much. This is a very special group where I feel completely supported, heard, and respected for a birth I sometimes struggle to call mine and my baby’s. I am now diving into all of the VBAC after two Cesarean and VBAC after multiple Cesarean content from over the years and I am finding so much comfort and hope in these brave women who have come before me. I just have this strong feeling I will get to be one of them.”

Ooh, that just gave me the chills.

“I hope to share my story with you when that day comes. I’m learning so much about birth and myself as a birthing woman. I thought I was informed for the first time, but there are so many layers of understanding past births and planning for future births especially when C-section is involved. Thank you for the well-researched evidence-based content and special stories.”

Wow. That review literally gave me chills and made me emotional. You guys, when Julie and I– Samantha can see my eyes. No one else can, but really, they are tearing up. When Julie and I created this group and this podcast and this course, this is why we did it– to help people feel exactly how she was describing. To feel loved, to feel heard, to find a place of education, and to understand that you’re not alone because sometimes it can feel so lonely. Just so lonely.

So thank you for that review. I am literally crying. Thank you for that review from the bottom of my heart. As you can see and as you know, we love reviews. They truly make everything that we do. It warms our hearts. It helps people just like you find this podcast. It helps people find the course so they can find the information and it helps people find that Facebook group. You can leave it on Google. You can leave it on Apple Podcasts. You can leave it on social media. You can leave it on Facebook. Message us. Wherever. If you love The VBAC Link and you have something to share, please let us know because we absolutely from the bottom of our hearts love it.

6:32 Samantha’s first birth story

Meagan: Okay, Samantha. Now that I’m trying to soak back up the tears that wanted to flow, I mean, I don’t know. Yeah. Sorry for being so vulnerable here.

Samantha: No.

Meagan: Wow. That just touched my heart. But now that I can see the screen again, I would just love to turn the time over to you. And also, thank you for being here with us.

Samantha: Thank you so much for having me. I’m so excited. This is my second goal after getting a VBAC. I need to be on The VBAC Link’s podcast.

Meagan: Oh.

Samantha: But same thing as the review was saying, it’s an invaluable resource. I had no clue what I didn’t know going into my first birth, 100%. My story starts in 2020, I guess. I found out I was pregnant in August on my birthday, actually, I found out.

Meagan: Happy birthday to you!

Samantha: That was so exciting. My pregnancy went super well. I had a bit of leg pain at some point, but I was seeing a pelvic floor physio. She fixed me up really well and everything was perfect. I had an anterior placenta so I learned a little bit about that, but it shouldn’t have been a problem so it was fine.

I was due May 7. That was the due date that they gave me. I don’t think it was necessarily accurate. I think I was due a little bit later. I think the 11th or 12th. I was tracking ovulation and stuff like that. So at 39+5, I had my doctor’s appointment. He sent me for a growth ultrasound. Had I known what I know now, I would have said, “Nope. No, thank you.”

8:19 Blurry vision and feeling off

But he was estimated at being 7 pounds, 10 ounces. Then the week after, Tuesday night, I had this weird episode I want to call it. I was sitting on the couch and all of a sudden, my vision got blurry. I ended up with a headache and I was waiting to see if I should go in or not. I felt off. In the end, I went into labor and delivery because it was the height of COVID. I didn’t want to go to the emergency room and all of my symptoms had subsided by then. They thought it was an optical migraine.

He said, “Look. We can’t do anything for you. You’re having some contractions. Nothing crazy.” I wasn’t feeling anything, so they were like, “Look. You have your doctor’s appointment tomorrow. Just talk with them.”

Meagan: Talk to them there.

Samantha: Yeah.

So the next day I went in and he was like, “Oh, it was probably just an optical migraine. You’re fine now, so whatever.”

Meagan: I’ve actually never heard of that.

Samantha: Right?

Meagan: Optimal–

Samantha: Optical, like in your eyes.

Meagan: Optical. Interesting.

Samantha: Strange. But it put me a little bit on edge so that’s why I’m telling that part of the story.

Meagan: Yeah, set the story.

Samantha: He told me, “You’re almost 41 weeks. It means you’re overdue.” I’m like, “Okay.” He’s like, ”The rate of stillbirth goes way up now.” I was like, “Oh, jeez.” Of course, that puts fear right into your heart.

9:37 Scheduled induction

He’s like, “We’re going to schedule the induction. It’s going to go great. It’s going to be amazing. You’re going to have your baby in the next few days.” He’s like, “Look. We’re really booked next week so I’ll set you for Thursday. Thursday, first thing in the morning, come in.” They call me. They were like, “We are ready for you.” I got there at 9:00 AM.

The plan was to put a Foley bulb in, but the doctor who was on rotation at that time came in and said, “You’re already 2 centimeters. It’s not worth doing the Foley bulb at this point. We’re just going to start you on some Pitocin if that’s okay with you.” I was like, “Okay. Whatever you say. I trust you. You are a doctor.” Had I known.

Anyway, we stayed in that room until 5:00 PM that night because they didn’t have a room to start Pit yet. So from 9:00 AM until 5:00 PM, I was just sitting there having random contractions that I never felt and wishing. I had a gut feeling. I told my husband, “We shouldn’t be here. I shouldn’t be induced. This is not what I want to do.”

Meagan: Oh really?

Samantha: But I didn’t know I could leave. I didn’t know that it was a thing.

Meagan: Women of Strength, it’s a thing. It’s a thing. You do not have to be there.

Samantha: There was nothing abnormal about the baby’s heartrate. There was nothing going on. They did a mini ultrasound just to check his position. He was head down. That’s all I knew really. I was at a -2 station. I was 60% effaced, 2 centimeters. Everything was fine. My body was fine. He was fine.

We started Pit at 5:00 PM, but they were ramping it up quite quickly. I wasn’t feeling anything at this point.

Meagan: They took forever and then ramped it up.

Samantha: Yeah, they were like, “Hello, welcome.”

Finally, they broke my waters the next morning at 6:00 AM.

Meagan: Do you know what dilation or what station you were at that point?

Samantha: I was around 3.5 centimeters at that point.

Meagan: Okay.

Samantha: Yeah. They were like, “You’ve progressed a little bit, but you are not moving fast enough for us.” Okay, cool.

Meagan: Oh, so they broke the water real early.

Samantha: Yeah, because they checked me at 1:00 AM and he said that baby was still too high to break the waters so he was like, “Okay, we will wait until the morning.” I was still the same dilation so he was like, “Okay, let’s do this.” I was like, “Okay, whatever you say.”

They did that, and then all of a sudden, the contractions got real. 100% real. So by 10:30, I decided to get the epidural because they were messing with the Pitocin like crazy. They kept upping it. My contractions were back-to-back. I had no break. It was insane. I was like, “What is this? I can’t survive this.”

Meagan: Yeah.

Samantha: I was 5 centimeters at that point and I was like, “I still have halfway to go. That’s a lot.” I got the epidural and my nurse was really fantastic actually. She got the peanut ball for me, put me in the bed, was rotating me every 30 minutes. She was actually my biggest happiness point. She was amazing.

Then my doctor, my actual OB wasn’t on call that weekend and he had left a note in my file saying that if I gave birth while he was there he wanted to attend because he had seen me since I was 18. We had this really good relationship. So he came to see me and he was like, “I’m leaving for the weekend. Good luck. I’ll try to come visit you after the baby’s born.”

I was like, “Okay, bye. I wish you had been there, but you know, Cest la vie.”

13:04 Complete dilation, pushing, and stalling


Meagan: Yeah.

Samantha: so then at 4:30 PM I was complete. It went pretty quickly from 10:30 to 4:30. I had done the rest of the remaining 10 centimeters, but they said the baby was still quite high, so they gave me two hours to labor down. Well, they said two hours. It ended up being about three.

Then there was a change in staff and that’s when things stopped going well, unfortunately. My nurse had to leave. She said her son’s birthday was the next day. I was like, “No, don’t leave.” She was like, “I was asked to do overtime, but I really have to go.” I was like, “I get it. Go ahead.”

So then this new nurse comes in with a student doctor, a medical student of some sort. It’s blurry because I was at 10 centimeters and ready to push, but things were really awkward between this nurse and the doctor. He wanted to get in there and help and she was like, “No, this is my job,” so he left and then he came back and he was like, “I was told I have to be here.” She was like, “Okay, fine,” so she came and sat next to my head and let him do whatever he had to do. You know, that type of thing. But it was super uncomfortable in the room.

Meagan: Weird.

Samantha: Yeah, it was so weird and I was so uncomfortable. Anyways, so then I started pushing and they told me his station was about +1 or +2, but he never moved in the hour that I was pushing. He stopped tolerating when I was on my right side near the end.

Meagan: Didn’t like that.

Samantha: Yeah. I had horrible heartburn too. I felt like I was going to throw up fire. So fun.

So finally, we pushed for an hour. The doctor on call came in, didn’t even look at me almost, didn’t really introduce herself, nothing and just said, “C-section.”

Meagan: Whoa.

Samantha: I was like, “Excuse me?” At that point, I had a bit of a fever. They gave me Tylenol. They said it could have just been from being in labor and from pushing. I was like, “Okay, whatever you say if that’s normal.” They were like, “But we have to get you to a C-section now,” because he had a decel for 4 minutes at 70 beats per minute. They were nervous.

At this point, the medical student had his fingers inside rubbing the baby’s head to get him back.

Meagan: Yeah, sometimes they do have to stimulate the baby.

Samantha: Yeah. Between every push, he was doing that. Then this one was the final, I guess, they called it there. It was really strange. She’s calling a C-section. She was like, “I’m going to call the doctor.” I’m not sure if she meant the OB or the surgeon. She goes off. The nurse is still getting me to push. I’m like, “How is this an emergency if I’m still pushing?” I was so confused.

Meagan: Baby’s heart rate returned at this point, I assume.

Samantha: Yes, exactly. It was just very strange.

15:49 C-section

Samantha: Anyways, so then they wheel me down to the OR. We had to go to the regular operating room because they only have certain hours during the day from 9:00 to 5:00 which I guess is when they do the special delivery OR.

Meagan: Interesting.

Samantha: Yeah and it was a Friday night, so we went to the regular OR. The nurse and the anesthesiologist were amazing. They took pictures and stuff like that before. They gave me the spinal, then my husband was allowed to come in while they were doing the test cut. I didn’t feel anything so he was allowed in.

Meagan: It worked, yeah.

Samantha: Yeah. They didn’t tell me much during the surgery at all. I don’t even remember meeting the actual surgeon other than them saying, “This is so and so. He’s going to do your surgery. He’s great. Don’t worry about it.” I was like, “Okay. Do what you’ve got to do.” I never heard from this man ever again. He didn’t come to see me post-op.

Meagan: Stop, really?

Samantha: I don’t know who this person was, really. The person who cut into my body never came to talk to me after. I had no clue what happened.

Anyway, so it seemed to go pretty routinely. He was pulled out at 9:13 PM. He was 7 pounds, 10 ounces so what they told me he was a week prior was what he was that actual birth. His APGAR scores were 9 and 9 so he was not in distress.

Meagan: He was doing okay, yeah.

Samantha: Yeah. My husband cut the cord. Everything was fine. Then they brought me to the recovery room, but it was the general recovery room because L&D was closed for the night so I was left alone. My husband took the baby and went to postpartum.

When we got there, the nurses said, “Oh no. Not another one.” Yeah.

Meagan: Like another C-section baby or another person?

Samantha: Any baby. Another person. Yeah, and he was like, “I feel great.” He has all of our bags. I had my boppy. I had his bag. He’s carrying everything. He’s got the baby in the pushing cart thing and nobody is helping him. They just shove him in a room in a corner and they say, “Do skin to skin. Here. Change his diaper. Done.” They left him there for four hours with a baby.

Meagan: Four hours?

Samantha: Four hours and didn’t go check on him.

Meagan: Oh my gosh, I’m so sorry and you were still in that recovery room for four hours?

Samantha: My bloodwork and all of my vitals were all over the place because I had hemorrhaged which I didn’t know at the time. I was shaking uncontrollably. I kept on falling in and out of sleep. I guess they had given me morphine. I was so itchy.

The whole time, I’m just worried because you hear about the golden hour, the golden hour. I was freaking out the whole time because my plan was to breastfeed and I was freaking out. So then a nurse comes at one point and she’s like, “Here. Call your husband and ask him what the baby weighed.” I was like, “Okay.” So I call him and he was like, “Yeah, he was 7 pounds and 10 ounces.” I was like, “Okay,” then the nurse was like, “Okay, give me my phone back.” I was like, “What’s going on here?” I was so confused. It just didn’t make any sense to me what was going on.

So finally after four hours, they brought me back up because I guess the spinal had worn off and my vitals were stable enough that they could move me. I got there at 1:15 AM. I finally got to meet my baby for real. They had only brought him over for a picture. He was on my chest for 30 seconds and they were like, “Let’s go.” That was that.

I found a lot of things after the surgery. I found out I had hemorrhaged because I needed a blood transfusion the next day. I never found out about the extension on my scar until I got my reports when I got pregnant the second time.

Meagan: Because no one came in and talked to you.

Samantha: Nobody. The medical student came to talk to me about the transfusion.

Meagan: And in a controlled– an extension for listeners, she now has a special scar.

Samantha: I got it after and it was because of my pelvic floor physio that I had an inkling of it because I went to go see her and she said, “Your exterior scar is very long.” I was like, “Oh, well they told me he got stuck. He was pretty stuck.” They said they tried to push him up during the C-section. He didn’t really move so they ended up using the forceps in my C-section which I found out from the pediatrician the next day. I had no clue.

Meagan: Really?

Samantha: Yeah.

Meagan: Wait, so they used forceps externally pushing up or with you cut open?

Samantha: Yeah, with me cut open I’m pretty sure because he had the marks on the sides of his head.

Meagan: So that’s where the special scar came from.

Samantha: Yes. They cut me further to get him out and so he ended up with a huge hematoma on the side of his head because he was OP and asynclitic. They told me his chin had been extended as well.

Meagan: Triple whammy.

Samantha: I don’t know what happened to this poor child.

Meagan: The baby was high and we broke waters in a less than ideal position and he came down and said, “Whoa, the flood gates just opened,” and came down in a wonky position.

Samantha: Exactly. It was great.

Meagan: Then we had Pitocin cramming him down there.

Samantha: Yes, exactly. So when he came out, he had that huge hematoma on his head that they told me would resolve on his own. He had a pretty intense torticollis looking back now. In all of his pictures, he’s got his head completely to his shoulders, this poor child so he did chiro and everything for that.

Meagan: Sideways, yeah.

Samantha: And I burst all of the blood vessels in his eyes by trying to push him out so hard. So poor baby.

Meagan: Oh my gosh.

Samantha: Yeah, so my milk took a lot longer to come in because of all of the trauma.

Meagan: And blood loss I’m sure.

Samantha: Exactly. He was jaundiced. He lost more than 10% of his weight because they had pumped me so full of liquid that he probably lost all of the excess weight that wasn’t true weight.

Meagan: Yes.

Samantha: But they didn’t explain that to me so they were all panicked.

Meagan: So in retrospect, he was probably smaller than 7lb,10oz.

Samantha: Exactly. Yeah, and he also had a tongue tie that we ended up revising at 4.5 months after trying absolutely everything not to, but we did it and everything went well other than that. Our breastfeeding journey was a bit tough at the beginning. But, you know.

22:15 Official reason for Cesarean

My official reason for Cesarean was the arrest of descent and fetal distress.

Meagan: Okay.

Samantha: Yeah. The worst part is in the report, they didn’t mention the forceps in some of the reports. Some of them do have forceps in them. Honestly, I don’t know what happened. It was on some reports, some not. It was very confusing, but it did have the extension on there. They said it was a 4cm extension on my uterus.

That’s where the hemorrhaging happened because they hit that nerve on the side apparently.

Meagan: Oh.

Samantha: Yeah. That’s what the doctors at the new hospital where I gave birth to my second told me when they reviewed my chart. She was like, “Okay. This is what happened to you. It shouldn’t be a huge red flag for your next birth. You didn’t hemorrhage just because. There was a reason.”

Meagan: Yeah. That probably actually was nice for you to find out and have that validation a little bit.

Samantha: Exactly. On the report, it said my waters had been broken at 6:30 on the night of the 13th when they were broken at 6:30 AM on the 14th. They recorded it as being 12 hours longer than I had my waters broken.

Meagan: Interesting.

Samantha: So I was like, “Hmm. That’s nice. That’s nice to know.” They never mentioned my fever and they reported that I pushed for two hours, not one.

Meagan: Wow. Crazy.

Samantha: Yeah. I was very upset when I read these reports.

Meagan: Did you have gestational diabetes with this baby?

Samantha: Nope. My sugars were completely fine.

Meagan: Crazy. Crazy.

Samantha: In the moment, I didn’t realize how traumatizing the birth was. I was like, “We’ve got to do what we’ve got to do.” Literally, I said, “Put my big girl pants on. Let’s go.” But it’s when I was going through it in my brain and talking about it that I realized how much it affected me.

Meagan: Absolutely.

Samantha: That was a huge part of my VBAC prep after. I read “How to Heal a Bad Birth”. I did all of that. Yeah. It was intense. And something they never tell you about C-sections– I had the worst gas pain in my shoulder.

Meagan: Oh yeah. It gets stuck up there. Me too. With my second C-section, no one told me that either and I was like, “What? Is this my milk? What is this?” I didn’t know. This was literally what I said, “I want to stab a knife in there to release it,” because it was so strong.

Samantha: Right? I thought I pulled every muscle in my body from pushing and it was just gas.

Meagan: Our body cavities get air after being cut open and sometimes it can get trapped and it travels up to that shoulder.

Samantha: It was the worst so just for anybody thinking they are dying from something when they are just healing from a C-section. You know, it’s fun.

25:15 Recovery

Recovery went pretty well. I was seeing a pelvic floor physio and did a ton of scar mobilization. We were always working on the scar especially because it was huge. It was so long. That was part of my prep even before I got pregnant.

Then at my 8-week postpartum– it’s supposed to be 6 weeks but it was just delayed and it was on the phone because of COVID so that was fun recovering from a C-section not knowing if your scar looks okay.

They had put Steri strips to close the scar and said, “They should fall off within a week.” Four weeks later, they were still on. I wrote an email and I was like, “Do I take these off?” I started Googling and it says it can cause infection. I was like, “Oh, great.” So another thing they didn’t really advise me on so that was fun.

Meagan: They didn’t give you good post-op care.

Samantha: No and we were in a semi-private room. It was just uncomfortable. It was not a great experience. One of the nurses made me cry and it was hard to make me cry in those first few days. I was completely numb and done. I was a shell of a human, to be honest looking back on it, and she managed to make me cry. She came in and she was like, “You didn’t do this. You didn’t do that.”

I was so overwhelmed. I had a brand new baby.

Meagan: I’m so sorry.

Samantha: It was not great. So at my 8-week postpartum appointment, I asked about VBAC. My OB was like, “Yeah, you’d be a great candidate. You got to 10 centimeters. You were pushing. Everything is great.” So I was like, “Excellent.” He was like, “Just make sure that your births have to be two years apart.” I said, “No problem. I have marked it on the calendar. We’re good.”

26:57 Second pregnancy

So then I did end up getting pregnant really easily again. My due dates were a week apart.

Meagan: Oh no way.

Samantha: Yeah, so this baby was due on the 22nd.

Meagan: Okay.

Samantha: Because my son was born on the 14th, but his due date was the 7th but they ended up being a week apart. I was like, “Well, I got my two years. There you go.”

Meagan: So they are 24 months apart?

Samantha: Yeah.

Meagan: Oh, they are. Okay.

Samantha: Exactly. I went to see my OB at 10 weeks. That’s when he sees you. He sent me for an ultrasound early around 8 weeks just to make sure everything was good. I was pulled from work because of COVID and for violent children. I’m a teacher, so we just had to make sure that everything was viable and everything. We did that. I went to see him at 10 weeks. First, he tried to date me earlier than I was. I knew for a fact that I was not again. Again. I was like, “No. We’re not playing this again.”

Meagan: Good for you.

Samantha: I had my appointment with him and he told me. He started saying, “I think your best option would be being induced at 39 weeks. But I can’t make you do anything. But I need you to go into labor spontaneously before 40 weeks if you’re going to have a VBAC.” I was like, “Hmm.”

Meagan: Red flag.

Samantha: Exactly. I had started listening to The VBAC Link at this point so I was like, “That’s not good. Okay.”

I spoke to my chiropractor who was working on my son who had helped him with his torticollis and everything and she said, “The secretary had a VBAC and with this doctor at a different hospital so I’ll text her. I know her well. I’ll text her. I’ll get you in.” She got me in with this new doctor.

I went to go see her and she was like, “Yeah. You’re a great candidate for VBAC. I don’t see a problem.” I brought her my operative notes because she had to wait for them to be transferred. She was like, “The extension worries me a little. I just want you to get checked with a specialist.”

Meagan: I was going to ask you if she said anything about your special scar.

Samantha: Yeah, she did. I made an appointment at the special, I guess it’s maternal-fetal medicine.

Meagan: MFM, yeah.

Samantha: It’s called [inaudible] in French. Everything is in French, so it is at-risk pregnancies. I had to go see a specialist there. I made my appointment. I waited and I was panicking. I was like, “I need to have this VBAC. I need this.”

I show up to my appointment. I waited for five hours then we were told the specialist had to be called for a C-section. I was like “I get it. If I were that person and I needed extra hands, I get it.” But then she told me, “You haven’t even had your ultrasound for 12-13 weeks.” She was like, “There’s no point in me looking at your dossier” or whatever.” I was like, “But it’s not about anything except for my extension.”

She was like, “No, no. Just make another appointment after your ultrasound.” I left there in tears panicking still. I was like, “I don’t know if I can even try for this VBAC. I may just have to sign up for another surgery. We don’t know.”

So I went back a few weeks later. It was about a month later. It was a long time I felt panic and nerves. So then I saw this other doctor and she was fantastic. I literally left that appointment telling her I loved her. She was so nice and evidence-based. She took out files and showed me statistics and everything. She explained my previous birth.

Meagan: Wow.

Samantha: She was fantastic. She was like, “You made it to 10 and you were pushing. The baby was just in the wrong position. You’re a perfect candidate.” I was like, “Okay.” She was like, “And the extension is lateral so it was all in the same direction.” She said, “Same direction or low, we have no problem with. It’s if it goes up that we start looking at things a little bit more seriously.” I felt super relieved after that. She told me the reason for my hemorrhage. It was her who told me. She asked me, “Did they try different positions?” I said, “No. They moved me from side to side but pushing, I was all on my back.”

She was like, “We would have gotten you up on hands and knees. We would have done squatting. Did they try to manually turn him?” I said, “Absolutely not. Nothing happened. They literally left me on my own.” She was like, “We would have tried all of those things.” It really validated my whole experience.

Meagan: Absolutely.

Samantha: She is known for doing VBAC after two Cesareans as well. She is one of the only doctors at that hospital who will do it. She is amazing. So that relieved me a lot.

In between that, I hired my doula from a company called Mother Wit. She was fantastic. Her name was Megan Tolbert so I felt like I had a little bit of VBAC Link having a Megan of my own.

Meagan: I love that.

Samantha: I was seeing a chiropractor every two weeks and near the end, once a week. I did pelvic floor physio once a month. I did acupuncture once every two weeks and near the end, I did three intensive types of get-me-into-labor sessions. I did massage therapy just to relax myself because I was pretty high-strung. I did the dates starting at 36 weeks but that was also with the GD diagnosis. It was rough. I did red raspberry leaf tea. I did pumping and hand-expressing colostrum. I had read how important that could be for a gestational diabetes baby. That was something that was really important to me because I had been separated from my first for four hours.

I was like, “This poor child didn’t eat.” I brought my colostrum with me to the hospital and it can help with their sugars. That was really important to me. I walked every day. I did curb walking. I did Spinning Babies Daily Essentials. I read How to Heal a Bad Birth. I read Birth After Cesarean: Your Journey to a Better Birth. There was one story on GD in that book. That’s why I bought it.

Meagan: Hey, listen. You’ve got to find the stories, right?

Samantha: It was so hard to find gestational diabetes stories at the time. It was really rough.

Meagan: Was there a lot of emphasis on your diagnosis of gestational diabetes? Was there a lot of, “Hey, you’ve got to do this? This has to happen,” Or anything like that?

Samantha: They weren’t as on top of things as I thought they would be because the doctor I was seeing was a family doctor. She was a GP so everything above a healthy, regular pregnancy, she would send me to the at-risk clinic. They were really the ones who dealt with that. She had sent me for just routine bloodwork. My fasting numbers came back borderline so she was like, “Look. Now you’re going to have to do the 75-gram three-hour test, two-hour test, sorry, here.” I did that. I had a gut feeling my whole pregnancy that I had gestational diabetes for some reason. I had no proof. No proof, but it just kept on popping up. It was so weird.

I had a feeling that morning and I got my test results that evening. It was really fast. I did them privately. It was 5.3 so here it is measured a bit differently than in the US, but I don’t remember the conversion. But the cutoff was 5.2. So at 5.3, I was just over but because gestational diabetes usually gets worse before it gets better, they are very safe in diagnosing.

But I never actually got an official diagnosis. I just had the prescription sent to the pharmacy for my monitor.

Meagan: Insulin?

Samantha: No, thank goodness.

Meagan: I was like, what?

Samantha: They were like, “You are booked for the information session in two weeks.” It was two weeks after and they sent you some documents to read over. So I was like, “Okay. This is not enough. I need to find more information.” I spoke to friends. I ended up on a Facebook group called gestational diabetes Canada which was amazing and I ended up following somebody on Instagram named Leslee Flannery. She was fantastic so if anybody needs her, look her up. She is amazing.

Meagan: I’ll have to look her up too.

Samantha: She is @gestational.diabetes.nutrition on Instagram and she is just fantastic. She really normalizes it because there is so much stigma with gestational diabetes. You think that you caused it and she really debunks that. I really got in my head about that and I was really afraid for my VBAC chances because if you end up on insulin, they really want to induce you by 39 weeks so I was panicking which doesn’t help your numbers by the way.

Meagan: It doesn’t. We talked about this in last week’s episode. We talked about cortisol not helping, lack of sleep not helping, and yeah. It’s crazy but cortisol raises things.

Samantha: Exactly and for me, it was only my fasting numbers that were the problem. Those are the hardest to control because apparently, those are the ones that are influenced the most by hormones and by your placenta. So that was really rough.

Meagan: Yeah. We talked about that as well. We talked about choline and certain foods and not cutting things that impact our hormones. It’s this cycling thing.

Samantha: Exactly. So a lot of people are told to cut carbs completely, but what I learned is that if you do that, then you end up spiking your numbers even further because your body takes over.

Meagan: You have to find a balance.

Samantha: It was really intense and all of my chances of my VBAC were going out the window. I was crying at every appointment. At his 20-week ultrasound, the big ultrasound, he was measured at the 96th percentile. I was like, “Oh my goodness.” I left there bawling my eyes out. I could not get a hold of myself for three days. Everything was just crazy.

I redid my bloodwork three or four times and finally, there were no more antibodies so that was just let go. We don’t know what happened.

Meagan: Interesting.

Samantha: Yeah. It was just another scary bump. I don’t know. It was intense. The gestational diabetes diagnosis really sent me for a loop too. I found this pregnancy I was very stressed because I was so set on getting my VBAC. But thankfully, I had my doula so I could send her all of my crazy emails late at night when I was panicking and she always talked me down from that ledge of panic. I also listened to a podcast from a somatic therapist who said that stress in your pregnancy can be a contributor to things like gestational diabetes and things like that. I know that put a lot of pressure on me and reading about the facts of gestational diabetes really made me feel a little bit better about that. It could have been, but it’s not something that you can stop.

It was nice to know that but gestational diabetes diagnoses really are hard when you are trying for a VBAC, I would say.

Meagan: It is. It is which is why we had Lily on last week because we get the question so often. We get the text, “I was diagnosed. Can I still VBAC?” Asking the question, “Can? Is this still possible?” The answer is yes.

Samantha: Exactly. So apparently, there is a spike between 32 and 36 weeks most of the time. That’s when your gestational diabetes will be at its worst because apparently, there is something to do with the baby’s growth. They have a growth spurt at that time and then usually, it tapers out at the end. My numbers all of a sudden just got better. It was a relief near the end. I was like, “Okay. Let’s wrap it up. We’re doing all of the things.” I was doing my birth affirmations. One of them was, “I am a Woman of Strength,” let me tell you.

Meagan: Yes you are.

Samantha: My Hypnobirthing tracks– I did the ones by Bridget Teyler. She’s amazing too. All of the things getting ready. So then that leads up to my appointment at 39 weeks and 2 days. Everything with the gestational diabetes was fine at that point. They told me, “Look. We’re going to treat you like a regular pregnancy. We won’t talk anything until 41 and 4.” My doctor was not a big fan of inductions for VBACs because of the increased risk, but she was like, “Look. If we have to, we will look at it then. Until then, let’s get you to go into labor spontaneously.”

Meagan: Let’s just have a baby, yeah. Trust your body.

Samantha: Yeah, but I did opt for a membrane sweep because I was getting not close. I wasn’t close because I was only 39 weeks and 2 days but I was like, “Look. I want all of the chances on my side of going into labor spontaneously.” I had started losing my mucus plug so my body was doing what it had to do. I had never had any of that with my first son at all.

I was like, “Something is going on.” I started having more intense Braxton Hicks a little bit more often. I was like, “Things are going to happen. We need to do this.”

Meagan: You could feel it.

Samantha: I had the membrane sweep. After, she checked him on the ultrasound. He was LOA. He was head down. Everything was good. So I was like, “Okay. He’s in a good position. Let’s do this. Okay.”

42:46 Labor

The next evening, I started getting my Braxton Hicks. Looking back, I was probably in super early labor but didn’t realize it because they were starting to get uncomfortable. I’d have to sit there and breathe for a minute. Nothing crazy, but I was like, “Huh. I felt that. That’s weird.” I was at my friend’s house and I was like, “Okay. That felt weird. I’m just going to go to the bathroom and go pee.” I came back and was like, “There’s a bit of blood. I’m going to head home just because I want to sleep.”

I went to bed and then I woke up at 4:43 AM with a contraction. I was like, “Oh. That’s uncomfortable.” I had listened to so many stories about prodromal labor that I was just convinced that this could be prodromal labor for three weeks. I was in complete denial.

I kept on trying to sleep, but they were coming every 10-15 minutes. They would wake me up each time. I wasn’t resting super well. They started picking up around 6:30. I texted my doula at around 7:30 and I said, “I don’t know if I had a bit of a bloody show. There is a bit of darker blood.” She said, “Probably not considering it wasn’t fresh blood,” and all of those things. “But rest. Drink water. Do all of the things. Move around when you need to,” and things like that. It was fine. I said, “Okay. We will continue and I’ll let you know if things pick up or not.”

So my husband got up at 7:45 with my first son and did all of the things. I stayed in bed because my body just kept telling me, “Lie down. Rest.” I could not fight it. I was like, “Okay.” I lay down in the bed. Fine. I didn’t even time my contractions. I was really convinced I wasn’t in labor. It was the weirdest thing. I didn’t eat enough.

Meagan: This happens. This happens where we’re like, “No, I can’t be.” We want it to be so bad, but we’re like, “But it’s not. It’s not.”

Samantha: Exactly.

Meagan: We’re in denial. From having zero contractions from the first that I felt and having just Pitocin contractions, I didn’t know what to think of this. I was like, “They are uncomfortable. They hurt a little, but I’m sure they’re just going to fizzle out and we’re going to be fine.”

So then my first son went down for his nap around 10:00 and my husband had to go to work to drop off his keys because he was changing positions so that was his last day. He went to go say goodbye and everything then he came back home and went downstairs to watch TV and kind of left me on my own. He figured it was better to just leave her alone. She’s going to be fine.

Meagan: Yeah. Just let her do her thing.

Samantha: Yeah. So at 11:55, I texted my doula and I said, “My contractions are still far apart.” I feel like they never got much closer at that point. It was 10-15 minutes, but they were getting more intense. She said, “Okay. Do some hands and knees positioning. Maybe take a bath. Continue breathing. Relax,” and all of those things. So then at that point, I said to my husband, “Okay, call my sister.” She was coming to watch my first son. She was on her way to a hair appointment that I didn’t know she had because she didn’t tell me. She knew I’d freak out, so we called my mom instead. She came.

She was like, “Sam, are you timing these contractions? Is your husband? What’s going on?” I was like, “No. I haven’t actually taken out my timer. I don’t know.” She started following me around with a pen and paper. “Those were four minutes apart. You need to leave right now.” She was like, “You’re not going to have this baby on the floor at your house. No. You need to go.”

Meagan: Was it active like you were really working through them?

Samantha: 100%. I was moaning. I was trying to do a low moan to try to get through them. She said I sounded like a wounded animal at the end of each one because they hurt. She was like

“You need to leave right now.” I was like, “Well, I need to shower.” She was like, “No, you aren’t showering right now.” I was like, “Yeah, I am.” I had my piece of toast that I took one bite out of. I was like, “Maybe I should eat some more before I go.”

Meagan: Yeah.

Samantha: I was in too much pain to eat at that point so I was like, “Okay, I’m going to shower. It’s going to be fine.” I got in the shower and it was literally the best feeling of my entire life I think. I was like, “Why didn’t I do this earlier?” But I was not in the mind space to do it earlier. Every time a contraction hit me, I had the instinct to get up and walk or sit on the toilet. I think my body knew that those were the positions that helped the most and then in between, I would lay down because that’s what my body told me to do. I was just listening. I was along for the ride.

Meagan: Hey, that’s good.

Samantha: Yeah. So then I texted my doula at 12:45. I said, “I’m going to shower, then we are going to the hospital.” My husband, during this time when my mom got there, was packing his bag because he hadn’t and was getting all of our last-minute things. I had a list like my birth affirmations. I wanted to bring them with me and things like that.

I got in the shower and got out. We left for the hospital at 1:06. It took us about 40 minutes to get there so there was a bit of traffic.

Meagan: There was a drive.

Samantha: Yep, but I was so lucky. I only had about four contractions the whole time. They had spaced out. My body knew what to do, man.

Meagan: I was going to say your body knew what was happening.

Samantha: Yeah. So then we got there. My doula had gotten there about five minutes before us so I saw her at the entrance. This guy stopped to talk to me for two minutes while I was in active labor waiting to go to labor and delivery. He was talking to me about my day and asking me when my baby was due. I was like, “Today.”

Meagan: You’re like, “Right now.”

Samantha: I don’t think he realized, but then I met up with my doula and I had a contraction on the way while we were walking. A guy passed by like, “Uh-oh.” I think he realized and put two and two together.

So then we got there and went to the front desk. He was doing his paperwork going all slow and whatever then I had another contraction and he said, “Oh.” He got up and he walked away real fast and so they got me to triage and the woman, the nurse who came to check me said, “Look. We’re going to check you really quickly and see where you are at, but I think you are going to be going to a room right away.”

My sister-in-law had given birth at the same hospital two weeks before me and she showed up at 3 centimeters in a lot of pain. I was like, “If I am at 3 centimeters right now, I don’t know if I can do this.” But I got in my head. I was like, “I’m going to be super low dilation.”

Meagan: Those numbers, they mess with us and they really don’t mean anything, but man, they impact us quite a lot.

Samantha: Yeah. I remember saying that to my doula. I was like, “If I’m at 3, I’m going to scream and then get the epidural. I can’t continue like this.” The woman was checking me and I’m waiting and I was like, “So?” She was like, “You’re an 8.” I said, “Oh my gosh.” I was like, “I can do this.” It gave me a new spunk. I was like, “I’m ready. Let’s go.” So they put me right into a room and they apologized. They were like, “We have to get everything ready,” so they were bustling around. They turned down the lights. They got me a yoga ball and all of those things. They were like, “Look, we’re really sorry to be in here. We’re going this as fast as possible then we will leave you alone.”

They never even saw my birth plan because we got there at 8 centimeters and there was no time, but they wanted to put in the IV and my doula said to them, “Look, does she need an IV?” They said, “We just want the port at the very least.” I guess just the saline lock.

Meagan: The hep lock?

Samantha: Yeah, the hep lock, sorry. They did that and they wanted to monitor the baby’s heart rate. Those were the two conditions that they wanted to have. Because I was so far along, it didn’t really bother me. I didn’t want to fight that fight. It was not something that was worth it to me. I was like, “Cool.”

I was laboring standing up next to the bed, then the doctor came in and said she wanted to do her own checks so that she had her own line of where things were I guess. So she checked me and by then, I was already 9 centimeters. I had already gone up another centimeter.

But what’s funny is I guess I went through transition at some point, but I don’t know that it was. Everyone always says that transition is crazy. I didn’t have that.

Meagan: Maybe you went in the car with distractions and stuff.

Samantha: Yeah. In between contractions in the car, I was falling asleep. I was so tired. I don’t know. Transition was not that bad for me, so I was lucky for that. So then the doctor said, “Look. Your bag of water is bulging. We can either break it artificially or we can wait and see when it breaks by itself.” I said, “Okay, let me wait.”

She left and I continued laboring and I was like, “You know what? We are at this point. I’m 9 centimeters. They couldn’t tell me his position yet because my water was still in tact.”

Meagan: It was probably so bulgy, yeah.

Samantha: So I said, “Just call her back.” She was like, “Well, it’s going to get more intense.” I said, “It’s going to get more intense. Let’s do this.” I’m like, “Okay, hold on. I have another contraction coming.” I was on the bed. I turned over and all of a sudden my water exploded. They even wrote it on my report that I saw after, “a copious amount of liquid”. There was so much. So I was like, “That’s good that that didn’t break in the car because that would have been a mess.”

Meagan: Yep.

52:34 Feeling pushy

Samantha: So then they cleaned up. I was standing next to the bed again and then all of a sudden, I felt pushy. I was doing the pushing sounds and my doula said, “Look. You need to concentrate. Tell me if you cannot push.” So the next contraction, I was like, “No, no. I’m pushing.”

They wanted to check me again because they didn’t want me pushing before 10 centimeters so they did do a lot of checks, but I wasn’t too worried considering how close I was to the finish line for infection and things like that because I wasn’t a huge fan of cervical checks going in, but I was like, “We’re near the end. Hopefully nothing bad will happen.”

So they checked me. I was already 10 and he was at a 0 station at this point, but he was LOA. They checked him, so he was in the right position so that was great. I was worried because my contractions were wrapping around to my back at that point, but I assumed that that is probably pretty standard when you’re that low, I guess and things are getting more intense. But I kept on saying to my doula, “If he’s OP, if he’s OP, if he’s OP–” I was so scared that he was going to end up in the same position as my first son especially because I had another anterior placenta. I read somewhere that that could cause positioning issues. I was like, “No, not another one.”

He was fine. That was a huge relief in that moment. Then I tried a few different positions. On my hands and knees, I thought I was going to love that but I hated it. I could not push like that. I ended up on my side. I pushed a lot like that, but I was pulling on the rung of the bed and I don’t know if I was using too much energy like that, but the doctor looked at me at one point and she was like, “Look. I know you don’t want to be on your back, but maybe just try. If it doesn’t work, we’ll try something else, but try it.”

I really trusted my team at that point. They had really been very aware of everything I wanted. They gave me choices. They were really evidence-based, so I was like, “You know what? This is a good team. Let’s try.”

Meagan: Why not?

Samantha: So I went on my back and all of a sudden, my contractions were being used. My pushing was a million times better so I guess that’s what I needed in that moment as much as I really hated to be on my back. I was like, “Maybe this is what I needed.” He descended really well to a +3. I had the whole team there around me. I had my husband up here next to my head and then my doula was next to him, then I had the doctor at the foot of the bed, then I had two nurses on the side and they were so good together. Apparently, they are a team that works together a lot, so they bounce off of each other and it was so supportive. They were always there telling me, “You’re doing it.”

Pushing was so hard for me though. So many women say, “Pushing was really where I felt empowered and like I could do something with the contractions.” Pushing was the most painful thing I’ve ever experienced, so I don’t think I went in there thinking about that.

Meagan: Yeah.

55:42 “You’re not going to need a C-section today.”

Samantha: I was shocked by that, but she also, at one point, said, “You’re not going to need a C-section today. We are past that point. This baby is coming out vaginally. No matter what happens from here on out, you’re good.” My eyes just filled with tears. I was so happy at that point.

Meagan: I bet.

Samantha: They started getting stuff ready at the end of the bed and I was like, “This is a really good sign. This means that baby is coming.”

Meagan: Yeah. Constant validation.

Samantha: Yeah. They were so nice. They offered a mirror which I accepted. Some people say mirrors really helped them. They were like, “Oh, we see his head.” There was a nickel-sized piece. I was like, “No.” I have so much more to do. I found that not super helpful. The doctor– I don’t know how I feel completely about this, but she did warm compresses and stretching of my perineum while I was pushing. I didn’t end up tearing, so I don’t know if that ended up helping for it or not and they poured a lot of–

Meagan: Pelvic floor work before too.

Samantha: Yeah, exactly. I did a lot of that. They poured a lot of mineral oil on his head to try to get him to slip out a little bit easier because I was having more trouble. I don’t know if those things are evidence-based necessarily, but in my case, I didn’t tear. They may have helped. They may not have helped. I’m not sure.

Though they did tell me I wasn’t using my contractions as effectively as I could have been. I guess they said I was starting to push too early in my contraction and then not pushing long enough. They were really trying to coach my pushing.

Meagan: Waiting until it built a little bit more.

Samantha: Yeah, exactly. I mean, at that point, he was having a few decels so I think they were getting a little bit more serious at that point. They told me every time I put my legs down between contractions that he was slipping back up a little bit. They had the nurse and my husband hold up my legs at some point.

I was exhausted at this point. It was 12 hours. It wasn’t super long, but I think because I hadn’t eaten enough or drank enough water. But they did let me eat in labor even though I was already 8 centimeters. They were fantastic for all of those things so I didn’t have to fight that.

So yeah, then at one point, his head was crowning, so the doctor actually had to hold his head in position between my contractions because he kept on slipping back in.

Meagan: Oh.

Samantha: Yeah. It was really intense and the ring of fire when somebody is holding that ring of fire there is no joke.

Meagan: Yeah.

Samantha: It was rough. Yeah, then at one point, the mood just shifted in the room. She said, “Look, if you don’t get him out in the next two contractions, I have to cut you.” I said, “Excuse me? You have to what?” I was like, “An episiotomy?” She was like, “Yes. He is getting serious now.” He had a few pretty major heart rate decels so she was like, “I’m giving you two more.” They got the numbing stuff, I guess lidocaine ready. They dropped the bed down at that point so it was completely flat. I guess she wanted to have a better view of how she was going to cut.

I pushed harder than I’ve ever pushed anything or done anything in my whole entire life and all of a sudden, I felt his head come out. I was like, “Oh, you didn’t have to cut me.” It was right down to the wire. I pushed him out by myself and it was just like, “Oh my gosh.” It was the best feeling in the whole wide world.”

Then she said, “Okay, stop pushing,” to check, I guess, for shoulder dystocia because of the gestational diabetes for the cord and everything. She was like, “Okay, he’s good. Go ahead and push him out.” They said, “Grab your baby.”

I pulled my baby out onto my chest.

Meagan: Best feeling.

Samantha: It was the best feeling in the whole wide world. I cannot describe it. The best. I had my VBA and I just kept saying, “I did it! I did it! I did it!” Everyone was so happy in the room and I had a very, very minor tear in my labia and that was it. It was night and day for my C-section recovery.

They put the baby on me. He didn’t budge from my body for 2.5 hours.

Meagan: Oh, such a difference.

Samantha: Oh my gosh. It was fantastic. He laid on me and I talked with my doula and my husband for an hour and a half until my doula left and then they came in and weighed him and did all of the things afterwards and checked his sugars which they have to do for gestational diabetes. They check sugars four times. Everything was good. It was just fantastic. It was the best, the best feeling in the world.

Meagan: Oh, I am so happy for you. So happy for you and so happy that you found the support and the team and everything. All of the things that you had done did add up to the experience that you had.

Samantha: Yeah. I went into this birth saying, “I’m going to do all of the things so that if I do end up in a C-section again, I know I did everything possible.” I needed that for myself.

Meagan: Yeah. That’s something to point out too because really, sometimes you can do everything and it still doesn’t end the way you want, right? That’s kind of how I was. I was like, “I want to do everything so in the end, I don’t have the question of what if I did this? What if I did that?” Sometimes that was hard because it meant spending more money on a chiropractor and spending more money on a doula. We had to work on that. Sometimes it’s not possible for some people and that’s okay. VBAC can be done doing those things, but that’s how it was for me too. I mentally had to do all of these things to just have myself be like, “Okay, if it happened. I can’t go back and question.”

Samantha: That’s it. You’re at peace with everything you did. It’s funny. The doctor that I switched from, so my original OB, my doula had three VBAC clients all at the same time. We were all due around the same time. Two of us switched from him. We all started under his care and two of us switched. I ended up with a VBAC. She ended up with a repeat C-section but dilated to complete so she was very happy. The third person stayed with him and he pulled the bait and switch on her at 36 weeks.

Meagan: So she had an elective?

Samantha: She ended up with an elective C-section. I was like, “Oh my goodness. Thank goodness I followed my gut and I switched right away.” Intense. Insane.

1:02:39 Finding supportive providers

Meagan: Yeah. Support really does matter. Support is important and in our Facebook group, we have The VBAC Link Community on Facebook, if you go under “Files”, you can click our supportive provider as well and this provider will be added to that list. Do you want to share your provider’s name?

Samantha: Yeah. Her name was Dr. Choquet. She was fantastic. I think I already submitted her name to be added.

Meagan: You did, yes.

Samantha: I loved her and Dr. Lalande was the one I consulted with for my extension who was super and is known for doing VBACs after two C-sections as well.

Meagan: Lalande?

Samantha: Yeah. I also submitted her name as well. Both doctors practice at LaSalle Hospital. It was a further drive, but 100,000 times worth it.

Meagan: Yes. Sometimes it’s hard to go far or you get worried about it, but usually, something good comes out of it.

Well, congratulations again, and thank you so much for taking the time today.

1:03:53 3-5 prep tips for listeners

Before we leave, what 5 or maybe 3-5 tips would you give to the listeners during their prep? What were your key things for prepping? What information would you give and suggest?

Samantha: I would say that the mental prep is 100% the work that I did the most that I think benefited me in terms of Hypnobirthing tracks. We did the Parents Course by The VBAC Link which was very helpful, I found, for getting my husband on the same page. He can tell you everything about VBAC now because he took that course.

Meagan: I love that. So it helped him feel more confident.

Samantha: 100%. He was pretty on board from the beginning, but it just solidified everything in his brain. He was like, “These stats. Obviously, we’re going to go for a VBAC.” He was super on board after that for sure.

Meagan: Awesome.

Samantha: Then it armed me with the stats. My parents were very nervous about me trying for a VBAC and things like that so it really helped me arm myself. And just mentally, knowing that my chances of rupture and things like that were so much lower than the chances of actually succeeding in a VBAC so really, the mental prep and knowing that doing everything, I was going in there as equipped as I could be with the most education having done all of the prep work and then you have to leave it up to your baby and your body. Really trusting that and I didn’t think the mental game would be that intense.

Meagan: Man. It is.

Samantha: It is.

Meagan: It is intense and really, it can be especially based on what trauma we’ve had or what experiences we’ve had. There can be so much that goes into it and we have to find the information in order to even process sometimes and work through that and then you mentioned all of the amazing things you did. You did pelvic floor. You did acupuncture. You did dates.

Samantha: I wrote everything.

Meagan: You did it all.

Samantha: And for the dates, I did them with peanut butter and a nut on them to balance the protein and the sugars.

Meagan: That’s my favorite way. That’s my favorite way that I eat dates as well.

Samantha: I broke them into two in the afternoon and then two after supper because that’s when my numbers were the best for my gestational diabetes and I always took a walk after supper so that really helped.

Meagan: Oh, I love that.

Samantha: Because a lot of people, I would hear say they couldn’t do dates because of their gestational diabetes but as long as you can balance your numbers, it’s still a possibility so that’s helpful and just finding all of the information about gestational diabetes was tough to find, but really important for my mental game as well.

Meagan: Yeah. Absolutely. Oh, I love those tips. Thank you so much again and congrats again. We will make sure that we get your docs added to and your doula and everybody added to the list so people can find them because support is a big deal. It’s a really, really big deal.

Samantha: And thanks to The VBAC Link. Honestly, the only sad part is that there is not much of Canada that is covered yet, so finding my alternatives that way, but everything else was covered by The VBAC Link 100%. I tell everybody about The VBAC Link. The other day, I went for my COVID shot and I told my nurse– her daughter had just given birth via C-section and she wanted to go for a VBAC. I was like, “Get her a doula through The VBAC Link.”

Meagan: Oh, that’s amazing. I love that. Thank you so much.

Samantha: Thank you so much for everything you do. It was a game changer, 100%. Absolutely.

Closing

Would you like to be a guest on the podcast? Tell us about your experience at thevbaclink.com/share. For more information on all things VBAC including online and in-person VBAC classes, The VBAC Link blog, and Meagan’s bio, head over to thevbaclink.com. Congratulations on starting your journey of learning and discovery with The VBAC Link.

Our Sponsors:
* Check out Dr. Mom Butt Balm: drmombuttbalm.com
Support this podcast at — https://redcircle.com/the-vbac-link/donations
Advertising Inquiries: https://redcircle.com/brands

  continue reading

308 odcinków

Wszystkie odcinki

×
 
Loading …

Zapraszamy w Player FM

Odtwarzacz FM skanuje sieć w poszukiwaniu wysokiej jakości podcastów, abyś mógł się nią cieszyć już teraz. To najlepsza aplikacja do podcastów, działająca na Androidzie, iPhonie i Internecie. Zarejestruj się, aby zsynchronizować subskrypcje na różnych urządzeniach.

 

Skrócona instrukcja obsługi