After Dr. T. checked my dilation, she and my husband convened in the bathroom. Jeremy then shared the information with our doula Jocelyn.
I didn’t want to know how dilated I was because for some women, finding out the dilation can play some sneaky mind games on them. I didn’t want to risk becoming discouraged if I didn’t like what I heard or if things didn’t progress as I expected upon hearing how dilated I was.
Dr. T. had said to Jeremy, “She’s 9 centimeters and doing great.” Jocelyn was excited to hear this, but didn’t want to give too much away as she continued to coach me. She kept things relatively vague, saying, “You’re doing great, Tricia, Baby Charles is going to be here soon.”
At that point I was still standing up and squatting for contractions, since I was starting to feel the urge to push (though I didn’t immediately recognize it as such). Dr. T. stated she didn’t want me delivering my baby on a hard surface and asked me to move to the bed. I was a little annoyed because I was managing really well the way I had been doing things, but I agreed to move. They recommended kneeling and leaning over the back of the bed. I then ended up coming down to sort of a squat during contractions.
I saw them bring a cart in. While I wasn’t entirely aware of my surroundings, I could put enough pieces together to know that it was almost baby time. I suddenly remembered our birth photographer. “Tell Amy!” I exclaimed. “We did,” Jeremy and Jocelyn responded in unison. They had told her I was 9 cm and pushing so she hurried over. Thank God she lives close.
During one contraction I felt my legs getting tingly, but that position was working so I ignored it. However, Dr. T. then said, “Tricia, your legs are starting to get a little purple. How about you turn over for a little bit?” Yeah…probably a good idea. I turned over to sort of a sitting squat and pushed that way for a bit.
After a few minutes I flipped back over to kneeling over the back of the bed. After the next contraction, Dr. T. told me I was pushing through my legs and she didn’t want me to waste my pushes. She had me cough to feel where I needed to focus my pushes. I said, “It feels like he’s coming out of my butt.” I then started saying, “baaaaabyyyyyy” as I pushed, which morphed into “baby out my buuuuuuuuuutt.” Nice. (Jocelyn told me later that those phrases really seemed to enhance my focus during pushing).
I noticed they were holding the monitor lower and lower and I thought, “I guess that means he’s moving down.” Finally I could actually feel him moving farther down. After squatting down for a contraction, I’d ask if I could come back up. They kept assuring me I could and I didn’t need to ask, but I still asked every time. I think I was afraid Charles would go back up inside me if I didn’t stay in the squat.
Jocelyn asked me a couple times, “Tricia, do you want to feel him?” For some reason I didn’t acknowledge her. I guess I was too focused on the task at hand. Jocelyn and Jeremy continued to coach me. Jocelyn said, “Tricia, you’re getting your VBAC!”
I remember noticing the excitement in Jocelyn and Jeremy’s voices when I was getting close. They went from coaching to cheering. I thought, “Oh my gosh, this is really happening.” Dr. T. started getting scrubbed up. The stinging and burning I felt when I pushed was exhilarating. Charles was almost here.
When it was almost time, Dr. T. asked me to turn back over. After the next contraction, Jocelyn asked me again if I wanted to touch Charles. I reached down and felt his squishy little head. I exclaimed, “That’s a baby!” “Yes, it is, Tricia! That’s baby Charles!” I smiled and leaned my head back in praise, “God is good! God is so good!”
My whole body was flooded with joy and determination. With the next contraction, I pushed Charles out in one swift whoosh.
I had done it. I had gotten my natural VBAC. Jocelyn and Jeremy congratulated me as Charles was placed on my chest.
I looked around and thanked Dr. T. and the medical team. I looked up and said, “Hi Amy!” to our photographer. Jeremy, Jocelyn, and I smiled for a picture.
We did it.
~Hey there, friend! Thank you so much for checking out our birth story. It truly was an amazing journey. If you have any questions about any of the topics covered in Parts 1-4, please feel free to contact me. I’d be happy to share information with you and connect you with any resources that may benefit you.