My first was born by c-section after 40 hours of labor and 4 hours of pushing! Turns out she was sunny side up which was preventing her from descending. The plan for this baby was vbac with an epidural, in case anything happened and I needed an emergency c-section.

I started having contractions a few days before this baby’s due date, but they would go away and then nothing on her due date or the day after. I went to bed at 40+2, and woke up around 12:30 with a contraction. They were about 30 or 45 minutes apart initially. I was careful to not get too jazzed up and tried to sleep and rest in between contractions. I mostly couldn’t sleep and had to get up and walk around for each contraction. My husband’s alarm went off at 5 at which point I told him I was having contractions and we discussed whether he should go to work or not. We decided he’d take our daughter to daycare when they opened at 6:15 and then go to work and he’d come home around lunch. The contractions were manageable at that point and I thought it’d still be a while and I just wanted to try to rest as much as possible.

A little while later he came upstairs to tell me our daughter had drunk a bunch of water and then thrown up and I was like well this is a nightmare! She was acting normally and wanted to eat so we decided to let her chill for a while and see what she did. She didn’t get sick again and so we decided it was just a fluke (we were right and sorry for chancing it DC!) and he ended up bringing her to school around 8.

Around 11 contractions started getting worse and some really close together, but not long. I needed my DH home so he left work and I called my OB who wanted me to come in and get checked out.

By the time my DH got home I was really getting uncomfortable and also wondering why the heck we sent him to work and why we hadn’t at least finished packing the hospital bag! So we got ready to leave as quickly as possible and drove the ~25 minutes to the dr. On the way I was having contractions every 4 minutes but they were only 20-30 seconds long so I didn’t really think too much of them.

At the office they hooked me up to the monitors and the midwife checked me - I was only 3 cm dialated but she said I clearly needed pain support and that I could head on over to the hospital but it wasn’t a rush.

I kept having really strong contractions pretty quickly together as we walked out to the car. I was sooo ready to get the epidural at that point but nervous that things were progressing like with my daughter (contractions with little to no break but also little progress). Thank goodness the drs office was only 8 minutes away from the hospital. I think I had 3 really painful contractions or so in the car but again not super long.

We pulled up to the entrance where they had valet parking which would have been great except we had no cash. So I went in and my DH went to park and would meet me inside. I had to stop and work through a few contractions walking to the elevator. We got to the L&D floor where I told them who I was and they started to bring me to do paperwork but they quickly realized that wasn’t happening and rushed to get me a wheelchair to bring me straight to the delivery room. A random angel lady (I think maybe she was a receptionist?) helped me work through a few contractions doing the “slow dance.” I was basically that lady yelling my way through the hospital. They got me to my room and thankfully my DH arrived.

The midwife came in and checked me and to my grand surprise I was fully dialated - 3 cm to 10 in about half an hour. I was just kind of shocked but in retrospect it was clear that I was going through transition in the car and the way up to the hospital room. The midwife announced that I could push and that maybe we’d have a baby in 10-20 minutes. 😒

So I started pushing which did feel much better than doing nothing and made the contractions more manageable. They also stopped being one on top of another so I got a break and was able to rest between contractions. However, in the back of my mind I was worried about not having an epidural in case I needed an emergency c-sec and also just generally not feeling prepared to have an unmedicated labor. I pushed for about an hour but then asked for the epidural. Now I get why women get epidurals even at 10 cm!

So they ordered the epi and I kept pushing during contractions but I wasn’t really trying too hard. I honestly didn’t feel a strong urge to push either besides it being less painful than not pushing. I had to wait about an hour for the epi so in total I pushed 2 hours. My hope was the epi would allow me a little rest and then also to push in some positions that might help the baby descend but that I found too painful to do without it.

It took a little while for the epi to kick in and so the anesthesiologist gave me fentanyl too. I wish I had said no bc I could have waited longer for the regular meds to kick in. As soon as I got the epi I started shaking and I don’t think more drugs was the right call in retrospect.

Anyway this did take away the rest of the pain and I told my DH that he should call my mom and update her but there was no service in the room so he left to call. While he was gone the baby’s heart rate dipped and they put me on oxygen and put a monitor on her head. Thankfully it came back up after a while and for some reason I was not panicking. Then once her heart rate came back up mine went up too high... suddenly the midwife came back with the OB and they told me we had to do the c-sec. They were so good about keeping calm that I didnt fully realize we were in emergency c sec territory. My DH told me after that he heard them assembling the team on the loudspeaker since he wasn’t even back in the room when all this was happening!

They brought me down the hall to the OR and started to set everything up. At this point I was just focusing on remaining calm and not letting myself try to wiggle my toes bc that really freaked me out during my first c section. Finally my DH came in and just like my first c sec I clarified that I could still tell the OB was touching my skin but that I wouldn’t feel the actual incision, right? Once they started the baby was out in what seemed like 2 seconds.

We had to finalize her name in the OR - Chloe was born at 5:53pm on March 1st. She weighed 7 lb 3 oz and was 19 inches long. She had also rotated to sunny side up (just like my first) so I don’t know if I’d have been able to push her out in any case.

I ended up losing a lot of blood and it took the Obs another hour and a half to get me stitched back up and I needed a blood transfusion afterwards. They explained later the reason for the emergency c sec was that the heart rate issues with me and the baby indicated a possible uterine rupture. Again I really appreciated how calm everyone was through everything which allowed me to remain relatively calm too.

We’re home now and everyone is doing well! I know this is very long but I just wanted to share my experience of a VBAC that didn’t work out bc the success rate is generally so high.