Birth Story: Jennifer and James, VBAC-natural birth

Jennifer and James, a very funny, precious couple already have three children. Their first baby was adopted into their family, the second child was a medicated birth, third child was a emergency C-section due to placental abruption and upon finding out she was pregnant again, Jennifer knew she wanted to pursue a VBAC.

She contacted me early in her pregnancy and told me her doctor was on board for a VBAC too. With her past pregnancies, Jennifer had not made it past 37 weeks. She also had a discrepancywith this one. From the beginning of her pregnancy she felt that the doctors were off by two weeks on her due date. She felt she was actually two weeks further along than their guess. But because she only measured a week ahead on the u/s they did not want to change her date. This actually worked to her advantage later.
At 39.4 weeks (41.4-her guess), she woke up at 2 am with a very strong ctx. She said she then felt and heard a large push down into her pelvis by her little man and then her water broke. She called me at 2:15. I hopped in the shower (I live very close to her) and asked her to get comfortable and see what the ctx’s were doing and I’d call her as soon as I was out of the shower and on my way. They were about 4 mins apart. I got to her house at 3 a.m. and she was sitting on the side of her bed. She was in great spirits and still making last minute arrangements with her hubby, planning all the things they needed to take, or leave for the kids that would be at home. She is a multi-tasker for sure. 😉
She got on the birth ball and laid against the side of her bed for a little bit and also got into a side lying position on the bed too. After about 45 minutes of watching her I suggested we get ready to head to the hospital. She wasn’t at transition yet (I thought) but it was very close. We also had at least a 30-40 minute ride to the hospital, so we wanted to make sure we weren’t delivering a baby en route.
We got to the hospital at 4:45 am and she was found to be 7-8/100/-1!! Woohoo! Talk about staying at home the perfect amount of time. And she handled the car ride like a trooper! She stayed in control and even had a sense of humor asking for a song she had downloaded: “more than a feeling.” It was hilarious.
Because she was a VBAC, we knew there would be continuous EFM on the baby. So she started in a side lying position in the bed and after being checked (the earlier numbers) I suggested she lean over the head of the hospital bed so that we could get baby to move down some more. An hour later she was 10/100/+1. She was already starting to bear down with each ctx but wasn’t intentionally pushing. We got the squat bar attached to the bed and then she moved over to start pushing in a squatting position. She did really well and within about 20 minutes her urge to push was stronger and then we could see that the head was crowning.
The doctor was called in. Jennifer went to a sitting position, with the lower part of the bed lowered down, like she was sitting in a chair. The dr was very patient with the head and did LOTS of perineal massage and Jennifer did a fantastic job of slow, controlled pushing. And only when she was ready. No one was counting AT her or yelling, PUSH. And after about 10 minutes his precious head came out. Now at this point, it was obvious on the next push that the “little” guys’ shoulders were “stuck.” (now, because the medical staff was not familiar with the Gaskinsmaneuver they immediately pushed the bed all the way back, put Jennifer on her back and started to push on her belly to get the baby out). The doctor didn’t use forceps but did “pull” the baby. Jennifer handled it all like a trooper and did a great job in really focusing on pushing her baby out!
Baby Owen came out at 7:25 a.m (that’s 5 hours from the time her water broke at home!). And once he was weighed, yeah, he was 10 lbs 8 oz, 22.5 inches long! I looked at Jennifer and said, “Girl, that’s a big baby you just pushed out!” and she said with a wink, “Yeah, you know what causes that, right? I knew I was right!” Of course she was referring to the fact that she always believed that her baby was two weeks ahead of what the docs said.
And because she was a VBAC the docs would’ve wanted her to schedule a repeat section if she had not started labor on her own by 40 weeks. but because of the edd issue, she was actually 41.4 weeks when she went into labor on her own. There were two things shown during that delivery: 1) a mom CAN deliver VBAC after 40 weeks to a healthy baby and be a healthy momma. and 2)a mom CAN deliver a 10+ lb baby with out incident. I think had they known theGaskin maneuver, it may have been a smoother delivery, but it all worked out in the end. A patient doctor helped a great deal too!
I’ll post mom’s version as soon as she posts it, but I should tell you that even though everyone GASPS when they hear how “big” her baby was, she was perfect afterwards! She was happy, felt great and so thankful for her natural birth!
Great job Jennifer and James! You guys did a fantastic job!

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