Jane's Birth Story

When I first found out I was pregnant, I just assumed I would have another c-section, as I had for my other 2 girls.  I was not happy about it, but did not think I had many other options.  I spoke to my OB in Muskegon and she said I could try to go to Grand Rapids for a Vbac but my chances were not good since I had not had a previous vaginal delivery and “my pelvis was small”.

I decided to call an OB in Grand Rapids and get her opinion.  She agreed I could give it a try with a 60% chance of success.  This was not entirely encouraging but at least I could give it a try.  The pregnancy went on without any complications.  I hired a doula (Cheri Hentschel) to help me with my labor for a successful vbac.

I then got to 40 weeks and my Doctor starting telling me my chances for success would go down after 41 weeks.  She also would not let me go past 42 weeks (my due date was August 12th), I would have to have a c-section by August 26th.  As it got to 41 weeks, I began having non-stress tests and ultra sounds to check on the baby.  All was looking just great.  Then, on Tuesday August 23rd, I had my last OB appointment where my doctor basically told me we gave it our best shot…let’s just have the c-section on Friday since this baby probably will be too big too push out by this time anyway.  She described the c-section to me in gory details and I just knew I didn’t want to go through that again unless it was truly medically necessary.  I was devastated, as was my husband (Scott).

I called my doula Cheri and she encouraged me to talk to a midwife for another opinion.  She gave me Patrice’s number and so I finally did call her.  (Both Cheri and Scott had been suggesting that I call a midwife for some time!)  Anyway, after talking to her, I knew I wanted to meet with her and get more info about a home birth.  I read more on her website and it all sounded like the right thing to do.  I don’t know why it took me so long to realize that.  Probably a lot had to do with outside opinions.  I was really afraid of what people would think of me having a home birth.

So Scott and I went and met with Patrice, Amanda and Dorothy.  We felt so encouraged by them and really passionate about making this home birth work.  Patrice had a lot of encouraging stories for us that really helped make up our mind. We were also very encouraged to hear that Patrice”s success rate for VBAC’s was 93%.  So, at almost 42 weeks, we switched from an OB hospital birth to a midwife home birth.

We decided not to tell people until the Thursday before the c-section.  It was not easy, but most of our family and friends were really encouraging and behind us.  That really helped me as I needed support with my decision…I felt in my heart it was the right thing to do but the support meant a lot to us.

We continued to see the midwives every 2 to 3 days, and the baby seemed happy and content inside my belly.  I tried lots of spicy foods, walks, dancing, etc to get this baby moving but she just wasn’t ready.

Finally, on August 31st, I started having consistent contractions.  They were all over at first until around 3pm I started to do kegels every 10 minutes (kegels usually brought on contractions for me).  This got them consistently 10 minutes apart.  Now I had had contractions previously that just never got stronger so I wasn’t sure if this was the same thing.  But as the night went on, they stayed consistent and got a bit stronger.

We decided to call Patrice around 1030 and she had Barb come over to check things out.  She checked the babies heart rate and everything sounded good, and she also checked me and said I was a 3-4cm and paper thin.  I felt like maybe this was finally it!  Barb suggested trying to get some rest and call if things got more intense.  We then went to bed around midnight and my contractions got even stronger.  I managed to dose off in between them but did not get much sleep.  They were about 7 to 10 minutes apart.

By 6am, I decided I could not sit in bed anymore.  Scott and I went downstairs and decided on our plan of attack for the day.  I decided to wait until 8 am and then give Patrice a call.  I told her they had gotten stronger and so she decided to send Amanda over.  I also called Cheri and she headed over around 10 am, about the same time as Amanda.  I could really feel the contractions now and had to stop what I was doing and relax but could still talk in between them.  They got stronger as time went on, and at 11am we decided to take a walk outside.

Then, around noon, I really got to work.  Amanda checked babies heart rate often, I think more often then most because this was a vbac.  Out of all positions tried, I could only tolerate standing and swaying during a contraction.  Cheri helped me tremendously through them, coaching me one at a time.  There were moments I felt I could no longer continue, but knew I had to.

Then, around 3, I felt my stomach quivering and felt a need to push.  I pushed a little and my water broke.  There was meconium in it, which made me a little worried.  Then Jane’s heart rate went down so I had to move to the bed and lay on my right side.  Her heart rate got better so I started to push.  This was tough work, but it felt good to be doing something rather then just enduring the pain.  Scott helped me a lot through this part, I squeezed his hand so tight I left fingernail marks!  I felt like nothing was happening throughout the whole time, but the midwives kept encouraging me saying that progress was made through every push.  Then they said I could feel the head.  I did and it felt so soft…not what I had expected.  Finally, after 1 hour and 15 minutes Jane Ellen Kinney made her appearance.

I did it!  I had a VBAC and at home!!  She was born at 4:29pm on September 1st.  Another girl!  Our 3rd little girl 🙂  She weighed 7lbs and 2 ozs.  She was 20.5 inches long.  We were so happy she was here, but she had trouble breathing at first due to inhaling the meconium.  The midwives worked at sucking it out and getting her breathing correctly.  This was a little scary, but I knew the midwives knew exactly what to do and would take care of our little girl.  As expected, they did just that and she started breathing correctly. Not long after, I was able to nurse her without a problem.

The whole pregnancy was such a roller coaster, but it ended beautifully.  I am so happy that all the bumps in the road lead us to Full Circle Midwifery.  I wish we could go back and do all our births this way.  It was a lot of work, but so worth it.