The Birth of Ramona Rahab

The Birth of Ramona Rahab

Felicity has taken some time to write up her VBAC birth story for those of you who are interested..

On July 7th, four days past my due date, I went in for my 15th ultrasound to monitor my amniotic fluid level, which had been low. My fluid level still looked good, but her heart rate was not as active as they wanted to see. It was not an immediate emergency, but it looked like the placenta might be starting to give out and our baby wasn’t as happy in the womb as she once was. They called my doctor in and we all agreed that I should go ahead and start induction.

We had already discussed the best induction methods for a successful VBAC, so at about 4pm we started with the first, a Foley Catheter which put pressure on my cervix for about 3 hours. It helped me to dilate from 1cm to 3.5cm, but no contractions started. They gave me two hours to walk around the room and bounce on a birth ball to see if labor would start, but I ended up starting Pitocin around 9pm.

After an hour on Pitocin, and not very consistent contractions, I was checked and found to be 4cm dilated. They upped my Pitocin dose from 1ml/min to 2ml/min. Contractions quickly started coming every two minutes, but were very mild. My doula, Vicki, suggested getting in the bath to relax during early labor. After just 15 min in the bath, my contractions were consistently coming every 2 min and lasting 40 seconds.


Ramona would be coming soon…

At midnight, I got out of the tub and I was 5cm dilated. I was really expecting to be further along because the last hour of contractions were intense enough that I could not talk through them and had to really focus in order to relax, but Vicki said we would try a few positions that would bring on stronger and quicker labor.

The first position we tried, Vicki called “the throne.”  She adjusted the hospital bed so I was basically sitting in a chair.  Whenever a contraction started coming on, Vicki and/or Joseph would push my knees into my chest as I breathed through it. As the contractions got stronger, I could no longer participate in conversation and mostly kept my eyes closed. Each contraction came on stronger and stronger, and what really helped was just listening to the lyrics of playlist I had brought on my iPod.

We continued the throne position for about 10 contractions, then Vicky had me sit on the birth ball while I leaned on my elbows at the edge of the bed. This is when active labor got intense! Vicki rubbed really hard on my lower back when each contraction came. She said she could feel the baby dropping, as there was a lump in my lower back. At 12:53am, my water broke, which gave me a bit of a relief and a ton of joy! I did not get to experience that when my first two kids were born, as the first time my doctor broke my water and the second time I had a c-section and didn’t experience labor at all.

She helped me to stand and get into a new position because the baby’s heart rate was dropping a bit.  I stood up face to face with Joseph and wrapped my arms around his neck, when each contraction came Vicki instructed me to squat while Joseph supported all my weight. At this point, the pain was incredibly intense, but was able to concentrate on the comforting lyrics of the music we had playing.

The restful moments between contractions were getting shorter and shorter. After a couple of squats like that, Vicki told me to keep doing the same thing except this time put one leg up on a stool. Joseph was incredibly encouraging. He would tell me to remember what I wanted to visualize, that we were about to see our baby, and that this is exactly how everything was supposed to go.

After a few contractions with my left leg up on the stool, I felt I could no longer stand. There seemed to be only a few seconds between contractions, so I rushed to the bed explaining, “I need to rest!” and flopped myself onto the bed on my hands and knees, desperate for some relief. During the few seconds between contractions, I would collapse and cry out, “I need to slow it down!!” I heard Vicki say that the nurse had turned off my Pitocin. I knew I just needed to embrace each contraction as bringing me closer to meeting our baby. My main comfort was still the music I could hear for only a few seconds at a time when I was able to breath and focus, the music and breathing consistently helped me to relax and trust that God was in control of my birth.

The nurse checked to see how dilated I was but I was in so much pain I couldn’t hear what she she said. I felt the urge to push, but Vicki told me to wait and that I needed to turn around so my head was at the other side of the bed. Another contraction started and I heard several people coming into the room, and I heard the word, “complete.”  I knew it was time to push!  During the next contraction, my body began pushing on it’s own.  “SHE’S BEARING DOWN!!!”  I heard Vicki yell out to the staff were all at the other end of the room. I could hear all these people hustling about, putting on gloves and such.

Again, Vicki told me I needed to turn around.  I had no idea how I would manage to do that, but somehow after the next contraction, with Joseph and Vicki’s help, I did. I said I felt like I was going to throw up and someone passed a plastic container to Joseph who held it up near my mouth in case I did. He was such a comfort to me in those moments because he did not seems scared in the least. He was excited! He told me we were about to meet our baby, and that I was doing great.

My doctor was not in the room, but a couple other doctors came in, so I was told to go ahead and push with the next contraction. The pain was not nearly as intense as it had been five minutes earlier. My body pushed completely on it’s own at the peak of my contractions and second push I felt the head come out. Her body slid out easily on that third push and instantly she started crying and was handed up to me! I was elated! She was perfect. Ramona was born at 1:27am on July 8th, just 3.5 hours after active labor began. I could not believe it, she was so soft and so precious! She was already very pink, unlike Zoey who came out very purple. I couldn’t believe it was over so quickly!

Just moments after Ramona was born!

Just moments after Ramona was born!

After the doctors left, the nurse asked if we had heard that there had been a knot in the umbilical cord. We had not heard them say them say that, but apparently that is why she had some heart rate decelerations, and may have been the reason for the poor results of the fetal monitoring that morning. The nurse assured us that the knot probably wasn’t tightened until she came out. We were so thankful that it hadn’t caused any major issues with her health.

Ramona was weighed in at 6lb 15oz and 20.25” long. Three pounds lighter than my 36.5 week ultrasound predicted she would be!


On our way home from the hospital


Felicity and Vicki, our doula (we are so thankful for her!!), with Ramona

Click here if you’d like to see more photos of beautiful Ramona!




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