In honor of Cesarean Awareness month, we’d like to share a beautiful VBAC birth story, as written from the mother’s point of view. This was the first hospital birth attended by both Lauren and myself. We are honored to have been a part of it.
We were so blessed to find out that we were going to add another little one to our family. I was so excited to have another baby and had hopes that this experience would go smoother than the last one. Our first child was delivered via cesarean due to HELLP syndrome. It was very scary but fortunately we ended up with a happy and healthy little boy. As our family found out we would be expecting a second child we were determined to have the birth experience that we had always wanted with our first. So my husband and I found a doctor that was very open to the possibilities of a VBAC.
As I approached the end of my first trimester my husband deployed to Afghanistan. This was one hurdle we had expected but anticipated his return before our sweet baby arrived. At 16 weeks I found myself very sick. Alone with my 2 year old son I called the ambulance as I thought I was losing the baby. Turned out to be an appendicitis and I underwent surgery immediately. The baby and I had a long recovery but had a seamless pregnancy from then on.
As time went on we found out that my husband would not return in time for Emma’s arrival and we were faced with the challenge of trying to schedule him to come home for two weeks leave in order to be present for the birth. I had decided that I would just have a scheduled C-section to ensure he would be here for the experience, but inside I knew that this was our last baby and I really wanted a VBAC. As time went on it became more clear that we would not be able to count on my husband being home and that we just had to cross our fingers he would make it. At that moment I decided I would find a doula and prepare myself to do this without him here.
I met two incredible doulas who were excited to take the rest of my journey with me. As I approached 39 weeks I kept thinking she would come early as my son was born at 37 weeks. Emma decided to make us all wait. It was a Monday and I started having contractions all day. They were intense right from the start but never really stayed consistent. I thought for sure she was coming at the beginning of that week but then they stopped and everything was normal. On Wednesday, my actual due date I went to the Chiropractor for one last adjustment. He assured me that she was low and ready. It was only a matter of time. That evening my contractions came back and once again were intense but inconsistent. I went to bed and tried to sleep as much as I could. I finally spoke to my husband on skype and called my doulas who arrived around 4am.
We spent the morning walking the neighborhood as the sun came up. I was still in early labor but with the emotions and anxiety that I carried from my husband not being there I believe it felt and seemed as though I was in active labor.
We went to my regularly scheduled prenatal appointment that day just out of curiosity to see how far I had dilated. I was fully prepared to stay at the hospital from that point on thinking I was at least at 5cm. To my surprise I was only 3cm. I felt so defeated thinking I was so much further along. I had a few options to be admitted and start some interventions to move things along but I decided to go home and take a nap. I snuggled in my bed and sent my doulas away for a break and rest themselves.
A few hours later I woke up and was so ready to give up. My contractions were still not closer together but felt more intense. As my doulas returned I got the motivation and confidence to continue. We went to the hospital that evening as I was eager to get settled there and have this baby. With my husband on skype, two amazing doulas and my aunt I continued to labor in the hospital.
The hospital staff was great. They pretty much honored what I wanted and just checked in on me. After several hours of slow progression I started considering the different options that were presented to me. Having been up for more than 24 hours the exhaustion was really taking a toll.
I took a minute alone with my husband via skype to decide what to do next. I knew that mentally I was done and the ultimate goal was to have a healthy baby with a successful VBAC. We chose to break my water, start Pitocin and an epidural. As the feeling of the contractions eased up, I looked around the room and felt blessed to have the support of those around me. My doulas, my aunt and my photographer all scrunched on the little hospital sofa in attempts to get a little rest and most of all my husband who had been on skype almost the entire time looking just as exhausted as myself. This was a good moment. After a much needed nap the nurse came in and said “are you ready to have a baby?”
I couldn’t have been more ready. I pushed for about an hour during which my Dr. mentioned needing to use the vacuum and I was determined not to let that be the case. I focused on my husband’s voice and those encouraging alongside me and finally pushed her out.
The Dr. guided her out and placed her on my chest. It was such a special moment that we did not get to experience with our first. When the time came I was able to cut her cord in place of my husband. It was such a bittersweet day without him physically there. However, we had this beautiful, healthy girl and I had had the successful VBAC that I wanted. Now all we had to do was focus on the homecoming of her daddy.
Are you looking for a doula in Denver, Colorado Springs, Castle Rock, or other Colorado area? Colorado Mountain Doulas is here to serve you through pregnancy, birth, and beyond.
Birth photography provided by: http://brandibullard.wix.com/bbphotography