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By Jessica T.
A brief history of my previous birth experience:
I wanted an all natural labor and delivery with our first. I didn't do much of any research, however, because my 18 year old self figured, "It's birth, it's natural, what do I really need to know?"
I went into labor naturally with him at 39 weeks, labored for 12 hours, pushed for two hours- and due to a lack of knowledge on my end and a total lack of truly trying to help on the Drs. end - I ended up with a c-section. I was devastated. Don't get me wrong. My son was healthy, and of course that matters more to me than my well being or birth wishes, but I was heart-broken that I didn't get the birth experience I wanted. It wasn't even so much the c-section that broke me, but what happened afterwards.
Him and I were both perfectly fine after the surgery but they took him to the nursery and wouldn't bring him to me. I begged for them to bring him to me and all I got were stupid answers like, "Oh, we're just letting you rest." I told them I didn't want to rest, I wanted my baby! Two hours later, I finally got to touch my son for the first time. Two hours wasted, two hours of bonding we'll never have. Why? No reason.No reason at all. Though things could have been much worse (and I really do understand this is mild compared to some women's experiences), my first birth was still traumatizing and not at all what I wanted; aside from a healthy baby. I was made to believe I couldn't birth my own child. After all, "he was stuck" and I "needed a c-section" it was "best for the baby" After that, knowing we wanted to have more children, I began doing my research. Some things I learned were:
1) One c-section does NOT mean more are necessary. Just because I was cut open the first time does not mean I need to be cut open again.
2) I can do it! My body was made to create and bear life
3) I have God-given instincts. From birth to parenting and beyond, mothers (women) have instincts to just "know" what to do.
4) More often than not, doctors get in the way instead of truly help a mother in the natural progression of labor and delivery.
So I decided the next time around, things would be much different!
On to the birth of our second child:
We conceived our second sweet miracle in October, 2012, after 15 long months of trying. Again, I knew from the start I wanted an all-natural birth. I was pretty convinced that it wouldn't happen in a hospital; at least not the way I wanted it to. So I began seeking out midwives. None in my area could/would take a VBAC (vaginal birth after c-section) patient. I was at a loss. My options were few and not so appealing. Long story short, I had a sweet friend help me monitor mine and baby's health throughout my pregnancy, observe the birth and help us clean up afterwards.
I started having random, painless/"toning" contractions around 38 weeks. At 40 weeks and 2 days, a Monday, I woke up at 7am with contractions that were "different". I knew they were real and certainly doing something, but they were also few and far enough between that I was convinced I would be in early labor for a couple days at least. They would last anywhere from 15 seconds to a minute and come anywhere from 3-5 and 25 minutes apart. No real pattern.
Finally around 11p they started getting intense enough that I realized, "Oh hey, I think this is actually it." They quickly went from having no real pattern to being back to back. At 1:50a on Tuesday, July 23rd, my water broke while I was in the bathroom, and immediately my body began pushing. Thankfully, my husband had set up a birthing pool earlier on Monday. He quickly began warming the water in the pool so I could get in.
I got in the pool a little after 2am, pushing all the while. It was uncontrollable. My body knew what it needed to do, and it did it; with or without me. Thoughts started going through my mind like, "What if the baby gets stuck like my first did? What if I can't do this?"
Just then, I felt baby descend. My husband woke up our 3.5 year old son, who had specifically requested to be woken up when Baby was on the way. They stood there, watching quietly, then, wait... was that the baby's head? Yes! My baby was crowning!
I didn't want to tear so I tried my best to breathe through the contractions and uncontrollable urges to push. But it didn't really help. haha. At 3:08am, Tuesday, July 23rd, 2013 (after I don't even know how many pushes) I delivered my baby, in my home, in the water - by myself!
I DID IT!!!I had a successful HBAC (home birth after c-section)!
Not long after I scooped my precious baby out of the water, I discovered that the miracle that had been within me for the past nine months was a precious baby GIRL! I got to catch my baby, have instant bonding, find out the sex, my husband and son cut the cord, and it was an absolutely perfect moment!
Honestly, it was very intense once I hit active labor, and for about 24 hours postpartum I wondered if I would do it again. But thankfully it was fairly short, and now, a week postpartum, I could definitely see doing it again, just the same - at home, in the water, by myself, with my husband and children by my side. It was truly a highlight of my life. A moment and feeling I will never forget! And one I wish every new mama could experience!
And for all you c-section mamas who so desire to have a successful vbac.... YOU CAN DO IT!!!Don't give up on your dreams, your baby, yourself. Your wishes are important and you deserve to be heard and to be supported in your birth.
Disclaimer: The information on this site is for educational purposes and is intended to motivate you to make your own informed choices based on your research, along with your partnership with your OB or Midwife. Please always talk to your care provider when making any decisions about your pregnancy and birth.