I’m still in awe that I met my sweet son and got my VBAC on Tuesday, June 6 at 11:56 a.m. Here’s my (long) story! 💛
I had a C-section in 2014 after laboring for 24 hours at 39+2. I had “done it all”—Bradley Method, had a doula, a midwife (who I’d now call a “med-wife” looking back), read all the books, etc. A week before my labor, I was in the hospital for a kidney infection and stones in both kidneys (c’mon!!). My midwife) really pushed for me to be induced at 39 weeks. I wouldn’t consent to the induction, however, I consented to a membrane sweep. The next day I was in full-blown labor. I labored at home all day and went to the hospital at 7cm. It was all downhill from there. After FIVE botched IV attempts, a fight with my nurse over me denying erythromycin, Pitocin without epidural for 5 hours—my body didn’t budge. I stayed at 7cm for 9 hours before my midwife pushed hard for a C-section. I conceded. My beautiful daughter was born, but looking back I missed out on so much. I couldn’t hold her. I lived in horrible pain for weeks. Struggled with nursing. And then had two years of scar tissue pain that affected so many areas of my life.
I always knew I’d go for a VBAC. I was terrified when I got pregnant because I was having so many issues with my scar tissue, however, the pregnancy was really healing. It broke down so much of the scar tissue and my back and pelvic issues began to subside as my belly grew. Had a big bump in the road when I contracted Lyme Disease at 5 weeks (really?!!). It was a scary time, but after a long bout of antibiotics and quite a few growth scans, I began to relax. The rest of the pregnancy was so smooth and easy.
I was really focused on positioning with this pregnancy. I started Spinning Babies at around 4 months and did the yoga flow most days. I never, ever reclined. I slept on my left side as much as possible. I ate dates religiously from 36 weeks to 40 weeks (168 dates – oh my). I also did a Hypnobirthing class and read the book. My same doula and friend from my first birth supported me and my OB is known in my area for VBAC (and vaginal breech and twin births).
After 40 weeks on June 1, I was up and down emotionally—feeling great in the morning and then discouraged by the evening. At 40+3, I had cramping all night long; woke up to my bloody show and plug. I took a long walk—but no labor began. By Monday morning I was frustrated and convinced labor wasn’t coming. I went about my day and around noon I started having contractions. I ignored them. By 4 p.m., they were getting stronger, but were a bit all over the place. I took a bath, a walk and ate—they were still coming. Around 7 p.m., I finally decided it was the real thing. I wanted to go to the hospital at 10 p.m. Unlike last time, I really wanted to get to the hospital in time to get settled and make a safe, relaxed space.
When the nurse checked me, I was still at 2 cm, but almost completely effaced. My contractions were coming every 2-4 minutes and were hard. After around 3 hours, I opted for an epidural. (With my first birth, I was DEAD-SET on no interventions and I had all these expectations—with this birth, I went in totally open-minded. All I wanted was this VBAC and I was open to whatever came along to help me get there.) As I laid there resting (with my husband snoring on the couch and my mom curled up in the corner), I continued to visualize my cervix opening. I’d watch a contraction on the monitor (I could still mildly feel them, too) and say “open, open, open.” By 7:30 a.m. I was at a 9.
My doula and my incredible nurse worked in tandem to get me in good positions to move my baby down. We let my epidural wear off and my contractions were getting stronger and stronger. By 9 a.m., I was going through transition (holy emotions) and at 10:30 a.m. I started pushing. OH MY, PUSHING IS HARD. I could feel each contraction and I could feel him moving down. I pushed for an hour and a half. My husband, my mom, my doula and my nurse were my invaluable cheering squad.
At 11:56 a.m., I watched him birth from my body. I was sobbing with joy, as were my mom and husband. It was pure, pure magic.
My mindset was one of, if not the most important pieces of my VBAC. I had my moments, but I believed—truly believed—I could do it. In my bedroom, I hung affirmations and pictures of flowers blooming and a baby birthing vaginally. I visualized him coming out. I visualized my cervix dilating. I visualized posting this story! I practiced mantras. I believed. ✨