My VBAC Success and How You Can VBAC Too

VBAC Success

I remember being told that after one C-section you have no choice but to have another. Doctors said that a VBAC is not an option because of the risks. At first I believed this to be true. I then decided to do my own research.  It was enlightening and empowering to read the success stories of other women who had a VBAC. I decided that I could do it to.

VBAC Accomplished

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The C-Section

In 2013 I was a young woman, pregnant for the first time with a little girl. I was scared to death of everything from labor to how to even raise this tiny little person who would be entering my life soon. The fear became even worse when I was told my little girl was frank breech and that I would require a C-section in order to safely deliver her. I was unaware of any other options, I thought this was my only choice so I went ahead and scheduled the surgery. Everything went according to plan and I finally had my perfect little girl in my arms. The only thing that could cast a dark cloud over my otherwise perfect day, was the fact that I was being told that for all of my subsequent children, I would have no choice but to repeat the C-section process.

The Decision

Fast forward three years, I am ready to start the process over once again. My husband and I had known we wanted more children, but I was not ready to have a repeat C-section. The thought of another major surgery shook me to my core and at times I even wondered if I wanted to go through with it again or just be happy with the one child I was blessed with. This is about the time that I started doing my own research, and the topic of VBAC came up (vaginal birth after C-section). I was intrigued and delved into the wealth of knowledge held within the pages of Google. I read about the risks and benefits, and decided that this was something that I could do.

My doctor I had used before did not perform VBACs, and neither did the hospital in the town where I live. We decided that I would drive to a larger nearby city and see a doctor there who would be willing to work with me and use a hospital that was known for their success rate in VBAC.

The Pregnancy

My pregnancy was easy, almost by the books so I thought I would have no trouble going into labor all on my own, after all my body was made to do this. Near the end of my pregnancy with my little boy, the doctor began to voice her concern that while the little man was head down, my body was showing no signs of labor readiness. Every week I made the drive to my appointment, and every week I was told there was no signs of progression. We had decided to schedule the repeat C-section for 42 weeks, just in case.

I was crushed! How could this be happening to me when I had had such an easy pregnancy thus far? I felt like a failure after my 40 week appointment when there was still no signs of dilation or effacement.  After crying the entire way home, I decided to do everything I could in order to naturally put myself into labor.

The Wait

I searched old wives’ tales and began to incorporate them. I started off with walking. Not just light walking, but walking until I felt my legs were going to give out. I purchased a yoga ball. When I was not walking, I was bouncing. My daughter was very entertained by mommy bouncing on a ball all day while holding a laptop and typing a master’s thesis. I began to drown myself in red raspberry leaf tea. Then there was my daily dose of evening primrose oil to help soften my cervix. The icing on the top of the cake was the mass amount of sex I insisted my husband partake in with me (not that I think he complained in any way about this one). Sex has been said to bring on contractions while sperm has been said to soften the cervix.

So you can see when I say I tried it all, I meant it. I was bound and determined to have this baby without surgical intervention.

The Labor

I had finally started feeling some pain and pressure. I have never been so excited to feel pain before in my life, it meant something was working! The day of September 16th, my back felt like it was on fire most of the day. I started being able to time what I believed to be contractions. It was bearable, but steadily getting worse as the day progressed. By the time my husband got home from work, I was on all fours rocking back and forth on a yoga ball. We decided to wait a bit longer to go to the hospital, as it was still bearable. While we waited for my mom to come pick up our daughter, I labored in a bath of Epson salts and hot water, and man did it feel amazing!

The time finally came, my daughter was in my mom’s capable care and I could no longer bear the pain of the contractions in my back, which were coming strong and steady every four minutes. On our drive to the hospital I couldn’t help but notice the moon. It was full and beautiful. I laughed to myself and thought maybe the full moon had something to do with my quickly progressing labor.

Upon arrival to the hospital, I was taken immediately into triage where they began to check and monitor me to see if I truly needed to be admitted.  They had said I was two centimeters dilated upon arrival, and within an hour I had progressed to four. So they went ahead and admitted me. I had it in my mind that I would have a completely natural birth. No pain medication for me, that was until I experienced back labor. When the contractions hit, I couldn’t walk, couldn’t talk, and could barely breathe through them. I was still determined to do this unmediated, but by five centimeters I was begging for an epidural. Once I received my sanity saving drugs, I was able to comfortably rest for a little while.

 

How I was able to have a successful VBAC and so can you.

The Delivery

To my surprise, my sister in law drove two hours to come see me while I was in labor. I was super happy to see her. As much as I love my husband, it was nice having another woman there with me! After a short nap, I was awakened by my contractions. It seemed as though the epidural was starting to fade. I could once again feel the fiery pain in my back. When the nurses checked me, they informed me that there was no time for more medicine, this baby was coming. With my husband and sister in law coaching me through, I was able to push out my beautiful baby boy in less than 20 minutes!

The Baby

He was perfect! Ten tiny fingers, ten tiny toes, screaming his way into this new world! 8lbs 11oz and 21 inches of perfection; my heart had never felt so full. When it was time to cut the cord, my squeamish husband graciously declined. Thankfully my wonderful sister in law was there to take on the task and help welcome her nephew into the world! Baby boy was placed directly onto me, skin to skin, breastfeeding right away. It was a magical and wonderful experience. I could not have asked for anything better!

VBAC Without Fear

Since my experience, I have gotten many questions about VBAC and if they are worth it, and to that I say, without a doubt! It was the most amazing experience of my life. Despite the horrendous back labor and tearing, I would do it all over again in a heartbeat! My recovery was much quicker than with my previous C-section and I all around just felt better afterwards. My advice to any mother considering a VBAC is to talk to your doctor Find a doctor who is willing to be supportive, and trust your body, because as women this is what we are made for! With a little determination, anything becomes possible!

Perfection

47 comments

  1. Savannah (@HowHesRaised) says:

    What a WONDERFUL birth story, seriously! I’m so so happy to hear that you didn’t just blindly follow doctor’s orders and, through your own research, were able to have the birth of your dreams! The pain of labor definitely is no joke, it’s incredible how intense it can be! Thanks for sharing <3

    • thecoffeemom0617 says:

      Thank you! It was definitely an experience that will never forget. While it wasn’t how I expected, it was almost exactly what I wanted. I think it’s important for women to do their own research when it comes to childbirth

  2. Just Plain Marie says:

    There are no failures when it comes to moms having babies. 🙂 You did the very best you knew and could both times. They say that a successful airplane landing is one in which you walk away from it, and the same goes for birth. Congrats on the new baby! 🙂

  3. Kim says:

    I had twins by C-section then delivered my single birth child 19 months later naturally without an epidural. The recovery time and the ability to care my new infant and 2 toddlers with much less pain and assistance.

  4. Jessica says:

    I am so happy that you had a successful vbac. I’m pregnant with my 5th and I’m not sure if I’ll be able to have a vbac at this point. I have had 4 c-section and all 4 were emergency/medical reasoning. I’m going to do some more research with hopes that maybe I can have a vbac.

  5. reshamadgmailcom says:

    She is so adorable. Congrats and good to know that you both are doing well! I am sure you are going to thoroughly enjoy this time frame and look forward to so many more!!

  6. Cynthia @craftoflaughter says:

    I’m so glad you were able to have the kind of birth experience that you wanted and planned for. I wish everyone was able to have the same kind of birth story.

  7. Tabitha Shakespeare says:

    What an inspiring story! I’m so glad that you took it upon yourself to do your own research and come to your own decision! So many women don’t know that there are other options so it’s so awesome that you shared!

  8. Tereza says:

    This is such an amazing story to read, you’re one brave BRAVE woman! It’s so good that you’ve done your own research and went with your gut rather than what someone else has said. You have such a beautiful baby too xxx

  9. The Trophy WifeStyle says:

    Omg glad everything worked out for you girl!!! I only have one kiddo, but she was a c-section and my Doctor told me the same. If I ever had a another it would be c-sections on out…. nice to hear that always isn’t the case

  10. Kiwi says:

    I love this story. I love it because I think people take all doctors words as gold and you cant. Birthing is a business so if they can sell more women into C-sections they will (for profit not because your body cant do it). I watch the business of giving birth by Ricki Lake that exposed a lot but i am so happy you listened to your body and got other opinions! Thanks for sharing.

  11. Jamie McCabe says:

    Loved reading this and it gave me hope. Was told by 3 doctors and my past surgeon from my last C section that I’m not a VBAC canidate. Even a midwife and hospital who has huge success with VBAC didn’t recommend I go through one because my last c section I had to be cut 3CM anterior extension. They say I have a 10% chance of rupture. I’m crushed because I was hoping to have a all natural waterbirth with a midwife and never knew I was cut anteriorly until 19 weeks into this pregnancy. So now I’m torn on what to do. Need help thanks

    • Jessi says:

      I would honestly go with what you feel is right. Since your C-section sounds like it was different from mine, I can’t give much advise. I will say that for a VBAC it is recommended to do so in a hospital due to the increased risks. You can still do a natural hospital birth though. See if you can find a supportive doctor who is willing to at least allow you to try. You sound like you would be considered high risk as well, so you might want to take that into account. It isn’t cut and dry one size fits all unfortunately. One thing you can do though, is ask about the gentle c-sections, they are much better than when I had my daughter.

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