HBA4C: Homebirth After Four Cesareans!

by Birth Without Fear on August 21, 2011

*Having a home birth after multiple cesarean sections is not always safe. Please speak with your care providers for more information and support and to see if you are a good candidate for home birth, or vaginal birth in a hospital. VBAC’s are wonderful and can be done, but each woman, pregnancy and birth is different. ~Mrs. BWF

Here’s my story and a photo of our son. The BWF community was instrumental in getting me to feel confident in trusting my body to birth my baby. Thanks for all you do to empower women to make thoughtful choices regarding their births.

All the best,
Rachelle

A Successful HBA4C Birth Story

In order to fully appreciate C’s birth story, I feel like it’s important that I put it in context: I have never before had a vaginal birth. I had labored with my first two, and after hard labors that were made even more difficult with medical interventions, both ended in c-section. My next two babies were born via elective repeat cesarean.

When we learned that I was pregnant with C, I immediately knew that I was going to look into attempting a VBAC again. (Vaginal Birth After Cesarean). Having a 5th c-section carried risks that I was not comfortable with, and though I knew it would be a struggle to find someone willing to attend me, I knew I had to try.

We tried various doctors and birthing centers only to be repeatedly turned down. The risks were “too high” they said. We did a lot of research during those months: reading studies, analyzing data, making sure we were still making the safest choice possible for the baby and I. We tried finding the big “increased risks” that the medical community talked about and simply couldn’t find them.

And then we found midwives who were unable to find those risks either. They confirmed what my husband and I had learned: the risk of a VBAC after 4 c-sections were no more increased than the risks of a 5th repeat c-section. Our VBAC plan was a ‘go’ with only one small detail: we would be giving birth at home.

I have to say that I was really OK with that. After reading VBAC studies and studying my own medical records from the previous deliveries, I really felt that my only chance of having a successful VBAC was away from all the “interventions” of modern technology. No, I did not want to be induced: that would put increased stress on my scarred uterus. No, I did not want pain medication. It would make it impossible for me to alert my birthing team if anything felt “off”, etc. The only way I was going to do this, was if I was left to do it on my own.

And so we did.

Contractions started on Sunday night. Pretty mild in hindsight, but that night, they were strong enough to wake me from sleep every 30 minutes. When I woke up Monday morning, I told my husband, R, to go to work and that I would keep him posted. As I got myself and the kids ready in the morning, they increased to about every 10 minutes apart, but were easy to talk through so I continued to go to work and see what the day brought.

By 2:00 Monday afternoon, some of the contractions were getting pretty uncomfortable. I preffered not to talk through them and they were coming about every 7 minutes. Shortly after that, I told my co-workers I was going to go home and have a baby. I had R pick up the kids from the sitters and we all hung out at home hoping to have a new baby by morning. I put a lasagna together so we would have a meal ready to eat after the birth and the kids and R swam.

After supper we had my mom pick the kids up and R’s sister came over ready to help with the birth. At this point, the contractions were about 5 minutes apart, but weren’t increasing in intensity or pattern. At around 11:00 Monday night, we decided to all lay down and try and get some sleep. The contractions spaced back out to around every 30 minutes throughout the night.

By Tuesday morning, I was so tired from the two previous sleepless nights and was feeling really discouraged. My contractions picked back up to about every 10 minutes and were getting increasingly difficult for me to deal with, but I wasn’t sure if that was because they were indeed getting stronger, or I was just getting less able to handle them because I was so tired. One of the midwives came over around 9:30 to listen to baby’s heartbeat and provide some much needed encouragement. She said that this could last for even a few days and that it was perfectly normal, my body was doing what it needed to do, and that I should take care of myself: rest, eat healthy food and stay hydrated. And so we continued to wait.

Throughout the day, the contractions remained about 5-7 minutes apart. Ingrid went home and we assured her we’d call if anything happened. By 9:45 Tuesday night, I woke R up and told him I needed help getting through the contractions. I thought that things must be picking up and started to feel like I REALLY WAS going to have a baby someday! R started timing the contractions and they were coming every 3 minutes. I was also becoming increasingly uncomfortable during them. We decided to time them for a while to make sure it was the real deal and then we would update the midwives.

At 11:00 there was a change of plans: my water broke all over the living room floor. R actually heard it ‘pop’ from the other side of the room. I immediately felt a welcome relief of pressure. But that nice feeling only last a few minutes because after my water broke, the contractions immediately picked up in intensity and frequency. We called R’s sister and the midwives and by midnight, the whole team was assembled for the job ahead.

As everyone was arriving, I was on the floor on my hands and knees trying to work through the contractions, but my legs were starting to shake and I felt like I needed to get off of them for a while. The midwives helped me lay down in bed on my side and we labored like that while the birth pool was getting filled up. I couldn’t wait to crawl into that pool!! My body was starting to get that pushy feeling and I had even asked for the bucket to throw up in so I was feeling happy, assuming I must be getting close. I got in the pool and my body continued to push and I remember thinking, “Well, the midwives got here just in time! This is happening so fast!”

After I was in the pool for a while, my midwife asked to check and see how dilated I was. I crawled out of the pool and was devastated to learn I was only about 6-7cm! My mood immediately changed. This was exactly what happened with my first two labors: I got the urge to push “too early” and the reminder of my first two “failed” vaginal deliveries just completely devastated me. I started to try and beg R and the midwives to just let me go to the hospital and have a c-section since I was convinced my body was betraying me. But as hard as I tried to tell them that I couldn’t to do this anymore, the more they told me that I WAS doing it — one contraction at a time. And a half hour later, when the midwife checked me again, I was at 9cm.

I was still having the urge to push, but the midwife said that it obviously wasn’t swelling my cervix at all and I was progressing well, so to continue to work with my body rather than fight it. She just kept telling me to give each contraction only the amount of energy it required and nothing more. Wise words!

The next time she checked me, she noticed that I had a stubborn lip on one side of my cervix that wouldn’t thin out. She recommended that I lay on that side of my body and she gave me the option to let it work itself out or she could help push back the lip during contractions. Her pushing back the lip would be “pretty intense” as she said, but it may make baby come faster. I decided I wanted my baby here faster and so she worked on the cervical lip while I clung to R’s hands.

And then it was time to push. The midwives could feel that C was coming down a bit crooked. They recommended that I get in some different positions to help move him down. Moving around during that part of labor was not exactly fun, but it worked. I could literally feel his little body moving and adjusting with each change that I made. I was so proud of my tiny little son doing his part to help with his own birth. So amazing.

Once it got to the point where I could reach up and feel his little head, it was game on. I was so ready to meet this little person and ready to do whatever it took to get to the finish line. We were about half way into the 1 hour it took to push him out when I made a stunning realization: If I got his head pushed out to his ears, I was going to have to sit there like that with him halfway out until the next contraction. I said this to the midwives and they got a good laugh over the fact that I was just now realizing that. So, yes, indeed I got him out about halfway and then had to wait for the next contraction to push the rest of his head out. That was probably the longest minute of my life, but after that, he was out and on my chest and life was perfect.

HBA4C

He came out so calmly and peacefully alert. The midwives joked saying “Does he even know he was born?” He pinked up really quickly and immediately started nursing like a champ. He had a little bit of extra fluid in his lungs that the midwives helped him take care of, but his Apgar scores were both 8s and they declared him A-OK.

I still am not sure that I have fully processed the culmination of a 7 year journey. I am so happy that we finally got to give birth on our terms, just me and my baby doing our thing together that God designed us so perfectly to do. I wasn’t a hero — I didn’t handle it with quiet grace and poise like I had hoped I would. Ha ha ha! I moaned and grunted and even cried my way through it all. But I wouldn’t take it back or change it for the world. Birth is truly transforming… and I can finally say I got to experience that beautiful transformation. I am so very blessed!

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{ 56 comments… read them below or add one }

Tiffany August 22, 2011 at 3:18 pm

I am planning an HBAC for March of next year and I loved reading your story. Thank you so much for sharing. Reading success stories reminds me that I can do this. Congrats Mama!

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Karen Joy August 22, 2011 at 4:57 pm

LOVELY! Lovely story, lovely picture of that handsome little man.

One thing, though… This part made me just a wee bit sad: “I wasn’t a hero — I didn’t handle it with quiet grace and poise like I had hoped I would. Ha ha ha! I moaned and grunted and even cried my way through it all.” Oh, mama, don’t let that disappointment in yourself steal your joy and satisfaction of birthing!! Some mothers just don’t birth with “quiet grace” and being noisy and even crying doesn’t make you any less of a hero!! I remember for my third, I had that feeling at the end, that I had gotten too out-of-control and that it wasn’t as graceful and peaceful as I wanted it to be. I mentioned that to my husband, and he said, “ARE YOU CRAZY??? You were amazing. It was perfect.” And right then, I stopped feeling like I had somehow let myself or my birth down. The feelings we have during birth are so intense, even to the point where there are things that we feel like we didn’t do the best, but don’t let that steal your joy! You did GREAT. Absolutely, gloriously GREAT.

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liz p August 22, 2011 at 10:24 pm

january- seriously. would you have posted this if the mom had ended up with a rupture and perhaps a damaged or dead baby? or if she had ended up with a hysterectomy from blood loss?? how can you say you don’t spread misinformation?? this is a story of PURE LUCK. and someone one day could very well read this- then hop on to your BWF facebook to get “supported” in their own HBA4C and it end in a story like Margarita’s…which you will then quickly sweep under the rug. i don’t think you are ugly or fat- but i do not like you one bit- you are sneaky and manipulative and you whitewash your blog and facebook to create a false reality. it’s time to get some big girl panties on and stop acting like a highschool meangirl. these are real BABIES we are talking about. you want to risk your babies- go ahead! but by spreading your ‘helpful information’ you put real babies at risk.
delete this, post it-i don’t care. i have a screen cap- so if you try and say i said something i did not i promise it will be posted EVERYWHERE.
liz—-

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Mrs. BWF August 23, 2011 at 12:35 pm

Liz, I did not sweep anything under the rug. I reposted Margarita’s picture and story and the BWF community gave her support. FACEBOOK removed it, not me. A few women decided it was inappropriate and reported it. I banned them. It was far from inappropriate and I feel her story should be heard…as yours.

When you first left your comments, I did not know you, your story, none of it. I was 40+ weeks pregnant and emotional and felt attacked. I regrettably did not handle it properly. I apologize and removed the thread on FB like you asked. You don’t have to like me, that’s OK. You also don’t have to continue attacking me (you and your group for 6 months now), but that’s your choice. I promise you if you had left a comment letting me know where you were coming from, your story, etc that it would have been different. I seriously did not know anything about you or Aquila, I just knew that you did not like me and that you sarcastically (your words) said you hope my baby didn’t join the baby loss club.

You have a painted picture and opinion of me and you are wrong. I can not sit here and try to convince you of such though. I know me, I know my heart, I know my actions and when I feel I could have done differently. As far as this birth story and this mama, she was educated and made her choices (without me) and I support them. Just like I support friends of mine and other BWF mamas who have gone in for induction and c-sections. I have not risked my babies. You do not know me or the actions I took in my pregnancies. You know what you read on Facebook.

You say I manipulate and whitewash my blog, but don’t you and your group do the same thing? I am about women knowing their choices and trusting birth and that is what I blog. Hate me for it if you must, that is your choice.

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kaley September 25, 2014 at 8:03 pm

What a respectful and kind reply to the woman who just spew hate, discouragement, and mockery.

There will always be those, moved greater by their own pain, than by the beauty surrounding others.

You know you’re doing something right when criticism comes to destroy all the good you have purposed, for the good of others. Unfortunately that’s the nature of the beast when you are influencial, as you are.

Mrs. BWF… Thank God for you and for this blog. I think you are extraordinary. While subject to human error, you are consumed with deep abiding love and passion for women & babies.

She has you all wrong.

Sincerely,
A Mama who had 3 successful homebirths and an upcoming c-section due to placenta previa.

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Amy Swagman September 14, 2011 at 4:52 am

I think it’s important to note that everyone’s idea of acceptable risk is different. This mama saw the risks of a fifth cesarean as outweighing the risks of a VBAMC. That was her choice, but it’s not the choice of every woman, and every woman needs to make that decision for themselves, hopefully without judgment or harassment.

I really do like the quote “Birth is as safe as life gets” because it illustrates that, yes, often times everything works out, but sometimes it doesn’t. We are all just doing the best we can with the information and intuition that we have.

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Amy April 20, 2012 at 1:59 pm

Love that quote

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Rachelle October 29, 2011 at 6:25 am

Rachelle does state (not me, the author) that she spent months researching her decision, which is exactly what BWF tries to encourage (correct me if I’m wrong) so that we make decisions appropriate to our situations. FB BWF does not give details of each of our situations. I personally have become less biased towards c-sections and interventions after actively participating in the BWF community. I have personally birthed at home and in a hospital, and wouldn’t birth unattended or have a c-section. Even so, I strive to encourage women – friends, family or FB – to be educated and at peace with whatever decisions they make. The only person we can change is ourselves, try to bare that in mind. I’m always happier when I keep negative comments to myself and spread the positive and happy ones :)

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Mollie August 23, 2011 at 8:40 am

Fantastic journey!! I’m so happy for you!! I go to church with a woman who’s also had 4 c-sections. With her, she “never went into labor” with the first 3. Her water would break, the dr. would let her wait 12 hours; no contractions happened, so she’d go in for a c-section. With her 4th, her contractions did start, but by then she was more comfortable with the c-section (knowing what to expect with the procedure, recovery, etc). If ever she gets pregnant again, I’ll send her your story! :) By “not being a hero”, did you mean you weren’t doing it to get recognition but solely for you and your baby? Combating the common response of “You’re so brave to do it at home!” mentality? I also wasn’t very quiet during my 2 labors. :) My first, I moaned through most of it and, in the words of my husband, had a bit higher pitched moaning plus grunting during pushing. My second was MUCH faster and my moaning was a bit different because of that. When he came out (in 2 pushes!) I screamed with each push! I scared my husband-he thought something was wrong because he’s never heard me sound like that before. :)
I’m so glad you went with your instincts (and facts!) to birth how you wanted to. It makes me sad (and a little confused) the women who think wanting/doing a VBAC is “crazy”. If ever I need a c-section, I KNOW I’ll be doing a VBAC for the following one. The freestanding birth center I’ve birthed at has, at least, an 85% successful VBAC rate. :D

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melissa maertz-wright August 23, 2011 at 1:33 pm

Awesome story, Mama!! Congrat’s on your HBA4C’s!! Truely amazing!!

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Lisa September 5, 2011 at 5:57 pm

Hi. I am staring down my fourth cesarean and getting absolutely terrified … I’m so blessed to have had three healthy babies and I’ve no reason to expect anything different this time … While I am so squeamish and afraid when I allow myself to think through what is shortly to come, putting things off as long as possible to have a v birth sounds not so bad … But that is not what I think God has in mind for me or my baby! I know your story is in no way advocating vbac +1 or more, but naturally it makes me a bit defensive of my method of birthing. In general, I feel one way is not superior over the other and that cesarean should be a choice for every woman. My births have not been especially “peaceful” or natural, but they are NOT “my births”!!! They, each one, are the monuments occasion of someone else, namely the person BEING BORN!!! It is shameful how many women focus on their own experience of giving birth (thinking of the fb post re the mother who “couldnt bond with” her three year old son because of an emergency cesarean … Hogwash!) instead of the person to whom they are giving birth! Honestly, who cares how it is done??? Forgive me for being groaningly tired of women who talk about the experience like they would a spa retreat. That is all.

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Mrs. BWF September 5, 2011 at 6:23 pm

Hi Lisa, I do not think this mama has expressed it is only for her and not her baby or that anyone is any less for having a cesarean section. She is simply sharing her and her babies experiences.

Read my most recent blog post as I think you will like it and it will be very beneficial to you for your upcoming birth and congratulations mama! :) http://birthwithoutfearblog.com/2011/09/04/helpful-information-for-a-cesarean-birth/

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Rachelle September 7, 2011 at 8:26 pm

Hi Lisa,
I hope Mrs. BWF doesn’t mind me popping in, but as the author of the above birth story, I felt like I needed to respond to you. :)

I agree with you that my last sentence of the birth story does make it sound like it was all about me and the experience I felt I was missing out on. It’s the one part of the birth story that I don’t like. :) But I assure you, it was NOT just about me. I agonized over the decision to HBAC for months and months and my baby’s health was the focus of that agonizing. I became so fearful of having a 5th c-section that indeed, I finally made the FINAL decision to switch to midwives at 33 weeks! And similar (but opposite, LOL) to what you stated above, I DID feel like a homebirth was what God was calling me to do. My DH and I both felt a peace in our hearts once the decision was made.

I apologize *sincerely* if my story made you feel bad about your upcoming (and past) births. It was definitely not my intent to make any mama feel bad about her births… I was simply sharing my feelings on such an amazing experience in my life.

God bless and best wishes to you for your upcoming birth!!

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Abi September 10, 2011 at 6:33 am

I had a section with my first baby – after 2 days of labour and getting to 10 cm. My second baby was a section that was planned. My 3rd was a planned HB, but with options at hospital if needed…..I had 12 hours of labour and a good go at pushing with number 3, but he wouldn’t budge….his section was the best it could have been. I was born with hip dysplasia, and I know my pelvis is wonky, and I grow babies to 10-11lb’s…..Why did I chose a HB for number 3? Because number 2 was born by section with no labour……the 1st and 3rd I had as much labour as my body could do…..I write this as I am responding to the -”thinking of the fb post re the mother who “couldnt bond with” her three year old son because of an emergency cesarean … Hogwash!” -comment…..the huge difference between outcomes was evident for me…..the planned date booked in no labour section left me in shock…..I had no hormonal cascade…..the lactation didn’t happen….she was sleepy from being in the womb, then removed before she was ready, and had no neurological stimulation from the contractions. My body physiology was ‘pregnant’ for 2 years after her birth….every month I’d do pee tests, convinced I was pregnant….then would menstruate the next day or two after that. Because my body felt that she was still in utero, I had difficultly bonding with her…..it was like a dissociative experience…..I had to do lots of making up for lost bond and no breast feeding with lots of working through of feelings, and doing massage with her to get us connected…..I had PND too…..awful, and so tired, and I was poorly stitched together….they left the bed tilted to the left while they repaired my wound….said ‘whoops’ and straightened up as the finished it of……so I had to deal with extra wonky pelvis…..so in my case there would be nothing better for number 4 to be in a birth centre, or birth room at a hospital, try labour….and be near a surgeon if need be……but I don’t have that choice, so its either freebirth, or elective section…..why can’t I choose to have say 3-6 hours of labour, then use that as a signal for section, rather than a prebooked date…? I wouldn’t bash women with bonding problems after a section…its purely hormonal physiology….not their choice…

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Andrea October 29, 2011 at 8:12 am

You do not HAVE to schedule the c/s. You can wait until labor and do the c/s then. Sure a doctor may not prefer having to live with the baby’s schedule, but there are doctors in hospitals everywhere at all times ready to deliver babies that way, so really you have nothing to lose! Really, I don’t know how anyone could argue with waiting for the baby to signal it’s ready to come out!

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Kandice February 2, 2012 at 9:14 pm

Andrea,
As a mom who has had previous sections before, I can assure you that in many cases you DO have to schedule your date. In the area that I live there are no midwives due to hospital hostility. The ob’s all answer to the same heath care system and have to bow to the pressures of the procedures. Unfortunately, this meant for me, that my simple request to wait until labor began before sectioning me, was not something any doctor was willing to do. I was given a week long “window” to pick the date of my c/s that was around the 38 week time frame.
I guess one could try and say that I didn’t try hard enough, drive far enough, or look hard enough, but then that person would have no frame of reference to my experience.
Just like the rest of the information that mothers share on this site, please be careful about telling someone what they do or do not have to do. All that I wanted was to be able to let my baby tell me when he wanted to be born, when he was ready. I was not given that option.

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Kristen February 26, 2012 at 9:16 pm

I am a therapist specializing in pregnancy/Postpartum mood disorders and birth ptsd after childbirth. I can assure you the effects of birth trauma are real and can certainly interfere with the bonding process. Calling hogwash on birth trauma is extremely unfair and insensitive. I am delighted that wasn’t your experience Lisa, but it is a reality for many women.

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Sheri August 11, 2012 at 2:44 pm

Totally agree! Some women do have a hard time bonding with their baby after a traumatic birth. Birth is very physical but it is much more emotional. I had a c-section with my first and a vbac with my second. My emotional scar from the first birth is what drove me to have a drug free vbac.

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Tara August 19, 2012 at 2:50 am

I had a traumatic homebirth and had a delayed bonding. I think it was just that I physically and emotionally was in shock. I know a woman who has had 15 VBA5C’s. She read her operative reports carefully, got plenty of advice from experts, and didn’t let anyone induce her or confine her to bed. I don’t believe that birth is as safe as life gets, it can be very risky, and I don’t trust birth, not one tiny little bit. I respect birth and I don’t like to see people suffer complications from interventions, that’s all. I believe the lady with the 15 VBACs feels the same way. She’d kill or die for any one of her children. Surgery doesn’t faze her one bit. Nobody who is seeking an experience seeks natural childbirth, we do it for our kids to minimize the added risks of intervention.

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Rachel May 17, 2013 at 9:02 pm

When I read the statement “birth is as safe as life gets” it doesn’t make me think of it not being dangerous or risky. In fact, it makes me think the opposite. I know how dangerous life is. A 19 year old girl can watch her mother go from being sick to her stomach to simply not breathing in an evening’s time, all the while trying to convince her mother to go to the doctor. A young husband and father can be at work and his supervisor can drop an 800 pound piece of agricultural equipment on him, leaving him with severe back problems the leave him unable to work or enjoy many of the simple things he loved doing. Life is dangerous and birth is dangerous, but there isn’t a lot that can be done. Sure, precautions can be taken but there are times when you have to take a deep breath and dive in.

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Lisa September 5, 2011 at 5:59 pm

And congratulations on your beautiful baby! It sounds like you did nicely : )

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Selena September 10, 2011 at 2:30 pm

Thank you for sharing your beautiful story. Congratulations on your son!

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Flora September 10, 2011 at 2:46 pm

Thank you for posting this beautiful, inspiring story. As a mother who is preparing for a hospital VBAC in December sometime it is wonderful to read about women who go against the grain and nay-sayers and birth the way God intended. Again, Thank You! And Congrats to the family! What a beautiful baby boy!

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Christin September 10, 2011 at 3:22 pm

Thanks for sharing!! So encouraging!!!

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Kali Park September 10, 2011 at 4:33 pm

Wonderful and inspiring!!!

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emma stewart September 10, 2011 at 9:40 pm

Thank you for your beautiful story..a shame that women seem to be verbally bashing each other about the mode of delivery…ladies can’t we just support each other?? The talk of ‘dead babies’ needs to desist..women are more than aware of the risk. Surely if you have ever witnessed or been present at the death of a little one compassion arises, not anger directed at other women? I know that grieving is a process and can include anger, but sarcasm and throwing out comments about dead babies serves noone.

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ruqaya October 29, 2011 at 2:36 am

So sad how 1 women can ruin a beutifull story .Women should support each other not tear them down

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Rachelle October 29, 2011 at 6:10 am

I’m glad you decided to share your inspiring story of perseverance. I hope that all women decide to inform themselves and read stories like yours to make decisions they’re truly at peace with. We’re here to support and encourage each other and thats just what your story did! thanks! ps. it was weird seeing the name ‘Rachelle’ there, we’re few and far between :)

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Rachelle February 2, 2012 at 3:42 pm

wow! yes, it is surprising to see another Rachelle! LOL Hi there! :D

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Dottie January 19, 2012 at 8:11 pm

I just LOVE this story. Three weeks ago, I attempted a VBA3C and it ended in a csection. I have read this story everyday since than as it gives me inspiration that when my husband and I are ready for another baby in a few years, there are women who have already been there and accomplished a VBA4C! Thank you so much for sharing this story. It has really helped me heal after having such a frustrating and upsetting ending to my own experience trying to have a VBA3C and it gives me hope for trying again in the future.

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Rachelle February 2, 2012 at 3:36 pm

Dottie, First, congratulations on your most recent baby! Hope things are settling in for you with your new arrival. :) I am so, SO glad my story has served as a source of inspiration for you. It is precisely why I wanted to share it — I too found so much inspiration and hope in reading the birth stories of women who had successful VBACs after multiple C/S. Many blessings to you mama, and prayers for a successful VBA4C for you if/when the day comes! ;)

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Kandice February 2, 2012 at 9:18 pm

Rachelle:
I absolutely burst into tears when I read the title of your story. I am a multi section mama and my wish is to have a vaginal birth. Reading through your story has been so inspirational for me and my husband. I have done so much research on the topic and there just isn’t much out there by way of actual birth stories. I am thankful you have shared yours.
I hope that in some months to come, I will be able to post my own victory story next to yours. Just know that you and your little ones are such a ray of light amid all this medical fog.
Namaste!
K

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Rachelle April 20, 2012 at 9:35 am

Kandice, Your comment brings tears to MY eyes. Such beautiful words. I pray someday I read your triumphant VBAC birth story as well!! Blessings to you!

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Jennie February 7, 2012 at 1:15 pm

Congratulations on your beautiful baby and your beautiful birth story.

The decision to try for a VBAC, whether it’s only after one C-section or multiple, is rife with fear and doubt. Especially with the negativity most doctors enter in to the situation with. There aren’t many out there that will weigh the risks in favor of VBAC. After my first C-section, I let my doctor “scare” me in to a repeat for my second child. He weighed me down with possibilities of a ruptured uterus and pronounced that my pelvis seemed incapable of birthing (even though I was induced at 36 weeks and there was nothing “normal” about my first birthing attempt). With my third child, I absolutely insisted on attempting VBA2C, and I’m so glad I did. I know that there are risks to VBAC, but I truly believe that the small chance of uterine rupture is, at the very least, no more dangerous than the small chance of infection or death from a C-section. No one can possibly say which decision is “right”–except the woman who will be giving birth. There are risks to both scenarios, and I think sometimes people take the risks of MAJOR ABDOMINAL SURGERY a little more lightly than they should. Congrats again, and good work, Mama!

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Heather Hazen February 17, 2012 at 5:05 am

BEAUTIFUL! You are strong and finally allowed your body to do what it was meant to do. You didn’t fail with the first 2. You were not encouraged. HUGE difference! <3

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Molly L March 8, 2012 at 3:55 pm

No one at BWF is ignoring the fact that sometimes birth doesn’t end well.
It doesn’t matter if its a 1st birth or an 8th, a HBAC or a hospital birth. Sometimes it doesn’t go well and all our hearts go out to women who’s children for one reason or another don’t make it.

But this story is no less important or inspiring. It’s important to know that HBAC is possible ! Even after several c/s. With so much negativity about vaginal birth in general and even less support for though looking to have a VBAC it is IMPORTANT to have stories like this out there. To show it CAN be done.

This is not the first vbac after multiple c/s stories I’ve heard and I know it wont be the last.

Congratulations mama. You did great. and thank you BWF for being here for all of us.

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Barbara March 8, 2012 at 9:17 pm

twenty years ago I was midwife to a woman with five previous CS. She had a lovely birth at home, and another a few years later.

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JJ March 9, 2013 at 6:16 pm

This is incredibly inspiring to me. I am getting all the information I can on a VBAC with a midwife at home. I’ve had 5 cesarians. My normal dr refuses to see me now because he says another cesarian puts me into a very “high risk” category. I fear another cesarian more than I do a VBAC!!

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Mrs. BWF March 9, 2013 at 9:04 pm

JJ, with having 5 prior cesareans, consulting with OB’s is advised. Meet with a few OB’s, VBAC friendly ones (so you know they support them) before making any decisions.

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ila April 20, 2012 at 3:54 pm

Wow, loved reading your story, i come acrost a lot of vba1,2,and3 c stories but not as often do i come acrost a vba4c! I had an ecs with #1, with number 2 was tricked by the doctor till i was 37 weeks when he decided he “just didnt have enough time for vbacs anymore”, #3 it took me a while to find a vba3c supportive doc, but i did, only the doctor i was seeing before i found him (so he couldnt say i hadnt had n e prenatal care) put all the notes in my chart about how i was being beligerent about wanting a vbac and not making same choices, so the vbac supportive doctor told me at 38 weeks that she had basically set it up to damage any doctor who would agree to vbac me, and with my fourth i attempted a HBA3C, but after 24 hours of labor and 2 1/2 of pushing , baby was bungying d/t nuchal cord x 2 (neck), so, when i do this again itll be a VBA4C , or im quitting the reproduction game. ive seen so many cesareans go wrong during and after and have stood in OR’s where multiple cesarean mammas got into crisis quick( and babies) d/t complications of surgery and the rising complications that increase with number of cesareans.(im a nurse) And as the world demands people hear womens cries for making theyre own reproductive choices, is there a reason VBAC never seems to make it to that list? Thank you for sharing your story Rachelle, it IS inspirational to me noting we have like minded desires, as we have the right to do so, anyone who is not of approval confuses me as to why theyd be judging a personal birth story as if it was an advocacy research paper? its not a case study, its a story of your experience, and just that.

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ila April 20, 2012 at 3:57 pm

oops corrections : #3 it took me a while to find a vba2c supportive doc, but i did, …………………………..

wanting a vbac and not making safe choices,

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kelly @kellynaturally April 26, 2012 at 11:18 am

What a beautiful story. Thank you SO much for posting. <3

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Alexia May 11, 2012 at 11:49 am

Hi!!! Thank you so much for sharing your story! Truly you ARE a hero, in your own right! You researched and stood by your decision. I am so very proud of you! CONGRATS!!

Almost a year ago now (tears!) I gave birth to my fourth child…. a home birth after 3 c/s’s. She is now almost 1! a such a joy, just like my first three.

BWF was instrumental in my birth as well.

and my heart also goes out to everyone who’s babies didn’t make it. *hugs*

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Jackie June 18, 2012 at 12:22 am

Thank you for sharing your story! I was on the edge of my seat reading every word carefully as I have had 4 c-sections & want more than anything to have my 5th child vaginally. Congratulations on your gift from God & the opportunity to experience him naturally!!

When I think about how the doctors I had encouraged my csections with such intent, I get so angry about it. With my 1st, I was induced at 40 & 1/2 weeks & 12 hrs into labor, the doctor told me that I would dialate quicker if he broke my water. I was young & knew hardly nothing about labor, so I agreed. Once he broke my water, I did not dialate any further & so he told me that he needed to take her section so that I wouldn’t have a dry birth.(Mind you, this was at night & the doc clearly wanted to go home). My 2nd, I went into labor on my own at 38 weeks & went to the hospital & was dialated to 5 & was doing fine til I once again was encouraged to break my water. At that point, I hadn’t put 2 & 2 together & decided to let them. Once they broke my water, dialation was stopped in its tracks. At 20 hrs, I was told the same thing. Need to do section to prevent dry birth. I was very disappointed, but at that point in my life still didn’t know much about labor or pretty much anything as I do now. With my 3rd & 4th, the docs told me “No way” & I just accepted it with no fight. So, I had 2 more sections.

Here I am, just found out that I’m pregnant again & since the last section have this strong urge to have my next baby naturally. I have read a lot of stories on the internet about successful vbacs and I really feel with all of me that I am meant to have this next gift the way God intended. Any info is welcome to help me on this journey of gathering all that I need to attempt a vba4c!!

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Lisa @ Fat Chick Fed Up July 31, 2012 at 11:59 am

Thanks for this inspiring story-I will be having my own HBA4C in March.

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Laura August 14, 2012 at 9:38 pm

Wow… I sat here crying. I had my 1st with.emergency cs, my 2nd was a failed vbac, 3rd scheduled cs and 4th I went imto labor 2 Weeks before planned cs,.so emergency. Im 16 Weeks preg with my 5th and a.vbac would be incredible… Is there anyway I could.speak witb you?? Email me anytime @ jldavis1015@MSN.com.

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MegMalkin August 15, 2012 at 2:07 am

Wow!! I have had 4 healthy children all by C-section, first, labored for 30 + hours and ended in C-section (non-emergency), 2nd, VBAC turned C-section, 3rd and 4th scheduled C’s, just found out last week we are expecting #5. So excited, but of course a little apprehensive too! Very inspired by your story, but just not sure I would feel safe VBAC at home ya know? It’s hard to REALLY know the risks involved, it’s been 2 years, I’ve healed perfectly, and even recently lost almost 40 lbs. to put me below my (pre-#1 baby weight:) yahoo for Isagenix:) I am open to God leading me here for sure, just wanted to say THANK YOU for sharing you beautiful story with the world, what a blessing!!!

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Adele October 9, 2012 at 1:43 am

Thank you so much for your story!!

I wish I could find such supportive midwives..it’s beautiful when women support and encourage each other esp in such a challenging life experience.

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Honorata March 3, 2013 at 6:40 am

THANK YOU!
this is so inspiring, I wish it would be possible to find care provider here where I live to get simply HBAC.

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JJ March 9, 2013 at 6:25 pm

I loved your story. My 1st child was induced labor, and extremely painful for 3 days before the Pitocin finally kicked in and I actually went into labor. My 2nd was an emergency c-section due to placenta previa. My 3rd was scheduled repeat cesarian, because my dr convinced me that VBACs are deadly killers. My 4th, 5th, and 6th were subsequently scheduled repeat cesarians, and very routine and uneventful. My current dr is refusing to see me and sending me to a “high risk” dr, because he says a 6th cesarian puts me into a very “high risk” category, despite the uneventful pregnancies (with the exception of the need for the 1st cesarian), and despite the fact that he made the remark to me that he was amazed at how well and quickly I heal after a cesarian, and how thick and strong my uterus is during and after every pregnancy and cesarian. I fear another cesarian more than I do a VBAC. But there are no midwives in our areas. And certainly no supporting dr’s as far as a VBAC goes. Lord willing, we are moving back to my home state, where I know several midwives who are willing to help me give it a try! So I am trying to gather as much info as I can. And praying, praying, praying!!

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Jennifer Trujillo April 6, 2013 at 10:43 pm

I think I read this story once a week. I am currently 31 weeks with baby number 5. I too have had 4 prior c sections. My first was due to placenta previa and after that I was never even given the option of vbac. However I aways went into labor early. I found a dr thankfully that is willing to support me. Sadly she has gotten grief from the hospital about even talking to me about doing a vbac. She supports me laboring at home as long as I can. She said if I show up at the hospital less than 7 cm dilated they will force her to deliver via c section again. I spent so many years being told I would die if I had a vaginal delivery. I feel empowered now that I could have my last baby the way I have always wanted. a vaginal water birth at home. I just need the extra encouragement. I do not have very much from friends and family. This story gives me hope that I too could beat the odds, prove the drs wrong and have a happy healthy baby. I know I will deliver around 36 weeks because I always go into labor between 34 and 36. How far along were you? And do you think the gestation of things will make a difference in whether or not im successful? I hope to inspire other women the way you have inspired me! I just hope I have the strength and support to live what ive been dreaming

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melissa September 23, 2013 at 11:40 pm

im 6 weeks preg praying for a vba4c. can u encourage me with the material/research u that confirmed you were “safe” to birth. what piece of information can u help me with “ive had 4 sections…im at high risk of rupture, my scar is paperthin” etc

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Jayme Hanousek October 25, 2013 at 11:48 pm

I’m 19 weeks pregnant with #5….had emergency c-section with my first at only 19 years old(scary!!!!)
Then my 2nd child I had to have by c-section cuz 1st Dr refused…yes REFUSED to send my records!
#’s 3 & 4….repeats cuz i wasn’t allowed a choice…. I have matching
Internal and external scars- low transverse….I’m terrified to go through yet another
Surgery…. I am in NY so I’m asking for advice and help….I’m low income so hiring
someone I think is quite out of the question…. What can I do?!

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Mands January 11, 2014 at 2:19 am

What an amazing story. I am a student midwife and if I ever had #4 baby I would love a VBA3C. I was wondering if there is any chance you could message me the list of journal articles and research this Mumma used when making her decision. If I did go number 4 I want to be armed with as much evidence as possible. Thank you very much

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Summer April 9, 2014 at 10:06 pm

I cried while reading this.

My first pregnancy I was due around Christmas so the dr had already been talking induction by the time my due date neared. I was induced at 40w4days baby was in “distress” and I was sectioned. My second pregnancy my ob told me because my baby was measuring large she did not feel comfortable allowing a vbac so I had a scheduled repeat section. When we have another I have my heart and mind set on a hbac. Please send me any info you have that would be useful for me! Summeraltman@me.com
Thank you

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Sophie April 15, 2014 at 9:19 am

Rachelle,

A HUGE THANK YOU for posting your wonderful story!

It gives me hope, I really assure you!!! Like you (before your hba4c), I have had 4 c-sections and no vaginal delivery. I labored for three out of four of my children, but every time was told it was no use going on, and I finally gave in to another section.

I live in Switzerland, a country were vbacs after multiple c-sections are unheard of. Independent midwives are forbidden to homebirth anyone who’s had even just one section… For our fourth child, I managed to get the consent of one doctor, in one hospital, to let me try vbac if I went into spontaneous labor. It was an amazing victory… but his condition was that I go into labor at the latest on my due date… I had loads and loads of pre-labor and contractions, but not true labor… so I just had to give in to the section.

But anyway, I’m not writing to lament about my story, but to thank you for yours, because it gives me hope. My husband and I would love to have a fifth child, and if we are blessed with one, then we will do everything we can to vbac. Stories like yours confirm all the literature I’ve read (like you did), that says that vbacs after multiple c-sections are not riskier than after only one section, and not riskier than a fifth cesarean…

Thank you!!
Sophie

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