HBAC: Home Birth After Cesarean

I recently posted about breech births being another variation of normal and shared breech birth stories. My focus the next few weeks will be VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean). I am a VBA2C mama myself and do not believe ‘once a c-section, always a c-section’. Every pregnancy and birth are different and our bodies are designed to birth. Most of the time, if given the chance (i.e.: no interventions), they will do so beautifully. ~Mrs. BWF

HBAC of Jakob Rowan by Kiera (she is the Mama behind Made With Love Cloth Diapers)

My home water birth came about 2 years after the traumatic hospital delivery of my daughter in 2009. My former midwife abandoned me. I ended up having a cesarean section under general anesthesia which I WAS NOT prepared for. I was certain that I could never emotionally deal with another pregnancy and delivery in a hospital setting, so when I became pregnant with my third child, I decided it WOULD NOT take place anywhere near one. I wanted a drug free natural childbirth with no interventions; in the hospital I would never be allowed this due to my previous c-section. I sought out a Traditional Midwife and so began my journey to a home birth after cesarean section…..

Our midwife, Jenn, came to our home on October 6, 2010 for my 36 week prenatal visit. She and her apprentice, Nicole, brought the water birth tub & accessories and went over how to set everything up. My husband and I chatted with them for a bit then we said ‘see you next week’ (for our 37 week visit). Little did we know, she’d see us later that night…..!!!!!

While making dinner, I started to feel some mild contractions. My other two children were born around 36-37 weeks, so there was no question in my mind that this was the start of my labor. Our family ate dinner together and I timed the contractions so I could report to Jenn how far apart they were.

Once they got close together I sent her a text message and she asked me to monitor them a little longer since they were irregular. My contractions were really strong so I decided to try the TENS unit on my back. It helped a lot, so I went upstairs to our bed to lay on my left side, as I was having back labor. Jenn called and asked me to remove the TENS unit so I could give her an accurate description of my pain level. We decided she should get ready to come.

I labored for a while upstairs with our 3 year old son by my side (our 1 year old daughter was sleeping). He wasn’t scared and neither was I; it felt natural and perfectly safe. I began using the heating pad for pain management, due to the back labor I was having. Shortly thereafter our midwife’s assistant, Wendy, came and acted as my Doula while we waited for Jenn and  Nicole to arrive. She applied pressure to my back, held my hand, and encouraged my verbally. She suggested we move downstairs to the family room where the water birth tub was set up.

I was in the tub for a short time before our midwife finally came. I asked to be ‘checked’ because I was having urges to push. I was complete! Wendy held my hands and encouraged my pushing.  I felt like I didn’t know exactly ‘where’ to push, so Jenn showed me with her hands. I pushed for a little longer and we decided to break the bag of waters to help the baby move down more quickly. This did the trick! Just a few hard pushes and Jakob’s head was out. I looked down and saw his head. I reached between my legs and felt him. How amazing!

Another push or two and he was out. Jenn helped bring him to the surface because he was so slippery that I couldn’t get a good grip on him. I held him close in sheer joy while we waited for the cord to stop pulsating  so it could be cut.

home water birth after cesarean

Jakob was 5 pounds 11 ounces and 18.5 inches long, officially born on October 7, 2010 at 1:28am. My journey to home birth was amazing. Not only did my family grow by one, but I also grew as an individual. My home birth experience has forever changed me!



  • Kiera

    Basically, she told me I was not in labor because she felt it was ‘too early’ (I was 35 6/7 weeks pregnant). She tried to convince me that I was having Braxton Hicks cx and that I needed to take a shower, and get in bed to relax. Well I was so relaxed by the time I realized that they were not BH cx, and they were real cx, I was too far away from her office and the hospital I was supposed to deliver at, that I had to go to my local ER, which was just 3 minutes away. My husband and I had not planned for a homebirth at this time or discussed it in any way whatsoever. When I got to the ER I was completely dilated, with my daughter in the Frank Breech position. Her buttocks were actually in the birth canal already (I was pushing her out and my water was broken). I was FORCED into having a C-section because the ER Dr, did not know my medical history or about my prior childbirth and said it was policy to deliver via c-section. I was ROBBED by the system of making choices in my birthing experience. I begged and pleaded the ER Dr to let me have my baby vaginally. I was screaming and in tears. I was given Terbutaline (without my direct verbal consent) to stop my cx and my baby was cut out of my body while I was under general anesthesia. I did not see my daughter for hours after she was born. ‘My Midwife’ did not even come to the hospital to see me or the baby; she did not call me; her office staff did not call me; she never made sure I had a follow up appointment for a post partum check up. SHE ABANDONED ME.

  • Abigail

    Kiera, beautiful birth story! I’m so sorry you had that experience with your former midwife, as well as with your c-section! I loved reading about Jakob’s story, though- only 2 days after James! 🙂

  • Linda Cina

    I am sorry that your midwife did that to you on your 2nd birth. I am soooo happy Jakob was a perfect home birth! Congrats!!!

  • Devin

    I am in tears after reading about Keira’s second L&D. It’s absolutely criminal and I am overjoyed that she got the birth that she deserved the third time around. You are an inspiration!

  • Kellie Perrone

    What an awesome story 🙂 It is really lovely that you were able to have such a beautiful birth after such a tragedy. I have to do a little *PLUG* here….The amazing Mama from this story makes my FAVORITE DIAPER EVER! If you are reading this you should order one…. or 10, right now 🙂

  • Danialle

    I had my first son 9 months ago. I felt forced into a c section. My fear of being forced into another has made me question more babies. It’s amazing to hear your story. I am definitely going to bring up and look more into home birth with my husband. I am terrified of having another unnecessary c section as the first was the worst experience of my life. I felt so much that I shouldn’t have and was yelled at repeatedly for being upset and anxious.

  • Nic

    So inspirational. I had an emergency c-section and now have PTSD as a result of my experience with the hospital midwives. I have huge anxiety about the hospital and am really interested in a home birth now that I will be unable to birth at our local primary care facility. You have given me hope and for that I am truly grateful!

  • Terribly afraid

    My daughter turned two 3rd Jan 2013. I really want more children, but I was also forced into a birthing plan not made by myself. My obstetrician has the record of the most c-sections in all of our country, but she assured me my baby would be unmedicated and natural. The baby was getting heavy and she forced me to induce labor. In 4 hours I started having contractions. She went me to the birthing unit and had a “doctor feel my vertebrae. I had no idea he was putting an epidural in. But once it was in the doctor wouldn’t allow it to be taken out. 18 hours later the put me under and I woke up in a world of pain and misery. Me and my daughter couldn’t bond for 6 months. Even while I breastfed, we repulsed each other. Today we are best friends and I want another addition to my family, but I am so very very scared of going through that again. Sometimes even now I wake up crying or watching a movie where someone opts for a c-section get me crying because I never had a choice and I don’t want to be robbed of that choice again. I really feel that I would rather die than go through that again.

  • Kywanzia Martin

    Thank you so much for sharing! I was forced into an induced labor that ended in a unnecessary cesarean. I’ve been feeling so mad and upset about it. Everyone keeps telling me I should feel blessed and happy because my baby is here but all I feel it’s hurt and anger. It took me almost a month to bond with her I worry about my recovery. Before giving birth I was a very active praise dancer, singer, group fitness instructor and black belt martial artist. Now I feel so out of touch. I’m still recovering and can’t do any of those things mentioned above due to the pain in my lower abdomen. I’ll be 3 months postpartum tomorrow. I originally wanted a homebirth but Illinois makes that almost impossible and my insurance wouldn’t cover it. I hate thinking about my daughter’s birth because it hurts to much. But I’m overly grateful to have found this site and you. Reading this has given me some hope for a better birth in the future.

  • Sarah N. Case

    Thank you SO MUCH for sharing this story. As I was reading it, tears – happy tears – were brought to my eyes. I am currently researching doing a HBAC for my next pregnancy. I had a very traumatic birthing experience (ok, really postpartum experience) when I had my son, and I know in my heart of hearts that a home birth is the way for me to go this time around. It is reassuring knowing that there are women who have successfully done this. Thank you! <3

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