My birth journey began 4 years ago with the birth of my first daughter…
Evelyn’s Birth (3/23/2008)
My husband and I tried for about 7 months, before we got pregnant with our first. We were ecstatic and definitely planned on a natural birth. I thought we had prepared for the birth, I knew I did not want an epidural, but I did not really have an opinion on inductions, as my mom had been induced with all three of her children and went on to have natural births. I never imagined that my birth would not go as planned. I awoke at 5:00 a.m. on Easter morning 2008 to my water breaking (39w6d). I felt water trickling out and by the time I got to the toilet, I had bloody show and was continuing to leak. Since I was not having contractions, I decided to take my time, took a shower and ate some breakfast and then hubby called the nurse at my OB office. She said we should head to the hospital…and so we did.
We arrived at the hospital around 9:00 a.m. and they determined that my membranes had ruptured and they set me up in a birthing room. They hooked me up to the monitor and I discovered that those back pains I was having were actually contractions. They checked me and I was 1-2 cm. I was so happy when I discovered that the OB that I loved was on call that day! After about an hour of no hard contractions and no cervical change, they started me on Pitocin. I labored and labored on my back all day. I had horrible back labor, and was stuck lying in bed! I refused the epidural every time they asked – I was determined to do it without pain meds.
Around 5:00 p.m. I had progressed to 3 cm. (12 hours after water broke) and my doctor began pressuring me to have a c-section. I fought it as much as I could. I cried and begged for more time. She gave me more time, but at 7:00 she came back and began pushing the cesarean. Again, I cried and begged and she said she would give me one more hour. Well, of course, at 8:00 p.m. I was still only 3 cm. and unfortunately I believed her when she ultimately said that a c-section was necessary for me and the baby. I was crying so hard that I was shaking and they could barely get the spinal in (they did hit a nerve – ouch!). My daughter was born at 9:20 p.m. via cesarean (result of “failure to progress and small pelvis” – ugh!). The c-section was awful, I was so exhausted I could barely keep my eyes open and I didn’t even get to hold my baby. I laid there on the cold, hard table while she and my husband were taken away as they finished up. She wasn’t brought to me for over an hour after I was out because they were concerned about her sugar levels. She weighed 9lbs. 2oz and was perfect…I fell in love, but I hated my birth experience.
After the emotionally horrifying experience that was my c-section, I was more determined than ever to have a natural birth the next time. Well, I didn’t expect “next time” to be so soon…I got pregnant again when my daughter was 8 months old.
(Me with Evelyn shortly after surgery)
Beckett’s Birth (8/17/2009)
This pregnancy, I determined to have a VBAC . My doctor was on board, and I began to read about it and prepare for the birth. I knew that I didn’t want to be induced or have any interventions. At my 36 week appointment, my doctor suddenly told me that she didn’t think that I was a good candidate for a VBAC (small pelvis, big babies, blah-blah-blah). She suggested that I schedule a c-section. I told her I did not want to have another c-section, but a week later I received a call from the hospital with my scheduled c-section date and time. At my 38 week appointment, she shared with me that she would be on vacation for two weeks, and so she would more than likely not be available for my birth. She told me the name of the doctor who would be performing my c-section. I asked her about a VBAC one last time, and she said “The only way that will happen is if you go into labor on your own prior to your scheduled c-section.” I tried many things (castor oil, raspberry leaf tea, sex), but did not go into labor.
The morning of my scheduled c-section arrived and I had come to terms with it. I told myself that I was excited to meet my little boy and that was all that mattered. They quickly told me that the doctor who was supposed to perform my cesarean had been pulled into an emergency one, and so I would just have the surgeon on-call. I had what I though was just a small heat rash (it was the middle of August), but turned out to be a yeast infection. An intern checked my previous incision sight, though, and said everything looked good.
When I was laying on the OR table, however, the doctor determined that because of the yeast infection, they would have to do a (classic) vertical incision (I had already had the spinal and was strapped down to the table, and my husband had not joined me yet). It felt as though, in the same amazing moments that my son was born, my hopes for a natural birth died. I would now live with 2 separate incisions on my uterus and a highly unlikely chance of natural birth. The c-section was worse this time, I had a panic attack during it and they cut my son’s leg during the surgery. Again, I was all alone while they closed me up, but at least my son was brought to me sooner. Beckett was born at 39 weeks weighing 8lbs 8 oz. and was wonderfully amazing…but, I grieved for months, the loss of my natural birth dreams. And no matter how many times I heard “All that matters is a healthy baby” or “Cesarean is NOT a failure”…I just couldn’t let it go.
(Meeting Beckett for the first time)
God made a way…
The summer of 2011 I had the AMAZING experience of getting to be at my friend, Amanda’s (breech) homebirth. It was life changing for me…I had never been at ANY birth, but this was so beautiful and empowering. I had just found out that I was expecting again, and in my heart I felt this desire for that same experience. The thing that held me back was that my 2nd cesarean had been a vertical incision, so I knew that my risk of rupture was higher than normal. I really wanted a VBAC so I contacted Dr. Landon at OSU to see if he would take me on, and he told me to request my surgery reports. Around this time (end of August), my husband lost his teaching job due to budget cuts. We subsequently lost our insurance. So it then took about two months before we were finally approved for medicaid. By this time it was the beginning of November and I was not sure what to do. I still really wanted a VBAC and in my heart I really wanted a homebirth. I had prayed and prayed that God would give me a clear answer, but I felt like I wasn’t getting one. My husband and I prayed that God would give us some sign. A couple of weeks later I finally received my surgery reports in the mail and everything changed…it turned out that my incision was only vertical on the outside…on my uterus the incision was low-transverse!! I literally started jumping and screaming for my husband and crying! We both knew that this was the sign from God that we had been waiting for. Shortly after, I was spending some time in God’s word and He led me to Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, Do not depend on your own understanding, Seek His will in all you do, and He will show you which path to take.”
We decided we would definitely move full speed ahead with a VBAC. I was very much wanting to have a homebirth, but I knew that medicaid would not cover it and with my husband’s unemployment I just didn’t know how we could afford it. Still, I made an appointment with a group of homebirth midwives and met with them at the beginning of December. I loved them, and everything that they had to say about birth, but knew that we definitely could not afford their services. They referred me to a VBAC supportive doctor and I made an appointment with him right away. My son ended up being really sick the day of my appointment so I had to cancel, but I felt like that was somehow supposed to happen and I wasn’t sure why…I knew in my heart that a home birth was my best chance for a successful VBAC, and I did not really want another hospital birth. My parents told me that if I really felt like home birth was the path to take, then we would figure out the money, but I did not want them to worry about it. The week before Christmas my husband (a Pastor) received a call from our Church district saying that they had a delivery for us. It was a jar of money from another church…and it had $1,000 in it! We knew immediately that God was making a way for the home birth. A week later we received a check in the mail from another church for $700. And it was confirmed that God wanted us to do this.
I found an amazing Christian midwife, and began seeing her at 33 weeks. I was taking all kinds of supplements, eating healthy, exercising, reading birthing books, doing everything I could on my end to have a successful HBA2C.
Annabel’s Birth (3/8/2012):
At 40w6d, after 2 weeks of prodromal labor, I awoke at 2:30 a.m. (Tuesday) to my 2 ½ year old son crying. I woke my husband and asked him to put Beckett back to bed, as I felt the need to use the bathroom. I relieved myself and then began to walk back into the bedroom, but then felt leaking and quickly realized that my water broke. I told my husband, put a pad on, texted my midwife and climbed back into bed to try and get some sleep. Contractions started immediately. After an hour of tossing and turning and contractions coming every 6-8 minutes, I realized that I was not going to be able to sleep. The contractions were strong, but manageable. I decided that we should call my parents (my mom was going to be a support person for the birth, and my dad was going to be taking our kids to their house). We got our kids up and gathered their bag and belongings. My husband (Ben) laid our son on the couch, and I sat down with him…suddenly Beckett sat up and looked at me and puked all over me and the couch!!
We got it cleaned up just as my parents came in the door. I said tearful goodbyes to my “big” babies and told them they would be meeting their baby sister soon! The contractions were continuing to come about every 6-8 minutes. We lit candles, turned on worship music and I ate some peanut butter toast. Ben began to set up the birthing pool. My sister (our photographer) arrived around then. The contractions picked up in intensity and after having 8 strong ones in a row, we decided we should call the midwife, who lived over an hour away. Joan (the midwife) arrived around 6:00 a.m. and checked me…and I was 1-2 cm. I was devastated!! I couldn’t believe that after 2 weeks of prodromal labor, and all the primrose, sex & squats, it seemed things were happening exactly the same as my first labor! Joan questioned if my water had really broken, which frustrated me because I KNEW it had! She told me that it could be a while and so I should just rest and eat, as much as possible.
Joan left and my husband and I laid down in bed. I tried to sleep, but was having back labor and it hurt so much worse to lay down. After a couple hours of trying to sleep, we got up and my husband made pancakes for everyone. My mom, sister and I watched the episode of “The Voice” recorded from the night before and I just breathed through each contraction. It was Primary Elections in our State that day and so I told my husband that I would like to go out and vote. We got ready and my mom and sister left separately to run a few errands and said they would be back later. Just before we left the house I had bloody show, so I sent Joan a text updating her. Ben and I voted and while we were there, my midwife left me a message. I called her back and she was again thinking that maybe this was not the real deal. I felt very confused and frustrated as I just knew my body and I knew that this was real, slow going as it may be.
I had an emotional break down at this point and decided then to call my friend, Amanda, who had previously had a homebirth (with Joan) and was working on becoming a Doula, to ask her advice. Amanda encouraged me that I was in labor and she decided to come. Ben and I went to visit our kids for a few minutes, and then when we arrived back home Amanda was there waiting for us. It was about Noon, and she encouraged me to take a walk and do some squatting. At this point, my contractions had slowed way down and I was feeling pretty stressed. I could just hear the words “failure to progress” lurking in the back of my mind. Amanda and I took a walk around our church parking lot (right next to our house), and then we went inside and chatted for a bit. My contractions started to pick back up. Ben and I tried to lay down again, but OUCH! So we sat on the side of the bed and I would rest on him in between contractions. My mom and sister came back and my mom could tell that I was feeling pretty stressed…she suggested a foot massage. I told Ben to try to get some sleep. My mom, my sister and Amanda (I will call them my support team) prepared a hot foot soak for me and gave me a hand and foot massage (with my faithful hot pad on my back!). They took turns praying over me and reading scriptures as we listened to soft worship music. I began to relax and the contractions started getting stronger and it was hard for me to even sit anymore.
Ben and I went for a walk, and I was feeling the need for some privacy, so I told my support team that they should go get something to eat. They left for a while, and finally around 6:00 p.m. I went into active labor – from that point my contractions never slowed again and were under 5 minutes apart. The only way I could now get through the contractions was to have heat and counter pressure applied to my lower back…so my husband had to come running every time a contraction hit! My support team arrived back, and they had brought me a sandwich from Subway. I was actually pretty hungry and was able to keep it down. The next few hours are sort of a blur. I remember trying to get some rest, but again just sat on the side of the bed and would fall asleep on hubby for a few minutes between contractions but then would have to stand and have him apply pressure to my back during them.
Around 11:00 p.m. Amanda suggested I get into the pool, I had wanted to hold off on getting in the pool as long as possible but it looked pretty good at that point, so I agreed. Ben added some hot water and I got in. It felt awesome! Ben got in with me and would rub my back during contractions. The rest of my team began pouring hot water on my back during contractions and it felt wonderful (this would go on for the remainder of my labor, and my poor mom said she had cramps in her hand by the end, lol!). Ben gently reminded me to relax during the rushes and would say “Open mouth, Open Cervix”. After a couple of hours I began to feel pretty nauseous and chilled. Amanda thought maybe I was in transition, but I was not sure. I just didn’t feel like my body was there yet. I labored for a while and my contractions were less than 5 minutes apart and sometimes running into one another. Amanda really thought I was in transition, so Ben called Joan. She arrived at 2:30 a.m. (Wednesday) and asked me to get out of the pool to check me shortly after. Around 3:00 she checked me and I was 4 cm. UGH!! I was sort of disappointed, but tried to remain calm. I began to feel worried about how I was going to keep going without getting sleep. My husband and I spent some time praying, asking God to give us strength, rest and peace. I reminded myself that this was farther than I had even made it in my first labor!
Joan decided to stay, and laid down in my son’s room to get some sleep. I spent some time on the toilet, per Joan’s suggestion, but it was miserable and I gave up after a couple of contractions. We got back into the pool and labored there for a few more hours. Amanda was concerned that baby might be posterior with all of the back labor I was having. I asked Joan about it and she didn’t seem concerned with that, but I was unsure. I had been having a hard time determining baby girl’s exact position in the last couple of weeks as she moved from side to side often, but most of the time her butt was definitely out. Amanda suggested a couple of positions that a Doula friends of hers told her about to help, but they felt awful! (She was actually ROA – which is what I suspected) At 7:00 a.m. Joan checked me again and I was 5 cm. I was progressing, slowly but surely!
My dad called and checked in, and shared that Beckett had been sick a few more times…I was so sad that I couldn’t take care of him, but also so thankful that we had made arrangements for the kids to be with Pappy! Ben and I rested in our room again, both of us sleeping sitting up on the side of the bed for a few minutes between contractions, and then standing to work through them. I spent some more time on the toilet as well. We were both exhausted and I think everyone could see that in our faces. Around 10:00 a.m. Joan came into our room and asked me how I was feeling and if I was wanting to go to the hospital. I was shocked and said “No!”…she then quickly clarified that my support team insinuated to her that I didn’t think I could keep going. I knew that my mom and sister were getting concerned, as was Amanda, and that they were just worried about my lack of sleep. I told Joan that I was not ready to give up, which she was very happy to hear. She checked me again and I was 7 cm!
Amanda had to leave shortly after that to care for her children. I also sent my sister to my parents’ house to rest for a while, because I could tell she was not feeling well (she had a UTI) and was getting overwhelmed with everything. I spent Wednesday afternoon in the pool with Ben, working my way through contractions, listening to worship music and my mom reading scripture to me. We had a lot of friends and family praying for us, and we were praying too! At some point, I felt rejuvenated and had a whole new energy! Ben laid down for a while, and Joan came out and joined my mom and I. Joan and my mom chatted, and really connected, which allowed my mom to relax and feel more at peace. I realized that my frustration with Joan earlier was my own insecurities and that she was just having realistic expectations.
As afternoon turned to evening, the contractions grew in intensity. They were coming every 2 minutes. There was such a peace and calm that had washed over the house and all of us. I sat on the toilet for a while and realized that I was still holding onto a little fear of something going wrong. I came out and spoke it aloud to everyone, and felt such a peace afterwards. Around 8:00 p.m. my sister called my mom to say that Amanda had called her and was concerned and wanted to talk to me. My mom stepped out to call Amanda, and told her that she was not going to let her talk to me. Amanda shared that she had spoken with a doula, who had spoken with another midwife, and that they were suggesting I go to the hospital because it had been too long. My mom promised Amanda that she would ask Joan about it. Joan said that in her opinion there was no reason to transport unless I felt like I needed to. Babies’ heart rate was good, and there was no sign of infection.
Amanda and my brother-in-law had been conversing and were basically freaking out…they were convinced that something serious was wrong, that my uterus may have ruptured and that somebody needed to step in. They got my sister and my dad involved, and then my dad was freaking out as well…and called a friend who is a doctor to get advice – you can imagine what she had to say!! Meanwhile, I was totally at peace in my home. My sister called my mom back to let us know that my dad was on his way over and was not happy (My brother-in-law stayed at my parents with our kids). I had gotten out of the pool, and so I asked Joan to check me again. I was 9 cm.! Woohoo! Amanda was still trying to reach us, so Ben sent her a text telling her that everything was fine, that I was 9 cm and that she needed to stop worrying.
We started talking about my dad coming and the fact that everyone was concerned. Joan suggested that we put a fleece out, like Gideon in the Bible. We decided that if things hadn’t progressed anymore by 2:00 a.m. – 48 hours after my water broke, we would start discussing a plan B. I got back into the pool and my dad arrived in all his Papa Bear glory (so unlike my meek, quiet, level-headed Dad!), my sister had come along with him. My dad was ready to hurt somebody. Joan, Ben and my mom ran interference in the kitchen. Joan shared everything she could from a midwifery perspective about what was going on, her experience and why there was no need to panic. Ben then reminded my dad that he had made him a promise when he asked for my hand in marriage that he would always protect me, and this was no different. Once everybody calmed down, my dad and sister realized how calm and peaceful things really were. My dad came out to the living room and saw me, and immediately said he felt relieved – seeing how at peace I was. Honestly, I am a worrier, and it is ONLY through God’s strength that I was able to remain calm through all of that…I seriously never felt worried or panicked! I honestly believe that is because my husband and father (both Pastors) had anointed our house prior to the birth.
I asked Joan if she could check the baby’s heart rate while my dad was there. So she checked and we found a good strong heartbeat. I then told my dad that he was welcome to stay if it would make him feel better, so he headed down to the basement for a while.
By now it was around midnight (Thursday), and I was feeling a lot of pressure. Joan encouraged me to start trying to push and grunt through my contractions to get baby girl to come down. For the next two hours, I would get on my hands and knees in the pool, bear down and moan in a low tone through my contractions, then I would fall back onto Ben and fall asleep (I was even snoring!) in between, then I would do it all over again when the next rush came. I honestly thought I was sleeping for like 10 minutes between, but everyone assured me that I was actually only sleeping for a minute or two…I felt rested though, God was giving me rest!
At around 2:00 I got out of the pool, used the potty, and then got into my bed. Joan checked me and I was almost complete, I just had a stubborn cervical lip. She had Ben prop pillows behind me, and put the heating pad on my back. Ben and my sister pushed in on my hips (my hips were killing me!) while I pushed and Joan tried to move the lip out of the way – HOLY COW, that hurt! No one even remembered when 2:30 rolled around and we had reached the 48 hour time limit we had set. I pushed for about an hour, and the lip was finally out of the way. I got up and moved to the bathroom…it was on the toilet that my body took over. I pushed once and then my body continued pushing on it’s own, that whole “throwing down” thing was totally happening. I got off the toilet and we decided we should wake my mom up (she had laid down for a bit). I got back into the bed and my mom came in and grabbed the camera, since my sister was in the bed with me. I pushed a couple more times and she was crowning! I said “it burns” and Joan and my mom said “that’s good!”.
Me resting between pushes (and looking pretty rough – hey, it had been 48 hours!)
I felt like I needed to stand up, but as I tried, a contraction hit and I fell back on the bed. As soon as it ended I stood up out of the bed and Ben stood behind me for support. Suddenly I felt a contraction coming on, and I squatted and pushed (apparently my body went completely limp and my husband was holding me up). I felt the “ring of fire” and then I felt her little body slip out of mine. My mom exclaimed “Oh, there she goes!” I heard a cry immediately and heard something hit the floor…I honestly thought it was my baby, but thankfully it was my midwife catching the baby! It happened so fast no one was ready. She was pooping on her way out, and pooped all over the floor!
Suddenly I was sitting on the side of the bed, and my baby was in my arms – seconds after her birth! I just kept saying, “Oh my gosh” and “I did it! – I pushed a baby out of my vagina!”
Annabel Jubilee was born at 4:35 a.m. on 3/8/2012, 50 hours after my water broke, after 36 hours of active labor, weighing 8lbs 15oz and was 21 inches long. She breastfed immediately and mommy and daddy were just so in love! She was perfect and we were exhausted.
My mom and sister were in tears, and I am so thankful and blessed to have had their support and that they got to be a part of the birth. We called my dad into the room, and he got to meet his new granddaughter moments after her birth! I delivered the placenta (I mean it delivered itself) less than 10 minutes after she was born, and after an herbal bath, and a little something to eat, Mommy, Daddy & Annabel were tucked into bed and left to sleep and bond with our new bundle. God was so faithful to bring delivery of Annabel – He was true to His word. She is such a blessing.
Her big sister and brother met her later that day, and we are all so happy with our new family!
It took me a few days to process everything, and I was really angry for a while about how everyone had gotten so freaked out and allowed a source of fear to control them. I felt like some of the “sacredness” of my birth was taken from me, because so many other people got involved. I decided that it wasn’t worth losing friendships over, and that I wasn’t going to let that little “hiccup” overshadow Annabel’s birth. I was proud of myself – I had my HBA2C and it didn’t matter what anyone else had thought along the way! I did grow so close to my midwife, Joan, through the birth. She was amazing! I will say that things will be much different next time!
Update: Happy birthday sweet girl. Here is a video from your birth.
YOU TOTALLY ROCK EMILY! So proud of you for not giving up! Love you… 🙂
Your story is beautiful and I cried the whole way through. I am SO THANKFUL that you shared!
Oh my gosh!! Im a mother of 6 kiddos, 2 glory babies, and 1 sweet little girl due in May! I have had 3 single vaginal hospital births, Gave birth to twin boys, the 1st one came vaginally with no WORKING epidural, and the 2nd came via emergency c-section! I have had 1 VBAC in the hospital. This go round my husband and I felt that God was leading us to a home birth! Earlier tonight I recieved a txt from a nurse friend of mine who said she was very concerned about me having a home birth. This immidiately struck fear in me and I began questioning everything that my husband and I had prayed about for the past 8 months! Just before heading to bed about an hour ago I once again cried out to God to show me HIS will! I was on my way to bed and stopped at my computer to read and new BWF stories. YOURS WAS THE FIRST ONE I SAW!!! =..) I CAN DO THIS!! I know i can! Thank you sooooo much for sharing your story, I really feel that God used your story imparticular to reach to me! “For God has not given us a spirit fear……but of sound mind!!!” THANK YOU SOOO MUCH!
Hello Melissa! This is my birth story, and I am so glad that God used it in your life. That was my hope in prayer in writing it. Not that it would bring me any recognition, but that it would bring Him glory. You are amazing and you CAN do it!! The funny thing, I had some negative feedback from a ‘friend’ surrounding my story being posted last night, and it was so good for me to read this comment and be reminded that my story is reaching other mamas! This made me tear up…thanks for sharing!
Such an inspiring story! You are a Warrior Mother! Thank you for sharing. It is amazing what happens when a woman trusts her body and her God.
Thank you for sharing your story and journey. My cousin is about to attempt a vba2c in 5 or so weeks give or take and she has had doctors trying to get her to just have a c-section. She knows her body and is trusting that her body will allow her to have a vaginal birth. I am about to post this link onto her fb page so she can read it and have any worries she might have had diminished. I know she can get the birth she wants.
I hope all goes well for your cousin…She CAN do it 🙂
I just wanted to thank you for sharing. I totally cried! I have four beautiful gifts from God. I’m so glad you got your home birth. Remember the enemy is like a roaring lion. Of course your family would panic and worry. the Devil didn’t want you to have victory. A hiccup is just what it was. That was the devil using your family to try and get you worry. But God casts out all fear! I’m so happy for you and your wonderful experience! God Bless your family!
Thank you 🙂 It was such a learning experience and step of faith for everyone involved…and thank goodness, with God’s help, we did not allow the enemy to conquer!
great story. what perseverance! thank you for sharing.
That is a really neat story! It is hard when everyone is freaking out to keep going sometimes. I would encourage you to hire someone who is a trained doula…usually they would work on encouraging you to get the birth you wanted, and do not give medical opinions if the care provider is not suggesting it….
You are so inspiring, the way you listened to your intuition and you knew your body and your baby, while those around you acted out of fear rather than evidence! Thank you so much for sharing, I hope I can have a birth like this some day.
Congrats on a job well done! I love hearing how God has worked in peoples births 🙂
I’m curious if you joined your local ICAN chapter through any of your journey?
I did join my local ICAN online group and facebook page, but was never able to make it to a meeting before the birth 🙂
This brought me to tears. You are so strong for pulling through!
Such an awesome story!! VBACs are my favorite births to attend because those mamas appreciate it so much and are so empowered when they push out their own babies. I understood exactly what you meant about having fear in your birth space too. My birth is on this site too (Marble’s birth if you want to find it) and the fear I brought into it is the only things I would change. Congrats on your amazing birth and beautiful baby girl!
This birth story was beautiful! This is such a blessing and such an encouragement for me. I am so glad you didn’t give up, trusted God and found peace during it all. You did an amazing job!!! 🙂 I will be doing my HBAC in November and know that I can do this. Thank you for sharing!
Thank you for sharing!! Seeing this story just helps me believe even more that this is right! I feel like this is what GOD has in HIS plan for me!
I also loved the quote you put in your story
Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, Do not depend on your own understanding, Seek His will in all you do, and He will show you which path to take.” So true!!
This is a beautiful story and I’m glad you finally got your desired birthing experience.
I just need to tell you that the doctor who did your first C-section was not “wrong” – that long without progressing beyond 3cm is a serious danger sign, not only to you but also to the baby. It’s not some arbitrary line, 3cm is the actual cut-off line for passing into active labour.
The second C-section was definitely unfair though. Doctors should not make a contradictory decision like that when you have stated your wishes from the beginning, especially since it was not an emergency.
I’m so jealous 🙁 I wish I could birth my large babies.
I’m so happy that you were able to have a successful VBAC with so much going against you. I had three days of labor for my VBAC before I finally went to hospital, so I can really relate to so much of your story! Especially feeling discouraged after so much labor and not progressing. I just wish my ending would’ve been a vaginal birth. The difference was that I never did progress and truly needed a csection to get my 10lb 11oz baby safely into this world. But.. csections are here for those that need them, so that God forbid when women truly cannot birth their own babies, that we still can bring them safely into the world.. naturally or not. I’m still trying to come to terms with the fact that I cannot birth the babies I grow (diet, exercise, no GD and I still grow huge babies – I can’t grow them small1). I’m so envious of women that can birth large babies!
Absolutely beautiful – it was helpful to read this since I had a VBAC in August, and similar on/off, frustrating, fearful energies surrounding me in that. Sharing how you dealt with your frustrations and healing has been so VERY helpful to me today… you are a wonderful example of faith! Thank you so much! 🙂 <3
Amazing story momma! You were a warrior woman! I too had a bit of hectic energy around me since a lot of people got involved and I remember that frustration. In the end I shut it all out and I think that is what helped me get through my 2 day labor as well! It made me more focused, oddly enough. Gosh I had my bub a year ago and I still remember the exhaustion of my long labor, snoring between contractions too…LOL! It is amazing how we are built to sustain these marathon labors, what our bodies can handle…just amazing. Enjoy your new family!
Emily, you are a warrior mama!! I am 15 weeks pregnant now and planning a destination HBAC since my state is not very VBAC Friendly. I have found a Christian MW who is planning to attend, but in the last week I have found some things about her that made me question our plans. I have prayed for God to show me if I am moving in the right direction or if I should plan a hospital VBAC instead, but your story is a sign to me indeed, home (or a hotel if need be) is a better choice for our birth than a hospital. I have attended one VBA2C and it was amazing. Reading your story has reiterated everything I KNOW to be true about birth. I will be patient and wait on God to show me every step of the way, we can only walk by faith. I am so glad you had so much love and support through your amazing experience. Glory to GOD!!!!
Loved this story and all the glorification it brought. Having scripture music is such a great idea! After reading that, “A Mighty Fortress is our God” was playing in my head through the rest of the story 😉 I would love a homebirth if it’s His will…I have alot of praying to do! Congrats and I absolutely adore her middle name.
I really did enjoy this story and it gives me hope. I was always in hope that i could have another child but my doctor told me that after 2 c-sections that it wasn’t really safe. I asked him about a natural delivery he said even more dangerous. I’m thinking about a possible home birth now. thank you
You CAN find a supportive CNM or OB to have a VBA2C in the hospital. My first VBA2C was a hospital birth.
I just want to say, you do NOT have to say ‘yes’ to things just because doctors tell you. Surgery is actually supposed to involve informed consent – informed, as in, the patient understands the risks and benefits, and doesn’t feel bullied into it. YES, sometimes C-sections ARE life-saving, but so often they are done because doctors get sick of waiting around and just “call it” … you’ll notice this is more likely to happen at the end of a doctor’s workday (8pm) than in the morning. C-sections are done at the drop of a hat in the U.S., partly because doctors can rarely be faulted for performing a C-section in the event of a bad outcome. I’m a family medicine resident, and it’s insane the number of doctors who look at a woman who is not even in active labor, still in latent labor (4cm or less) and call her ‘failure to progress.’ Sure enough, if you give her a while to get to 4-5 cm (active), she starts progressing. Yes, there is such a thing as obstructed labor, small pelves, cephalopelvic disproportion, but the number of times this is “diagnosed” and the number of times it *exists* (in healthy women who with history of rickets!) is like a ratio of 20:1.
It’s hard as a layperson to know if your doctor is full of sh*t when s/he tells you that VBAC is Very Dangerous and Almost Like Child Abuse (I’ve sat through an OB giving the Like Child Abuse line to a woman wanting VBAC as a medical student, feeling helpless)… but try to get more than one opinion, and stick up for yourself! You have the right to *refuse* medical interventions of any kind, and if you refuse them, your doctor has the obligation to still treat you to the best of his/her ability, or to refer you to a doctor who will.
My story is so similar to yours! I had my VBAC in may 2012 after 50 hours my water broke and there is nothing like that experience. Amazing job!
Thank you all for your wonderful comments! One year ago tonight…I had been in labor for over 40 hours. I was exhausted and ready for my sweet girl to be born. But I was peacefully laboring at home in the birthing pool, worshiping, praying, surrounded by my family and trusting God for His perfect time that Annabel would arrive. And it was so perfect! 10 hours later she arrived in flurry 🙂 The journey to and experience of her birth has impacted my life in ways I never imagined. God’s faithfulness was so clear, and His goodness so evident in every moment! Tomorrow we will celebrate her first year of life, but tonight, I want to take a moment to celebrate her glorious birth!
I had to have an emergency c-section at 33W1D on December 2nd last year and I had really hoped and prayed to carry full term and deliver naturally but because of complications with myself she had to come early. Your story gives me hope that I can try and hopefully succeed when my husband and I try again!
Love your story and so glad you shared! I also have experienced victory in Christ achieving vaginal home birth after 2 cesareans! I get so excited hearing of other mammas like myself who have trusted the Lord and fought for a birth the way the Lord intended it to be.. I labored for 67 hours averaging a centimeter every 8 hours.. It was long it was hard but most of all it was rewarding and empowering! You did it! I did it! So glad you shared your story in hopes that more women will have the courage to step out and trust the Lord and their bodies.. Also wanted to share we just had our 4th little man via home birth on 2/25/13 and my labor was only 15 hours!! I was so hesitant to call midwife not wanting her to have to be here for 3 days that I was 9cm when she arrived. All progressed way quicker than the previous. So be encouraged Lord-willing you have more the blessings just get better and better! How great i sour God!! ~Liz
Thank you for sharing your story. What resonated with me is that you are not perfectly thin…I am curvy and I like seeing home births of curvy women. It gives me hope for myself.
MomMom Hill (PassionateParent.com)
Absolutely LOVE this beautiful birth story! My favorite parts are that your family and friends prayed over you and read Scriptures to you while you listened to worship music, and the part of the video clip where the pool was being anointed! Such an incredible blessing! Thank you for sharing 🙂
Sonell van Niekerk
Good evening (from South Africa 😉
I saw your post on Pinterest and knew I HAD to read it. I am tears after reading your birth story and watching the beautiful video that you made for Annabelle. I am a mom of a 2yr old boy and currently 15weeks pregnant with our second bundle.
I also had to have a c-section with my son, because the doctor said that he was too big and never engaged even after almost 42weeks of pregnancy. I wanted to give birth naturally with all my heart, but was convinced that it would not be possible…. I now know that it would have been possible if my faith had only been stronger.
Anyway, I am now also focussing on having a vbac done, I am even more determined than I was with my son. I have been doing research after research on vbacs and feel confident that I am a good candidate. My doctor also supports vbacs and said that he will give me a chance up until 41weeks, that only makes me feel much more comfortable. So I believe that God will not allow this experience to be stolen from me again.
Thank you for such an inspirational birth story. I love the Lord with all my heart and can pick up that you do too. I will definitely use your tips on preparing for the vbac. Your story has inspired my so much that I will push it to the ultimate concerning my faith in the Lord and that He will stand true to His word.
Thank you once again!
Sonell van Niekerk