VBAC = Vaginal Birth After Cesarean
If you have had a c-section, it is still possible to have a vaginal birth. In fact the rates of a successful VBACs are actually quite high! However there is a fair amount of confusion around VBACs.
Even though the colleges of Obstetricians and Gynecologists use words like SAFE, REASONABLE and APPROPRIATE when they talk about VBAC, many families are steered away from this option with frightening language used by their care providers.
While this is a deeply PERSONAL choice – I believe that EVERY women should have access to the best evidence-based information (including all benefits and risks) to make the best decision for her!
If you want a really clear picture of what the research is currently telling us about VBAC, then I encourage you to educate yourself.
I’m providing you with an awesome resource to help! This is from the folks at Evidence-Based Birth. It’s a podcast episode looking at all the evidence (aka scientific data ) on VBAC. It’s available in audio form or written transcript! So you can listen or read – whichever you prefer! Find it here.
If you do decide to go ahead with a VBAC – there are two important factors that will hugely impact how the birth unfolds, they are…
A) Your CHOICE of CARE PROVIDER
B) The Mind/Body/Heart PREPARATION that you choose to do or not do during your pregnancy
If you want to set yourself up for the best birth possible – make sure you grab my guide to an Easier Birth. Find it here!
Now onto Amy’s VBAC story…
My baby girl, Neko Lilian, was born August 1. It was a good labour and delivery.
I had some stress leading up to it because our neighbour’s water tank broke and leaked and caused water damage on our floor, a section of it was ripped up, it looked awful.
Our neighbour was having a hard time finding a contractor to do the job and we were all worried about possibly bringing home a baby to a mess or to workers in the condo.
I was also worried because we don’t know anyone here in Toronto so if I went into labour before my mom’s scheduled visit, my 3 year old son Laik was going to come to the hospital with us. He’s so attached to me, I worried that it might upset him to see me in labour.
At the same time though, I was wishing for an early labour because Laik had been so big I needed a c-section and I really wanted to have a natural birth this time. I figured the sooner she came out, the better because I wasn’t worried about her being too small!
Luckily our neighbour found a contractor, who completed the work in one day.
The next morning my mom flew into town, and that same evening I went into labour.
My body even waited until Laik’s bedtime to start contractions. I contracted all night long and managed to sleep in between them. They were pretty powerful and intense, I used my surge breathing and drifted in and out of sleep all night. At 7am, we all got up for the day. My contractions became more frequent and intense. They were about 3 minutes apart and I used the hands and knees position during contractions.
We decided to wait until 8am to call the midwife and doula. Our midwife has children and I thought she could at least have breakfast with her kids before heading to the hospital. We met her there at 9:30am. Once I got onto the bed for an examination, I didn’t get back up again. The contractions got stronger and I just wanted to rest in between.
I remember getting a bit frantic during one contraction and the midwife came over and reminded me of the deep low moaning that I had learned and been practicing in pregnancy. This allowed me to flow with the contractions from the beginning of the sensation to the end. That really helped.
I was lucky to also have learned through Marie’s training, about acupressure points. These helped tremendously. I also remember reading a birth story from another BirthBliss mama who talked about finding her inner tiger during labour. Her message was pretty much just fearlessly follow your body’s lead during labour, so I did. I breathed, I moaned, I rocked, I expanded into the intensity and I was assertive asking for what I needed.
I had the usual “I can’t do this” moment but one of the midwives just said “you are already doing it!”
And so I decided I was doing it.
At this point my waters were still intact. The intense feeling of pressure caused me to start pushing involuntarily, it seemed like there just wasn’t a choice, I just had to.
They offered to break the bag for me and although I always thought that was something I for sure didn’t want, the idea of releasing that pressure sounded good to me, and for me it totally helped.
Shortly after that, my cervix open up all the way to 10cm and they said I could push if I wanted to. Again I followed my body’s lead.
Then baby’s heartrate started to drop near the end so they said I had to push baby out soon. They brought in a large mirror so I could see her head and find some motivation. They continued to massage my perineum and would apply pressure during a contraction and tell me to push in that area, it helped to direct my pushing.
Her head came out and with one more little push, she was out. She came at 12:11pm and weighed 7.8.
It was such a surprise to have a girl, we didn’t find out the sex during the ultrasounds and thought it was going to be a boy. We were very excited.
She was put on oxygen fairly soon after she was born because she was making some grunting sounds. Once that was resolved, I tried to get her to do the breast crawl, but she was taking a while I put her to the breast and she stayed there for about half an hour.
As they wheeled me out of the delivery room, I realized I had just had the birthing experience I always wanted – positive, empowering, calm and loving!
It was so wonderful to be surrounded by knowledgable and kind women who supported me through the whole experience. The midwives were such in inspiration to me. I’m so glad that I received guidance on how to choose the right care provider! That choice combined with my mind/body/heart preparation made ALL the difference.
Now our goal will be to start enjoying our sweet baby girl and just spending time with her. So grateful I was able to bring her into the world with peace and love! Her little spirit came to us for a reason and I am so grateful for her.
written by Amy W.
If you enjoyed reading this birth story, you might also like these two others.
We had been planning a home birth but to our disappointment we were told that we couldn’t have a home birth on the weekend as only one midwife is on call (there must be two present), so when I started getting surges on Saturday morning (about 3:30 am) I was excited but a little disappointed at the same time. Keep Reading
A long day but so worth it… On Monday night I went to bed after talking to my mom. I told her where to find the house keys in case we would already be in the hospital when her flight from Québec arrived in Regina Tuesday night. She told me everything would be fine and that my baby will be born on his due date February 25. Keep Reading
Growing a baby can be exciting, tiring and overwhelming all at the same time. – – – >> If you’re ready to stop worrying and start building the relaxed conscious mindset that will set you up for a positive birth experience, simply click here, and get the guide today.