Vaginal Birth After FOUR Cesareans- A Birth Story
I am excited today to share a VBAC birth story- but not just any VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean) story. No, this mom had four c-sections before she was able to have a natural, vaginal birth. What an amazing journey and what an inspiration. VBAC is possible- even after numerous cesareans.
I have 5 children, 4 born via c-section, and my last baby was born naturally at the hospital and I am now pregnant with number 6 and we are planning a home birth. My first baby, Noah, was born in 1997, I was young (20 years old) and thought that the doctors new it all. My husband and I naturally assumed that they knew what was best.
I was approx. 2 weeks past due and they decided they wanted to induce. I said that I didn't want any drugs, but after awhile they said I should try some Nubain. It was horrific and I only woke up when a contraction started so I didn't have any way to control my breathing. After about 13 hours of labor, they said it would be best to do a c-section because the baby was under major distress. It was like in the movies with me being rolled quickly down the hallway to the operating room. He was born healthy and happy and I had a very difficult recovery.
Our second son, Jonah, wasn't born until 2005 and at that time, the dr. I was seeing said that it was SOP to have a scheduled c-section after your 1st. I didn't ask questions, I just did it. I should have known something was awry when she wanted to schedule me more than 2 weeks early because I was due around Thanksgiving. He was tiny and was in premature clothing... but he was healthy and happy.
I however, was feeling like something was missing, like there was something that I could do, but wasn't really being "allowed" to do.
In 2007 I was pregnant with our 3rd son, Isaac, and we decided after much praying and praying and research we were going to do an unassisted homebirth. No doctor would take me for a VBAC (I looked and looked). We were living in the Chicago area at the time. I made sure I was healthy by always taking my bp, blood sugars, urine dips, etc. (most things a midwife would do). I was approx two weeks over due and I was getting some serious headaches and wasn't feeling that great. I took my bp and it was 200/100.
We prayed and we went to the urgent care and they wouldn't see me there, so they told us we needed to go to the hospital. The urgent care had contacted the hospital to tell them we were on our way and we were taken upstairs to labor and delivery immediately. After talking with the nurses about what my wishes were (including being able to walk around, use a ball, stand, sit, (whatever I needed), they agreed and I was admitted. As soon as I was admitted, I was basically chained to the bed and wasn't allowed to move (literally).
Labor was beginning. I said that I needed to walk around, use a ball, squat, etc and they said no. My son's heartbeat dropped several times (perfectly normal), but they freaked out and said that if they didn't do a c-section, I was putting my baby and myself at risk and I could kill him. After much consideration, and them hounding me, I caved.... but my Isaac was happy and healthy. I felt gypped. I felt like my rights were taken away and they didn't really care about what I needed and wanted.
I was pregnant with Hannah in 2009 and decided to get a midwife. I knew I didn't have any other choice. I interviewed a couple of ladies, but I knew when I met the right one. She was such an inspiration. She has 7 children, most of them home birthed. My entire pregnancy was great and I finally felt like I was being heard. I had the time to talk and ask questions. I could talk about my fears. I felt at peace with the decision of having a midwife. We had all the stuff we needed, including a pool that could be in my bedroom and I went into labor.
I was in labor at home for 60 hours. This was active labor. My midwife and her assistant training to be a midwife were there with me. It was hard work, a labor of love and at 60 hours I had gone from a 7 to a 5+ and I was exhausted.
My husband, along with my midwife drove me to the hospital and we decided to not be completely honest because they were already going to think we were a little crazy being a homebirth transfer. We didn't tell them about my previous 3 c-sections so I could try for a natural birth. The thing is, they wanted me to have my baby in their time, not my time, and they knew that I had been in labor for 60 hours. After another 15 hours, we needed to tell them about my previous c-sections because I wasn't progressing.
When we did, we were treated like outcasts, and they were horrible to me. They treated me like a criminal but my Hannah was born happy and healthy via c-section. I did go through a terrible depression after this birth and I don't know why, but I think it had something to do with how everything went down.
We moved to SC and I became pregnant with our 5th baby in 2011. I decided I would still be proactive in my health and pregnancy, but I would also go the University hospital (also a teaching hospital) and talk to the head of the ob department and get my natural birth. We had to have extensive meetings and other doctors tried to scare me by saying I could kill my baby and myself.
We had to be strong. We had to be knowledgeable. We had to stay the course. And so, I was granted the ok to do a natural birth at the hospital. I went into labor at home and stayed at home until I could just feel I was close. I got to the hospital at 5:30 pm and they tried to tell me this would never happen, and I should just give up and have a c-section, but I stayed strong in my convictions and my little Faith was born 2 hours after I got to the hospital, happy and healthy.
More than that, I was happy and healthy (minus a tear)... I proved everybody wrong and was the talk of the hospital. I had doctors coming in to see me just to say that they met a mother that had done what I just did. Even after that though the doctors still tried to tell me I was stupid and put me and my baby in danger. They tried to strong arm me into vaccinations, pricks, pokes, etc. We stayed strong and little Faith is such a happy baby. I had a much easier go of recovery (although much different!!).
I am pregnant with number six (I am 39 weeks today), and my midwife that has been there for me time and time again, even though I didn't have home births, has stuck with me. She told me a couple of years ago, she had a dream that I would be birthing by the beach or near water (I now live on the river). I did try contacting midwives in my area and they all said no. There is too much red tape for them to help me. Bottom line, I am very confident in my body's God given ability to birth children naturally. It has been a long process for me, sometimes scary, but I have finally found the way. Any questions, please shout 'em out!