Vaginal Birth After Four C-sections (VBA4C)

Every once in a while, I get an e-mail that just makes me feel not worthy as a birth spokesman. This was one of those emails. The woman (whom you will meet below) did what many believe to be impossible- she had not one, but two, vaginal births after FOUR cesareans (VBA4C).

Birth Warrior.

Without further delay, here is her story. She did the VBAC interview that I welcome all VBAC moms to complete. Positive stories help others know that it is possible. And that is an amazing thing!
VBA4C vaginal birth after four cesareans
VBA4C- It is possible!

1.  So, I would love for you to first give a brief rundown of your first birth/s and what you feel like happened and why you had a c-section.
2006 I had my first baby born via c-section for "failure to progress" after 10 hours of labor and 7cm dilated.  
2008, 18 months later I had my second baby via c-section because my doctor didn't want me to go past my due date.  
2009, 14 months later I had my third baby via c-section again because same doctor wouldn't let me try for a vbac.
2010, 17 months later I had my fourth baby via c-section again because same doctor wouldn't let me talk about let alone try for a vbac.  

2.  What made you desire a VBAC when they seem so hard to come by in the current obstetric climate?
My fourth cesarean was the lowest point for me emotionally, I can recall praying in the hospital during recovery that I just could not go through this again.   And I wasn't even sure I'd want to have anymore children if I had to have surgery.  At about six monthss postpartum, a desire for another baby was so strong.  My husband and I talked and prayed extensively and decided we did want more children, maybe even two more.  And I knew that this time around, I would face my fears and advocate for a trial of labor.   

3.  How did you find a care provider who would support you? 
I talked with a lot of different care providers, even the most "vbac-friendly" OB in my state and he basically laughed at me.  I was determined to find someone who was willing to provide my prenatal care knowing that I was determined to have a trial of labor. I finally found a high risk OB at a large public hospital that was willing to talk with me openly and honestly about trying for a vba4c.  I did have to make a couple of concessions like schedule a cesarean for 41 weeks and agree to labor at the hospital with continuous monitoring.  And, the staff really wanted me to have an epidural so that I was one step closer to the operating room if I needed surgery.    

4.  What was labor like for you?
August 4, 2012, my labor started 5:30 am with contractions about 10 min apart.  My water broke around 12:30 pm, and contractions and intensity picked up from there.  I arrived at hospital around 4pm with intense, regular contractions and a lot of back labor.  At 7:30p, I was 6 cm and in a lot of pain in my back so I agreed to have epidural to help my body relax. Once I had the epidural, I went from 6 to 10 cm in 45 min.  20 min of pushing and baby was born just after 9pm.  
Vaginal Birth After Four Cesarean (VBA4C)
Vaginal Birth After Four Cesarean (VBA4C) Baby! 

5.  What helped you VBAC?
My faith in God, my super loving and supportive husband, my doula, a small group of women that were believing with me and praying for me throughout the pregnancy, and my OB that was willing to support me in having a trial of labor.

6.  How did you prepare for your VBAC (was there anything you did differently)?
I changed my doctor, and hospital.  And I changed the conversation from "will you let me have a trial of labor" to "I've decided to have a trial of labor, how best can I do this?"  I read and researched vbac a lot.  Everything I could get my hands on.

7.  Describe your VBAC birth story.  We would LOVE to hear about it!
The process of labor and completing with a vaginal delivery was so healing from my previous labor experience.  Our bodies are amazing, and we really are capable of so much more then I ever thought.  

8.  Has the postpartum experience been different than your other birth/s?  What about it surprised you? 
Such a difference postpartum.  Even my husband was shocked at how quickly I was myself again (within hours of giving birth vaginally) as compared to days after surgery.  After my vbac, I was up and around, using the bathroom, and most importantly I was entirely present and available to bond with, hold, nurse, and cuddle my newborn.  I too, was surprised at what a difference my post birth experience was.  Recovering from major surgery while caring for a newborn, and mothering my other children was an extremely difficult endeavor.  I would never choose that option again unless it was absolutely medically necessary.

I am grateful to say, I had another successful vbac delivery May 2014.  I am currently 24 weeks pregnant with baby #7 and preparing for another vbac, this time I'm going for completely natural! 


Unknown said…
That makes sense! As you get older your body gets bigger and it could possibly make it easier have a baby vaginally. Heck I wanted mine C section but they won't just do it that way...
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Staci C. said…
I see a lot of women post about recovery time after a c section, but I have always been up and walking all over the place-even outside-as soon as the spinal wears off (about 60-90 minutes). I've had 4 c sections but want to do a natural birth simply because I feel like I've been cheated out of the experience.