As promised yesterday, here is the story of Martha’s third baby, her first vaginal birth, a VBA2C. And click here for her fourth baby’s birth story, an HBA2C!
My first two babies entered this world via cesarean section, so when I was expecting my third baby I thought my only option was obvious: schedule a cesarean. I went to my initial appointment and felt strange to be talking so candidly about knowing the exact day my child would be born and knowing how the surgery would go from start to finish. I’m not sure why, call it intuition, but something didn’t feel right. A large part of me longed for what I missed when my first two births turned to unplanned cesareans. I understood what they told me: my babies were too big (9lb 3oz and 7lb 3oz) and despite their best efforts with pitocin and breaking my water both of my labors failed to progress past 12 hours and I just couldn’t birth a baby. I was labeled FTP and CPD. I didn’t like this, but I didn’t have a choice. A few months into my third pregnancy I started looking into ways to make a cesarean more family friendly. If this was how it had to be, it could still be beautiful. I researched things I could do to make the cesarean safer (it is major surgery—I needed to make sure my body was prepared for that), how to better bond with my baby after the cesarean, and how to include my husband in the process so we both could bond better with our baby.
Then during my research I came across ICAN. I learned from a local chapter leader that I had other options. I was surprised and a little taken aback. I had this plan in my mind of how it had to go but suddenly I had another option! It was hard at first to go from believing an elective cesarean was the only safe way to realizing that a VBAC was a very safe option. It took time, but I spent the rest of my pregnancy reading, researching every study on VBAMC that I could get my hands on, and preparing, not to mention finding a new doctor, and talking to other women who had a VBAC. I was elated! I longed for the opportunity to birth my baby and I would finally be able to!`
In a few days, on August 7th, my vba2c baby will turn 4! Her birth was a day I will never forget. My 8lb 14oz baby girl was born without medication or intervention in under an hour from start to finish and with her birth she gave me more than words can even articulate. I had to work and fight for the birth that was right for me and my baby. It wasn’t always easy, but it was right for us. Her name means “Beautiful Victory” and it was!
One of my greatest hopes in working as a birth advocate is that women know and are fully educated about their options. It can seem a daunting task but it is well worth the effort!