Vaginal birth after caesarean (VBAC) refers to giving birth vaginally after a previous c-section. On this page you’ll see VBAC resources and read stories from inspirational moms.
- Cesareans and Vaginal Birth after Cesarean (VBAC) Frequently Asked Questions Index from www.plus-sizepregnancy.org
- ICAN “To improve maternal-child health by preventing unnecessary cesareans through education, providing support for cesarean recovery, and promoting Vaginal Birth After Cesarean (VBAC).”
- The Unnecesarean “Pulling back the curtain on the unnecessary cesarean epidemic.”
- VBAC.com “Provides childbearing women and maternity care professionals access to evidence-based resources, educational materials, and support for VBAC and cesarean prevention.”
- VBAC Facts Don’t freak, know the facts.
- VBAC home birth video
- Women of Size and Cesarean Sections: Tips for Avoiding Unnecessary Surgery by, Pamela Vireday
- Jameson’s Birth Story; and My Rebirth by, Rachel
- My Body is Not Broken – VBA2C by, Kelli
- Road to VBA2C by, Becca
You Got to Fight for Your Right to Birth: My quest for a VBAC
By, Corey (from www.conscienceparenting.com)
I find that when people write about their birth stories they often get caught up in the details, and while these details are of exceptional importance to the person writing them, as they should be, they can often become a little mundane or drawn out for the reader. I am going to attempt to tell my VBAC story in only 10 pieces; pieces, not chapters.
- I had the worst birth known to mankind with my first child that involved having preeclampsia, Pitocin, an epidural, an emergency c-section, two blood transfusions and an infection. All of those elements combined were more than enough to make me swear I would never give birth again because in my mind my body “sucked” at giving birth. Someday, I will write about how naïve I was while being pregnant the first time around, but that is a story for another day.
- I thought having one C-section meant that you definitely had to have another one because something terrible would happen to you if you did not. It wasn’t until I went for my yearly check up that I was told by my fabulous doctor, after mustering up the courage to even consider birth again, that one section did not guarantee another.
- I became pregnant with the Mush Man. I felt both elated and terrified. I was elated that my son would have a brother, but terrified that I might die in birth after coming very close to it once before. I felt as though I was tempting fate.
- My doctor told me that I was an EXCELLENT candidate for a VBAC. I was ecstatic. No knives and no staples for this girl!
- My husband gets a new job in a new city, and I have to find a new doctor. I picked one out of the yellow pages. She had a beautiful office and very polite staff. That was all she had. Well, that and the opinion that if I was going to be one of those difficult women, who just had to have a natural birth, she might consider letting me VBAC. She then proceeded to tell me how fabulous planned sections were, and in my head I thought, “Maybe for you.” That was the last time I saw her.
- I called a ton of doctor offices trying to find a VBACing doc. I quickly learned that while that movie Knocked Up did have some accurate facts, being able to interview doctors was not one of them. I continued going to my wonderful doctor in my hometown, but finally I found a doctor, cue heavenly hallelujahs, who did VBACs. Things were looking up.
- When I was one month away from my due date, my new doctor informed me that she would be doing an Iron Man race in Brazil during my due date. Crap! However, she gave me the inside scoop on when the doctors at the hospital that perform VBACs were on call. This would have been fantastic news had my uterus had an ON and OFF switch for controlling labor. Nonetheless, it was something.
- I go into labor, or so I thought, on a night that a VBAC doctor is on call. Cue the hallelujahs again! I go into triage, which still seems odd, and I get to wait for three hours. The doctor feels that while I am in active labor, it is not active enough for her. I get sent home.
- I go into labor on a day that the doctor who does not do VBACS is on call. Shit! I labor at home for as long as possible. I call the doctor. I tell her this, “I AM having a natural birth. If you won’t do it, push me on through to somebody who will.” Obviously, this doctor was not use to this sort of an attitude. She tells me to come in and talk. The talk consisted of her telling me this: “You have a 1 in 100 chance of having a catastrophic event. This is very dangerous. As a mother, I would never do such thing. I don’t think you really understand what is happening.” And in my head I said, “F*ck you and your high horse!” One hour later and one very painful “mandatory epidural” later, I had a beautiful little boy. The doctor was practically high fiving and patting herself on the back. And in my head I thought, “Congratulations. You watched me do all the work instead of carving into me like a freaking Thanksgiving turkey, but sure, you take the credit.”
- I named my baby boy after my first doctor that helped me on my journey to having a successful VBAC. We originally had picked out another name, but in the delivery room my husband said, “Name him whatever you want. You deserve it.” I told him that only one name would do because without that doctor, this experience would never have happened, and I, in fact may have never considered having another child.
When I discuss my VBAC, I often get various looks. I get the looks of “you’re crazy” or “I can’t believe you are alive to tell about it, “and those I unfortunately understand. We live in a society today where doctors don’t always value the natural ability of a woman’s body during the labor and delivery process, or due to decisions made by insurance companies, are unable to practice the best way they know how. The looks, however, that I have a hard time explaining are the looks of “why does it matter.” Well, it matters because giving birth is the most personal experience on the planet. It is something that makes you look at your body in a completely different light. For me, having a VBAC gave me my power back, and to me, that was well worth the fight.
My VBAC Story
With my 2nd pregnancy I knew I wanted something different than the first. I knew I still needed to heal from Kiernan’s birth so I had planned a homebirth. I had interviewed midwives, bought a birth pool, watched movie upon movie, read everything I could get my hands on about natural birth and spent months trying to convince everyone that the decision I had made was an educated one. I had fully expected to go past my due date since I had done so the first time around.
August 30, 2011 (my due date) was a Tuesday. I went to the OB, saw the midwife, and the chiropractor that day. That evening I began to feel mild cramps. I kept wondering if this was “it” but kept telling myself I was cramping because I had been examined that day. That night I had the bloody show and knew I was in labor. The cramps were mild enough for me to sleep. The next day Krys and I took Kiernan to the zoo in hopes of jump starting the contractions. That night they became painful and were coming every 5 minutes. I waited until about 4:30 in the morning to call in sick to work. I called the midwife and let her know what was going on.
The 3 midwives came out to the house that morning to examine me. I was only 1cm dilated! I was upset when she said that and then the contractions STOPPED! They told me to rest, keep eating and drinking and trust that my body was doing what it was supposed to do. They assured me that the reason this was happening was because the baby was still so high and this was my body’s way of letting her come down. So Thursday continued in pretty much the same fashion. I slept while I could. I yelled out in pain when the contractions came. I felt awful.
Thursday night I was up again all night in pain. That made night 2 of no sleep. Friday went the same. Friday night I was up all night in pain. Saturday rolled around and I was exhausted and very frustrated. The contractions were not regular so I knew that I wasn’t progressing. It didn’t change the fact that they hurt and I was exhausted. I don’t know if it was the pain or me being exhausted but I started thinking all kinds of crazy thoughts in my head. I told Krys that I was starting to worry. I kept thinking that maybe the baby wasn’t able to come down because the cord was around her neck or maybe she was in distress. I mentioned to krys that maybe I wanted to go to the hospital. He just told me he would support any decision I made but I felt he wanted me to go. I went to the bathroom and found blood in the toilet.
After that I started to really worry so I called the midwife and told her. She said that concerned her and that was all I needed to hear. She offered to come out to the house to check on me but she was an hour away so I told her no it was ok because the storm that was happening had caused our power to go out. I packed a bag and told krys to take me to Oakwood because I wanted a hospital with a NICU. The drive to the hospital was unbearable. The contractions were coming so hard and so fast I could barely talk and there was a wicked storm going on so Krys could barely see.
We walked into OB triage and the midwife on staff asked me what I wanted to do. I was in a moment of weakness and I was in pain and I told her “I don’t want to VBAC. I want a c-section. I want this over.” I remember her name was Julie and she talked me through everything telling me that a VBAC was safer and she knew it was what I wanted. She left me to talk it over with Krys and make a decision. I looked at Krys and I knew what I needed to do. I had wanted a natural birth. I wanted a vaginal delivery and I knew I would regret my decision if I didn’t.
They got me a room and gave me an epidural (at my request). They got me in bed and told me they were going to just let me labor and “do my thing.” That was about midnight. I slept on and off through the night, which I was so grateful for. At 7:00 am the doc came in to check me and told me I was 10 cm! My bag of water had been “bulging” all night and when she went to check me, she accidently broke my water. The water was meconium stained…
I was so excited that i had dilated all on my own!! The baby was still very high in my uterus and they didn’t want my pushing because I would exhaust myself. The doc came in and turned off the epidural so I could feel the contractions and let the baby labor down. The contractions were awful. They were between 2 to 4 minutes long and were back to back. I started yelling and crying and twisting in pain on the bed. I pushed for 3 hours and lost my mind during! I was yelling and swearing and at one point I told them I was done pushing! LOL. It was a hard time for me.
Finally the baby came out with a head full of dark hair! The cord was a double nuchal cord and as soon as the doc saw that he jumped on my stomach with his whole body. I let out a yell like a wild animal! The shoulders were stuck so he kept pushing and finally got the baby out. There was thick meconium so the NICU nurses grabbed her and took over. Krys and I kept waiting for her to cry and it seemed like it took forever but she finally let out a wail. She was all healthy. No aspiration. Stella Moon was born at 11:30am weighing 8lbs 13 oz and 22.1/4 inches long. The placenta was HUGE. It was a long hard labor but I did it. I was at peace…