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We Didn’t Make It To The Hospital – Tiffany’s VBAC Birth Story!

It all started January 2013, when I got a faint positive, and we found out at 18 weeks we were having another little girl.

This time my husband Brandan and I agreed things would be different.

plus size woman giving birth

We drove 45 min one way to Statesville and went to Natural Beginnings Birth Center. We also hired our doula, Rae Crawford, to round out our VBAC birth team (VBAC means vaginal birth after c-section).

From the time I started going to the birth center, they encouraged me and told me that I could have the birth I wanted. They made me feel like they cared and knew me by name.

They encouraged my three-year-old daughter, Naomi, to be a part of the whole pregnancy.

I was due October 8, 2013, but things started October 1, 2013, the day Naomi turned three.

When contractions started, I was at work and thought not today any day but today. I did my best to ignore them throughout the day, and then I started throwing up.

I called Rae, and she came over. We did some exercises and eventually went to the midwife's office to be checked.

Nothing was happening.

My uterus was irritated because I was dehydrated so I got fluids and went home to wait.

I went back to the midwife's office and the hospital twice more that week before Friday. The last time they checked me, I was only 1 cm 70% thinned and -2 station after a week of prodromal labor.

I was discouraged, but things were quite all weekend. So we went to the Renaissance festival on Saturday and had a good time.

Related: We Need To Keep Talking About Kate’s This Is Us Plus Size Birth Story

Tuesday, October 8 was my due date, and nothing was happening.

I was rather aggravated after all the contractions weeks before it was my due date.

Am really going to go overdue?

We went out and walked all day trying to get things going and still nothing. Finally, I decided to go to sleep at about 1:00 am since we had an appointment with the midwife the next day at 10:30 am.

I tried to lay down, and that's when the first contraction slammed into me.

I decided I would try to take a shower and see if things would ease off so I could rest. After five minutes in the shower, another contraction slammed into me. These contractions felt different, so I got out, and another slammed into me.

I leaned over the side of the tub, swayed, and “ohhhed” through my contractions. That's when Brandan came to check on me, and we decided to call Rae.

Rae could hear my moaning over the phone. She told us to try and rest for an hour to see what would happen and then call her back.

I made a nest of pillows on the couch and sat on them because that or on my birth ball were the only two places I was comfortable.

I turned off the lights and sat there laboring. Brandan slept on the other couch and told me to wake him if I needed him.

Related: I Had Successfully Pushed Her Into This World: A VBAC Story

I sat there, dozing between contractions. Then when they would hit ‘I'd stand and lean on the arm of the couch rocking an “ohhhing” through them.

I kept going to the bathroom to empty my bladder and check for the bloody show.

We were waiting to head to the birth center when all of a sudden, I hollered at Brandan, and he called our doula. While we were waiting for her to call back from calling Marcia our midwife, I started to feel pressure, and I couldn't get up.

When Rae called back, she said to wait 20 minutes and let Marcia get back to the birth center then head that way.

Brandan rushed around getting things together, and I called our photographer, Carrie.

When I walked out the door to the car, the sun was rising, and it was cold, but it felt so good!

Related: I Can’t Believe I Doubted My Body: A Plus Size VBAC Story

I was so hot I hit transition when I walked out the door I started shaking.

We started down the driveway, and the pressure kept building. I began screaming because I was scared and didn't know what to do.  With my first daughter's birth, I had never got this far and I had a cesarean.

I continued screaming for about 20 minutes then my water bag bulged out and I thought it was my daughter's head! My eyes got huge!

Then my water busted, and the pressure stopped for about 5 minutes. This was long enough for me to tell Brandan to call Rae.

When Rae heard me screaming she told him to give me the phone. I didn't want it. I couldn't think let alone talk.

She told me to stop screaming. Rae knew I was scared but if I didn't Brenna, our daughter, would come in the car. I immediately stopped screaming and started to pant and closed my eyes.

I held Brandan's hand the last 20 minutes to the birth center.

Rae called Marcia again to tell her my water broke and about the pressure. Then magically, she was in front of us, and that helped me to calm down more.

We arrived at Natural Beginnings at 8:15 am on October 9, 2013. 

It was time for my VBAC birth story! 

Marcia was standing at the door waiting on us smiling. It was wonderful to see her face! Rae got Naomi out of the car and told me I needed to get out of the car.

I told her to give me a minute and let this contraction stop. I slid out of the car and waddled into the birth center. Brandan helped me to get my pants off so I could be checked. That's when Marcia and one of my nurses started looking at me funny.

I got up on the exam table, and Marcia checked me I was 10 cm 100% and crowing! That was at 8:20.

Marcia looked at Rae and said we're not going to the hospital she's coming now. When she told me to push, I thought she was the best person ever!

I bore down and screamed. Marcia told me to stop screaming and use that to push, so I did! I started pushing at 8:13 am, and I pushed at my own pace.

I stopped halfway through an asked where my mom was. Then I felt Brenna's head coming out and felt the ring of fire. I kept pushing until it stopped.

Her head slid out, and Marcia told me to stop a second so she could turn her. Then I pushed again, and she slipped out, and they placed her on my chest.

I started to cry and told Brandan to take pictures. About that time, my mom came in and I told her I did it, but I tried to wait.

My mom cut the cord after it stopped pulsing and Brandan filled out her birth certificate.

They transferred me to the hospital for a manual extraction of my placenta because it was stuck. My placenta was manually removed after a shot of morphine.

Then I got to hold my baby girl some more and enjoyed thinking about my birth.

I did it – I have my VBAC birth story! 

You can read more plus size VBAC birth stories here.

Jen McLellan, CBE
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