Why I Chose a VBAC :: Allie

Allie's Birth

What was the reason for your initial Cesarean birth?
My body wasn't ready for labor, but I asked my OB to induce me.  She really didn't want to... she encouraged me to wait a few more days.  According to her my cervix was "high and tight."  However, she agreed to induce and after hours and hours of labor, hardly getting anywhere, Charlie, my baby, just wasn't making it down the birth canal.   Even when I was 10 cm dilated, I pushed for three hours and he was too far up the birth canal and also his face was turned toward my inner thigh... so after unsuccessfully attempting vaginal birth with the vacuum, my OB said we needed to just get him out.

Why did you choose a VBAC?
Honestly, I wanted a VBAC soooooo bad... mostly for the reason that so many doctors I know of won't do more than three Cesareans, resulting in no more than three babies if you go with those doctors, and I really wanted the option for four babies if possible.  

What were your fears and concerns (if any)?
I think going into it, I was scared and so desiring a VBAC, but also trying to hold it with an open hand, not wanting there to be any frustration about the birth or negative feelings surrounding Joey's arrival.  But, I wanted it so bad and felt like I had done certain moves, hired a doula, etc. to do my part to make it happen and then just let the rest go.

What was the biggest challenge during pregnancy and then during labor and birth?
This pregnancy with Joey so different from my first pregnancy with Charlie.  Starting at 34 weeks, I was already dilated 2-3 cm.  At 38 weeks I went in and my OB said, "You are 6 cm dilated!  This is crazy!  I can't in good conscience keep letting you walk around like this!" 
 I was induced shortly thereafter.  Similar to Charlie, my body wasn't going into labor.  This time, though, my cervix was at least ready, but my body wasn't cooperating.  I called my doula and she met me at the hospital.  They broke my water and immediately my contractions came on.  After an hour of contractions, I opted for the epidural and within an hour I was 10 cm.  My OB asked me if I wanted to let his head come down further or if I wanted to start pushing.  I asked Morgan, my doula, and she suggested that I just try a few pushes and if we needed to stop and let him progress further, we could.  I started pushing.  Morgan was an incredible support and there was one point where she said something (I don't remember what) that made me think I could actually do this.  I think maybe that she could see his head and that I was pushing correctly and making progress.  I was so encouraged.  The best thing she told me in terms of pushing was to try and poop.  I think most women are so scared to actually poop while delivering, but she made it seem completely normal and said if I could actually poop, then that's the exact right type of pushing I needed to be doing.  My last labor people kept saying 'bear down' and I had no idea what they meant.  After a half an hour, there he was!  It was wonderful.  I called my mom immediately and just started crying and whispered, 'He's here!  He's here!  I did it, mom!!"
It still remains one of the biggest accomplishments of my life.

How did you prepare for your VBAC?
I interviewed a couple doulas and none of them ended up working out for me.  Then I asked a girl I knew who is a L&D nurse if she would be my doula and she said yes.  It was the perfect fit for me.  It took so much pressure off my husband, Josh.

How did you find your care provider and were they VBAC supportive? If so- how? If not, did you think they were and they ended up not being so? How did you respond?
I think my OB was relatively supportive, but I'm not sure that she has strong feelings against C-sections.  From some of our conversations prior, I wonder if she's had a patient lose a baby in childbirth because I think she wanted to let me have a VBAC, but also seemed to just want the baby out.

What would you say to a woman who's considering a VBAC? How would you encourage her? 
I would say- you can do it!   I would encourage women to not just opt for the Cesarean because of fear of what might happen if you ended up needing a repeat C-section.  Most of my friends at least, have just scheduled their second C-section because they're afraid of having to have another emergency or unexpected one... but they have no idea what could happen this time around!!  So, I think I would just say go for it and if you need another C-section, no big deal... you've done that before and everything worked out OK.