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I told myself early on in
my pregnancy that I would not be able to forgive myself if
I didn't at least attempt to have a VBAC and am so glad that
I continued to see the OB's at the USF Physicians
Group since they are one of the only groups in the area that
will allow for a VBAC but from the first appointment they
discouraged me and constantly reminded me of the risks of
uterine rupture. I began educating myself and eventually found
myself asking them questions that they couldn't answer. It
felt great. But in the back of my mind I was still second
guessing myself and terrified that maybe they were right.
The big factors that they reminded me of were that my previous
c-section was not more than 18 months ago and that I only
had a single layer stitch on my uterus. I did lots of internet
research and began attending ICAN meetings. I then was fortunate
enough to get into a Bradley Method Childbirth Class. My husband
and I were also obsessed with natural birth videos and I think
we have seen just about every one out there. My confidence
We finally decided to speak with a home birth
midwife to satisfy our interests. We interviewed Jill Adams.
We loved her and trusted her and never went back to the USF
Physicians Group. She gave us amazing support and answered
all of our questions. We couldn't have been more satisfied.
The weeks continued to pass and I again had a completely healthy
pregnancy with no complications.
At 40 weeks and 4 days I awoke to contractions
that were 15 minutes apart. I went back to sleep after each
one. I was so excited but was not completely convinced that
it was the real thing so my husband went to work in the morning
as if everything was usual. He called each hour to check on
me and the contractions continued. He got home at 3 pm and
the contractions then began coming every 10 to 12 minutes.
He told me that I should call the midwife and Melissa Taylor
who was acting as our doula as well as my best friend who
was going to film it all and take pictures. I was embarrassed
that I would call everyone and that it wouldn't really be
labor. I called everyone anyways and they all arrived around
7 pm on Friday night. Our midwife checked me and I was only
3 cm dilated.....disappointment. I thought that everyone would
leave but each of them stayed. I continued to have contractions
about 8 minutes apart at that point. It was great to be surrounded
by a birth team that I put together and invited because I
trusted them and not by people who just happened to be there
because it was their turn to be on shift. It was so personal
and wonderful to be in the comfort of my own home.
My husband never left my side and helped me
through each contraction. I found myself to enjoy laboring
on the toilet and in the birthing tub the most. It became
later and later and I was only dilated to about 5 cm by midnight.
Progress was being made but it was slow. I was okay with it
because it was all on my terms and happening naturally and
everyone was patient.
||I finally dilated fully by
about 9 am on Saturday morning. My water still hadn't
broken but I wanted it to happen naturally so with the
direction of my midwife I pushed a few times and it happened.
It sounds funny but I feel like I needed to have the control
over every aspect of the birth since I had no control
with my first birth experience. At 9:30 am I got into
the tub to begin pushing. It seemed to last forever and
I was exhausted but knew I had no choice but to go on.
My husband encouraged and supported me, our
midwife and her assistant assured me that my baby and I were
safe and everything was going well, our doula made sure I
always had a drink, cool wash cloths and massaged my legs
when they cramped and my best friend was there to document
it all. It was one of the most positive experiences that I
have ever had. Caroline finally arrived at 11:37 am with one
big push. She was posterior which accounted for the extended
time pushing and the tearing that I had was very minor with
only 4 stitches. I remember thinking, "only 4 stitches.....much
better than the c-section!!!" It was a perfect birth
in my eyes and has helped me heal and recover mentally from
the cesarean. Of course the cesarean will always be there
but at least now I know that my body is not broken and the
doctors don't always know best. I would have another home
birth in a minute!
(Note: see also Abigail
& Annabelle for this mother's cesarean story)
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