Well, I suppose my story begins with the birth of my first child, almost 5 years ago.
I had an ideal pregnancy with my son: no morning sickness, great energy, minimal
swelling... That is until week 36 when I developed symptoms of pre-eclampsia. I was
admitted to the hospital at 36 weeks and ended up with a cesarean delivery 4 days
later, on 11/27/2008, due to increased symptoms and a failed induction. I was really
disappointed with my cesarean as I was really looking forward to the whole birthing
process. Not to mention that I couldn't remember his earliest moments as I was so
groggy from all the drugs. I also really struggled with my recovery and not being able to
care for my son like I wanted to. Fortunately, he was a champion breastfeeder
and I really felt bonded to him through that process.
I don't think that I really harbored too much resentment about his birth as I do believe
that it was the best outcome for everyone, but I knew that I didn't want that
experience again. When I discussed this with my OB, she said "Oh, we don't do
VBACs in this practice. When you get pregnant again, we'll just schedule you
like a hair appointment. Easy!" I was extremely taken aback by this response and
very discouraged. When I found out that I was pregnant again, I started to
convince myself that maybe RCS was my best option since I already knew how to
deal with it. One day, I woke up and decided NO! I was going to do my research
and find a doctor who would support my goal of at least experiencing labor this
Two friends, who don't know each other or live in the same city, recommended me to
a doctor who would become my new OB. When I met him and asked him about VBAC,
his response was, "Your body was created to do this and you can do this!" He also gave
me the facts about the risks of BOTH a VBAC and a RCS and really helped me put it all in perspective. It was full steam ahead from that point on!
I started prodomal labor with my daughter on a Wednesday at 39w2d. I labored at home
with her until my water broke on that Saturday afternoon around 4 pm. We headed to the
hospital that evening and I was able to labor while walking, bouncing on the birth ball,
kneeling over the back of the bed, etc. They did intermittent monitoring, gave me a heplock instead of full IV, and basically left me alone to do what I need to do. I was very calm
and focused on my breathing and vocalizing. I would not let them tell me numbers
at dilation checks as I did not want to be discouraged if the numbers weren't
changing as fast as I wanted. I was able to labor unmedicated until about 10pm
when I asked for Demerol. (My goal was not to have an epidural as I didn't want
to take any chances with stalled labor) Two short hours later, my body started
pushing on its own! It was an overwhelming feeling and such an exciting moment!
I remember screaming (for the first time all labor) "I'm pushing and I can't
stoooooopp!!!" My mom was like "Hold on! Wait! Let me get the doctor!!!" 20 min
later, on 01/06/2013, my beautiful daughter was born as I watched in a mirror.
She was laid directly on my chest and that was THE moment that I was longing for
since my son's birth. I was the first one to hold her, to comfort her, to smell
her, to talk to her, etc. It may seem like such a simple thing, but it was so
powerful to me. More than I can fully express in words.
Since then, I am often hit with the frightening thought, "What if you had just
listened to your first doctor and had the RCS? You would have missed this
amazing experience and for what? Fear? Lack of info? Unwilling to fight for what
you want?" I can't imagine not having this experience and am so grateful to my
amazing support team that never doubted my decision nor my ability the entire