Home VBAC Births My VBAC Homebirth By Amy B.
My VBAC Homebirth By Amy B. PDF Print E-mail
Birth Stories - VBAC Stories
Wednesday, 18 February 2009 09:53
In response to the recent concerns surrounding VBAC (Vaginal Birth After Cesarean) I wanted to write my birth story and give hope to those wanting to experience a vaginal delivery after a cesarean. My history is long and a little complicated, but it is my own. I gave birth via cesarean on January 10, 1998 to my triplets. Isabella, Ryne , and Alicia born at 31 weeks gestation. They were early, but very healthy. I knew even then that I wanted another baby, and I had hoped for a vaginal delivery. On Thanksgiving Day of 2000 I found out that I was expecting. I had felt that the IVF went well, and I just knew it was going to be positive. I found out in December that I was carrying twins. Wow, I thought, there goes the homebirth I really wanted but I was very strong about having a natural vaginal delivery. The pregnancy was going along well until early January when I experienced some bleeding. After a trip to the emergency room and several tests one of my babies was diagnosed with encephalocele, the least common open neural tube defect. This was the worst week in my life I believe and at times it still bothers me. My baby would not survive after birth, and I lost the baby at 12 weeks. This was a very down time in my pregnancy. I had bonded with both babies, and the loss of one was at times unbearable. I did make it through that time with the support of friends and family.

After several weeks of emotional healing I found renewed strength from my baby growing inside of me. I sat down with my OB and explained to him my desire for a homebirth even more so now after what I had been through. He was very supportive, and he wished me well. I set out to find a midwife. We have two great midwives in the Jacksonville area Dianne Johnston and Sharon Schmidt. I talked with both of them and Dianne agreed to take me with Sharon as our back up. This was very comforting to me. The remainder of my pregnancy was very healthy. My baby was growing great, and I kept up my end of the bargain by eating well and taking care of myself. I enjoyed regular visits to my chiropractor and massage therapist. This helped tremendously to relieve some of the discomforts of late pregnancy. On July 24, 2001, I seemed to work extra hard around the house. There I was 38 weeks pregnant, and the contractions had been very constant for the past week. I see now that I was experiencing some nesting behavior as I worked to prepare the house for our babies birth. I went to bed very tired that night, but I didn't sleep well. I had developed this routine of getting up and down on an hourly basis to eat, drink, and go to the restroom. At 2:00 a.m. I awoke to do the normal rounds and headed back to bed. I noticed some contractions, but really didn't worry about them. At 2:30 I felt my mucous plug pass. I went to the restroom and had a very good bit of bloody show. I remarked to myself that the baby would be here sometime in the next week. I went back to bed with no idea of what was about to happen. I felt several strong contractions and noted that they were about eight minutes apart. Just as I drifted off to sleep "POP" I felt my water break with a contraction. I looked at the clock and it was perfect 3:00. This was kind of ironic since I mentioned several times in my pregnancy that I would be waking people up at 3:00 a.m. I called Dianne after several contractions. Dianne and I both agreed for her to come on over since the contractions were now five minutes apart and getting stronger. I sat on the floor in my living room calling my birth team. Rae and Kathy were both on the way. I was so excited. During this time both my girls began to wake, and the excitement of what was going to happen was beginning to spread around the house.

Around 4:00 everyone started showing up. The contractions were much stronger and were about three minutes apart. "Busta" my husband and the birth team began to get the pool ready for the birth. I was working with the contractions. Dianne came in and checked the baby who was doing just great. Hoping it would help me just a little I hoped in shower. I found that I just was not very comfortable in the standing position, and preferred a squat or leaning position instead. I felt my mood becoming more serious as the contractions picked up in strength and frequency. Kathy was busy with Busta and my brother getting the pool ready while Rae helped me. I had never experienced labor before even though I taught it to many couples. This was all new to me, and having Rae there was very special to me. She was very comforting and I knew she was aware of how I was feeling. I was quickly caught up in the labor, and at times it seemed as though I was watching it from afar. I guess this is the surrender we often hear about, that moment when we just have to give into what is happening to us. This wasn't easy for me as I am a person who likes control. I think that my birth team was really an important part of helping me to give into the surrender.

While I was laboring, Sharon arrived, and I remember thinking to myself how lucky I was. There I was surrounded by all this wonderful energy. These great people who truly believed in the power of birth and trusted it. Once the pool was ready, I was in. I found some comfort on my knees with my belly in the warm water. I laid my head on the side of the pool. The baby was doing very great and the labor was progressing well. In addition to the great birth team I had my husband, children, mother, and my brother there. This was important to me. To be surrounded by family and friends. I continued to work with the labor. The contractions were pretty intense, and they were coming very close together. I soon began to feel a slight urge to push at the end of each contraction. I knew that I wasn't ready to "PUSH" the baby out yet, but I could not resist this urge. During these contractions I began to get hot and cold. I knew I was in transition. I would hop out of the pool and walk around for a brief moment and then hop right back in. Rae was wonderful as well as everyone else surrounding me. I needed to hear their encouragement. Even today I can hear the voices of reassurance and power. I feel that they were a very large part of getting me through that very hard part of labor. Kathy used a wash cloth with ice water to cool my face. It was a great help for a while. Rae used a water jug to poor warm water on my lower back. I can still remember how soothing that felt. The line between transition and pushing is very blurry to me. I think it is kind of funny, but I really can't remember when the contractions in active labor ended and I was ready to push. Sharon suggested my husband and I sit across from each other in the pool. We put our feet together and they handed us a towel that had been twisted. As the contraction started I would breathe and when the urge to push came I would bear down and pull on the towel. This seemed to work for me. I felt very comfortable (or at least as comfortable as one can) in this position. We tried a few other positions, but I wasn't comfortable in them. I am not sure how long I pushed. When the baby's head was born, and I touched it I swear it seemed like a true miracle. I wanted to see my baby so bad. As the shoulders were born, I was pushing a little too hard and I tore a little. I didn't even realize this until after the birth. Busta grabbed the baby as I pushed it out and handed it to me. I saw my Thomas. My beautiful baby boy Thomas was born and I labored and pushed him out myself. That was absolutely one of the most magical and empowering experiences of my life. I can in no words describe the feeling of total release and love I felt for my new baby boy and the rest of family at that moment. On July 25, 2001 at 8:18 a.m. my life forever changed just as it had when my triplets were born. Our family had grown and I had grown. There truly is no greater miracle then that of birth.

I held Thomas in my arms while we waited for my mom to cut the cord. We were surrounded by our friends and family. My children all around the pool looking at their new baby brother with so much excitement of what had happened. Something that they were apart of. Afterwards I was taken to the bedroom to deliver the placenta, and to clean up. Thomas was brought in with me and he latched right onto the breast. He was weighed and measured and then we had our private time. He was a healthy 7lbs and 12oz and was 21 inches long. Thomas is now five months old and doing just wonderful. He is a beautiful breast fed baby who is always happy and content. I want to thank Dianne, Sharon, Rae, and Kathy for all the love and support they showed me and my family. I could not imagine such a perfect birth without them. Thank you for your energy that guided me along my journey. As for those of you wanting to experience a vaginal delivery after a cesarean my best advice is to take care of yourself, seek out help from those who have done it, be a good consumer with your careprovider, and most of all have faith in yourself and in birth. Take Care and God Bless.