by Marjorie Baer, CD(DONA)
There’s something magical about a successful VBAC (vaginal birth after C-section) and to be a part of it is the most exhilarating experience, in my humble opinion.
As a Doula, we know it’s not our day. We know and respect that we are just a cog in the wheel. We know we have no reason to gloat or bask in the light of an amazing birth. The day belongs to Mom and Dad. But, WOW! I can’t help but to bask in the sunshine of this magical day … this magical birth … this Mama is special and her story is so special that I have to share!
This Mom had two previous C-sections – yes, two! She was manipulated by the medical model twice …. She did her homework and chose a supportive OB (Obstetrician) for Baby #2, only to be manipulated yet again into another C-Section! Give up? Not this Mom!
You’re probably asking … why the intervention with C-Section? Well, that’s the $10,000 question!
The OB for Baby #1 tried to move Mom along with Pitocin, but when it wasn’t successful, they felt they had no alternative than to do a C-Section (the baby was big). Our sweet baby arrived … a bouncing 11 lbs. baby boy … could she have successfully birthed an 11 lbs. baby vaginally? We’ll never know … but women have done it!
This Mom does her research and finds a different OB for Baby #2 that has a low C-Section rate and they claim they will honor her VBAC request. Then as the time ticks away, at the very end of the birth cycle, they decide not to honor her request to try for a successful VBAC due to the size of the baby and schedule yet another C-Section.
For Baby #3, this Mom realized she had to take matters into her own hands. She continued to search and found a Midwife who would not only support her VBAC request but in addition support her decision to have the baby at home. I’ve worked with these midwives before – with yet another successful VBAC Mom - so, I was aware of their philosophies and was excited for this new birth journey.
I knew it would be an amazing experience and would not be disappointed. I would love to just advertise who the midwives are, but if you’re in the Hudson Valley birth world, chances are you already know them. Because they are magical!
Making the decision to have the baby at home would secure her request for no medical interventions and interference… that’s right … we’re going to call it what it is … INTERFERENCE! Bravery, right? (Not to worry, there was a plan in place if we needed hospital care.)
This was not an easy decision because she had to get her husband, her family and friends on board. Not everyone was on board though. But she was stead-fast and ready with poise and grace … and HUTZPAH!
When labor began, Mom got through the early parts with Dad. Then me, her Doula, and a best friend, arrived. We used positions, massage, essential oils, affirmations for relaxation and labor. She labored quietly, gently.
When all the numbers (contractions timing) said she was in transition (last and most difficult phase of labor), I said to the midwife “everything says transition, but she’s not looking like she’s in transition.” In other words, this Mom was confident, focused and never lost her composure. Sure enough! Nothing short of miraculous, when checked by the Midwife, she was 8 centimeters along and well into transition. I thought to myself … okay, sweet baby, I can’t wait to see the beautiful face of this baby from this ROCKSTAR Mom!
The tub was filled and she labored further in the tub with Dad at her side. It was beautiful, it was amazing, it was supernatural. She asked for alone time with her husband and we respected that.
When we got back, she was more focused … was it possible? We’re nearing 16 hours of non-stop labor and she’s got this … we’re still changing positions, rocking, all the right things. For the next 7 hours, we tried a few more ideas and positions for comfort and pushing. When sweet Sylvie arrived … all 10 lbs. 12 oz. of her!, we enjoyed lots of black hair and beauty! It was an incredibly surreal experience.
There is so much to be said about having a baby in your time. Allowing the body to birth as it sees fit is critical. Therein lies the truth … allowing the body to birth. Supporting Mom to allow her body to birth her baby. There is a place for medical intervention, but it’s not first place.
It’s sad that this Super Mom couldn’t find a doctor who would support her until Baby #3. Or, even a hospital for that matter. Most hospitals simply will not accept a VBAC request for third baby. Yup, it’s not an option in many hospitals (most hospitals). Hard to believe, isn’t it
One last little tidbit to share. The Midwife noticed that the previous OB wrote “requested” under C-section. Let’s digest this. The OB wrote in the medical records that this Mom requested a C-Section. That’s right. There it was in black-and-white. They manipulated the medical records. It’s as simple as that. Requested scheduled C-section, my foot!
Are C-sections necessary? Absolutely. But, a Mom should feel empowered by her decisions and supported … not ridiculed and pushed to the limits … when all she wants is to birth the way her body wants. Hats off to this Mom for her hard work and perseverance! Hats off to this Dad who supported her although there were many family and life obstacles.
To be a part of something this big is amazing … and I can’t wait to see the blog I have nearly begged her to write …
Share your experience, Mom. Share your wisdom, Mom. I dare you to blog your birth journey and empower the world with your story. I’m just a cog in the wheel … but I see something big here that needs to be shared. Join me to encourage and motivate this Mom to tell her story … tell Sylvie’s amazing birth story, I dare you!