Monthly Archives: January 2014

VBAC Memories Part VI

Thank you, Amber, for sharing your heartfelt thoughts and emotions in this continuing series of VBAC memories!


What were/are your fears?

My main fear was that I would have another C-Section.  I can’t say that I was fearless- however, I was able to block that out of my mind until I had to have the 2nd C-section.

How are you/could you cope with your fears?

I coped with my fear by reading other birth stories, both good and bad.  It helped to give me perspective. 

As a doula, what can I do to help the woman who wants a VBAC?

I think that you are fabulous.  I say insist that she stays informed and knows the truth about labor/delivery/C-sections.  You did a great job making sure that I was an informed mom (ie. let’s try to avoid induction, keep moving- no matter what).  I think that’s a big deal.  There are so many women that think they should get induced instead of going into labor. 

I would also encourage the women to have a “happy plan” in the case of a successful VBAC or in the case of an attempted VBAC turned emergency C-Sections.  I think that a happy plan is important because you have to make peace with yourself, good or bad.  I think women should create their own happy plan.  Ideally, it will include having a healthy baby, but maybe it will be to just stay focused on making the best of the experience.  I’m not sure that anybody “enjoys” a C-section, but maybe I should have refocused my emotions and focused on the experience…  I’m not sure. 

What I know now is that 2 years postpartum, I realize that the goal was a “healthy baby” when I was getting the C-Section- I was disappointed and my feelings were hurt. Within an hour, my VBAC dreams were crushed.  I was absolutely happy that I did have a healthy baby, but I wish I had been happy with myself as well. 

I remember when Tanya told me that my chance was about 20% that I would successfully have a VBAC.  So, I would encourage them to not be terribly disappointed if it doesn’t happen.  So many things happened after the C-Section, I really try not to think about it.  I suppose that that’s why it has taken me 2 years to process my emotions:(. 


You are a beautiful woman, you had a beautiful labor, you had a beautiful birth, and you have two beautiful children. Please never doubt these things!!!

VBAC Memories Part V

Kelly has shared her beautiful story about the birth of her first child and her subsequent VBACs. I know that so many of you will be able to relate to the wide range of emotions.

“I was diagnosed with pre eclampsia and put on bed rest at 30 weeks with my first child. At 34 weeks my protein levels were dangerously high, and I started to have neurological symptoms (blurred vision, headaches).  I wanted to avoid a c section, so my OB induced.  I feel like I was set up for failure.  A c section from the beginning would have been easier than three days of labor and magnesium ending in a c section. Because I was given magnesium I could not get out of bed and had to use a bed pan because they wouldn’t put in a catheter yet. The charge nurse was condescending and rude, and the entire experience was humiliating.  I didn’t have experience and had not done adequate research and just trusted what my doctors told me to do.  Sofie was in the NICU for a week, and I didn’t see her for 24 hours after she was born.  I remember the doctors in the OR discussing their vacations.  It was insulting.  They were making the biggest event in my life something routine.  I didn’t feel a connection to her and had PPD and post-traumatic stress that lingered for at least a year.  After I came home from the hospital I remember not wanting to be left alone with her.  I also remember watching a baby show after I came home.  The mother had a similar experience and someone commented that she didn’t know how someone could not feel a connection with their child.  I heard SO many times “at least she is here and healthy”.  Those comments just made me feel worse, like I wasn’t entitled to feel like the experience of child birth was taken from me. I was embarrassed for having bad feelings related to her birth, so I didn’t talk about it for a long time with anyone other than my husband.  If something touched my scar or if I felt a twinge where it was healing I would feel sick because it would bring back memories of the birth.  I remember eventually reading an article about how many times when an animal is given a c section it would reject the baby, and everything started to make sense.  When we were ready for a second baby I went back to the same OB and asked about a VBAC.  She told me that we could try labor, but if I wasn’t dilated by 40 weeks, there was no reason to push it.  I never went back there.  I went on to have a VBAC with a 10 lb 2 oz baby at 40 weeks 5 days.  I had an epidural.  His birth was so healing.  I was not dilated at all at 40 weeks…I’m so glad I switched doctors. I felt validated in my earlier feelings and was finally able to talk about it openly.  My husband’s support and understanding was a huge factor in healing from my first birth.  My third was completely natural (8 pounds 12 ounces).  I had a doula with my second and third.  Support from a doula was invaluable for me and my husband.  Just having someone who believed I could do it and was on my side gave me the extra support that I needed to have my 2 hospital VBACs.”  ~ Kelly

Your story is every bit as beautiful as you and your family! Thank you for sharing, Kelly!