Below is a story shared with me by Cara, who welcomed her second son into the world in an amazing VBAC. This was in the face of plenty of doubt and uncertainty from the hospital at which she was birthing. Cara prepared for her VBAC with a hypnobirthing course and regular visits with a women's health physio - readying both her mind and body for labour. She did an absolutely brilliant job, trusting her body to do what it was built for. I hope you find this story as encouraging and inspiring as I did!
My first son was born in 2020 by c section after a cascade of interventions left me “failure to progress”. This, including feeding issues, left me with a lot of birth trauma and motivated me to do everything I could to have the most healing VBAC possible for my next baby.
I received a lot of push back during my second pregnancy by most people when I said I wanted a VBAC. They all said things like “you can try” and “you can’t plan for these things.” luckily though I did the Kaia Birth class and regularly visited HerHealth physio so I knew my body was capable and I was prepared. I declined inductions, booking in a c-section date, and all stretch and sweeps that were offered. I knew my baby would come when he was ready.
My water broke naturally at home while nursing my toddler at 12pm and I was 40+6. I called my husband at work and quickly fixed up lunch for my son and made sure my home was ready for me to labour in as long as possible as I knew going to hospital too early could ruin everything. I played my music, bounced on my birth ball, had a lavender candle burning, and nursed my toddler on and off to get all the oxytocin flowing. By 6pm the contractions were impossible to talk through and very regular, it was also the perfect time for my toddler to go to my mother in law who was meeting us at hospital.
Once we arrived at hospital, I kept my music playing and limited as many distractions as possible. I kept my eyes closed for the most part and only focused on breathing down with every contraction and imagining my baby getting lower and lower and my husband did all the talking for me. So much was happening around me with midwives scrambling to put IVs in me and looking for the intermittent monitoring because everyone seemed very anxious about me coming in with broken membranes and saying I was having a VBAC this time. I denied all VEs except for the one they requested on admit to make sure I was in established labour. I told the midwife not to tell me how my cms I was (and lucky I did, as I was only 3cm and that would have been very discouraging to hear!) and then I was left to labour pretty much on my own.
4 hours later at 10pm the contractions became so intense I started to worry how long I could continue. I said from the beginning I didn’t want an epidural so the midwife helped me with positions to labour in and then I started having the urge to push. I was running out of steam after 2 hours of pushing, and the words theatre and caesarean were thrown around in passing. Thankfully the OB, Dr Mariud, who performed my c-section in 2020 and was the doctor I saw through pregnancy was familiar with my preference for VBAC and he suggested helping me along with the use of some suction instead. After a few more pushes, at exactly midnight on the 3rd of June, my second son was born by unmedicated VBAC.
While I had instrumental help in the end, I had a peaceful and totally empowered birth and I will never forget the feeling of being able to birth my baby the way I wanted to when so many people doubted me.