After a long, hard labor, my 1st baby was delivered via c-section. He was 8lbs 4oz & 21.5″. Not a HUGE baby, but a big baby for me. He was sunny side up (so I had horrible back labor), and after pushing and then getting swollen, he was not coming out the way we wanted him to. Our doctor told us we would need to have a c section and I didn’t have a second thought. I was ready for our baby to be born. I had no idea that after that it would be hard to have a vaginal birth. I had no idea what a VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean) was. I had no idea the hospital where we live had a VBAC ban. I had no idea how the recovery would be. Soon after the birth we found out what a VBAC was and because of the risks of repeat cesarean sections and the fact that we wanted to have a big family we decided next time we would try for a VBAC.
We got pregnant with our second baby just before our first turned 1. We asked our doctor at our first appointment if we could VBAC. He said NO. “Your babies are too big for you to birth vaginally.” So we said, “ok.” That was that, we planned on having a CBAC (cesarean birth after cesarean) and towards the end of the pregnancy we scheduled the birth date. I was nervous, I didn’t know how recovery would go with a 19 month old toddler running around like crazy and now a newborn to take care of. I had thought that maybe if I went into labor before the scheduled date that we would just wait and then go into the hospital ready to push and we could have the baby that way. I really thought about it. Then, I didn’t go into labor before the big day and we ended up having our second sweet boy also via c section. He was 8lbs 3oz & 19.5″. Another big boy. After we had him nursing was hard. I wasn’t able to nurse our first baby and again, I wasn’t able to nurse our second baby either. That was frustrating, I really wanted to nurse this baby but ended up switching to formula after about a week. I also felt like it took longer for my incision to fully heal and that was really frustrating.
We ended up getting pregnant with our third baby right before our second baby turned one. So, there would be almost exactly the same difference in age between them. We went to our first appointment with the same doctor who performed our first two c sections. We again, talked to him about trying for a VBAC, only this time it would be a VBA2C. He again said no, told us about the VBAC ban at our local hospital and just advised that it wouldn’t be a good idea.
Well, I had pretty much already made up my mind that I wanted to try for a VBA2C. I searched for VBAC friendly doctors in our area. I called every single one of them to see if they were accepting patients. I called almost every single hospital in the state to see if they had a VBAC ban in place. I finally found a VBAC friendly doctor in a town that did not have a VBAC ban in place at the hospital. It was 2.5 hrs away. We scheduled a consultation for as soon as possible. We went and talked with the doctor about our previous births, pros and cons of VBAC vs. CBAC, our success %, and everything else we could think of. We decided that he was the doctor that we wanted to use, we just had to wait for him to have a meeting with his 5 colleagues and they all had to decide whether or not they would accept us as a patient since any one of them could be on call when we went into labor. After what seemed like forever (but was actually a few weeks), we got a call saying they decided they would take us. We were so excited because that meant we were that much closer to getting out VBAC!
Then we had the monthly appointments, that turned into every-other-week appointments, that turned into weekly appointments, then the day came when the doctor we saw said if you don’t have the baby this weekend then we may try to “get things going” at your next appointment.
I had done the research.
I had found the doctor.
I had found the hospital.
We had driven 2.5 hrs one way for doctors appointment for 9 months.
I had read the books.
I had joined the facebook groups and talked with other moms about their experiences.
I had asked all the questions.
Made the plans.
Knew all the pros and cons.
Knew we were going to have our baby via VBA2C.
Then one morning at 3am we were on our way to the hospital. It was really happening. We got there and after being checked & monitored we were admitted. The doctor said we were having our baby today!! We were so excited!! We called my parents who lived 1.5hrs away to come get the boys. Then we labored all day and things were going well! Then it was time to push! Finally!! Soon, we hoped our baby would be here. Then after pushing for almost 4 hrs our doctor said she wanted to try using a vacuum to help baby out. He (at the time we didn’t know he was a he.) was right there and using the vacuum would help him out quickly! Then we tried for over another 45 minutes but without success. I started having a feeling that we were going to need another cesarean section. My heart was breaking. After a while our doctor talked to us and said she thought it was time to go ahead with the cesarean.
My husband agreed. I agreed. I was crushed. At 8:47pm that evening we had our third baby boy, 8lbs 10.3oz & 21.5″. Another big boy. Too big for me. I was so heartbroken and so overjoyed at the same time. A feeling that is so hard to express.
So, I just want to tell all you Mamas who didn’t get your VBAC, I’ve been there. I’ve tried. I’ve given it everything I had then had things turn out the opposite of how I planned. I’ve had to hold back the tears at baby showers when other women were talking about their own birth experiences. I’ve had to take a break and step away to hold back the tears. I’ve been the 3rd time Mama who has had to accept way more help then she wanted to. I’ve been the tired, hurting, discouraged Mama whose incision just won’t seem to heal 4 months later.
I’ve been there.
I just want you to know: YOU are strong. YOU are brave. YOU are courageous. YOU are NOT a failure. YOU ARE AMAZING.