The problem with writing a birth story is the problem of giving justice to the holiness and perfection of the event itself- the miracle of birth.
Maybe that’s why it took me nearly a year to sit down and put “pen to paper” for this story. Truth be told I’ve worried that my words would in some way diminish the importance of the sacred process. But I will tell you this, I got my all-natural successful VBAC birth just as I had hoped and prayed for… and I couldn’t be more thrilled to share. Saying all of that the love and affection for both children, whether a vaginal birth or a cesarean, in my case, is not any different. What I believe to be different in my births is how I felt after the birthing process in my own body, and my mental state.
From the moment we found out we were expecting number two, to holding him in our arms for the first time, and even now as he reaches his first birthday…we were / are head over heels in love. Everything happened faster it seemed this pregnancy, and soon I was being faced with the decision to either have a repeat C-section or try for a VBAC. After hearing I was a very good candidate for a VBAC from my midwives, and doing my research, we decided to go for it!!
With my first pregnancy I was induced at 41+8 days. I really wanted to avoid going that route again so after a stretch and sweep at 41 weeks, we waited and prayed that this would get things moving. My next checkup would be 5 days later, to do another sweep if needed. Little did we know that we would be meeting with the midwife that day, but it would be to welcome our little boy into the world.
August 28, 2017 I fell asleep but was woken up by mild contractions around 1am in the morning. I figured I would try to sleep a little more if I could between them. After about an hour I couldn't sleep through them anymore. I downloaded a contraction timer on my phone and started mapping them out. They weren't too bad, mostly just uncomfortable, and getting closer together, but I didn't want to wake up my husband just in case this wasn't the real deal. I was still able to walk back and forth from sitting in bed to the bathroom, as well as take a short shower which felt great. My heavy labored breathing was what woke him up at 4:30am. He sat up and asked if I was ok and if it was time to call the midwife.
Even now I laugh at my response and thought process, I told him that it was a little early and that I didn’t want to wake her if it wasn’t the “real deal”. I even thought that I would get to see her at the clinic later that day for our appointment, so we had time to wait to call. Boy was I wrong…really wrong. In my defense being induced the first time with my daughter, I didn’t know how normal contractions were supposed to feel like. I was still able to talk through them at this point even though they were only minutes apart (which should have been a good indication that things were progressing).
It was now 5:00 am and I told my husband that we better pack our last minute things for the hospital bag and get my daughters things ready to go. She was still sound asleep and had no idea what was going on right outside her bedroom door. My husband decided to call the midwife and tell her what was going on. She told us she could meet us at the hospital whenever we could get there and that she would just check me and perhaps I could still come home depending on how I was progressing. He hung up and called his parents to tell them to meet us at the hospital so they could take our daughter, but that changed very fast.
Within 10 minutes of those calls, I began to feel lots of pressure and the urge to push. I told my husband he better call the midwife back and tell her what was happening. All I could do was lay down and breath through each contraction which was now only a minute apart. Our baby boy was coming and he was coming NOW… my father-in-law was on his way to our house to watch my daughter until she woke up, and we still needed to drive to the hospital which was 15 minutes away. I made my way to the car and sat in the front seat, resisting the urge to push. My husband was collecting the bags and telling me we just had to wait for his dad to come before we could go. I yelled out, “we don’t have time to wait, he is coming now I need to push.” The thing that kept running through my mind was that I was going to have this baby right here if we didn’t hurry.
Thankfully my husband was calm and did the right thing and called for an ambulance. They kept him on the line and told him that he may need to deliver the baby himself if he could see the head. No head, but with each contraction I knew baby was right there, all I needed to do was push. It was now 6:00am and after 30 minutes of intense contractions and pressure, the ambulance arrived. They insisted on asking my husband and myself a list of questions, which could have waited in my opinion. My father in law showed up and I was thrown onto the stretcher with minimal clothing and wheeled into the ambulance. My husband yelled that he would meet me at the hospital.
With contractions now 30 seconds apart, I just wanted to get to the hospital and fast. I told the paramedics that I really needed to push but they told me to try to not push that I needed to wait till I was at the hospital. That ride felt like an eternity. We arrived at the hospital at 6:25am and I was rushed into the delivery room where my midwife and a nurse were waiting for me. But my husband was nowhere to be found. She checked me right away and said “oh wow I see a head”. I replied “oh really, I know it’s probably to late for it but can I still get an epidural?” As the words came out of my mouth I knew the answer was no, and that I would be seeing our baby boy in minutes. As for my husband where was he?
I was told I could finally push. What a relief. Just then my husband came running into the room, breathing heavy and looking like he just ran 5k’s. Second push and the head was almost out. On the third push he came out so fast and was placed on my chest. At 6:42am we welcomed our little boy into the world. I couldn’t believe that he was here and that I had done it. I was able to have a natural birth (and almost a home birth). His birth will forever be imprinted in my mind and heart as one of the best moments of my life. I discovered a strength and power within I’d not yet known… but more importantly, my boy was safely in my grip –in our grip—just as God intended.
Twelve months later, here are three things I can say with certainty. One, it doesn’t matter how you have them – they are yours, you brought them into this world and the journey starts that moment they tighten their little fingers to grip your hand. Two, if/when we have another baby I will defiantly try for a home birth. Three, it was so easy with one kid, like really! But two is pretty cool. Every birth is different. Every life tells a story. Every single one is just as miraculous. But for my own birth experiences—I’m so grateful. Despite the pain, despite the expected and unexpected. I’m so glad to have joined the countless millions of women who have gone before me and now bear the title Mother. I am a mother. I was made for this. And being a mother is INCREDIBLE!!