Mary’s Successful VBAC

Mary’s Successful VBAC

Mary’s journey to her VBAC highlights how much knowledge is power and how important is it to choose the right provider for you.  I saw her post in a small parenting group that I am part of asking for information and after a day or so of no replies I offered to chat about her experience and see if I could help her figure out her options.

Our call was very friendly, and Mary seemed great. I was under the impression that this phone call was for information gathering purposes only so when she called me back a few days later and asked me to be her doula I was thrilled.

The first thing we did was find a new provider who was not just VBAC tolerant, but one that was supportive.  One thing about Mary that I will never forget was her email to her OB-GYN telling them that she was leaving. She was very matter of fact and said something along the lines of “I want a type of birth that your stats don’t seem to support, so I found someone who has better stats” it was very bold, and I was so proud of her for making the switch.  Here is Mary’s story in her own words….

For my first birth I woke up at 2am to use the bathroom and felt my water break. I called my OB-GYN, and they told my husband and I to head to the hospital.

They confirmed that my water had broken but that I was not dilated at all yet. The doctor then recommended that a foley balloon be inserted and that I be induced to help speed up my progress.

I quickly made it to 5cm within a couple of hours. I tried nitrous oxide and had an epidural early in labor. My labor stalled and I never made it past 5 cm.

After 20 hours of labor the doctor took me in for an emergency c-section because so much time had passed since my water broke. Our healthy baby boy arrived around 10pm that night, 20 hours after my water broke.

For my second birth I had started a conversation with my OB-GYN early in my pregnancy about my birth plan. We decided that I would schedule a c-section and if I went into labor before that date, we would try for a VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean).

It was at an appointment I had with the midwife in the practice that I decided to do some more research on VBAC as she felt that it was likely that I could have a vaginal birth. In my research, I decided to post in a couple of local mom groups on Facebook to ask for advice from other moms who had been through a c-section and VBAC. I was so lucky to have Ashley respond in the thread and offer to share her experiences with me over the phone.

After our first call, I went from not really knowing what a doula was to knowing I needed Ashley as part of my second birth experience. She guided me through making the difficult decision of leaving my OB-GYN practice which had a low VBAC success rate for a highly regarded midwife practice with a very high VBAC success rate.

Based on the details of my first birth, we suspected that my son was “sunny side up.” Ashley taught my husband and I spinning babies’ techniques that would help leading up to and in labor.

I remember waking up in the middle of the night on the very early hours of a Sunday morning with contractions. The contractions started building and I checked in with Ashley and the midwives. The goal was to stay home as long as possible. The contractions would build up and then level back down. Ashley also had me use my breast pump during the day to see if that would encourage more consistent contractions.

As we approached late afternoon Sunday the contractions weren’t getting any stronger and the baby didn’t feel as active, so we checked in with the midwife. Everything sounded fine but to be cautious she wanted me to head to the hospital to get checked. When we arrived, she also noticed the baby was not as active as we’d like so I was admitted.

Everything looked okay but since I was a couple of days after my due date, she said we could try to sweep my membranes and I could walk around the hospital for a couple of hours to see if labor progressed. If it didn’t, I would be induced.

Sweeping the membranes did the trick because the contractions were stronger and stronger and within an hour I could barely even walk. I had dilated enough by this point that we headed into a birth room.

The pain was so excruciating that I opted for an epidural quickly. Ashley helped with my positioning to make sure that we could help the babies positioning as well. My labor slowly and steadily progressed until around lunch time on Monday when I began to push.

She was also a sunny side up baby so after 6 hours of pushing they thought it may be best to have a vacuum assisted birth. As they were pulling the vacuum out of the package my adrenaline kicked in and I gave one final push and my baby girl arrived without needing the vacuum.

She decided it would be best to make her appearance on Labor Day through a successful VBAC after approximately 40 hours of labor. I am confident that I wouldn’t have had a successful VBAC if I didn’t have the support of Ashley and my midwives!

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