When my water broke a week before my scheduled c-section, the doctor at the hospital hit me with some pretty exciting news: There was no reason why I could not have a successful vaginal birth after c-section, or VBAC.
I wasn’t able to have a vaginal birth the first time around due to several factors: my daughter refused to budge, and I’m convinced the doctor on call wanted to get home in time for Thanksgiving dinner, so I had to have an emergency c-section. It was, overall, a terrible experience: I had everything from a faulty epidural, to a totally unsympathetic labor and delivery nurse.
When the doctor told me I should go for a VBAC, I was apprehensive. I didn't want to encounter any of the disappointments that I'd experienced during my first labor, which is why I'd scheduled a c-section in advance in the first place. Still, I decided I wanted to give it a go, and I'm so glad I did. My doctor and my labor and delivery nurse made me feel like a warrior during my VBAC, because they gave me the confidence to pursue the delivery I always wanted.
When I sat down to talk with my labor and delivery nurse and my doctor, they were so supportive and communicative that I knew there was no way this labor was going to be like my first. For one, the doctor actually sat down and talked me through the VBAC procedure; she sat me down and answered all my questions without rushing though any of it. She explained that while there were no guarantees that I’d have a successful VBAC, she didn’t see a reason why I wouldn’t be able to have one.
Having a VBAC was something I'd wanted to try all along, but I had been too scared to do it.
I was sold. Having a VBAC was something I'd wanted to try all along, but I had been too scared to do it. Now I had a medical team that not only encouraged me to have a VBAC, but was completely supportive of my birth plan right from the start.
My labor and delivery nurse was extremely nurturing, as was the midwife on call who checked in on me often. The nurse made sure I had ice chips when my mouth got dry, took me to the bathroom before I had the epidural and helped me find a TV show that would take my mind off the painful contractions. I opted for Judge Judy, and in between contractions we'd laugh at some of the comments the plaintiff and defendants made. She totally knew how to distract me. And she understood why I was scared and nervous, since I had told them all about my disappointing first labor.
When the anesthesiologist came into the room and I started to cry, he came right over to me and told me this time was not going to be like the last time. He promised that he would not have to stick me more than once and that he’d get it right, not like my last experience when the anesthesiologist pricked me four times and the epidural still did not work. He kept talking to me as he got me in position. The labor and delivery nurse held one of my hands, and my husband held the other. The anesthesiologist was right: the epidural worked, and I was totally and completely numb.
Then the hard part began: pushing. Because I was so scared that my daughter was not going to budge, I was worried that I’d spend hours pushing, only to end up with a c-section. I was constantly asking my nurse if my baby was faced the right way, and I kept asking if what I was doing was working, since during my first delivery the nurse kept telling me I was pushing wrong, but couldn’t explain how I should fix it. Luckily, my labor and delivery nurse and midwife continuously told me what a great job I was doing, as well as when to breathe, when to push and when to rest. The doctor also came in often to check in on me and tell me I was doing great. I seriously felt like I was rockin’ this VBAC.
Eventually, it was time to really push. The labor and delivery nurse, the midwife, and the doctor all came into the room. What I didn’t know, and what no one told me during my labor, was that my daughter was faced the wrong way. But she was never in distress, and the doctor and midwife were confident that she could be turned, so they never told me. And I’m glad they didn’t. They knew that I would have psyched myself out if I'd known my daughter was faced the wrong way.
When I delivered my daughter, everyone in the room congratulated me for having had a successful VBAC. My labor and delivery nurse stood with me throughout my entire labor, even though her shift had ended at least an hour and a half prior. She stayed to see me through the entire delivery, which just made me feel so cared for and supported.
Before having my VBAC, I was absolutely terrified. Yet my entire delivery team, from the doctor to the midwife to the amazing labor and delivery nurse, were the reason why my VBAC was successful. They knew what to tell me and how to keep me calm, and I don’t think I would have had the delivery I'd always wanted without them.