After experiencing two C-sections with my daughters I knew that I would want to go for a VBAC again, if we had another. When we found out we were pregnant again, I knew I was going to have to do some different things this time around. I knew most everyone would be skeptical of my choices and at times I can admit I was nervous myself.
I gathered all my records from my girls births and took them with me to each doctor that I interviewed.
I read them over and over again myself, trying to catch any real known reason for my last two C-sections. I was told by most that they felt it was safe for me to have a VBA2C (vaginal birth after 2 Cesareans) but more than likely my doctor was correct and my pelvis was too small.
A few said they didn’t believe I ever really had a chance to labor, but I just didn’t find anything I felt really should make it so I couldn’t try.
I found an amazing provider (Dr. Sean Edmunds in Salt Lake City, Utah) who was very supportive and I felt very comfortable with him. But something still just didn’t feel right to me about birthing in a hospital.
Mid pregnancy, I met a midwife that blew me away (Danielle Demeter). It took some pondering but at 24 weeks I made the final decision that I was not going to birth at a hospital even with my history. I didn’t share this information with people because it was something my husband and I felt was right and I was worried that I may get some fear and skepticism, negative thoughts questioning my decision, fear based stories etc…, and I didn’t really think I could take any of that in. I really needed to be filled with positivity.
After meeting with Danielle I knew that she was going to do everything in her power to help me achieve this goal. I also hired a team of doulas who I knew would be exactly what we needed in this birth. My husband was soooo supportive which really helped me.
When the time got closer I got nervous and started questioning my decision. I kept asking myself if fear was getting to me all of a sudden? Why would I be feeling this way after feeling nothing but positive for months. Fear was most definitely getting in the way. I asked Ric for a blessing of comfort and reassurance a few weeks prior to my due date and it was IMMEDIATELY confirmed that we were doing the right thing and things would be okay.
Fast forward to 40 weeks and 4 days. He was 4 days past his due date and I was still pregnant. I was very content being pregnant; I was in no hurry to get him out. The pregnancy was already different in a positive way.
No kidney stones, very little heartburn, chiropractor visits, I was taking special herbs etc… I was a giant ball of energy. It was a great day playing with the kids, hanging out with friends, and just enjoying being pregnant. On June 29th I woke up at 3:00 a.m. miserably tired but wide awake for some reason. I took a bath, played on my phone, did all these things to make me tired so I could sleep and nothing worked.
When I was in the bath I had all the lights off except for my phone flash light. I looked down into the tub and noticed little things in the water. I drained the water and re-filled the tub. Sure enough more stuff appeared. I picked one up and it was slimy like mucus.
Hmmm… MUCUS PLUG??? I finished the bath and got out. I finally fell asleep at 7 a.m. and woke up at 8 a.m. ready to be a mom for the day. All day I felt nauseous and sluggish. I continued to see mucus throughout the day. Some of it was pink tinged. I knew it could be days still, so I didn’t get my hopes up.
We went to bed around 11:30 pm and I woke up to a “powerful Braxton Hicks” contraction at 1:00 a.m. I was able to go right back to sleep but kept being woken up by these “powerful” Braxton Hicks every 10-12 minutes. At 2:30 am I realized these were not Braxton Hicks, they were real contractions. I was in awe.
I kept falling in and out of sleep but around 3:30 am something changed and suddenly the pressure of the contraction was making it way too hard to lay down, let alone sleep. I got up and started walking around pacing and decided that I wanted to get an idea of how long they were lasting and how far apart they were. They were 45-60 seconds long and 4-5 minutes apart.
I was excited. This had never happened to me before. I couldn’t believe I was feeling contractions. I kept it to myself and just labored on alone in the baby’s room and the bathroom — really anywhere I could get comfortable. I was feeling them up front but also had a strong pressure very low in the rectum area.
Around 6:00 am, things had picked up a little and I felt a small leak. I believed my water had broken. This was a fear of labor I had all along, because it’s what happened with the girls.
Anyway. I kept going but things started to slow way down. I was bummed. I showered and got ready and only had a few contractions. My husband went to work and things started picking back up. I had this unreal pressure in my bottom that never went away and intensified when I had a contractions.
Ric came home around 11:00 and drove me up to Park City to meet with my chiropractor and my midwife, which I already had my normal week visit scheduled. I was checked and was told I was 1 cm and 90% effaced. I was excited but also a little sad because I felt like I worked so hard all morning and to only be a 1, but we went home and I kept on going.
One of my beautiful doulas, and cousins came over and did some Rebozo stuff and essential oils on me. We had realized that baby boy was posterior which made sense to me with how things were going.
That evening things had started picking back up a little and Ric and I met my midwife and chiropractor at the birth center to get checked. I was told I was 2 cm at that time and we decided that a Foley Bulb would be something to try and help me get to 4 or 5 cm. It gave me some real motivation.
We got home and it wasn’t even 10 minutes later the Foley popped and came out.
I knew that it happened for a reason. I was meant to do this on my own.
Ric went to sleep around 3:00 a.m. after my friend came to take over. She held me, tickled my back and helped me cope through all of the contractions.
Around 6:00 a.m. we took a walk. I suddenly had all of this energy again and I didn’t know where it came from. I was exhausted. On the walk the contractions pretty much stopped again.
We finished our walk and something changed. I started really feeling the contractions; they were way more painful and consistent for the most part. I wrote my team and we decided to meet at the birth center at 9:00 a.m. to assess things and come up with a game plan.
My mom took the girls and we drove over to see what the plan would be. I was checked and was told I was 4 cm and 100% effaced and baby was +2/3 station, but he was still posterior which explained the rectal pressure I was having.
She said that I was going to stay. I couldn’t believe my ears! I kept laboring on and on changing positions, eating, drinking, doing everything I could do to get comfortable.
Hours later I was checked again and I was 6 cm. I was starting to doubt myself a little. Even though I’ve never been past 6 cm before I was feeling like I couldn’t cope much longer.
Ric, Danielle, and all my doulas kept reminding me that I was doing it and it would be okay.
As the day went on, I got more and more tired, and just wanted a break but there was not going to be a break until he was here and I knew that. Ric gave me a blessing as 7 beautiful women surrounded.
The Spirit was incredible. So so so strong! We needed this baby to flip anterior!!! Around 5:00 pm or so we did an NST on him and I got all worried. Everyone seemed to be doing things around me but not really telling me what was happening.
I looked at Ric who was starting to cry and said “I’m scared, babe.” He looked me right in the eye and said. “I’M NOT SCARED it’s going to be OK!” Right then I gathered this new confidence remembered his powerful words in his blessing and sat there straddling the toilet waiting to see what was going to happen.
Baby was doing great on the monitor and I suddenly had an urge to push. I didn’t know if I should be pushing so Danielle checked me. She didn’t really say much after and just walked away.
I was so confused. She knew that she couldn’t tell me where I was at. I was obsessed and getting way into my head the entire day. Not even 5 minutes later she walks in and starts putting chux pads all over the floor. I looked at one of my doulas and said “What is she doing? I’m confused.”
Seconds later, she brings in a squatting stool. My eyes opened wide I knew what that meant but I didn’t think I could be ready. I turned to my doula again and said “What is she doing?” and she said “getting ready — I think it’s time to have a baby.” Danielle invited me over to the stool and set Ric up behind me.
She checked me again and said “hmm 9 cm nooo 7+ cm wait hold on…” next contraction she said “COMPLETE!” Words I always wanted to hear and never did. I was nervous, excited, and confused! She looked at me and said “Your baby is coming; it’s time to push!” I was so ready! Contractions felt good now and almost hard to recognize. Next contraction I pushed 3 times. I don’t feel like I ever even held my breath I just ROARED like a lion.
She said “Meagan. feel your baby, he is right there!!!” I reached down and could feel his head!This was happening! I looked all around me and saw the excitement on all my doula’s faces and got a rush of adrenaline.
She said “Okay next contraction push again”, I took a deep breath and told myself “You CAN do this! You’re strong!” I pushed and felt an incredible amount of pressure. I was told to try and breath and not push hard, so I took a deep breath and just held as best as I could.
She said give me some grunts. I did 2 grunts and I gave one more small push and she said “Meagan GRAB YOUR BABY!” I reached down, felt his head and made my way down to his shoulders where I could grab him and pulled him out and I lifted him up on my chest! I couldn’t believe it!
Ric held me and we looked down at our baby boy! I looked all around the room and everyone was crying. I couldn’t believe what just happened. I did it, I actually did it! I pushed him out in 7 minutes. I kept saying “YOU GUYS!!!! I DID IT!!!! YOU GUYS!!!! I DID IT!!!!”
I held him and held him and he just chilled. He didn’t cry he just had his hands open wide and looked around. I rubbed him and he started crying.
The emotions were overbearing. Ric told me he was so proud of me and held me tight as we cried!!!
Later on I was told I had no tearing and was ready to head into the bedroom whenever I wanted. We walked in 25-30 minutes later and he started nursing right away! It was amazing!
I am so grateful for the constant reassurance from my Heavenly Father letting me know I was making a good decision and blessing me with this ability to deliver him vaginally safely after 2 prior C-sections.
Although I questioned myself many times, I had Ric and my team there to remind me I was strong and I could do it. I don’t know when the shock and excitement will ever wear off but as of right now I just want to share my story with everyone and talk about that moment over and over again.
It was the most incredible experience. I want to tell the mamas who may be preparing for any VBAC to please believe in yourself. Study, do your research, talk with multiple doctors, and go with your gut. Good luck to any VBAC mamas out there and thank you so much for letting me share my story with you today!