So first off, let me say that at 23 weeks pregnant, I’m feeling great now! We found out that we are having another BOY and we are just thrilled! Although, I’m feeling great now, the little elephant in the room is my desire for a VBAC. It has flooded my thoughts since before I was even pregnant, actually since the day I gave birth to my son Liam. If you haven’t read about my traumatic birth experience, check it out here.
For all my friends and family who know me, it is well known that I wanted more than anything to have a beautiful, natural birth with my son Liam. When things did not go as planned, I was crushed. I have worked though a lot of feelings, and I am now currently working on my journey to a VBAC.
When I found out that I was pregnant in February, I knew that it would be a long journey, but not an ounce of my being thought I couldn’t have the VBAC that I want, that I deserve, and that I WILL have. I am seeing a group of midwives that are incredibly supportive of my desire to VBAC and I’m being proactive in every possibly way that I can.
Here’s just a few things that I’m doing to increase my chances. It may seem like a long and daunting list, but with my determination, there is no such thing as doing too much.
~First off, I am actually seeing a therapist to work though some of my feelings about my birth trauma. I have a lot of fears going into this next labor and she has been helping me tremendously. One thing that she has said to me that has really resonated is that no matter what happens with this next birth, it WILL be DIFFERENT.
~I am reading positive VBAC stories, talking with other woman who have successfully VBAC’d, and I have also joined an online facebook group called ICAN (International Cesarean Awareness Network). There are monthly local meetings that I hopefully I will be able to attend as well. A great blog that has awesome stories is Birth Without Fear. I love this story called I Will Birth my Baby (out of my Vagina)! Wonderful empowering stories at that blog! THANK YOU BIRTH WITHOUT FEAR!
~I am reading a ton, just trying to soak up all the information I can. A few books that I am currently reading are Birthing from within, Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth, and Pushed. These have all been wonderful resources and do an excellent job empowering woman to trust and believe in their bodies. Check out the new book fav’s slide show in the sidebar to check out these books for yourself!
~Exercising to help with an easier labor/delivery. I took the Bradley Method when I was pregnant with Liam, and this method focuses on specific exercises to help. I haven’t been doing as much prenatal yoga as I did when I was pregnant with Liam, but I plan to increase this practice as my pregnancy progresses.
~Taking a private Birthing from Within birth class. My therapist is actually certified in teaching these courses, so I am taking full advantage of that. A big focus for me will be pain management, as I planning a medication free birth and I really want to be successful at that this time around.
~Support from friends and family has been a very important thing for me. Some close friends of mine have been very supportive and I’m so happy that I have friends that I can talk to about my fears, and my plans for a VBAC.
~As my pregnancy progresses and nears its end, I plan on using acupuncture for cervical ripening starting at 36 weeks, using other herbal remedies as well, and drinking red raspberry leaf tea which I have already been doing. My therapist has also mentioned that craniosacral therapy may help which I need to do some more research to learn more about it.
~Preparing for optimal fetal positioning. Since Liam was posterior (and had his little hand reaching above his head), a huge concern of mine is having the baby in the best position for birth. I have been seeing a chiropractor regularly, and also had read up on Spinning Babies. Have you heard of this before? It’s pretty interesting! Yoga will also help with this.
~Lastly, but maybe most importantly, I’m planning on having a doula this time around. My husband was wonderful, but I’ve learned that I need more motherly, womanly support around me when trying to cope with pain and the birthing process. I want someone who knows what I’m going through, who doesn’t judge me, supports and advocates for me. It’s not that my husband can’t or won’t do these things, but men can’t do it all and they do not know what it’s really like. I’ve heard wonderful VBAC success stories of woman who used doulas and this has really helped make it clear to me that a doula will be an invaluable resource for me.
Sounds exhausting, doesn’t it? I’m giving it everything I’ve got and I’m maintaining a positive outlook. I’ve got a wonderful support system, and am so thankful for that. Through this process, I’ve learned that I will be okay if for some reason I need a repeat cesarean and I’m working on fully accepting whatever circumstances that will surround the birth of this child.
Have you had a successful VBAC or would like one? Tell me your story and help spread the positive juju! Follow me on facebook to follow my journey toward a VBAC!