Passionate About Genesee County
and the Moms Who Live Here

Take Your Power Back: A VBAC Story

*In this post, GCMB Contributor Angela shares a beautifully powerful and personal story about her VBAC. By publishing this post, Genesee County Moms Blog is not offering or attempting to offer, recommend, suggest or dispense any type of medical advice. As always, please consult your own medical professional regarding your personal situation & circumstance*

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I want to start by simply saying that I believe in women having power over their own bodies. If you want to have an elect c-section, go for it. If you want to conquer a VBAC, more power to you. Trust your gut. You get those mommy instincts before that beautiful baby is even born.

Oh I just loved seeing those little fingers waving at me!

My C-Section
When my first child was born, it was supposed to be the happiest day of my life. Instead, I felt that I was bullied into my c-section, which left me feeling powerless and searching for more. I not only blame my obstetrician for the c-section, but I blame myself. It was my pregnancy and my birth. I should have researched and done my homework. Instead, I put all of my faith into the doctors.

My water broke in the early hours of the morning. My husband and I took a shower and went to the hospital. Unfortunately, I was not dilated. Not. One. Bit. They immediately started me on Pitocin. AKA, hell and misery. After a few hours of that agony, I received my epidural and finally began to dilate. After 18 hours, the OB finally waltzed in, only to claim that it was time for a c-section. He said that  he had seen this far too many times when women “fail to progress.” He then went on to say, “I have several more babies to deliver tonight.” His words, not mine, ladies. I was my only advocate and I was not enough.  My health was fine. My baby’s health was fine. It was c-section time.

After holding my sweet boy, I started feeling like I was going to vomit. The nurse pumped some kind of drug into me that made me completely out of it. I couldn’t even hold my newborn son. Imagine trying to nurse for the very first time. I had a woman holding my baby to my breast because I was too drugged up to do it myself. Magical bonding, huh? I was a mess. A hot mess. Healing at home was atrocious. My baby destroyed my nipples. Bleeding. Mastitis. More Mastitis. Reflux. You know the drill, we’ve all been there to some degree.

My sweet little first born. I wish he was still that little sometimes.

My sweet little first born. I wish he was still that little sometimes.

The key here ladies is that I could have prevented this horrible nightmare myself. Even before conceiving my second baby, my amazing little girl, I started researching OBs and midwives who would support a VBAC. If you are even considering a VBAC, I want you to know that it is in your hands. Take that power back; you can do it if you want to.

Do Your Homework: What I Learned

  • Call Doctors/midwives and/or consider a Doula
  • Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth by Ina May Gaskin (queen of natural childbirth)
  • The Business of Being Born, a documentary
  • www.vbac.com
  • The International Cesarean Awareness Network, Inc. There is not a chapter in Genesee County as of yet, but this organization has a plethora of resources. There is a chapter in both metro-Detroit and Saginaw.
  • Read VBAC success stories. Go on Pinterest, find online forums, blogs, etc. Optimism is contagious. Chiropractor
  • Consider a chiropractor who specializes in The Webster Method. You can get checked throughout your pregnancy or towards the end so that they can help align you or simply let you know that you are already in good birthing shape!

Birthing Methods

Exercise and Nutrition

  • Raspberry Tea Leaves (to strengthen and prepare uterus for labor)
  • Evening Primrose Oil (taken later in pregnancy to help ripen cervix)
  • The Bradley Method offers simple exercises to help prepare your body for birth
  • As always, try to stay as active as possible. However, we all know how appealing that is when you’re pregnant.
VBAC sisters

VBAC sisters

Your Will
I did my homework for baby #2. I did everything above and then some.  The only thing that got me my VBAC was the power of my own will. My daughter ended up being 5 days late. I was in labor from start to finish for 50 hours. That is not a typo….50. I had to push for 3 hours. I lasted a 38 whopping hours before my epidural. I am no hero, just the crazy lady out of a movie. Throwing things and swearing at the nurses. {So, so sorry nurses! Oh, how I loved them}. After 2.5 hours of pushing, my midwife called in the head OB because my baby girl just wasn’t coming out. I remember looking at the clock and thinking that it had already been 49 hours of labor, and that I would never be able to recover from it physically. And mentally, not being able to do it would have crushed my entire spirit. I was devastated.

I thought of my old OB and c-section. I would not be defeated. My new OB truly felt my determination. So, with the help from two lovely nurses, an OB and a midwife working hand in hand (literally if you catch my drift), plus my husband, I delivered my beautiful baby girl vaginally. It was not the perfect natural birth I had intended, but I did it. My daughter and I did it. It was the most magical moment of my life, and I will never forget it. It was the most empowering thing I’ve ever done and you know what? You can do it too.

If you want it badly enough, you can do it. I promise you, you can.

Have you experienced a VBAC? Share your story with us.

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6 Responses to Take Your Power Back: A VBAC Story

  1. Mary C
    Mary C February 1, 2017 at 7:26 am #

    Oh Angela!! What an inspirational and empowering story! You are incredible. Thank you for sharing this deeply personal post.

    • Angela Repke
      Angela Repke February 1, 2017 at 1:04 pm #

      Thank you, Mary! I hope it resonates with many.

  2. Nicole
    Nicole February 1, 2017 at 9:07 am #

    Wow Momma! I refused to do anything but natural with both my babies. My first doctor was fully confident that I could do it( he was my PCP that I had been seeing since I was 13 and his dad before that). My second OB was nervous about the size of my baby and seemed to me she was pushing for a C-section “if” baby was too big or late. I had my second natural two weeks “early”(I believe there was a discrepancy in conception date). And both my babies were over 9lbs.! If a women wants to ‘try” natural, they should be allowed to unless there is already a health risk.

    • Angela Repke
      Angela Repke February 1, 2017 at 1:05 pm #

      Wow! That is awesome! Good for you!

  3. shaniseollie
    shaniseollie February 1, 2017 at 10:57 pm #

    Great post! I wanted to try for a VBAC but felt unsupported by my docs but I’m glad everything worked out.

  4. Angela Repke
    Angela Repke February 2, 2017 at 9:27 am #

    I agree, a healthy baby is all that counts. And yes, many doctors do not support VBAC, which makes it even more difficult for women to even attempt it.