“You were Brave for Me.” A VBAC Birth Story :: Cesarean & VBAC Awareness Month

{read my “I Was Brave For You” :: A Cesarean Birth Story here}

Father’s Day weekend, I gave your daddy the best news I could think of … He was going to be a daddy again! Although shocked, we were over the moon excited (and prior to your gender reveal party, were convinced you were a boy!).

I’m not going to lie, from time to time I saw the sequel to the “Cesarean Section Saga” flashing through my head, except everything about my pregnancy for you was different. I felt the notorious morning sickness I never had with your sister, I craved salty instead of sweet, and I wasn’t packing on the pounds this time. We were in a different state, with a different doctor, and had a different outlook.

I felt more in control of how this story could end “happily ever after.”

After countless nights of research, attending all the birthing classes, seeing a very supportive doctor with a midwife on staff, and hiring a doula, I decided I was determined to have a VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean).

At 40 weeks, the doctor informed us that we could wait another two weeks to meet you if you were in no rush to be born yet. You were going to actually be a big baby, but you were happy and healthy and so was I, so who were we to mess up a good thing? I believe the specific words he used at that appointment were “We can do whatever you are comfortable with. We can attempt the VBAC.” This news filled my soul with joy. It took every ounce of restraint I had in my overdue body not to dance around right there in the office.

Once home, I rejoiced for hours. I was excited. Excited for the possibility that my body could do the thing it was made to do. Excited for actually having contractions. Excited when the doula came to our house for a membrane sweep and 12 hours of active labor in the comfort of our home. Excited still when those contractions stopped once we got to the hospital in the middle of the night and were sent back home to rest before being induced the next morning. Excited for the cords and Pitocin and that huge needle that’s used for the epidural (yes, I did need some medication). Excited to take another step in the right direction of healing the emotional scars I still had from your big sister’s birth through what felt like MY success as the first act as your mother.

Now was my chance to try. I would get my Superwoman, movie worthy, moment of accomplishment and joy. So being older, less nervous, excited as all get out, and ultimately simply informed about other potential birth possibilities, I proceeded with 18 hours of hard laborious work. What a humbling moment seeing the date written on the board – Tuesday, March 1, 2016. That’s when I’d get to meet you feeling confident in the logistics of how.

Then that moment came.

When I pushed that last push, I felt oddly scared. As the doctor cut the cord and handed you to the nurses instead of me, I panicked. Why weren’t you crying? Maybe this was the wrong decision? How could I be so selfish? It’s like my “mom mode” was switched on, and I was determined to make sure you were all right. You took it like a champ and barely flinched when they sucked the meconium from your lungs. You were brave for me. The doctor called the NICU nurse in to ensure it was all gone. You were brave for me. As I lay on the bed, legs numb and heart racing, I realized the love I had for you in this moment was only the beginning of the love I’ll feel for you from that day forward. You were brave for me.

All 9lbs 8oz of you was brave for me. You turned out to be my big baby and I had almost let the circumstances turn me into one as well. I thank God everyday that He was with us early that morning for your VBAC delivery. I was able to safely labor and deliver you into this world on my own! I found comfort when you finally cried, knowing that you were here and safe and perfect. I was able to hold you and say “Mommy’s here. I’ve got you.”

I find comfort in sharing this story to encourage other mommies to fully inform themselves about their VBAC possibilities and, if they wish, to have the same persistence in working toward the delivery they have always dreamed of, even if it is the second time around.

I love you my Gwendolyn Marie. Thank you for being brave for Mommy.

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