Welcome back to the VBAC Series on Getting Green with Baby! Today's birth story is different from the previous two. I think it's good to balance things out and today's mother (who wished to remain anonymous) was kind and brave enough to share her unsuccessful VBAC attempt. Please remember that each story found in this series is from a real mother, told in her own words. Everyone is entitled to their own feelings and opinions, so please be respectful when commenting. Thanks!
It's hard to imagine writing
this out. I've tried several times. I know it probably won't get read,
but I really needed to write this out. Some things I don't remember, and
the whole experience is a weird blur that feels like a dream sometimes.
My entire pregnancy I knew I would fight to have the natural birth I
wanted. I spent my entire pregnancy preparing, reading, and learning. It
was going to happen.
Friday, September 28th.
I had gone to the ob's yesterday, everything was fine, no dialation, no
effacement, very firm. This was not happening any time soon. I went to
my chiropractor, such a lovely man, who assured me I could do this. I
then walked to get A from school, my daily exercise. The day was normal,
and as I sat on my birthing ball before bed, I imagined the day I would
pull that beautiful girl onto my chest. As soon as I laid in bed, my
water broke! Contractions started immediately.
I was scared, this was not how I pictured it happening. My doctor had
told me to go to the hospital as soon as it broke. I did.
After I was checked in the ob on call came to see me, he informed me
that I was not allowed to vbac out of office hours. At this hospital
they do not have an anesthesiologist on call 24/7 therefore they cannot
take vbacs at all times. My husband fought for me, and they "allowed"
it. I was checked, and already at 2cms! I wanted to get up and walk
around, but the nurse informed me that was not allowed either. I was
required to have constant monitoring. Fine. I will pace back and forth
with all these cords. I labored on the toilet, on my birthing ball,
standing up. All while carrying these damn cords around. I was
I quickly got dehydrated, tired, and hungry. Not allowed! I let their
ice chips melt, and drank what little water I had.
They came in so many times to check my dilation, promptly reminding me
that I was a failure. "You're not making any progress." "If you were not
a vbac, I would already have put you on pictocin." "Your contractions
are not strong enough." "Usually when women are under this much stress,
they labor really fast."
After 12 hours of labor, I was only dilated to a 4. To them, I already
failed as soon as I walked in. They wouldn't stop harassing me about a
cesarean over, and over, the entire time. I fought all I could. I was so
tired. I gave up. I laid sobbing for what felt like an eternity until
they were ready to take me.
As they were wheeling me to the OR, I think I hit transition. I got
really sick, and had to get off the bed, and run to the restroom. Back
on the bed. Trembling, sobbing. I was so scared, sad, mad... What was
wrong with me?
Tugging, pulling, my body slamming back and forth as they forced her out
of my birth canal. They took her from my body, and away. All of my
family that somehow knew she was taken was already crowding around, they
saw her first. When I got back into the recovery room, I couldn't hold
her. She was under a warming light. My body could have warmed her. She
needed me. I needed her.
Trauma is in the eye of the beholder after all. And how many times have I
heard everyone say: “women give birth all the time and they don’t all
find it traumatic” or “I’ve had a section and I wasn’t traumatized” and
even better “At least your baby is here, and healthy…” For what it’s
worth, the difference was the lack of support, lack of communication and
lack of quality care. They didn't care one damn bit about my feelings,
and were some of the most demeaning people I have ever met in my entire
GOD FORBID I say anything was wrong with my view of her birth! I had a
healthy baby, and that’s all that matters....
It has been 14 months. I relive that short time, every single day. I am a
failure. I could have kept going. I could have done everything so
differently. I gave up instead. To bullying. They won.