Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Birth Story

I love hearing everyone's birth story and I am finally getting around to writing about my successful VBAC. I hope after reading mine you will also take the time to share your birth story with us.

My due date for my baby girl was Oct. 16. I didn't dwell on that too much knowing my first baby was almost 3 weeks late. Although I was definitely hoping not to go that far over this time. My midwives suggested stimulating the cervix in hopes to not go so far past my due date this time. So at each appointment from the end of September she would do that. While at my 38 week appointment I asked her about checking me also and she said I was 50% effaced and about 3 cm. dilated and that the baby's head was very low. That was pretty exciting news even though I knew some people can be that dilated for a long time before giving birth. It just made me feel good to know progress was happening.

Oct. 16 came and went. I was feeling a lot of Braxton-hicks contractions and baby continued to be very active. I was actually pretty sick for about a week before the due date and a week after so it was a good thing I didn't go into labor. I think my body knew I didn't have the strength or energy to get through labor at that point. I was blessed to have grandma come over on Oct. 22 to watch Isaiah while I was able to stay in bed and rest all day, which was a good thing because that night I couldn't sleep well. I had heartburn a lot and then started to feel crampy. I thought maybe things were starting to happen and I might go into labor that next day. Around 3 am I started to feel more contractions and they seemed to be more regular so I started to time them and they were between 4-6 min. apart. I decided to get up and go downstairs and see if they continued. I started cleaning the kitchen (nesting instincts I guess) and the contractions started to come quicker and more intense anywhere between 2-6 min apart and between 45 seconds and 1 minute long. Since they seemed to be picking up we decided to make the phone calls. When I called my midwife she suggested getting in the tub for awhile and see how things were and check back with her in about an hour. When I checked back in and reported the contractions staying regular she told us to head to the birth center.

We left home about 6:30 and drove to Bella Vie and got there about 7:00. It was a beautiful morning with the sun coming out and the mountains in the background with all the farm land around...it was a gorgeous sight.

The wonderful assistant Caroline greeted us and led us to our room and brought us some breakfast, took vitals and brought me a ball to sit on to help open my pelvis. Everything was going well. After a while we decided to go outside and walk along the path outside our room. We would walk a few steps then stop and work through the contraction then walk a little more. The contractions continued to pick up and become more intense.

Around 9:00 they checked me and said I was between an 8-9. That was exciting news! As labor progressed I continued changing positions from sitting on the toilet, to squatting while holding on to the bed post, to sitting on the ball while being in the shower. I really encourage all that movement, it really helps. During it all they kept reminding me to keep my noises low and deep. Everyone from my husband, sister, and midwives were there giving me support, helping me any way they could, taking care of me, rubbing my legs and my back...they were all wonderful.

Just before 12:00 pm they asked if I wanted to get in the tub---I'd been waiting for that! I was really looking forward to having a water birth. Before getting me in the tub they had me lie on my side on the bed and checked me again. They said I was about 9 1/2 cm! Soon after I had the urge to push and began pushing. It came on so suddenly I didn't get the chance to get to the tub and just stayed on my side on the bed. After about an hour of pushing my baby girl was here! It was an amazing and wonderful birth.

My baby girl, Kylah, was born on Oct. 23 at 1:06 pm. She was 20" long and weighed 8 lbs. 7 oz. The birth was definitely intense but so beautiful at the same time. It was so empowering to be able to have an all natural vaginal delivery. It was an awesome experience, and a beautiful baby girl. I was truly blessed!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Advice From Midwives

Along with researching on my own, my midwives also had some advice for me to better my chances of a successful VBAC.

One thing they had me take was magnesium. It has to be the Magnesium aspartate or Orotate because any other form of magnesium is not helpful. They have done their own informal "studies" that showed this type of magnesium helped women have a better and shorter labor. I was all for that after 30 hours with my first one!

As for my diet, they of course wanted me to eat healthy, but they really wanted me to go off sugar, milk, and wheat. The sugar wasn't too bad---I wish I still had the will power to be off of it entirely now. :) The milk I substituted unsweetened Almond milk, which I didn't mind at all. I prefer the Blue Diamond Brand though. For the wheat, I didn't totally eliminate, but I did cut down. Some of the reasons they asked me to make these changes were, for one, they are healthier but also to not have my baby's growth on these empty calories that could tend to grow a bigger baby. Not to say you can't give birth naturally to a big baby but to just help me in maybe having a little bit of a smaller baby this time. They also suggested eating lots of protein to keep muscle integrity as strong as possible. Also to cut carbs as much as I could, suggested goat protein powder, spiralina, lots of good veggies, and drinking kefir.

They of course wanted me to keep my body strong and ready for labor so encouraged exercises like walking, pelvic tilts, squatting and being on my hands and knees.

So I don't know if all these things really did help, but as for the shorter labor I went from 30 hours to 10 hours. I gained a lot less weight from 40 pounds to 17 pounds, and my baby was smaller from 9 lbs. 6 oz. to 8 lbs. 7 oz. Who knows if these things had any contributing factors to any of these outcomes, but I was wanting to try anything that might potentially help increase my success in having the VBAC I wanted, so I thought I would pass it along to you in case you might benefit from these changes as well.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009


I wanted to list some books, movies, websites, midwives, etc... that I found helpful or have had recommended to me. If you have any other recommendations please leave a comment.

The Birth Book--Dr. William Sear
Pushed--Jennifer Block
Silent Knife: Cesarean Prevention and VBAC--Nancy Wainer Cohen

Business of Being Born


Midwives (Oregon--Willamette Valley)
Bella Vie Birth Center---www.gentlebirthcenter.com

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Blessed With Support

As I said before I was well informed about VBAC. The number one thing I can tell you helped besides my supportive family and faith was having wonderful midwives who were 100% supportive and encouraging of my decision and who really believed I could do it. I have heard of many who had a doctor who said they could try but you knew deep down they weren't supportive and any chance they got to go ahead with another c-section they would. I encourage you to find another doctor/midwife if you feel they aren't supportive 100%. They should be telling you they believe you can do this instead of giving you excuses as to why you won't be successful. That will make a huge impact on the success of the VBAC.

So as my pregnancy went on I was getting more and more excited. I was still nervous and anxious at times but I was able to deal with those emotions and overpower them with positive ones. I realized it was best for me to deal with these emotions instead of just try to ignore them. My midwife asked me one day what would be the worst thing about having to be transferred and told me to think that over but then to realize that if by chance that were to happen it wouldn't be the worse thing because I would know 100% that I had done everything to try to have a VBAC and I would know it was completely necessary.

Talking to others really helped. I even found two others from my mom's group at church who were trying for VBAC's as well. It was great getting to know them and be able to share with others who were going through the same thing and feeling many of the same emotions. That is partially why I wanted to start this blog because for me having the support of someone who had gone through it too was really a blessing. I hope sharing my story will be a blessing, support and encouragement to you.