My second birth story was 100 percent different than my first birth even though both ended in a c-section. Education is the key to a peaceful birth experience. Knowing my options and what was in store for me helped me to make the best decision for myself by listening to my body and doing what was right. After being traumatized from my first birth, I was able to be completely healed thanks to my gentle cesarean. This birth was beautiful!
The last 40 weeks+, I had researched and prepared myself for a vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC), as my first daughter was born via emergency cesarean and left me with some post-partum PTSD and depression. I knew education on birth would prepare me best for when we became pregnant again. Two years after the birth of our daughter, my wife and I were pregnant again and expecting another girl. We hired a doula and we did everything we could think of to prepare ourselves for a natural labor and a VBAC delivery.
Labor seemed to begin on its own the Friday before our “due date.” We were excited as it seemed my body was doing this naturally and wouldn’t need to be induced like with my first pregnancy. Contractions picked up, fizzled out, etc. On Saturday evening, they picked up tremendously and I could not get ahead of the pain or pressure. The contractions were back-to-back, not letting up much, if any. We went to the hospital to be checked by our doctor only to find that my cervix was closed and high.
Going home from the hospital feeling somewhat defeated, I decided to try to sleep and see what happened in the morning. I contracted all night every 3 minutes. I woke up Sunday morning and called my doctor and I asked him, “What if I don’t want to attempt to VBAC anymore? What if there is something telling me that doing a repeat cesarean is my best option?” Without hesitation he said, “Whatever decision you make is the right decision.” This doctor had been 100 percent supportive of my wishes regarding this pregnancy and birth options, and he continued to fully support my decisions up until the end.
We opted for a gentle cesarean on Sunday, March 29, 2015, our due date. Veda Diane was born at 1:41 p.m., a beautifully perfect 7 lbs 5.4 oz and 19 3/4 inches long. I was able to do skin-to-skin contact in the operating room almost immediately and I breastfed on the operating table, while surgery was being completed.
There was no fear walking into that operating room; there were no anxieties. I was in control of my birth experience and I gave birth on my terms in the way that my heart, mind and body felt were right. I could not have imagined a more peaceful birth experience for us, and I will cherish each of my daughters’ birth stories as they are uniquely theirs. I am thankful for the resources that helped me take charge of my pregnancy and birth experience.
Sarah Lynne blogs at A New Point of View: My Life After Cesarean Birth. She writes as an attempt to cope with her c-section and work through the emotions of it all.