I know this is a vegan blog but I want to spread the word about my recent HBAC to encourage and inspire women that we ARE capable of having a natural childbirth (even if we are small) and just share the story of my youngest son and his entrance into the world.
Matthan's Birth Story:
55 hours of labor and 2 hours of pushing.
I was still pregnant (42w2d) and feeling very ready. I had walked a ton all weekend, taken some homeopathics and had been doing everything to try and help my little guy come out but nothing seemed to be working. That morning Steve went to breakfast with his brother and I started feeling like maybe today was the day (though I had said that many times before). We put Levi down for a nap, turned off the lights, did some bradley method breathing techniques, lit some candles and turned on my birth playlist. Sure enough, contractions started kicking in right under 5 minutes apart. I continued to walk through them and they continued coming. I called my midwife and she had already planned on coming over that day to do a check and see if I had made any progress. She checked and I was still only 2cm dilated but very effaced. His head was low but not low enough to swing the cervix forward and start dilation. I continued to labor through the day, contractions were around 3-4 minutes apart.
Late that night I made it to 6cm. MW and her helper decided to leave and let us sleep. Sleep was not going to happen and after they left, the pain got bad so I got in the tub to try and get some relief.
We called MW back really early because they were getting stronger and I was sure I had made some progress. 7cm. Completely disappointed. Labor was strong and painful and I was progressing so slow. It seemed my busy boy was just not getting in the right position. He kept moving and his head was cockeyed enough to not completely drop. All of Monday was basically like all of Sunday. I walked. Labored. Got checked. No progress. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.
Evening came and I had finally made it to 9cm. YAY! Progress. Continued to labor. Steve and I slept in Levi's twin sized bed (because he was in our king, of course haha) and got a tiny bit of sleep in between painful contractions.
Around 3am we called my friends Danielle (also our Birth Photographer) and Kyleigh and started to fill the tub. I was convinced I was fully dilated and ready to push. Got checked again to make sure and I was still 9cm. MW let me get in the tub anyways to bring some relief to the back pain and since they slowed down I decided to have a glass of wine and try to get some rest. We took a short nap. (Danielle and Kyleigh left). We talked about a transfer to the hospital and that completely stressed me out and I knew we had to get this baby out soon.
*I also have to add that through the entire labor, Baby's heart rate was perfect. He was active and we knew he was healthy and not stressed at all.
When we woke up, still no progress so we decided to break my water and MW tried helping his head turn while in there. After that, everything got extremely intense and kind of becomes a blur (although the whole thing is a blur for me after that many hours of no sleep).
About 2 or 3 hours later I was only to 9 1/2cm. Danielle was back by now and extremely encouraging but my MW was not as hopeful. She said she would leave for a bit, let me labor and when she came back we would probably need to transfer.
I decided to get in the tub.
(I know this is long but this is the best part of the story!!!)
At this point... steve and I both were ready for transfer. I was convinced I couldnt do it and Steve didn't even know how to encourage me anymore. Luckily I had Danielle and as soon as Kyleigh walked in, everything changed. They encouraged me and coached me through the strong contractions. Steve got in the tub with me and not long after, I started feeling pressure. Danielle and Kyleigh both checked me and helped push the last bit of cervix up over his head while I did small pushes. They could feel him coming down further and further and even though they kept telling me I was so close, I was so exhausted and still didn't think I could do it. At that point, the only thing keeping me from transfering was the thought of having to drive in the car (and the thought of another c-section gave me a massive panic attack). Steve was in the tub with me and was still thinking we would need to transfer until he checked me and felt his head. Then something kicked in and Steve got really excited and I would see the hope in his eyes.
We called MW and said to come because I was ready. I had already started pushing a little but when she walked in the door I said "I AM READY TO PUSH NOW!" and we began. She coached Steve through the whole thing and Steve basically delivered him. I pushed and pushed and pushed. I cant even describe everything I was feeling. I looked like I was on drugs, thats for sure. But once I reached down and felt that he had hair and was so close, I got really excited and felt a new amount of strength I had never felt.
*I have to add that Levi (almost 3) did AMAZING the entire time. He stayed home with us through it all. He got a little concerned during pushing but not bad at all. He stood on a stool next to me, held my hand, even counted while I pushed a few times. He watched it all and I remember watching his face while he watched his little brother come out and it was the sweetest thing ever.
So... I pushed for a total of 2 hours and that was that. He came out. I held him and just kept saying "I did it! I did it!" He was calm, pinked up really quickly and was making the cutest little sounds. He was covered in vernix. Ive never seen so much on a baby! He was so slippery.
As soon as he came out, Levi started singing his 3 special songs to him (that he sang to me every morning of the pregnancy): You are my sunshine, twinkle twinkle little star and rockabye baby. So so so sweet.
And that was that. I didn't tear. I delivered the placenta fine. He was healthy. Levi was happy. Everything was perfect.
It was the hardest thing I have ever done for sure but the most rewarding. I am so happy how it turned out. I couldnt have done it without Steve, Danielle and Kyleigh and I cherish those moments we had alone because they are what got me through. And then I had my baby in my arms. Not only did I have a beautiful, successful homebirth... but an HBAC which made it so incredible. AND he was bigger than Levi (who I had by C-section 3 years ago because "there was no way he would fit.")
And I have to say, my husband is an absolute rockstar. He was supportive and helpful the entire time! He was just as exhausted as me and was such a champ. He's pretty proud of himself too. It was so cool that he was the one to touch our son first and help him out of my body... so special to me. He is my best friend in the whole world and I coulnd't have imagined doing any of it without him! I am a very blessed wife.
I did it.
I (5'1 with small hips and SPD) had a great sized baby completely natural, at home. I hope this is encouraging to moms, especially those who have been told they are too small to have babies. After I had him I said "suck it, Dr.____" hahaha. Too bad we didnt get that on video ;)
Matthan Ezekiel Jude
14 3/4 head
HBACs ARE possible. I hope you find this encouraging and if you have ever been told you are too small to deliver a baby naturally or that once you've had a c-section, you cannot successfully have a vaginal birth I hope that you do the research and learn the facts.
It was a huge decision for us to plan our HBAC. It was not taken lightly. My husband and I did lots of research for years and prayed A LOT about our decision.
Don't let people discourage you or scare you into a hospital birth if that's not what you want. Learn the facts. In the end, it is your baby, your choice and you have to live with your decision.