Jennifer says: "In 2015, after 41 hrs of labor, I ended up having a c-section. I was sad that my birth plan hadn't ended the way I wanted it to but so happy to meet my baby boy finally! Fast forward 3.5 years, a miscarriage and secondary infertility- I was yet pregnant again! I found the most VBAC friendly doctor in town, went to a webster certified chiropractor every other week, hired a doula, listened to ALL the VBAC podcast, and I was ready! I had prepared myself and my body for birth. I was 100% confident that I would accomplish a VBAC- so was my entire birth team! Then I found out my doctor was going to be on vacation for 1.5 weeks- I was pretty sure he would not be attending my delivery, which made me so sad since he was so VBAC positive. Labor started just after midnight on my due date. I progressed slow and steady- at the 25 hrs mark, my water broke, I was 8 cm dilated. My husband and I were so excited; my body was doing what it was MADE to do!
"We were going to find out the gender of our baby soon!
"Within 10 minutes, everything changed. Nurses and doctors rushed in. The baby's heartbeat couldn't be detected. The fear was that my uterus had ruptured, which is a slight risk you take when attempting a VBAC. My team decided that a crash C-section was necessary; it wasn't going to be a "gentle" section. I was going to be put under general anesthesia. My husband would not be able to attend the birth. I was put under terrified thinking about how I would tell my four-year-old that his brother or sister wasn't going to be coming home. Bad things weren't supposed to happen to rainbow babies.
"My doctor acted swiftly, and he said he was able to remove my baby within 43 seconds of putting me under... 43 seconds! Thankfully, my uterus hadn't ruptured. The cord was wrapped twice around the baby's neck. When I saw my baby for the first time, I quickly noted the pink hat in her warmer and realized I was now a girl mom, which was so shocking because I thought it was another boy.
"Soon after, the tears of joy went back to tears of sadness. Thankfully I had a great support system and reached out to a counselor right away. I knew that I wanted to sort my feelings about my failed VBAC and traumatic birth before those thoughts consumed me. I saw a counselor who specializes in postpartum issues four days after delivering my baby girl. She has helped me work through the fears of almost losing our baby and has been a tremendous asset in keeping my mental health in the right place."
We go on to talk about the difference between a Crash Cesarean and an Emergency Cesarean, and why it is important to know the difference.
You can find out more about How to Cope When You Don't Get Your VBAC on our blog.
We want to thank this episode's sponsor, Betterhelp Counseling, whose mission is to make professional counseling accessible, affordable, convenient - so anyone who struggles with life’s challenges can get help, anytime, anywhere. Get 10% off your first month by going to betterhelp.com/vbac.