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Birth Story: Twin Vaginal Birth After Two Cesareans (VBA2C)

Two weeks ago, a woman gave birth.

Two weeks ago, a woman gave birth vaginally.

Two weeks ago, a woman gave birth vaginally after two cesareans.

Two weeks ago, a woman gave birth vaginally after two cesareans to twins.

And it happened in a hospital.

She is an incredible inspiration.

There were elements that could have easily pushed her labor in the direction of a repeat cesarean – transfer of care at the hospital to an OB who wasn’t supportive, a swelling cervix, a misplaced foley catheter, the thoughts of two ‘failed’ inductions going through her head, an unsupportive nurse who said she belonged in the operating room…

But, there are so many important elements that helped her succeed – the element of privacy, an encouraging husband, a supportive nurse (who turned out to be a German midwife), and an OB who believed in her right to make her own medical decisions.

I’m sharing her birth story here with permission.

Hi again.. I’m sorry this took so long to write… between looking after the boys, time with the girls and taking everything from my mind to paper it has taken me longer than I expected. Forgive me – it is long and rambling… Jen/Kmom – you have my permission to post this to your blog(s) if you so desire…

I knew before even conceiving our two boys I wanted to try for a VBA2C. I knew it would be incredibly challenging because of the ’2′ in the acronym… add to that I am considered ‘plus’ size… and from the get go I KNEW I would have to be careful with my answers and what I signed, be stubborn and be adamant…

First off – my conscious decision to give myself more time… I knew my LMP and date of conception – I shifted them by a week… to give myself more time and keep the doctors from pressuring me. I had found a midwife around my home that was willing to take me on but when we became aware it was twins she was forced to transfer me to the OB. I hunted high and low for info on OBs but due to the ‘high risk’ nature of the pregnancy I had only one option on the practice. This option turned out to be not so bad. The head of the group, while not ‘pro vbac’ was not ‘anti’ either. He believed strongly in a patient’s right to choose AND evidence based decisions/treatments. We had long discussions about the data and he treated me with respect. This was a surprise and a blessing – I had someone in my corner… my stress levels decreased… and he worked to keep them down… the weeks passed uneventfully from the pregnancy perspective… I ate well, got lots of rest and just enjoyed being pregnant…

From about 35 weeks on I had prodromal labor… I monitored it, and having never gone into labor on my own with my previous pregnancies I was always wondering if this was “it”… but my gut just kept telling me ‘nope’ and it was right. I worked so hard to just listen to my body and my heart and I am glad I did. There was mounting pressure from 35 weeks on to let them do cervical checks and schedule weekly NST’s and ultrasounds – I declined all but the ultrasounds (I wanted the pictures for my scrapbooks). Only one doc played the big baby card on me but that didn’t work (and I knew it wouldn’t)…

Hit 38 weeks 3 days – the OB appointment – they are so pleased with how far I’ve come, one last request for a ‘stretch and sweep’ that I decline… the nurse keeps saying how the OB wants to do it ‘just to be safe’… my OB comes in, asks if I want it, I say ‘no’ so he tells me to go home, have lots of sex with hubby and see what happens… we do just that…

Friday morning… lots of errands to do… I do the grocery shopping and get stuff ready for a relaxing weekend of playing outside with the girls and other stuff we have planned to just keep our mind off counting down (I have to mention I am NOT a patient person)… I head to the video store and have a strong contraction that just felt different from all the others. It made me stop and think is THIS it NOW??? I couldn’t shake that feeling on the short drive… I notice another contraction picking movies… and on the drive home… I continue about my errands of getting dinner ready but am noticing these contractions are regular and feel like they are doing ‘something’….

My hubby gets home with the girls and I tell him to get everything ready ‘just in case’… this is the first time I’ve ever felt the need to ask him to do this and my gut is telling me this IS finally it… but I am trying hard not to get to excited. This is the first time I have EVER gone into labor on my own so I am trying to not jump the gun… we have dinner and I make note of the contractions getting stronger and more frequent. The girls enjoy our ‘family’ night and the cuddles and we put them to bed. I’ve been having contractions steadily now for 4 or 5 hours but I am still not telling myself that this is “it”. I go to the washroom and holy crap – bloody show! I have never been so excited to see red on toilet paper! My body WORKS!!! How about that?!?!

I come out and tell hubby – yup, this is it… call our friend and give her a heads up that we MIGHT need her tonight but aren’t sure… its now 9pm and we decide to watch our movie… this I will later regret – I should have slept instead… contractions are picking up in frequency and intensity… by 11pm they are 7 minutes apart and I am having to focus to stay relaxed through them… hubby suggests sleep… I try, he succeeds… by 1am I am having to walk around and was feeling nauseous – I tried to eat a little but the sight of food turned my stomach so not much was consumed. I contemplated waking hubby up to talk to me but really, I just wanted to be alone so I let him sleep… I wandered the house, checked on my sleeping girls and gave them kisses over and over again (it calmed me to be near them when I had contractions)…

3:30am – contractions are now 4-5 minutes apart and are strong… they are lasting longer as well… some are as close together as 2-3 minutes… having never been in labor before I am a little freaked at this and start debating waking hubby up and heading to hospital. I don’t want to go in to soon but also don’t want to wait too long… that was SO frustrating to me… I found I was angry at my previous OB that I had no clue how to read my own body because I had never gotten to this point before. That part surprised me… I didn’t want to think about my previous births because they were not what I wanted and I felt negative thinking about them but it was so hard to get them out of my head! I decided to focus on my breathing and listening to the song ‘strength of a woman’ over and over again… I swear that song got me through labor!! I decided to wake hubby and call our friend – my gut was telling me it was time to head to the hospital…

4:30am – we arrive at the hospital… I literally FELT my stress go up as I walked into the L&D area… and my contractions slowed… I kept telling myself ‘be strong’. My OB was on so that was good… I hoped that I wouldn’t have any battles to start but who knew what would happen now that labor was actually started… here I realized although he and I had some trust I was still mentally preparing myself for a ‘switch’ from him. Thank goodness that didn’t happen!! He did a check and I was a solid 3cm… I was disappointed – I honestly expected to be further along but it was what it was… I can’t remember what else he said other than the head was right up against the cervix and in a good position…

I kept laboring but I was not feeling as relaxed as I had been at home (big surprise) – to make it worse because I was a VBA2C with twins and in their eyes so incredibly high risk they assigned a nurse just to me. Her job for her shift was to sit in the room with us and monitor the tracings and monitor me… How boring could that be??!! I felt sorry for her but I also felt monitored. I felt like I couldn’t talk with my hubby and be myself… this is hard to describe but I wanted to be alone with him to just talk and *be* with him through this. He had been such a key support for me through the battles of getting to this point I wanted to share this with only him and I felt like I couldn’t…

9am – the Chief of OB comes in to see me… she is NOT smiling…. she has told my OB to go home and she is taking over my care. So nice to get a say in that isn’t it??? My OB says he has filled her in on our discussions and my desires etc and that he is ‘leaving me in good hands’… I don’t believe him but not much I can do about it… I try to not let it stress me. She asks permission to check me… which I consent to… and now I wish I hadn’t… she ruptured my membranes. Now I am on a clock and that pissed me off… but I have to let the anger go because really, it won’t help my labor progress. We discuss the merits of what she has done and all I can do at this point is agree to disagree and challenge her on ‘consent’… I tell hubby to make note of it to include in our letter to the hospital… her face was that of a person not impressed. She hasn’t said anything overtly negative, just that she will be ‘monitoring me’ closely since this is a very ‘risky’ time for me and for the babies and all she wants is ‘healthy little ones’…

I consented to an epidural so I could get some sleep – I had been up for over 24 hours and I was tired… the epidural was a very low dose one – I could still walk… the doc that did it was a nice man – he said he was surprised I was going vaginal but ‘good for me’ because I was making the best choice for my babies… I was surprised to hear that out of his mouth…. as was the nurse – she scowled at him and said ‘she is putting her children at risk… she should be in the OR!!’ My loving DH and the doc told her to not express her negativity around me… the doc did it politely, my hubby told her to shut up :-)

I slept some and felt much better after. I could still feel the contractions and focused on relaxing and envisioning my cervix dilating… I had my hubby talk to the babies and tell them to keep doing what they needed to do and that we were waiting for them. Around lunch the doctor came in to check me and I was only 4 cm. This was NOT what I wanted to hear…

Next check was 5cm but I was starting to swell… I was starting to feel panicky and anxious. Swelling of my cervix is what happened on both inductions… I was scared I would ‘fail’ again… the OB started talking about c-section because of the swelling. My amazing hubby jumped in and said ‘no section talk please – no need yet… we have time and lets see what happens’… she backed off… I believe because he came between her and me and started moving her towards the door…. I am starting to doubt myself and I share this fear with my husband. I am almost in tears – hearing women pushing is not helping… he is calm. So very calm… he encourages me in the way that only he can – he truly is my partner here and he kisses me on the forehead in a gentle way that says everything it needs to. I instantly calm down. He goes back to talking to my belly telling them to help my cervix dilate and do their job and that I will stay calm and do mine… He reminds me of how hard I have had to fight over the past few months and all the bull I have put up with… and that all along we have said we would do everything possible and that I have to be patient…. only then will he discuss c-section with me… he reminded me of how strong I have been and how I have dealt with all the crap and that this is just another one of those hurdles designed to put doubt in my mind and that I can’t let it do that… not now… I put my iPOD on to block the sounds out and to motivate myself…

6pm – checked again, no progress, no increase in swelling… I ask about different positions/options… she says there aren’t any because they don’t know ‘why’ my cervix is swelling… she says she will give me until 8pm and then we have to ‘seriously’ discuss options. I tell her we have until the morning at least unless something happens with the babies heart rates… talk about a scowl! She did NOT like that response. She walks out the door and I hear a distinct ‘what are you still doing here???’ I hear my OB respond – I want to see how she is doing… he doesn’t come in the room (I wish he had!!) but rather they get into a heated debate right outside my door. Not exactly professional but I hear him challenging her and telling her he believes I can do this! That helped my mental state!

The nurse that had been assigned to me through the day was a negative nelly… at the last check she started telling me all the reasons c-sections are good and a couple of horror stories. Thank GOD my husband told her to shut up and that we were very much aware of the risks and if she couldn’t be positive or supportive then she could be quiet. I have to say all day I have been hearing women being told ‘push! you can do it’ etc – and then cries of newborns. At the beginning of the day this was encouraging… now it was depressing the crap out of me. I kept thinking ‘why NOT me???’ I WANT this! I can DO this!!! I checked the emails from you guys and it helped… gave me some focus back…. that and my hubby just kissing my forehead telling me he believes in me, to not cry and to just breathe. I don’t know what I would have done without him… he is a quiet man who hates confrontation but he was there for me in every way I needed.

7pm… this is when it all changed! The nurse who had admitted me walked in and asked how I was… she confessed she was not assigned to me tonight but wanted to check on me because she knew how badly I wanted a natural birth. Although she didn’t agree with my choice she felt strongly I should be supported in it. I appreciated that… THEN this woman walks in and says ‘I am your nurse for this evening, have you heard about me?’ I am surprised by this to say the least… I say ‘I’ve heard I have a new nurse but nothing else’. Her next question is about my choice… she has heard I want a vaginal birth and is this true? I answer yes… then … do I believe I can do it… I answer yes again… her response would have had me sitting down if I wasn’t already… ‘Good, I believe you can to…… what the hell are you doing in THAT position?’ She walked over shifted me all around and said good, now relax and let your body do what it has to do… My husband just looks at her and says ‘we like you!’… She tells me her name and asks permission to check me… which she does… she then says ‘plenty of room in this pelvis and you are 5 to 5.5 …’ She then asks if I’d ever been told anything about my pelvis…. nope… other than it didn’t work… she laughs and says I have only met two that didn’t work… and both were because of major trauma… women work… or else we wouldn’t be here! Now I KNOW I like her… the next point I have to say FLOORED me!! She starts mumbling to herself and says ‘the catheter bulb is in the way…. they KNOW this causes problems, why do they keep doing it this way??’…. she then tells me that the bulb that holds the catheter in has been placed in a spot that prevents the head coming into proper contact with the cervix and also irritates the ‘crap’ out of the cervix and it swells. I don’t know if this is true or not or if the description is all that accurate… she asked me to relax and said ‘this is going to feel weird’ I felt a tugging on the catheter and then a sharp pain… she says she moved the bulb… and then said ‘good, now the baby can do its job! and you do yours – I will leave you alone to enjoy this time with your husband and I’ll be back in a while to see how you are doing’. This is 7:15pm… finally some ALONE time with hubby… I relax, I felt myself relax… I was breathing again… The energy in the room had changed….

8pm my nurse comes back… one heart rate is up to 170 – she looks says ‘baby is excited to meet you…’ I asked about tachycardia – she says it isn’t a concern until its been up for 2+ hours… a few minutes is nothing… don’t let the doctor tell you differently… trust yourself and your body! She checks me – I am now 8/almost 9 cm! HOLY CRAP. I couldn’t believe her!! I was almost fully dilated!! DAMN! My BODY WAS WORKING!!!! I was happy! I was enjoying that annoying pressure on my butt! Yes, strange, but I was!! She says my perineum is bulging and goes to get a cloth to hold on it… I am shaking uncontrollably at this point – she says its normal as you get closer to being fully dilated – its my body preparing for the work ahead… getting all the jitters out is how she put it. 20 minutes later… I have only a small lip left… she asks my permission to try and work it over the head… I give it… she succeeds… its 8:50 and she says I am fully dilated and can start pushing on contractions. I tell her I don’t feel the need to push… she blames the epidural… tells me to push anyways (we disagreed on this but I tried pushing)… another nurse comes in and says we have to move me to the OR as per the OB’s instructions ‘just to be safe’… they move me… great… NOW I feel the need to push…

It’s 9:05 – don’t ask me why but I kept checking the damn clocks in the rooms! I NEEDED to know the time… I was pushing and it felt weird!! I remember thinking ‘how the hell am I going to push TWO out??? AM I INSANE???? Would a c-section be easier???’ My inner voice answered ‘hell no’ to the last question… I did ask my hubby at some point how I am going to push two out… his response was a logical – one at a time hon… you can do this… you ARE doing this… somehow that ‘one at a time’ gave me the strength to just do it and all the doubt went away… The OB had arrived at some point and said ‘so, you managed to dilate did you’… I politely told her to ‘Fuck off’ (if you can do that politely)… my nurse whispered in my ear ‘you go mama!’… I was pushing and I felt the head… my amazing nurse told my hubby to look at the hair on the top of Rylan’s head… he looked and he just said ‘wow – hon, you are amazing!!’… I kept pushing… as weird as this is to type it was the easiest thing to push… I don’t know why but NOT pushing was hard… I physically had to push! Once his head was out he just kept on sliding out…. My nurse said quite loudly ‘nice catch Dr Wade… excellent BIRTH mama!’… at 9:19 pm my nurse put Rylan on me and let me kiss his very messy but beautiful head… then said… #2 is not far behind – ready to do some more work?

She was right… she hadn’t so much as finished asking as I felt the need to push again… and push I did… I was aware of the conversations between nurses and doctors but it was very much in the background to me. All I could really hear was Rylan crying and my husband saying I love you… then the words… ‘crap, cord!’… Garan had been coming down the canal without the membranes having ruptured… but then they did rupture and the cord came out first… the strange thing is I wasn’t scared – I just started pushing harder – I KNEW I had to get him out faster… I heard the doctor ask for the vacuum – normally I would have protested but I knew WHY she was asking for it and the concerns so I just focused on doing my job and getting him out as quickly as possible. I swear it was a few pushes and he was out… or at least that is all it felt like to me. For Rylan I felt the ‘ring of fire’ but for Garan I didn’t… strange but something I noticed. At 9:22pm Garan slipped out relatively easily and was put on my chest again by my nurse.

I remember looking at them being checked out by the pediatrician’s and nurses and thinking ‘holy crap – I DID it!’… My nurse made a point of congratulating me and saying I birthed my babies… I couldn’t stop smiling and I kept looking at them and then my hubby and saying I did it… me – I did it! I couldn’t stop smiling…. I did end up with skid marks on the perineum and a very large cervical tear – it took quite a while to repair (or at least it felt like it did)… the OB commented she expected a worse outcome but is glad I was one of the ‘lucky ones’. I have been told that if we have more a vaginal birth will depend on how well my cervix heals… I have no clue if we are having more but to be honest I am not worried about it at this point. I was back in my room (I finally looked up from my boys at 9:45 – no clue what time I got there at) with both boys nursing and to my surprise several nurses popped their heads in to congratulate me. They were happy I got the birth I wanted and felt it was one for the ‘win’ column. This is where I learned that the
nurse who ‘assigned’ patients to nurses had done some shifting so I could get my nurse. She had heard me talking the night before about wanting a vaginal birth, she made a point of going through my chart and felt I deserved all the support I could get so she made sure that I got who I got.

She felt I needed her and her attitude and knowledge – she was also pleased to see that I educated myself and advocated for myself and my children. She said that if I had done all that over the past nine months the least she could do was provide me as much support as possible. She made the comment that she wished more women understood pregnancy, labor and delivery and that they questioned doctors more, their bodies less. Then she let it slip that the nurse assigned to me was a trained midwife from Germany… she never bothered to get certified here because of the time etc. She continues to work as a nurse because she feels all women need to have positive support for their birthing choices regardless of what they are, but even more so for VBACs or ‘non textbook labor’. I appreciated her support and actions more than I could say… all I could say over and over again to both of them was thank you’… these two words seemed so insignificant but it was all that I could say…

I didn’t experience an incredible high after having the boys. Rather it was the exact opposite… it was an extreme calm… a sense of it just being right came over me. I was holding them and I was perfectly calm. No ferocious need to keep them away from nurses or doctors like with my daughters. No need to question everything they did or detail what I would and would not allow done to them…. no need to ask about all observations while I was away from them… just calm discussions. No antibiotics, no eye ointment… vit K was fine but nothing else unless discussed in advance and all test results presented to me… this calmness is still with me. it is so very difficult to put into words.

I don’t have doubts on how they came into this world. I don’t question if they were ready or if I was ready or if I did the right thing. I know I worked for the best possible birth for my children and me – that I didn’t get forced into something that wasn’t right for me or my boys… I did what a mother is supposed to do – anything and everything to protect her family and put her children first. They are almost two weeks old now and I am more involved and interactive with these two than I was with my daughters. I have fewer photos to put in their baby books but I have more memories of caring for them. That to me is more important – I am caring for my children rather than watching them be cared for…

I was the talk of Credit Valley – the woman that had a vaginal birth of TWINS… AND after 2 c-sections… amazing apparently… to me… just what should happen if at all possible…. I didn’t do anything phenomenal – I just did what my body is designed to do…

The other victory for me – my oldest daughter is 5 and she is asking questions galore about childbirth and newborns… I am answering them honestly – yes it hurt, yes it is work, but it is what OUR bodies are designed to do… she sees me breast feeding… she is learning how amazing her body is and all that it can do… hopefully she will grow up with the sound knowledge that babies come when they are ready and that her body will do exactly what it is meant to do… just like mine did…. the answers are obviously simplistic right now but they are planting the seeds. That is the first step in my mind…

Thank you to all of you for your support through this. I have learned so much – both about the science and ‘evidence’ around child birth but also about myself as a woman and a mother. I have always been fiercely protective of my children and less so of myself – but now I realize to protect them sometimes I have to protect myself first… I don’t think enough women realize that…

Thanks for reading… and thanks for seeing me through this journey – again, thank you does not seem enough but they are the only words I can think of.
jen

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37 comments to Birth Story: Twin Vaginal Birth After Two Cesareans (VBA2C)

  • That is just plain beautiful! Thanks for sharing!

  • Jasmine

    That was one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever read! I am so happy for this woman that she got the birth she wanted. And her husband, he deserves a trophy! He sounds like a fantastic man and partner.
    Wow, just wow!

  • Amanda

    Jen, You’re so incredible! Hope you are enjoying those boys (and the girls too). I can SOO relate to your story and the accompanying feelings. My second son was born HBAC and the aftermath was a completely different experience than with my first, and not just because of my fab birth team- I was different. And all the frustration and questioning leading up to the actual birth. I am awaiting the birth of #3- planned HBAC- and am going to use your story for inspiration. The song that got my through labor was the skipping rhyme Down, Down baby, down by the rollercoaster… LOL. And I watched GI Jane repetitively. Congrats to you and your fam! And kudos to your hubby- what a trooper!

  • What a great story! I love hearing stories where the women are supported and get the births they want!

    Thanks so much for posting this amazing VBA2C!!

  • [...] Posted on July 17, 2009 by Kathy This was a cool birth story! And it happened in a hospital. I know some of you are going to cringe that she even attempted a [...]

  • Nathalie Martimbeau

    Wow, this is an amazing story. I too had a VBAC with my second, no meds – au natural. I felt super great afterwards, and I too can say I did it ! My son is a miracle, and all during my pregnancy told my belly and my baby that we would show them all ! And we did ! Congratulations on a super birth and your healthy babies.

  • Marjorie

    Great job to you and your husband. Congrats on your babies!

  • wendy

    thanks for sharing your story & your heart. i am a first time mom, expecting surprise twins 12/1/09. i have a very supportive maternal-fetal med specialist, as i’m consider high risk btwn the twins & high BP. DH & i are doing what we can to educate ourselves, have hired a doula, found the most supportive doc we can … and hope to find others along the way as you did who will support us. thx for the encouraging words, in a world where we sometimes all we hear is why we ‘can’t’ do it.

  • Heather

    For the author: That was such a beautiful birth story–I’m in tears. I was so angry for how you were treated and then your second shift nurse came on and I wanted to cheer with you. I was angry again to read she’d discovered you were set up for failure with the catheter bulb. I’m so proud of you, you are an amazing mama!

    To the blogger–thank you so much for sharing this, it’s an amazing inspiration!

  • Nate

    Awesome story. I will show my wife. She will be encouraged! We are doing VBA2C and our Doc is letting her do it, although he isn’t happy about it. Thanks for sharing in great detail.

    • Jen

      Hi Nate

      This is Jen – the one that experienced this.

      Tell your wife she has positive thoughts coming from me. I believe she can do this… my one thought is… what worked for me mentally was not saying ‘my doctor is LETTING me…’ This was my body, my pregnancy, my birth… I made the decisions, the babies had a definite say but no OB was going to give me permission to do what I knew was right :-) I don’t know where you are but I am in Canada and here doctors can’t force a medical procedure on you – this wasn’t about them ‘letting’ me.. I would need to let them do the c-section. If your wife ever wants to chat with someone who knows what she is going through feel free to contact me… always willing to provide support however I can…

      Jen

  • Charity

    Man such an inspiring story!!! I am just amazed that you had the guts to do it after two c’s and even with twins!!! WOW!! I have had two c’s and if I get pregnant again would like to try VBA2C but get nervous cause my last c was because I only dilated to 6 centimeters, and the first was because of breech. But your story has really giving me more courage to think about attempting it in the future!:)

  • This was just what i needed to hear, I had 2 previous emergency c-sections, my son now 18 & my daughter is now 5 and for once I want to do it the way we are suppose to… with my son I was sooo scared & couldnt concentrate on pushing then he went into distress, they said he wouldnt fit down the birth canal & with my daughter well she went into distress @ 36 wks & I thank god I got my emergency c-section ( it saved her life) and now that I am pregnant again w/my 3rd I want a vaginal delivery, everyone else in my family has done it i want to experience it too… thanks for the motovation!!! And where is the best place to do my research so I too can be well informed? thank you & god bless you!

  • LaTricia Bryant-Glenn

    Hi this story really inspired me I just found out that I am pregnant due March 22, 2010, and I didn’t even know I could have a vba2c. I want to have a vaginal delivery and now know what to say to my doctor from the get go. I have a 5 year old who was an emergancy c-section after getting to 8 centimeters and she went in heart distress and a 6 year old who was an c-section after labor wasn’t progressing after being induced. I want to experience having a vaginal delivery. I feel that me and my body can do this. Thanks for the inspiration.

  • Wow! Overcoming so many odds stacked against you (moreso from some we are told to trust than anything else, eh) You are so strong! Loved how dh advocated and supported..what a partner!

  • Christiana

    Jen,
    thank you so much for sharing your story. I have had 2 c-sections. The first was an emergency one and the second was scheduled because everyone had convinced me that it was to dangerous to have a VBAC. My husband and I will be trying to get pregnant again very soon. (my children are 25 months and 10 months). I want a VBAC because I do not wanted to be limited on the number of children I can have. Thank you so much. If you have any more suggestions and/or ideas as I research this please let me know.

  • Elena

    what an amazing and inspiring story.. I am 37+ weeks pregnant now and want to attempt a trial of labour after 2 previous c-sections.. I cannot find any support in the hospital. could you share info for your OB if possible? maybe he’ll take me? :) Please email me if you can. Thank you!

  • Vanessa

    I just want to say that you have inspired me. I have had two prior c-sections and I am pregnant with baby #3. I was reluctant about having the baby vaginal. And many doctors discourage you. I found a doctor that has been supportive of VBAC just as long as I am aware of the risks. Thank you and your story was beautiful. It made me cry especially of how supportive your hubby was.

  • Holly

    What a wonderful, inspiring story. I have had 1 previous c-section and am now pregnant with twins and am exploring the possibility of VBAC as well. Jen (or anyone else in the know), did your boys share a placenta? Mine are monochorionic so that’s introduced some complications.

  • kassy

    Wow! this is an amazing story! I just had my second son in December ’09. With our next child we are going to have a VBA2C! Twins run in our family, so we may be another successful Twin VBA2C! :)

  • Rozmonkey

    It continues to amaze and horrify me to see how our culture expects women to fight for themselves and their babies while they are most in need of support and comfort – when in labour and delivering their young. I am the happy mom of monochorionic diamniotic twins, whom I delivered (with their help) in my own home and unobtrusively attended by an excellent team of midwives. My babies were in fact sharing a circulatory system, but the placenta was enormous and I believe that following (not strictly, nothing strictly) the nutritional guidelines suggested in Elizabeth Noble’s book “Having Twins” was partly responsible for my twins being healthy and strong and to term at 39 weeks. Also, I quit work at about 20 weeks and focused on myself and what felt good to me to do. Rest when I want, eat when I want, walk when I want. No such thing as bedrest – only my being free to pay attention to and meet my needs. That too, I believe played a role in the health of my pregnancy and babies. I had preparatory contractions at least 2 months ahead of the birth, but these did not worry me at all. I believe that my uterus was preparing itself, gathering up to push down. I believe as well that they were a teaching opportunity for me and my babies. I would rub my belly after a contraction and say soothing things to my babies, to let them built positive experiences with contractions. This way they would be less likely to become distressed by the stronger and frequent contractions of labour when it came. The birthing experience I had in my home was peaceful, respectful, comfortable, and supportive. I did not have to fight anything or anyone. I was not drugged, observed, violated (er, that is, I had only one internal examination and that was to determine that yes I was complete and ready to push, and that was by consent.) I was exhausted – totally exhausted – by the end of my labour, but I had two wonderful, healthy babies snuggled up in bed with me. All was well. It was a beautiful experience, and an empowering one. I’m eternally grateful to my midwives, and delighted with the outcome of applying my good sense of reason to my choice of prenatal care and mode of delivery. I want now for all women to have the choice available to them – that they may choose as I did – to have a midwife-assisted homebirth for their twins. It is a damn shame and an outrage that this is not in all places even legal, much less well-known and accessible. We must change this.

  • Carrie

    Hi,
    This story is just amazing. I know they want to maintain Jen’s privacy, but does anyone know where this occurred? I recently had my 2nd child, was trying for a VBAC, but had a midwife that gave up on me and ended up being induced and ultimately a second c/s. I feel terrible and am having an extremely hard time with it. I want to do a VBA2C for my third child, but all I can not find a provider who is willing to help, not even a home midwife. I am infuriated, especially as a veteran it looks like I’ll have to go to Mexico to find someone help me have a baby my way. Please help!
    Thanks,
    Carrie (murdockshopping@gmail.com)

    • Jennifer Cazabon

      Hi Carrie

      I hope this reaches you – no worries on my privacy. I am in Canada. Mississauga Ontario to be specific and I was at Credit Valley Hospital under the care of Dr. Smith.

      Canada is a very different environment to the US. Women still get bullied and pushed into procedures but doctors can’t refuse treatment here and we have a Patient bill of rights that is upheld on a regular basis so once you know your rights and show you know them it is a little less stressful.

      I’ll help anyway I can

      Jen
      (cazabon.j@sympatico.ca)

  • Keisha

    This story really made my day. I’m 37+ weeks pregnant with what I have a very strong suspicion are surprise twins (don’t ask), but I cannot find anyone who will support my decision to have a VBA2C, even with a singleton. I believe that women were built to give birth naturally and that my uterus can do what it was created to do. From reading all the stories on this site, I’ve realized that for me to get what I want I’ll have to go into labor before my scheduled c-section for the 26th, and labor for the most part at home. Any additional advice? I could really use some help and support. I no longer have a DH (divorced) but I do have a very supportive daughter and mom, and they’ll have to do. I can be reached at [removed].

    • Jen Kamel

      Hi Keisha,

      You might consider hiring a doula (emotional support) or a montrice (emotional plus can check dilation, heart tones, etc) to be with you as you labor at home. You can get referrals using these resource listed here.

      I’ve removed your email address because spammers will take it and use it. Just subscribe to the comments (use the button at the top or bottom of the site) and you can see who responds to you.

      Warmly,

      Jen

  • Keisha

    Thanks Jen. Will do.

  • Camael

    Jen,
    Your story amazed and inspired me! I am about 12 weeks pregnant with twins and am going to also be a VBA2C. I am very encouraged by your empowering birth. I can only find one supportive OB in my area who “allows” VBA2Cs and twin vaginal births, whom I plan to switch to when I’m closer to my 3rd trimester since his office is a 45 minute drive from where I live. I really believe that your positive mindset and people (your husband and German nurse) really helped your body feel it was safe to birth your babies. Did you do anything physically in preparation before your labor started to encourage a successful birth, such as any herbal teas, chiropractic care, Kegels?

    • Jennifer Cazabon

      Hi Camael

      I realize I am late responding to this – my apologies. I did chiropractic care with a doctor that was certified in the Webster technique. I also did regular massage with a registered therapist.

      Other than that I did Raspberry leaf tea from week 36 on, ate a healthy diet and got lots of rest and walked. Boy did I walk – every day 30-60 minutes minimum.

      I hope your birth was what you wanted.

      Jen

  • Amanda

    Your birth story is such an inspiration, thank you for sharing. I am 20 weeks pregnant with number three and trying to figure out if I want to attempt a VBA2C or have a repeat cesarean (after going into labour spontaneously). During my labour with my last VBAC attempt, I went much further than the first time round, but still ended up with a cesarean. I am wondering if I get a bit further this time, maybe I could actually do it, if not, I have made peace with having another cesarean.

  • Samantha

    I just wanted to say how much of an encouragement you are to other women. I have had 2 c-sections and am now pregnant with twins (my 2nd set). My Doctors just approved me today, 12/9/2010 to attempt a VBA2C w/ Twins! I’m so excited and I was looking for some stories of other who have experienced this, and I found your story! I admire you and everything you did for your babies and yourself.. I just hope to be as strong and experience the same within this month. I’m currently 35 weeks and 2 days pregnant with twin girls! Feel free to email me if you have any words of encouragement or if there are any suggestions you can make, that helped with your labor and delivery, that weren’t included in your story! I appreciate you sharing your story, it’s amazing. Thank you!

  • Thank you so much for publishing this! My husband actually came across this while searching for encouragement about our decision to attempt our VBA2C. I am 38 weeks. Not only are we proud of your achievement of birthing VBA2C WITH TWINS, but we also appreciate you sharing your story with the masses. We have very little support in our decision to VBA2C and we’re just having a singleton. I’ve been in predromal labor now for 4 days. We’re taking Brio Birthing classes and our doctor is one who happily supports VBA2C TOLACs. We also have a doula and a couple friends who have had two and three c/s respectively. Both would like VBACs next time around.

    We recently started blogging about our birthing experiences as a husband/wife perspective (dad’s rarely get to have a voice). I hope you stop by and are encouraged! Of course, we’re starting from the beginning and it’s not all on there yet, but it will be soon because we’re going to have this baby within the next four weeks!

    Thanks so much for sharing!

    • Jen Kamel

      Jessica,

      I am thrilled to hear of an OB attending a VBA2C in the hospital. I hope to hear more and more of these stories!

      Warmly,

      Jen

  • Amy

    This is a great story, especially since I am delivering at CVH in December (after one C/S at Trillium in 2010), and I hope Dr. Smith is the one attending, after reading all this.

    I attend the high risk clinic, and have seen Dr. Wade & Dr. Gurland for my cerclage, and my most recent appointment was with Dr. Smith, and I probably felt the most at ease with him, so reading this story somewhat gives me hope, and makes me really wish for him to be the one on-call when I am in labor.

    My son was breech, and born at 31+2, but I was just wondering if you had any tips for ensuring baby is well positioned? Also, since you had Dr. Smith, if you went to the main OB group, are there any docs you specifically avoided? I am at the high risk clinic and they rotate there as well, but the only one I refuse to see so far is Dr. Gurland due to his attitude (and lack of.. enthusiam when he saw I wanted to attempt a VBAC).

    Thanks so much!!

  • Marina

    I had previous 2 cs .. For my first my A.F get scanty and on my second baby was breech, ur story is amazing … U r lucky to have ob who supports VBAC … From which country u r? In Pakistan few dr only supports VBAC… It’s so difficult to heal up.. I also want to try VBA2c but no dr is supporting :(

  • Renee

    Thank you, thank you, thank you soo much for telling your story.

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