Tori’s Healing VBAC

            My daughters are 5 years apart. I didn’t intend to have more than one child because of the amount of trauma I went through giving birth to my first daughter. My C-section was not intended nor were all the interventions, (Pitocin, epidural, c-section) given to me. I didn’t know any better and I honestly thought the hospital nurses and doctors had me and my baby in their best interest. They didn’t give me any advice on how I could progress my labor naturally. They pushed the interventions and after hours of labor, I was too exhausted and scared to say no. Furthering my research on hospital births and hearing of similar personal stories from other women, I realized I didn’t want to experience anything like that ever again. I was beyond scared when I found out I was pregnant with my second baby. I would lose sleep and burst into tears when the anxiety of what happened during my last delivery came into my mind. My husband was so supportive during my emotional break downs and assured me that this delivery was not going to be the same as our first born.
           I had heard of the term VBAC but I didn’t completely understand the concept until I began reading about what it was and how women were considered good candidates for a VBAC. Based on what I knew, I considered myself a good candidate for it. Close to my 20-week prenatal appointment, I built up the courage to talk to my doctor about having a VBAC. She hardly even considered it an option, even after printing out and rereading my uncomplicated c section surgery report. She dismissed me and ended the conversation with “we will see how things play out but I will schedule you for your c section at 39 weeks”.
              That appointment left me feeling hollow and unheard. I cried all the way home to tell my husband of the news. He comforted me and calmly stated that we need to find another doctor who will allow me to have a VBAC. I didn’t know where to begin so I turned to social media. I asked if any of my friends had recommendations on doulas and birth centers. Westover hills birth center was highly recommended by a few people. Once I met Julie and Robin for the first time, I knew this was where I wanted to have my VBAC experience. Every time I logged on through the computer or came to the center for my prenatal appointments, I always felt truly taken care of. They always made sure I was aware of all my options throughout my prenatal appointments, labor and delivery. Robin and Julie believed in me and my husband never had a doubt in me. The thing was, I had to believe that I was going to have a successful VBAC. I knew what I wanted and I was determined to be successful.  Robin gave me pep talks as a way to end our appointments and I took her words to heart.
             Despite all this, I was scared. I still had that doubt whispering in my mind, telling me I wasn’t strong enough to get through this. The fear was very real to me.   At times when I had a few quiet moments to myself, my mind would fall apart because of the trauma I went through before. I don’t remember holding my oldest daughter for the first time because of the extreme exhaustion and anxiety I experienced. That is the one thing I still get very emotional about because that precious moment was stolen from me and my daughter. I took those negative emotions and used them to fuel my motivation and determination to get through my VBAC.
               This whole journey was the hardest thing I ever experienced but it brought extreme healing to my mind, body and soul. I found a new self-worth and a new appreciation for my body I never had before. I felt whole and accomplished. I did it. I reached my goal and had a successful VBAC. I can honestly say, if it weren’t for my husband, my doula and the wonderful Robin and Julie, I would not have had the beautiful experience I did have. My family and I are forever grateful to the midwives at the Westover Hills birthing center. They helped bring my healthy baby girl into this world and gave me and my family such a wonderful, positive birthing experience we will remember forever.