Tuesday, 25 February 2014

A Beautiful Birth #VBAC

With our first child, the Lord led us to use a Doctor.  My husband and I had prayed for direction. Within a few days, Cole had a dream that the Doctor was delivering our baby.  Turns out, she decided to stay in a frank breech position(bottom down) and we felt most comfortable for her to be delivered by C-section. Things went well and Elizabeth Kate was perfectly healthy.  
When we found out our second child was coming along, I knew I wanted a VBAC. After research and prayer, Cole and I really felt a peace about using a Midwife; knowing that was probably our greatest chance at having a VBAC birth.  
I loved the care and relationship that was built with Amber, Galyn and Stephanie.  Our toddler STILL asks to go to the birth center!
I had a healthy, enjoyable pregnancy.  Since I’d had a breech baby, I did stretches to encourage proper positioning (spinningbabies) and she stayed head down.

My day-after-Christmas due date came and went.
Amber had me get a Biophysical profile sonogram at 41 and 42 weeks. I wasn’t anxious or discouraged about being ‘over-due’ till about 42 weeks, then I felt like it was time.  Amber did too; so I began doing natural things at home to induce labor.  My sister, Natalie, came in town on Wednesday night, January 8th. We spent Thursday and Friday walking (aka shopping) and getting to catch up.  I really loved having her here.  Friday, I had the second sonogram to check on Baby Girl and the amniotic fluid level; then we walked around at the Outlet mall.  Looking back, I was in early labor. Having contractions that were getting more and more uncomfortable.  I remember thinking this seems like the real thing. Friday night I could not lay in the bed for anything. As soon as a contractions came I had to jump out of bed and sway back and forth.  I woke Cole up at 2am and told him the contractions were stronger and consistent (5 minutes apart, lasting a minute long) I called Amber to give her an update.  She said to keep her updated when they got longer than a minute.  I rested/slept between contractions; getting in the bath at some point in the early morning.  

Galyn came at 7am, Saturday morning, to check me-- I was still only 1 cm and baby was posterior (which explained the horrible back pain). Hearing I was only dilated to a 1 was discouraging.  I remember coming into the living room; laboring on the floor and leaning on the couch.  I’d sleep in between contractions. Deep sleep.  That continued for the whole labor; and later I realized what a blessing it was since my labor lasted so long.  Cole’s Dad came and got Elizabeth so she could play at their house.

Around noon or 1 Amber called…. She had the report from the biophysical from Friday.  They’d deducted 2 points for not seeing Brielle take a breath during the exam.  Amber was concerned but Cole told her how God had answered prayers along the way and we were determined to have a VBAC with them.  I wanted to go to the birth center; and Amber decided it was time.

Cole and Natalie loaded everything up. During the 30 minute drive, I had 3 contractions but they weren’t that bad.  On the way, Natalie and Cole prayed.  As soon as we got there Amber checked me and I was 3-4 cm.  Answer to prayer! Praise God for progress. I dilated about 1 cm every 2 hours.  

The back pain was excruciating.  Cole, Natalie and the midwife team all took turns pressing HARD on my lower back during contractions...that was the only thing that made the pain bearable. At one point, the Midwives felt that Brielle had turned to an anterior position and thought it best to break my water. I got in the shower with the birth ball, and it felt SO good.  I was shaking a lot and Galyn said it was probably transition.  I think that was the point I felt best in the whole labor.  With every contraction I started sounding more like I was moaning.  A low, deep moan.  Galyn checked me and said I was almost 7cm.; and said I could get in the tub.  I was excited; but the tub didn’t feel good. Amber checked me...I’d gone back to being 5cm. I could feel the mood change to discouraging

At that point I think they had me try different positions- laying on each side on the bed for a few contractions, holding up my stomach during contractions, using the birth stool. I was in and out; sleeping between contractions.  Later they said my contractions never got closer than 5 minutes apart throughout the whole labor!

They gave me an IV fluids. I hadn’t held any food, liquids or even ice chips down, so it’d been over 24 hours without food. The IV made a huge difference- I remember telling Cole, “I feel a new determination”.

I didn’t know the time frame of everything during labor.  It was dark out.  I remember thinking, “ I just don’t want to do this anymore” Not that I couldn’t do it; I just didn’t want to.  From that time on, I could feel Cole’s encouragement and strength.  The midwives and doula started having me push.  Brielle’s head and my cervix weren’t lined up several times throughout labor. Amber and Galyn were doing everything they could. I pushed for 1 ½ hours. It. was. intense.   I was shaky. In and out of the tub. On the birth stool. And in the bed. Everyone kept telling me to push as hard as I could...even when I felt like I was pushing as hard as I could.  It was hard since I was not feeling the urge to push at that point. At the end, I was in the bed, in a position Amber wanted me in. Cole and Stephanie (Doula) were holding my legs and Amber and Galyn (the midwives) were assisting my pushing to get the baby out.  It was hard to relax between contractions since we didn’t want to lose ground on the progress I’d made with pushing.  The 5 minute breaks between contractions felt long at this point. Cole’s face lit up when he saw her head crowning.  His reaction encouraged me to finish.  It took several contractions for her head to come out but then the rest of her body came out quickly. Amber said, “Brittany, reach down and catch your baby”. At 3:49am,  I reached down and pulled Baby Girl onto my chest. She felt slippery and so big. That moment felt incredible. We were very happy to have her here. What a relief!!! Oh my goodness. I felt good!  I was bleeding a little more than normal, and the cord was short...so they cut it right away, and monitored me; all the while we were in awe that she was here! The placenta came out pretty quickly. We named her Brielle Hope.  Brielle means “God is my strength” and it fit her perfectly.  

Cole held her while they cleaned me up.  Next, Brielle and I got in an herbal bath.  She started nursing and was so alert. After 20 minutes or so, we got back in bed.  I got a few stitches while Amber did all the vitals and measurements on Brielle.  She was 8 pounds, 12 ounces, 21 ¼ inches long.    

Huge thanks to Cole, my sister, Natalie, our Midwife team, and all of our praying family and friends!

I got to have a VBAC. It’s still sinking in that God gave me birth back. Delivering naturally was a dream and an answer to prayer.  It wasn’t without a fight and determination. It was definitely the hardest thing I’ve done in my life. One of the biggest differences is that my recovery and nursing has been much easier this time!
For You are my hope, O Lord GOD; You are my trust from my youth.
By You I have been upheld from birth; You are He who took me out of my mother’s womb. My praise shall be continually of You. “ Psalm 71:5-6


  1. So sweet!! I cried reading it! Such an honor to be there! Britt is a champ for sure!

  2. I cried reading this! What a wonderful story, thank you for sharing! :)