Another Miracle VBAC Story

I don’t know when this started, this passion I have for natural childbirth. All I know is that when I was pregnant with my first baby, I was in love with the idea of talking about it with a group of women. Then I got C-section. I thought it was the end of my dream of becoming a natural childbirth teacher. I thought, “How can I be real to what I’m going to teach when I myself didn’t have a successful natural childbirth?” I want to be able to teach with integrity, you know, and be able to encourage the women I’m going to teach that “Hey, I did it, and it’s okay to feel the pain. You can do it.”

In spite of this concern, I signified my interest to learn the ropes to my then childbirth class teacher Rome Kanapi. She gave me the requirements, one of which is reading tons of books and writing a reaction paper for each book read. I did as I was told. I was close to finishing all the reading requirements, but somehow the demands of being a mother took hold of me. I got discouraged, and I stopped pursuing it. At the back of my mind, my C-section was my stumbling block for me not completing the course.

So when I was pregnant again, I had high hopes that having a successful VBAC (Vaginal Birth After Cesarean) will allow me to embrace my passion once again. But lo and behold, I had my second C-section. After waiting for five years to try having a natural childbirth, I had another surgery. It was a big blow to me, and I was really devastated.

But God makes things beautiful in his time. I became pregnant again a year and half after, and this time I was very determined to have a VBAC. With the help of a supportive doctor and conducive hospital setting, I gave birth to my third baby naturally. Now I know that’s it’s possible because I was able to experience it, so I thought, “There should be a way for me to start sharing this good news so that other women can also be empowered to do it.” Hence, the birth of this blog.

So after a few months of writing on this site, I have already received quite a few emails from women who would want to try VBAC, and to this I’m grateful—grateful that I’m able to help others through their journey by giving some tips based on my experience and grateful that I’m able to connect some of them to supportive VBAC doctors.

Last June, I met this woman named Grace from Davao who was pregnant with her third baby. She had two previous C-sections, and she’s thinking of having a VBAC. She shared this thought to two common friends, who right away told her to meet me. However, during those times they had a talk, we were still living in Cebu, so there was a slim chance that we would meet and discuss the possibilities of VBAC. When we finally transferred to Davao last May, we were invited to the same birthday party, and that was where we met. I had a long chat with her, and I was able to share to her my story. She was inspired to go for it, and so I linked her with my friend Alex Hao who was teaching childbirth preparation classes, and to my OB who assisted me in my VBAC last October 2011.

At that time, Grace already had an OB, but I encouraged her to see my OB as well, just to see what she can say about her case. But my OB told her to continue seeing her current OB and that she can be a backup doctor in case her current OB will go out of town during her childbirth. So she agreed, but in her heart, she was praying that my OB will assist her on her big day.

While waiting for her big day, she attended preparation classes with Alex, and she did her exercises at home, walking around the neighborhood. She also watched her food intake and consciously took her food supplements, especially spirulina.

A few days before her expected date, she already felt some contractions, but her eldest daughter said that since her birthday and her sister’s birthday already fall on the 8th and 9th, she said to her mom that her baby brother’s birthday should be on the 7th. And true enough, on the evening of October 6, Grace was having regular contractions.  She texted me, asking me when should she go to the hospital. I asked her if the contractions are occurring closely together. Since it wasn’t yet, I advised her to take a rest first. I told her I went to the hospital when my contractions were 1-2 minutes apart. I also told her that I ate some toast and drank water and hot choco before proceeding to the hospital to give me energy during labor.

After texting back and forth a couple of times, I just silently prayed that all will be well with Grace and her baby. The following morning, October 7, I tried calling her phone, but it can’t be reached. So I texted her brother-in-law, and I found out that she gave birth through VBAC at 1:00 a.m. already! I was very much elated when I found out, and I promised to give her a visit.

So a few days ago, I was able to visit them already. I was so in awe at how God had orchestrated everything. I found out that Grace’s original OB went out of town two days ago her supposed expected date, making her transfer to my OB (the one who helped me with my VBAC). Grace said the creation found a way to orchestrate things for her to let my OB be the one to assist her with her childbirth. She said after knowing that, she was assured that all will be okay. My OB assisted her with her breathing and encouraged her all the way. After 3 pushes, her eight-pound baby boy—her biggest baby—came out. Her blood pressure fell down after she gave birth, so she had to be monitored closely. Also, her uterus wasn’t contracting really well, and she lost a lot of blood; hence, she was advised to have blood transfusion. Since she was a B+, her family had to look for the same blood type in another hospital. She stayed for another day to recuperate, but she was feeling great when she was sent home.

Grace and her baby boy

When I saw her, she was in great shape. Still had a small bump in front, but she was doing well and didn’t have any pain, unlike when she had her C-sections. She was also breast-feeding her baby full-time without any difficulty.

Alpha Visiting Baby Ethan

Again, I have to agree that having a supportive OB is one of the key factors of having a successful VBAC. Having a supportive system (family and friends) also helps encourage women who might be doubting themselves. In Grace’s case, her husband was behind her all the way. And, of course, the mother’s intention of having a VBAC is equally important so that she won’t easily give up in case there are challenges along the way.

This wonderful childbirth is another reason why women should really consider having a VBAC and not just easily say yes to C-section, which is a major abdominal surgery. I think if your OB tells you right away to schedule an elective CS without batting an eyelash, you should be afraid and run to the nearest exit. Recently, my friend’s officemate was advised to have an elective CS because her OB said she has a small pelvis. In my mind, I thought, “How did God allow the baby in her womb to grow and didn’t know how to bring the baby out naturally?” I told her to let her officemate have at least a trial of labor (TOL) and not easily agree to have a CS if there is no medical complication, but I guess her officemate trusted her OB so much to even say a word.

Grace’s childbirth just proves that a vaginal birth after two C-sections is possible, even if the odds are saying otherwise, even if many say it’s too risky.

Another VBA2C Baby

Again, congratulations, Grace, for a successful VBA2C! You’re body is a miracle, and you’re baby is a miracle.

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About themilklady

a mother of 4 wonderful kids. a social entrepreneur. an advocate of natural childbirth, VBAC, and breast-feeding.
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49 Responses to Another Miracle VBAC Story

  1. alex says:

    Yes indeed! Thank you for sharing this 😀

  2. juliamadrazo1 says:

    Sino po yung OB nyo that allowed VBAC? I also live in Davao and I’m looking for an OB who knows how to do VBAC. I’m not pregnant but I hope to have a baby again next year and I don’t want to go thought CS again!

  3. Jenny says:

    Oooh didn’t realize you have moved to my hometown! welcome welcome to Davao!! i usually refer your blog when moms ask me about VBACs 😉 went through normal births for both my babies – epidural with the first and all natural with the 2nd so really have no experience on C/S.

    • themilklady says:

      Hi Jenny, I’m pleasantly surprised to get a message from you. Wow, you’re also from Davao. Would love to meet up and have a good chat. Love your blog. Still breast-feeding my VBAC baby (who just turned 1 year last Oct.). Would want to wean him already come this December, but after reading your article on the milk code, etc., I’m thinking of stretching it up a bit:) Thank you for being a breast-feeding advocate and thanks for recommending my blog to mothers who want to go for VBAC! See you!

  4. i visit your website everyday and i read all of your articles.

  5. Em P Durano says:

    Hi. I am very interested in your stories on vbac. I’m pregnant again after 1 year of cs delivery. I would love to know who your OB is. I’ve been reading a lot about vbacs and im very thankful to know that somebody near our hometown is supporting vbac. My ob readily decided that i should have a scheduled Csection. I’m nearly 2 months pregnant now and i want to see a supportive OB as early as possible so i can do the necessary preparations. Thank you.

    • themilklady says:

      Hi Em,

      Thanks for dropping a note and reading my blog. Congrats on your second pregnancy. BTW, where are you from? I’m now living in Davao. I can pm you re my doctor’s name and my friend who is teaching prenatal yoga. One question that the OB will ask you would be, why did you have a CS in the first childbirth? Although it’s ideal to have a longer spacing between the C-section and the next pregnancy, it doesn’t mean that a one-year gap isn’t possible. Again, it will boil down to the reason to the CS. Anyway, we can always look at the brighter side. Hope to know more of you and your experience. If you want to meet up or talk, just let me know. Take care!

      • Em P Durano says:

        I’m from Digos, a nearby town, around 2 hours travel from Davao (considering traffic). As far as I can remember the reason for my CS was “Arrest in descent”, which my OB now said that it must be due to my small pelvis. There are a lot of things that I want to ask a supportive OB about VBAC. I also have read articles in the net which tells me that my situation has indeed a high possibility of having VBAC despite the 1 year spacing. I know an OB who is specializing in High Risk Pregnancy, but I still have no idea if she supports VBAC. I was planning to go to Davao one of the coming weekends, since I am working. But I’m interested to know who your OB is, too. I hope you can PM me your OB’s name and your friend’s who is teaching a prenatal yoga. At least I’m confident that she (OB) can really do it. But still, it’s not definite whether it is applicable for me, but at least I will have my “what ifs” answered. No hang ups if ever my delivery will be a repeat C section. Thanks a lot for your reply. It really made my heart a lot lighter now. 🙂

      • themilklady says:

        My OB specializes in high-risk pregnancy, and although she has a high CS rate, she also supports VBAC. It’s worth to visit her clinic and really talk to her. It will be a challenge to travel every month for monthly checkup, but hey, compared to my situation then, I had to fly from Cebu a month before my due date, plus stay for another two weeks after childbirth, all for my desire to have a VBAC with a supportive OB and environment (Brokenshire Hospital). Yesterday, I also spoke with a mom who wants to try VBAC after 2 CS. The reason she had CS was because of CPD, or cephalopelvic disproportion (in layman’s term, maliit/masikip ang sipit-sipitan), which in my understanding is similar to your case. She also wants to see my OB to confirm if VBAC is indeed possible. Like you, I’ve read a lot of positive VBAC stories that show that even if the reason for their previous CS was CPD, they were given a chance to labor. As a result, they had successful VBACs. So for me, whether my doctor will tell it’s possible or not, I would still go for it. In this link, “The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists states that unless contraindicated, all women should be given the chance to give birth vaginally after a cesarean.” I totally agree.

        See you soon!

        Take care, Cathy

        Read More http://www.ivillage.com/vbac-vbac-possible-after-cpd/6-n-145788#ixzz2DU1L3Zmu

        Sign up for iVillage Special Offers

  6. Frances says:

    Hi. I’m a 41 year old mom and my husband and I have been discussing about having a third child. I have had 2 CS deliveries in 1999 and 2001 and I was told by my OB in my last delivery that I had adhesions following my first CS delivery. Since then, I always fear having a CS. Since we want to have another child, I’m thinking of going for a VBAC. The story you shared has given me hope. Thanks so much…. Is there someone in Manila that you can recommend that I see for a possible VBAC delivery?

    • themilklady says:

      Hi Frances, thank you for reading my blog. I’m always glad to hear from women who want to opt for VBAC for their next childbirth. Although a successful VBAC depends on the previous reason for the CS, etc., I am not in the position to say who and who can’t have it. I’ve read a lot of women who had VBACs even in the most impossible situation. In this website, you can read a story of a 41-year-old woman who had a successful VBAC (http://www.essentialbaby.com.au/forums/lofiversion/index.php/t444951.html). However, again, having a supportive care provider is key. I can email you the contact details of the OBs I know. You can consult with them regarding your case. Thanks so much and God bless.

      • Frances says:

        Hi Cathy. Thank you for your reply. I had CS in my first delivery because they said the fetal heartbeat had slowed and I was in labor for already 13 hours. The next CS was planned because my next OB wanted to be safe. I received messages in response to my post and I’m looking into all these. Whether I be given a chance for a third child or not, I’d like you to know that I appreciate your helpfulness and efforts to share your blessings and give hope to those mothers who, like me, would like a second chance. God bless you.
        Sincerely,
        Frances

  7. MC says:

    Hi, I’m looking for an OB in Davao. May I know your OB’s name? Thanks!

  8. mommytoelle says:

    wow! this just makes me more determined to have a VBAC, I would like to ask if what are the circumstances that an OB will hesitate to perform VBAC?got my CS last march 2011 and it was really,well for me a traumatic event. Though I’ve found one here in Pampanga that is a PRO VBAC Ob,the problem is,she wants to know about my previous pregnancy history and even the operation report..i am having doubts as to how can I get my medical history with my first OB. does it also have to do with the cut?(bikini or traditional) we are hoping to have another baby by next year so that’ll make the gap around 3-4 years and this time I am pretty determined to have a VBAC..please help. thank you!

    • themilklady says:

      hi anne,

      thanks for reading my blog. re OB’s hesitance not to support VBAC, it’s really her preference. there are still a few doctors who support VBAC due to the said “risk” of uterine rupture. but you make your research, those risks are more publicized than the risks that come with having repeat CS. my OB here in davao was very supportive in that she didn’t use those statistics to scare me from having a vbac even after 2 CS. of course you need to give your OB a copy of medical history. you can get that from the hospital where you gave birth. your ob would just want to know if you had the operation due to serious conditions like placenta previa, eclampsia, etc. in my case, nag poo-poo na ang first child ko. with my second child, there was no medical reason again, so with my third child i knew i can do vbac. i really encourage you to do your research on successful vbac stories to build up your belief system and for you to believe in your body . . . again:) you can do it!

      • mommytoelle says:

        Wow, thanks mommy for empowering me! Its really good for me to hear stories based from yours. I really would love to have a VBAC next time, but this time I wanted it to be “MY OWN BIRTH” and not being dictated by others. Reason of my ECS was also due to meconium staining.. I was on pitocin and labored for 24 hours,but then hindi ako nagprogress, got stucked at 2cm. Then nagbreak na yung BOW (bag of water) ko, that time I felt all the pain,feeling ko literal na yung ulo ng baby ko eh sumisiksik sa pwerta ko, OB said na need ilabas si baby dahil medyo marami na yung poop niya.so ayun, CS po ako..my friend and I have the same exp kasi but then she’s already in Canada that time she had a successful VBAC kaya sabi niya sakin ipilit ko.hehe So ayun sinabi ko sa 2nd OB ko na pro VBAC yung exp ko,sabi niya pa If I were her I wouldve waited,di kita I CCS agad as long as stable vitals ni baby mo..so ayun,sabi niya we could try trial labor..but then it all leads down nga po sa medical history. Ill try to ask for it po siguro when we are ready na. I want to lay out all of my possible options for my next birth, ayoko na ma uneducate about my choices. kaya salamat talaga sa blog niyo. lumakas talaga loob ko!;)

      • themilklady says:

        It’s my pleasure to be of service. I have embraced this as my mission, to show a potential VBAC mommy that her body is a miracle. For so long, I felt my body was broken because of my C-sections. Good thing I didn’t allow my two C-sections to stop me from having an informed choice, of having a natural childbirth. If you ask me if I was afraid, yeah, I was very afraid. My mom and sister were afraid of my decision to go for VBAC, but I knew in my heart that I can do it, that my body can do it. Of course, I prepared for the D DAY. I ate healthy food and exercised. I was clear with my intention. That’s why I was successful. Ask for support if you need it. I’ll be here!

    • themilklady says:

      hi anne, was i able to get back to you on this? so sorry if i didn’t, but usually medical history can be requested from the hospital where you gave birth. doctors consider it risky if the cut is traditional (vertical). but the cut on the tummy doesn’t necessary mean that the cut in the uterus is the same. my cut on the tummy is vertical but the cut on my uterus was horizontal or some sort of a curve (wide U). this is considered “safe” or less risky. your pro-VBAC OB just wants to be sure that it’s safe and the reason for the last CS is not medically necessary (like placenta previa). btw, a mommy from pampanga wants to know the name of the pro-VBAC OB. she’s also considering VBAC. hope to hear from you!

  9. jellymae says:

    Hi po im impressed having you hve vbac im also caesarian section with my 1st child through foot breech can i know the name of your ob and what ospital po sya nagdduty. Im from davao city and im agree to have vbac to my second child.

    • themilklady says:

      Hi Jellymae, sorry it took a while before I was able to respond to your email. I intend to check my blog often to answer queries like yours. It’s my joy to receive comments from interested vbac moms like you:)

      Anyway, my ob is Dr. Darlene Estuart. She’s supportive of VBAC but of course she will need your medical records. Let me know if you want to meet up. I would love to give time and chat with you since you’re just live here in Davao:) Take care!

  10. GEM31 says:

    Hi, I’m a mom to a 5 year old boy and currently pregnant. I had a C-section with my first born due to fetal distress. I’m planning to have a VBAC this time around. I’m living in here in Davao as well and is currently looking for a supportive OB who would help me through my VBAC hopefully. I just want to ask if you could refer me to your OB or can i ask your OB’s name when you gave birth to your VBAC baby so i could try to discuss my situation with her. Thank u.

    • themilklady says:

      Hi Gem,

      Thanks for sharing you story. Now is the perfect time to really plan out your VBAC. Would love to work with you on this. My OB is Dr. Darlene Estuart. Her clinic is in Quirino. Let me know if you want more information. I can meet up with you and talk some more. God bless!

      • Gem31 says:

        Hi! I would also like to ask if you attended childbirth preparation classes and could you share on where i can attend such classes here in davao. Thank u

  11. themilklady says:

    Yes, I attended a childbirth preparation class in Manila, but here in Davao, my friend Alex Hao is teaching a class. She has a center The Pod in Plaza del Carmen. You can visit her there. She also has an FB account:).

    • Gem31 says:

      Hello there! I have already paid a visit to the OB that u recommended and she said she would like me to have Trial of Labor because of my preference to have a VBAC and she said that She suppors my desire ta have VBAC. Thank you for the infos.

      I would also like to ask what hospital did u gave birth with your VBA2C baby? I’ll be waiting for your reply Please email me. Thanks again.

      • themilklady says:

        Wow, that’s great. I’m happy for you. I gave birth at Brokenshire. I chose the Lamaze labor room because you and husband can be alone during labor. Although I wasn’t able to use it since I was already 8cm when I arrived the hospital, I recommend that you choose this. It’s just a P100 difference for the privacy and silence you will have during labor. Also, I chose the Lamaze delivery room because you can actually adjust the bed to a semi-sitting position. I did this during my childbirth, and it was very helpful when I pushed and also to work with gravity in bringing down the baby. Let me know if you want to meet with me next week. I’ll be glad to share to you more about my VBAC experience.
        Take care!

  12. Hello! 🙂

    I’m so happy to have found your blog. I read Pari’s story last year and it encouraged me. Now I learn that you were the one who also advised Pari! 🙂 Praise God. 🙂

    I’ve been shopping for an OB who will agree for me to have a VBAC birth. (Hindi pa ako pregnant but we’re preparing already). May I ask you to give me the name of the doctor from UP Manila?

    By the way, I also had my classes with Rome. I pray that you really go and fulfill your dream of becoming a childbirth teacher. You experiences with CS and VBAC will really bless and help a lot of women. (Maybe God allowed you to have those 2 CS operations for that very purpose.)

    Blessings! 🙂

    • themilklady says:

      Thanks, jennifer, for your very nice comment. I’ve embraced that purpose, and I’m very willing to go full blast in this. Please let me know if you have any more questions:). God bless!

  13. Gladys says:

    Hi there!
    Im so much interested of having vbac with my second baby. I am taking childbirth class with your friend Alex. Looking forward to have a chat with you some time and gain more insights from you.
    Thanks and have a nice day!

    • themilklady says:

      hi gladys,

      thanks for dropping by my blog:) i’m glad that you are choosing a natural childbirth after a C-section. yes, i would be glad to meet with you and share my experience. just email me when you want to meet:)

  14. kir says:

    Hi! May I know who your OB is. Im on my 34th week and plans to have a VBAC.

    Thanks!

    Kind regards,

    Kir

  15. Gem31 says:

    Hi cathy! Thank you for the referral for the child birth classes. I already attended the birthing class and met Alex as well. I told her i communicated with you through email and referred me to her class. I am now on my 34th week. Thanks!

    • themilklady says:

      That’s great! We have a regular Thursday playgroup at the pod 10am-12nn. You might want to drop by one of these days:) We can chat there also. Let me know if you’re visiting! Thanks!

  16. Gem31 says:

    Hi cathy,
    I just would like to ask what is the reason/diagnosis of Grace’s previous cesarean section? thanks!

  17. irish says:

    Hi. I was searching for stories about successful VBAC and came across your website. I really wanted to push for VBAC but I was unfortunate because o haven’t found a very supportive OB.

    Anyways, I read a comment from mommytoelle that she found one in Pampanga. I was wondering if there’s a way to know the OB’s name. I’ve searched the net but to no avail.

    thanks.

    • themilklady says:

      hi irish, i emailed her already. hope she will reply soon:).

      • mommytoelle says:

        Hi Mommies! Thanks for reaching out to me.. I have found 3 OB’s in Pampanga that are pro VBAC. 2 in San Fernando and 1 in Arayat. I have met 1 of them and the other 2, I just knew through friends who have had VBAC experiences. They are:
        Dra. Maylene (Not sure of her name spelling) Pingul- Her clinic is located at St. Ferdinand Bldg in front of Makabali Hosp, she’s on 1st floor.
        Dra. Geraldine Mercado – Clinic is located at City Medical Plaza also in front of Makabali just beside St. Ferdinand Bldg. 1st Floor of the Bldg as well.
        Dr. Aloysius Manuel- Clinic is at Mount Arayat Obgyne Ultrasound Center and Birthing Home in Arayat, I know he is affiliated with other hospitals too..

        Kindly let me know if you have any other concerns, I will be glad to answer them for you.. 🙂

        Update on our 2nd baby journey: I already met Dra. Pingul because we are having a hard time conceiving our second child. we’ve been trying for 4 months now.. No luck still.. She told me to lose some weight and prescribed me some vitamins.. We are hoping to get pregnant this year as my LO will be turning 4 next year and I wanted my kids to have 4 years age gap.. Hoping for the best though!

      • irish says:

        Hi mommies. Thanks so much for all your replies 🙂 So sorry got busy with OB hunting.

        Anyway, thanks, mommytoelle. Will visit them on Sat or maybe next week. I hope mahabol pa coz I’m 35 weeks already.

        I’ve requested for a medical history from the hospital where I delivered my first baby via CS and it’s supposed to be ready for pick up tomorrow.

        I’ve also been to a very nice OB earlier today and discussed what I wanted to happen. She explained to me the usual two set up thingy for normal and CS delivery and the cost of failed normal delivery (which is 75% higher than a regular CS should there be any problem once I gave birth. Honestly, this might be a problem for us coz I stopped working and I don’t have a medical insurance). She also raised the issue of me having gestational diabetes. She said it could be a factor for a normal delivery to fail.

        She told me to think about it. If I chose to push through with normal delivery, we’ll do a series of lab tests and x-ray and U/A. Right now the baby weighs 4lbs.

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