It took me a while to share this successful VBAC story, but here it is. Mommy Jake is one of the mommies who always wanted to have a natural childbirth but was disillusioned when she got a C-section with her first child. After five years after giving birth, she became pregnant again. This time she didn’t want it any other way but natural childbirth. Through a lot of reading and research, she stumbled upon this blog and got inspired to go for VBAC. Her husband and relatives were really against the idea because of fear for her and the baby’s safety. But armed with a lot of knowledge, prayers, and determination, she pursued her dream of having a natural childbirth. It was a blessing that she found Dr. Beulah Zaragoza, who she said was a bit old but was a very supportive OB. And so, last November 8, 2013, she gave birth to a healthy seven-pound baby girl.
Here’s her story as she related it to me:
I really want a normal delivery ever since because I believe it’s the true essence of a woman and also since my mom had all four of us by normal birth. All of my husband’s relatives were not supportive, especially my mother-in-law. They were all negative, and all discouraged me to do it. And my husband was not so supportive at all. The thing he said was very clear to me until now: “Kung kaya mo bahala ka. Delikado yan. Matigas ulo mo.” That was what he said.
But for me, hindi ako nagpadala of all the negative response; after all, it’s my body, and it’s my baby, and at the end of the day, my decision will matter, not them. So I prepared my body and my state of mind—through research, books, and Internet. Gladly, I stumbled upon your blog, and up to now I am so thankful. Your posts gave me strength and inspired me a lot. Thank you. Thank you again. 😊❤️😊
It was November 7, 2013. I was forty weeks pregnant. I have labor pains, which is tolerable. So what I did, I just walked around to ease the pain, and then I practiced my breathing exercise, which I learned from YouTube. After walking for a while, the pain went away, and then I decided to go grocery shopping alone. I was so happy just walking around, and when I went back home, suddenly my labor pains kicked in again, but again it was tolerable. Afterward, I relaxed on my core ball and practiced my breathing again. Then I had my dinner and went to bed. At 11:00 p.m., I woke up. I can’t sleep, then at around 1:00 a.m., my labor pains started to kick in again, but it was not pretty. I tried to relax and practiced my breathing, walking and relaxing at the core ball, but it did not help. It was close to five minutes, then to three minutes and then to thirty seconds. I was shouting my heart out in a pillow because everybody was asleep. The pain is humungous. I went back to the bathroom again and again, and suddenly, there was blood on my urine. I was so afraid I woke up my hubby and told him it was time to go. My baby kit/bags were ready already in our car days ahead, so I just had to bring my tote. We arrived at 2:00 a.m. and was headed at the delivery room. My husband was there. My OB let my husband be with me in the delivery room, wearing mask and scrub suits with gloves. I was lying and waiting, watching the news of typhoon Yolanda entering our country. My doctor was waiting, and she was very calm. We were talking the whole time until I was 100 percent dilated. After a while, my water broke. The whole time I was in the delivery room, I was praying to Jesus, three Our Fathers, three Hail Mary’s, and three Glory Be. I was praying to HIM that I can do this while my hubby was holding my hand the whole time. He was the one shouting, and I was calm and practicing my breathing exercise when it was time to push for the big one. At 4:00 a.m. of November 8, 2014, I delivered a healthy baby girl weighing seven pounds through natural birth with no drugs at all. I was so proud and relieved. My patience and determination had paid back. I was so lucky that my hubby was able to cut my daughter’s umbilical cord, and he was there with me the whole time around, which we did not experience it on my son’s birth (CS). When I heard her first cry, it was so precious. She was so malikot and was crying the whole process while her pedia was cleaning her. Her name is Francheska Athena. As soon as I was done in the delivery room, I was brought up to our private room to rest; and after a while, my baby Cheska was brought up to our room. I immediately breastfed her so she will get her first colostrum. I breast-fed my son for three years and four months exclusively. Now I’m planning to do the same with my baby girl. And within that same day, we went home. My other relatives and friends were not able to visit me because we went home early already.
The difference with my CS and natural birth is quite outstanding. With my CS, I felt I was “raped” (in Webster Dictionary, it means “an outrageous violation and forceful act”). I’m saying this because my first b—— OB (I termed her like this because I hate her so much; she was my CS OB), and we agreed before the whole trimester until it was my due that I will have a normal birth. When I had painful contractions and it was before my due date, I was brought up in the hospital with my hubby and in-laws. After a day of labor, my OB decided to have a C-section and telling me that the umbilical cord of the baby was around his neck, and she was asserting me to have it done. It was my first time to deliver a baby, and nobody guided me, not even my mother-in-law because she had four CS before and had no experience to help me at all, which only worsened the scenario. My mom who was in Cebu was so worried. I think doctors should be honest in advising and guiding their patients and should not only be after the fee. Their service should be pure. As for me, I feel I was ransacked. I wasn’t able to hug my baby after my CS. When I woke up in the recovery room, a baby was at my breast, breast-feeding, and I asked the nurse who the baby was. The nurse told me he was my son. My tears went down my eyes, and the feeling of something important was missing. He was out of the world for the first time, and I didn’t even know because the doctor put me to sleep wherein she even did not ask my permission to sedate me. Days after my CS, I went into depression and baby blues/postpartum. I was angry with everybody, even to my husband. It was only now that I had a natural birth with my baby Cheska that my confidence is back again, and my self-esteem is high. With my natural birth, I had a fast recovery—only weeks. Compared with my CS before, it took me months to recover. My lesson is that you should be fearless and know what you want by finding helpful people to guide you. You should be firm, and self-study is one key because without knowledge, you can’t defend yourself. Because of natural childbirth, I’m still planning to have more babies—three or more.
Not all childbirth is perfect. It’s really just a matter of perspective. With Jake’s first childbirth, the experience was traumatic, and somehow she had to fight her way to natural childbirth for her second child. Thank God VBAC became possible for her. Her faith and courage really saw her through this challenging but life-changing event in her life. I’m truly honored to be part of this miracle!:)