A Healing and Empowering VBAC

Photo by Dayan Campbell 

On July 11th at 1:40pm, I achieved not only my VBAC but also a free-birth in my bathroom.  Baby Archie was born posterior, weighed 4.39kg/9.9lbs and measured 54cm long, at 40+1.

No inductions, no vaginal exams, no drugs for pain relief (I did lots of deep breathing, used a tens machine, then finally the shower). My waters broke in the shower and within an hour and a half, had baby right outside the shower on all fours (this was two weeks after I started losing my mucus plug and having leaking, back pain, lots of cramping). My private midwife didn’t make it, but thankfully my doula got there 30 mins before he made his grand entrance.

My pregnancy was labeled as “high risk” due to having had covid while pregnant, a prior emergency cesarean, being over 35 years old and having diabetes (they didn’t know if it was type 2 or gestational because I’d just reversed type 2 when I got pregnant but only had uncontrollable numbers after having had covid), and apparently for being Hispanic.

The initial plan was to have a home birth, to avoid the getting re-traumitized from my first birth (due to the cascade of interventions that led to me having an emergency caesarean for my first birth back in 2018), but due to having uncontrollable blood sugar levels, we changed plans to have a hospital birth.

Still, I never went on any meds for the diabetes (after having done heaps of research) and worked really hard on managing levels on my own, which I did in spite of being told it was impossible and my body just wasn’t working and would only get worse. The plan was to go into labour spontaneously and then transfer in once active labor was established with my psychological care plan in place to still have the empowering and healing birth I wanted.

I never imagined I’d ever free birth (maybe after experiencing a vaginal birth and home birth first), but thankfully all the work I did (heaps of research, releasing fears, VBAC course, podcasts, birth trauma healing, counseling, psychological care plan prep) allowed me to get out of my head, trust, and connect with my body and baby to let nature take its course on the day.

Throughout my pregnancy, I fought heaps with the medical providers at the hospital (obstetricians, midwives, diabetes peeps) as I kept getting harassed to go in to get baby cut out at 38 weeks due to all the “risks” to them, and  on top of scans showed he was a “big baby” measuring in the 96th percentile (and all the risks with shoulder dystocia, stillbirth, etc.).

Lots of research and I kept shutting down the external noise to listen to my intuition, which told me to trust and keep going. It was scary, but here we are, 3 weeks postpartum!

Wishing you all who are having babies soon the best birth experience, one that leaves you feeling supported, heard, seen, validated and respected.

Birth Story shared by Dayan Campbell

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Sarah Ziroll

Sarah Ziroll