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~*~Birth Stories~*~

NEW   Judith's Birth Story - First Baby; Unscheduled Cesarean
NEW  Lucy's Birth At Home
Jared's Home Waterbirth - by Julie Lockman
Nayah's Homebirth-My First Birth- by Tracy Addington
My First VBAC (Vaginal Birth After Cesarean)-by June Perkins
Ripped From My Body; My 2 Cesarean Births - by Diana Bachmura
The birth of Julian Atreyu - A beautiful, emotionally descriptive homebirth story!
After Six Medical Births, I Finally Have the Birth I Deserve - An awesome home waterbirth!
Janai's Homebirth - 11th baby, born quick!
Breech Vaginal Birth Photo Story - Check out this website for some awesome photos of an unmedicated, non-interventive breech birth. Worth waiting for the photos to download.
Find lots of resources here:
Childbirth, Baby Care, Breastfeeding & Midwifery Links


Belly Casting Information
Preserve your pregnant belly forever!


Read about "Jason's Birth" at www.thebirth.org


The notes below are taken verbatim from my Baby Blog, a constantly updated journal-in-progress which I will eventually give to my daughter when she is old enough. Nothing has been edited, changed, or deleted except for the proper names which have been replaced by titles or by pseudonyms.
January 27/04
Where do I start?  It's been a very long day for us, and a lot of disappointments and difficult decisions. one thing after the other.  I'll just write it as a journal entry in chronological order, with events and
reactions as they came.

To begin with, the bioscan told us that you were healthy, energetic, plenty of amniotic fluid, and a good size - nine pounds, to be more exact.  I was happy to hear the first part but not so keen on the last.  Your increased size meant a harder labour probably ahead - but at least you were healthy and in no danger from placental breakdown.

Then Mom took me to the midwives' office (by which time the weather had turned nasty with a lot of pellet snow - an icestorm predicted) and I had a session with "Rani".  My belly was 40 cm, my weight 240 lbs, and my cervix hardly effaced. also not promising.  Then "Rani"
sprang the next bit of bad news on me; an induction would not simply involve taking a couple of oral oxytocin tablets, as it had for my sister - since I was a primapara and my body was not producing the chemicals naturally, I would need two doses of prostaglandin gel
applied to the cervix, followed by a 'drip' of oxytocin.  I asked for further details and it devolved that I would need to be at the hospital that evening for one application of gel done by the (male)obstetrician on call, followed by an hour's session on the baby monitor to record contractions and baby heartbeat, after which I would be sent home to (hopefully) experience a night of preliminary labour and cramping which would prepare me for another dose of gel early the next morning.  So far, not so bad. "Drip?" I asked.  "An IV," "Rani" answered. 

She continued to explain that the IV would need to be in and constantly providing the oxytocin throughout labour - which meant that I would need to be on the monitor throughout labour - which meant that I would not be able to move around freely but must labour in the bed or on the chair - and that I could not use the Jacuzzi tub for pain relief.  In one minute's worth of explanation I had to come to the realization that my entire carefully thought-out birthplan, based on my deeply-held philosophies and personal desires, emotional needs, and preferences for optimal baby care, had just gone out the window.  I would not be able to labour and birth you as I had wanted, in the natural, creative, flexible, non-interventionist environment I
had wanted.

I was quite upset and "Rani" let me have some time to absorb this - unfortunately I wasn't able to talk it over with my husband as he had just left work a few minutes before I called, so I had to make the decision to proceed with the induction and to deal with my
turbulent emotions about it on my own.  I arranged to meet "Rani" at the hospital for the first gel dose that evening and had Mom take me home to their place (we had arranged to be over for supper that night), where I cuddled up on the guest bed and wept into her
sympathetic ear.  My husband phoned shortly thereafter from our apartment and I was able to fill him in and keep working through the upset - and then hold him in person and be comforted shortly after when he arrived. I slept for a bit while dinner cooked and felt calmer
about the whole thing after the nap and a good meal. 

We headed back to our place to pack up everything we thought we would need in labour, as "Rani" had warned that it was possible that the first dose would bring it on and we might wind up staying at the hospital overnight.  Since I've been ready for the past month,
it was a matter of putting the items in a duffle bag and packing the food and drinks we wanted to have available, which we did efficiently and which even gave us a bit of a lift - we were finally ready to go!  Back out on the road again, to the hospital.  It was about
eight-thirty, dark, and the weather was bad, with lots of fine flurrying snow and the roads covered to efface the lane markings.  At least there weren't a lot of people out, and my husband drives very safely and competently. 

We got to the birthing room about nine and were met by "Rani", who got me half-undressed, on the bed, and hooked up to the two monitors and then left us to record our undrugged (pre-gel) data.  The presiding obstetrician, we learned an hour later, was in OR and
wouldn't be available for a while - a while turned out to be two hours, so we had plenty of time together.  My husband napped in the bedside recliner while I lay back with my eyes closed and sang to you for a while, your strong little heartbeat providing percussion.  It was
rather peaceful and "Rani" was in and out quietly checking the computer monitor and recording the contraction data.  Finally "Dr. Lim" showed up.

He greeted me efficiently, showed me the gel and applicator, and asked me to open my legs.  I gritted my teeth and hung onto my husband and "Rani"'s hands while he went in.  After about a minute of sharp, unpleasant manipulation and pressure, and painful cervical
sensation, he withdrew and took off his gloves - by which point I was hanging onto emotional control by a minimum and ready to scream with revulsion.

I had my eyes clenched shut and continued to hold my husband's hands as he spoke, so I didn't see his face, but his voice was as neutral and efficient as his method had been.  He said, "You are ten days overdue with a large - nine pound? - baby, and your pelvic arch
is too narrow to deliver it vaginally."  He set the applicator down on the bedtable, and if he said more I didn't hear it.  I slammed my free fist down on the bed beside me, rolled away from him and buried my face in my husband's side, weeping in anger and frustration as
he left.  "Rani" paused and then quietly offered to give us some time together; I swallowed and let her know that we preferred to get it exactly clear what he meant: did he mean that I would have to have the baby by Caesarian section?  "Yes," she reluctantly answered,
but added quickly that I still had the option to try labour, and so on and so forth.  I asked her to give us five minutes and she left us alone together.

I had to deal with my anger about the futile efforts I had undergone in the last ten days - the physical and emotional pain of the most recent procedure - the disbelief that my body wasn't able to handle a
'natural' birth - the upset in realizing that there were indeed worse disappointments than having to have an IV in during labour - the frustration that I couldn't have had this information earlier than on the
cusp of my expected delivery - and the fear of the least desirable, most interventionist and medical procedure I could have expected for childbirth.  My husband held me, loved me, reassured me, comforted me, and hurt along with me as we worked through the emotional storm.

Eventually we took an hour with the three of us to sort out our options and make some decisions.  I had had enough in the last ten days - almost an extra two weeks of the most difficult and uncomfortable time of any pregnancy -  and I didn't want to put either you or me through six or eight hours of unproductive labour with its attendant pains and possible risk of oxygen deprivation and then still wind up with a C-section.  "Rani" recounted the experience of her most recent client - last Friday - who had gone through the exact same thing; she was a nurse who was determined to deliver naturally and vaginally, but was too narrow, and after two doses of the gel, each six hours apart, plus another six hours of labour during which the baby's heartbeat kept dropping with every contraction,
was finally delivered via C-section.  This only confirmed us in our belief that we had done our best already for a natural birth - and looking at the paucity of reaction to the prostaglandin gel recorded
on the computer chart, the size of the baby, the length overdue, and the pain I was already experiencing ,without results, we decided to simply book a Caesarian for the Tuesday so that we could bring our baby home without further grief. 

I'll write more later, because I'm exhausted now.  It's actually now six in the morning on Tuesday and I've only gotten a couple of hours sleep because the gel is now producing sharp cramps - NOT productive contractions, just pangs which resemble menstrual
dysmenorrhea - which woke me at five and make it impossible for me to go back to sleep.  Also I'm hungry and won't be able to eat till after the operation, so I'm already tired, shaky, and rather emotionally
fragile.  I'm going to go lie down for a while at least and write a bit later on.  I do love you and I am looking forwards to having you finally in my arms later on today, as I've been promised.

January 27, Tuesday

My husband and I went into "East Lancaster General Hospital" with "Rani" for our scheduled C-section.  I was still labouring under the influence of the oxytocin gel from the night before so I was taken to a birthing room to wait.  I had had to have an IV put in - standard procedure, so again I couldn't object or negotiate - and they began giving me fluids (but no painkillers). "Rani" and my husband both kept telling me to 'breathe through' the contractions, so I had to try to convert my moans into hisses of clenched-teeth breath.  It must have sounded like a cat fight, between my wails and savage hisses, but I was hardly in a position to be very self-conscious at that point.

We spent the morning - there were three booked C-sections plus an emergency ahead of me, so at about eleven they moved me from the bed to the Jacuzzi labour tub. That was a relief in a number of ways - the IV came out (leaving the shunt in my hand) and the weight
was finally off my cervix and tailbone.  The hot water was soothing for both my backache and it did seem to take the edge off the cramps.   The anesthesiologist, a small Asian woman with piercing eyes, came and talked with us - basically informed us that the hospital would NOT give a general anesthetic unless there was some
emergency or other circumstance which mitigated the attendant increased risks to mother and baby. Personal preference and anxieties were not a consideration.   So, yes, I would be winding up with an epidural after all.  Yet one more item crossed off my ideal birthing
list and another of my fears to face - a needle between my vertebrae into my spinal cord. 

I lay in the hot water of the labour tub for almost three hours, sharp cramps and contractions every three to five minutes - but my cervix refused to respond by effacing, and I simply had to suffer through without any painkillers which would interfere with the upcoming
anesthetic.  It was about at this point that I realized my dreams of an unmedicated birth might have been unrealistic, or my assessment of my pain threshold optimistic. Two or three nurses came in and introduced themselves, saying they would be with me in the
delivery (read 'operating') room for my Caesarian, and my student midwife showed up.   Finally someone came in and announced that I would be next, and they got my husband into a set of (unflattering) sea-green scrubs, complete with puffy hat and mask.   I was gotten out of the tub and into a gown, onto a hammock stretcher, down
the hall, and into the room.   Intimidating round spaceship lights poised like alien parasols above a narrow white table, a scattering of sea-green masked shapes, and a vague impression of metal tubing and wires to greet me. I recognized "Rani"'s eyes above her mask, and "Dr Liu", the obstetrician who would be performing the cut.  She came and greeted me while the nurses reassuringly got me onto the narrow table.  An IV was put into the shunt in my left hand again. I couldn't see my husband anywhere.

They asked me to move onto my left side and curl up as much as possible.  Someone kept saying, "Keep your head down.  Push your back out.  Out!  Push your back out!"  I made a few feeble attempts which didn't seem to make any difference to me, but they were finally satisfied.  "Now you have to hold completely still, Judith," a nurse said.  They emphasized this again and again, that "Dr. Liu" needed to be able to find the exact spot between the vertebrae, that she was very skilled at this but she needed my cooperation to be completely
still, contractions, pain, and all.  "Dr Liu" informed me that I would feel a little sting from the first needle which would numb the area but that I wouldn't feel the actual spinal needle, and then after that my
entire lower body from about the diaphragm down would be numb.  She also warned me that during the 'delivery' I would feel  some yanking and tugging sensations, but no pain. 

The anesthesiologist came round into my field of vision and kindly offered to add an anti-anxiety sedative as soon as the baby was out, to help calm me down for the stitching and finish-up.  I nodded, and she receded into the background again.  The needle went in and they
warned me again to lie very still.  I began whimpering,a low steady thread of fearful helplessness.  I couldfeel her hands on my back for what seemed like five minutes, pushing at my spine and feeling.  "Don't move," they cautioned, adding, "You're doing fine, you're doing great, that's good, keep still."

"I have to cry," I gasped, "but I won't move."  Nor did I, as the needle went in and the anesthetic tingle began to spread, despite the tears running down my cheeks and that thin whimper that I couldn't seem to stop.  Then there was a sudden jolt like an electric shock, from my back down my right leg, which jerked involuntarily.  I yelped and began to apologize, but "Dr. Liu" cut me off; "No, that's good, that's a good sign, it's taking, we're done."  Almost instantly I felt a pins-and-needles field begin to spread over my legs and up and down my lower body.  My skin became incredibly sensitive - the bed sheeting against my left thigh and calf felt like a cement sidewalk, the gown pressing on my back like coarse sandpaper.  Those sensations faded as they rolled me from my side to my back, assuring me that there was no needle there any longer and that I wouldn't feel any pain.

"Dr. Liu" began to trace her finger along my abdomen and belly - I could feel it - 'Ouch!" I uttered anxiously, terrified that she was about to begin cutting while I still had sensation.  She came round
and sternly informed me that I wasn't to say anything unless I actually felt pain.  A few seconds later there was no feeling at all, and they began to put the drapes up across my chest.  I heard my name, turned my head to the left and saw my husband sitting there.  With tears in my eyes I put my free hand out and clasped his, fixing my attention on the part of his face I could see. 

His eyes behind his glasses were warm and loving, and I put all my focus into listening as he told me how proud he was, how well I was doing, that it would be ok, that he loved me.  Behind the drapes the medical team began their work - I felt as if I were floating in cool
water, while some great seabeast with tentacles tugged desultorily at my belly.  There was a rise of excited chattering, and I gripped my husband's hand.  I could barely breathe, but I gasped at him, "Sing!  Sing, love, sing 'Tis a Gift to be Simple!"  And we sang the old Shaker hymn together, the song I had sung over and over again to my pregnant belly, as they pulled my baby from my body: 

"'Tis a gift to be simple, 'tis a gift to be free,
'tis a gift to come out where you ought to be,
and when you find yourself in the place just right,
t'will be in the valley of love and delight!"

My voice was a husky whisper, and my eyes were streaming with tears, but my husband's tenor rang out in that sterile white room as they lifted our daughter past the drapes and into our vision. 

"When true simplicity is gained,
to bow and to bend we will not be ashamed,
to turn, turn, will be our delight,
till by turning, turning, we come round right!"

A high-pitched wail joined us - her cry, for the first time. "Our baby, honey, our baby, it's our baby.." I babbled ecstatically, watching the tiny bundle whisked past in the cluster of nurses.  The anesthesiologist set her hand gently on my shoulder and murmured, "Do you want the sedative?" and I shook my head, wordlessly.  I could see little blood-stained feet kicking behind the sea-foam scrubs, and I heard her protesting as they clipped, wiped, and bundled her. Then they moved apart, and I saw her perfect, angry face peeking from the bundle.  They set her in my husband's arms and told me that I would see her soon in the recovery room. 

Nothing seemed too important after that.  They must have finished stitching me, and then the nurses turned me from side to side, warning that I would feel as though I were falling, and got me onto a gurney.  I wound up on a reclining bed in a little curtained alcove in the recovery room - "Rani" and "Sharon" were there with big smiles - but I only had eyes for my husband sitting beside the bed with our baby in his arms. 

I held out my arms demandingly and he reluctantly laid her down.  She was perfect - perfect - beautiful - a wondrous round-faced deep-eyed morsel of rose-pink skin and dark hair.  I drank her up while her father hung over my shoulder.  Our adorationfest was interrupted by a smiling blonde nurse who announced that she needed to
check my uterus and proceeded to lean her weight on the still-swollen paunch of my abdomen.  Fortunately I still couldn't feel anything from the navel down, as this also produced a rush of lochia (blood and other assorted fluids) into the mass of padding between my legs.  She told me that I would be in recovery until my uterus shrank to sufficient tautness and she would check it, my temperature and blood pressure every fifteen minutes till then.  We spent about two hours
there - cuddling our darling and talking with each other, allowing the various procedures to happen around us, learning how to latch on and having a trial breast-feed - until I was ready to be moved to my room
in the Maternity Ward. 

She was ten pounds, four ounces.  I couldn't believe it, shocked as I was to be expecting a nine-pound baby.  "Sharon" joked, "You had a toddler!".  She was born at 2:27 pm on the 27th of January.  Her Apgar score was 9.9 - the highest one can get.  At first her long
dainty fingers and feet were a pale blueberry purple, but in a few hours they had turned the same rosy shade as the rest of her soft skin.  Her hair was black, matted to her head in little curlicues, and after the eye ointment sank in, her eyelashes sprang out in long
curves.  Her large eyes were blurry pools of serious contemplation - the whites a faint shade of newborn blue, the irises and pupils an almost indistinguishable night-dark.  The midwives and nurses told us how gorgeous she was and we couldn't stop saying it either.
 "You are so beautiful," I kept saying, "such a beautiful baby!" 

Indeed, free of a squeezed passage through the birth canal, and with ten days extra to plump up, she looked like the classic month-old baby rather than the blotchy red, wizened, wrinkled newborn.  I kept nuzzling her plump cheeks and stroking her tiny soft hands in an
ecstasy of maternal emotion, until my husband got jealous and took her back.  It was almost as wonderful to see him doting over her and snuggling her up to his chest.

I don't remember much about the rest of the day.  The epidural began to wear off and they gave me ibuprofen for the pain.  I tried feeding and the latch was poor so my nipples began to hurt.   The hospital does 'rooming-in' where the baby stays with you but gives you the option of having her taken to the "Nookery" (a little nursery just by the nurses' desk where they can keep an eye on them and the moms can get some rest).   She had several blood sugar tests - which had to be above three-point-something before she could have a bath, for some reason - and I had to keep trying to feed to bring that number up.  Eventually we gave her some formula on top of whatever colostrum I was producing, and she made it to four.  Four what I do not know. They brought her back with bandaids on her tiny purple heels and a miniature white flannel hospital gown which tied up the back and made her look like a serious angel.  Her hearing test was perfect (of course, I thought.)  Supper was a mug of hot water with
lemon juice, a cup of cherry Jello, and a bowl of insipid beef broth.  I had two Tylenol-2 to help me sleep through the night and my night nurse took the baby to the "Nookery" after assuring me it didn't make
me a bad mother... 
Note:  if you've enjoyed reading this account and would like to read the full Baby Blog which goes through my experience of pregnancy, birth, and motherhood, please check out "Girlamaufrey", my webpage-to-come in a month or so (April or May 2004) at

Lucy's Birth At Home

My pregnancy had been a long one of 43 weeks! 

It was in the morning at about 6:15am and my partner/boyfriend Jason was up at the toilet. I was starting to feel pains in my stomach and vagina. Jason came back to bed and I told him about the pains and how they came every 10 minutes. He called the midwife and she told us that it would be some time yet and I should just relax! 

At 10:00am I called the midwife and told her that they were 2 minutes apart so she came over and I lay on my bed. Lillian, my midwife, helped me through the contractions and at 12:30pm she spread my legs and said that I needed to start pushing at every contraction. The pain was unbelievable! Jason held my hand through every part of this. I put my hand down at my vagina and I felt the baby's head! It was amazing. The pain wasn't a sore pain but a feeling of relief that I would have a baby soon.

My son Scott, who's 13, was helping me through the birth at the same time. Then another midwife called Georgina came and asked me questions which Lillian already knew! She asked how old I was and I said 29, and she asked everything else!

Then I pushed again and Scott was helping with breathing techniques! Lillian told me to push again to birth the shoulders. What an amount of pain!!!!!!!! I screamed and then the baby was out of my vagina!!!! Thank God!!!!!!! I called her Lucy and then they cut the cord. The placenta was then born!

Just to let all of you know homebirthing is the best place to birth your baby because I gave birth to Scott and Lucy at home and it was fabulous! 

Mum The Bear

Jared's Home Waterbirth 
by Julie Lockman
Waiting for the birth of a baby was so hard. This was our third. Time seemed to stand still for us until Tuesday morning, October 24th at 2:45 a.m. My water broke. 

I was awake when it happened (as I had just visited the bathroom) and just moments before I felt the baby drop into my pelvis. David and I got up and began the wait. We started to call friends and family that would be there for the birth. Everyone, including the midwives, seemed to arrive at around 5:00 a.m. My midwife checked me right away and I was at 5 cm. 

I had a few small contractions over the next hour and a half but nothing was really happening. My midwife thought that there might be too much commotion with all the people sitting around chatting and basically having a little party. She suggested that everyone leave the room and for David to do nipple stimulation on me to get the labor going. So, we did that at 6:34 a.m. Two minutes later I had a really strong contraction and was ready to get into the tub. 

My midwife checked me and I was at 7 cm. The contractions started to get intense. Getting into the water was such a relief and so relaxing. (I will never labor out of a tub again). I was very comfortable in a sitting down/reclining position. After a few contractions I started to say “I can’t do this”. My cheering section kept telling me that I could and encouraging me along the way. My two older boys (aged 5 and 7) arrived with grandpa around 6:45 a.m. It was so nice having them present. At this point the contractions were really intense. I remember crying out for the Lord to help me. He did! At that point I was ready to push! 

My midwife was stretching my perineum by massaging it with olive oil. Around 7:18 I began pushing. It felt good to push. The contractions didn’t seem so intense. I could feel the head move into the birth canal. I could feel my skin start to stretch. It started to feel like I was going to burst. It was burning…like on fire. My midwife kept stretching me with the oil, that helped a little. Finally at 7:27 a.m., there was the head. It was soft and mushy….I couldn’t believe it was the head! Pushing the head out took the longest since it was 15 cm. The head was out at 7:33 a.m. 

Since the head was so big my midwife suggested that I get on my hands and knees. I told her I couldn’t move. She said with the next contraction that I would really have to push. At 7:34 a.m. the next contraction came. I pushed and gave it all I had. The shoulders came out and then the rest slipped out. At 7:34 a.m. Jared Philip was born. At 7:42 David cut the cord. I then got out of the tub, lay on my bed and delivered the placenta with one push at 7:47 a.m. At 7:50 Jared lay by my side nursing. Jared, you were worth the wait.

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Nayah's Homebirth-My First Birth
by Tracy L. Addington
I was raised with the common knowledge that we would have our children in the hospital. This concept made me feel safe and comfortable and I truly did not think I could achieve this any other way. 

We had the opportunity and blessing of having a few homeschoolers, homesteaders, and homebirthers in our church as well as the traditional folks, and after much prayer and faith we decided to pursue a homebirth. Kelly was a beautiful midwife. We certainly had a lot of time to prepare and pray for this, (as any pregnant woman knows how MUCH time a pregnant woman must endure =). 

My labor started May 18th, 1993 coming home from town in Chris' very bouncy truck around 7pm. It wasn't pain that made me grasp the seat and roof of the truck while bracing my feet on the floor all at one time. It was the intensity of the contraction mounted. We got home and I payed attention to my body with Chris. We called Kelly to let her know and give her time to prepare and also called the birth team to get ready. Chris and I went to sleep, I mean he went to sleep while I laid in our bed in wonder and amazement. A wife and her husband, quietly shifting and changing, growing and expanding for this little child and God's great love in our lives. They were rich and exciting moments.

Pretty soon I felt that we should go ahead and have the team assemble at 1 AM. They got here and set up and smiled at me a lot.   I was falling into a deep sleep between contractions. I was about 6cm dilated when Kelly suggested that I get up and move around a bit.

I moved into the living room with my husband GLUED to my side, as the contractions were changing and growing in intensity. There on the couch, I began to let a quiet groan escape my lips to take the edge off and if Chris tried to leave my side the contractions would become twice as strong, poor guy. I began to walk around in between them and lean on Chris, my arms around his neck, when they would come. 

I was 8cm or more when I decided I wanted to lay down and rest in our bedroom, the place we had prepared for our child to be born. It was there that, as I progressed to full dilation, not only did my husband "carry" me and support me, so did the entire birthing team, including Kelly, who sweated and breathed and ached with me. 

I had to constantly pee throughout the labor and it was in the bathroom with one leg on the bathtub and my arms draped around Chris's neck that our child inched down remarkably. I waddled back to the bed and began to push, the encouragement flowing and I needed it, because I never had an urge to push. It was pure will and prayers that gave me the strength to push for about two hours. 

The sun was shining gloriously near 10am. While on hands and knees,  Nayah's head crowned and, this is going to sound crazy, I rolled over onto my back between contractions so as to catch my baby. With one, powerful, continuous push I, we, birthed our daughter visibly into our hands and lives. The cord was around her neck one time, which is common, and we held her there and balled our eyes out, she crying with us. 

The placenta came probably 30 to 40 minutes later. I tend to hang on to them, it seems. I have a hard time using those tired muscles to push that squishy thing out! =). 

During this whole process I realized that never once did I feel afraid, not taken care of or provided for. It was fluent and a celebration in every way. That is not to say that there were not battles here and there, but there always is when fighting for something good and right.

A few words of wisdom to those that read this who are expecting:
1. Videotape your childs birth. If you can. Give a trusted friend the duty and joy of taping this amazing and beautiful time, even if your very modest, have them be modest in taping. If you do not have this resource, you can rent one or just make a cassete tape of just the sounds.
 2. We realized after this birth that I started pushing a little too prematurely, not that I tore or caused harm. I think this stunted my pushing urge. Talk to your midwife, or doctor about this.
 3. Enjoy this time. It will never come again and you will relive it over and over. Remember, I am a big baby when it comes to pain, but being able to view my contractions and birth as strong and intense changed my "pain" from the attitude of recoiling from it to embracing it and allowing it to work for me. Remember, too, that God and your body will always give you a break, a time of rest. A contraction climbs, evens out and descends to be as gentle as possible with you.

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My First VBAC (Vaginal Birth After Cesarean) After 2 Cesareans
by June Perkins

On the way home from our vacation in Idaho, October 1986, I told Doug, my husband, I must be crazy, but I had this urge, out of the blue, for more children.  We laughed and said, "It must be hormones."  But when we later found I had been 2 weeks pregnant on that trip, we had an inkling that God must have been preparing us for something special!

The next few months were filled with questions:  Why now, when the
older 2 are in school and I had just begun to work outside the home? 
Why now, when for the first time in our marriage we felt God had led us to go off medical insurance?  Why now, when we had just begun drawing plans for a home of our own?

Gradually, peaceful acceptance replaced the why questions with how
questions.  We had heard about VBAC births  (vaginal births after cesarean) and always wondered if Wes couldn't have come naturally if given a chance, and if Sarah's surgical delivery had really been  necessary. 

We called a friend in town who had successfully delivered her 3rd child naturally after 2 sections and she referred us to a team of  O.B.'s and certified nurse midwives in Medford (30 miles south) who helped her.

Our first few meetings with these people were very encouraging - until my medical records were received from California.  There in black and white, underlined in red were the words cephlo-pelvic disproportion, a.k.a. CPD.  In other words, my pelvis was considered too small to deliver Sarah at 71/2 pounds. 

Our Doctor changed his tune to a minor key and gravely announced there was no way he could medically recommend our persuing a VBAC and that our chances for success were very, very small.  "Are you telling us it would take a miracle?" I asked.  "Yes", he said.  That
clarified the situation!

So there followed many hours of research, reading, telephone interviews and most of all searching prayer. "God, what do You want us to do?  Provide the money for a section or give us a VBAC?"  They both seemed equally impossible and the research we did on VBAC's was not conclusive.  Hopeful, but not definite.

Not much research had been done on VBAC's after 2 c-sections.  No wonder the doctor drug his feet.  Could we hope to hear God over the roar of our own desires?

However, over the next few months we were continually encouraged to pursue the "impossible". We read Silent Knife by Nancy Cohen.  Our good friend, Kelly Frohnauer, midwife apprentice, was certain we could do it.  Special scriptures were given to us. And most importantly, every time we came to God about it, alone or in prayer groups, we
received consistent yes, yes, yes answers.  Till finally in my 8th  month I felt God saying to stop asking.  It was settled.

It was difficult to wait that week past the due date.  Especially since the doctor's one ray of hope was that perhaps we could accomplish a premature delivery.

Eccl. 3 "For everything there is a time and a season for every activity under heaven.  There is a time to be born..." meant alot those days.  We watched alot of videos and I baked alot of bread.

We had a lot of false labor beginning Saturday, June 11th.  Finally my
water broke and we had some show the morning of the 14th and the hospital wanted us to come right in and get on the monitor.  We watched TV all afternoon and finally had some serious contractions from about 6PM - 8PM. They checked me.  I was about 3. This was discouraging and my contractions tapered off again.

By midnight they were getting concerned about my water being broken too long and wanted to induce.  We tried breast stimulation - that didn't work.   So Doug persuaded them to let us get 2 or 3 hours sleep and then they hooked up the pictocin.  They upped it very carefully every 15 minutes to 10 drops per minute.  That gave us good active labor.  At 7:30AM we had another check and the midwife announced we were 5-6 centimeter and very thin!  We all cheered because this was as far as I'd gotten my first birth.  The first sign that we might really do this!

It took till 9AM to get to 7 centimeters and from then on it was very
hard work.  The hardest work I've ever done (or hope to do!) in my life. By 10AM I was 8 centimeters and almost totally effaced and around noon the midwife said I could start pushing!   It seemed like a dream. It was working!

I was so disappointed in the pushing.  I had so eagerly been awaiting
change for the better and had read that it can feel good.  Pushing felt so much worse I couldn't believe it!  It really disheartened me.  All I
wanted was to go home, have a steak dinner and go to bed. 

After pushing for an hour and not making much progress, I was pooped.  I had nothing left.  So they brought in Doctor Witt who used suction to hold the baby where I pushed so it didn't slide back.  That was just the ticket. 

We made rapid progress after that, at the expense of alot of pain.  I
remember thinking this is what it must have been like in the Spanish Inquisition and telling Doug it felt like there was a 2x4 inside me.  How I made it through those last half dozen pushes is beyond me.  My strength was utterly spent. We know it was God's grace that enabled me to work so hard then.  But in 20 minutes the head was half way out and they were telling me to look and touch.

And then he was out and how they exclaimed over his size!  Nine
pounds, ten ounces.   God really did it. How merciful He is to direct and to help.  And what a difference it makes when a friend believes in you. 

Midwifery Today, The Heart and Science of Birth

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Birth Story Diaries - Real Births, Real Pictures
See hundreds of photos of all kinds of births.
To see a vaginal breech, totally unmedicated go to this page.

by Jill Cohen
An excellent
waterbirth article
from a previous
issue of Midwifery
Today. Click on
link to read
The Benefits of
Water, Laboring in
the Water and

International Cesarean Awareness Network (ICAN)
is a nonprofit organization founded by Esther Booth Zorn in 1982. ICAN works to lower the rate of unnecessary cesareans, supports vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC), and encourages positive birthing through education and advocacy.
Look through their resources section for Childbirth classes, reading lists and also you can sign up for their online support group. Plus news articles and statistics. You'll find a wealth of information at the ICAN website.




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