The Birth of William Edmund Thayne (VBA3C)

My journey to a VBA3C starts on June 6, 2001 when, due to a failed induction at 42 weeks, I had a c-section and our first daughter was born. She was healthy and I healed quickly. We had some trouble breastfeeding, but soon got the hang of it. 

When I found out that I was pregnant again, I told the doctor that I wanted another c-section and the doctor agreed. I was very uneducated about childbirth and the risks of repeat c-sections. As I look back, I was afraid of failing at another vaginal birth and a repeat c-section was just easier than facing that possibility. On March 12, 2003 we had another beautiful girl and again I healed very quickly.

Fast forward a couple years and I became interested in natural health and started studying on the web on how to help my girls from getting sick so much. I learned a lot about herbs and I came across natural birth. As I learned more about the benefits of natural birth, I longed to have a natural birth myself. When I became pregnant with our third child, I wanted to have a VBAC, but because I had had two previous c-sections, I could not find a hospital in our area that would allow VBAmC. I looked into finding a midwife, but was unable to find one that was less than four hours away and I could not imagine having a homebirth! I have to laugh now when I think about that!  On June 12, 2009 our third daughter was born. I did not recover as quickly this time, but did not have any major complications.  

I gave up the idea of  a natural birth and figured that if we were to have more children that it would mean more c-sections.  When I found out that I was pregnant with our fourth, we planned on a repeat c-section. When I was about 30 weeks I found out that a good friend of mine was seeing a midwife who lived about three hours away and she planned on having a VBAC. I got the midwife’s information and set up an appointment to see her. That week was a very emotional week as I waited to go to our appointment. I would get excited and then I would get discouraged because I had never heard of any woman that had had  a VBA3C. I was a little nervous about a homebirth, but the more I became educated about it, the more comfortable I became with the idea. Watching the movie The Business of Being Born helped a lot. My midwife was more that willing to answer any question that I had and she never lost confidence in me!

My due date came and went, which we expected to happen. I had had Braxton Hicks for weeks and they kept getting stronger and more frequent and there were times that I wondered if this was it! It felt weird that here I was about to have my fourth child and I didn’t know what real labor was like. I never progressed past 4 cm with my first and only got there with the help of pitocin.  Friday night, March 11th,  I had contractions that woke me up and I began to time them, they were about 10 minutes apart and were becoming harder to handle and so I called my midwife and she agreed that she and the assistant midwife would head our way because of the three-hour drive that they had. They would be able to stay as long as needed because they had no other babies due at that time. As the sun came up my contractions nearly stopped,  I went out to do the farm chores and walk but they did not get regular, stronger, or more frequent. We decided to do a vaginal check to see how far along I was and found that I was 3 cm. I was excited because I was making progress! I had been afraid that I would not progress very quickly and I was pleased with that!

My midwives went home and  I was to call when the contractions were 5 minutes apart. I was to rest and then do some walking, preferably stairs. I had contractions off and on throughout Saturday and walked the stairs at my brother’s house because we didn’t have any at our house. We celebrated our second daughter’s eighth birthday and went to bed that night wondering if  this was the night. My contractions picked up some through the night, but again when the sun came up, they became farther and farther apart. Sunday night was the same way and I was getting very discouraged and tired. I tried to rest and walk as much as possible and most importantly be patient.

William with his big sister
Monday morning, the 14th, my mom came and got the girls so that I could rest when I needed to. My contractions were about 15 minutes apart all day. I would get up and walk when I had a contraction and then lay down and rest. Late afternoon I went on a one-hour walk and the contractions picked up and were getting closer.   My husband got home from work and we had a bite to eat. I then picked up the house and did laundry. By this time my contractions were getting to be 5 minutes apart and I called my midwife and she and the assistant midwife headed our way.  They arrived about 1 AM Tuesday the 15th.

I had back labor and rolling on the exercise ball and counter pressure helped. I tried to rest between contractions, but there wasn’t much time between them. I tried different positions to try to get the baby to turn because we thought that he was posterior. Being in the hands and knees positions felt the best. At about 6 AM I asked for a vaginal check because I was getting discouraged and wanted to know if I had made any progress. I was 8 ½ cm with a bulging bag of waters. I was thrilled because all these contractions were working! I asked them to break my water and then I got in the shower to help with the contractions. The water felt so good! I soon felt like pushing and pushed on hands and knees and on the birthing stool. Not much happened and we discovered that I had anterior lip on my cervix.

Somewhere around this time the baby finally turned and I was able to make some progress. My midwife wanted me to push lying on my side because this was my first vaginal birth but I just couldn’t, it just didn’t feel right. So I continued to push on the birthing stool. At 10:30 AM the assistant midwife and my husband were pushing on my hips to make my pelvic opening wider and soon after, the baby’s head was born. When the baby’s head was born, my midwife quickly saw that his shoulders were stuck and had me switch to a running start position and when that didn’t help, she had me back on hands and knees. He still wasn’t coming, so I moved to McRobert’s position with my knees pulled back, and the rest of him came out. William was born  at 10:38 AM with an APGAR score of 8 at 5 minutes and a score of 10 at 10 minutes! He weighed 8lbs, 1oz and was 21 ¼ in long!

I’m so thankful that I was able to have a natural vaginal birth! I got to be the first to hold my baby and my husband got to cut the cord for the first time! I can’t recommend home birth enough! Being able to be at home in my own surroundings was wonderful! All my children’s births were special, but this one will always be extra special to me because I was able to prove to myself that I was not broken and that I could do it!