“I’m sorry, but this isn’t working. We can keep trying and waiting but … he’s not making any progress.”
I had been turning from side to side every chance I got in hopes it spurred contractions. This was following about 20 hours of unmedicated labor while I waited at home as long as possible before going to the hospital.
While I had gotten my epidural almost 12 hours before, I was determined to help this little boy avoid a c-section delivery.
I thought back to the countless podcasts I had listened to the months leading up to my due date. I had listened to about a dozen women who recounted their magical VBAC delivery stories.
“It was the most amazing feeling in the world to know I had delivered naturally. I felt like I could do anything.”
“The next day I was up and walking around with my baby, and never felt more alive and energized.”
“He breastfed right away and was so alert.”
Sadly, that was not going to be my reality when delivering my second son. I was doomed to second C-section and there was nothing I could do about it.
Whenever I read about failed VBACs, everyone was deeply saddened by their outcome, and felt defeated, like they had failed. Some women even talked about how they fell into depression because they were so disappointed by the outcome of their delivery.
In the moment our doctor told us I could not deliver my son vaginally, I didn’t even cry. I felt completely numb, defeated, and sad. As soon as she walked out of the room, I started sobbing. My husband looked at me and knew how defeated I felt. He hugged me and told me it would be OK, but he was upset too. He had wished for this too. We had worked so hard for this moment, only for it to be taken away.
Fast forward about an hour, and Beau’s beautiful blue eyes shone back at us. He smiled, and looked so happy and content. He had a little top hat from his laboring efforts. I held him close and tried to breastfeed him, but he was too sleepy from the medications. So we just snuggled instead.
I waited to feel that deep depression from my failed VBAC but it never came. I was surprised to realize I was OK. In fact, I was more than OK. My son was so healthy and happy and chubby, I couldn’t have been more at peace.
The recovery for my second C-section was easier than my first. I was still horribly swollen and it was painful, but my body bounced back sooner. It had to – I had TWO boys to take care of now!
I was surprised to realize while I had hoped for a successful V-BAC, I was really OK, and my experience with my second son brought us all even closer. While I wanted that delivery experience, God had other plans for us and it was our story.
If you are planning for a V-BAC, I will be your number one cheerleader. I hope and pray it is successful for you, because with all I learned I do truly think it’s an amazing experience and there are countless benefits for mother and baby. But if it doesn’t work out for you, it is OK and you shouldn’t feel defeated.
Both of my boys were delivered via emergency c-section, and I don’t feel regret or sadness about it. We are healthy and happy and our journey continues together. I’m not any less of a mother because of how they were delivered, and our bond is as strong as can be.
PLEASE NOTE: I know every mother has their own way of handling these types of very personal issues, so if your experience was different, believe me, I hurt for you. The goal in writing this is to show moms who are thinking about attempting a VBAC that not everyone feels as down as so many stories depict and it’s STILL worth it, even when it doesn’t work out as planned.