Four years ago, I had my first child. I was being seen at a "typical" team of OB physicians. They were like most teams of physicians; there were six in the practice, some I liked and had a warm bedside manner; however, a couple were very direct and straightforward. At the time I felt all of them were well educated and would do "fine" at the time I would deliver my child. From the beginning I expressed my desire for a natural childbirth. I did not want pain medication, especially via an epidural. As a RN I was (and still are) petrified of them. I understand some women's desire to have them, but for me the risks and complications did not out way the temporary "benefit" of reducing my pain. The group of physicians, for the most part seemed to be on board with this birth plan; however, as time ticked by statements were made which looking back should have been a red flag. These statements included, "well, you never know what might happen so you need to prepare yourself for the possibility of a cesarean" or "well, how do you feel about a cesarean?". I took this in stride, telling myself they were just "educating" me on the possibility that it may be medically necessary to perform surgery if something major happened to me or my child. I was wrong. In short, my desire to have my natural birth was ripped away from me after exhausting hours of labor... unable to progress past 6cm... because I didn't have the team or knowledge on how to get my baby in the proper position to descend into the birth canal... My water was broken, without consent by a resident (who after hours of telling them to go away, I didn't want checked.
I finally broke down and let her check me) and was documented as my water spontaneously broke. After that things happened the way they wanted it to... and I was helpless, not strong enough to stop it. I didn't have initial bonding with my baby. He was not laid on my chest in that sterile hospital surgery room... I didn't get to hold him for an hour or more, I had no strength. I felt robbed, hopeless, exhausted, angry and sad. I had no real joy in the birth of my son. I did not want another child, for fear of this scenario repeating itself. I was told I was too small to have children vaginally - I was a broken women.
Fast forward about three years later, my husband desired to have another child. With much prayer, truly processing what happened to me, talking to husband and a few others I was starting to heal. I agreed that I did want to give my husband another child and my son a sibling. This time though we both vowed it would be different. After talking to my good doula friend and my trusted chiropractic/holistic doctor I learned there is an amazing midwife in the area who would be willing to take a VBAC and is "amazing." When we found out we were expecting, we made an appointment to meet Nicole. Telling Nicole my story, she cried and said, " I am so sorry, no one should have to go through all that you did. We will give you the birth you want..." with tears in her eyes she showed us a video of what we could've had.... would have this time around, she showed us the miracle of birth without the entrapments of a medical facility and protocols... we all cried together and hope was born that day.
April 22nd, I was heading into my 42nd week of pregnancy and asking God why my little one hadn't arrived. Fear was creeping into my heart. Nicole sent me in for an ultrasound to check my fluid, baby and placenta. Thankfully, all was well. I called my chiropractor and was told to come in right away. My doctor adjusted me and told me confidently that I would have my baby that night. I told Nicole this news and she said then you will! At 1240am I was awoken with an intense contradiction. Three hours later my baby was in my arms. I had my Vbac, at home, and felt a healing and sense of empowerment like I never had before.
The team at Vine of Life provided support before, during and afterwards. My house was cleaned, dishes done, laundry washed, dried and put away. A meal was made for us. My bed stripped and remade. "Padsicles" provided, heal bath drawn up, care and assessments done on me and my baby with efficiency and expertise. I felt safe, happy and well taken care of.
We came to Nicole and her team desiring a natural birth and received more than we ever expected. I received my miracle, a wonderful experience and new friendship.