Teagan’s Birth

Fair warning: my story is the kind of story I hated to read while I was pregnant.  I planned an unmedicated VBAC for Teagan, and I wanted to surround myself with narratives that reflected the success and primacy of birth as a natural event, not as a pathological one.  My daughter’s birth ultimately brought us to the operating room, but what is shocking to me, after almost two years of dreaming of a VBAC, is how content and bonded I feel.  That’s not to say that there isn’t a little ping of jealousy when I hear of successful VBACs or that there aren’t parts of her birth that pain me to think about.  But it is to say that I don’t regret any decision I made along the way.  More than ever, I’m in awe of what a miracle it is that a baby is born at all, and more than ever I’m grateful for the safety nets that exist in the cases babies need help.  I guess you could say that both my respect for natural birth AND the judicious use of obstetrics has increased exponentially.  And, at the risk of sounding sappy, my respect for God’s wisdom has increased too–who knew that three women I met at a cold ICAN meeting this winter would become my strength and comfort during labor?  that a doctor who walked in at the eleventh hour, who I’d never seen before, would be the perfect person to deliver Teagan safely?
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Having a scarred uterus complicates subsequent pregnancies.  Uterine rupture is a small risk, but a very real one, and, even though Kansas City isn’t a small town, finding a care provider who is truly supportive of a TOLAC (trial of labor after cesarean) is not easy.  (Barring the awesome network of homebirth midwives we have in the area, of course.)  I started off with Dr. E, who does VBACs, vaginal breeches and vaginal twins, and who was instantly supportive of my decision to VBAC.  The only catch was that she delivered at Overland Park Regional, a hospital I wasn’t interested in being at (long story.)  So we decided to switch to a midwife in the same practice as our family doctor; she would deliver us at Shawnee Mission and she was on-call all the time…no worrying about random doctors on call.  I adored my midwife.  She was kind, thoughtful and never neglected my emotional health.  She was, however, very cautious about my odds of success.  Since Noah’s c-section was due to Failure to Progress, she thought maybe I had a 40% chance of a VBAC.  She also wanted me to schedule a c-section for 41 weeks.  Then it was 40 weeks.  Then, after I met with her supervising OB (who, among other lovely things, asked me if I’d rather have a “c-section baby with a little extra fluid in her lungs or a dead VBAC baby” [no, I’m not joking]) my midwife wanted me to schedule a c-section for 39 weeks.  I refused.  And–under pressure from Ashley, God bless her forever, and Josh, who thought the whole thing smelled like horse crap–I continued to resist and question the one scheduled on my due date, even going so far to ask about what would happen if I didn’t show up.  Finally, when I was 36 weeks, she nicely suggested I consider going back to Dr. E.

Well, even a chance to VBAC was worth birthing at OPR, which, I must admit, ended up being a very nice hospital with a very considerate and talented nursing staff.  Dr. E welcomed me back with open arms, dismissed whatever odds my midwife had given me, and treated me like I was a human being carrying another human being, not a broken womb carrying a liability suit.  She was willing to let me go to almost 42 weeks before she talked induction.  I know that in ideal birth world, babies don’t come out until they want to, but in reality, I thought almost 42 weeks was an extremely good deal.  There are low-risk women with no obstetrical history that have trouble going that long!

My due date came and went.  You all probably remember since I complained a lot 🙂  At my 41 week checkup, I was 3 cm and 90% effaced, but still no active labor.  Painful, sometimes regular contractions for weeks, and still no active labor.  I tried everything–had been trying everything since I was 37 weeks–and nothing.  Dr. E decided that the next Monday, the day before I turned 42 weeks, we’d do an amniotomy to start labor, but to make sure it was safe to wait over the weekend, we’d do a biophysical profile on Friday.  She stripped my membranes (for the second time) and sent me on my way.  We both thought there was no way I’d make it until Friday.  But I did.

The ultrasound tech hadn’t held the transducer to my stomach for more than a couple minutes before she told me that I’d probably be having my baby that day.  Anything less than six centimeters of fluid is considered too little, and Teagan only had two centimeters.  She also wasn’t moving, though her heart rate was good.  The tech called the doctor on call (Dr. E wasn’t in that day) and the doctor told her to send me over to the hospital.  I talked to the nurse, who explained that the concern for low amniotic fluid at 11 days overdue was the potential that the placenta could be declining in function and that two centimeters of fluid was a very low fluid index indeed, not a “gray area” number.  I’ll confess: I can be a wimp when it comes to snap decision making.  I knew all the noise about babies not being truly overdue until 42 weeks and that VBACs are most successful with spontaneous labor, but presented with the idea that Teagan might be in trouble, I agreed to go to the hospital for an immediate amniotomy.  If it makes you feel better, I mentally tore up my crunchy card and left the scraps on the floor.

The induction was a hurry up and wait moment.  They rushed me over, hustled me into a gown, and the charge nurse even snapped at me to get off the phone when I was explaining to one of my doulas what was going on.   (Luckily, the charge nurse went back to whatever pit she crawled from, and a new nurse took over.  She was hoping to VBAC her next child!  And she was an extended breast-feeder!  We were instant friends.)

Within the hour, one doula rushed right over, then Josh came, after giving Noah to Grammy and feeding the cats, then another doula…finally Dr. L came in.  She said, given that I was a VBAC, and since I was overdue, we should probably proceed straight to a c-section.  One holdover from my Catholic school days is that I have difficulty challenging authority.  But I was also not going to have a c-section.  So I mustered up all my courage, glanced over at Josh and my doulas for support, and told Dr. L in a tiny voice that Dr. E and I had planned an amniotomy induction and that’s what I wanted to do.  It helped that Dr. L was just as afraid of conflict as I was, and she told me in an equally frail voice that it was my decision, and as long as Teagan’s heartbeat looked good, she was fine inducing me, although she wasn’t comfortable using Pitocin on a VBAC candidate.

Fine, whatever.  Get the crochet hook, lady.

My water was broken around 4:00 or 4:30 Friday afternoon, though “water breaking” is a term I use lightly.  No fluid came out, no matter how much Dr. L crocheted with her hook.  She wanted to insert an Intrauterine Pressure Catheter to measure how strong my contractions would be, but I’d had one with Noah, and nothing sucks worse than trying to labor while holding a rod in your yoohoo.  I broke out Tiny Voice again and asked if maybe, you know, uh, I thought I could sort of try laboring with just the external contraction monitor for a while?  Although I totally got where she was coming from with wanting the IUPC and all?  And she told me in her Tiny Voice that was fine, it was my decision.  I could tell that she was starting to like me less.  But after she left,  the nurse told me that she thought I made the right decision to reject the c-section and to forego the IUPC.  Having an L&D nurse tell me that I did the right thing was a huge boost, and her encouragement stayed with me the rest of the night, when I had to stand up for what I wanted over and over again.

So, water was broken, had Josh and doulas A and J, with E en route, time to get the party started.  The nurse nudged Dr. L into agreeing to let me off the monitors for 45 minutes of every hour, since Teagan’s heart rate was so perfect.  We started walking around, then I changed out of the hideous hospital gown into my favorite gray skirt and bra.  After an hour or two of still being at 3 cm, I agreed to the dreaded IUPC since it might irritate the membranes more and help instigate active labor…on the condition that if contractions got serious, we’d take the thing out.  Dr. L said fine, it was my decision, but that if I was still at 3 cm in another hour, we shouldn’t push our luck and go to a c-section.  What a lovely deadline!  But I was determined that I wasn’t going to let it affect me.  She left, I sat on the ball,  the yoohoo rod optimally positioned, while J did acupressure.  Then–yay!–E arrived with a ton of food and two extra hands to help with the acupressure.  Between that and some nipple stimulation, labor got well underway.

Here’s where things get kind of fuzzy, so I apologize if some of the facts are jumbled.  (I was busy, you see.)  In one of God’s many I’m-watching-out-for-you-Bethany moments, Dr. L missed her hour deadline to check my progress due to an unplanned cesarean.  In fact, she missed most of the deadlines she would give me that night because she ended up having FIVE c-sections, in addition to so many deliveries that she not only had to call the back-up on call doctor, but another doctor from ANOTHER PRACTICE to come help.  As a result, little old VBACing me with her slowly dilating cervix fell through the cracks.  But when she did manage to come in the next time, I’d finally made it to 4 cm.  We took out the IUPC, and I got to grooving and swaying in my old gray skirt.  M the nurse left, wishing me luck, and we got C the nurse, who was just as awesome.  I was stuck at 4 cm for another chunk of time, threatened with another c-section deadline, but that deadline was missed again, as Dr. L got another c-section.  Finally, around 9 or 10, I made it to 5 cm.  Dr. L came in, still in her puffy surgical cap, and was randomly optimistic and chipper about my labor.  She said now that the contractions were well underway, she’d be totally comfortable using Pitocin to augment the labor, and that she’d be back in to check my progress soon (she wasn’t, more c-sections).

Labor was beautiful.  I don’t think, if you sat down with a pen and paper, you could dream up a better hospital labor.  For fifteen minutes, I’d lay on the bed and watch Teagan’s heartbeat chug away, thumping at a textbook pace.  J and E rubbed my back and legs while Josh held my hand.  The nurse always came back right on time to unhook me, and I’d get back to laboring in whatever way felt most comfortable.  Most of the time I stood and swayed, rubbing my belly, but I also sat on the ball and knelt on the bed, leaning against the top.  I squatted quite a bit while J would “sympathy squat” next to me (I didn’t feel too bad for her, she’s ridiculously fit 😉 ).  J and E even used the hospital gown I wasn’t wearing as a rebozo to ease the pain through several contractions.  It shocked me, after the confinement of my labor with Noah, how much easier it was when I was free to move.  There was pain, obviously, but when a contraction ended, I’d feel almost high from the endorphins.  I should mention that the room was dark, cool and quiet.  No beeping noises and fluorescent lights.  Perfect.

I started to get tired.  Almost as soon as my contractions had started, the shaking started.  I’d been shivering violently in between labor pains since five that evening, and I could feel my energy draining as we wore on into the morning.  The contractions were getting stronger too.  Dr. L came in to check me around two in the morning–I was still at a 5.  I let her reinsert the IUPC to gage the strength of the contractions, and listened to some more blah blahs about a c-section.  I told her that if I still hadn’t progressed or if the IUPC showed inadequate contractions, then I was ready to try Pitocin (rather than a c-section.)

She said–you guessed it–that was fine, that it was my decision.

We started up again with the acupressure and nipple stimulation.  By that point, I was so tired and the contractions were so strong, that I just wanted to lay in the bed and moan.  So I moaned.  And moaned.  And Josh and the doulas rubbed my legs and back, reminding to me to relax and untense my legs and jaw.  Somehow I managed to forget that in the three minutes between contractions.

Also, I cried.  For two years, I felt like I had this scarlet letter of “4 cm” on my chest.  I was the woman who couldn’t dilate further than a 4, even with Pitocin on full crank, and now I was the woman who couldn’t dilate further than a 5, even with freedom of movement and a team of doulas.  E and J weren’t embarrassed at all by my crying, in fact, I think they welcomed it as an opportunity to examine and chuck some of the baggage I’ve been carrying from Noah’s birth.  Josh wiped my tears and kissed my fingers, and somehow, when the nurse checked me and I was still only a 5, I was able to hear the number with a sense of confidence.  I was going to make it somehow.  Teagan’s heartbeat was still pristine, and I knew that as long as her heart rate stayed that good, I had lots of leverage in denying a c-section.  The nurse informed the doctor of my stalled dilation, and Dr. L ordered the Pitocin for me.  “Your contractions look plenty strong,” the nurse said.  “We just need them every two minutes instead of every four.  We won’t need to turn up the Pit very much at all.  And Dr. L said she’d be in to check you after an hour of augmentation–she said if there’d been no progress, you’d have to think about a c-section.”  The nurse seemed as bummed by this as I was.  We all prayed for Dr. L to have another c-section to do so she’d forget about me again.

A the doula came back around the time the Pitocin came in, and thank goodness.  It took all three doulas and Josh around the bed, rubbing my arms, legs and head, to keep me from screaming.  It was never titrated that high even–certainly a lot less high than with Noah–but it was agonizing.  Not sure if it was because my labor was further progressed than it was with Noah, but it certainly did its job.  My whole labor, my contraction pattern had been two clustered together, then a break, with the first one being a doozy and the second one only half as strong.  With the IUPC in, we could see exactly how strong the contractions were with and without the Pitocin.  With the Pitocin, that first huge contraction was too high even for the monitor to measure.  I only mention this fact as background information, so that when I tell you how much of a baby I was about the pain, you’ll have some sympathy for me.

Anyway, dark room, a bunch of ladies and the father clustered around the bed caressing me and telling me to breathe–save for the Pitocin and the hoohah monitor, it could have easily been a child-bed from the Victorian age.  I was even starting to scream like a Victorian woman.  I would try to control my breathing, but would end up half-shrieking through ragged exhales, then the contraction would subside and I would shake for a minute and half until the next set of contractions came.  Even though this was the worst of the pain, two of my favorite moments come from this time.  The first was when all three doulas told me how beautiful I looked during a contraction.  Now, I know they were just being nice, because I couldn’t have looked all that great with tangled hair and tear-smeared mascara, but it still meant so much to me at the time.  The other was when the blood pressure cuff, set to automatically inflate and record my blood pressure at certain intervals, started inflating during the peak of a contraction.

“Is that taking her blood pressure during a contraction?” one doula asked.  “A**hole.”

Even without the a**hole blood pressure cuff, it still sucked hard.  After one hour of Pitocin, I told the doulas I wanted to get an epidural if I still hadn’t progressed past a five.  That way, I rationalized, I might be able to withstand the Pitocin for longer, plus I’d be that much closer to being ready for a c-section, something that might appease Dr. L while I negotiated for more time.  But rationalization aside, I just wanted the pain to *stop*.  I was exhausted, I couldn’t stop shaking, and I was getting to the point where I almost fantasized about a c-section, just so I wouldn’t hurt anymore.

This must have been written on my face.  “Honey,” one doula said, “I think you should consider getting one anyway.  You’ve earned it.”  We all discussed it a little more (discuss is a very calm word–I mostly mean that we briefly exchanged our thoughts in hushed snatches before I screamed and writhed again).  It wouldn’t be an unmedicated birth, meaning that breast-feeding and hormonal flows would be affected, but, on the other hand, there was no question that I couldn’t relax through the contractions anymore.  And if I couldn’t relax, then I couldn’t dilate.  And I’d already torn up my crunchy card, remember?

At 4:30 a.m., twelve hours after my amniotomy, I got the epidural.

It was the best epidural.

I mean that in all earnestness; I could move my legs and I could even still feel the contractions, but now they just felt like twing-y Braxton-Hicks.  Josh, J and E all found places to get a catnap, while A and I stayed up for a little longer.  I pulled my legs up into a butterfly position and rocked back and forth, listening to Teagan’s steady heart beat on the monitor and watching the sky outside light up with the coming dawn.  With the pain gone and A’s steady presence next to me, I felt peace.  Peace with whatever outcome.  I had done everything I could.  I had switched doctors at nine months–but I had bought Teagan an extra two and half weeks.  I had agreed to an induction for oligohydramnios–but it was clear that there had been truly low fluid; I’d still only leaked a spot the size of a silver dollar after 12 hours of ruptured membranes.  I had accepted Pitocin and an epidural, two interventions I’d hoped to avoid–but only after several hours of stalled progress and after trying pretty much everything else in the natural bag of tricks.

I wrapped a blanket around myself and dozed off.  Turns out that the nurse had told Dr. L that the Pitocin didn’t get the labor into a regular pattern until around four (it was turned on at three), so there’d be no point in her checking me until five.  Then Dr. L had more deliveries and forgot about me again; it wasn’t until six that she remembered me and sent in the nurse to check my dilation.  I could see that the nurse was just as nervous as me when she checked…relief spread across her face when she announced that I was at a seven.

Seven!

I dozed off again and woke up when my nurse told me goodbye and good luck.  New nurse came in, wasn’t very friendly, but I didn’t mind as I had more napping to get to.  Plus I was feeling a little uncomfortable in the pelvis.  I thought maybe the yoohoo rod was weirdly positioned.  I woke up less than an hour later, at eight, to the nurse pulling the blanket off me to do a cervical check.  Would it be so hard to wake a lady first?  Was she planning on still checking me if I had slept through the de-blanketing?  I was half-asleep when she said I was at a ten, then Dr. L came in and checked for herself.  “No cervix,” she said, surprised.  “She’s complete.”

No cervix!  Ten!  Complete!  It wasn’t the yoohoo rod I was feeling, it was Teagan’s head!

Dr. L disappeared and returned with a bald guy with glasses.  Dr. P was the back up doctor on call, she explained.  Given the night of a thousand babies, she was exhausted and going to hand me over to a fresh set of hands and eyes.  Honestly, she didn’t seem too sad to say goodbye to the lady who kept saying no.  Sorry, Dr. L!  You really are a nice person!

I instantly liked and trusted our new doctor.  He was friendly, but direct, making a point to make eye contact with me (not the nurse, floor, monitor or my poon) when he talked.  When he looked at the fetal heart-rate strip, he said,  “there are some small decels with each contraction, but that’s completely normal at this point.  And there’s good variability in between contractions, which shows us that she’s doing well.”  He told us he’d be back when the pushing got to the good part and left.  I let the nurse help my legs into the stirrups and explain “how” to push to me.  I’d been dreaming for two years of mother-directed pushing, preferably in some awesomely tribal position, like a deep squat or standing on my head or something.  But given the epidural, the leg holsters and the counting was going to have to do.  My doulas reminded me to curl up off the bed and tuck my chin to my chest.

I was so excited.  My little girl and my VBAC were so close.

I pushed once, and then I heard the nurse tell someone to get Dr. P.  I was rolled onto my left side and someone handed me an oxygen mask, telling me to breathe into it.  Josh’s face was pale.  Confused, I looked to my doulas, who offered me small smiles and took my hands.  But I could tell something was really wrong.  None of the nurses gave any explanation or even looked at me–it took Dr. P, who assessed the situation in seconds, to explain what was happening to my baby.

Her heart rate, perfect for the eighteen hours it’d been monitored, plummeted while I pushed.  I don’t mean dropped into a borderline area; it got so low that there was a long pause in between each beat, and I could almost hear Josh and the doulas holding their breath.  And instead of shooting back up to normal after the contraction ended, it took two or three minutes to slowly recover.

“She has to come out now,” Dr. P said.  He was calm, but he spoke quickly, efficiently.  “We can go straight to a c-section or I can try forceps…she’s just low enough.”  Without me having to ask, he proceeded to explain the risks of a forceps delivery…risks of severe tearing, injury to baby, etc.

I looked over to my left side, still breathing into the oxygen mask, try to find the answer in Josh and the doulas’ faces.  “What is your experience with forceps?” one of the doulas asked.  It was the right question, the one I couldn’t think of to ask, but needed to hear the answer to.

“I’ve done many deliveries with forceps,” he replied.  “I’ve only had one negative outcome–an instance of facial palsy in the infant–and it resolved itself in a few months.  I will tell you that I won’t be aggressive with the forceps.  If she doesn’t come out easily with them, then I won’t try to force it.”  That was exactly what I wanted to hear: he had experience and skill with the instrument, but wisdom also.  I didn’t want him to try and force it if she wasn’t coming out.

He inserted the forceps and I pushed with the next contraction.  I remember Josh holding my hand and trying not to cry; I closed my eyes to concentrate.  Her heart-rate dropped again, even further, and Dr. P asked if we wanted to do a cesarean now or give it one more try.  But he made it clear that it would be inadvisable to try much longer.  I agreed.  Her heart-rate still hadn’t completely recovered by the next contraction, and by that time, Dr. P had quietly called anesthesia and the NICU team down.  We tried one more time: I pushed as he pulled, and Teagan wasn’t budging.  Josh told me later that this last push sent her heart-rate down into the fifties.

“She’s not coming out,” Dr. P said.  “We need to do a c-section.”

I nodded, and swung my legs out of the stirrups (pretty impressive for a woman with an epidural, eh?  That’s the urgency I was feeling.)  Hurry, hurry, hurry, I wanted to tell them.  Hurry up.  They didn’t need my encouragement–they were racing, gowns flying on, pushing the bed as quickly as it would go to the OR.  Once we were there, Dr. P asked a nurse to hold a monitor to my belly so he could hear Teagan’s heartbeat while everything was getting ready (he was ready to go within a minute or two of me being wheeled in, but it took eight minutes for the anesthesiologist to top off my epidural.)  I could hear how agonizingly slow her heart was beating.

Hurry, hurry, hurry.  I sucked as much plastic-y smelling oxygen as I could through the mask, hoping to hear the thumps grow closer together.  They didn’t.

At 9:14 a.m., they pulled her out.  I heard Dr. P say, “Meconium, lots of meconium,” to the NICU team, then ask if they wanted him to suction her airways.  They said no, and ran her over to the warmer, which I couldn’t see.  They deliberately delayed her crying so she wouldn’t aspirate the meconium; the NICU nurse later told me that she had never suctioned that much meconium out of a baby before.  All I knew at that point was that I couldn’t hear her cry, she wasn’t crying at all, and the NICU team was speaking in low, terse tones.  It was several minutes before I finally heard her whimper.  I sucked in a relieved breath and started to cry.  They showed her to me and let me touch her cheek before they whisked her upstairs in the isolette.  I started to cry harder.

The rest of the c-section sucked.  I was desperate with worry and nauseous and alone (Josh followed Teagan up to the NICU.)  At Noah’s birth, my nurse continually talked to me and Dr. Curry posted me on what was going on.  Here, I was virtually ignored.  I had an immediate itching reaction to the morphine, so they dosed me up with Benadryl.  I was a zombie in recovery.  With the nurse pecking irritated pecks at the keyboard next to my bed, I fell asleep.

Before I went to the post-partum rooms, Dr. P stopped by to explain what he’d found when he’d opened up my womb: no fluid and one of the most severe cases of meconium he’d seen in a long time.  And the reason she wasn’t moving down the canal, even with forceps?  She was occiput posterior, which in and of itself isn’t such a big deal, but with both arms up by her head.

It was a few hours before I finally got to hold my baby.  They moved me to post-partum, and then I was kind of lost in the shuffle, before the nurse managed to get in to me and get me to the NICU.  They had to wheel my bed up since I wasn’t allowed to move to a wheelchair yet.  I remember rounding the corner to her booth and starting to cry again (I cried a lot that day), happy to know that she was safe and pained to know that she had spent the last three hours wanting mama and mama wasn’t there to hold her and nurse her.  She spent seven days total in the NICU, and even though I got to board in the hospital until she left, even though I got to sit by her bedside as much as I wanted, it wasn’t the same.  As soon as we got home, we spent our time cuddling skin to skin, co-sleeping and breast-feeding on demand.

And we’ve been making up for lost time ever since.

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8 Responses

  1. Awesome story! I teared up at the end thinking of your worry as they hurried to get her out (and your time away from her). I am so glad for all the c-sections keeping the doctor from you (in my head, YAY! through those parts). Congratulations and soak up all those precious baby moments! My littlest turned one last week and I’m teary-eyed that that part of life is over in our house now…

    • I am already grieving the fact that Teagan is growing so fast, too! And I think all c-section mamas can relate to the sadness of missing out on those first slimy baby snuggles. That, coupled with fear, made for a super-crappy surgery. That’s the last time I do that!

  2. God bless u and your precious baby. Thank you for sharing your story. I just had a c-section after an attempted vbac and now I think sharing my story may be healing for me. The important thing for us to remember is that we were blessed to end up with Gods greatest gift,a baby, to bring home and raise. Thanks again, enjoy your family!

    • Becky, CBACs are absolutely difficult to cope with, especially if you put a lot of prayers and planning into the VBAC attempt. You’re totally right that God has given us a miracle regardless, and a gift–Teagan reminds me that the world of motherhood is so much larger than birth. Birth is crucial, but if it ends up being less than perfect, there is a myriad of ways that we can make up for what we missed. Namely, lots of kisses and cuddles.

  3. Bethany, I’ve actually been thinking about you a lot for the past month.

    Thank you so, so much for sharing your story. Your honesty, your humor, your grace, your strength–they all shine through so beautifully here.

    For what it’s worth, I think that your birth story will be a gift to many, many women. To moms who have needed interventions they hadn’t planned on, to moms who have had babies in the NICU, to moms who have had CBACs, and even to moms who are still in the birth-planning stages. And I truly believe that’s because you have given the *perfect* example of what it means to be an informed birthing woman who is empowered yet also humble in the face of the unpredictability of birth.

    Wishing you and Teagan many more snuggles and kisses!

    • Thanks for keeping me in your thoughts–I thought I felt some good ju-ju coming from Ohio 🙂

      It means a lot to have you say that Teagan’s story is helpful, because part of me feels like it a) doesn’t muster to natural childbirth standards, given all the interventions and b) adds to the pervasive view that childbirth is this scary (and painful) event meant only to happen in hospitals. I keep wanting to add disclaimers like “True fetal distress is really rare!” and “Don’t agree to an induction unless you know it’s truly necessary!” But one reason I do want people to hear about it is that, despite it being a CBAC, I feel truly happy and at peace with all the decisions I made. No regrets, no what ifs. And if I couldn’t have a VBAC, I at least have that.

  4. Bethany, I found your post from BirthingBeautifulIdeas– and thank you so much for sharing your story! I’m so sorry that the birth was so scary, and that it didn’t go as you had hoped and planned, but you made the very best decisions for you in that unique situation. I am so glad to hear that Teagan is doing better now!! You are so strong!! HUGS!
    -Kelly
    p.s. I’d love to share your story with a CBAC momma friend of mine in our ICAN chapter.

    • Thank you for your support! Please share with anyone you’d like–I’ve already shared with all my ICAN sisters here in the Kansas City chapter. It was scary, but I’ve found that sharing my story (and having my doulas to rehash everything with) has really helped release a lot of my complex feelings about the birth. It’s like cleaning a wound or setting a bone: it hurts a lot at first, but it’s for the best in the end.

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