The Power of Trust: The VBAC Birth Story of Evangélina

| 4/23/2012 11:34:15 AM

I am 29 weeks into my pregnancy with my third child. We are planning a homebirth with the midwives at Riverside Midwifery, who delivered my daughter in our home almost 2 years ago. My homebirth with my daughter was healing in so many ways. After many unnecessary interventions that lead to the cesarean birth of my son, I spent years researching and helping women to take ownership of their births. I will be documenting the rest of my pregnancy as I prepare my body, my family and our home to welcome another soul earthside. I felt it was very important for me to write the birth stories of my first two children. The birth story of my son Baylin can be read here:  Baylin's Gift- A Birth Story . The following is the story of my VBAC (Vaginal Birth After Cesarean) homebirth with my daughter Evangélina.  

Dear Evangélina,
It has taken me a year and a half to write our birthing story. I couldn’t write it because it was ours and I wanted to keep it with us and savor every memory.  I’m still amazed each and every day at the entire experience. I look at your sweet face and can’t believe that you are here, and how you came to us on October 6, 2010 was peaceful and nothing short of amazing. Welcome Evangelina, you have given me more than you will ever know.  

 Birth Story of Evangélina Antoinette  

 October 6, 2010, at 11:04 am I said the three words I waited over four and a half years to say. I looked in to my newborn daughter’s eyes and said “I DID IT.”… 

My pregnancy with Evangélina was easy and I spent 9 months reading everything I could get my hands on about homebirth and VBAC’s. I had prenatal care with the most amazing homebirth Midwife who never treated me like I was a “VBAC case”. I was a woman, who was pregnant, and healthy, and unless something proved that otherwise she would treat me no differently. Sometimes I would actually forget that I was planning a VBAC. She made me feel like I could do this, and that I have been doing this for ages, and to trust my body even during the gestation process. The empowerment she gave back to me during my pregnancy gave me strength during labor and delivery. I am forever grateful for the care she gave me.  

On October 5, 2010, I was 41 weeks and ready to meet our daughter. I was very anxious and excited at the thought that at any minute my body would be starting labor, on its own! That evening my mother took me to a local diner in our small town for a mother/daughter dinner. During dinner I started having some light contractions. This was no different than the nightly contractions I was having every night for almost two weeks, and by this point I just ignored them and didn’t get excited. I learned to welcome these contractions as a way to practice focusing and relaxing. It was also a beautiful way of my body reminding me “You CAN do this, because we ARE doing this”. My body worked. 

Clément had been battling a cold for a few days and wanted to go to bed early. I thought this was a great idea for the both of us since I knew labor could start at any moment, it was probably best that we got as much sleep as we could. The contractions from dinner hadn’t stopped and I couldn’t fall asleep so I decided that I would lay down and put on my pregnancy visualization cd to help soothe me. At about 10pm my contractions were feeling a little stronger than I was used to. I laid there and timed them at about 5 to 6 minutes apart.  I rested for another hour as the contractions grew stronger. I went downstairs to the kitchen, not wanting to wake Clément because I was still in denial that I was actually in labor at this point. I started walking back up the stairs when my water broke. It was more of a small gush, but in that moment there was no denying that this was it…I WAS in labor. I had been waiting for this moment for weeks! 

Janelle Thietje Dunn
4/25/2012 1:49:29 PM

Thank you for this beautifully written birth story. I am expecting my 6th child, he/she will be my 3rd VBAC delivery and tears ran down my face as I read this.

4/25/2012 2:24:01 AM

An eloquent description of your journey. Thanks for sharing....A couple of facetious thoughts about childbirth: if it's "natural childbirth," why do you have take lessons?...childbirth is one of the few creative processes that can be accomplished by totally unskilled labor. ;-)... but seriously: the medical literature shows that the complication rate in midwife assisted childbirth is slightly better than in MD assisted births. I'll bet the personal satisfaction factor for mom is much better, too...As a med student observing labor/delivery, the OBs always gave me the impression that they thought they themselves were the stars of the process, not the mothers.

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