Claire is a few weeks old and I have been enjoying all of the newborn snuggles. Lauren has been rocking her new role as a big sister. Today I wanted to share Claire’s birth story and a little about my “failed” vaginal birth after a C-section.
I learned a really important lesson both personally and professionally going through this experience. Even before we found out we were pregnant with our second, I knew that I wanted to try for a VBAC with our next birth. A VBAC is just a vaginal birth after c-section. It’s also sometimes referred to as TOLAC, or trial of labor after c-section. My firstborn was born via Cesarean after almost 40 hours of labor, and I did not want to have that same experience again.
Almost immediately after having Lauren I knew I wanted to try for a VBAC with our next baby. So when we found out last August that we were pregnant, I immediately started preparing for a VBAC. I did all the things: I downloaded apps, I listened to affirmations and meditations almost every single day (sometimes multiple times a day), trying to mentally prepare for my VBAC.
I did lots of research on baby positioning and how to avoid a sunny side up baby; I saw a physical therapist and chiropractor regularly, I listened to tons of different podcasts about VBACs; I did stretches and exercises that were recommended to help with birth, and I even hired a doula who specialized in VBACs. I felt like I did everything I could. I was totally mentally and physically ready to have my VBAC.
I also thought that Claire was going to come before her due date. I just had this instinct that she was going to be early. I went into labor at home on my own with Lauren, just two days after her due date, so when Claire’s due date came and went, I was totally shocked.
Once her due date came, I started getting really anxious because if she didn’t come by 41 weeks, I was told that I was going to need to have a planned c-section. Knowing this, the weeks leading up to Claire’s due date, I was doing everything to try to get things going.
I was walking two to three miles per day, doing squats and lunges to try to move her down, I was eating spicy foods, trying my best to relax; I even tried breast stimulation and had my membrane sweep multiple times by my doctors. Still, this girl did not want to come out.
So at 41 weeks, the day before my scheduled c-section, we got everything ready to go to the hospital the next morning. The day before the scheduled c-section, I was actually calmer than I had been in weeks because we knew tomorrow would be the day.
To be honest, I was also very sad, because I wasn’t going to be able to try for a VBAC, and I had spent the last 10 months preparing for it. Originally, my doctors had told me that induction was not an option for me because I was trying to VBAC. It was even hard finding a group in my area that would let me try to VBAC because my pregnancies were so close together.
On the morning of May 10th, we headed to the hospital for my scheduled C-section. When we got there, I decided to ask one more time if the C-section was our only option. To my surprise, my doctor agreed to induce me. They broke my water to help get things going, but after a few hours my contractions still weren’t very strong, so I was started on a small dose of Pitocin. I was super excited because things were going well; my contractions were strong and regular; everything seemed good.
Then everything started happening exactly like my first daughter’s birth. I ended up stalling for almost six hours, my cervix started swelling, the strength of my contractions dwindled; I ended up starting to have the exact same labor experience as I had with my first. It was the next morning by this time, and we were at the point where we needed to make a decision.
The doctor gave me a choice. We could keep going and increase my Pitocin, or we could move forward with a C-section. I was torn because I really wanted a vaginal birth, but I also didn’t want the same experience that I had with Lauren’s birth. With Lauren, I was in labor for over 40 hours before I had my C-section. When she was born, I was completely exhausted and totally out of it. I barely remember seeing her in our room when she was born, or even right after in recovery. That’s really what drove my decision for Claire’s birth. I wanted to be present and to remember her birth. That was the ultimate goal.
So that’s why, on the morning of May 11, which happened to be my 33rd birthday too, I made the decision to have another c-section. At that point, I felt like I had truly tried everything. I feel like it just was not meant to be. I wasn’t completely exhausted yet, so I knew that I would be able to have the C-section experience that I wanted. I had a plan for a gentle c-section and my doctor was totally on board with all of my wishes.
Although that was my “failed” VBAC, I had an amazing c-section experience, both during the surgery and with my recovery. Even though my plan for a VBAC didn’t work, I still got my ultimate goal. It was a really good lesson for me because I think especially as business owners, and even in our personal lives, sometimes we get so wrapped up in the plan and making the plan work.
We’ve put so much effort into it that we actually end up losing sight of the ultimate goal for that plan. We’re too afraid to deviate from our plan, even though there might be an easier path to our goal, because of all of the effort that we’ve already put in.
So as the quote goes, “If the plan doesn’t work, change the plan, not the goal,” and that’s exactly what I had to do in order to reach my ultimate goal, to have a birth experience that was very positive, and that I felt like my voice was being heard.
If you’re working on something, and the plan isn’t working, don’t be afraid to change it. Don’t change your goal, just change your plan. If you have a goal, but your current plan to get there isn’t working, make sure to check out my free trainings. Whether you want to start your online business, scale your services, or turn your skill into a passive income product, I am here to help!
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