Vaginal Birth After Cesarean (VBAC)

The secret to having a VBAC is not easy and it’s not popular.

Patience. Even VBAC babies can come at 41 or 42 weeks.
Patience. Labor might last many hours. Prepare for a marathon, not a sprint.
Patience. Pushing a baby out for the first time can take HOURS. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

Early labor – IGNORE. Don’t count contractions. Don’t TELL anyone.

Established labor – DISTRACT yourself. Go for a walk. Take your kids to a park. Bake cookies. Watch a movie – preferably a comedy – laughing is good medicine. Don’t TELL anyone. Not even your Due Date group on Facebook. Women Stories are powerful magic and can screw with your head. One secret is to pretend your life depends on you hiding your contractions from everyone around you.

Breathe normally. Keep your face relaxed. Keep your hands relaxed.
When you can no longer act normally during a contraction – even if your game was real and you would die if someone found out you were in labor – that is when you should SURRENDER.

Count several contractions to see the pattern. Call your birth support provider (midwife, doctor, hospital, doula, etc)

Get into a safe and comfortable place and position (bath or birth tub, bed, dark, quiet or music of your choice, no talking unless you initiate it, etc.
Birth ZONE – it is imperative that you be allowed to float in this limbo of the birth zone. Tell your partner and any other birth support people that they shouldn’t ask you questions.

Breathe as naturally as you can, deeply – in through your nose and out through your mouth slowly to a count of 10.

You may spontaneously make sounds. Keep them low – from your chest, not your throat but if you are breathing clearly, openly, deeply, smoothly you will not make much noise if any. THIS IS IMPORTANT. You may have to blow your breath out forcefully (but slowly) to accomplish this.
Sound is a restriction of air in the throat. Keep the air moving, reduce the sound, do not speak during a contraction, do not try to escape the contraction…

Ride the wave – rising. Ride the wave – floating. Ride the wave – sinking.
Keep your face relaxed. Keep your hands relaxed. Keep your feet relaxed.
VBACs are hard. You have been conditioned to be rescued. Successful VBACs I’ve seen are when the women is left alone. When no one offers her sympathy. When no one offers her drugs. When no one is frightened around her.

VBACs are tough love, the toughest. But they are NOT more dangerous than surgery.

You are so strong and powerful. Pain is not your enemy – welcome the pain. You can do this.

You can.

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