Health, Wellness, & Self Care,  Little Brother,  Motherhood,  Pregnancy & Birth

31 Days of Preparing for VBAC {An Introduction}

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I started preparing for VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean) pretty much from the moment I brought Ezra (my first child) home for the hospital. His birth was scary, traumatic, and disappointing. I knew that the next time, I wanted a vastly different experience.

I did a lot of research over the five years between his birth and Little Brother’s. I made a lot of lifestyle changes, including exercise and dietary changes. When we moved to NC in 2013, I picked a chiropractor certified in Webster technique in preparation to have an easier pregnancy and delivery. I researched birth options and doulas nearly two years before we conceived of Little Brother.

So when I finally saw that second pink line, there wasn’t much left to do. I set up my prenatal appointments, emailed the doula I had chosen (yes, that day), and set my focus on healthy diet and exercise.

Yet, there was still this part of me that wondered…how do I prepare?

When you look online for VBAC support and preparation, most of what you read can be summed up in the following advice:

  1. Find a supportive healthcare provider
  2. Hire a doula
  3. See a chiropractor regularly
  4. Eat healthy
  5. Exercise (preferably walking and yoga)
  6. Sort through emotions from your prior cesarean experience

The advice left me feeling unfulfilled. It was a checklist that I could already look at and say, “Check, check check…” (except for #6, to which my response was, “Yeah, but HOW?”)

What about ME? How do I prepare my heart and mind to do this? How do I expect success, while still being realistic enough that I’m not devastated again if this doesn’t work out?

Knowing my tendencies for perfectionism, I didn’t want to fall into a trap again where, “If I just do everything right, check all of the boxes, it will all work out.”

I wanted my pregnancy, labor, delivery, and postpartum experience to be more whole…regardless of the outcome.

I wanted to find spiritual and emotional healing through the experience.

And that’s exactly what happened. While I did not end up having a VBAC with Little Brother, I did have a very beautiful, respectful, and healing TOLAC (trial of labor after cesarean). The preparation and proactivity that I poured into his pregnancy and birth definitely made a difference in the experience for me.

While I know that this topic is not something that a good majority of my readers can benefit from, I feel that it still needs to be written and shared. So feel free to follow along, or share with a friend. If I can help just one woman find healing through her VBAC or TOLAC experience, it will be worth it.

One final note before I share the series contents:

I will not be discussing or comparing the risks of VBAC and elective repeat cesarean. My blog is not a place for debate. This series is not about VBAC being a “better” choice or to make anyone feel badly about a different choice. My two dearest friends are elective repeat cesarean moms. VBAC is only one choice. This is for the women who have already made the choice to try for VBAC. 

 

Introductory Content from the Archives

Ezra’s Birth Story {primary cesarean}

Reflections on the darker side of motherhood: my postpartum depression story

New Year, New Life {Little Brother’s pregnancy announcement}

11 Week Bumpdate

17 Weeks Bumpdate

21 Weeks Bumpdate

25 Weeks Bumpdate

31 Weeks Bumpdate!

35 Weeks Bumpdate! {and maternity photos}

38 Weeks Pregnancy Bumpdate

40 Weeks Pregnancy Bumpdate

Women of Courage: Aprille’s Brave Journey to VBAC

Little Brother is here! {and short-ish version of the birth story}

Series Contents

Day 1: 31 Days of Preparing for VBAC {An Introduction}

Day 2: Little Brother’s Birth Story {the long version with pictures and video}

Day 3: People you need on your VBAC support team

Day 4: How I chose my VBAC doula

Day 5: Preparing for birth when your husband has anxiety

Day 6: Preparing for VBAC with Our Birthing From Within Keepsake Journal

Day 7: My VBAC pregnancy and labor playlist

Day 8: Art Therapy Project: Magazine Scraps Birth Affirmations Collages

Day 9: Ultimate list of printable birth affirmations and scriptures

Day 10: Affirmations for ANY birth (even a c-section!)

Day 11: pending review

Day 12: Optimal fetal positioning: what does science have to say?

Day 13: VBAC-friendly resources for Triad Moms (Guess Post on Triad Moms on Main)

Day 14: Finding emotional healing from my primary c-section

Day 15: Fighting discouragement in pregnancy

Day 16: Balancing being proactive and being obsessive about your VBAC

Day 17: Relaxation apps and CDs to relax during pregnancy and prepare for birth

Day 18: Pregnancy Art Therapy Project: Affirmations Coloring Pages

Day 19: Art Therapy Project: Birth Affirmation Pillow Cases

Day 20: Preparing for VBAC: Processing your birth fears

Day 21: Facing your fears: planning for cesarean when you are preparing for VBAC

Day 22: Preparing for VBAC: Letting go in the 3rd trimester

Day 23: Little Brother’s Baby Shower and Momma Blessing Day

Day 24: Surviving prodromal labor

Day 25: The Best Laid Birth Plan (guest post by Jessica Hoover)

Day 26: VBAC Preparation and Life Long Lessons (guest post by Jaime Schrock)

Day 27: Cut, Stapled, and Mended: A Book Review

Day 28: pending review

Day 29: There’s no such thing as a “failed VBAC” ~ A letter to the CBAC mom

Day 30: Lessons learned from trying for VBAC

Day 31: No Matter What, I Believe: On Broken Faith and Healing Birth

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31 Days of Preparing for VBAC {An Introduction}

 

31 Days is an annual writing challenge and linkup hosted by Crystal Stine, “where bloggers pick one topic and write a post on that topic every day in October.” Learn more about 31 Days here! 

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