A natural birth after 5 c-sections may not be all that common, or easy, but it is possible. Here is my story of exactly that.
If you have read any number of my posts around here you might quickly come to the conclusion that I often find myself at odds with the mainstream.
Well, you would not be wrong. I usually am and for good reason.
Mainstream medicine will usually tell you, “you’re broken”, “you need medication”, and my favorite “there are no cures in medicine, it’s all about symptom management”. All said as they pull out a prescription pad to fill you up with drugs, but never once ask about lifestyle, stress, or even diet.
2020, So this year of all years, I did not want to have a baby in the hospital.
Coronavirus, hospital “precautions”, separating mothers from babies, laboring, birthing, and recovering with masks on. The never-ending horror stories.
No. Thank. You.
However my truth has always been, I HAVE to have c-sections. No not by choice, because it’s what the medical world says I must do.
So my conundrum, since natural birth after 5 c-sections, seemed nowhere near possible, what was I to do?
How did I get myself to 5 C-sections in my past anyways, you ask?
Well, it all started with too many Doctor “interventions”. You know the kind where inductions that end up in emergency C-sections.
Here is that story…
When I was pregnant with my first, my doctor wanted to induce me when I was 40 weeks and 3 days. In my naïve ways, I assumed the doctor really had my best interests at heart.
So while my body was not showing any signs yet labor my doctor did what many today do. My cervix was thinned, with synthetic medications. Then I was given Pitocin, and my water was broken. All with the intention of bringing on birth.
After hours of labor that was going nowhere, they decided the baby’s heart rate was too high, and then an emergency c-section was the option left.
Then when I was pregnant with 2 and 3 I was told there was no way I could have a natural birth, since I had a uterine scar (that would most likely rupture during birth). They say this even though there is research that shows a different story.
Then by child 4, I found a midwife who would absolutely support me having a natural birth, but as a Nurse Midwife, she had to have “permission” from a doctor, for that to happen. Needless to say, no doctor would give that permission. So under the knife the 4th time.
With child 5, after looking and failing to find any Certified Professional Midwives to take me on. I was settled on attempting to have an unassisted birth at home. Then after being scared by many horror stories of CPS getting involved when women attempt an unassisted and end up going to a hospital later. So under the knife for the 5th time I went.
Do you know the common thing almost every doctor told me during the c-section operation? “This baby is way too big, it would have never fit through your narrow pelvis”. As if for some reason my body was broken or malfunctioning to make babies in a size I could never naturally get out.
Thank goodness a highly paid doctor would be there to save me from my broken, large-baby-creating self, (said with a roll of the eyes).
My VBAC after 5 c-sections story
When I found out I was pregnant with number 6 I was worried. I avoided thinking or talking about my pregnancy, all while I was internally mulling over having no “options” again.
Then a friend who is a natural home birthing mother and doula called me, with interesting news.
She had been assisting a few home births with a midwife who said she would be open to the idea of taking me on. As a Certified Professional Midwife and not a Nurse Midwife, she did not need a doctor’s “permission”.
So after talking with this midwife, I was both ecstatic and in shock, that she was open to the idea and even excited to take me on.
So as birth time rolls ever so near, I spend a lot of time meditating, envisioning a successful birth, and listening to positive affirmations.
“Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve.”Napoleon Hill
Starting on a Monday night I began having contractions stronger than I had been but 2 hours apart. That continued all day Tuesday. By Tuesday night those contractions began getting closer and closer together, and that happened all night again.
By Wednesday at 5 am, I felt I should call the midwife, with contractions that were 15 minutes apart. The midwife verified I was in actual labor, and I labored all day.
Then by 11 pm, I began to doubt. Maybe the doctors were right. Why wasn’t there a baby yet? Maybe my babies were just never going to fit through my pelvis. Maybe my body was fundamentally broken.
But I kept on, plus my comfort in those hours was the birth pool, getting out to drive an hour to a hospital from my rural home didn’t sound like a better idea in my moments of pain.
Natural Homebirth Success
As the night rolled into the next day, midnight into 1 am then 2. All while the midwife kept a diligent eye on the baby’s heart rate, and assured me I was progressing.
Around 2:30 with lots of pushing going on, I knew things were actually closer. My exhaustion was maxed out. But we were so close.
Then at 3:02 my natural birth after 5 c-sections was officially a success. There was finally a baby. A baby boy.
With too much exhaustion for me to be in shock, the midwife’s first comment was how large he was. Which I thought was no big deal, since two of my kids were 9 pounds at birth.
After my first ever time getting to hold my own baby first at birth, the midwife took the baby’s vitals, weight, and so on. And do you know what? The baby weighed a full 10 pounds!
So a 7.5-pound baby, an 8-pound baby, an 8.5-pound baby, a 9-pound baby, and a 9 pound 2-ounce baby all wouldn’t fit through my narrow pelvis according to “the professionals”. Interestingly a 10-pound baby did!
Not everyone wants to attempt a VBAC or natural birth after 5 c-sections, or any number of c-sections, for that matter. The fact is that not all women feel safe or called to reclaim their births, and that’s ok. However, I know I was searching for positive success stories anywhere I could. Because attempting a VBAC is more about overcoming the fears in your own belief system that your body is “broken”, and much less about anything else.
That is what this post is all about encouraging those who feel drawn to a natural birth (previous c-sections and all) to believe in the power of the woman’s body. The one thing I learned was how strong my body really was, and how mother nature has had a handle on this whole ‘birth thing’ all along.
So If you dare to believe that you too could natural birth after a (or multiple) c-sections, go for it. Do your research, find your support system, believe in yourself, your body, and your decision. ♡♡♡
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Beth is a mother of 5 living on a handful of acres in an old farmhouse in central Kansas. Beth has a background in the military and health and fitness however her passions come from her homestead life. Beth is an enthusiastic homeschooling mom, avid organic gardener, chicken & goat wrangler, who is obsessed with herbs and natural remedies and maintaining an all-around Do-It-Yourself lifestyle. Beth loves to share all she has learned about and sustainable living. While striving for a healthy, natural life, family-centered life.