Editor’s Note: This essay is a submission from a reader and is intended for information purposes only. It does not substitute a doctor. It is vital to consult a medically trained professional for advice that suits your needs.
I gave birth to my firstborn in 2018. I was hoping for a vaginal birth. I was exercising regularly — nag-Yoga and Zumba pa ako weeks before my due date.
Unfortunately, my baby’s heart rate started dropping. He (or she) was delivered via emergency CS due to a cord coil. I also lost a lot of blood and received two blood transfusions.
Fast forward to 2020, when I became pregnant with my second child. My first thought was “Kaya ko kaya mag-normal delivery this time?” Even though everyone was telling me na once na CS ka, it will be cesarean for subsequent pregnancies.
So I did my research to look for an obstetrician specializing in vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC). Fortunately, through recommendations seen on a Facebook group, I found a doctor who guided me all throughout my pregnancy to deliver via VBAC.
I wanted to push for it because I wanted a short recovery period, which you cannot have with a cesarean. I had my firstborn in mind. If my second baby was a CS delivery, I wouldn’t be able to play with her, carry her, etc.
I went through medical history with my OB, and I asked if I needed to reserve bags of blood because of my first childbirth. My OB said no need because kapag nagpapa-VBAC ako, it’s unmedicated.
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My eyes widened and asked, “Unmedicated?!” She replied complications are less likely to happen if it is an unmedicated delivery.
On the way home, I was already having doubts about pushing through with unmedicated VBAC. But with my eldest daughter in mind and the support and encouragement of my OB, I decided VBAC it is!
I was advised by my OB to monitor my weight. When I entered my second trimester, I started doing prenatal workouts, prenatal yoga, and pilates at least twice a week and started eating healthy. It really paid off.
(Editor’s note: Excessive weight gain during pregnancy and if the baby is large make VBAC risky, according to doctors.)
Being amid a pandemic, I also started working out double time when I received my swab test results which were only valid for two weeks. My swab test results were due to expire on November 2, 2020, so I was advised to get tested again on November 1 to be ready.
At about 11 p.m. on November 2, my water broke. Then, I was in labor for 20 hours. I was dealing with constant contractions with increasing intensity. It took forever hitting that 10 cm mark.
Having normal spontaneous delivery brought inexplicable pain, and there were times I felt like giving up. Not to mention, there was no single familiar face in the labor and delivery room except my OB, whom I haven’t even seen without a mask or heavy PPE until this day.
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In the end, though, my VBAC experience was the most rewarding feeling EVER. With prayers, strength, and words of encouragement from my loved ones, I followed my birth plan and delivered my baby safely.
I hope this can serve as an inspiration for those mommas out there who don’t think it’s possible.