Today’s post is about experiencing HBAC after birth trauma. Let’s dive deep into detail.

My first child was born in a hospital. After 35 hours of natural labor, the hospital began browbeating me into interventions that I did not want because they did not know how to handle a posterior arrest.

After 4 hours of pushing, I was pushed into a c-section that I did not want. I felt it. The whole thing. They did nothing about it.

I thought I knew enough about birth to have the natural birth I wanted in a hospital, but I realized that it doesn’t matter how much you know, when you’re that vulnerable, they can do almost anything.

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When we conceived our 2nd child I knew we had to have a home birth. Every one, though we were insane for wanting a VBAC at home and said things like “don’t you always have to have c-sections now?” but we knew better. We went to the midwife that many of our friends use and recommend. She had an apprentice and a doula in training, so we got a whole team!

Prenatal care was amazing. I hemorrhaged at 13 weeks and my midwife was there within hours (middle of the night) to access the situation.

We found a heartbeat! She began testing me for anything and everything that could be wrong. She had me get an ultrasound. I was diagnosed with a subchorionic hematoma. 

She discovered something most doctors would not have even tested for – my progesterone was too low to sustain a pregnancy….yet I was still pregnant. My midwife teamed up with a natural pharmacy and a natural fertility specialist.

After a weeks-long process of trying different types of progesterone, testing blood, and discovering that my baby should not have still been alive but was, I ended up on weekly injections of a large dose of progesterone, as well as a large dose of suppository progesterone.

Amazingly, my baby survived the whole thing. I started to dilate at 19 weeks and my midwife upped my progesterone. It worked. Things went pretty smooth until 33 weeks when we had to stop pre-term labor.

Again at 35 weeks. We ran out of money for progesterone at 35.5 weeks and prayed and decided to stay off of it. All of us guessed that I would deliver within a week. To all of our amazement, I carried my baby 40 weeks plus 2 days!

Labor was amazing. I spent the whole time in the water. My midwife and team were awesome, they even made me quiche! What a difference being at home makes!

After about 11 hours I hit transition. This was the first time I went through transition without pain meds. I cried a lot and my midwife decided to check me for the first time, to see what my dilation was. She encouraged me through the transition.

12 hrs in I felt like pushing. Yay! So I pushed..and pushed…and pushed. My time frames are blurry at this point, but after a long time, she discovered a cervical lip.

I was getting frantic and exhausted. She had to physically hold it back for a long time for me to get past it.

After that, we discovered that for some reason I had some really solid poop that was preventing my daughter from coming all the way down. She had to help me with that too. I pushed and pushed and pushed.

Still only plus 3…hours into pushing. She then discovered that my daughter was a brow presentation. My midwife had to put her whole hand up and tuck my daughter’s chin into her chest. I progressed a little. Then my daughter went back to brow presentation.

As if it wasn’t the worst pain the first time, she had to do it again – tuck my daughter’s chin into her chest. In one push – CROWNING!

By this point, I had been pushing for over 6 hours. I gave up a lot. My team helped me through. My perineum was so swollen that I begged for an episiotomy…I know, silly me.

She did not want to do it at all so she kept trying to help it stretch, and encouraging me. I got to my breaking point and knew that if the baby did not come out NOW that I would not be able to continue..I was already mostly unconscious between each contraction.

She gave in and did it. All the memories of feeling my c-section came flooding back when she cut me. She had to cut me 3 times because I was so swollen. Immediately, my daughter came out with 1 push and it was over.

7 hours of pushing (although she says 4 hours of pushing and 3 hrs of screaming), 19 hours total, and I got what I had always dreamed of – having my baby put up on my chest, by my husband, my oldest child next to us smiling, and no one trying to take her away or do anything to her…just happy rest.

We got cleaned up, delivered the placenta, and took an herb bath together. Ahhhhhh.

God and my midwife are responsible for the fact that my daughter is alive and healthy.

No OB that I can think of would have tested my progesterone levels or anything else that my midwife tested for. I would have miscarried had it not been for her skill. She was amazing, thinking of everything that could be wrong and not stopping until we knew.

She handled all of my snags in pushing very well. With the brow presentation – a doctor would have taken me to a c-section…but my midwife knew what to do and got us through it. Having a child at home was amazing, even with the issues I had.

Ohanna Rose Tchil Zhazhe’ [last name not given] was born July 20, 2010 at 9:14 pm, 9 lbs 1 oz, happy and mostly healthy. Ohanna is Hebrew for God is gracious. Praise the Lord, he is definitely gracious.