A VBAC after 2 caesareans? Where on earth would I find a professional, informed, supportive environment to guide me through this journey?
I was fortunate enough to discover an amazing place called Midwives and Mothers Australia (MAMA). Here is how my journey began…
I had my first baby in 2013 in Port Hedland, Western Australia via caesarean birth due to “failure to progress”. After 3 days of no sleep and remaining on 7cm dilation for hours (no failure there if you ask me), my son was introduced to me via caesarean birth. A birth experience that was long and traumatic.
In 2015, I welcomed my daughter into the world in Sydney, also by caesarean birth for similar reasons – this time arriving at 10cm dilation with another long labour with very slow progress.
Although I had another caesarean, I felt very different about this second birth experience. This time I employed my own independent home birth midwife, Jo Hunter who gave me personal, one on one midwifery care and worked with me on making informed choices around my pregnancy, labour and birth. I also employed my own doula, Lynda Taylor who also gave me one on one care and was amazing at helping me process the trauma of my first birth.
I felt like I truly owned this birth experience and although I didn’t have the vaginal birth I was aiming for, I knew that I owned this birth and had the right support on my journey which gave me so much more peace and joy than my first experience.
My third baby is what led me to MAMA in Melbourne in 2016. I was pregnant when my family moved to Melbourne and it was my Sydney midwife who recommended I get in touch with Jan Ireland of MAMA services. And that’s when I first fell in love with MAMA and all it had to offer.
Jan was my main midwife who cared for me but I experienced the professional care and support of all the midwives at MAMA and it’s so easy for me to say that they are truly amazing.
Jan not only cared for my physical well-being, but my emotional. She helped me process the experiences of my previous births and how this may be shaping my third birth experience. Jan worked with me alongside the Women’s Hospital in Parkville on my journey.
I would wait at least an hour for my hospital appointments and they would be about 5-10mins duration.
Conversely, I would wait 5-10mins (if that!) for my MAMA appointments and they would last an hour in duration! We looked at my birth plan, my emotional state, my choices and what was right for me and my baby. I always left my appointments feeling satisfied, cared for and inspired.
Jan built me up. She empowered me. She helped me own my birth. She skillfully helped me process my anxieties as I was really unsure how I would feel if I “failed” at another attempt at a vaginal birth.
One obstetrician at my ante-natal appointment told me that “you have failed twice already. What makes you think you won’t fail again?” Needless to say, I was gobsmacked by these words.
Jan and MAMA midwives removed the word fail from my vocabulary.
MAMA supported me in my informed choice for a VBAC and I can truly say that without this personal, continuity of care, I don’t believe I would’ve achieved this successfully. Yes, I did have a vaginal birth after two caesareans.
Some women have said to me “you’re an inspiration” for trying for a VBAC2; but to me, I am just a mum like any other looking for the right support.
I honestly believe that this is the key to a positive birth experience (whether it’s a caesarean or vaginal). I sought out the right support for me. I had strong women behind me and with me on my journey. Jan was a phone call away, any hour of the day or night. She truly cared for me and I felt it.
I did loads of research before deciding for a VBAC. I studied Henci Goer’s extensive research on VBACs and it became clear to me the more I read, that I was making an informed choice about this birth.
Having my third baby come into the world via vaginal birth was a very empowering birth for me and it helped me regain trust in my body and what it is designed for. I felt blessed to have had this experience and it was like a dream come true for me. I had the amazing support of Jan at the hospital alongside the support by the amazing midwives and obstetrician at the hospital.
I am grateful for the medical professionals who helped deliver my two children via caesarean as I do believe that medical advancements like this are a true blessing to the world and the health of mothers and babies.
I am equally grateful for the midwives who work with mothers on a very deep and personal level helping them through this incredible journey of pregnancy and birth. I will never forget this experience at MAMA and the one thing I adore about this centre is that your care doesn’t end after the birth of your baby. They have so many services that nurture women like massage, acupuncture and Physiotherapy. My absolute favourite of course are the yoga classes and I’m thrilled to continue my connection with MAMA as a yoga teacher at the centre.
What an amazing place MAMA is! All I can say is thank you for all you do for mothers and their families. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
10 June 2017