My journey to Carter’s homebirth after cesarean (HBAC) began when my daughter Kaylee was born on September 1, 2011. I was induced at 38 weeks for pre-eclampsia with cytotec, pitocin, and an epidural which led to a cesarean section under general anesthesia. After her birth, I was determined to do things different the next time. I was needed to be the first person to see and hold my baby. I joined the Twin Cities chapter of ICAN (International Cesarean Awareness Network) and learned that I was not alone. That other women had traumatic births as well, but they went on to have beautiful vaginal births after their cesarean. This is when we decided that when we had another child, they would be born at home.
We spent a lot of time doing our research on natural birth, homebirth, birthing classes, midwives, and more! On October 31st, 2012, we found out we were expecting our second child. We went on the hunt for the perfect homebirth midwife, doula, and childbirth class. We quickly found our midwives and decided to use Hypnobabies for this birth. We couldn’t attend in person classes due to scheduling conflicts, but we were able to do the home study course. We went back and forth on hiring a doula. One thing I really regretted in my daughter’s birth was not hiring a doula. Even though I had 2 wonderful midwives attending my birth, I didn’t want to have any regrets this time, so we went ahead with finding a doula (we hired Lindsay McCoy) and are beyond thankful we did.
I spent my pregnancy preparing myself for this birth. I needed to make sure I did not get pre-eclampsia and I needed to stay healthy. I completely changed my outlook on pregnancy and birth. I ate healthy, stayed active, went to prenatal yoga, received chiropractic care, bodywork, and massage, did my daily spinning babies, listened to my Hypnobabies tracks and practiced my Hypnobabies techniques, read more birth books, attended ICAN meetings (and joined the board), met more homebirth families, and really took an active roll in preparing for this birth. I wasn’t going to let anything get in my way of having a successful HBAC!
Fast forward to July 2013. My guess date was July 13th, 2013. This day came and went with no baby. So did 41 weeks and 42 weeks! I was growing impatient, but my husband kept reassuring me that I would not be pregnant forever and that babies come when they are ready. Thankfully, my doula had gone to 43 weeks herself and assured me that I would go into my birthing time.
At 42 weeks we started trying all the old wives tales to get birthing started. This little guy must not have been ready, because none of them worked! At 42 weeks 4 days, we went in for a biophysical profile (BPP). This showed low fluid, but nothing my back up OB said was urgent. He encouraged us to keep trying to get birthing started and come back in 2 days for a follow up BPP and we would go from there. He was pretty confident that it would happen soon and was not concerned that I was nearing 43 weeks. We were very lucky to have fabulous, supportive midwives, and a wonderful back up OB!
Read the rest of Katie's healing HBAC birth story here