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It’s possible to have an amazing VBAC

Birth Stories

by Paola Piccinno

So, this is a message to all the women who are aiming for a VBAC: it is possible!! I am 40 years old now and NOT all the doctors I met at the hospital during my pregnancy were NOT confident I could do it, but I was, all the way. I trusted my body, my doula, my strength ad my baby. 

Just over a month ago I gave birth to my second baby with a dream birth, which I would like to share with you. After an emergency C-section 3 years ago with my daughter, a natural VBAC was all I wanted for my second pregnancy. Just for background, I had prepared for a natural birth that time 3 years ago too with Calmbirth, pre-natal yoga, acupuncture etc…, but things just didn’t work out so I had to be induced at nearly 42 weeks and then it ended up in an emergency caesarian after 6 hours of induced labour, during which she somehow moved posterior.

And thanks to a lot of determination, thanks to my amazing doula (who’s also a Calmbirth practitioner), thanks to the support of my partner and to the learnings from my Calmbirth workshops (from 3 years ago as well as from this time around) I did it! 

I gave birth to a beautiful baby boy (a big surprise!) on Sunday the 10rh of March at 7.18am after 6 hours of active labour. Pre-labour had started 2 days prior, but I was simply breathing through my contractions whilst at the park, out with friends… and I kept doing my pre-natal yoga as well as my spinning baby exercises… and I just let my body relax. My doula says it was a quick labour and that I seemed very calm from the outside.

I remember just slowly breathing in and out, constantly ‘dancing’ to our music, at times singing loud and talking to my baby. Contractions came sudden and strong less than 3 mins apart shortly after I had put my daughter to sleep (of course!) and only a couple of hours later we went to the hospital as my doula advised I was already pretty advanced. Once at the hospital, having my doula with me always next to me (or more behind, rubbing my lower back!) who also knew Calmbirth techniques massively helped! I don’t think I could have achieved what I achieved without her.  I went from 6 cm to full dilation in just over one hour and I pushed my baby out in 35 mins with almost no tearing. I was just given a few superficial stitches. My labour was very ‘active’, I moved around, sat on the ball, took a warm shower, danced as said. anything but staying still. That + breathing + my doula rubbing my back + my boyfriend giving me sips of coconut water and water in between contractions worked perfectly for me.

No drugs and no intervention at any point!! I did it all by myself!! And of course, as I said, all the support people helped a lot, it truly was a team effort, even though I was the one having to breath through the contractions. 

What a great great experience! I didn’t even take syntocinon to get the placenta out! And the midwife kept the cord attached for a long time and they did all the things that I had written down in my birth plan. It was just a dream. 

I feel so proud of my body.

So, this is a message to all the women who are aiming for a VBAC: it is possible!! I am 40 years old now and NOT all the doctors I met at the hospital during my pregnancy were NOT confident I could do it, but I was, all the way. I trusted my body, my doula, my strength ad my baby.

I introduce you to our son, Gael Westerduin, who’s healthy, happy, very chilled and breastfeeding so well, just like his big sister!

Thanks for existing Calmbirth.

Love, Paola

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