Saturday, April 2

Natalie's Hospital VBAC Story:

"This was MY story, MY body, and MY baby. I KNEW what I wanted."

Greetings. My name is Natalie Rose and I have been asked by the lovely Chelsea Robbins to share my birth stories with you. I have two amazing babies, Vaelyn Bella who just turned 3 and Moses Louis who is currently 11 weeks old. Towards the end of my pregnancy with my daughter, Vaelyn, I pretty much was avoiding the fact that I was going to have to actually give birth to her. I was terrified of labor, thus almost ignoring the chapters in my What to Expect book and pushing the thought of birth out of my mind. When I went into labor with her, I was lucky enough to have a close friend who was a labor and delivery nurse at the actual hospital where I would be giving birth, come over and stay with me until we felt it was time to go to the hospital. After about 24 hours of hard contractions every three or so minutes apart, my friend checked me, said I was almost dilated to a four and she felt we should go. When we got to the hospital, they checked me, and since I was not a four wanted to send me home. My friend said, “but I’ve been with her and I think she needs to be admitted”. So they admitted me and hooked me all up and started monitoring the baby. After a short time, a nurse came in and I said they weren’t liking how my daughter was looking on the monitor, and that her heart rate kept dropping significantly and they might have to do a c section. I was terrified, I never thought for half a second I would ever have to have a c section. Sure enough, a few minutes later my doctor came in and said, “I don’t like how your baby is looking, we need to get her out”. Scrubs were thrown at my husband, a swarm of medical people came in and before you knew it, I was behind a blue sheet, completely numb and completely afraid. Minutes later my daughter was born, received a breathing treatment, started crying and was finally given to my husband, who brought her over beside my head so I could see her.
She had swallowed meconium. I asked my friend who had been with us earlier if a c section was actually necessary because I had heard a lot of doctors were cutting corners and just giving them left and right. She assured me Vaelyn was in danger, and that if we hadn’t have gone in when we did and got admitted, she didn’t think Vae would have made it. This gave me some peace about the situation, although inside I felt confused, scared and angry. Partly it was my own fault, having not been completely prepared for any scenario that could have happened. But a lot of it was the lack of communication from the medical staff and the lack of compassion for me as a first-time mom. 

I should have asked more questions, I should have been more prepared, I should have been ready for any situation, but I should have been cared for for the scared and unsure first-time mother I was, and I wasn’t. I felt the two sentences that were said to me the whole time I was laboring, were not enough.

My recovery was awful, I was overweight, sore and in the worst pain I had ever been in. I couldn’t even laugh without feeling immense pain. I swore to myself and the world I would never get pregnant again. I had so much guilt and sadness, so much regret and just felt awful about myself. Despite all of that, it was about two years later that I felt like I wanted another baby, and I wanted one so bad, I didn’t care if I had to have another c section, I had gotten through it once and I could do it again. After all, Vae was the light of our lives, and worth every second of pain I endured both physically and emotionally, and I knew the second baby would be as well. We found out we were pregnant in May of 2010 and we were thrilled.
I knew the medical group I went through attempted VBACs, vaginal births after c section, and I was happy to have the option to chose what route I attempted, but I was still completely terrified. Not only was I still traumatized from my first experience, I was also confronted with the unknown that would be a vaginal birth. There are risks with VBACs, the worst that can happen is a uterine rupture in which case the mother and baby can both die (a 1-2% risk. That risk goes down even lower when the mother's labor is not induced with pitocin.) There were so many different people giving me different advice, and I felt insecure and afraid to make the wrong decision. I realized I was so afraid, I began freaking out about labor once again, and all I could do was think and worry about. I went to my friends for prayer and help, I cried and prayed and was so frustrated. Why was this such a big deal to me? Why are all my friends all around me giving birth left and right every which way like no big deal, and I’m such a damn mess?

It was a heart issue. I had guilt that I couldn’t and didn’t give birth to Vae the way “I was supposed to”. I had anger towards myself for not being more prepared and healthy for the labor, I had anger towards the cold and abrupt medical staff that handled my labor, I felt abandoned by God and felt like I was left out to dry, and I felt regret. I was disgusted with myself. After realizing all those things, I began getting somewhere. I realized that all of these feelings were only HINDERING me.
So I began researching. I read stories online, watched youtube videos, called my friends that had c sections and continued to have them, or had c sections and then VBACs. I asked a billion questions to every mom I knew, asked their opinions, and asked them to be praying for me. At this point I was desperate, I didn’t care how annoying or embarrassed I was, I was going to get to a place of peace about this labor no matter what.

There were times I felt like I was finally sure I wanted to attempt a VBAC, only to have my confidence shattered by a doctor who made it seem so impossible. There were times when I was like, I just can’t handle this anymore, I’m just going to schedule the damn c section and forget all about this shit. Then, one day I went to my appointment and my midwife said, let’s pull up your medical records and find out exactly what went wrong the first time, to get a better idea of if we should attempt a VBAC. She told me Vae’s cord was wrapped around her neck, that she was choking, and her heart rate was dropping because she couldn’t breathe and that’s probably why I wasn’t dilating and so on and so on. I was shocked! How could they not have told me that?! All this time I thought there was something wrong with ME, and really it was that? The cord was around her neck and she WAS dying, oh thanks for the heads up! I couldn’t believe they never told me! They left me in the dark!

This changed EVERYTHING!

What went wrong with Vae’s birth was completely unique to her and nothing to do with my body. I felt like I was supposed to give my next baby their own story. I felt like I was supposed to attempt a VBAC.

There was a rule at the medical group that I went to that if I didn’t go into labor by my due date, which was 1.11.11, they would do a c section on that date. It was kind of a relief for me, because if I didn’t go into labor by then, it was just meant to be and I’d have a c section and that would be that. As it got closer to my due date, I realized that I did not want a c section at all. I wanted to push this baby out more than anything else I had ever wanted.

Having said that, it’s time to talk about the FEAR that came along with that desire. I wanted to have this baby vaginally, absolutely, but I was still TERRIFIED. I felt afraid of the unknown, I felt worried, what if something crazy went down? What if I just couldn’t do it?

That’s when I got down to the nitty-gritty. I had to push my fearful thoughts aside, I had to think, this is what I want and what I feel is the best decision for me and my son. I started “training” just like I was about to run a marathon. I used my faith, my favorite music, the wisdom of my friends and family, and soaked the TRUTH out of everything I could. I worked out physically, mentally and emotionally. There was no room to mess around, no time to doubt myself, I took this upcoming event extremely seriously and would be damned if I let anything get me down. This was MY story, MY body, and MY baby. I knew what I wanted.

When I went into labor, I was at home and had had my membranes stripped that morning. I embraced the contractions, welcomed the pain, and spoke, out loud, the truth. What was the truth? You can do this, I want this, I want this, I can do this, I will do this, I want this labor, I want to push my baby out. These were truths for me and I had to know them in the deepest parts of my being. My c section was scheduled for Monday, it was Friday and I wasn’t going to be there Monday. I just wasn’t. There was also a peace in me, that if I did end up having a c section, then that was just what was supposed to be, but that I had done everything I could in my own power. I needed to know I had done everything I could to prepare for the decision I had made and journey I had in front of me. “The marathon” that was ahead of me. I felt trained and ready.

We got to the hospital around 5:30 pm, I was dilated to a four, I never even got that far with Vae! I walked around the hospital with my husband to get the labor moving even more. I was NOT going to be sent home, I was not going to lay in a bed and labor, I was going to have that baby. I looked into my husband’s eyes and did my best to focus and embrace the contractions. With my son’s heart rate staying solid the whole time, I dilated to 5, then 6, then 7, and so on. Every centimeter was a victory in itself. It was one step closer to my goal, and one step further then I had ever gotten before. I was ecstatic with every hint of progress I made. My nurse joked I was the happiest patient she had ever had. Finally, I got to ten, and when I found out I screamed, “I’m at a ten bitches!!!”. Yep, I was that excited. When it came time to push, I watched in a mirror as my son came out of my body. Oh the power I felt! I had done it! I had experienced VICTORY in every sense of the word! They placed him on my tummy right away, my little Moses, and I placed my hands on him and I was overwhelmed with happiness and contentment.
The big sister meeting her baby bro:
This is my story. 
If you have a similar, or even the same, journey and decisions ahead of you this is my advice to you…

What is the nudge you feel in your heart? What do you WANT to do, regardless of what other’s think? Because whatever it is, you CAN. Once you decide, embrace your decision. Believe that you can and WILL accomplish your desire. Have your husband or whoever will be by your side and your labor team/Dr. on your side, make sure they know what you’re wanting to accomplish. Tell them all of your hesitations and fears, that way when you're in pain and in the middle of whatever is going on, they can help you stay focused and make different decisions if they should arise. If you want to have a repeat c section, and that's just what you want, don't feel guilty about it. But if you want to try a natural birth and feel like you should, don't let fear or anxiety stop you. Deep down you know what you want to do, You know what you can handle and what you want your story to be. Hold tight to that little nudge in your heart and stand by it, because I think it is there for a reason and will probably be the healthiest decision for you and your baby.

If the odds are against you, like you want to attempt a VBAC and end up having another c section, you’ll know you listened to your body and did all you could do, and it just wasn't meant to be. You have to be ok with that too. If you do decide to go for a VBAC, I’d encourage you to take it very seriously. Research all you can, talk with your husband, friends and family about your fears, needs, concerns, things like that. Be in communication about it, being open and honest will give you such freedom, even if you feel dumb or annoying or like a broken record. What are things that help you feel better? Listening to music, watching movies, painting, reading, exercising? Do those things when you can and let them comfort you as you wait for the big day.

Do you have faith in any religion or believe in prayer? If so, read, pray, speak the truth you believe over yourself. Train like for a marathon, because that is what labor is and you want to be in the best shape, and I mean that more emotionally and mentally then physically. When you’re in labor, fight against the urge to clench up and reject the pain, and try to relax your muscles and welcome the pain. Remember what you want, focus on truths, and BELIEVE in yourself. Your story will be beautiful, it’ll be victorious, and it will be unique to you and your precious little baby.
Thank you for allowing me to share,


  1. Natalie, I just have to say, you are SUCH a friggin' rock star!

    I loved reading about how you prepared for your birth and how you "trained" for it. I TOTALLY feel like I'm in that "training" mode right now, saying NO to the In N Out fries and loving my baby through denial of delicious unhealthy foods. I did not have that mindset with Conrad, I did not deny myself anything because I was pregnant SO LET ME EAT (nom nom nom!!!) It showed. Sadly! I was a fat pregnant beast!

    Seriously though, You've been a HUGE inspiration to me. This process has been SO lonely and to know that you share the same heart as I do brings me such relief. I could just imagine how excited you were when you were realizing that YOUR BODY COULD BIRTH A BABY and It leaves a lump in my throat imagining how joyful you must have been in what could have been a seriously utterly painful-awful time in labor.

    Thank you for talking to me on the phone and guiding me through how to prepare, how to reject that fear and mostly, for showing me how dependent on Jesus your birth made you. I loved how your pregnancy and birth changed you.

    Love you girl. You rock.... like, SO hard.

  2. WOW. Wow. SO absolutely inspiring. I am becoming more and more passionate about vaginal birthing, and just birthing in general, but I am so on fire to birth a baby straight through my vagina. I'm not even pregnant, much less married, but I have such a strong desire to birth a child. I pray the Lord WILL bring a man to me in His timing and allow me the privilege of birthing. WOW, you two ROCK!

  3. Chels, I must share with you my sister, Jade.

    For some reason, VBAC's in Hawaii (where I'm from) are pretty common. I don't know why here in the states it's SUCH a huge thing - well, besides the cha-ching that comes with a C. My sister had a c-section/vbac/c-section/vbac. All within 2 years of each other. She was overweight, health wasn't much of concern for her at the time and in her early 20's. She never had a complication. Concern's she DID have while pregnant were not related to the surgery nor vbac. The difference with the doctors there in Hawaii, I guess you can say they let you know your options, respect your options and not intentionally freak you out over it. Her kids are amazing athletes and nerds!

    I pray that the very hands that touch you and your baby through this entire journey are the hands of our God. That no weapon formed against you shall prosper, the lies of the enemy are what they are LIES. I pray very fiery dart will not launch towards you and may the hedge of God's protection be increased with strength. The enemy is deflected of all his nonsense for your child is abundantly blessed, highly favored, FEARFULLY made and a masterpiece of our Creator just like her mama. We are rockstars in Christ Jesus and we can do ALL things through Christ Jesus for what is impossible with man is surely possible with God our Father. No spirits promoting disease, sickness, germ, virus or health concerns be spoken over you or your child. We are healed and of 100% health according to His Kingdom and Will. What is blessed by God absolutely cannot be cursed! Glory to God that angels will be audibly singing at this child's birth. BLESS YOU! LOVE YOU!

  4. Your story totally Rocks GIRL!!!
    I can not even imagine why they keep us in the dark about what is going on through our labour.. how does it benefit ANYONE?? it is my body? It is MY baby?

    I love the training.. and love the just feel and go with the pain!

  5. This is so cool! I completely agree with the mindset of training yourself for a marathon. That is exactly what I did for my natural birth. And I like what you said about embracing the pain. I kept "giving myself" to the birthing process. That sounds weird, but, yeah...just embracing the pain and letting your body do what it was made to do. Jesus can help with it all too! Pray for peace and endurance! :)

  6. what an amazing story! thank you so much Chelsea for bringing Natalie's story over here!

  7. Cara, It's no coincidence that the Lord has you reading these stories, or is fostering in your heart these desires to have the birth that you desire (someday). I really feel like there is a new wave of young woman/woman in general who are taking back what seems to be being taken from a lot of us, through cesarean births. We've felt robbed of our experience, when the experience is so vital to the whole process from conception, to pregnancy to the birth of our babies, and caring for our children as they grow.... That doesn't mean that in some cases cesareans aren't still completely necessary , because they are in some cases. AND those mom's who have to have them done are no less amazing mothers than ones who experience vaginal births- I do however, feel like woman are becoming more educated about their bodies and we're taking back what has been taken from us. The ability to birth.

    Chelsi, I got a FB message from a friend of mine who also has a friend who had a VBAC and she said her friend did just fine. I am so glad these VBAC births are becoming more common. It makes us feel like we have that option if we want it.

    Thanks for the comments ladies.

  8. Thanks for sharing your story! I had the same exact thing happen to me with my first pregnancy! When they pulled my little girl out the cord was wrapped tightly 3 times around her head. They immediately rushed her over to the table to get her breathing. My husband rushed over to get a look at her when a nurse next to him said "she tried so hard to make it..." the only thing that kept him from breaking down was that he didn't want me to know anything was wrong. Then a minute later she started crying. Then he just wanted to punch the nurse in her face! I am just glad that I had no idea what was going on. I was so out of it, and like you, I had a horrible recovery.
    When my baby was 8 months old I got pregnant again unintentionally, and was so scared about going through the whole process again. I even had a really hard pregnancy the first time. But with a lot of faith and prayer we knew that God knew what He was doing, and we would have another wonderful blessing in our family. My Dr. Refused to do a Vbac, but I was ok with it, and felt it was the best thing for me. Luckily the 2nd time around was so much better!
    You are such a beautiful mom, congrats on your wonderful family!

  9. very inspiring post! I look forward to reading more birth stories.

  10. this was so amazing! i was so thankful to read all of this...loving the encouragement - i'm pregnant with #5 and only my last was a c-section, so i'd really like to go for a vbac this time around, which is the goal! i love reading these birth stories! thanks for sharing!

  11. Incredible story. And I cant believe they didnt tell you what happened! I wanted my vaginal birth to be sans epidural and thats what I prepared for but after almost 20 hours of active labor and little to no progression I was so exhausted and didnt know how I was going to get there. Im glad that I consented to an epidural and that I got a nap to prepare me for the 3+ hours of feverish painful pushing after the meds wore off. I wouldnt have made it otherwise, and when I was bleeding like crazy from tons of tiny tears in the birth canal that the doctor and midwife worked frantically to get under control, I was glad that I did what I could but was at peace with my decision. Stories like yours inspire me to prepare even more for next time, because I may still be able to do it all myself. Maybe not, and thats okay, but there is power in doing all you can and leaving the rest to the Lord.

  12. OMGSH "I'm at ten bitches!" is the highlight of the story!!!!!!! AWESOME!

  13. LOVED THIS!! What a strong women with an amazing story :) Thank you for sharing Natalie! I loved how determined you were once you were in the hospital room and how you celebrated every cm increase! And toward the end when you wrote, "Remember what you want, focus on truths, and BELIEVE in yourself. Your story will be beautiful, it’ll be victorious, and it will be unique to you and your precious little baby," I got goosebumps :) Congrats on your beautiful little family!

  14. what an amazing story.

  15. i am so inspired by your story. i am doing research on VBAC delivery. i have had 4 c-sections...all of them very hard and painful. your story is inspiring. thank u for sharing it.