Beautiful VBAC Birth Story

Aida meeting Baby Ruby for the first time

What seems like forever ago and just yesterday all at the same time, I was incredibly honoured to bare witness to an amazing VBAC story. This is the birth story of Jill, one of my closest and dearest friends. It was the birth of our first children that initially brought Jill and I together. As many cherished friendships begin, we met doing something very near and dear to us both. Yoga. Prenatal yoga to be specific, basically the perfect storm for friendship building! We have been very close ever since and I was so full of joy to be invited in to what I knew would be an amazingly beautiful birth. Jill is a gorgeous, strong, powerful woman with the most gentle sole I have ever had the privileged of knowing and I am thankful everyday for her. I will never forget Jill's incredible VBAC story and am continually grateful to have witnessed the birth of one special lady that I will know and love always. Thank you for the beautiful moments Jill!

"I am so incredibly blessed to have Bree-Ann in my life. She is an amazing friend and the most naturally talented doula I can imagine - she was born to do this!

First some quick background info; this was my second pregnancy, my first child was born via emergency c-section so I was going into this new birth experience with some anxiety. Bree and I talked a lot about my first child's birth and she was able to help me look at many aspects of it in a new light which really helped me to feel more calm and confident in my body as I prepared for the birth of our second baby.

My goal was to have a VBAC and I was very passionate about it - Bree-Ann always encouraged, supported and empowered me in this which also gave me confidence in my ability to have my baby naturally. I had some preterm labour scares at 32 weeks and Bree was right there to talk through things with me and put my mind at ease. We talked about what might happen if the baby came early and what I could do to help delay baby's arrival. In the end, my water broke at 34 weeks, 3 days and even though I was concerned and nervous I felt more prepared for things thanks to our conversations.

Bree-Ann was an incredibly calming and powerful presence during the labour and birth of my daughter. She helped me to remain calm despite my anxieties around potential interventions and a preterm baby. Once my contractions started labour progressed very quickly and was super intense as a result. Bree arrived very soon after my husband called her even though it was after 

1:00

 in the morning. As soon as she arrived it was like a breath of fresh air for both my husband and I. He had been bent over the bed massaging me as I rocketed through contractions and was able to finally change positions and get some help and suggestions for keeping me comfortable. Bree was immediately at my side coaching me on my breathing and helping me labour naturally. It was an extremely intense 3.5hr labour and I know I couldn't have gotten through it without drugs if Bree-Ann hadn't been there, guiding and supporting me. Towards the end my body started pushing involuntarily and Bree helped me get through those contractions which still amazes me. Not only did I have to get up and walk from one end of my room and into the hall to change beds during this time but I also had to be transferred 3 floors to a delivery room all while trying to keep my body from pushing! Bree-Ann was right there the whole time coaching and reassuring me - her voice helped me focus and get through each surge. 

When we were finally in the delivery room and I had a very loud and intense nurse shouting directions at me, Bree-Ann stood beside me and gently whispered encouragement in my ear. She tempered the instructions being hollered at me with gentle coaching. During the birth she was right by my side holding onto my leg and guiding and encouraging me, I couldn't ask for more. After our daughter was born my husband went with her to another room where she was checked over and cared for. Bree stayed with me as we waited for the placenta to be born and helped me with suggestions on how to encourage my body along naturally. As we waited in recovery for my daughter, Bree-Ann was right there with me to celebrate my beautiful baby girl and the fact that not only had I achieved my VBAC but I'd also brought her into the world completely naturally, no drugs! I know, without a doubt, that without Bree-Ann, I could not have gotten through such intense contractions without some sort of "help" - the thought crossed my mind several times and each time I was able to focus on my body and my breathing instead with her calm, confident coaching. 

When my husband and daughter finally returned we all had a tearful reunion. Bree knew how important breastfeeding was to me and I was concerned that with my daughter's prematurity and the fact that we had been separated for over an hour after her birth that we might have some difficulties. Bree made sure we had all the support and guidance we needed to successfully establish breastfeeding. Thankfully, my daughter was strong and alert enough to get a good latch and nurse till she fell asleep. This first experience proved to be more essential than I could have known as it gave me confidence in our breastfeeding relationship that carried me through two very challenging weeks while my daughter was in Intermediate Care at the Women's Hospital following her birth. Without that positive first experience I may not have persevered with such conviction, giving my daughter opportunities everyday to practice nursing even though she needed to be tube fed for the first week and a half of her life.

I can honestly say without a doubt that having this wonderful, caring, dynamic, thoughtful, intelligent and intuitive woman with me, my birth story would be much different. Thank you, Bree-Ann with all my heart for being so amazing <3"

 -Jill