Kate’s VBAC Birth Story – June 2020

I first met Angela at our baby massage classes. I instantly connected with her warmth and friendliness and felt at ease in her presence. When I found out she was a birth doula I knew I had to have her with me for my next pregnancy and birth. My daughter, Evelyn, was born in May 2018 via emergency caesarean under general anaesthetic due to a failed three day induction and fetal distress. I wouldn’t say I was traumatised from birth but I always felt that my body had failed me. I couldn’t accept that I didn’t birth vaginally and desperately wanted a different experience the second time round. I knew Angela would help me with this and right from the offset she provided me and my husband with invaluable support and strength. She helped with research into VBAC (vaginal birth after caesarean) success rates, gave me full details of the physiology of birth and more than anything- championed my rights and my wishes as a pregnant woman. She made my voice heard. After every appointment Angela always used to provide the many different options available- she wanted us to be fully informed so we made an educated decision together that was right for us and our family. It was so different to my first pregnancy as I was finally in control.Unfortunately towards the end of my pregnancy covid-19 struck and took away many of the things I was relying on to keep calm and relaxed. Although Angela was now not able to support me 1:1 she adapted and moved everything online. We FaceTimed most weeks and she was a constant source of support on messenger too. We knew that as we approached birth it would be unlikely that she would be able to birth with me in the hospital as the birth partners had been reduced to one, but we made a plan that I would labour for as long as possible at home so that Angela could support me. My due date came and passed and I was increasingly nervous about impending induction. Every message Angela always calmed me and gave me the strength I needed to believe in my body and my baby. Finally, 9 days over my ‘due date’ I began in labour. I relaxed at home through the night with my husband enjoying the feeling that my baby was finally on her way to me. We called Angela around 4:30am as I wanted reassurance that I was relaxing properly. She came straight away and eased all of my worries. We laboured together, breathing through the surges until it was time to go to hospital. When I arrived I was 7-8cm and we were all so excited. By some sort of miracle Angela managed to stay with me in birth for another hour in hospital. Between contractions we chatted and laughed. During contractions we breathed in time together and between, Angela and my husband took it in turns to physically support me where I needed it. She protected my birth space perfectly. Lights were dim, voices low and there was no unnecessary staff in and out. Just over two hours after arriving at the hospital our daughter, Annie, was born calmly weighing 9lb 7oz. My birth was a complete dream. Beautiful, calm, relaxing and more than anything- empowering. We could not have achieved this if it wasn’t for the unwavering support of Angela through the last 10 months and we thank you from the bottom of our hearts for giving us the strength to persevere. We will always be grateful for everything you have done for us and you will always have a very special place in our family’s heart. Thank you Angela. Xxx