The Redemptive VBAC of Nora
Nora's story starts with Everly's story. Over two years ago, I met Merissa. She was preparing for the birth of her first baby....and her excitement was palpable. She wanted an unmedicated birth. (And before we go further, please know that this was her desire...and just because she wanted it, doesn't mean that it's the best choice for every woman or family).
At 41 weeks, her provider decided she needed to be induced. There were no medical issues such as high blood pressure or low fluid levels. It was simply his policy to induce his patients at 41 weeks. And Merissa trusted him, like so many women trust the OBs they work with. Her induction did not go smoothly. Her cervix was far from ready and so pitocin brought on intense contractions with very little progress. After hour after hour of back-to-back contractions, Merissa finally got an epidural. She was able to rest...and we all hoped that rest would allow for progress.
And she progressed. She progressed slowly. Much slower than her provider would have liked. And so after days of labor, when she finally dilated to complete...her OB came in and told her, "I think you're at risk for a shoulder dystocia...and you know what happens if there's a shoulder dystocia? We have to break your baby's collar bone. Your baby could die."
These statements were made after Merissa had pushed NOT ONCE. Her provider hadn't even seen or felt how her baby moved through her pelvis. There were zero indications of a shoulder dystocia expect for the fact that his induction had taken longer than most.
And so when faced with that scary scenario...exhausted after days of labor...Merissa made that choice that many of us would. With tears in her eyes, she consented to a cesarean. And it was traumatic largely because of the way her provider treated her in the days leading up to her birth...in the hours and minutes leading up to her c-section.
When she got pregnant again, she knew she wanted a VBAC. And so she began to plan for a different birth. I was so devastated when she told me she lost the baby. My heart broke for my dear friend. I cried with her as she processed her miscarriage. I told her to hold onto hope.
And then Nora's pregnancy came. And with it...even more determination to give birth in a loving and safe environment. She decided to receive care from the Community Roots Midwifery Collective, which offers home-births in Colorado. There isn't much more I need to say about Nora's birth story because I believe these images say EVERYTHING and more. Merissa went into spontaneous labor a few days before her due date. She progressed quickly. Her contractions were strong and she was fierce. Baby Nora was born in the water. At home. She got to hold her in her arms right away. Touch her cord. See her placenta. We all cried (okay, maybe sobbed) when Nora came into the world. Merissa got her VBAC and her Rainbow birth all in one.