My Birth Story of Anthony (A VBAC!)

I couldn’t believe the stark contrast: holding my baby immediately to my chest, not having my arms shaking, being able to breathe, and not being scared. To feel the warmth of my baby against me, and my husband by my side was amazing.


Utah Doula Karen Bunker With Son Anthony

Preparing for Birth: Choosing My Care Provider

In preparing for my pregnancy with Anthony, I knew that one of the most important decisions I would make was choosing my care provider. I at first thought that my only option was a hospital birth, because my last midwife would not accept home VBAC’s without a successful “natural” birth in the hospital, but soon found out that was not the case with a majority of midwives.


So I compiled a list of about 50 care providers (doctors and midwives) that I had heard about through other doula contacts, that I had personally worked with, and some I found on the Internet. I made up a list of questions so that I could KNOW what they really thought, and what they would really do in a birthing environment.

Finding a Midwife

chances of having a VBAC at the hospital was roughly 30-40%. I didn’t like those odds.

Calling the hospitals and doctors was very discouraging, and I realized after doing my research for my area that my chances of having a VBAC at the hospital was roughly 30-40%. I didn’t like those odds. I knew what a C-section felt like, and I knew how emotionally dangerous and even physically dangerous it would be for me.


So I turned to the midwives; though the statistics were drastically better, I still didn’t like the average transfer rate for VBAC’s among midwives, which was around 10-20%, and I was starting to lose hope of ever finding a midwife on board with what I truly wanted.


I finally decided to interview a midwife only ten miles away from my home and found my perfect match. Cathy O’Bryant was completely with me and what I wanted from day one. I had finally found someone who wouldn’t treat me as though I were broken.

My prenatals were perfect, Cathy spent an hour, sometimes more with me each appointment making sure I was comfortable, that I worked through my fears, and I had all of my questions answered. I grew more healthy, excited, and confident as my pregnancy progressed.

Hypnobabies: My Birth Bible

At about 26 weeks Laurence and I decided to take the Hypnobabies classes from Laura Lund that I had observed for my doula certificate.

Though I had taken HypnoBirthing before, I was completely taken back by the overwhelming amount of information and helpful guidance I received from Hypnobabies and the instructor.

Turning a Breech Baby

I was 39 weeks along when we discovered that my baby had turned footling breech. This was the first time in my pregnancy that I was truly scared, I wanted this baby to be born naturally so badly.


We did everything we could think of to turn him around, Cathy constantly was bringing new things to the table and spent hours trying to connect us with the right people to get ultrasounds, chiropractors, acupuncture etc.


Finally 3 days before my due date, he turned. Because we didn’t want to take the chance that he would turn breech again we started trying natural techniques to induce labor. It worked.

My Vaginal Birth After a Cesarean (VBAC)

I couldn’t contain my tears when Cathy looked in my eyes, teary herself and said ‘Don’t you EVER let anyone tell you that you can’t do it again. Because you did. You DID.’

While in labor, I went shopping, walking, watched several movies and relaxed a lot. I made sure that this time I rested, and I ate so that I would have the energy when I needed it.


I don’t remember exact numbers because I tried to focus on NOT knowing them. I knew that it made little difference because every birth was different. I progressed slowly though until about 6 in the evening on the 25th of July. After that I knew I was close to having my son.


At one in the morning I told my husband that on the next contraction I needed to push or I knew I would run out of energy. That faith worked miracles, and on the next one I did feel the urge to push.


I was 9 1/2 cm and so I had to hold back for about twenty minutes from pushing, which was extremely difficult to hold back that kind of force.


When I was ready though, it took 10 minutes for my baby to be in my arms. I couldn’t believe the stark contrast: holding my baby immediately to my chest, not having my arms shaking, being able to breathe, and not being scared. To feel the warmth of my baby against me, and my husband by my side was amazing.


I couldn’t contain my tears when Cathy looked in my eyes, teary herself and said “Don’t you EVER let anyone tell you that you can’t do it again. Because you did. You DID.”

Reflections About My Birth and Baby

I feel I was emotionally prepared for my VBAC, and because of that wasn’t hindered by my past. There was only once that I even remembered my previous experience, and that was when Cathy told me to reach down and feel his head. I felt that if I did I would stop my progress and tighten up from memory because the last time I touched my baby’s head, it was four hours later that I was led to a C-section.


Choosing a name for my kids has always been hard for me because I put a lot of value into meaning. When I found Anthony’s name, I knew it was his because it fit me, him, and my experience. Anthony Jase: priceless gift of him who healed.


Each one of us that travels further than the obstacle will know a different life from that time on. –Stone

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