Kassey joins the Plus Mommy Podcast to share her first birth story that ended with a cesarean, her journey to deciding to have a vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC) with her second, and her VBAC birth story as a plus size woman.
Plus Size VBAC Birth Story
Kassey’s first pregnancy sadly ended with a miscarriage. She quickly became pregnant again and wanted to do all she could to have a different outcome with her son.
Kassey described herself as a “typical first-time mom” during her pregnancy. She didn’t question anything her doctor told her.
She had a healthy plus size pregnancy but had some concerns about giving birth.
The hospital childbirth course Kassey took helped her to become a good patient but didn’t teach her as much as she had hoped about giving birth.
She felt the pressure to just “get this baby out”…
At her 41 week appointment, she found out she couldn’t have the doctor she wanted the following week. That care provider was the whole reason she went with that practice!
Then she was pretty much told she should be induced. There wasn’t a lot of information provided – just that the induction would be so easy since she was already 41 weeks along.
Looking back Kassey said, “I was just so clueless.”
Her induction slowly progressed, not quickly as she was led to believe it would.
By 36 hours it was time to push, and things just felt off to her as her son was in a wonky position.
She pushed for 3 hours alongside a great nurse and felt supported. Sadly, things were not progressing, and her son’s head was swelling.
Kassey said it was time for a c-section.
The moment Kassey heard her son cry she was so happy!
While her cesarean birth was without any complications, recovery was hard as Kassey had labored for over thirty hours and then needed major surgery.
As Kassey shares, her body felt like it was hit by a truck and then run over again.
Postpartum was a difficult time.
Nineteen months later, with a desire to have kids close in age, Kassey was pregnant again.
As she did with her first pregnancy, Kassey questioned her body’s abilities because of her weight. Yet, she knew she wanted a VBAC for this birth.
Even when her former care provider told her that her pelvis is probably too small and she should have c-sections moving forward, Kassey knew she could have a different outcome.
She learned about The International Cesarean Awareness Network (ICAN) and started attending local meetings. ICAN is a network that brings awareness to cesarean birth and provides resources and support. She started attending local meetings and immediately felt less alone.
The first practice Kassey selected for prenatal care didn’t allow VBACs – so she found a new provider!
She started asking around for a size-friendly provider, and at 20 weeks she connected with an excellent provider.
Kassey was able to talk through all of her fears with her care provider. He was someone people at her ICAN group recommended.
Kassey also hired a doula and found a chiropractor. There are studies to show that chiropractic care throughout pregnancy can help with getting your baby into the correct position for birth.
Related: How Doulas Support Plus Size Moms
She also felt it was important to be active during this pregnancy!
Kassey always attached body movement to weight loss. So during her first pregnancy, she didn’t see the point in exercise since she wasn’t trying to lose weight.
With this second pregnancy, she became more educated and understood how incredibly important being physically active is throughout pregnancy. Not only to reduce your increased risks and prepare your body for labor but also to help with optimal fetal positioning.
She did Zoomba until 30 weeks, along with a few other classes including yoga, and then continued to walk on the treadmill throughout the rest of her pregnancy.
Kassey learned that physical activity is a form of self-care and loved being active throughout her pregnancy.
Related: My 300 lb Birth Story
As her due date approached, Kassey prepared herself that her baby could possibly go past 40 weeks.
Once she neared 41 weeks, the emotions of everything came pouring down.
Her care provider was so encouraging and offered to do a genital induction without medication.
Kassie couldn’t imagine going through an induction again.
She decided to schedule her cesarean but still had hopes she’d go into labor naturally. This was a Friday. She went home to enjoy her weekend with her family and then she’d most likely have her second son on Monday via cesarean.
Kassey felt like she made the choice that was right for her!
She also started noticing something was different with her body. Sure enough, Kassey woke up in the middle of the night and was having contractions!
Her husband woke up and started timing contractions. It was exciting, and Kassie called her doula.
She labored at home until the early morning hours and then headed to the hospital.
When she got to the hospital the doctor on staff did not do VBACs.
This setback was temporary as her doctor was contacted and came to the hospital to support her to have a VBAC.
Labor progressed quickly!
Her care team, including a doula, was there to support her. She felt so in tune with her body and her natural labor.
Kassey ended up requesting an epidural, but the anesthesiologist wasn’t able to come until she was 8 cm. She still proceeded with the epidural but once it was placed her doula ask Kassey if she was pushing.
Sure enough, without even realizing it, Kassey was pushing!
Everyone immediately laid the bed back and tried to get her to lay flat. The epidural didn’t work, but that was okay – she was ready to have her baby!!!
Pushing was a neat and crazy moment for Kassey.
Kassey’s son ended up having a vacuum assisted birth, but everything went great.
Kassie was so proud of herself, and all her body had done!!!!
Twenty-four hours before Kassie had made peace with having another c-section and now she was holding her baby that she birthed in her arms.
Postpartum was so much easier this time around. She was amazed by the differences including being able to breastfeed this time!
Kassey now feels empowered to share her story and encourage other people to know their options!
Hear Kassey tell both of her birth stories in her own words by listening to episode 42 of the Plus Mommy Podcast!
Recording & Show Notes: Plus Mommy Podcast Episode 42
Resources Mentioned On The Show
- Is It Possible To Have A Plus Size VBAC an interview with Jen Kamel of VBAC Facts.
- January from Birth Without Fear has been a big inspiration to Kassey.
- Family-Centered Cesarean
- You can read even more Plus Size VBAC Birth Stories on the Plus Size Birth website.
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