Welcome to the Pinay Doulas Collective’s blog. Today, and for the next few days, we’ll be sharing with you a birth story that can answer the question a lot of the moms in the Facebook group Gentle Birth Philippines want to know more about: can I/am I eligible for a VBAC or vaginal birth after cesarean?
Laura is a mom of 3 and she had her VBAC for her third baby last 2015. Today, we journey with her as she starts telling us her birth story and how she decided and prepared herself and her family for the birth of their third baby.
My Pregnancy and My Birth in Awareness
By: Laura Lyn Magat
This pregnancy was challenging. It might have been our third, but we struggled still.
During our first and second trimester of pregnancy, I had hyperemesis gravidarum. My nausea was so severe that I lost 16 lbs on the first trimester alone. The only liquid I could tolerate was sparkling water and talbos ng camote juice, the recipe of which we learned from our doula, Velvet. Also, even if I couldn’t tolerate any food, we developed gestational diabetes (GDM).
On the second trimester, we learned that we had placenta previa totalis and it did migrate upward in the third trimester. During the third trimester, baby kept on moving from cephalic to breech position.
Since we had controlled GDM, I had to go on a regular non-stress test, which is expensive. It felt silly because even having almost no food intake, we still had GDM.
I then kept having contractions on my 34th week. We grew very concerned and we were in constant communication with our doula, Velvet, because of the frequent contractions. Doula Velvet pointed out that it might be prodromal labor. When we realized it was indeed prodromal labor, we relaxed.
As if these things weren’t enough, our eldest daughter got chicken pox on our 20th week. I haven’t had the pox yet, nor do I have the vaccine for it. I couldn’t believe I was still sane after those months of challenges.
But God was our refuge and our strength. Through these trying times, we had to be strong, and we couldn’t do it alone. Sharing our Pregnancy Verse: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” – Philippians 4:13
My husband, Jonathan, is an overseas Filipino worker (OFW). He availed his paternity leave early, starting on my 38th week,hoping to be present during the birth. We have been praying for the baby to wait for him. We were worried that the baby might come out early.
But what happened was the opposite! We were almost at the end of my 40th week and nearly the end of Jonathan’s leave. He was already about to go back to Myanmar. Whenever I get tired of waiting I’d hear Velvet say, “Kahit anong gawin mo lalabas at lalabas ang baby, hindi yan pupunta sa likod.” We realized, you can plan and plan and plan, but only God knows when. Baby will be born when baby is ready.
There was a better plan for Jonathan’s stay here in the Philippines. Since he only comes home once a month, we used the time to be together, to emotionally bond as husband and wife before a major change arrives. He was also able to use this time to connect with our two older children before the baby comes out.
On Part 2 next week, we learn and prepare with Laura and Jonathan as they decide to have a VBAC and what kind of preparations they did.