birth photography :: landon matthew

Attempting a vaginal birth after a cesarean section is a brave thing to do. It is brave because to do it is like giving birth for the first time, physically and emotionally. It is also brave because we live in a culture that likes to proclaim it impossible: “Once a cesarean section mama, always a cesarean section mama.” The magnitude of fear and self-doubt one has to overcome to even get to the point of being ready to fight for a scenario that will give you a fighting chance at a vaginal birth is hugely significant.

So knowing that Teracia had a planned cesarean due to a breech presentation baby last time and this time is attempting a VBAC, you already know one thing about her: she is courageous. And determined.

Armed with her wonderfully supportive doula and a nurse midwife who was willing to make space for her to do it, Teracia got to start her labor spontaneously… and end it with the triumphant moment of pushing her son out into the world.

I first joined them at their home to take some laboring photos as the sun was setting. But not wanting them to feel watched or rushed, I went home for a while to let them labor on in privacy. We agreed to meet up again at the hospital when they were ready to head that way.

When I rejoined them at the hospital, Teracia was in hard labor. The darkened room seemed to match the intensity of her physical experience. She never whined or wavered a bit, however. Her husband and doula and midwife were rock-solid, quiet, but firmly present with confident hope.

There actually came a point where it seemed like maybe this VBAC thing wasn’t going to “work” after all. And then, suddenly, gloriously, dramatically it DID. It was working. She was pushing her baby out, and rather quickly! Before we knew it, there he was, and he was perfect.

And the relief and triumph you could feel in the room is something I won’t soon forget.

A victorious VBAC mama will probably always be one of my favorite ones to witness.

If you haven’t already, be sure to get yourself a copy of this sweet little 10-page guide for avoiding mistakes mamas commonly make when planning natural births. I think you’ll really like it. And I also think you’ll like the stream of encouraging, educational content you’ll get in your email inbox after you sign up. ;)