Ruby Schaefer

My first pregnancy was totally normal, no health problems and baby was growing at the normal rate. I went into labor in the middle of the night and everything was progressing normally. I was into the pushing stage when her heart rate dropped rapidly because the cord was descending first and was under her head and her heart rate went down to under 10. I was rushed into surgery and woke up hours later as they had to put me under general anesthesia. I felt a little lost after her birth. I felt robbed, like I had missed something important. It didn’t stop me from bonding with her, but at the time I felt cheated. My own mother was a big hippy and had all but one of her babies vaginally and at home with a midwife. Unfortunately my mom was not there when I had my first baby. My boyfriends mom was not helpful at all. I was pretty depressed after my C-section.

I did not get pregnant again until 5 years later. I again had a normal pregnancy and decided I was going to do a VBAC as I had known lots of people who had done it with no issues. I did not research as I should have. Things like using Pitocin to start labor makes your uterus contract harder which can separate the scar inside much more than regular contractions. I was given Pitocin to start labor with this pregnancy. She was born normally with no issue. It was such a different experience and the bonding experience was a lot different and better than the c-sec. Recovery was so much easier.

I became pregnant around 1 ½ years later and again normal pregnancy however the labor was a bit harder as he was posterior but other than that everything went off without a hitch. I did not use Pitocin this time around. I remember saying to my husband after this baby… I could do that 100 times over a C-Sec.

I became pregnant again unplanned six months later. Normal pregnancy, everything seemed fine. I knew I was having another girl and after the initial shock of being pregnant again so soon I was really happy. At 6 ½ months pregnant she stopped moving. I knew, but I think I was in denial a little. I went for my scheduled ultrasound and discovered she had passed away. I waited over a week to see if she would come out on her own which didn’t happen. I scheduled a D&C to have her removed which was supposed to only take a half an hour and be painless. I awoke 8 hours later having had an emergency c-section because my uterus had ruptured while in the process of the D&C. I had lost so much blood that my heart stopped several times and they had to resuscitate me. They gave me a blood transfusion and repaired my uterus so that I would not lose any of my reproductive organs, with a very strong warning NEVER to get pregnant again. Lillian Grace died because the scar on the inside of my uterus was pulled and thinned out due to the other labors and she had implanted on the same side that was separating. My uterus had become too thin to sustain her and she could not thrive. (This is called Placenta Accreta Spectrum, when the placenta adheres to the weakened uterine wall around the scar. Read more about it here:

I had an ectopic pregnancy after Lily even though they told me not to get pregnant (I got pregnant if you just winked in my direction ha ha). I had to have surgery again and it was scary and they had to take my left tube out but they left everything else thank goodness.

I wouldn’t trade the Virginal births for anything and I would probably make the same decision and have VBACs however, I wish I was better informed and did my research before doing it. I didn’t even know a uterine rupture was a risk at the time. I would have not used Pitocin or any other medicine that put stress on my uterus. There are definitely other contributing factors, like which way the scar runs on the inside not the outside. They give you a bikini cut on the outside but may have done a vertical cut inside. Those are things that you should find out. A vertical cut in your uterus makes the risk much higher. Thinking back I should have gotten my medical records and read through them after my C-section. I wish someone had given me this info prior to the decisions I made. I may still have made the same decision to have VBAC's but at least I would have made a more informed decision. I had a uterine rupture and the loss of my fourth child due to having two vaginal births after a C-section. It's very important that women are aware that this is a real risk and does occasionally happen.

My oldest daughter had to have an emergency C-section with her second baby because he had 3 knots in his cord and it was hard to see her go through that but it didn't seem to phase her, she was a trooper. I was pretty depressed after my own C-Section with her so I was worried about that. Our friend dried her placenta and turned it into powder and made her pills to swallow everyday and that helped sooooo much I highly recommended that.

Recovery from C-section (as I have had to do this twice) is all about not overdoing. I did not realize after the first one how important it is to just lay still for at least two weeks after. Scar tissue develops very easily in your uterus. I was not expecting it to be so hard to recover the first time around especially with a new baby. ASK FOR HELP….. there is no shame in asking for help! Sleeping is the great healer. You must sleep after (and with a new baby that is not easy) so again, ASK FOR HELP.  My scar still swells up and itches after 25 years and the whole scar is numb, I really don’t know why.