What a story, beautifully written by Deb,

Deb really wanted to share it to empower other mums to stick to there guns and get the birth they want.

I am particularly happy for her husband. I never doubted he would step into his role for this birth.

We talk a lot about mums needing to heal from a traumatic birth, but so do dads.

As Deb says: “This journey, however, was for my husband and for him to heal from the trauma of our first birth”.


Here is Deb’s story:


SUCCESSFUL 2VBAC – Get comfortable, this might take a while….

My story starts with my first birth in 2013 – unauthorised stretch and sweep at 39 weeks, rupturing my waters, leading to induction of labour, failure to progress, “foetal distress” ending in a very unnecessary C-section.

After this birth I started researching almost immediately about VBACS – I was determined not to have another unnecessary C-section.

I joined VBAC groups, I read articles upon articles,

I was VERY informed leading up to my second birth and first successful VBAC in 2016. (birth story posted on VBAC Australia Support Group on 4 June 2016 – Search posts from Debra Shahar if you would like to read it.)

As my friend and Doula Aurelia says – my second birth was for me, for me to heal and to be empowered once again by birth…. This journey, however, was for my husband and for him to heal from the trauma of our first birth….

After my first birth, my husband and I agreed that he would not be present for the birth of our second child and we hired an amazing doula – Aurelia.

So naturally, for this birth the first thing we did was call Aurelia – there was no one else I wanted with me besides my husband (if he wanted). However there was a catch, Aurelia was overseas and only returning the evening of my due date, we booked her anyway.

“Just in case” my husband joined me for my Hypnobirthing Australia™ classes hosted by the wonderful Pip from Birth Savvy.

My first VBAC was at KEMH so when I was booked with my catchment hospital, I requested immediately to be transferred, however, I was reassured that ‘my catchment hospital’ was able to “do VBACs”.

I gave them the benefit of the doubt and carried on with my appointments with them.

I was happy until my 39 week and 3 days appointment when the Obstetrician started talking about “stillbirths” and “C-sections if I don’t go into labour by the following Monday”.  

Morning of my due date my waters started leaking.

I had a routine check-up that morning with ‘my catchment hospital’ at 9:00 which I attended. I informed the midwife that my waters were leaking and she wanted to do swabs and strep B tests (to which I had already declined), I told her that I don’t consent, but she said there was “no option”.

I was hooked up to the monitors already, so we left the discussion to after the assessment.

During the foetal monitoring, bub moved causing the monitor to lose the heartrate… unfortunately, the midwife went into panic mode, she was adamant that the baby’s heart rate was gone…. I was trying to reassure her that the baby was moving and I could feel it, but she wasn’t listening.

She set off the alarm.

I had doctors, midwives, nurses all come in, rush me off to a room.

Before I knew it I had a cannula inserted, bloods drawn and an internal done to check for “cord prolapse”.

They managed to find the heart rate again and left me extremely shaken and upset in the room.

10 minutes later the doctor in charge came in and told me that I was going to be admitted to the birthing suite and remain under continuous monitoring to make sure the heartrate incident was not going to happen again.

I was warned that baby was not engaged and still high up. The midwife had instructions to rupture what was left of my waters – I did not consent.

I requested time to let labour happen naturally.

Luckily my husband arrived in time for me to have a big cry as I was reliving my first birth all over again and all the negativity and doubts flooded back… my husband was amazing.

He took over, sending me to the toilet.

The doctor came in again discussing C-section as the theatre closed at 18:00 and they could not cater for me if I were to rupture after 18:00, my husband asked for a transfer to KEMH.

After deliberation and hints that KEMH might be full and unable to accept me, the doctor finally agreed to call them and ask for my transfer.

During this time, labour had not started and bubs heart rate was perfectly normal.

They agreed to transfer me by ambulance but I had no option but to keep the cannula in my arm. I agreed and was transferred.

We arrived at KEMH at about 15:00.

The huge relief when I arrived there was overwhelming, the midwives were amazing, there was no pressure.

I was asked what I wanted to do and I said I wanted to wait for labour to start naturally, I even asked if I could go home for a few hours, however as soon as I was in the birthing suite, contractions started. Hubby and I made the decision to remain there – lucky we did.

Contractions were irregular but starting.

Hubby left to get something for us to eat.

We thought my doula would be arriving at 21:00 that night and at 18:00 I looked at my hubby and said…”we aren’t waiting, bub will be here soon”, luckily he was happy to stay and even enjoying his role as my birth partner.

About 10 minutes later my doula called to say she is on her way… she arrived as I started transitioning.

It was perfect timing.

A few big breaths and Maya was in my arms.

No intervention and more importantly no repeat C-section.

I had the perfect outcome, both my husband and doula supporting me.

Know your rights ladies, make sure you are educated and most importantly have people who are there to support you with you at the birth when you are your most vulnerable… remember your birth, your body.

It is possible to have the birth you want, when you are feeling safe, supported and informed! Not all pregnancies are risky, not all births need “management”!