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Arrow Rose a VBAC Birth Story

It all began on a Tuesday. At 41 + 1 weeks I was starting to worry that the babe would not arrive within the 42 weeks of pregnancy. I had an acupuncture treatment and then laid down for a nap with my little girl Oria. When we woke up, we trekked over to my midwives’ office for a visit and I decided on another membrane sweep.We left the appointment, walked a few blocks to catch the bus home and that is when the contractions started. Not painful, but definitely noticeable. I’d already had a couple of false starts at labour so I didn’t believe these were going to amount to anything more than cramping from the sweep.

At some point in the day I stopped really paying attention and the contractions either disappeared or I became numb to them. I went to bed like usual and woke around 2:45am with more contractions. Again nothing crazy but I was aware of them; so I had a bath and paced a bit until I could determine if this was real or another false alarm. I waited until 4:30am to wake my husband to get his opinion on what we should do. Since I wasn’t in pain I figured I was in early labour. If this was going somewhere we would wait until the sun came up before calling our midwife and our doula/birth photographer.

Wednesday morning I ate my usual oats for breakfast and did a lot of hands and knees through the contractions which felt a lot like a balloon blowing up from my back towards the front of my stomach. My midwife arrived at 7am, checked my cervix and told me I was 4-5 cm dilated. She monitored babe with the Doppler and all was going well.

Since it looked like this was, in fact, going somewhere we had our friend and neighbor come down and wake Oria up. My husband Jeff made everyone breakfast and we lounged around the place. It was a peaceful atmosphere with everyone doing little helpful things around me. Our midwife checked me again to see how things were progressing and found I was another centimeter dilated; progressing at a steady pace but much slower than my first labour with Oria.

Apple Blossom Families- Vancouver Birth Photographer and Vancouver Doula Morag Hastings

We arrived at the busy BC Women’s Hospital around 10am and met our doula outside. At about 11:45am I was admitted and moved to my delivery room. That was perfect timing as it coincided with my moaning like a cow (which somehow feels pretty calming and good through it all). At this point I was likely hitting transition; contractions were amping up and coming quite frequently. I was becoming totally unaware of my surroundings at this point but I still felt completely safe, taken care of and in complete control of where this was all going.

Apple Blossom Families- Vancouver Birth Photographer and Vancouver Doula Morag Hastings

My midwife was sure to let me know this was my birth. She didn’t check me again until I started to feel pushing sensations as she wanted to be sure it was time and I was at 10 cm. Then she broke my waters. I didn’t care either way. I just wanted to push. My husband, midwife and nurses completely supported me to be in any position I could get comfortable in and to just push when I felt the urge. No one yelled at my vagina to “push!”

It was almost peaceful as I did what was natural to me. There wasn’t a lot of pushes before someone grabbed our neighbour and Oria to join us in the room. Oria stood next to me and Jeff behind me helping me brace myself. In the moment before the final push I turned to Oria to let her know I was ok; and in the next moment our baby Arrow flew out of my vagina so fast that my midwife almost missed the catch. It was a surreal and proud moment and it took me a second to realize what had just happened.

VBAC at BC Woman's Hosptial

After the birth, Arrow was immediately placed in my arms. No one took her to be cleaned, swaddled or even weighed. I am almost certain I had an hour with her before someone thought to weigh her. She weighed 8 lbs 3 oz. This part was so different from my cesarean birth of Oria. The VBAC birth of Arrow Rose couldn’t have gone more perfectly for me. By my side, I had all the love from my supportive husband and my beautiful first born and support from the two nurses, my midwife and my caring doula. I did it! I birthed a beautiful baby out of my vagina completely unmediated!

Apple Blossom Families- Vancouver Birth Photographer and Vancouver Doula Morag Hastings

To read another inspiring home birth story here.

Morag Hastings is a Doula and Birth Photographer located in Vancouver, BC Canada. Come check out more of her work on her facebook page at or feel free to email me at

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