We invite all ICAN of Northern Virginia subscribers to share their birth stories on our website. Current subscribers may login to add your story to this list. We welcome you to browse through the emotional and powerful words of our subscribers, past and present, and to be inspired by their strength and courage.

Home Sweet Home

"Honey...I was thinking..."

That's how it all starts. Your wife, glowing in the aura of pregnancy, gently asks you the question you never expected to hear.

"...maybe we should have this baby at home."

If this happens then-no matter what kind of guy you are-I hope you wisely keep your mouth shut and hold on to a docile, sunny face that says, "Honey-I-love-you-more-now-than-ever-before."

If you have to say anything then repeat the following phrase: "Gee, honey, I don't know. Please tell me more about what you're thinking."

This will allow your mind to race...like mine did.

"Is she out of her mind? Who does she think we are...the Waltons? What if something goes wrong? It's so dangerous. Isn't this why we have hospitals? What about the mess? What about our kids? What about the noise? What will our neighbors think? Where does she get this stuff? No more Girls' Night Out. Is she serious?"

Yes, she was serious. Just a few months later, my wonderful wife gave birth to our daughter, Mirabel, at home with the help of our doula (pronounced DOO-lah, a childbearing mentor) and two midwives (one was finishing her training and the other was the veteran). It was beautiful and, as my oldest daughter put it, homebirth seemed more natural than a hospital birth.

Read more: Home Sweet Home

Lora's HBA2C

When I found out I was pregnant with my third baby, I decided that I had a lot of learning to do. I have had two c-sections in the past and this time I wanted to have a VBAC. I started by looking for a Dr practice other than the one I had my first 2 babies with. I looked for recommendations from other moms. The first Dr. I met with, his first words were "so you want to schedule your c-section?" Nope - after meeting too many that could deliver me even though midwives were a part of the practice I had an uneasy feeling and started looking again. About half way through my pregnancy I started going to ICAN. I was directed to some VBAC friendly Dr.'s in my area who at 30 weeks I switched to upon their recommendation.

Read more: Lora's HBA2C

Annie's VBAC

Abigael Gordon Tirona born to Annie and DT Tirona
8 lbs 7oz
After 3 days of start and stop labor, finally VBAC'd with Dr. Rashid an hour after arriving at hospital.

With my first pregnancy I wanted to have an unmedicated birth and to prepare myself, took the Bradley classes. Coming from a more traditional approach, I had in my mind that I could easily have the birth experience I wanted with a doctor in a hospital. It never crossed my mind that I'd end up in a c-section because that happens to other women, not me. Not to me, who had prepared for 12 weeks with the Bradley class. Not to me, who although had practiced relaxation techniques and had a list of labor pain relief methods on hand, never felt the need to do the other things that the Bradley instructor strongly suggested doing. For example, I did not ask my doctors what their c-section rate was. I did not read any of the suggested readings which would have helped me to understand the whole "overmedicalization" of the obstetrics field. In short, I thought I was prepared, but was gravely mistaken.

Read more: Annie's VBAC

Wendy's HBAC

My husband and I have been married for almost 11 years and have four children. When I was pregnant with my first son, I had a desire for natural childbirth, however, when I was about a week past my due date my OB suggested I get induced. Because of the intensity of the contractions that I felt with the pitocin induction, I gave up on my desire for natural birth and took a narcotic and then and epidural. My son was born vaginally, whisked to the baby warmer, and wrapped up like a burrito. Not my dream birth, but I had a beautiful baby boy. Just over a year later, I was ready to give birth to our 2nd son. Again I was late and again the OB suggested induction. I opted for the epidural right away, got to 9 cm dilation, and then my baby went into distress and the Doctors called for a C-Section. It was a scary experience, and because of that, my husband and I decided not to have ANY more children.

Fast-forward 3 years. I was suddenly blessed to be pregnant again. I knew that I needed some skills and I needed them fast. I did good research and found and took The Bradley Method. Happily, I went into labor just a week past my due date, and my husband and I had our third son, which was an uninterventive, unmedicated, hospital VBAC after just 3 1/2 hours of labor. It was such a great experience for us. It really healed the psychological scars of our 2nd birth. We needed to see how birth could be. How it doesn't have to be some scary terrible event. It can be joyous. Powerful.

Read more: Wendy's HBAC

Elena's HBAC

My birth was fast and furious, 2 hours and 37 minutes. With Eli's birth, I had labored for almost 24 hours and then had him via c/s. I expected at least 12 hours of labor with my VBAC. Although, I had been contracting for a couple of weeks, though not consistently, my body was definitely getting ready for this VBAC! I awoke around 1:00 a.m. when my husband came into the bedroom after playing poker with his friends! Shortly thereafter I felt a painful sensation in my cervix. Not a contraction, but something oddly different. About five minutes later I felt a gush of water and knew my waters had broken! All I could think of was `GAME TIME"! And then I thought to myself, I'm not sure if I can do this!

Read more: Elena's HBAC

More Articles ...

About ICAN

The International Cesarean Awareness Network, Inc. (ICAN) is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to improve maternal-child health by reducing preventable cesareans through education, supporting cesarean recovery, and advocating for vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC). Learn More About ICAN