VBAC stories

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Post by MuffinMum » Fri Apr 08, 2011 1:21 pm

This is the short version, for more details go to http://blossom-heart.blogspot.com/2011/ ... art-i.html

20 min contractions started Friday (25th March) at 3pm, got down to 10 mins apart, stopped overnight (unless I rolled over). Started again 20 mins apart Sat morning when I got up, got down to 10 mins and needing concentration by night, went in to hospital to get checked - 2cm, nice and soft and stretchy cervix. Given some pain meds, sent home to keep going, which they did (waking me up every 20-30 mins). On Sunday things gradually got more intense. By dinner time, they were quite painful and I was NOT going to have a third night of broken/very little sleep! Went in to hospital, was 4cm!! Officially in labour as of 9pm. At about 2am, they were 2-3 per 10 minutes, and getting too painful, so I got an epidural. Took about 1.5hrs for them to get the dose strong enough! We all (me, DH, my sis) got about an hour's sleep, then had another hour or so of "happy" times before the epidural wore off. Mega ouchies. An hour or so of me very unhappy (which DH says is an understatement!!), and ended up with it being almost C-section strength.
By 6.30 or so, I was fully dilated, and at 7 the midwife was happy for me to start pushing - they usually like to wait an hour or so, but she was due to finish at 7.30 and wanted to see the birth!! That and amazingly the epidural was wearing off enough that I could feel pressure down below and move my legs (it totally had to be a God thing how quickly it happened, but without much of the pain coming back - she was talking about maybe using stirrups due to me having no control of my legs!!). DH and my sis supported a leg each, I had a mirror, and was able to push on my own as I could feel the contractions coming. DH tells me the midwife was super impressed with my pushing, like I was a pro. After about 40 minutes, at 7.51am, out popped Isabelle Celeste!! Straight onto my tummy And I got to cut the cord :-D

There were mild complications afterwards though - my uterus "gave up" contracting, which is apparently not that uncommon for cases like mine where I'd been contracting for so long. So I had a midwife (or doctor... don't remember clearly!) massaging my stomach hard to manually contract for me (OW!!), while another stuck a drip in to stop the haemorrhaging, another was "clearing" me out. Lost about a litre of blood all up, and had to have a litre of syntocin to ensure it kept going itself. Had a minor 2nd degree tear on the inside that needed stitches, a couple of little grazes elsewhere, but perineum all in one piece thankfully!

I was able to breastfeed her about an hour and a half after the birth and all, and she was brilliant, even wanted to go back on the first side... 3 serves, hungry lass!

Stats: 3.6kg/7lb 15oz
49cm long, 34.5cm head circumference
DS: 18/11/09
DD: 28/3/11


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Ray's VBAC birth story (long)

Post by Linda'sMum » Tue Dec 13, 2011 8:46 pm

I VBACed!!!
:D :!:
Background: DD was born by emergency c/s with a transverse incision (the safer type), but very early/small so the incision was near the top of the lower half of the uterus – closer to where strong contractions could rupture it in a subsequent labour. Public hospital obstetricians advised a repeat c/s this time, and that a VBAC attempt would be subject to many strict conditions and likely to fail.

But our ex-obstetrician GP was optimistic and saw us through 36 weeks of normal pregnancy. We also hired a doula, who talked us through options for our birth plan and encouraged our VBAC research. As our date approached, we returned to the public hospital system and struck it lucky with a respectful and more open-minded obstetrician, who we saw for our last 3 appointments.

Bub sadly was reluctant, and we found ourselves booked in for an induction on day +10. I’d been doing pre-labour since his due date, which would start up around lunchtime each day but tail off each night. I tried to promote labour with walking, acupuncture, 20 flights of stairs and sex but... no go.

Our induction began the night before with a balloon catheter – ok except for the stretch as it was inflated. It triggered contractions 10-15 minutes apart, but again they tailed off overnight as I tried to get some sleep. The next morning my waters were broken at 7:30am, but no response... I negotiated a wait (which included yoga and stair-walking) till 1pm to see if my body clock kicked in, but was started on the Syntocinon drip at 1pm.

I coped fine the first hour, with good contractions every 3-4 minutes as the dose was introduced. Visualisation was working well for pain relief, as was changing positions and getting belly rubs during the peak of contractions. While in a leaning-forward position I felt and reported a little pain in the region of my old c/s scar, but it didn’t worsen and the continuous monitoring showed baby was fine.

But as the 18mL dose kicked in, the contractions became much more intense and frequent and that was pretty much where I lost it... I have a 6 hour block where time and events were mostly a blur. I remember having an internal exam and being told I’d gone from 2cm to 3cm dilated – at that point gas was just spacing me out rather than dulling the pain and I remember saying that if my concrete cervix was that slow responding then I needed either an epidural or a Caesar, and to please turn the Synto drip off. I didn’t believe I could cope with that pain for the time another 7cm would take. Hubby and doula were both reminding me I didn’t want a caesar, but I needed something to change.

The anaesthetist attended and told me I’d need blood tests to check my clotting before any epidural (I have a gene for ‘clottier’ blood and had been on low-dose aspirin). The clotting tests had been scheduled for that morning but were cancelled, and I was somewhat unhappy (understatement) that my epidural would need to be delayed by this. The anaesthetist had taken some time to come in the first place, and again I didn’t believe I could continue in that pain. I was offered Pethidine or Remifentanil, and chose the ‘Remi’ because I felt it was a better option for bub.

The Remi didn’t take long to arrive, but did take a bit to learn how to use... I had to press the button to start it off at the first sign of each contraction, and if I was talking and distracted or falling asleep (especially as the evening progressed) and didn’t notice the start of the contraction, then I’d not get it before the peak of the pain arrived. It didn’t cease the pain – which at this stage was associated with a lot of ‘bearing down’ sensation – but made it something I could deal with, still using a bit of gas too. I also had some supplemental oxygen delivered by a tube under my nose, as my blood oxygen was dropping a bit with the Remi. As we got into evening, the Synto drip was also reduced and it was discovered that I was still contracting strongly – but not continuously (yay for the gaps!) – so my body had taken on its own labour progress.

I got my epidural just over 6 hours after asking for it, oh my goodness the relief. The ob just on duty (luckily the good one who’d seen us for our last 3 appointments) did an exam and I was 8cm – he told me I was now going to deliver vaginally and wouldn’t have a c/s. What a wonderful thing to hear as I acclimatised to being pain-free, and as the Synto drip was reduced and finally turned off. I was asked to rest for an hour, and did so with a focus on my yoga breathing.

Then another internal check and I was fully dilated but with one small piece of cervix still thickened and not quite there. Time to push, and the ob came back in to see how I was going. I pushed well for about an hour, negotiating to lean more to one side to try to open my hips, and with the ob doing some stretching and turning bub’s head a little to try to help. I could feel the contractions if I wasn’t distracted, so was able to use my energy well. But bub wouldn’t quite get there. Ob had to attend another patient and so I got about a half hour of Dr-free time, during which my rebellious midwife and doula got me almost up to sitting (not allowed with the epidural) to try gravity assistance in my pushing, but to no avail. Eventually ob came back and I lay back for the stirrups as he prepared for a forceps delivery.

Bub’s heart rate had been dropping a little and they’d called in a paediatrician and nurse just in case. The nurse who entered the room was one who’d looked after our firstborn during her 4 premmie months in hospital; we greeted her by name with smiles and I told her she wasn’t getting this one!

I knew forceps weren’t nice but felt good – they were better than a c/s. I didn’t notice them going in, and felt just a ‘pop’ at one stage while pushing, which I guessed was the episiotomy – again better than the big belly gash. The delivery was calm, relaxed, and amazing... like when a magician pulls a string of knotted scarves from a hat, I felt the varying speed and diameter as each part of bub’s body emerged from me, such a long thing weaving its way out of that orifice with my efforts enabling it, coming to meet me. And then there it was – a baby – passed up on to my chest as the nurse pulled my gown open for skin-to-skin contact. Warm, wet, small yet big, and a few seconds later a gurgly cry as it protested at the tussle of blankets rubbing it dry from above. I cried with love.

Hubby told me later that the paeds had been just stepping forward to take the silent bub when it had cried. We took a minute or two before we checked its gender; a boy, a brother for our little girl. And we kept him; on my chest, or briefly on hubby’s, including his first breastfeed – he likes nipples! I was aware of the placental delivery (cord had been clamped due to potential need for paeds) and that ob was doing his repair work, but not bothered by it – thank goodness for epidurals at that point! I had a peek at my inside-out bits with a mirror, but couldn’t recognise much – it’d sort itself out later I figured. It took a couple of hours before I got up and staggered on my semi-numb legs to have a shower, and was 5am when I headed back to my room – WITH my 3.8kg healthy bub, born 12 hours after the Synto drip had started.

I only spent 36 hours in hospital after delivery, and could easily have left sooner. We did some nipple re-attaching in the early days, which I think has paid off with a well-trained sucker. And I was stacking firewood and mowing lawns within a week – it felt good to be mobile and active. The episiotomy was pretty much healed 2 weeks later. And Ray is a real cutie, tempting me to do it again despite previous plans to the contrary!

Others' stories helped me build confidence and determination for this challenge, so I hope this one contributes back. It wasn't a dream birth and we used every fallback on our birth plan (thank goodness we'd considered those issues beforehand), but we didn't have what we didn't want, and I'm so proud of the whole experience and glad of my support team.
DD born 27+4wks 555g Jun 2008
DS born +11 days (VBAC) 3.8kg Nov 2011

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Elisha's Birth story

Post by Ezekielsmummy » Wed Mar 06, 2013 11:26 am

our 3rd baby, our miracle baby, Elisha Samuel's birth story.

We had impatiently awaited your birth little one, your due date the 20/2/13 came and went, each day we waited and waited on the 28th of Feb we had an appointment to figure out a plan if you didn't come soon with the Ob at the hospital.

Because of all the complications with your older brother Matt, the Ob wanted you to be born before we reached 42 weeks, so we booked in a stretch and sweep for Sat 2nd of March but that didn't get things started so we were booked in for an induction on Monday the 4th March.

The afternoon before we sent your biggest brother Z to Blossy and Grumpy's for a sleep over and your dad and I had a lovely date night. I was so excited and nervous about the next day sleeping was hard but eventually 6:30 came and we got up ready to head to hospital. I had hoped i might go into labour spontaneously but you had other plans.

We went to the car and... flat battery! we quickly changed cars and headed off. we got there and meet our student midwife Bec and the 1st midwife Gale. we started the CTG and then they started to try and get the canula in my hand... it took 4 attempts and I had 2 very swollen bruised hands.

at 9am the Dr, Thea, came in and broke my waters, she said i was about 2 cm dialated but very stretchy. I started walking and the contractions began! I was so excited! i did alot of walking and they contractionss were about 3 minutes apart for 40 seconds long, they were slowly getting stronger but were not enough. The Dr's kept encouraging me to use the Syntocin but I kept putting it off untill at 2pm I agreed to an internal examination which said i was still only 2cm. I was gutted.

we started the syntocin and the arm with the canula was in excruciating pain. The contractions were very strong adn long but all i could think of was how much my arm hurt. I was shaking so much I couldn't walk so sat on teh edge of the bed to rock and breath through the contractions.

I started to have real doubts I could do this as all the earlier work seemed to have done nothing and my arm hurt so much. I told your dad to ask about a c-section.

he said the dr would be in in 40 min to talk to me. about 50 min after the syntocin started i moved to kneeling on the bed with my arms over the back supporting me as the pain was getting worse and the contractions were so strong. I felt like pushing but was ignoring it as it just seemed impossible. then at 3:15 the dr finally got there and did an internal - i fully expected her to say i was only a few cm's but i was 9 sm with an anterior lip. i suddenly couldn't stop the pushing feeling so yelled "i need to push now" they attached a clip to your head and i turned back to leaning over the bed and started pushing. I was much noisier than with zeek.

suddenly all these people came in, at leadst 8 people becaus eof your low heart rate.

They yelled at me that your heart rate was dropping and i needed to turn back over and get the baby out now. I pushed and pushed and could feel your head just there.

Thea said you have 1 more push then I'll have to do an episiotomy (sp?) because yoru heart rate was too low. but that push your head came out and the rest followed easily.

I started crying and saying to Dad, is it a boy or a girl??? they took you over to the table as you werent breathing and your dad said "a boy" and stated crying and kissing me.

I kept asking is he ok, they said yes but i kept hearing noises so kept asking till they brought you over. you were just so perfect. you Dad and I just held each other and cried and kissed you and you screamed the place down.

everyone left and we just held you, many of the midwives and dr's were crying. it was a precious precious moment. you cried for about 50 min an dthen settled down to look at us and tak e in this crazy new world. You feed well and soon your eldest brother came to visit you. he was very shy but really loved you. he watched as they weighed and measured you.
3.6 kg anf 51 cm long. a bit smaller the DS1.

you were so interested in everything and everyone just staring and trying to take it all in.

Blossy, Grumpy, John and Z left sgter as long cuddling you.

we got to go home at 7:30, and had a wonderful 1 st night with you. lots of feeding and cuddling and a lovely 5.5 hr sleep.

the entire labour was 1hr 29min. pushing was 9 minutes and i didn't tear or anything. my entire labour with you ws less than just teh pushing time with DS1.

we are so so so in love with you precious one!!!!!!!!
DS1, 3 Angels & Precious Matthew with us for only a short time & left me with a heart full of love & ocean full of tears!

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Post by Esther » Wed Mar 06, 2013 11:29 am

Quick work there EM ;-) So wonderful to read of Elisha's amazing birth. Enjoy! xo
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Post by Snake Hips Mcroy » Wed Mar 06, 2013 11:39 am

What a beautiful story, I'm crying xoxo
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DS2 - born Dec 2013, breastfeeding like a champ

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Post by athome » Wed Mar 06, 2013 12:38 pm

Oh wow:-) Thank you so much for dharing your story EM. Thats a beautiful story and one that has been so awaited. You did a beautiful job. Cpngratulationsxx x

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Post by JMc » Wed Mar 06, 2013 12:44 pm

Beautiful, EM. Happy tears here too.
DD - November 2009 (Breastfed 19 months)
DS1 - August 2011 (Breastfed 2 years and 8 months)
DS2 - November 2014 (Breastfeeding happily)

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Post by Ducks » Wed Mar 06, 2013 2:13 pm

Thanks for sharing your inspiring birth story. So happy for you!

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Post by Ducks » Sun Mar 31, 2013 2:06 pm

Finally have time to sit at the computer and type...sorry for the length!

My labour started with a lot of pre-labour: 10 hrs of contractions 20 min apart on Friday afternoon and night; a few irregular ones on Saturday and Sunday, nothing on Monday and then more 20 min contractions on Tuesday. We went in for CTG monitoring on Tuesday morning but the contractions died away again and we went home. Nothing happened for the rest of the day and I went to bed not expecting anything else.

I woke during a big contraction at 12.30am on Wednesday morning and struggled to wake DH (I didn't know he'd put earplugs in to dull my snoring :? ). I had another one about 2 minutes later and decided that I didn't want to wait at home to see if they got regular. So we woke MIL and told her we were heading in to the hospital.

We got to the delivery suites about 1.30am and were set up in the smallest delivery room I've ever seen...I asked about wireless CTG as I knew I wanted to be mobile and that they would want me to have continuous monitoring. The reply was "this room doesn't have it." My student midwife went out to find out if there was another room available with wireless CTG and there was so we packed up the bags again and moved.

The contractions were getting stronger and about 2.30 the midwife asked it I wanted to get into the shower. I asked for gas too. I stayed in the shower, rocking back and forth with DH aiming the shower on my back as the baby was posterior and I had the typical back ache. When my legs were too tired to stand I knelt and rocked and banged out a rhythm with my hands on a shower chair and then later a fitball.

At about 5am I really needed a rest but couldn't imagine leaving the comfort of the shower or lying down on the bed. I panicked a little and asked for an epidural and the midwife suggested pethidine instead.

I lay down and dozed between contractions, which became less intense and frequent. I was a little disappointed because the MW had done an internal and reported that I was 3-4cm dilated, which was only a cm more than I had been at my last appointment a week before. I thought the contractions should have done more but thought maybe it was slow because of the posterior position.

My ob came it at 7am as the pethidine was wearing off. She wasn't impressed by the CTG trace and said she'd break my waters and then come back at 11am to check that labour was progressing faster. If it wasn't she'd discuss what the options were. She also did another VE and said that I was 4-5cm and fully effaced...progress!

After my waters were broken I went back into the shower and the contractions picked up in frequency and intensity. Talking about it afterwards with my student MW, we think that the baby must have turned while I was resting, but no-one ever tried to feel the baby's position which surprised me a little. The CTG was having trouble picking up the baby's heart rate so the MW was crouching in the shower, holding the CTG to my lower abdomen and trying to keep it in contact as I rocked and rotated. By 9.30 she told me the signs were all there that I was ready to push and that I should follow my instincts. I left the shower and knelt leaning next to the bed.

The MW in charge came in and was concerned about the CTG trace not picking up the baby's heart rate well and insisted I had to get up on the bed so that they had more control if something went wrong.

They started monitoring my heart rate to make sure that they were actually picking up the baby's heart rate. They were concerned because it was quite low but didn't seem to be affected by contractions.

They decided that they should call my ob in to decide if an assisted delivery was needed. By that stage I was panicking as I didn't feel in control during pushing. I could hear them discussing that my pushing wasn't effective but didn't know what to do to change it.

My ob arrived and she told me I needed to relax my thighs. She got me to turn onto my back and asked for stirrups to be set up. While they were being set up the MWs asked me not to push, which was even harder than pushing!

Once I had my legs in the stirrups I started pushing more effectively (which seems odd, but I guess it was to do with making me relax my thighs?). But She still wanted to get the baby out sooner so she did an episiotomy and used the ventouse. The baby's head was less than a cm away from coming out so she didn't need to do much to get the baby out.

I pushed the shoulders out and then the baby was placed on my chest at 10.30 after less than an hour of pushing (but it felt like such a loooong time!) and I took a look to see what sex it was. Confused by the size of the labia, I guess she was a boy but corrected myself quickly!

She lay looking at me and DH for a while as I was stitched up and then started to breastfeed. She was checked out while on my chest and then after she'd fed she was weighed, a nappy put on and returned to me.

All in all it was a great experience. I don't think that I ever want to push again, but maybe I'd feel better about it the second time around? So glad that I decided to try for a VBAC though, the recovery has been so much quicker than for my CS and I've been able to pick my DS (2.5) up and play on the floor with his trains and take him to the park etc. Things that would have had to wait a while if I'd needed surgery again.

I'm grateful that my ob was generally supportive of me trying for a VBAC and reported success stories from her patients when they happened throughout my pregnancy. She had rules about rate of progress and would only have left me in active labour for 12 hrs and didn't want me pushing for more than an hr. I think I was lucky that the wireless CTG was available because I wouldn't have been able to stay in the shower without it and the fact that she turned during labour meant that my labour became easier and more effective towards the end.

I'm also grateful that the few people who have since told me that they didn't think I'd be able to do it kept their mouths shut and I'm thankful for all the people who assured me that VBACs were possible and worth trying for.

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Post by manomummy » Sun Mar 31, 2013 5:16 pm

Congratulations on the safe arrival of your baby girl. Thank you for sharing your story. So happy that you got the VBAC you wanted.
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DD1 09 - BF for 33 months
DD2 13 - new BF journey has started

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Post by Esther » Sun Mar 31, 2013 6:20 pm

Great story Ducks :-D Congrats on all your hard work, research and preparation. Sure you don't want to push again?? :lol:
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Post by Feebes » Sun Mar 31, 2013 8:00 pm

Lovely birth stories!

DD 02
DS 05
DD2 2010

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Post by Gwen's Mum » Mon Apr 01, 2013 7:12 am

Congratulations to both EM and Ducks! Wonderful stories. So happy for you and your familes. :-D
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Welcome Daydreaming's DS! - 18 Sept '13
Welcome Feather's DS! - 27 Oct '13

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