VBAC stories

Ever feel that you would like to be able to ask some questions and have a
chat without feeling that you have to defend your choice to do things the
way you feel comfortable? Discuss your desires, aims and ask your questions
of other Mums here. If you need medical advice, please ask your medical
adviser, we aren't qualified to help you in that department and our Code of
Ethics for ABA means we do not discuss Health Professionals or Hospitals by
name. (Everyone's experiences are different and what may not agree with one
person, may be totally agreeable to another.)

Hippie
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Joined: Fri Jul 18, 2008 4:41 pm

Post by Hippie » Tue Aug 11, 2009 1:59 pm

Lisa21- Congratulations on your VBAC :smt038 What a great birth story! You've given me goosebumps!
DS1-8yrs-breastfed for 19mths & 11 days
DS2-5yrs-breastfed for 2yrs, 2mths, 2wks (HBAC)
Our angel baby Sept 13- 13 weeks
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JulieL
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Post by JulieL » Tue Oct 13, 2009 12:26 pm

Here is our amazing and wonderful story:

Well, it all started around 9:15 on Tuesday (6th October) night. I was scheduled for my CS at 7am Wednesday morning and was relaxing on the couch when all of a sudden, I had a massive cramp (didn’t think anything of it), then a little trickle (again thought nothing of it cause my waters broke differently with DS1).

I told DH I was going to bed so I could get a good night’s sleep prior to the early wake up required and headed off around 9:30. Laying there trying to turn off, I started contracting every 10 minutes, and couldn’t relax (funny that) and decided to get up and tell DH things had started.
He had just dozed off on the couch and straight away was on the ball asking me what I wanted i.e hospital, etc. I said hold on a few, then decided due to the scheduled CS, I better call the hospy. Did so and they said come in.

Got to the hospy around 11:30 and was 3cms dilated. I asked for the epi cause 3cms was as far as I got with DS1, and I figured I wasn’t going through 3-4 hours of labour only for another CS. The anaesthetist arrived and I felt 100% better (as you do) and the midwife said she’d check in 30 minutes how I was. DH asked if he could nap (and he did) and 30 minutes later I was 6cm gone. I started thinking I could really do a VBAC.
After another 40 minutes or so, the midwife came in and said “Let’s go”. DH was up straight away reaching for my hand and holding my legs, telling me I could do it. Two contractions later my Ob showed up and tried turning DS, which he got halfway, then said he was going to use the vacuum to get him the rest of the way. A few minutes later, we were ready to go again, when he said he needed to do an episiotomy. No worries there (much better result than a CS after all). So, another few pushes and my gorgeous little boy was born at 3:22am after just under 6 hours of labour.

So, that’s my VBAC and I feel wonderful having done it. So glad I was able to achieve it and cannot be more thankful to the wonderful midwife and nurses at my hospy. And I cannot be any more thankful and happy for my DH who did everything I wanted and amazed me how different he was compared to DS1’s birth.

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melanie&ellie
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Location: Sydney

Post by melanie&ellie » Tue Oct 13, 2009 3:22 pm

Wow JulieL - fantastic story. Well done on going for it. You must feel like a different woman a week on after a vaginal birth compared to a c/section!

Great story.
Ellie born 4th August 2005 - self-weaned at 21 months
Finn born 13th November 2007 - self-weaned at 17 months
Neve born 28th September 2009

Dolly
Posts: 1867
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Location: aka mum23dd

Post by Dolly » Sat Jan 09, 2010 1:40 pm

Hi, If any one is still following this link your may want to check out.

www.cares-sa.org.au/

Lots of information about VBAC, C/S and dealing with not getting the birth that you wanted.

It has Adelaide based coffee mornings. Also supportive if you decide VBAC is not for you.

My situation:-
DD 1 C/S due breech postion
DD 2 VBAC with induction
DD 3 VBAC spontaneous start
DD1 L 03/04 BF
DD2 A 10/06 BF
DD3 O 10/09 EBM has CP

'It is survival and desire to be happy that drive mothers of disabled/ill children, not bravery or some strange need for martyrdom.'

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MuffinMum
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Joined: Mon Nov 16, 2009 1:31 pm

Post by MuffinMum » Mon Apr 19, 2010 1:29 pm

Ugh, guys, this is so not helping me not be clucky!! Reading through these stories has really made me want another bubby, and to most definitely go VBAC. DS was 10 days overdue, a horrible experience with induced labour, followed by emergency CS due to baby distress and failure to progress. I recovered brilliantly, too well too quickly some said! So it's not like I hated it, but when it comes time for #2, I couldn't decide what to do. I most definitely don't want to be induced, and would even prefer a CS to that! So I had been thinking of booking a CS instead of an induction should I go overdue...
But either way, whatever happens, this thread has totally inspired me to go VBAC! Thanks!!
DS: 18/11/09
DD: 28/3/11

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melanie&ellie
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Location: Sydney

Post by melanie&ellie » Mon Apr 19, 2010 8:39 pm

Hi MuffinMum,

You may find that you are not able to be induced anyway. That was the only condition put on me by my doctor. Some doctors feel that an induction puts too much pressure on your scar and increases your risk of rupture.

All the best, whatever you decide!

Melanie.
Ellie born 4th August 2005 - self-weaned at 21 months
Finn born 13th November 2007 - self-weaned at 17 months
Neve born 28th September 2009

Dolly
Posts: 1867
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Location: aka mum23dd

Post by Dolly » Mon Apr 19, 2010 10:36 pm

Hi Muffin Mum,
Whether a HP will do an inductions varies depending on lots of things.
- what type of scar you have (horizontal/vertical)
- time between c-section and induction (age gap between bubs)
sure there are lots of others but can't think now.

there are 3 main ways of induction
- gels
- drip
- breaking waters

Gels are usually first but HP I have had don't do them with VBACs.
I had the drip with VBAC 1 (waters already broken naturally) and had planned the drip and getting waters broken for VBAC 2 if 10 days over.
DD1 L 03/04 BF
DD2 A 10/06 BF
DD3 O 10/09 EBM has CP

'It is survival and desire to be happy that drive mothers of disabled/ill children, not bravery or some strange need for martyrdom.'

Lisa21
Posts: 200
Joined: Wed Oct 31, 2007 1:52 pm
Location: SA

Post by Lisa21 » Thu Apr 22, 2010 5:21 pm

Hi Muffin Mum
Your birth sounds exactly like my birth that ended with a emerg cs with DD.
2nd time round I was in the same frame of mind as you. That I didn't ever want to be induced again and would prefer and elective CS over going through an induced labour again.
My ob said the only thing he would do to induce me was to break my waters ( which I didn't want either). He only wanted to let me go 7days over max. I ended up going for acupuncture from 36 weeks and I am sure it helped me achieve my VBAC as DS arrive 2 days early. I also had a doula who was passionate about VBAC's which helped so much whenever I started second guessing my bodies ability to birth naturally.
Good luck I hope whenever your time comes you get your VBAC :-)
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DD BF'd till 13mths

DS
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Lisa21
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Location: SA

Post by Lisa21 » Thu Apr 22, 2010 5:21 pm

Hi Muffin Mum
Your birth sounds exactly like my birth that ended with a emerg cs with DD.
2nd time round I was in the same frame of mind as you. That I didn't ever want to be induced again and would prefer and elective CS over going through an induced labour again.
My ob said the only thing he would do to induce me was to break my waters ( which I didn't want either). He only wanted to let me go 7days over max. I ended up going for acupuncture from 36 weeks and I am sure it helped me achieve my VBAC as DS arrive 2 days early. I also had a doula who was passionate about VBAC's which helped so much whenever I started second guessing my bodies ability to birth naturally.
Good luck I hope whenever your time comes you get your VBAC :-)
Image]
DD BF'd till 13mths

DS
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Lisa21
Posts: 200
Joined: Wed Oct 31, 2007 1:52 pm
Location: SA

Post by Lisa21 » Thu Apr 22, 2010 5:22 pm

Hi Muffin Mum
Your birth sounds exactly like my birth that ended with a emerg cs with DD.
2nd time round I was in the same frame of mind as you. That I didn't ever want to be induced again and would prefer and elective CS over going through an induced labour again.
My ob said the only thing he would do to induce me was to break my waters ( which I didn't want either). He only wanted to let me go 7days over max. I ended up going for acupuncture from 36 weeks and I am sure it helped me achieve my VBAC as DS arrive 2 days early. I also had a doula who was passionate about VBAC's which helped so much whenever I started second guessing my bodies ability to birth naturally.
Good luck I hope whenever your time comes you get your VBAC :D
Image]
DD BF'd till 13mths

DS
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Jess64
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Location: Canberra

Post by Jess64 » Thu Apr 22, 2010 7:03 pm

Just found this thread, I will read through it all tomorrow when DD is asleep. But I have a question for you all. I have my one and only appointment with the Oby (we are in a midwife program) next week and it is all about what to expect in a VBAC and I'm wondering what questions I should be asking him/her.

Sally
Sally
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foggylog
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Post by foggylog » Thu Apr 22, 2010 11:13 pm

muffinmum

my understandng is that using hormones to induce sa women after having a previous c-section can cause extra stress on the scar so some Dr's prefer not to, others will with extra monitoring. but there is another option for induction not mentioned which involves a tube like a catheter put into vagina and through cervix (so obviously has to have some opening but not much, for this) then a ballon in catheter is filled with water (can't remember volume but it's a fair bit) which then places pressure on the cervix and hopefully helps your body to either start labour or open cervix enough to be able to rupture membranes (break waters)

but it all depends on different factors relating to your history and what the dr's are comfortable with, so there are options. but you decide on what is best for you :)

Jess64
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Location: Canberra

Post by Jess64 » Fri Apr 23, 2010 8:49 am

mum23dd wrote:Hi, If any one is still following this link your may want to check out.

www.cares-sa.org.au/

Lots of information about VBAC, C/S and dealing with not getting the birth that you wanted.

It has Adelaide based coffee mornings. Also supportive if you decide VBAC is not for you.

My situation:-
DD 1 C/S due breech postion
DD 2 VBAC with induction
DD 3 VBAC spontaneous start
Thank you for that link it was really informative.
sally
Sally
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evolve77
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Location: SW WA

Fiona's Birth story - long...

Post by evolve77 » Sat Apr 24, 2010 6:58 pm

Fiona’s Birth Story
This story begins with Fiona’s older sister Emma’s story and to me is confirmation of what influence determination can have to a situation.
Emma was born by emergency caesarean section in August 2006 at 34 wks 6 days after my waters broke at 33wks 5 days. I was monitored in hospital for the week and after an ultrasound showing very little amniotic fluid and a slight bleed the decision was made (by my obstetrician) to do the caesarean. Emma’s presentation was transverse/footling breech so this combination of factors meant that there was no way I was going to be allowed to birth naturally even if I had gotten to full term. At this stage of my pregnancy the lower segment of my uterus was not well developed so I was given a classical (vertical) incision, warned not to conceive within 12 months and told that I would never birth naturally.
This experience was vastly different to what I had planned. Whilst it was not overly traumatic, it was not the natural birth at the Family Birth Centre that I had hoped would happen. Emma was in the Special Care Nursery for five days and although she was well (besides the broken clavicle she got from the delivery), she was still subjected to a lot of medical procedures as opposed to nurturing space. She was not a settled baby but has grown to have a beautiful personality despite her difficult start in life.
So when the time came to think about having another baby I knew that I wanted something different, and had come across research challenging the ‘once a caesarean always a caesarean’ philosophy, as well as had a few chats with people who knew the risks to be overstated. I did some research of my own, particularly on classical incisions (there is not much out there) and determined that I was still so much more likely to successfully birth my baby naturally than have a uterine rupture, but did think that on reading the adverse outcomes that any birth should be attempted in a hospital, not at home.
I also knew that I wanted to be more prepared for the birth and healthier in mind, body and spirit that I was when pregnant with Emma. I was fairly healthy during my first pregnancy did not prepare emotionally for the new baby to come. I was also unaware of a thyroid issue, which may have been the reason for the premature rupture of my membranes.
When I had not fallen pregnant after 3 cycles I decided to see a naturopath, who enlightened me on the thyroid issues I have (and will have for the rest of my life) and helped me keep this under control with diet and herbal supplements. I surprised her on my second visit with a positive pregnancy test result.
When I moved to Margaret River I discovered a group called Birth Choices, and started to attend meetings even before we fell pregnant. It was inspiring to hear other people tell their birth stories and receive support and information about how to make my VBAC a reality.
I contacted Nat from Bellyflower who I knew from Birth Choices and our kids’ swimming lessons, to seek advice about a positive GP, hospital, doula etc once we discovered I was pregnant. She does not practice as a midwife anymore, but knows most of the local practitioners and runs hypnobirthing classes, pregnancy yoga and baby massage classes. We had a wonderful chat about how to get what I wanted for my birth and choose the right caregivers and support people.
The GP I chose was fine about me wanting a VBAC (even with a classical incision), and my only opposition in Margaret River came from his colleague who I saw while he was away, who stated ‘but you can’t have a VBAC with a classical scar’. This was from a GP who homebirthed and was thought to be quite supportive of natural birth. I quickly told her that I was going to try, that the risks weren’t that much higher than a lower segment incision. By the end of the appointment she was giving me the referral to King Edward’s Next Birth After Caesarean clinic that I was after.
As the pregnancy progressed I made sure that I was eating well, exercising by swimming and doing Pilates and working on embracing what needed to happen. One hump to overcome was helping my husband understand that having a VBAC was a safe option. We went from having opposing viewpoints to him being quite happy about my decision and glad that our daughter has had the chance to be born in the normal way. Once he was onside I felt a lot better about knowing I would be fully supporting during the birth.
When we realized that Bunbury (100km and 75 minutes drive away) did not have a full time operating theatre or staff to run it, we felt it was safer to give birth in Perth (300km and 3 hrs drive away), meaning we would have to stay at my parent’s place from 37 weeks. This meant that Emma would already be at Grandma’s where she would be looked after while I gave birth. It did mean Mark commuting up to Perth on the weekends, but it was important to us that our chosen place of birth could deal with any eventuality.
We started the process of finding a doula to help us with the birth, and engaged Sharon to help us. We did not meet her until about 36 weeks but felt really comfortable with her straight away. She was very positive about my decision to have a VBAC but was very upfront about the realities of the hospital situation we would be in. We developed a birth plan that covered all eventualities (but still fit on one page) with her help.
I also planned a Mother’s Blessing to be held just before I went to Perth to await the birth. It was a wonderful celebration involving friends and their children giving me their best wishes for my birth and sharing the wonderful energy we created. I felt so prepared and filled with positive energy after my Mother’s Blessing. Mark and I also did a belly cast, which I think helped us connect to our baby and the experience we were going to be sharing in a few weeks when our baby came into the world.
For this birth I wanted to be more prepared mentally for the experience so we decided to have Nat run a Birthskills hypnobirthing workshop for us. This was really helpful and was another tool in our preparation for the birth. I listened to the relaxation CD and read about the process of hypnobirthing, listened to affirmations and other techniques, which help women manage the experience of birthing and how their partner can support them.
I also managed to attend a few pregnancy yoga sessions, which seemed to complement the Pilates classes I had been doing more regularly. I remember feeling how much more space I seemed to be able to create in my pelvis as we stretched in certain poses. I bought Nat’s pregnancy yoga book to continue to practice once I was in Perth and not able to access the Pilates and yoga sessions. I felt so fit and healthy and was still swimming 1km at least once a week. I was also seeing an osteopath to help with sore hips and pelvis and a reflexologist to keep everything in balance.
Mentally there were a few periods of anxiety along the way. The first was hearing the news of one of the mums I knew from playgroup whose baby was stillborn. We were all devastated to hear this news, particularly as there were 4 of us expecting from our playgroup. Also around this time Mark’s work colleague was also flown up to Perth after presenting at the local hospital at 24 weeks feeling unwell. It turned out to be a heart condition that was easily managed once in Perth, but hearing this news was very unsettling, knowing that she might be about to have a premature baby. The other period of anxiety was leading up to 33 and 34 weeks as although I had been affirming to myself that this would be a full term baby I was still concerned that something would happen around this time. Mark and I celebrated when each of these ‘milestones’ passed.
I was asked to have an ultrasound followed by a clinic appointment at 34 weeks. We also organized to meet with the Labour Ward manager to discuss our birth plans and how they would fit with hospital policy. This turned into a mammoth day – 5 hrs and plenty of waiting, but we got what we wanted – the knowledge that our baby was fine (of course), agreement with one of the obstetricians that non-standard care was acceptable (for no cannula and intermittent rather than continuous EFM) and a good understanding of how things could work in the Labour Ward.
I packed our bags ready to be up in Perth to await the birth of our baby feeling well prepared and full of energy. We had some time together to settle in at my parent’s place before Mark had to return to work. Emma was bonding with Grandma really well which allowed me to relax knowing that she would be fine while we were at the hospital.
In the last few weeks of pregnancy I kept myself busy with seeing friends, practicing my hypnobirthing, yoga and having reflexology. Once Mark went back to work there was that anxiety that he would miss the birth as he was 3 hours away, but there was not much we could do about it.
I went to my 37 week clinic appointment expecting to have to come back again the next week, and was overjoyed to be told to come in a fortnight. One less long drive in to the hospital and long wait for the appointment the better. As it turned out I had my baby before the next appointment anyway. The obstetrician saw that I had opted for non-standard care and tried to talk me out of it, but I calmly said that I had already discussed it with the previous obstetrician and did not feel any need to change my decision.
We met with our doula again and chatted and talked more about what would happen during the birth. Sharon was so supportive and full of information about various techniques that could help us during labour. It was also so reassuring knowing that she was available anytime to talk to, or to come to Mum’s place or to the hospital whenever labour started.
During my 38th week of pregnancy Mark returned to Margaret River on Saturday afternoon to start a week of staff training on Sunday. I let him know just before he left that I had had a show, but nothing else was happening. Sure enough during the night I had some contractions and by the morning they were every 20 minutes and quite easy to manage. I did not sleep well though and ended up packing the last things in the hospital bags at 4am as I could not sleep and thought something would be happening soon. At 7am I called Mark to let him know things had started, but to stay there for now. I also let Sharon know what was happening.
It was later in the afternoon when my cousin was visiting and I could not pay attention to conversations that I decided to call Mark. At this stage contractions were about 10 minutes apart and quite regular instead of intermittent like they were overnight. I tried to lie down and listen to my affirmations and hypnobirthing tracks, and was able to relax but not sleep. Mark arrived about 9pm and things had slowed down a bit, so we decided to go to bed to get some rest. This was a nice idea, but not a reality as I was up and down dealing with contractions and going to the loo.
At 11pm I woke Mark to say that I thought we should go to the hospital, as contractions were about 8 minutes apart. We debated whether I was ready, and whether to go to a hotel room near the hospital until we were really ready to have our baby. I did not feel like setting up in a hotel room and then getting to the hospital as I felt the distractions would slow things down again. So once we got ourselves organized we were off to the hospital, and we rang Sharon to say that we were on our way.
This turned out to be tactical error #1 as I think if I had listened to Mark or talked to Sharon before we left and decided to delay going to the hospital, things would not have slowed down as they did. We arrived at the hospital at the same time as Sharon and waited in the assessment unit. Contractions were still every 10 minutes but after they did some EFM and an examination, I was told I would be admitted even though I was only 1cm dilated. As this was a VBAC attempt the hospital did not want to send me away once labour had started in case ‘something’ happened before I returned to hospital.
While we were being assessed the (junior) obstetrician on duty came in to see us to discuss her concerns about the cannula and only having intermittent EFM. We stated that we had already talked about it but having the conversation took away some of my focus, even though Mark was supporting me. Sharon stayed in the waiting room and heard the obstetrician state to the other nurses in the office ‘A VBAC with a classical scar – is this a challenge??!!’. Interesting what they say about you when they think you can’t hear.
I was asked to provide a wee sample and it turned out that I had ketones in my urine. I was told this could mean I was dehydrated already, and they strongly recommended a saline drip, which of course meant a cannula. After a fair bit of discussion I agreed as long as the cannula was taken out after the bag of saline had been put through.
After at least an hour we got up to the Labour Ward. As things had slowed down, we settled down to rest/sleep, and Sharon went home. The saline drip and EFM were set up making it not so easy to go to the toilet. The cannula was put in my left hand – the hand I needed to get to the toilet paper! When we got up in the morning (well I hadn’t really slept, but you know, daytime) we noticed the drip was set so slowly it still had not finished, so we had to ask the midwife 3 times to turn it on faster and then get it out. At this stage I felt she had perhaps been told to run it slowly as a means to keep the cannula in.
After getting the cannula out and still not feeling well, I threw up the nectarine I ate, as by this stage I was very tired and hungry. The last thing I had eaten was a good meal of pasta mid Sunday afternoon. I also had a stitch down my left side that was persistent, and sometimes more painful than contractions. This was quite distracting and there seemed to be no position that relieved it. There was some suggestion that it was an irritable uterus but no one knew or could offer anything to help with it. It was a bit disconcerting not feeling well at all at this stage of labour, but I kept focusing on one contraction at a time.
The duty obstetrician was the one I had seen in the clinic on two occasions and she continued to have the same attitude – trying to convince me to just give up this silly game of having a natural birth and agree to a caesarean. I restated my wishes and expressed my astonishment at her suggestion of a caesarean when I wasn’t even in established labour!! She wrote in the notes ‘recommend caesarean section’ and ‘if she changes her mind would be happy to start standard care (ie. Continuous monitoring and a cannula)’.
Some of the monitoring was indicating decreased variability in the fetal heartbeat so I agreed to another lot of IV fluids, with the cannula in my right forearm this time. After they removed the drip I did feel better. WE also had a change of midwives and were able to get through to the new midwife that we did not want to explain our wishes to each staff member, so she left us alone.
During the day I declined having any vaginal examinations, as I did not feel that I would have progressed any further. The midwives seemed fine with this. They also continued to ask about my waters. I told them my loss was minimal and only slightly green. I was sort of waiting for them to pull out the ‘your waters have been broken for more than 24 hours, there is meconuuim in the waters, we will have to get this baby out blah blah blah’ but they didn’t.
I felt that I had been managing the contractions well and did not feel the need to use my hypnobirthing CD, but I did get out my birthing beads and read the birthing affirmations and Mother’s Blessings from my friends and family to feel them with me while I was in labour. We had to request a birthing mat and fitball, which the midwives took so long to find that we asked my stepfather to drop one in from my mum’s place. Amazing that such important birth tools are hard to find in a labour ward, especially as we had been told that these resources were there in the ward, and not to worry about bringing our own.
In the late afternoon we were approached by the midwife who very apologetically told me that I had to transfer to the ward, as I was not in active labour still. She explained that neither ward was full but they could not keep me in the Labour Ward if I was not in active labour. Now if we lived around the corner I would have said OK let me out then, but I knew that it was not worth signing myself out for a 45 minute drive back to Mum’s.
So we packed everything back up and went up to Ward 4, had some dinner and chilled out until visiting hours finished at 8pm. When Mark and Sharon left I tried to settle down and get some rest, but was still dealing with fairly intense contractions at least every 8 - 9 minutes. This was my third night without proper rest and I hadn’t eaten for over 24 hours at this stage so I was pretty tired.
We had a really positive midwife in the ward but one thing that she said unsettled me – that when I was having contractions 2 – 3 minutes apart that I would be transferred back to the Labour Ward. Knowing that things needed to get that intense, and that I was now on my own all night were not welcome thoughts.
At about 9pm, when I was actually resting with just the bathroom light on (so I could see when I got up to deal with contractions) a midwife came in, and wrote a note. Then she left, turning the bathroom light off as she went. She must’ve thought I was asleep and I didn’t let on that I wasn’t. The next time I got up to go to the loo I turned the light on again, so I could see anything, and read her note. She wanted me to call her when I woke up. Well, I thought, what do you want, and when do you mean, at this stage of things I want to wake up refreshed in the morning, and would rather not be bothered with more monitoring or blood pressure checks. So I didn’t bother pressing the call bell and continued to try and rest in between contractions.
I continued to labour in my room, trying to be quiet, but not always succeeding. At one stage instead of getting up from the bed each time I felt a contraction coming I set up a little bed with blankets on the floor near the fitball. It wasn’t comfortable but it was easier than stumbling out of bed each time. This was the hardest period of my labour, with no support people and not an ideal room to labour in. I tried to listen to my hypnobirthing CD to refocus but was so tired I didn’t realize the batteries were flat on the Walkman! I think I decided to myself to just get on with it, although I was wondering when someone would come in and just check on me. At about 3.30am the contractions seemed to be every 7 or 8 minutes and were pretty intense so I pressed the call button for the midwife. She came in and was surprised when I said I wanted an examination to see how far along I was. She said why didn’t you tell us. Well, they knew contractions hadn’t completely stopped, so I am surprised they left me alone.
The midwife examined me and said I was 5cm and would be transferred to the Labour Ward. She said to ring my husband and doula, so that was a big relief to know they were on their way. Sharon actually couldn’t come until 9am so was worried that she would miss the birth, but she was well in time.
Once we settled back into the Labour Ward again we thought we would try and get things really going with a bath or shower. I got into the bath and found it too hot, not deep enough and that my toes were numb! I tried to get into the mood in the bath as I hoped it would be the amazing space that a lot of women love during their birth, but it just didn’t work for me. The shower was ok, but not the amazing relief that some women talk about. The pain in my side was still bothering me, and when Sharon arrived the first thing I asked for was a massage to relieve that. Mark had been massaging my lower back but I found it wasn’t really helpful and felt too hard.
Once back on the Labour Ward the requests to monitor occasional contractions came again, including while I was in the bath and shower. I consented to some of them, but not with the straps on, and found this much easier to handle. I could stay in the position I was in, and they would hold the monitors or Doppler’s onto my belly in the right place more effectively than the straps would monitor things. I had to laugh when the telemetry unit we asked for, and then the waterproof Doppler unit, both ran out of batteries. I wondered how hard it was to ensure they were kept charged all the time.
At about 11am during an examination I was told I was 6cm and during it they also requested to break my waters to get things going (obviously expecting an instant decision!!!). To start with I refused this, although I wanted to get to the next stage, and although I agreed to a stretch and sweep. The midwife I tried squatting and labouring on the commode and the loo but they just would not break. The midwife said that I might shrink back from 8cm once they were broken. After talking about it with Mark and Sharon I decided to let them do it since it would progress things, and I thought there are worse interventions to have. Once this was done at 12 noon, things did speed up, and we decided to go for a walk, as I had been fairly stationary sitting on a low chair or the fitball or in the shower for most of the morning. We walked out into the corridor with me in Mark’s big shirt and undies. I steered us left not realizing it was a dead end, he steered me right to walk the whole lap around the Labour Ward. I decided that if we had a little private corridor to walk up and own, that was just fine. I think we were only out there for about 4 contractions before I said I wanted to go back into the room. I went to the loo and said I felt a bit pushy.
It was time to get my undies off and find a good position. We covered the fitball in a blanket and I leant over it with Sharon massaging me and Mark supporting me. As I started to push they swapped places with Sharon holding me hands and being so encouraging with her words. Sharon checked that Mark was alright catching the baby as the head crowned, then ran out to get some help. I managed to keep my breathing working for me while pushing but wasn’t surprised to tear as I pushed the head out with the minimum number of pushes. What a strange feeling having a baby in your vagina!!! After the head was out there seemed only a little pair of feet or something inside, and nothing to push on, but I was told no the shoulders and body still have to come and to just wait for the next contraction. Sure enough our baby slid out in the next contraction.
Our baby was passed through to me crying loudly. No-one had said the baby’s sex so I was the one to announce it to everyone. I think Mark was a bit stunned to do it, having been thrust into the role of babycatcher! I held our beautiful little girl on my chest and she started the breastcrawl. Mark and I kissed and Sharon took some photos.
Our midwife had been at lunch and the covering midwife was doing something next door, so of the two midwifes who came in only one had read the birth plan. Sharon had to warn one of them that we wanted a natural third stage and delayed cord clamping as she picked up the kidney dish with the Syntocin in it!!
The midwife said that it appeared that I was bleeding quite a bit so the cord was clamped before it stopped pulsing, although my recorded loss was only 350ml. I birthed the placenta easily, but the midwife did use cord traction. I think I was too busy being happy to tell her to stop it, and it didn’t hurt.
I was helped up onto the bed to continue to hold our baby and left alone for a while. Fiona had attached within 20 minutes and her first feed was for 90 minutes!! It was so nice to give her that opportunity and to feel so good after the birth! After a while it was time to check my bits for any tearing and sure enough I had a 2nd degree tear and a graze. The midwife sewed me up which was relatively painful.
We rang our family and organized for Grandma to bring Emma for a visit, although instead of going home that afternoon we opted for a night in hospital. The midwives even organized for Mark to stay on the ward, which was really helpful, and not normal policy. I had a shower while Mark watched the midwives weigh our little girl (3610g, 52cm long and 43cm head circumference). Sharon went home after doing her wonderful job of supporting us.
Reflecting back on the experience I am so glad that I kept focused on what I wanted and managed my physical, mental and emotional health throughout the pregnancy (with the help of naturopathy, reflexology, osteopathy, good diet and exercise) so that no medical issues were put in my way. The hospital experience wasn’t perfect, but this matched my expectations, so it was just a matter of keeping focused and not letting the interruptions get too annoying. I am so glad that we decided to have a doula as it was really important to have her support and advice and presence while we were negotiating with obstetricians and midwives once in hospital. Her help with the birth itself was wonderful, and it was amazing to share that with her. Having a really strong birth plan was always a powerful tool. I feel disappointed that I did not ‘hypnobirth’ due to all the distractions, but am very glad to have had the practice and knowledge of the hypnobirthing course in our toolbox. The main tool I did use for the whole labour was breathing which I learn from the course.
Fiona seems such a settled baby, and is breastfeeding and sleeping well. She has been so alert from birth and I am so glad she hasn’t had to be prodded and poked and interfered with like Emma was in the Special Care nursery. We took her to a chiropractor shortly after her birth and he was pleased with the alignment of her spine and her reflexes, whereas Emma needed a few adjustments after her difficult extraction.
The energy I had before the birth seems to have continued on, and I have enjoyed telling my story and sharing my baby with my friends and family. Everyone is so happy to hear positive birth stories, and is glad I got what I worked hard for.
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Deeva
Posts: 237
Joined: Sun Feb 08, 2009 9:19 pm

Post by Deeva » Sun Apr 25, 2010 7:13 pm

WOW .... thank you so much for sharing your beautiful experience with us. I am truly amazed at how focused, determined and resilient you were during the very very long labour and with so little support from some of the people that were at the birth.

you are an inspiration - i am glad you posted this before my turn comes - i will try to keep your strength in mind for when my turn comes. I am also hoping for a VBAC.

Well done!!!!!!
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