My second birth
~ A Successful VBAC!!! ~
3rd march 2011
I had been having pre labour pains for about three weeks prior to his birth, which meant that when labour actually started I was not all that worried.
My toddler was with his grandparents for the day which meant that I was able to rest and relax, which probably helped me go into labour!
I had trouble breathing during the night so I spent most of the night on the lounge. At about 5:30am I had my first pain and every 15 to 9 minutes thereafter.
During this time I took myself into Medicare and Target thinking that I may have been in labour as I had to stop and breathe through the pains, but not quite convinced as I had had regular pains in the past which were all just Braxton Hicks and died away into nothing.
I came home from the shops and lay down, upon which the pains stopped. I was now convinced they were just Braxton Hicks and becoming quite frustrated!
6pm rolled around and I was getting my toddler ready for bed when I got a very strong contraction and I knew that this was it. The contractions kept coming and were about 7 minutes apart but getting closer together very quickly; within an hour they were 3 minutes apart!
My hubby was rushing around and I was telling him to relax as I thought it would take a while, as it did the first time, however by 7:15pm they were 3 minutes apart and I knew we had to get to the hospital. He called my mother in law who rushed over to look after our firstborn.
At 7:30pm we left for the hospital with the contractions every 3 minutes apart. 15 minutes later we pulled up in emergency and got out, me doubled over in pain walking through the carpark! A nurse offered me a wheelchair, which I declined, though I was given on once I stepped inside the hospital anyway.
Even though both of my babies were posterior, the labour pains were very different. With my first son the pains began in my lower back and came around the front, just like a vice slowly tightening. With this bub, the pains were all in the front, very low down. Strange!
I was wheeled into the delivery suite and changed into the hospital gown. My doctor was actually there visiting another woman, so he came and checked me and I was 4cm dilated. Yay! I was using the gas, which was taking the edge off the contractions, but they were getting very painful.
It was then that I asked for an epidural. It was put in at about 9pm and I was worried as during my first birth epidurals didn’t work properly. When the anaesthetist put this one in it began only working on one side, which is what happened last time.
Needless to say I was thinking the worst! He hung around for a bit to see if it was going to work, which it didn’t. He explained that sometimes the sacrum in the back can be a little twisted, which mine is, and it can block the medicine from going all the way down. So he took the needle out and placed it in again 10cm higher and it worked!! I was in heaven…
The nurse then broke my waters, which actually spurted on hubby! They were clear, I was at 6cm and going very well. The bub was still posterior but everything was going very smoothly.
A little while later I felt the need to vomit which was just horrible! I began to vomit, though it was tricky as I couldn’t feel from my belly button down.
This was actually the worst part of the whole labour for me. I was moaning and groaning and the nurse kept asking if I was feeling any pain. I said “no, I just need to throw up!”
While I was vomiting the baby’s heart rate dropped to 60bpm. I wasn’t told this at the time thankfully as I would have freaked out.
The nurse stepped out of the room and frantically rang my doctor to come back in as the baby was in distress. I remember he came running into the room, saying he broke speed limits to get there! Luckily he only lives down the road from the hospital.
He checked me and I was at 10cm and all ready to go. Baby was still a little high in the birth canal, so the doctor used the vacuum to get him out.
My (dead) legs were put into stirrups and I was told to push like i was doing a poo. At this stage I was quite nervous as I’d never pushed a baby out before!
It was actually just like in the movies! I was holding my husband’s hand, chin on chest, and pushing for all my might. Two big pushes and out he came, all 6lb11oz of him, on our wedding anniversary! I was over the moon.
Hubbycut the cord and bubba was put straight onto my chest. I remember thinking how warm he was. He was all sticky and bloody, but I was so ecstatic that I had actually given birth to my son naturally.
The baby wasn’t crying when he came out, so he was taken and given some oxygen to perk him up a little. Hubby was holding the tiny mask over his face while the doctor stitched me up. All I needed was two stiches.
The doctor explained that there was a little more blood once the bub came out than normal, which he said could have been either from the scar from my previous caesarean, or from the placenta.
He seemed to lean towards the placenta as he thought the baby was a bit on the small side and thought maybe the placenta wasn’t working fully towards the end.
The baby was soon enough given back to me to try feeding for the first time and to enjoy the skin to skin contact. It was bliss.
A whole hour passed before he was even weighed and measured. I was so grateful to the nurses for that. Bonding was immediate and beautiful, everything I missed out on the first time around.
I cannot even compare my two birthing experiences as they are worlds apart. I suffered birth trauma with my first son, bonding was very hard in the beginning and the whole experience is something I never wanted to repeat. It took me about a year to get over the birth and contemplate having another child.
This time, I was ready to go again straight away! It was everything I hoped it would be and so much more.
I had a different doctor this time and I am so glad I changed as he is the most wonderful man and I can’t wait to have another baby with him as my doctor.
The first few days after the birth are not a drug induced blur, which it was last time. I remember everything from the birth and afterwards, and cannot wait to repeat the experience.
I am actually quite proud of myself for even attempting a vaginal birth after the previous caesarean. Some people said to me “aren’t you just going to have another Caesar?”, thinking that it would be the easiest option.
It didn’t even really cross my mind to book in for a Caesar as I wanted everything as natural as possible this time and I desperately wanted to experience a natural birth.
It’s quite hard to write this, but having a caesarean the first time made me feel like I wasn’t quite a proper woman as I didn’t give birth to my baby the ‘proper’ way.
I felt cheated and a little beneath those ladies who were able to give birth naturally, like I wasn’t part of the ‘club’.
In hindsight I know that my baby was born the way he was for a reason, and that reason was to get him out alive. It didn’t make me any less of a mother just because I had a caesarean.
Having this birth experience has made me feel so much better about my first birth and come to terms with a lot of things.
There is hope out there for those of you who are hoping for a VBAC. I was lucky in that the first time I got to 10cm but the bub got stuck, so that meant that my body could dilate, it was just logistics of the baby. And also, my doctor was willing to let me have a ‘trial of scar’.
All in all I couldn’t have asked for anything more. For me, it was the perfect birth with a perfect little baby, and I can’t wait to do it all over again!!