A Vaginal Birth After Caesarean!
I’d been having Braxton hicks since 16 weeks of pregnancy so they were nothing new. Had started getting period pains for about a week on and off. But I started having more regular ones the few evenings before wed night. I had this with my last pregnancy so started to feel maybe something might happen soon. Had a bit of a panic though as I could tell baby had moved round to “Right Occiput Transverse” (ROT) and was not moving from there. So spent the day tues and wed on the ball, on all fours and in the pool.
Wednesday night about 10pm got period type pains again and Braxton hicks started coming every couple of minutes and were short about 30 seconds apposed to my normal ones that would last a good few minutes. So I knew this was different and thought yep this is it. I went up stairs to bed to try to sleep as they weren’t painful just a bit uncomfortable and my last labour started at this sort of time of day and I wanted to be as rested as possible. 2 hours later hubby came to bed and I was still awake. I mentioned I had some tummy pains but played it down as wanted to just keep it calm and relaxed. He went off to sleep while I laid there either on my left side or propped on my front using my hypnobirthing breathing. By 1am they were starting to get painful and I decided to move to my birth room, set up the lights, music and put on the tens. I went to the bathroom and had a bloody show. I woke hubby and we went downstairs and got things set up.
About 2am i called the delivery suite as my community midwife had said she wanted to know sooner rather than later that i was in labour as they liked to get their things set up as they don’t leave home birth packs at home round here. Also being a “Vaginal Birth After Caesarean” (VBAC) she said would prefer to be around even if hands off. I had no problems with this so rang delivery suite. Women on phone useless and said if I could breath through them and they were only lasting 30 seconds then I wasn’t in labour despite the contractions only being 1 and half minutes apart. I said my last labour had close contractions and started just like this and having had a show I was sure I was in labour. She asked about my last labour and started to try to go through the risks of home vbacs, i said i knew already and had been through this. yet she wasn’t concerned enough clearly to send a midwife to check me. She said have a rest, bath and ring back in a few hours if they get worse but would probably stop as unlikely in labour.
So I used the tens and my hypnobirthing breathing. By 3.30am they were lasting 50 seconds, were painful and every 1.30 minutes still. I had a fair bit of bloody show. It took over 15 minutes to get through to the delivery suit on the emergency number! I left Hubby to do this as I was trying to stay in the zone. Also got him to contact Chloe my doula. Hubby eventually persuaded the delivery suite I needed a midwife, after a fair bit of discussion. They said they would ring the community midwife and she would call us.
Chloe arrived around 4am I think. Midwives still hadn’t rung so hubby tried again and they said midwife was on her way. I was struggling a little with the pain and feeling some pressure so really felt I needed a midwife and felt a little panicky they weren’t here as the contractions were so close and intense. I got in the pool which helped. Midwife arrived 10 minutes later at 4.30am I requested gas and air not long after this as had been feeling a bit overwhelmed and wanted help. She said she wanted to examine me so I had to get out of the pool. I knew I didn’t have too but I felt I needed some reassurance something was happening and didn’t want to fight over getting the gas and air and also wanted to prove to her I was dilating and in labour. So managed to get out and struggle through an exam. She declared I was in labour (no shit!) and about 4cm and should wait for the gas and air if I could as only limited supplies at home and going to be a while yet.
I felt really deflated by this news. I felt things were really intense. Contractions were as much on as off and lasting a minute but only 1 and half minutes apart so no rest. I started to doubt myself. The midwife said she needed to go get some water birth stuff as useless southmead hadn’t told her it was a water birth. As I was only 4cm she had time to go the the hospital and back (about 40mins round trip). When she left I decided to use tens first and Chloe and Olly were great at reassuring me that it was ok I was only 4 cm and actually it meant nothing. Was great to have Chloe saying it as I knew it was true but felt I had miles to go still. I managed to calm my breathing and get my hypnobirthing under control and use the tens for about another 30 mins and calm right down which I think probably really help get the oxytocin going again. Contractions were really cranking up and I felt lots of low pressure. I wanted to try to stay out of the pool until the midwife returned but couldn’t and got back in about 10 mins before she returned at about 5.45am I think. I really wanted gas had air then and the midwife got that sorted. She remarked I sounded much further along and thinks seemed to be cranking up. I could have told her that! So I started the gas and air and that was great, real relief. Just took the edge off and helped me stop the panicking I had started that I couldn’t do it and cope with the pain. I started feeling very pushy not long after that. Midwife was great and didn’t insist on examining me or mess me about. Didn’t really notice her there. She said just go with it. I started making a lot of noise and making some very silly comments about the fact i should have had a c-section and next time i will, so I guess I’d hit transition. My waters went not long after 6am.
I then felt the real urge to push and suddenly realised what people mean when they say you just know. My god was it a strange feeling and totally different to the pushing sensation I had been feeling for some hours. Totally unique. It was very exciting. Tried to resist the pushing too much and let my body get on with it as wanted to breath baby out gently. That worked for a bit but then I panicked. Last time I got to this stage although couldn’t feel it as had a semi working epidural. But last time everyone kept saying I was doing so well and could see the hair and it wouldn’t be long etc but then admitted actually baby wasn’t moving down at all. I felt déjà vu as I asked if I was close and if you could see the head and every one said I was close and this was it but then the midwife said she couldn’t see anything yet and asked me to just lean back so she could listen to check babies heartbeat as hasn’t appeared yet. This totally panicked me as I thought oh my god its a repeat of last time, babies stuck I’m gonna push and nothing’s going to happen and we will end up transferring. So when she said heart beat was fine I then pushed with the next few contractions and baby moved down super quickly as I felt it and felt the head crown. At which point I tried to back off pushing but was a bit late by then. So did end up with a second degree tear which I knew was the panics fault but never mind. Managed to gently get the rest of the head out and felt down to my babies head and hair. The most amazing feeling in the world. I knew this was it almost here. The gap waiting for the next contraction was fantastic knowing I was almost there and getting that little rest. Then with one quick motion at the next contraction the body was out and I caught her with a little help from the midwife to bring baby to surface as cord was round her neck and body. Midwife unlooped it as I held her. She was born at 6.45am. The second midwife arrived just after she was born. Took them all by shock I had got from 4cm at 4.30am to delivering at 6.45am. My second stage was only 15minutes, total labour from first niggles 8hrs.
It was amazing. She was really calm and didn’t cry for a few seconds. Everything was really calm and we just let her start breathing in her own time as the cord kept pulsing. Then i checked the sex and announced we had another girl. I was in total shock that I had done it. Olly was in tears. We had a cuddle and my mum popped her head in to see her new granddaughter. Then midwife suggested we got out of the pool to deliver the placenta as pool was a little dirty! I got out and laid on the mattress on the floor and had skin to skin and cuddles with Olly. The cord stopped pulsing and olly cut it after 10 minutes.The placenta delivered naturally 5 minutes later. Olly had skin to skin while I got stitches and Mia was weighed. Then I breast fed and my older daughter came to meet her new baby sister who was less than an hour old.
The midwives did their clearing up and notes and mum made us breakfast. So we had tea and croissants. It was fantastic and all we could hope for. The midwife was really good and basically let us get on with it. She took my blood pressure once at the beginning and just did the one exam. She didn’t mention the scar once and I didn’t even give it a passing thought until after the labour. In fact she was barely there for most of the labour as came for half an hour then left and was only back for less than 2hrs before delivery. So was lovely and peaceful and very intimate with just those around I wanted.
Bit stiff and sore now but feeling amazing compared to last time and the difference from not having a section is immense. I probably could have done it without tearing if I hadn’t had the panic moment and pushed but we can’t have everything and I’m sure the stitches will heal fine. Mia is amazing and such a quiet, cuddly and content baby with no bruising and marks. So different to poor Aliona after her birth. I already feel really bonded to her despite getting very little sleep since the birth. Whereas last time I just felt so distant and tired and blamed poor Aliona and couldn’t bond for a long time and just cried. Mia I just don’t want to put down.