Telling my story: My VBA2C
Today we an amazingly emotional and wonderful story from Rachel, who writes at Confessions of a Stay at Home Mum.
Her birth story originally appeared on her own blog and she has agreed to share it with us here.
"On the 17th September 2012 I did something amazing. I did something that is one of my greatest achievements ever. I gave birth to my 4th child, a gorgeous little boy. Yes, I know, there are many women giving birth every day and every single birth is an amazing achievement. The reason that his birth in particular is so special is because I did something I was told that I wasn’t allowed to do!
I was booked in to have a caesarean section on 3rd October at 39+2 weeks pregnant. It would be my 3rd section.
I delivered my 1st child naturally in 2005, but suffered a severe 3rd degree tear. When our 2nd child arrived just 17 months later I had opted to deliver via elective C-section. Our 3rd child was born also born via c-section in October 2010 under general anaesthetic due to placenta previa and placenta accrete.
I was told not to have any more children. So imagine my shock when just 14 months later we got a positive pregnancy test.
My consultant was very good and kept an eye on me all the time. We found out that everything was fine, and there was no signs of the problems we had had in the previous pregnancy. However, I was advised that as I had already had 2 c-sections, a 3rd was the safest way to go. I was devastated. This would probably be our last baby, and I wanted to experience the natural birth again, but was told it was too risky. I trusted my consultant who had looked after me so well with my pregnancies, that I agreed to the section. I was booked in for 39 weeks, despite me raising concerns that I didn’t think I would make it to that date. I don’t know why, just a gut feeling. I turned out to be right.
At 37 weeks pregnant I awoke at 4am with pains every 10 minutes. I didn’t bother waking my husband up, and at 7:00am I messaged my friend asking her advice. I didn’t want to go to the hospital for nothing, but she advised me that I should, because I am not meant to labour.
I eventually told my husband about the pains, I popped 2 paracetemol and called the labour ward to let them know and was told to go in. My husband took the older 2 to school, I quickly finished packing my hospital bag and threw the car seat covers in the washing machine and worried about the moses basket still sitting in the loft! But I figured if it was labour then it would be a section and I would be in for a few days anyway.
At around 9:30am we made our way to the hospital with our 23 month old daughter in tow. Convinced it was just a false alarm.
I made my way up to the labour ward whilst hubby went to get some breakfast with the toddler. I was shown to a bed and waited for the doctor. I popped on to the CTG monitor to check that it was labour.
At 11:45am I was seen by a Doctor. I was told that I was contracting every 1 in 10 minutes and upon examination I was 1cm dilated. Our baby was coming that day!
Because I was in early stages, and the labour ward was busy, I wasn’t a priority but he would definitely be born via c-section that day. I text my husband to let him know what was going on and he came up to see me briefly with our daughter before Grandad came to collect her.
Then it was a waiting game.
The anaesthetist came to see me at around 3pm to go through the consent form and what would happen in theatre. She checked that I was till having contractions every 10 minutes. I was. They were no more frequent and not painful at all. I had no pain relief other than the 2 paracetemol earlier that morning. She was pleased there didn’t seem to be any progression, and I was told that it wouldn’t be too much longer.
At 6:30pm I jumped off the bed with a really sharp pain and a lot of pressure in my pelvis. I told my husband that something wasn’t right, that I either needed to poop or push! I pushed the buzzer for the Midwife and told her. She chuckled at me and asked if I wanted the toilet. Frightened, I declined. “What if I push him out?” I asked. She assured me I wouldn’t and offered me some gas and air to try. She reassured me that the doctor was just finishing up in theatre and I was next down.
At 6:45pm I pushed the buzzer again and shouted that I needed to push to the Senior Midwife who
came in. I was still fully clothed (awaiting my theatre attire) and she asked if I could take my trousers off. I told her no, that I couldn’t move. Instead my husband helped the Midwife to remove them instead. She quickly examines me and flees the room without a word. As soon as she leaves I hear a big POP and a whoosh. My waters broke.
The Midwife came rushing in with the Doctor and told me that I was 10cm, they could see his head and there was no way I would make it to theatre. He was arriving naturally, and arriving now. I shouted at them “But I’m not allowed to deliver him. I’m not allowed!” The Doctor was brilliant and she reassured me that I could. That she had seen natural births after 2 sections and that the Senior Midwife would deliver me.
I was whisked out of the assessment bay and in to a room, where I was moved on to a delivery bed. The Midwife told me to listen to her very carefully and do exactly as she said.
At 6:55pm, just 10 minutes later, our little 5lb 7oz healthy baby boy arrived NATURALLY!
It was the best experience ever goes to show that not everything always goes to plan when it comes to babies and Mother knows best!
Recently another blogger, Becky, gave birth to her her second son via emergency section, after initially planning a VBAC. In an extremely rare case, Becky suffered a uterine rupture and she and her son spent some days in intensive care following his birth. She has written a very carefully balanced piece about her experience, which you can read here. Please note that uterine rupture is very rare.
If you are planning a VBAC please do read up lots before you make your decision- knowledge is power and each individual case is different.