Firstly a HUGE thank you to the ‘VBAC Australia Support Group‘ Facebook Group! I couldn’t of done it without the support, research and stories from this group.
For those that don’t know what a VBAC is, it is ‘a vaginal birth after a caesarean’… so my second pregnancy.
I had an emergency c-section first time around…
With my first pregnancy (the birth of Ava), I ended up having an emergency c-section due to “failure to progress” (remained at 4cm dilated)… I was induced with every drug under the sun first time around and the hospital also broke my waters. Perhaps if I just waited for my body to go into natural labour I may have had a vaginal delivery? who knows… but Ava was born a healthy baby through the sun roof.
Why I wanted a VBAC?
I had a strong desire to have a vaginal birth… I wanted to experience child birth in my lifetime, don’t ask why? but it was just a instinct and something telling me I could do this and my body was made to do this. The hospital was very supportive of me having a VBAC however they suggested for me to book in a planned c-section at 41+3 ‘if i don’t fall into spontaneous labour’ by then (which i really didn’t want but didn’t want to risk anything that could happen to baby lewis). Another reason i wanted a VBAC was for shorter recovery. Running after a toddler makes life a little more different!
I discussed having a VBAC with my husband and he was supportive of this decision… then I discussed having a VBAC with my midwife and she also was very supportive of this decision. My due date for VBAC baby Lewis was 4 March 2018. The hospital gave me until the 15 March maximum to fall into spontaneous labour and have my VBAC, else I would have to have a c-section as risk factors start to increase.
I had tremendous pressure of a planned c-section date of the 15 March (41+3) which was from the hospital as the max they suggest to wait for a VBAC and opting for a c-section (weighing up the risk factors).
So here is my VBAC birth story…
I reached my due date (4 March)… and nothing happened… baby Lewis was super content in my tummy. Lewis gave me no signs of coming until at 12 March (when my mucus plug came out, which was a small sign…)
Everyday kept ticking over…. I reached 41wks… and he still wasn’t here in our arms.
Preferably I wanted no intervention with my second baby as I personally believe this led me in having a ECS first time round and after researching myself ‘no interventions or less interventions, more chance of a natural birth’. Time was ticking…. and the planned c-section date was creeping up… so I opted for 2x sweeps suggested by the hospital (48hrs apart… the first one at 40+5 which was unsuccessful as my cervix was not open at all and the second sweep at 41 wks where I was 2cm dialated). Sweeps are known as a ‘natural way to induce’. I believe the sweep didn’t do much, except lead me into produral Labour (fake labour) for a day, experiencing contractions on and off, then completely stopping. My body and Lewis clearly wasn’t ready…
This is where hope for a VBAC was coming closer…
The night before the planned c-section date came round…I let go of all worries and pressures… I was so worked up about this VBAC that my body and mind was not in the right frame of mind. I had come as far as the 41+3 days of waiting and had succumbed to the fact that I was going into my planned c-section the next day. my husband and I were very excited that we were finally going to meet baby Lewis… but I was a little upset and that I couldn’t of experienced natural birth (especially being our last baby) and I was going in for my second c-section.
At exactly midnight that night when I was fast asleep, I heard and felt a “POP”!!! then a trickle, then a gush of water 💦 coming out from down there!! My waters popped!!! Naturally!!! I hit hubby and said omg my waters broke!! I can try for a natural birth, my last chance! I started crying with excitement and literally thought this was a miracle… I had let go all thoughts that night and my body responded… 10 minutes after my waters broke I started to get contractions, starting off quite strong (well I thought they were strong but not compared to later on that day).
Hubby and I went into hospital around 2am 15 March and I laboured in hospital all day (using my tens machine and ranting like a tennis player lol through each contraction – as hubby said to me).
The pain was intensifying… we got to 7pm that day and I wanted pain relief, they gave me gas which I loved and was smoking like a cigar eventually haha but I wanted more pain relief. By 8pm the gas wasn’t enough, so I opted for a epidural… what a relief that was, I could still feel contractions though but not as painful… 11pm hit and they gave me a VE and I was 10cm!!! The midwife said it’s time to push.
ITS TIME TO PUSH:
I started to push through each contraction … bubs heart rate started to go down and I could tell the midwife was a little concerned, she called in the dr and the dr said “do u consent to a episiotomy and forceps as we need to get baby out now!!” I said “YES please do anything”… one last contraction and I pushed him out.
Baby Lewis was born on the 15 March at 11:22pm. He was rushed off to NICU as his breathing was not good, however he did have a strong heart beat and made a full recovery. Baby Lewis was discharged from NICU after 30hrs as he was breastfeeding like a trooper and was 100% healthy.
To be honest, getting my VBAC was absolutely amazing and so empowering. It wasn’t the perfect ending to the actual birth, where I planned to have skin to skin and pull baby out from my vagina, but I was so glad to have the support in hospital and they helped my baby recover. Lewis is a perfect little baby boy and we are so in love with him.
Note: I ended up getting an episiotomy, 2nd grade tear, forceps and lost 1.6L of blood (but didn’t need a blood transfusion).
I don’t regret the decision of going for a VBAC! Labor was the most incredible experience I have ever experienced in my life time. Trusting my body (and Lewis) could do what it was meant to do ‘naturally birth’, was the most empowering experience. Lewis is now 3 months old and is such a healthy, gorgeous little boy!
Recovery is also a lot better than a c-section, especially running after a toddler!
Please feel free to message me and ask me anything about my VBAC!