Where do I begin the story of my journey to a VBAC?
Ethan was born in 2006 I was very naive towards birth and the whole process. I thought the public hospital classes were enough to get me through the delivery…but OH MY GOD the pain! The suffering…. I had no idea what was happening to me and had no idea what to do! My mum, bless her, had 2 cesareans, so she wasn’t much help, to be honest! I went through the public system – at the height of a baby boom, so it was like a farmyard at this particular large teaching hospital in the south west of Sydney *cough cough* Liverpool *cough cough*.
All the drugs they offered me I gladly took, and boy did they have the goods! I was off my rocker until I finally gave up after about 20 hours of established labour and after days of constant prelabour. I accepted the epidural at only 7cm dilated. Now let me stop here and say the thought of making the pain stop once I had given up mentally was heaven but trying to hold completely still while the put in the epidural was quite terrifying.
Once fully dilated, the doctor on duty asked me to push. This was a complete joke in itself as being paralysed from the waist down makes it a little hard to push a watermelon out of your vagina! So he attempted to vacuum him out, he was posterior, I was flat on my back, and he was big. It didn’t work, so the doctor says he is not coming out. So it’s off to surgery – he calls a cesarean due to him “not fitting”. By this time I was totally over it and just happy it was all going to be finally over.
I still remember the feeling of being wheeled to surgery and my epidural starting wearing off…. I was screaming at everyone to get me to theatre faster to top up my anesthetic as I was so afraid of feeling that pain again!!!!!!
Looking back on Ethan’s birth and the first few months, I’m quite sure I had some form of post-natal depression. The birth was so traumatic for me and then breastfeeding was hard to establish (and after such a traumatic birth experience I couldn’t handle it, so I threw the towel in after about three weeks) and I didn’t feel quite connected to my baby. This lost and unattached feeling honestly lasted about three months. It took that long for the panic to calm so that it felt like I could breathe again, to hear his cry and not have my entire body freeze with anxiety.
After this experience, I was adamant I would have a VBAC (Vaginal Birth After Cesarean) the second time around. Foolishly thinking, if I went private and hired the ants pants OB in my area I would get what I wanted (a VBAC) all would be sweet.
He blindsided me at about 37 weeks…sending me off to a growth scan to measure Amaya, results came back showing she was weighing 4kg’s at 37 weeks. “Oh well you’re going to have all the same problems you had with your first so don’t even bother, I’m booking you in for an elective C -Section at 39 weeks”.
I was gutted. I desperately wanted a VBAC.
I remember walking away from that appointment with my Ob and balling my eyes out in the car park to my husband. He had played the “you’re going to kill your baby” card and what was I to say against that?? Looking back, I just wasn’t in the right head-space to fight for what I wanted. I felt I didn’t have any full support for my VBAC, so I buckled.
Amaya was born in 2008 at 39weeks – it is a strange feeling driving to the hospital knowing that you are booked in to have your baby.
But deep down I knew my body could do it. I just knew that my body was made for birthing and I believed that I could achieve a VBAC, or in my case a VBA2C (Vaginal Birth After 2 Cesareans), I just needed the confidence in myself. More importantly, I needed unwavering support surrounding me.
We fell pregnant around June 2010, and we weren’t planning on trying until the end of the year at the earliest. I was late, but then I didn’t really know, I just woke up one morning and thought “crap where are my periods?” and when I did the test, and it came back positive we were both in shock. Jake more so – I still remember his reaction…
Jake: “HOW DID THIS HAPPEN?”
Me: “Ummm I’m pretty sure you were there!”
Before falling pregnant – I had started researching my options and if I could achieve a VBAC/VBA2C. I knew I could, but I also knew that I needed the full support of those around me. I knew what I wanted so I set about quietly researching so that when the time came again, I was ready. I wanted to birth in a hospital – home-birth wasn’t an option I wanted to pursue, I was much more comfortable with the thought of birthing in hospital in case anything went wrong. I wanted a fully supportive OB. I wanted a supportive (of hospital birth) independent midwife as support at home and in hospital.
I found all of those things!
This time around I was going to head into this thing guns blazing.
Click here to read PART 2.
Girl with Guns Blazing |Photo Credit – http://marlakeller.tumblr.com/image/53753474564