VBAC Attempt

Nicola share’s her birth story below.  Her first child’s story is published here:Birth Story


After about 18 months of research I decided with my next baby I would attempt a VBAC. My  first birth was an emergency Cesarean after almost 48 hours of labour! So when I did fall pregnant, I did everything possible to make this an achievement. The only thing stipulated by my doctor was spontaneous labour.

The afternoon before our daughters 2nd birthday party, I was 39+3, I felt odd. I was very emotional, I am normally strong minded, I cried at every little thing, and I just didn’t feel right. My partner and I were making her cake and had a little tif, which caused me to run upstairs crying! He ended up going to a mates house to let me calm down, and whilst he was gone, I was getting some really strong cramps. I just put it down to working hard, it was a busy day preparing for our baby girls party.

9 pm came along and the cramps were getting stronger and closer. So I had a nice warm relaxing bath. That made the cramps stronger. So I called for my partner to come home. He got home at 11pm and I was pretty certain by then labour was on the way. So I tried to go to sleep. Midnight came and it was at the point where these pains were taking my breath away! So I rang the hospital. The midwife told me to come in, just to check since I was VBACing.

By the time we got there half an hour later, they were 5 minutes apart, and making me stop dead in my tracks. She checked me, and I was only 1cm but she said I should stay, as I was told I had to be monitored, once labour had been established.

The next few hours were fine, then I hit the wall. I needed something to take away the pain. We tried the gas, it worked really well at first, got the giggles with my partner! But then hit the wall again. We tried pethadine and the gas, and it worked really well. I just felt drunk, without the sick feeling! 7am came along and I knew I’d need more. The midwife once again check me, I was now 2 cm. She also gave me a stretch and sweep.

But I was having back labour again, like my first which meant bubs was posterior, like his big sister. This was not a good sign, because this is why I failed to progress with my first (she was also posterior, coming face first instead of head first), and that led to her becoming distressed, and hence why I had an emergency section in the first place. So we got an epidural. That was great. It was not a spinal like the first time, so I had much more movement. I was active, trying to get bubs to move to the right position.

We also realised we had about 30 people coming for Annabelle’s birthday party. We didn’t cancel, it was her special day and we had spent the day before preparing all the food, so we kept it on and everyone came. She had a wonderful day, I was so depressed I missed it, but at the same time knew it was for good reasons! Bryan went back home, just to inform everyone what was going on, to fill them in and just to celebrate a little bit. I was fine, I had some sleep whilst he was gone. He had a shower, freshened up, then came back to help me as much as he could!

Lunchtime came and things were going well. The doc came to check how things were, I was 4 cms! Yah! I reached where I got to last time. I also had bulging waters, so he broke them. That is something most of you would know, isn’t a nice feeling. Things were going nicely. Then 3 pm came along. I started getting very warm, and I had a temp, so the midwives told me to lay down, drink some water, and eat some ice. I had an epidural top up and I felt it leak, but they reassured me it was just sweat from having a temp.

Then all of a sudden my contractions returned. They were killer, still in my back and I couldn’t help it, I was wailing! The midwives were quick onto it, gave me a top up of something stronger and it took the edge off. I knew what was coming to, the c section! The doc came in, and checked me again, and low and behold, same as last time. 5cms this time, but face first, was stuck, and bubs skull was swelling up and becoming distressed. With my temp and the epidural not working properly I was told I needed an emergency ceaser. I knew it was for the best, but I still cried my eyes out. I gave it my best, everyone was super proud of me and that made it easier!

I was dressed for surgery, sterilzed all the same. I was wheeled into the operating room, but I was still feeling pain. I told everyone, I can still feel my contractions, please do something. They topped me up and I could still feel them. Topped me up again, and it seemed fine. She ran ice on my tummy, but I could just feel a cold breeze. So she topped me again. They started. Did an initial cut, as I will still complaining about minor pain. I felt a sting so they stopped, topped me up again, and I was fine. Doc performed the surgery and our baby boy was born.

Marshall Bryan Alexander, at the awesome date of 10th October 2010, (10-10-10) Weight 3.8 kg, or 8 pound 7! A big baby for my tiny frame of 5 feet!

I cried, I held him, I loved him, he was beautiful, but the worst was yet to come!

I could feel more stinging, and the anesthesist knew something was up, so she gave me gas, it helped til I fell what felt like a ripping feeling, wasn’t too painful, but when you’re awake in surgery, minor pain is MAJOR pain, I freaked out big time asking them to stop, so I was put under a general.

The last thing I remember is “Get dad and bubs out of the room please” and seeing the mask come over my face.I woke up about 40 minutes later in recovery. Very groggy, all I wanted to know was how my boy and partner were. The were fine. Just bonding whilst I was waking up.

I had a horrible cough from the breathing tube, which made things worse on the wound. I finally got to see my boy again and we breastfed straight away with no issues.

The pain I was experiencing in the Surgery, was from a leaky epidural that was picked up the next day, causing it to be patchy. I was lucky it at least worked a little! He was born 2 days before his big sister’s 2nd birthday, so I was still in hospital when she had her birthday,  I was a little upset I missed that, but we still made it special. She still came in and opened her presents.

There were a few postpartum problems. He had high weight loss and minor jaundice on discharge, but nothing too serious. So we were sent home.

The jaundice cleared up, but 2 weeks later wasn’t putting on any weight, but he wasn’t losing any either, he stayed at 3.5kg, this was due to me having post traumatic stress from the surgery, which effected my milk, more so than me personally.

I had a long recovery from my wound re opening whilst still in hospital, so took about 10-12 weeks to fully heal. But now Marshall is a very healthy 8 month old. The birth is now behind me and I am still determined to have a VBAC one day. My next one which will be a few years down the track will be an attempted VBA2C, if the same thing happens again I am requesting an assisted Cesarean section! It was a traumatic, eventful birth but every part of it was worth it