Tuesday, September 4, 2012

VBA2C- Accidental Home Birth! (A VBAC Interview)


I just love this vaginal home birth after TWO! cesareans.  Very interesting also to read about the difference in care from one country to another.  I included the mothers thoughts too on how much it helped her to read the stories of OTHER VBAC moms as she prepared for hers.  Just sharing your story is so powerful!  Thank you to all the women who do that on this blog.  I appreciate you!  (You can send me your VBAC story, check out the interview info in my VBAC section on the blog!

 I am more than happy to share. Without reading other mums perspectives on VBAC and how they went about to achieve this I would have given up the moment I found out I was pregnant. So I see the value on mums sharing their stories to give other mums hope and inspiration :)
Feel free to share the birth story - it is very long do you want it made shorter?

Here is my answers. I will add that I live in New Zealand where the maternity system is different to other parts of the world. We have free access to Midwives who are our primary caregivers and only see an OB if we have "high risk" pregnancies, or something unusual - breech, twins etc. But the OB oversees the Midwives in these situations and works with the midwife as a team :) But at the same time they are very cautious of VBA2C.

-So, I would love for you to first give a brief rundown of your first birth/s and what you feel like happened and why you had a c-section.
First birth: 
Induced at 42weeks - 3 day induction with Gel and tape that did not do much. On the 4th day they broke my waters, hooked me up to Syntocinon {called Pitocin in the States} and labour started - very slowly. Was hooked up to machines for monitoring, hubby had his PHD oral Examination to attend so had to go to that for two hours while we hoped that labour might pick up a bit. He came back and nothing much was happening. I was allowed to go into the bath to relax and pass time - that kicked things off a bit. Ended up being told I needed an epidural to see if that helped things, an hour later about 9 at night - 12 hours later I was told that I was failure to progress as I was only 3cm, my temp was going up and baby's heart rate was playing up so I was taken for a c-section. When my waters were broken it was black from meconium so they were a little cautious. The c-section was not pleasant. I felt being cut open and had post op infections and problems that lead me to being in hospital for almost 2 weeks and unable to get out of bed on my own for months. I felt like a failure and like I had no control in the situation. 

Baby number 2 I was booked in for a c-section at 40 weeks and told if  I went into labour before that then they would let me have a trail of labour.....I was not happy with this as a c-section was the last thing I wanted. I knew I would be late so talked them into waiting ten days, they compomised and said 7 days over. 7 days came and as I had had some contractions I was "allowed" to wait till ten days over.
Went into hospital 9 days over due for my pre op and told to go home as I was in early labour. Labour was long and hard - posterior baby. I ended up having a c-section as baby was well and truly stuck. I didn't feel like as much of a failure this time, just scared and worried what will happen during the operation and after. I do believe that this c-section was needed as baby had to be pushed up one end to get him out by the surgeon. Also because it took a bit of force and a while to get him out. But after 2 c-sections I was adamant I was not having any more children as I could not go through another surgery like this again....someone had other plans for me and baby number 3 surprised us so the planning for a VBA2C started :)

-What made you desire a VBA2C when they seem so hard to come by in the current obstetric climate?

I didn't see having a c-section and option as both of my previous c-sections were for different reasons, therefore I had hope that I could have a VBA2C. 
Due to the trauma and difficulty I had with bonding with my two oldest I knew that if it was possible and I was "allowed" to have a VBA2C then I was going to - even if I had to try and fight for it.....luckily I got great care providers who were relatively supportive of my situation and encouraging - not what I expected at all.

-How did you find a care provider who would support you? 
When having baby #2 my back up midwife was at our birth. She was amazing, so supportive and I knew straight away I wanted her for baby #3. I had also heard great things about her and how she was so supportive of providing mums the support they need to get the birth they desired, as long as it was safe for baby and mum. I contacted her asking if she was available and if she was supportive of a VBA2C and she replied with  "yes I can, lets make a time to see you in a couple of days". Right then I knew she was right for me and I trusted her from day one.

-What was labor like for you? 
AMAZING. I don't know how to describe it. It all happened just like that and so fast that I was in the zone, relaxed and had a real peace of mind about bringing this baby into the world as well as being rather excited that my body knew how to go into labour on its own - the Dr's were worried that it wouldn't. It just felt so natural and right. I let my body do what it needed to and 2 hours later baby boy was born at home (unplanned - he was meant to be born in hospital but we didn't make it) I would say now looking back it was pain free - but I do remember it being painful, just not a pain that I would describe as bad. this labour was a moment in my life I will never forget as it really was amazing. Hubby tells me this was my healing baby and birth.

-What helped you VBAC?

My Midwife - having someone I trusted, believed she was supportive and I was relaxed around. She was my rock and I knew she would help me birth natural if all was going well and if she felt things were not going so good she would make the call and I would know that it her decision was right. Having someone I trusted was hugely important, particularly if I had to trust in someone telling me I needed a c-section when I felt that my first one was unnecessary. 

I also believe that being positive and open minded at the same time helped. I always told myself that I was having a VBA2C and that this baby would come natural, but if for some reason I needed a c-section then it was meant to be. I guess I went into my third birth like it was my first - unsure what to expect, that I have the same chances of baby arriving naturally than then any other mother, but a slightly higher chance of it being a c-section. But  this time I had more knowledge and understanding that allowed me to be so relaxed and at ease with my decision to attempt a VBA2C.

I also made sure I told no one other than my midwife, hubby and my on call child minders knew what babies due date was. No one else knew. Simply because I didn't want people ringing from the due date nearly every night asking if baby had arrived. People assumed we had a c-section date booked and kept asking when that was, but we just simply said there is no date booked at this stage and that baby was due late April early May. Most people thought we were lying, but it kept them quiet and allowed us to keep everyone guessing but leaving us alone :) This I felt helped as it gave us the space we needed. 

My Hubby was very helpful. he supported me all along, gave me strength and trusted in me and my body and he helped put my mind at ease when I doubted I could do this (naturally I had moments of doubt) .

When I went into labour I felt ready and felt it was right and just let my body do what it wanted / needed to do. 

-How did you prepare for your VBAC (was there anything you did differently)?
I made sure that as time got closer to the arrival of bubs I had little stress around. we were lucky that Hubby got 6 weeks parental leave from his job. As my other two were late we expected baby 3 to be late as well. Hubby started parental leave a few days before my due date. this gave us about 2 weeks of waiting and having him around home to help out and give me time out to prepare for baby. I was able to go for long walks, sleep, do any nesting I needed, visit friends child free and basically be free to do what I needed while I waited for baby's arrival. I also had lots of acupuncture, appointments with the midwife and OB and scans. I also treated my self to a massage and long hot baths at night when the kids were in bed. I spent that time with him on leave relaxing and not worrying about anything. I believe this helped and was lucky to have this luxury as we didn't with either of the other pregnancies.
I read and read and read some more. every afternoon I had  a rest and read blogs, articles anything I could on VBA2C or VBAMC but mostly about VBAC's as there is more success stories available for VBAC's. I watched videos and processed all the information that I felt I needed to take in to achieve having a VBA2C.

I made sure I found a fantastic midwife who I trusted, was supportive of my decision and I was comfortable with, which I did and she was AMAZING. I could not have asked for better. 

Also I think just being realistic about the situation and when talking to the OB about a "birth plan" that I went in with knowledge, answers and was very relaxed and not worked up during our discussion. Luckily i was assigned to an OB who was positive, realistic and also supportive. ever time we meet with her we left feeling empowered and like this was a possibility - so different to when we were attempting a VBAC with baby number 2. 

I didn't feel panicked and out of control like my previous births. I trusted my body and my mind was clear and positive. 


-Describe your VBAC birth story.  We would LOVE to hear about it!

Where do I start? - it happened so quickly. 
Spent the day at home, no niggles yet again. Just decided that I would do a few jobs around home and rest as I was tired from all the walking the day before.
Hubby went out to lunch wit the kids and granddad. When they came home I had a few little niggles, but nothing to get excited about so I continued the day and thought about having a relaxing bath to de stress a bit. A friend came over (who is a midwife) I told her I was having a few niggles and that baby might come by the end for the weekend. She left and Hubby went to mow the lawns and came in an hour later to me about to have a baby. I woke to a sore tummy, then bam another contraction and another and another. I decided to time then as they were so intense. 1 min apart and 40 seconds long. I decided to not panic and just try and relax - in all honesty I was thinking shit this is painful how can I last another 8 hours of this. Hubby came in and I said to him that I think baby might be on its way today. We discussed calling the midwife. decided to wait. I then stood up and felt baby drop lower. hubby decided to call her any way to give her the heads up. She decided that due to contractions coming on so fast that it would be false labour so she would come check in an hour. about 15mins later my waters broke. she said she would meet us at the hospital. Hubby came in to tell me that we were heading to the hospital. My response was that I could not get in the car. Hubby rang the Midwife back and she heard me in the back ground and asked if I could go on my hands and knees and she would come straight away - she was at the other end of town and got stuck in rush hour traffic (problem with going into labour on a Friday late afternoon). Once she arrived she asked hubby to warm up some towels - he then realized we were not going via ambulance to hospital but baby was going to be born at home. We called my friend and her mum (who are both Midwives) to help attend as they knew baby would be big (estimated 10.6lbs) and because of previous c-sections. They prepared the house for a home birth - heaters on, set up re-suss table, found pillows (birthing on a wooden floor in the bathroom - midwife was worried baby might come flying out) and getting towels and anything else needed. not long after baby arrived and before I knew it I was holding my little boy in my arms slightly in shock what had just happened. We then all went to the lounge to feed baby and lay on the couch waiting for the ambo to arrive. I got to surprise a few people that I had just text or spoken to a few hours before by sending them a text with the news of his speedy arrival. 
Due to the speed of his delivery I did tear so was transferred to hospital, but went to the birthing unit for a few days of rest once we were all stitched up. 

The following day the Midwife arrived to check up on us. she said that she had just opened up a letter for the OB with a long "birth plan" that she looked forward to emailing her to say thanks, but a bit late and this baby had a mind of his own :)

- Has the postpartum experience been different than your other birth/s?  What about it surprised you? 
  
It has been incredibly different.
I get asked all the time - what do you prefer. Natural or c-section and I respond with a natural with a 3rd degree tear any day. In all honesty my c-sections were traumatic and were not pleasant. I had post op complications and also felt the c-section when I had baby number one. having a VBA2C has been so empowering. Even more so that it was so fast, an unplanned home birth and relatively complicated free compared to c-sections.
I was back into life at coffee group at one week old. Out to church and could pop to the shops with the family when and if I wanted. I remember taking baby out when he was a week old thinking how weird it was that I was driving. 

After my sections I was in bed, unable to move and it was difficult. I had never done new born care with my other two as It was difficult to get in and out of bed easily so this time around it was a real novelty to dress baby, change his nappies and give him his first bath. In fact I just wanted to cuddle him all day long where as the others I would feed and then hubby would cuddle them as the pressure on my tummy was awful. 

This time around was just amazing. I now realize how new mums can be back into life and feeling so amazing after having a baby as natural birth is much easier to recover from and you do feel much better after.

I do have to laugh at the people that say to me - did you not realize you were in labour? or I guess since you had two c-sections before you would not know what labour was like so would not have had any idea that you were in labour and about to pop a baby out at home.

1 comment:

mandyjanedesigns said...

This is so beautiful and I am so very very happy for you! I'm a VBA2C Mom myself! My story is here: http://thegiftofgivinglife.com/joy-cometh-in-the-morning-a-vba2c-birth-story/

Mama Birth: I would love to answer your VBAC questionaire and put my story here if you would like to have it! Thanks for sharing!

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