My first birth was a bit of a disaster. Essentially everything I didn’t want to happen, happened. Two weeks over, induction, failure to progress, so had to be given the hormone drip, baby’s heart rate dropped, I had a spike in temperature, which meant emergency section, and then a 10 day stay in hospital afterwards as baby’s infection markers were high, so we had to stay in for a precautionary course of antibiotics.
I was determined my second birth would be very different!
This time, my amazing midwife Kim Crowe gave me the confidence to make my own decisions and do what I wanted to do. I’d decided on a hospital birth because of the complications in my first labour and living 40-minutes (on a good run) from hospital. My due date came and went. At 40+5 I had an appointment at the Countess where I was told what my options were. Ordinarily a VBAC would be induced (drip only, not pessary) at 41 weeks. I was absolutely adamant this was not going to happen! The obstetrician was very understanding of my previous labour and also very positive with my decision to decline this option. We agreed that if I had not gone into spontaneous labour by 42-weeks that I would allow them to break my waters, and if nothing happened I would opt for an elective section. Even though this wasn’t my ideal, I felt happy that this was my decision, having taken into consideration all the NICE guidelines. At the same appointment I was given, a sweep. I believe this is what got things going.
On the Saturday night I had cramps every 20 minutes throughout the night, but by 7am the following morning they had tailed off. After I had put my toddler to bed that evening the cramps started again, this time approximately every 15-minutes. I had an appointment with my midwife, Kim anyway that evening, she gave me some advice we chatted and told me to call her at any time should I need her. As advised by Kim, I had a bath before bed as she said this would likely either calm things down, or get things going. Turns out it got things going. As soon as I got into bed the pains were too uncomfortable for me to sleep so I took to my birthing ball in a dimly lit room in front of the fire with my birthing playlist on and breathed my way through contractions until approximately 2.30am when I rang Kim, and she agreed it was time to head to hospital.
I was totally in the zone when I arrived at hospital, breathing through my contractions calmly and using my TENS machine, on examination I was told I was 4cm and was able to go to the delivery suite. I’d requested the high-risk unit with a pool and was lucky enough to get it. Initially it looked as though there was no wireless fetal heart monitor, but as soon as I refused to be tethered to a stationary one, they quickly found one. I was very relaxed, I spent most of my labour on a birthing ball as this was the only place I felt comfortable, chatting between contractions, continuing to use my TENS and breathing techniques. I did get a little disheartened when I was examined again and told I was 6cm, I was obviously hoping for more and had started to get tired by now, especially after essentially 2 nights of little to no sleep. The midwife at this point gave me some glucose tablets and I’m not sure if it was those, but something changed. The contractions ramped up, and I had to start using the Entonox. At this point I requested to get in the water. The water felt AMAZING! Not long after being in the water I felt the urge to push, and my body just kind of did. The midwife was struggling to maintain a trace on baby’s heart rate after a while, so unfortunately, I had to get out of the water. But after approximately an hour of pushing, my beautiful baby girl made her entrance naturally into the world, and never, ever, have I felt elation like it!!
Still 6 weeks on, I’m so proud of myself and this birth more than made up for my previous one!! Positive births do happen, and positive VBACs too!!!