I'm Second Time Mama - Birth Story
The birth of our little rose was an extraordinary experience. After my son's emergency caeserean birth, I was keen on having a different experience this time so I prayed and prepared for a VBAC (vaginal birth after caeserean). Thankfully I had lots of support from my husband, my mother who had also had a VBAC and my healthcare providers who were solidly behind my plan.
I had been experiencing increased Braxton Hicks (practice contractions) for several weeks before I actually went into labour. At 39 weeks, I met with my consultant for a cervical assessment and membrane sweep. If the sweep did not trigger labour, they would have to wait 12 days past due date to intervene further. However, their hope was that I would go into labour spontaneously to avoid being induced with drugs. Just over 24 hours after the sweep, I started having stronger contractions but they were still all over the place. I had noticed reduced fetal movement over the course of the day so I called in to let them know and they asked me to come in to get it checked. Since fetal distress was the reason for the c-section last time, I was worried but I prayed and left everything in God's hands. We brought our bags along because we had a strong feeling we would be returning home with baby. When we arrived at the hospital, the following took place:
5pm-6pm: We arrived at the hospital for fetal monitoring. I was hooked up to the machine and it showed baby was not very happy but they couldn't figure out why so they kept me on for another hour.
6pm-7pm: My contractions started coming consistently. Because of the fetal monitoring results and the fact that my contractions were getting regular, they decided to admit me and transfer me to the labour ward. I had hoped for the birth centre because I still wanted to have a water birth but I guess it was not meant to be.
7pm-8pm: Met my lovely midwife who told me that they would break my waters to help things along and that the consultant was giving me four hours to have baby before any further intervention.
8pm-9pm: My waters started trickling out and labour kicked off properly. I could still manage the pain by using breathing techniques at this point. In fact, I was still chatting, laughing and dancing.
Between 10pm and midnight, things went very quickly. I needed Entonox (gas and air) to manage the pain at this point because I started having powerful contractions back to back. I tried labouring in different positions; being on my knees and using the bed for support was the most effective. I was determined not to use anything but Entonox but I ended up asking for a bit of Pethidine to take the edge off. As with my last, Pethidine made me feel like a zombie but it did make the pain slightly more manageable.
After Midnight: Everything went really fast and I can hardly remember details now. Felt like my body was present but my mind was somewhere else. I think I dilated fully and my midwife asked me to come to the sitting position so I could start pushing. After pushing a few times, she asked if she could perform an episiotomy (a cut to the perineum to avoid uncontrolled tearing) and I agreed. After that I pushed with every contraction and every fibre of my being. First her head popped out. Head of gorgeous wavy black hair. Then after three more very powerful pushes, the rest of her body came out. At 2.46am on May 5th, our little girl was born. I remember repeating "Oh my God, she is so small!" Actually she was bigger than Chiddybear was at birth but I just hadn't seen a newborn in so long (read Chiddybear's birth story here). She was perfect! She didn't cry so they took her to the resuscitation station, cleaned her, rubbed her back, gave her some oxygen etc. She still barely made a sound but she was fine. They said it was probably because some of the Pethidine had passed on to her and made her sleepy but actually as I write this, she's still a very quiet baby. I think we're getting a glimpse of her personality.
So there you have it, our birth story. It was like a dream! I got my VBAC. By 11am we were well enough to be discharged and got home in time for lunch. This was by far one of the most amazing experiences of my life. Some might say it was a less than ideal birth afterall I had planned a completely natural water birth and still ended up with some interventions but I am very happy and grateful to God that everything turned out fine despite all that could have gone wrong. My recovery has been quick and baby is doing really well. Already weighing 3.26kg (7.18lbs) on Day 5.
Again, I thank you all for your prayers and well wishes. God bless you. I would also like to say a massive thank you to my midwife. Fiona, I hope you read this. You are an angel. You made my experience wonderful.