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Birth of Joshua Lucas, my VBA2C I DID IT!


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#1 Chocolate Mousse

Posted 15 November 2008 - 12:51 AM

The Birth Of Joshua

A Personal Account of my Journey to Birth


To even begin to understand what this birth has meant to me, I need to go back four years ago to when I was in labour the first time.  I have included my first two birth’s as people continually ask me why I had the first two caesars and what happened.   I have also included what I did to prepare for the birth.  Also a lot of this story are my thoughts and feelings, as this has been so relevant to my journey.  Maybe someone else will be able to relate, apparently so much of what I went through is all too common.  So if you already know me, and my history and just want to read about this birth, just skip forward to the line with the stars       ************  

I guess I was Australia’s typical first time mum, I’d been to the standard antenatal classes, to the parent classes, gone to antennal aqua aerobics, eaten what I was told I could, and didn’t eat what I wasn’t meant to eat, I’d read all the standard pamphlets and booklets the doctors and midwives gave me, I read a few additional books of my own.  I bought a lovely mainstream book which gave the weekly development of the baby, and I’dmarveled at it all.  I felt that I was as mentally prepared as I could be, given that it was all new and unknown.  I really had visualized it all going well, and I didn’t really feel that I’d have any major issues, I genuinely looked forward to being in labour, certainly with my own fears and concerns though. I marveled at my changing body, and I loved loved loved being pregnant.  I was a very proud pregnant woman I really knew how amazing and special this was.  However, looking back, I was very uneducated, and very badly supported.  

I’d had regular periods of pre-labour in the week leading up to my big day.  I finally awoke at 5.00am in pre-labour, contractions were varying from 7 mins to 5 mins, back to 7 mins again.  

As fate had it, I had an appointment at the hospital first thing that day anyway as the Dr wanted me to have some monitoring, so I basically rocked up, in pre-labour.  I went on like this all day, still the same at 5.30 pm that evening, I remember speaking to my Mum on the phone and feeling another contraction come on, and have in fizzle out to not much at all.  

Things slowly heated up, and by 8.00pm, I’d say I was in true early labour, and in well established labour by 10.00pm.  By this point though I was pretty tired.  I do have some lovely memories of the day in hospital, looking out at the sky, and feeling how gorgeous I felt.  I felt all lit up and just really beautiful (I’ve later learned this was an effect of the hormones) I, at the time felt I was surrounded by angels : ).  

My waters broke around 10.30pm, and they got me in the shower on a birth ball, this was the most empowering part of my labour.  I have great memories of the strong contractions, the power of them, the regularity of them, and rocking on that ball.  My husband was behind me with the shower head keeping me warm, the water just felt like heaven and I couldn’t believe how well the water seemed to wash the pain away.  The warm water truly felt like heaven on my back and lower belly.  With some contractions and rocking I could feel my baby moving down deeper in to my pelvis.  I loved it, and have since used this scene in preparation for my second two births to help power me up.  

The midwife decided to do a VE, so out of the nice warm, dark shower and up onto the bed, I was 6cm’s, and pretty tired, but really doing well, not too distressed.  They’d kept asking me throughout the day, over and over again, if I was planning on having an epidural etc, and I kept telling them no, but truthfully having had to decline so many times, and seeing their reaction each time, I started to wonder…. It slowly weakened my resolve.  I started thinking, hhhhmmmm, obviously they know more than I do, they seemed to think I was making the wrong decision, and I started to feel foolish.  

Anyway, eventually a midwife, said to me, ‘ok, this is your last chance, if you want an epidural at all this is your last chance now.’  I caved in, had the epidural, and everything slowed right down and pretty much came to a stop.  I have to admit, I was grateful at the time, thanking the midwife profusely, but in hindsight it wasn’t a good decision.  

Peter went home to get some sleep, and they gave me sleeping tablets, told me to lay on my left side and to try and get some sleep.  What a joke!

Little did anyone know that I was just in a long stage of transition.  I remember having these thoughts alone trying to get some sleep, that I couldn’t do it, that I just wanted to go home, and I didn’t need a baby after all.  20 mins later, it all started up again.  BANG BANG BANG, massive, power contractions like never before.  A midwife gave me a VE and asked me if I felt like pushing, when I replied no, she called the Dr.  The Dr came back, he’d been in and out all day and night, he gave me a VE and asked me the same thing.  I’m thinking, ‘great, I must be fully dilated, lets get me up into a better position and start pushing, get things going’ I’m so excited, and then the Dr says that because there had been some meconium in the waters earlier, and because baby’s heart rate was dropping a bit with each contraction, they felt that the baby was showing some signs of distress.  He said that although I was fully dilated, the head was still really high, but that this baby needed to come out really soon, and I could be like that for another 18 hours.  He wanted to give me a caesarean.  

Well, I still remember the feeling as I lay there contracting, looking at him.  I just felt confused, powerless, but although I was confused, I didn’t have the words to ask questions.  I didn’t know any alternatives, I didn’t think to ask, well what if we just wait another hour?  What if we change my position, see what happens?  Because they certainly didn’t seem worried about the meconium or the heart rate before, it only seemed to suddenly be an issue now that I was 10 cm’s.  

Well, I agreed to the surgery, and phoned Peter.  It took them about 40 minutes to prepare for it, and all the while I was lying flat on my back contracting, contracting, really powerful ones.   I couldn’t feel the pain as I’d had the epidural, but I really did feel the stunning power of them.  I couldn’t believe I had that much power inside my body.  I likened the force of it to a cyclone or a tidal wave or something, especially how it just came out of nowhere.

By the time they were trying to cut her out, she’d gone far enough down the birth canal that she was stuck.  She had to be pushed back up again, and the pushing and tugging of my body was so great that my whole body was being lifted off the operating table.  I was really traumatized by it all, kept looking in Peter’s eyes to see if I could find any fear there, in which to panic with, but he just stayed strong for me.
  
They took her immediately from me, to another floor, Peter left with her, and I was left alone to be stitched up and off to recovery.  I was convinced for some reason that I was going to die there alone.  By the way, her apgar scores were 9 and 10, so not distressed at all.

In the days, weeks, months that followed, I looked for answers as to what really happened and what went wrong.  I asked questions, but maybe not the right questions.  

I just felt so let down, felt really ‘pipped at the post’ so to speak, to have got to 10cm’s only to have a Caesar.  I felt really ripped off, and like I’d failed my daughter.  I strongly felt that I didn’t deserve to be a mother.  These feelings a long with the separation lead to very poor bonding, and this lead to more guilt.  I have continued to feel ripped off by that Dr and it’s interesting that it was he who was instrumental in my second Caesar too.

The Dr’s and the midwives didn’t understand why I was so upset about it.  I was told, I should be grateful that I had an alive baby.  This then lead to feelings of anger and confusion, of course I wanted a safe, healthy baby, and at this point I couldn’t formulate my feelings, couldn’t begin to articulate them or understand them myself, it was all so deep, and cut down to who I was as a woman.  I had failed.  Other’s attitudes that I should be happy, lead to more feelings of guilt, as I felt that I was not validated in feeling the way I did.  

I honestly cried for weeks about it all, and eventually let it all go, and enjoyed being a new mummy to a gorgeous little girl.  Although I thought I’d let the birth go, I was always jealous of women who had given birth.  And I always felt strongly that giving birth was a right of passage as a woman.  Almost like an initiation process into motherhood or something.  My friends didn’t feel this way, but I felt like a total failure and like a pretend mother.  It’s so hard to explain how it feels to know that I was 10 cm’s and she was heading down the birth canal, only to be cut out, it’s like I’d been preparing for 9 months for this very moment, to push out my baby.  The whole 23 hours of 1st stage had finally amounted to something, here I was like a lion, drawing breath ready to roar, like a performer drawing breath ready to sing her heart out, only to be beheaded right before I could perform, right before I could express myself, to become a real woman, to become a mother.  

Whenever my friends would complain about incontinence or their female-bits never being the same, I would think almost with anger, ‘well at least you got the chance to do it’  I WISH I had those scars, I’d have been grateful to be incontinent etc and I really saw them as a highly honored privilege, the best badge of honour ever.  

I could go on and on like this but you get the picture.  : ))

Fast forward two and half years, pregnant with baby #2, and I had been planning a VBAC the whole way through.  I wasn’t really given any definite answer as to whether I would be allowed to or not.  The Dr was non-committal all the way through, saying ‘lets see how things go toward the end of pregnancy’, so I never really knew what the go was.  It was definitely an uneasy feeling as I never really knew how to think about the birth.  

Anyway, eventually I put on too much weight to deliver with the local hospital, and I was referred very late in pregnancy to a larger one, and a surgeon.  She definitely did not seem supportive of the VBAC, but said it was up to me.  She pulled out a document on all the risks of VBACing, and made me read all the death rates, rupture rates etc and sign each point, saying ultimately it was up to me.  I wish so much that I had been in Essential Baby back then, had known of ‘birthrites’ and Doula’s etc.  I didn’t have the full balanced view of things.  I had the worst case scenario to think about, but no perspective, and no balanced argument for it.  

Anyway, I still wanted to try to birth naturally, albeit full of fear at this point, but then at about 37 weeks, my old Dr phoned my new doctor and clearly told her not to let me even try as I had CPD.  Well, this was the first I’d heard about it.  The two Dr’s said that unless I agreed to an Xray, then they didn’t support it.  Well, I felt totally and utterly defeated.  I didn’t really believe I had CPD, but I also didn’t feel good about exposing my unborn baby to radiation for what then felt like selfish reasons.  I already felt like I was taking risks for my baby’s life, and people in my life were telling me ‘It’s just not worth the risk’ blah blah.  I cried for days, caved in and agreed unwillingly to yet another Caesar, this time an elective.  So in summary, I felt weak, defeated and powerless.  DEFEATED being the operative word.  I just saw that first Dr as my enemy.  Twice he’d taken away my birthrite, taken away my feminine power, or I’d allowed him too, through my own lack of education……

Having said all this about the way I felt about my caesars, I have to say that my second daughter’s birth was beautiful in that there was a lot of skin on skin contact, no separation at all, and we bonded beautifully, we just fell in love, so of course this was just wonderfully healing for me in that way.  

I still remember being in hospital for the week afterwards and hearing / seeing the midwives go running, saying ‘we’re gonna have a baby’ when a woman would hit second stage and they’d all light up and go running to assist.  It really did tear at me and break me inside about it.  I just yearned for it.


This finally brings me up to date.  When ttc #3, I didn’t even entertain the idea of a vbac as I’d been told categorically that once two, you were not even given the option that it was just far far too risky.  I didn’t know otherwise and just totally accepted what I was told, I had no reason to think otherwise.   Around this time we finally bought a computer and were probably one of the last people to ever be hooked to the net!  Anyway, one of the first things I did was re-join Essential Baby, as I’d been a member years earlier when pregnant with #1.  

I had just got my BFP and was on EB having a look around, researching prams of all things.  I did see the ‘VBAC’ section but I purposely avoided it like the plague as I knew it would bring back too much pain, I just couldn‘t go there, but I imagined it was full of the sort of thing I would have needed while preg with #2.  I’d briefly allowed myself the thought that ‘I wish I had this years ago’ and then avoided the section like it was evil or something.  It wasn’t until I was browsing the WA section one evening when I saw another member’s post (marywin).  She was asking if anyone knew of a supportive OB for a VBA2C.  Well, I read the title, and opened it expecting all the responses to be advising her that it wasn’t even a possibility, that it was too high risk, that she shouldn’t even be contemplating it, and I found quite the contrary.  Then I realized that she’d probably posted in the VBAC section too, and maybe there people knew more, so I peeped in there looking for her post and sure enough there it was.  She asked if anyone had ever had a VBA2C’s, and sure enough there were two replies (buzz and Julie).  I read buzz’s birth story, and I just cried and cried, I had to get up and walk away from the computer and was pacing like an idiot crying in front of it, looking over at it back and forth.  I couldn’t believe what I had read.  I couldn’t believe it.  For a start I’d been totally lied to, women did attempt it.  Apart from the stunning beauty of her story, it just bought it all back for me.  

I spent the next two - three days very unsettled and churned up about it.  I couldn’t possibly go down that route again……  I knew and could see what it would take for me to step on that path.  I PM’d buzz to ask for more details of her birth, and her reason’s for choosing homebirth.  I also saved Julie’s response to my question as to why she wanted to vbac as I wanted positive info, instead of the risks, I did want to consider this, but I’d not admitted it to myself, it was still too scary.  This started months of amazing encouragement and support from what began to be a unique little friendship with Buzz.  

Buzz sent me articles and research to read, by Dr’s, midwives etc, addressing certain issues, such as CPD, uterine rupture, Optimal Fetal Positioning.  I began to read other birth stories.  When I learned a bit about OFP, and read about the experience of a certain bread of midwives, I knew that if I had this knowledge and support then I too could do it. I really had not given midwives enough credit in the past, but it was all a learning curve, and I just knew that if I had the right support, I’d be able to do it.  

I very quickly began to explore homebirth as an option for me too.  It was back in this early time that my doula (Becky), a member of EB made contact with me.  Although I didn’t really even know what a doula was, and had no real plans of having one, (I considered it a luxury and I couldn’t afford luxuries) she just started supporting me on-line.  She gave me informed answers to my questions, she validated my feelings for me, when I was confused and upset about them.  She was just always there, because she is so passionate about birth, and would have done it for anyone.  

Over the next few months, I had all sorts of emotional and mental mountains to conquer within myself.  Issues to do with the type of care and support I needed, dealing with other peoples fears, concerns about where to birth, taking responsibility for my choices, feelings of selfishness, like I was choosing a birth experience over the safety of my baby, all sorts of stuff from my past two births came back to me in varying proportions thoughtout the pregnancy.  My confusion reined from, Caesar to, homebirth, to hospital birth, to even freebirth!!  As you can see I was one very confused pregnant lady.

Eventually I chose to meet with the only public Dr in the state at the only hospital in the state which would consider supporting me.  She was a great person, who took the time to give it all to me in black and white.   She gave me the pro’s and the cons, the benefits and the risks.   She was willing to let go of some of the standard policies if I signed a waiver document.  So I finally booked my doula once and for all and decided to go ahead with the hospital birth.  One of the main reasons for making this decision was that I could see by my reaction to the midwives and Dr’s that I was in constant contact with that I needed constant support, someone I could phone up and talk to, someone that REALLY REALLY cared about my state of mind and about my birth.  I lacked confidence in them, and felt let down by them.  I really booked by doula for emotional reasons.  

The next few months with my doula were wonderful, she spend hours and hours on the phone listening to me going on and on, giving me wonderful bits of info and research to read.  She supplied me with a hypnobirthing CD, amongst other gems of inspiration.  Also she educated me about ‘uninterrupted birth’ and all those wonderful birth hormones, it’s so fascinating, everyone should read about it.

I did a VBACing workshop with her ‘collective‘, continued to read birth stories etc.  I also went to see a chiropractor to get my back and pelvis in perfect alignment ready for birth.  

I spent all my time visualizing my cervix opening and visualizing the baby crowning.  Only weeks ago, I finalized what I considered to be a Kick Ass Birth Plan.  I had a final meeting with Becky and our back up doula, Sara, thinking there was still heaps of time.  I’d been listening to the hypnobirthing cd religiously, and I used tools from that for visualization too.  

All the way along although I was basically happy with my decision to birth at that hospital under the circumstances, I still had my concerns, the first one was the big drive in there.  It was just over an hour away depending on traffic, and I was worried about doing it in heavy labour.  I wanted to labour at home as long as possible, but was worried about the timing etc.  Also, I still fantasised about labouring on my own, totally privately.  I worried about having to change environments so much and it interfering so much with what I’d learned about ‘Uninterrupted Birthing’.  

The other concern I had was that my baby had been in a breech position for the past 12 weeks and didn’t seem to be budging.  I learned about the risks associated with breech birth, and found that the biggest risk for me was the lack of experience of the hospital Dr’s and midwives.  It  really seemed a case of automatic caesarean if baby was breech.  

I started taking homeopathics and Aust Bush Flower Essences to help baby’s positioning.  Also the adjustments with the chiro were meant to help with this too.  

****************************************************************

As fate would have it I needn’t have worried at all.   It all started when I woke up at 2.30am one Thursday night.  My baby was 34 weeks and 3 days gestation.  I went to the toilet to find quite a big bleed.  Phoned up local hospital and went straight in.  Well this was a very distressing time for me.  The folks at the local hospital, basically started to prep me for surgery.  In went the bung, no they wouldn’t put it where I wanted it.  No, I was not allowed to sit up, ‘sorry’ no water, I had to fast.  I phoned Becky, and sobbed so hard, I could feel all my power being taken away again.  I could see what I’d heard about before, seeing ones plans and control all go out the window right before my eyes and not having any power to change it.  The contractions had started too, in the car on the way into hospital.  They weren’t regular, but they did hurt.  They were probably only lasting 30 secs at this point.  

That hour ride in the ambulance was just so sad, I knew baby was preterm, I worried about him, I knew he was breech, I could see it potentially all going out the window.  I kept asking everyone I met how babies are at this gestation and I kept receiving the same answer that usually they are fine, most require a little bit of initial breathing assistance and then feeding issues were typical.  

I knew this meant separation from me, and so I was heartbroken.  More crying!!!

Thank God, when I got to the hospital Sara was there to support me until Becky could get there.  INSTANTLY, her presence alone, calmed me right down.  Even being at this other hospital was interestingly calming in comparison too, they all seemed very relaxed and straight away I was aloud to eat and drink again, I was allowed to sit up, and it was evident they weren’t going to tie me down and whisk me off to surgery kicking and screaming like I’d thought.  

All this time, my baby had shown no signs at all of distress, so this was great news, but the bleeding and contractions didn’t really stop.  It just calmed down and heated up again.  

I had a scan later on the Friday to check for an abrupted placenta or any thing else, and all looked well and good.  

I was diagnosed with an ‘Irritated Uterus’ and was only allowed up for ‘toilet privileges’.  Sorry but that made me laugh like it was an enormous privilege to go to the toilet!!  I was told not to even stand up in the shower to wash my hair.  

Anyway the first day in hospital was fine, the bleeding was slowing down, and I was just passing big clots, the contractions were not that bad, and still not lasting long.  It was actually a great 24 hours, as I’d been so tired and mentally frazzled at home with my 4 year old and 21 month old.  I got some much needed rest to be honest.  The next day, was actually like a holiday for me.  My shared room emptied, and I had the room to myself for a day and a night, I was able to just sit in silence, no thanks I didn’t want the tele, no, I just sat and relaxed and breathed.  I could see that the periods of the contractions were getting more frequent, and the nature of them had changed.  They seemed more like ‘productive’ pain now, and seemed to me like pre-labour, but the staff kept saying ‘no, no, irritated uterus’.  

All the while my baby still seemed happy.  Late on the Saturday afternoon when the Dr was doing her rounds, I was having another stint of what I’ll now call pre-labour, and they could see how long the contractions were lasting, and how I really had to breath and change position to handle them.  They sent me down to the labour ward for a few hours just for some decent monitoring until things calmed down.  Sure enough it all calmed down again, but they did get a bit hairy there for while, and I did think they could easily have broken my waters.  They were lasting about a minute some of them, but they still varied and eventually stopped.  

Later that night I was woken up with what I honestly thought was early labour, the pain was pretty intense and I’d been still passing more clots.  I had been told that I would not be allowed home until the bleeding had stopped for at least 48 hours and the contractions too.  Also they were concerned that if my waters did break, since baby was breech, that there was a big chance of cord prolapse with the inertia of the waters.  Another instant Caesar.  

Anyway this period of pre-labour was for hours and I have to say after contracting on and off for days, plus the good old irritated uterus, my body really really hurt.  I took the panadol offered to me, not expecting it to do much, but surprisingly it did slightly take the edge off the pain.  Eventually it all calmed down and after a hot milo, I managed to get back to sleep.  

On Sunday, I had a few bouts of pre-labour, but it all got really distressing for me about 8 pm.  I was really quite teary and distressed with it.  They were saying ’irritated uterus’ and I was thinking no way, ‘early labour’.  It was also really conflicting for me, because if this was labour, then this was all against everything I’d planned for.  I was NOT in a good position, I wasn’t allowed to sit up and lean forward or walk around or anything conducive to  optimal fetal positioning.  I knew from an earlier palpation that he was still breech, but I also knew from periods of contracting that he did sort of go down there after a long bout of it, so I knew he could actually do it, but he floated back up again when my belly relaxed.  

All the while I was in hospital I had to keep hearing my history as they did their rounds.  I hated seeing the look on their faces when one would say to the other that I’d had two previous caesareans.  The Dr would normally look at me and say, ‘well you know you’ll have to have another one don’t you?’ and I would say ‘no no, unless it’s medically necessary, I’ll be having a vaginal birth’  I’d reiterate that if the baby was fine and I was fine then I’d be going natural.  They did backed off, but I could sense the attitude.  A few times I had to quote the Dr’s name who I had met with months earlier to add power to my statement that seemed to help.  

Anyway, I was so distressed and confused on that Sunday night, I really was, I called in a midwife for some support, and one lovely lady sat with me with her warm palm on my belly and watched Aust Idol with me.  The contractions were lasting up to one minute and thirty seconds, but still varied in length.  The midwife told me it was ’nothing’.  I have to say this upset me hugely.  I was in a great deal of pain, and to me it was not nothing.  I phoned Becky really distraught.  She couldn’t come in as I was not in labour ward and it wasn’t visiting hours on my ward.  She phoned Sara who is also a midwife to find out more about this whole Irritated Uterus condition.  Becky phoned me back and said that it could go on and on, and that I may need morphine to get through it all.  

Things eventually stopped, AGAIN I was sore and totally knackered, but I managed to get a few hours sleep, and then BANG HERE WE GO, this was finally IT, although I never really knew it for sure...  I was woken up at 12.30 that night with very painful contractions and they were again regular, but I expected then to stop.  My whole body, especially my uterus, ligaments etc was so sore and tender from all the days before hand.  After only a few of these, I had to get up, I really couldn’t handle them lying down anymore.  I sort of paced a bit in and out of my room, in and out of the toilet.  I sat up in bed, and laboured there for a while.  I was making quite a lot of noise and there was a new lady in my room by then, and I felt bad about keeping her awake.  

Eventually I had a big decision to make.  I had been told to keep the weight off my cervix and not to get into any positions conducive to labour, but yet I knew he was breech, I knew these big contractions could well break my waters, I really didn’t want a repeat Caesar for cord prolapse or for breech baby.  That really would have been just all wrong.  

I had to make a choice, do I decide myself that this IS labour, and I do something positive about it, all the things I had planned, or do I listen to them and lie on my side hopinf and expecting it to all calm down again.   Having been in labour before, I tried to compare what it felt like now to what it had felt like at what stage back then.  This seemed a lot harder and more painful already.  I really felt more distressed and in more discomfort as I did back then at at least 5, 6 cm’s easy.  Right this is it, I declared, I’m not going to lie here and hope for the best, I had to do something, maybe it would all stop, but I sure wasn’t going to have a repeat Caesar for cord prolapse or breech if there was anything I could do about it.  I was nervous about my decision as I felt like I was taking full responsibility for the safety of myself and my baby.  One thing I did know for sure was that I was in the very best place in the state for a preterm baby to be born.  This was where all preterm babies were flown into.  Truthfully this whole ordeal took my edge away, it was not at all how I’d prepared for it.

I set myself up so I was sat on a chair knees wide apart, belly between my legs and leaning way forward with my elbows propped up on pillows on the bed.  It was a great OFP position, but I couldn’t stay there long as I had to make more noise and needed to move.  I called for the midwife and another one who I didn’t know came in and when she saw the state I was in, she just said ‘A little bit of an irritated uterus?’  I snapped back harshly ‘A little bit??’  She looked shocked asked me why I was crying, and basically left.  

So I paced outside my room, in the dimly lit corridors alone until I had an idea.  I set myself up in the shared shower opposite my room.  I left the door open for safety, as they would easily be able to find me.  I left the lights off, straddled a chair and labour there leaning over the shelf for support and to get the angle for OFP right.  Suddenly it occurred to me, I had exactly what I wanted, here I was labouring by myself, totally privately, in the dark, but with the added bonus of an emergency button within reach if I felt I really needed it.  I’d managed to avoid the big hour long drive into the hospital in heavy labour.  What a bonus,  So, I let my mind go, I fell in and out of sleep between contractions, either that or I was in labour-land, but it was a far away sleepy state.  I felt my whole body open up and glow with beauty just like the first time.  I just so knew I was in labour, even though the midwives wouldn’t hear of it.  I decided to finally use my mind, the most powerful tool we all have.  

I connected with my cervix and spoke lovingly to it.  ‘OPEN OPEN OPEN‘.  I connected with my baby,  ‘DOWN DOWN DOWN, come on little darling, come to mummy, I’m ready for you.  Come to mummy.’  Just as I knew it would my body responded instantly, It all changed and I don’t know what time it was but I’d say that was the beginning of true established labour.  I could feel my cervix stretching, it sort of stung, but felt amazing.  I said it again, but lost focus as my mind was floating away between contractions.  I had no clock, but I’d say they were coming every 3 minutes, but lasting nearly 2 minutes, they were huge and painful.  

I was making lots of noise, and that same midwife found me there again, still not hearing me that I was in labour.  She just looked scared of me or something.  She suggested I hop in the shower, great idea I thought, why hadn’t I thought of it.  I waited till the next contraction finished and stripped off, and moved my chair in the shower.  I expected the water to be a great pain reliever as it had been the first time, but my whole body was so open, so raw and tender that I couldn’t bare even the gentle water touching me.  Interesting I thought.  I laboured there in the shower alone for maybe another hour or so, I held the shower head over my back and belly only between contractions as I couldn’t bare it on me while having one.  

I tuned in again to my body ‘OPEN OPEN OPEN, DOWN DOWN DOWN, come on little darling, come to mummy, come on my love come to your mummy’  I felt the opening again.  Although in phenomenal pain, I felt so stunning.  I loved the feeling of my big naked belly between my thighs and I just felt so beautiful and feminine there in the dark.  

Looking back it sounds crazy, but I started to worry that this might suddenly all stop again like the previous stints of contractions.  I guess I lost confidence in the process because no-one seemed to believe me that I was in labour.  So being a spiritual woman, and dare I say rather intuitive, I reached up high and asked the question, ‘am I really in labour?’ I received the first one of two intuitive messages which I’m so grateful for.  ‘you will give birth before 10.00am’  I asked again and received the same very strong answer.  It was very clear.  

Suddenly I felt concerned, this was after all a premature baby, there was indeed bleeding, and this was after all a VBA2C, and I suddenly wanted to be monitored.  I was suddenly worried about my baby’s safety.  Right on cue, my proper midwife walked in, ‘oh thank God, I’m so glad to see you’ I whimpered.  Another woman walked in and put her hand on my belly, and declared urgently ‘ this woman is contracting, she is in labour’ “ Oh thank God, I was thinking, finally they are going to take me seriously.  

I was ordered back on my bed for assessment.  I have to say, I was soooo relieved.  The Dr promptly arrived, gave me a VE and I was 4 cm’s.  Woohoo the magic number!!  The baby’s heart rate suddenly plummeted and my blood pressure was way up.  So urgent rush down to labour ward it was.  YAY, I phoned my doula and my husband, woohoo, I finally get some support, and I AM GOING TO GIVE BIRTH.  My doula later told me this was at 6.00am.  

The Dr told me then it’d have to be another Caesar, and when my contraction stopped I told her the same thing, that if the baby is fine and if I am fine, I’m going to delivery naturally.  She backed off.  Then when I arrived in my wheel chair in the labour ward, another Dr told me the same thing when he heard my history, I told him the same thing and this time I told him that I knew what I was doing that I’d ok’d it with that original Dr.  OK, so he backed off too.  

As soon as they hooked me up to the monitor, I started to feel a lot better, I knew I was in good hands, and that my little baby, no matter what care he needed was going to be ok.  

I laboured for about 45 mins, then my beloved doula arrived.  I was overjoyed to see her although to look at me, you‘d have never known it.  She started to get things sorted for me, off went the lights, in came the birthing ball, up went the bed.  She sorted some homeopathics for me.  She stood behind me and just gently gently with her fingertips caressed the back on my shoulders.  OH GOD, what sheer heaven.  I marveled at how much it look my mind away from the pain.  Wow, it really made a difference, I couldn‘t believe it.  My belly was so so sore words can’t describe, having the f’ing monitor felt like a knife through my belly.  Whenever the midwife put her fingers on to feel the contractions I’d never wanted to hit anyone more in my life.  Eventually I snapped at her about it.  

I really don’t know how long I laboured on that ball for, but in this time, my husband arrived, I had two toilet breaks, and one hand over with a new midwife.  I was leaning forward on the bed, sat on the birth ball, and I noticed how gorgeous my body felt again.  I could feel my light and the beauty oozing from me.  I just couldn’t believe how soft and lit up I felt.  When the two midwives started talking about my history, I leaned forward and blocked my ears.  My doula smiled and asked what I was doing.  I just soooooooooo did not NEED to hear my bloody medical history and see their reactions whilst in heavy labour.  

Eventually the midwife wanted to do a VE, Becky looked at me and urged me not to know how many cm’s I was.  I knew what she was getting at, we’d talked about this before.  I really was thinking 8cm’s.  I knew that she could tell how many cm’s a woman was by looking at her and her signs.  I knew I wasn’t going to like what I heard, but I asked her the question.  She looked at me (I was on the toilet actually) and I could see the conflict in her face, she paused and didn’t want to tell me, but eventally she did 6cm’s she said.  ‘NO NO NO NO, I was devastated’  She HAD to be wrong I was thinking.  But no no, of course she was spot on.  The VE revealed 6cm’s.  I think the midwife was surprised too, she didn’t want to tell me either.  That was it, I hit a huge wall.  I started having fantasy’s of an epidural.  There was no way, I could go on, I couldn’t do it.  If I was going to go on like this for hours more, I NEEDED something.  

She pulled in the gas and air for me, but I was too weak to even draw breath deep enough to get any, so I spat it out and didn’t use it.  

Then the midwife said to me ‘Meagen, I have to go and report to the Dr’s about your progess now, I want to warn you that they will probably want to break your waters to get things moving and to make sure that there is no meconium’.

My God, I had to make a decision, and in no fit state to do so.  I knew about how the waters act as a cushion, and I really really NEEDED as much cushioning as I could get.  I was utterly terrified about the increased pain, as I felt I couldn’t take any more.  My doula was also worried about cord prolapse and suggested that I needed that cushioning for the next 4 cm’s.  Bedsides all this, it wasn’t a natural thing to do, and I was really wanting natural…

Here came the second guided intuitive help, which I am so incredibly grateful for.  My intuition told me it was a brilliant idea, and I should definitely do it.  I was confused as I knew the facts, but my intuition was very strong.  So I asked them for an epidural, so I could handle the increased pain of my waters breaking and the next hours of labour.  I was so weak and so sore, I felt I needed the break.  

LOL Both my doula and the midwife looked away, like they were ignoring me, humoring me.  Looking back it’s really funny to me,  I just remember their faces.   They were stalling and not wanting to give me the epidural, bless them, they knew I didn’t really want it.  ‘EPIDURAL EPIDURAL EPIDURAL’ I declared.  I also suddenly realized that I hadn’t had a contraction in the last couple of minutes.  ‘NO, it’s not all slowing down again is it?‘  I asked Becky and the midwife.  They assured me no of course not, little did we know, and now it’s so obvious, but I was in transition.  The Dr’s came in to break my waters.  This was 9.00am.  

Almighty BANG - no words can possibly ever describe what happened next, I felt his head SLAM onto my cervix with the next contraction, and I finally let out the one primal scream in my labour, only one primal noise to be proud of!!  I roared like a lion, and Becky tells me that my pupils went from tiny to fully dilated instantly.  I felt my cervix rip open, it stung.  I was so terrified of going on like this, and for the first time in labour I was seriously concerned about uterine rupture, it was just tooo powerful.  Then half way through the next contraction I felt myself needing to poo, and I felt myself pushing.  

‘I’m pooing, I’m pushing’ I said when I could speak.  The Dr gave me a VE, and declared that Yes, I was indeed fully dilated.  Becky congratulated me, ‘well done Meagen you’re fully, well done, good girl’.  

Peter wasn’t in the room, he’s poped out as it was too intense in there only minutes earlier when I was saying I couldn’t do it.  Becky asked me if she could go and get him as he was going to miss it.  Well, call me selfish but I wasn’t letting the woman leave my side, I NEEDED her.  

The Dr said that he was happy for me to start pushing at the next contraction.  So I’d gone from 6cm’s to fully in less than 5 minutes.  I’d been in transition when I hit my wall, but we didn’t recognise it as we thought it was too early.  

At this point the anesthetist walked in and when she heard ‘fully’ she walked straight back out again sort of shrugging her shoulders.  LOL,  woohoo, I really would have had that epidural, but I’m so glad I didn’t.   I’d forgotten about it already, I was just so ecstatic to be fully.

Lucky Peter walked back in then.

Then the Dr gave me one final VE to check for room, and he declared with a big smile and quite a bit of excitement, ‘HEAPS of room’ he said.  It took me a few try’s to get the knack of pushing, it’s a bit of leaned skill.  Also I was so weak, that I found it really hard to draw enough breath.  

In ran another more mature, stronger midwife.  (it was me, I was the one who was going to be ‘having a baby’)  She coached me on how to push my baby out, Becky was holding my right hand and telling me to just focus on her.  I squeezed all hell out of her hand in my mind I just kept saying ’Becky, Becky Becky’ trying to focus on her.  Then my husband was there right at my left side.  Peter, was shouting with a smile and so much emotion, ‘I KNOW YOU CAN DO THIS, I KNOW YOU CAN DO THIS.  God, I’ll love him for ever for it, I could feel his emotion and I could feel his total faith and conviction in me.  I’ll never ever forget it and I‘ll always love him for it.  And I DID IT.  I PUSHED HIM OUT WITH MY VERY OWN BODY.  Truthfully I was surprised how easy it was.  I pushed him out in about 20 mins.  So yes he was born before 10 am, at 9.28 to be precise, and boy am I glad I listened to myself and agreed to have the ARM.

I wished that Becky was telepathic, as I was screaming with joy to her.  ‘I’m doing it, I’m doing it.  I’m a woman, I'm a woman, I'm a woman wooohooo.  I was so happy at this point.  I was finally  pushing out my own baby.  

When I felt that STING, I couldn’t’ believe it, I must be crowning I was thinking, that was quick.  When I could speak, I told them I could feel stinging, and the senior midwife confirmed what I suspected -  it was the ring of fire.  I was just screaming inside with joy.  Of course you would never have known by looking at me.  We were crowning together.  What a team, my stunning little boy, had done a superb summersault in labor and gone into perfect optimal positioning for me.  He basically slid right out.    

My doula held off the dr’s who were dying to give me an episiotomy and vacume extraction.  Eventually they stood down and just watched me birth him.  The head of the Dept, had come in too, as apparently I’m only one of a handful of woman to have ever attempted a VBA2C in the state.  

The Dr’s were extremely moved by the birth too.  

I got to have a minute skin on skin kisses and cuddles, and then I was happy enough to let the pediatrician care for him.  I was worried about him, being so young in gestation.  He came back to me wrapped up for a little goodbye cuddle and kiss, and then he really needed go to the Special Care Nursery for what was two and half days of care.  

The Dr spent absolutely ages stitching me up.  I don’t know how long it was but I’m guessing an hour and half.  It was complicated I was told.  Only one second degree tear and lots of first degree tears, and a few grazes.  The tears were of a horse shoe nature and complicated, he had to call in for assistance and he even needed to walk away from it for a break!!  It was horrendous, I kept winging and complaining about it.  Eventually I apologized for complaining.  I’ll never forget the Dr’s reaction.  

He stopped what he was doing and looked down, he almost looked sad to make eye contact with me.  He said ‘don’t you dare apologise for ANYTHING.  We are all in awe of what you just did, you are amazing’.  

Truth be told, I didn’t feel like I was anything special at all, after all it was just another birth.  I didn’t see what they thought all the fuss was about at all.  My enormous pride and joy at giving birth is totally personal.  It’s not about inspiring others (which people keep telling me) or doing anything ground breaking or showing the Dr’s it can be done.  I needed to do it for me.  I still can’t believe I did it.  

So technically it was a 3.5 hour labour, but I’m afraid I beg to differ on that one.  I was labouring from 12.30 till 6.00am alone up on the ward, and it definitely wasn’t ‘nothing’.  
He was right on the 50 percentile, weighing in at 7lbs 5oz, and guess what??  His head circum was actually bigger than my first daughter, so there’s the CPD diagnosis out the window, this being the basis for both my Caesars.  He was 2cms longer than both my full term baby’s, but just hadn’t put on all his weight yet.  

It’s funny really, after my first emergency Caesar, I spent the first weeks crying with disempowerment, sorrow, grief, confusion etc with what had happened.  This time I’ve spent the first weeks crying with joy, and as a release of all that I had been through, a release of all the fear, all the fighting, the worry, and all the intensity of childbirth.  When I sit and kiss his gorgeous head, I smile as I remember that one contraction, that one where I went from 6 to 10 cm's. I love that little head...

I am the happiest woman alive to simply have GIVEN BIRTH.

Edited by daisy-may, 15 November 2008 - 08:45 AM.


#2 Puggle

Posted 15 November 2008 - 07:42 AM

Oh, well done daisy-may, and welcome to the world, Joshua!

#3 bubba-licious

Posted 15 November 2008 - 08:20 AM

daisy-may & Joshua congratualtions to you both!

I am sitting in my living room bawling my eyes out. Sobbing not in sadness but in the joy of being a woman & hearing about you finally get the birth you wanted! That is the most empowering story I have ever read. I am now ready to give birth...I just need to concieve first! smile1.gif

Thank you for sharing!

#4 ~kimmy0206~

Posted 15 November 2008 - 08:38 AM

QUOTE
don’t you dare apologise for ANYTHING. We are all in awe of what you just did, you are amazing’.
  this comment blew me away, i got a bit teary reading your story.


Congratulations!!! You should be so proud of yourself!!!

#5 fionah

Posted 15 November 2008 - 08:52 AM

So glad I am not the only one sobbing LOL.
That is one of the most beautiful birth stories I have ever read.
Well done & Congratualtions on the arrival of Joshua!

Love Fi xoxo

#6 Guest_lizzylou82_*

Posted 15 November 2008 - 09:28 AM

Congrats on your VBA2C. It brought back memories of my own. I'm sure it will inspire many women to try for a VBAC.

#7 Isis

Posted 15 November 2008 - 09:32 AM

Wow M, you are an inspiration!! I have tears in my eyes.. Congratulations biggrin.gif Welcome little Joshua original.gif

#8 emskies

Posted 15 November 2008 - 10:07 AM

Wow, I am speechless. That is one of the most uplifting and inspirational birth stories I have read (and I've read a lot!).

Congratulations on birthing your baby the way YOU wanted.

#9 Insane By Default

Posted 15 November 2008 - 10:59 AM

Welcome to the VBA2C club.  biggrin.gif

Well done, what a wonderful, inspiring, beautiful birth story. I am so proud of you and what you achieved.

All the power to you my dear. What courage, what determination, what focus!

What a STAR!!

#10 FortuneCookie

Posted 15 November 2008 - 11:07 AM

cry1.gif Tears of happiness for your amazing journey!

What a wonderful, inspiring story. I agree, one of the best birth stories I've ever read!

Congratulations!

#11 Melissam12

Posted 15 November 2008 - 11:12 AM

I'm crying too .... glad to see the tissues all around!  Congratulations on birthing your beautiful baby Joshua.  You're an inspiration to all birthing women original.gif

#12 ~Girk~

Posted 15 November 2008 - 11:20 AM

Congratulations!!! what a beautiful story, thanks for sharing  original.gif

#13 sleepisfortheweak

Posted 15 November 2008 - 11:36 AM

You are an inspiring, amazing woman.  Congratulations on the arrival of little Joshua and on achieving your VBA2C.  

Thankyou.  I really needed to read that today.  The doubts I had been having for the last few days have been replaced with positive thoughts, I can do it too.  Your birth story and your journey there was exactly what I needed.

#14 daniroi

Posted 15 November 2008 - 12:02 PM

You are a strong, amazing woman... and a great writer too  tongue.gif !! (compliment from another writer  wink.gif )

Best of wishes and congratulations on the birth of Joshua,

thanks so much for sharing your beautiful, powerful story.

#15 ~Sorceress~

Posted 15 November 2008 - 12:12 PM

What an amazing story from a amazing woman! Thank you SO much for sharing it!  wub.gif

#16 Tongue~In~Cheek

Posted 15 November 2008 - 12:12 PM

What a brilliant birth story!  Thank you for sharing it.

Congratulations.

#17 RipeWickedPlum

Posted 15 November 2008 - 12:30 PM

Wow... wow... wow!

I am sitting here crying! When I was reading the part about you saying open and down... It gave me goosebumps!

You have given me hope that I will be able to have a VBAC next time!

Congrats on your little boy!

#18 *Jackie*

Posted 15 November 2008 - 02:22 PM

Beautiful, just beautiful, congrats to You.

#19 Guest_LandShark_*

Posted 15 November 2008 - 04:19 PM

What a wonderful birth story - tears pouring down my face! Congratulations on an empowering VBA2C.

#20 tinkster23

Posted 15 November 2008 - 04:58 PM

amazing birth story daisy-may.

Congratulations wub.gif  wub.gif  wub.gif

#21 Sunny Day

Posted 15 November 2008 - 05:17 PM

Wow amazing!!!!! Welldone and congratulations, you are one tough cookie!  grin.gif

#22 Sekhmet

Posted 15 November 2008 - 06:37 PM

Well done you fabulous woman!!

I'm, sorry you had to fight so much, people trying to pigeon hole you and not believing you. It's just so wrong.

But you are fantastic. Well done on finally going within and meeting your inner birthing warrior woman, listening to her and respnding. My favourite part of the story was actually you taking charge, deciding it IS labour, and going within that dark shower and giving yourself what you need.

Yay for you and your body!!!!! And Yay for you and your boy working so beautifully together!

#23 fairyflosser

Posted 15 November 2008 - 10:12 PM

cry1.gif  wub.gif wow wow wow, thankyou for sharing your story. I really want a vba2c, and you arejust inspiring!My story so far is very similar to yours, and when i fall preg with no3, ill give it all ive got!

#24 MuchLove

Posted 15 November 2008 - 10:14 PM

Daisy-May what a truly wonderful story from a woman who had faith in her body & her ability to birth naturally. I know you did not set out on this journey to become an inspiration but that's indeed what you have become. You give those of us who yearn for a VBAC hope & you make those who birth easily, perhaps a little more understanding of what it feels like when you are robbed of the right to birth your baby naturally.

Like you I have many unresolved emotions from my emergency caesar & hope so desperately to have a VBAC once I conceive #2. I think one of the biggest hurdles which you discussed was being made to feel selfish as though you are putting your needs ahead of your baby's welfare when chosing a VBAC.

I am so glad you overcame it all to push little Joshua Lucas (two of my favourite names by the way) into this world.

I was glued to every word.

CONGRATULATIONS!

#25 Melissam12

Posted 15 November 2008 - 10:21 PM

Maybe we need to start up a VBAC support thread with all the ideas and suggestions for how to get a VBAC.  What do others think?




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