Next on my Celebrating Every Birth Story series is the lovely Maria from Suburban Mum who is Mum to 2 lively little boys aged 2 and 5 and is a professional web designer that writes beautifully about the trials and tribulations of juggling working life.
You can also find Maria here:
I had my eldest son (E) via an emergency c-section almost three years beforehand and it was an experience I was keen not to repeat again if I could help it.
I laboured for 27 hours with him and due to “failure to progress” I had to resign myself to signing those dreaded papers to have him cut out through the sunroof.
I was pumped full of so many drugs during this time I was puffed up like the Michelin man for days after I had him and ironically I initially only lost 7lbs in weight when he weighed a whopping 9lbs! I found recovery hard and even going for a short walk to show off my newborn baby boy was painful.
So when I fell pregnant with M, I knew straight away that I wanted to try for a VBAC.
Logically, I could have booked myself in for an elective section. I would have been given an exact date for when baby would arrive and I would have been able to make prior arrangements for someone to look after E.
I’m a relatively organised person and usually need to know when things are happening, when and how but when it came to this pregnancy I wanted to try for a natural birth. I knew the implications this time round so even if it meant labouring and having to be wheeled off to have another emergency c-section at least I would have tried.
I had a few friends who had managed to have successful VBACs and they gave me hope that I could do the same.
I went to bed on a Sunday night after having had some lower back pain for a few days. I’d had a massage booked in the following day that I was looking forward to but I never made the appointment.
At some point in the early hours of the morning I woke up to go to the toilet which was unusual for me (with both pregnancies I rarely needed to wake in the night!) I went straight back to bed and slept through some mild contractions. I then turned over in bed and felt my waters go. It was 4.30am. I woke hubby and asked him to get me a towel, called the hospital to let them know and rang my mother in law to tell her things had started and that we needed her to come over to look after E. We figured at that time of morning it wouldn’t take her much longer than 40 minutes to get to us (she was driving from Essex and we Iive in Surbiton)
The plan was to wait until she got to us before we left to go to hospital. Shortly after having called her my contractions ramped up and were coming thick and fast. I knew we needed to leave to get to hospital straight away. Luckily for us our neighbour (who was also our childminder) had said we could call upon her if we needed to so she came round to wait for my mother in law whilst we headed off to hospital so someone was at home whilst E was still sleeping.
I don’t really remember much about the journey there but I do remember screaming to my husband to just get me there fast! When they checked me after I arrived in hospital I was already fully dilated and ready to push.
I got to enjoy a good few gulps of gas and air before they took it away from me because I needed to concentrate and push!
Baby’s heart rate was dropping whilst I was pushing and according to my husband it was a close call for them to send me off for a section. Luckily once I’d gotten the hang of pushing things were ok.
M was born at 7.09am on 4 February 2013. 10 days early after just over three hours of labour and weighed 7lbs.
To this day, I am still so thankful that I managed to experience a VBAC. For me, there were just so many positives I drew from it.
Crucially I could go home after only one night in hospital (I stayed for 2 nights when I had the c-section with E) Aside from general soreness, I wasn’t in pain from having had major surgery either. I could pick up my toddler for cuddles without having to worry stitches and I could drive so I could still take E to nursery two days a week and keep his routine as much as I could.
If we did decide to go for baby number three I think I would most definitely choose to try for a VBAC again.
Thank you so much Maria for sharing such a personal story and one close to my heart as this is what I wanted for my second delivery last time but failed to achieve!
Why not pop over and see what else Maria and her family are up to now over on Suburban Mum.