25th December 2019

I still can't believe I got my Vbac.
**Warning: very long post (sorry)**

My story is a little late but my 2nd baby boy was born on Christmas day ☺.
Best present ever.

I've been reading all of your amazingly inspirational posts for months and they gave me such hope and peace whatever the outcome may be.
That coupled with the best Doula Louise Oliver and birth partner Dee Keshwara the birth I was so desperate for was realised.

Surges were on and off for few weeks prior so when it started for real I was in denial. Christmas eve I felt I should go to bed early (rock and roll) and soon after I did, I couldn't lie down anymore through the surges which didn't seem to be going away this time.

At around midnight my water broke, which was a new experience. I noticed meconium so we called the hospital and of course were advised to go straight in to check the baby was ok.
I had a little wobble at this point at the prospect of "being put on a timer". I had planned to stay at home as long as possible (plans rarely go to plan though of course)

My amazing Doula came straight to the rescue to take me to hospital whilst my partner waited for my MIL to come and look after my 2 year old in the middle of the night.
My surges were 3 mins apart from the start and Louise was incredible helping me stay focused and practise hypnobirthing (helped that she is an awesome hypnobirthing instructor too)

When we got to hospital, we were free to dim the lights, put music on and set surroundings. We continued labouring quite peacefully to start with, until.....a consultant came in to "warn me" about risks of rupture and how long he would "give me" for each stage of labour and that he strongly advised (was almost adamant) that I have a VE, I refused.
Although I'm sure well intentioned, his bedside manor was awful and although I had gone to lengths to circulate my birth preferences (to the point that I asked them to digitally upload them into my records, so that noone would overlook them), they were completely disregarded by him.
My partner hadn't arrived yet so Louise very kindly advocated for me when I was in the thick of contractions and asked the consultant to leave the room and could they continue the conversation outside when my partner arrived.
I really needed her to do that because his language and attitude totally threw me off.

This rocky start aside, things were going well when he was out of my space and I was left alone (compromise was that I wore the heart monitor)
This was a pain to keep in position but I appreciated that it was neccesary.

After about 8 hours I think I finally gave in to a VE because I started to feel like my body was pushy.
I was a 5/6...I tried to stay positive in that I was over the half way mark.

After this my surges started to become intense and I decided to use the gas and air.
The baby must have moved down soon after as they were struggling with the monitor and thought his heart rate was taking too long to reestablish after a surge, so asked me to lie on my side. I found this too intense and started asking (let's face it "begging" 😁) for the epidural. I really wanted to avoid one but it was the right decision as I was over 10 hours in at this point of intense surges.

The epidural was administered and it just took the edge off. I could still move and get on my knees which was great.

I reluctantly agreed to be checked again when it was starting to become apparent that our baby was also getting tired ......I was at a 10..... this was both the best news and most terrifying news, as I knew it was time to push (something I didn't get to do last time).
I decided to do coached pushing and after over an hour the doctor started to suggest some help (suction/eposiotomy)... .something in me just took over and I pushed like my life depended on it. It worked, he was born!!! It was an out of body experience and the epidural had mostly worn off so I felt everything which was crazy and incredible.

He was placed on my chest straight away, I got my golden hour, delayed cord clamping/weighing and physiological 3rd stage with the placenta.
I couldn't believe it! I still can't.
I doubted myself so many times with little hurdles during labour, but I was lucky and got what I hoped for.
My recovery has been night and day compared to the ECS in 2017. I did have a 2nd degree tear but its been totally manageable.

Once again I'm so grateful to this group in helping me stay assertive and focused.
The whole experience has been transformational, but I could not have done it without my Doula (who missed christmas with her own 3 boys) and my amazing partner who was there every second.

If I can do it you can that's the sure!! 🤩
Wishing you all strength and peace whatever the outcome. X