Part 1 – The reason why I wanted to try for a VBAC –
I was induced with Charlie at 41 weeks because my blood pressure was a bit up and down, the induction books were busy due to it being around New Years.
If I had my time again I would of held off to after the 3rd of jan but I was excited to meet Charlie so we locked in the 1st of jan to start the induction
After 13 hours or so being in labour I was 9cm and Charlie became distressed so a code green was called and I was rushed to theatre for an emergency c section
The next day the doctors visited and said I was a great candidate for a VBAC next time because my body got to 9cm, from that point that’s what I was going to have next time round
Days after I wound up with a spinal headache and had to have a blood patch to block the air bubbles from the epidural
I had suicidal thoughts days after birth, I couldn’t stop crying, the hormones and birth trauma were out of this world for me
I got a mental health plan and saw a physiologist
Charlie’s birth story has a lot more to it but I’d rather spend my energy focusing on George’s story
Part 2 Birth prep –
As soon as I found out I was pregnant I applied for the midwife program at box hill explaining my previous birth and how I wanted to achieve a VBAC. I was paired with Christina, we clicked instantly and I felt safe and comfortable.
Even the two doctors appointments I had with the now retired 70 year old Dr John Neil we’re incredible (In my notes he gave me plenty of time to go over my due date so I could go into labour naturally)
Doula / Photographer (Donna @blackcherryphotography)
I knew I wanted Donna, a close friend, a talented photographer but also a beautiful nurturing doula. I actually messaged Chris while he was drunk away at a bucks and told him I was having her
it wasn’t a discussion, I knew I needed her !
From 30 weeks
Kim Coutts – Acupuncture / Cupping Mooroolbark (fortnightly and then weekly after I came off the quad bike at 33 weeks)
Gaynor O’Connor – Kinesiology, Remedial Massage & Chiropractor (fortnightly and then weekly after I came off the quad bike at 33 weeks)
Yoga (pregactive Kerryn) weekly from 30 weeks, two sessions of aqua bellies full term
Calm birth (Mamatoto midwives Juliana Brennan) – Donna came with me to the two day class
VBAC class at box hospital which Chris joined me
Part 3 – Early labour
23rd April – Tuesday
A week of being 1cm with 2cm long cervix.
Relaxed and breathed so my cervix could soften and had a successful s&s
25th Thursday – Started to lose bits of my mucus plug (clear 10 cent coin size) cramps at night
26th Friday morning similar amount to day before, acupuncture, FMAC for some monitoring as George was quiet, after 40min of him being quiet he went nuts so I could go to ikea
Cramps that night
27th Saturday more mucus plus with old blood, home day, had a feeling I might be giving birth soon so decided to take a few last belly shots and pic with Charlie, crap nights sleep with heartburn and bad cramps, having to use heat pack and Panadol over night.
Part 4 – Labour & birth
28th Sunday had a bath first thing and decided to start tracking these contractions, they were still pretty far apart 30-40 min and irregular. Another chill home day and decided to drop Charlie to Chris folks late that arvo, went for a beautiful family walk as the sun was setting.
Went home and they were down between between 10-5 min apart.
I was messaging Donna (doula / photographer) who was keen to come down off the mountain (from Kinglake) but as I have never been in natural labour before I wasn’t sure if this was legit or not
I was so fine between contractions. I tried to lie down at around 7 but the contractions were to strong
Donna arrived after 9, and I was still coping great between contractions haha full upbeat chats. We watched Ace venture pet detective while I bounced on the fit ball.
Decided to chuck on the tens Machine.
That finished so we chucked on some music on YouTube (city and colour, bon iver, active child, gang of youths, nick murphy)
At some point I changed it up frog legs on the ground leaning over the fit ball and my noises while I contracted started to change
Donna and I chatted about when we should leave for hospital and I was worried about heading in to early and then being in hospital still for ages before I gave birth.
We decided to head in and we getting things ready my contractions chilled in momentum and I wasn’t keen so it went back to my position before. Donna and I decided to give it another 30-60 min. My mind relaxed (I can’t believe how comfortable I was being at home and can now fully understand why people choose to have a home birth) the contractions picked back up right away and my noises changed to more primal.
I hate decisions and kept telling Donna you tell us when we should go. She made the call so we jumped in the car, I had three contractions on the way to box hill, one in the car park and one in the hall between the lift and the birth suites haha it felt like a movie scene
(my midwife was rostered off so when I had called my midwifes number earlier and it had diverted to Naomi another midwife, I wasn’t concerned because the midwifery care program has a small close knit group and they are all amazing, I had met two others at other appointments when my main midwife had days off) I hadn’t met Naomi in person but I instantly felt comfortable with her and dug her vibe.
Chris said she went into the birthing suite and turned off all the nights and just had the birthing tub light on and a large dolphin torch on
I feel like my contractions started to ramp up since getting there so that made me feel better that we were tracking a long.
I moved from walking around to sitting on the fit ball, leaning on the end of the bed to being in child’s pose on the ground.
Donna showed Chris how to hold my hips in while I had a contraction which helped immeasurably (he did that for every fucking contraction for the next 6 hours
#hero deserves a slab of VB
I started to feel like I wanted to be sick so the beautiful Naomi suggested Chris and I head into the dark bathroom for some quiet time. He sat on the toilet, while I sat on the ball leaning on him through contractions. I did vomit and instantly felt better. We both felt so calm in there we were both falling a sleep.
I wanted to change positions so we left the safety of the bathroom. Time was going so quick unlike Charlie’s labour.
Because I was spending so much time close to the floor and the position I was in George’s CTG kept coming off, poor Naomi every time she went to adjust it I would tell her to fuck off as the contractions we’re starting to come strong and fast, I would apologise as soon as they would finish
I was definitely starting to transition, everyone helped me onto the bed as my body was starting to suffer exhaustion from labouring on all fours.
Leaning over the top of the bed, I was starting to give up but everyone kept reminding me that was normal because I was so close to the end and meeting George.
Internally I tossed up a few times asking for pain relief but then the wave would go and I’d be ok for a bit longer.
I remember needing to vomit and Donna was reassuring both Chris and I that was a great thing that my body close.
I started needing to burrow into Chris but also needing him to hold my hips and I was literally leaning half off the bed and not being able to hold myself up.
Naomi suggest I sit on the toilet,I don’t think I was keen on having to move but tried my best to slide off, I remember having the urge to get back to my fav yoga position
That’s where things got next level, ring of fire, his head coming down, waiting each surge to come quicker so I could get him out.
It felt like it was taking for ever !
Everyone kept reassuring me the head was coming, the head felt like it took so long come out.
Naomi asked if I could bring my legs back in, my knees were so far apart George’s head would of hit the floor hard. I tried to sit up and the gravity helped. I could only hear mumbles behind me because my head was in another world and I had just let my body take over. I remember Naomi saying to resist the urge to fully push because she didn’t want me to tear so I started to just breath him out.
Naomi had got Chris to guide him out and I heard a tiny cry and they tried to slide him through my legs so I could hold him but my body was so f**king wrecked! They helped him onto my chest and pretty much had to lift me into the bed.
I remember kissing Chris and just kept repeating I did it ! I f**king did it !
Then ten minutes later I realised I also did it without drugs which I was even more shocked at !
The placenta came out rather easy with the help of the injection.
They opened the blinds and it was morning. He was born at 6:33am after being in active labour for 6:12, pushing for only 20 min.
I was also never checked to see how dilated I was
pre labour I was in two minds about knowing where I was but in that birthing moment I had no urge to know
I never planned to not use drugs and was always open to the idea but in the moment of George’s birth I just surrendered to the process and turns out I didn’t need them…
Positive birth story by Sigrid Petersen