Back story: Ever since my (unnecessary emergency) Caesarean section with my first breech baby, there was nothing more I longed for to experience a natural vaginal birth. Hence, I was quite devastated when my second daughter turned breech at 33 weeks and nothing worked to turn her back (spinning baby positions, moxibustion, ECV, you name it).
Because I found the thought of a planned Caesarean unbearable and my current hospital wasn’t breech experienced enough/ advised against a VBB, I did a fair bit of research online. All I wanted was being able to give it another go whilst being fully aware that it could end up in another caesarean which I was totally ok with. It was pure luck that the wonderful and amazing Emma Spillane worked at a hospital (Kingston) that wasn’t too far from where we lived.
The day after I had contacted her I transferred hospitals at 37+1 and was so relieved and happy. Emma briefed me in detail about pros and cons and I was given a 40% chance of success. Labour started 1.5 weeks later with sporadic contractions every 10-20 minutes during the night (midnight to 6am) which paused during the day and then became more regular from 6:20pm onwards (every 5-7 minutes). 30 minutes later my waters went and we slowly made our way to the hospital.
At 10pm I was examined for the first time and was at 2-3cm. I was then put in a beautiful room in the birth centre as I wasn’t in established labour yet. Contractions remained at 5-7cm throughout the night. I was grateful for a slow labour as I could properly relax in between contractions. For the contractions I found it most comfortable to kneel in front of the birthing ball and have my upper body rest on it. At some point in the early morning I had to vomit which I thought was a sign that things were progressing. The best of it all, I was left alone to labour in peace and I felt like I was treated like any other laboring woman. A lovely midwife only checked in every now and then to see how I was coping.
I was examined again at 7am when I felt things were picking up a bit. It turned out I was 7cm dilated which meant I got transferred to the labour ward for the last stretch. I was able to find a similar position on the bed with the headrest up as I had before on the ball and before I knew it I was told it wouldn’t be much longer. I was offered gas & air which didn’t do anything to alleviate the “pain”/ pressure but it helped me tremendously with my breathing. It is also recommended for VBACs to have baby’s heart monitored which was a bit tricky in the position I and baby were in but we got there and the heartbeat was never a concern.
Elise was born at 8.52pm weighing 2890g. She had great oxygen levels and could be put on my chest straight away. I was close to needing a small cut but the next contraction was strong enough to avoid it after all. I ended up with a small tear but nothing to worry about. Overall, I couldn’t have asked for or imagined a better birth experience and will be forever grateful. I felt so incredibly well taken care of and supported throughout.