Monday, February 08, 2010

bac to the v

Warning: birth story ahead.

On the 19 June 2007 I was 37 weeks pregnant with Frieda. I had a scheduled scan with my Obs/Gyn who declared all well and that I was on target for delivery in 3 or so weeks time.

That evening I went to my ante-natal yoga class, led by a wonderfully flaky but warm and, turns out, intuitive woman. I walked into the room and she asked me whether I was in labour. I was astounded. 'No', I said. 'Hmmm,' she declared, 'you look ... ripe'.

I went home, slept as well as a 37 week pregnant woman sleeps and awoke the next day with tons of energy, determined to finish all my last-minute baby preparation errands and then collapse into my confinement (wonderful term) and do nothing but chill and read for the last few weeks.

I missioned all day, had lunch with my husband, made plans to go out to dinner with friends, and finally got home at 6pm just in time to put my feet up for a while before going out.

That's when my waters broke.

And how. Thank fuck that didn't happen while I was still in the mall!

Almost instantly I started feeling contractions, by the time husband got home (with the take-away curry I'd requested - we had a long night ahead, I thought I should get my strength up) I was running on adrenalin, excited, ready to go! go! go!

Alas, this was not to be.

After examining me in hospital my doctor was pretty glum - baby wasn't in position, I'd lost most of my amniotic fluid, waiting for her to turn could take a very long time, she might go into distress, I'd have to be closely monitored, probably wouldn't be very mobile during labour - she didn't push us to chose a c-section, but she didn't really make us feel as if the alternative would be greatly supported, or at all pleasant (inasmuch as it ever would be!).
She left us alone to think about it and I just sagged. It all seemed such a let down after the initial adrenalin surge, I was getting really uncomfortable, with painful contractions 2 minutes apart and the knowledge that this could continue for '8-10 hours' before I even started active labour. My incredibly full and busy day was taking its toll on my energy and we both felt we didn't want to do anything to compromise our daughter's safety.
We decided to caeser.

Things happened really fast from there and Frieda was born at 11.40pm, 20 June 2007.

While never regretting our decision as such, I've more and more over the last couple of years wondered how necessary a c-section really was. Turns out the hospital I was at has a reputation for doing mainly c-sections, I've heard rumours about my then Obs/Gyn and her business partner being very pro-caesereans, she doesn't work with midwifes ...

So this time I'm trying something a little different. I'm hoping to VBAC. That's Vaginal Birth After Caeserean. Or as a (male) friend declared: Bac to the V.

I've switched doctors to a guy who's very pro-natural and supportive of attempting to VBAC (under all the right circumstances of course), I've moved to a hospital whose maternity staff are apparently better motivated to deliver babies naturally, but most importantly I'm keeping an open mind, informing myself of the risks and rewards and trying to find my zen place for this birth.

Which, as it turns out, may happen sooner than we thought. A scan today, at 35 weeks, reveals that my baby is the same size as Frieda was at birth. She's turned, she's dropped, she's facing left.
According to my doctor, we're to 'be ready'.



Sarah said...

Oh, Molly! That sounds like such a harrowing birth story. I have all my fingers and legs and various other appendages crossed for a nice, safe and relatively painless birth for your new little one!

Unknown said...

Oh wow! That's very exciting. Hope you manage a lovely VBAC and all that prenatal yoga comes in useful.

Heather Moore said...

Yikes indeed!

OK, I probably shouldn't tell you this, but it's too wierdly apt not to share: my word veri is CUSAR. Make of that what you will..