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VBAC at Queen Charlottes - any advice?

(19 Posts)
BeachedWhale Fri 19-Nov-04 00:24:36

I'm currently 34 wks and am planning to try for a VBAC at QC. My first pregnancy was a nightmare - twins born at 33wks by emergency CS with lots of complications. So far in this pregnancy everything has been pretty normal and consultant has agreed that I can try for a VBAC but I can't help but feel that the doctors I see at each antenatal appt are less enthusiastic than I am about me giving this a real go. I haven't seen a midwife since my booking appt at 14 weeks, only my consultant once and his registrars the rest of the time. I feel that I'm just being rushed through at each check up - so long as BP and test results are ok they can't wait to get on to the next person. Nobody seems interested in the birth bit in all this!

I feel that if I am going to have a successful VBAC I will need strong support from the midwives on the day and my best chance of success is if I can be allowed to labour with the minimum intervention from doctors. (Assuming things stay ok for the next few weeeks).

Has anyone any experience to share? For example would I be allowed to use birth pool or go to the birth centre? Should I be asking to see a midwife as well as the doctor at my next appt? Will I be strapped to a monitor all the time? Did you feel you got the support you needed?

Having not gone to full term before I'm not sure what is usual during the last few weeks. Any advice would be much appreciated. Had to get out of bed to post this as I can't sleep through worry now it has suddenly hit home that one way or another this baby is coming out in a few weeks.

PuffTheMagicDragon Fri 19-Nov-04 00:28:06

You need to ask to see the Consultant Midwife. She is based in the Birth Centre. I can't remember her name - Debbie something maybe. Lovely, lovely lady.

mummytummy Fri 19-Nov-04 00:30:46

Me and a girl from antenatal group 1st time round fell pregnant at the same time 2nd time and both of us had caesareans after long labours 1st time. I was told categorically at 34 weeks that I couldn't have VBAC because my pelvis was too small (in the 2nd caesar DD2 was actually stuck in my pelvis and they had to use forceps quite forcefully to get her out and 7 months on she still has a funny shaped head!). My friend was allowed VBAC and they let her go for it with a very long labour. If you want to do it, and you physically can, just go for it. That's what she did, and she said she would def have VBAC again.

PuffTheMagicDragon Fri 19-Nov-04 00:32:29

I'm fairly sure SofiaAmes had a successful vbac at Queen Charlotte's. Why don't you CAT her. I'm sure she'd be happy to talk to you. I seem to remember her saying she got fed up with the doctors and eventually got a really good midwife on her side.

hunny Fri 19-Nov-04 07:48:39

I agree with Puff - what you need is a good midwife who will treat you as an individual rather than a 'case' - this will give you a lot more confidence. It's not too late to start getting armed with information if you think that will help you - might alleviate some of the sleepless worrying. There's lots of info on the net about having a successful vbac - if everything is going okay with your pregnancy (which it seems to be) there's no reason why you can't go for it if you want to.

I had a successful vbac 6 months ago. I'm in Germany where things are a little different in healthcare but I'm fairly sure I would have come up against similar attitudes if I'd been in the UK. The litigation-shy medical profession advised me to go for another cs - I was ready for this and flatly refused whilst shooting down in flames all their suspect reasons for the advice. I could go on but it'll just become a rant . Anyway in the end I just read everything I could get my hands on about vbac and what to expect from the meds so went into it very well informed. I had a wonderful birth - 13 hours from beginning to end with absolutely no complications. Constant monitoring of the heartbeat wasn't necessary, but different hospitals I think have different attitudes to this - it's something you need to ask about.

Incidentally I'd been really looking forward to getting into the birthing pool which I did when I was about 5cm. Got straight back out again - couldn't stand it! Very disappointing.

Anyway in short: find a nice midwife, get informed if you think that will help you personally and try not to think in terms of being 'allowed' to do this and that - start discussing now what you want with the people who are likely to be looking after you. And good luck!

PuffTheMagicDragon Fri 19-Nov-04 10:57:07

Good to hear about your successful vbac hunny. Mine didn't work out BUT I appreciated being supported by the midwives in my choice to try.

BeachedWhale Fri 19-Nov-04 11:55:04

Thanks so much for your posts. Am feeling more positive this morning in the daylight! DH was away last night and my mind was racing and I had a bit of a panic.

Puff - I will press to see the Consultant Midwife now. I had no idea there was one!

Hunny - thanks for sharing your good experience with me. Like you, I have done a lot of research on VBAC's in preparation and I WAS feeling confident about my body's ability to give birth naturally this time (until last appt with v disinterested male junior doctor!)
You really focused my mind. You are right - I shouldn't feel like I have to ask permission to give it a go. You confirmed what I suspected in that I need to be a bit more assertive and the support of a good midwife.

Mummytummy - am going to do exactly what you say - just going to go for it. Physically there is no reason not to. All my complications first time were as a result of the strain of a twin pregnancy I think. Btw, DS also has a funny shaped head after being squashed in next to his twin. He looked v.odd as a baby but once his hair grew and he got older it got much less noticable.

SofiaAmes Sat 20-Nov-04 00:46:57

Yes I had successful vbac at qc two years ago. I had a horrible consultant who made me cry so I refused to ever speak to him again. I went to the birth centre and found the head midwife, debbie gould and she was wonderful. She took me on personally and even delivered my dd herself.
Definitely go and see her...just go up to the birth centre on the 1st floor and ask to see her. They are all really wonderful up there. And it's so much better having your appointments there because they are really nice midwives and there's no waiting around.

SofiaAmes Sat 20-Nov-04 00:47:55

feel free to cat me if you want some more info.

PuffTheMagicDragon Sat 20-Nov-04 00:53:21

Sofia - she's WONDERFUL isn't she!

There were SO MANY reasons why I should not have tried for a vbac, but I was determined to try and she respected my decision and backed me all the way. She went to see the consultant that I couldn't face anymore and fought my corner for me.

They are WONDERFUL in the birth centre, can't praise them enough.

GOOD LUCK BeachedWhale, Sofia is proof it can be done.

Apparently there are very few Consultant Midwives in the country - we need more of them!

MarsLady Sat 20-Nov-04 01:00:57

DS1 was born by c-section. Went on to have 2 VBACs. The DTs were a section because they were lying sideways and it wasn't safe for me to go for a VB. All you need is a supportive mw. It makes all the difference (whether you succeed or not). All the best.

jolly4 Mon 22-Nov-04 21:31:28

i had a csection with ds now 7yo iam 28 weeks pg with a little girl an been told today she is 3 pound wieght lookin at nine an half pound full term i want too have a vbac now i am worryin slightly as too the size any advice as positive as poss has any1 birth big babes on here ? plz help jolly4

piratecaptain Mon 22-Nov-04 21:55:17

Hi BeachedWhale - I had a VBAC at QC last year - I also felt that no-one wanted to discuss the birth at my antenatal appointments - the consultant just said I could choose VBAC or a planned section - I said VBAC and that was all the discussion we had.
I wasn't allowed to use the birth centre as previous section was due to pelvis problems but the staff in the labour ward were great, very encouraging on the day, and kept me going when I was shouting for a c-section .I was strapped to a monitor the whole time, but I was encouraged to find different positions anyway...I didn't ask to use the birth pool (there is one on the labour ward) but mainly wobbled about on my birthing ball.
Good luck.

BeachedWhale Wed 01-Dec-04 16:42:55

Just wanted to say thanks to you all for your advice and to update you. Went to hospital yesterday prepared to be all stroppy and ready to fire all my questions at them but ended up seeing a really nice woman doc and burst into tears when I started to talk to her! So embarrassing but I think all my worries have been building up for so long that it all just came out.
Anyway, she spent ages with me discussing it all and I feel much better about the birth now. She was very encouraging about VBAC but she did say that they would be v.reluctant to induce me so I may end up with a caesar if I go overdue. I'll cross that bridge when I come to it.
So only a few weeks to go now. Hopefully I will be able to post a birth announcement soon with a positive VBAC story.

Jimjams Wed 01-Dec-04 20:22:19

Beached whale- I'm going for a VBAtwoC this time- due New Years. it was actually suggested by my consultant! (to my suprise). He has said no induction, no syntocinon and continual monitering (which is a pain but may be as a result of having had 2 previous sections).
Michel Odent's book The caesarian is a really good read. His argument is that even if you end up with a section it is better to have a non-emergency section in labour than an elective. Certainly this would have been true for ds2 (who had lots of breathing problems at birth). My consultant said that babies born by section from labour very rarely have breathing problems.

My second section was a nightmare- but I am approaching this as just having a go. If things start to get difficult I would like to bail out into section early on. My midwife said that because they've out no syntocinon etc that they won't be fiddling too much - its just a chance to see if things can go smoothly.

BeachedWhale Thu 02-Dec-04 09:41:45

Jimjams - thanks for your message. I had been wondering whether it would be be better just to go for an elective rather than attempt a VBAC an end up with a section anyway but what you have said has convinced me to give labour a go. Will try to get hold of the book. I had such a scary emergency section last time. Literally a race against time to get me under general anaesthetic as soon as possible to get the babies out. I'm sure it won't get to that stage again as, like you say, I think I will be in for continuous monitoring. Just want to avoid major surgery again! Don't think I could manage the twins and a baby if I can't get about for a while.
Here's hoping things go well for us both. Good luck.

Jimjams Thu 02-Dec-04 10:49:58

Yeah good luck beachedwhale. Don't worry too much- twin labours are far more prone to problems than singletons. I think once you've had a section they're very cautious anyway. Having had a labour last time (even though it ended in section) your chances of a successful VBAC are increased anyway. Apparently the labour primes the uterus so it responds more like a second labour the next time round. I'm hoping that's true!

I'm hoping for a successful VBAC because of recovery time as well- I have a 2 year old and a severely autistic (and very physical) 5 year old. Dealing with them post section would be a complete nightmare. Got to be worth a try.

BeachedWhale Mon 27-Dec-04 12:54:13

Thanks so much to all of you who gave me support. I just wanted to update you and to tell you that I had my Vbac and it was a wonderful amazing experience. Details on birth announcements.

StuffTheMagicTurkey Mon 27-Dec-04 13:28:21

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