My beautiful little girl was born 11 days ago by EMCS after my attempt at VBAC failed. I thought it would be worth my describing my experience, which I am genuinely glad to have gone thruogh even though I didn't get the result I wanted.
I had never laboured before since my previous CS was elective for breech. I was really determined to get the perfect VBAC and to this end I hired a doula, practised optimum positioning from 35 weeks and read a whole mountain of stuff. I was so excited about the prospect of going into labour spontaneously!
I started having on/ off contractions and a show just before my due date and, to cut a long story short, by the time I reached 41 weeks they were quite intense but never established a pattern. I was exhausted from being kept awake by them and by the adrenalin. On the Friday night I finally realised they had gone up several notches and called the doula over. We spent several great hours as things got increasingly stronger. I was positively enjoying the contractions although they were quite painful. By about midnight my doula thought I was probably around 5 cm so we drove to hospital, where I was absolutely gutted to be told I was fully effaced but not even 1 cm dilated! My doula's face showed how surprised she was given the performance I had been putting on. We were given the option of staying over at the hosital and took it, more or less deciding that we would request a c-section in the morning because my energy was totally spent. DH fell fast asleep instantly but I lay in the dark feeling miserable and trying to ignore the contractions.
In the morning my consultant came to see me and suggested a VE before proceeding to the section. To my amazement I had dilated 4cm while lying quietly with no pain relief. I couldn't believe the effacement had been so much more painful than dilation! She also confirmed that baby was OA. Of course this was a massive spur to go for it but after another night without sleep I didn't think I could last the distance so when the consultant and the doula both suggested an epidural I reluctantly agreed. I also agreed to the cannula which obstetricians like to put in during a VBAC in case of an emergency (this was something I had previously planned to resist, but in hindsight it was a good decision to accept it).
After having the epidural I lay on my left side (faithful to the OFP principles!) and by 6pm I was fully dilated. I was thrilled when told I could push as soon as the epidural began to wear off, and could even feel the baby's head with my hand when my doula suggested I have a rummage about. My DH put on a CD, the midwife got out the delivery kit and I thought I was about to achieve my VBAC after all. However, when I started to push I had an excruciating pain in my left hip and the baby's heart rate dropped to 80 bpm with each push. Within seconds I was signing consent forms and being pushed in to theatre where I hd an EMCS. I also had to have an emergency general anaesthetic as soon as the baby was out because of operative complications (thank god for the cannula.)
Afterwards I was told that DD had rotated to the side with her spine lined up with my hip and her head was acynclitic i.e. pressing down at an angle on the cervix so only one side is presenting properly. This is also probably the reason for my 10 days of pre-labour- she wasn't putting enough pressure on the cervix. I am choosing not to beat myself up about certain sub-optimal choices I made (e.g. to have the epidural) since it doesn't sound as though she ever had much intention of coming out the main entrance (just like her breech sister!)
Anyway I wanted to end on a positive note, that although I am sad not to have achieved my VBAC I am so glad to have laboured and tried so hard to get it. If I had taken the offered ELCS at 39 weeks I could have avoided lots of stress and waiting, but I would always have wondered "what if..?". I would also like to say how valuable my doula was, I would recommend one to anyone, especially those trying a VBAC.
Good luck to all with imminent births,
My VBAC attempt- unsuccessful but still worth it
pendulum · 11/10/2007 13:22
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