PERMISSION HAS BEEN GRANTED TO SHARE THIS STORY AND MY VERSION OF EVENTS
I was sitting in my car the other day telling a very special friend of mine about the trials and tribulations that one of my clients experienced ‘trying’ to have a VBAC in a public hospital just recently. Firstly the story starts with her first birth which ended up being a LUSCS (Caesarean) for ‘failure to progress’ and my client got to ‘fully dilated’. My client felt very strongly that it was more like ‘failure to wait’ as her LUSCS was carried out in the early evening on a weekend day. I wasn’t there, but there were no measures taken to strengthen contractions, such as augmentation with syntocinon, and also my client had actually progressed in labour the whole time she was in hospital which was only about 6 hrs.
Complicating her situation was her history of cerebral palsy. She herself was a premature baby born breech at 26 weeks gestation. She has mild ataxia, which effects her gait. She has worked very hard to overcome her bodies CP issues, and having a LUSCS for her first birth simply made her doubt her bodies abilities physically, but also made her more determined than ever to prove to herself that her body can do it, and she could indeed achieve a VBAC.
We met quite early on in her second pregnancy, and what I was faced with was one very angry, but also very determined woman who was prepared to do everything that was needed to give herself and her baby the best chance of having a successful VBAC. Preparation for this birth included extensive debriefing, discussions at length about physical and emotional preparation for a VBAC and a visit to Fiona Hallinan (Midwife), an expert in my opinion on ‘internal pelvic issues’.
The hospital flaged my client as being difficult as she asked a lot of questions, requested hospital policies, demanded answers, and she was basically very forthright in expressing her opinions, and the hospital staff didn’t like it. I assured her that the birth suite midwives were fantastic, and that she had nothing to fear on the big day, but I too was hoping for a very supportive team on the big day.
Well, the big day arrived and contractions started early in the morning. Labour took a while to establish, but being at home, eating her own food, and being in her own suppoundings made all the difference. baby remained well throughout the earlier phases of pre labour and it was in my clients best interests to stay home. after lunch, early afternoon, while taking a shower, contractions became very powerful and my clients friend (support person) called me to say that the contractions were now powerful. I could hear my client roaring in the background, so I suggested my client head to hospital straight away!
On arrival we met a lovely midwife who was fully aware of my clients history, and she clearly stated to us that she was here to help us achieve a VBAC of a healthy baby and Mother! Well, no sooner than we received her reassurance of her support, my client had an urge to push, and about 10 mins later, her beautiful baby girl was born!
I will never forget my client’s words, ‘I did it, I did it’ and tears welled up in my eyes, as I knew just how much a successful VBAC meant to her. For once her body did not fail her, the ‘system’ didn’t control her, and with all her hard work, she was able to birth her baby all by herself, the way nature intended.
Thank you to the wonderful hospital midwife for your support of baby’s birth day. And to the doctors she met before hand who gave her such a hard time, what is so important to take on board is the life changing experience this birth will have on my client. How honoured I was to be invited to be a part of her amazing birth journey…