Birth Plan

Although I have a fair bit of time still to go before the arrival of baby number two (who we’re calling boogaloo-2 at the moment), I have of course been thinking about my options when it comes to the birth.

Last time, I had hoped to have a natural birth, ideally more or less drug free, and preferably in the midwife-led unit of our local hospital – spending much of labour in the birthing pool etc.

As it turned out, I was two weeks overdue and after a number of sweeps that failed to kick-start anything, I found myself being induced and subsequently having ALL the drugs – I literally dined out big time at the drugs buffet – before then ultimately having to have an emergency c-section due to “failure to progress” in labour. I wasn’t happy about having to be induced, it was the farthest thing from my birth plan, but I got over it and ultimately was just over the moon to eventually have my gorgeous girl brought safely into the world by whatever means necessary.

I have to say, I’ve never felt like I missed out by not having experienced a natural birth. And as such, I don’t feel driven to try and have a natural birth second time around. Having said that, I’m not adverse to giving it a go, but I do feel deep-down that it’s possibly/probably something that may not work out for me again, and actually I’m okay with that prospect too.

I guess if I’ve learnt anything from my first experience it is not get fixated on a birth plan! And while it’s a good idea to have a clear view on your ideal, getting myopic about it probably isn’t the best idea.

If I think back to Allegra’s birth, what I feel most strongly about in planning for childbirth second time around, is (a) I do NOT want to go more than one week overdue, and (b) I do NOT want to be induced. The prospect of forceps or ventouse or an episiotomy doesn’t fill me with much glee either but let’s park those from the debate for now.

So I went to talk through my options – the great VBAC discussion – at the hospital the week before last and was pleased to come away with a much clearer view of the facts and my choices.

Firstly, I was very pleased to hear that if you’ve had a c-section before, then apparently they don’t let you go more than a week overdue: good times. Secondly, I was pleased to hear that if you’ve had a c-section before then they do not induce you, well not with drugs anyway, but they don’t rule out having a poke around “down there” in the hope of naturally kick-starting things: good times/uncomfortable times. Thirdly, if you are around a week overdue and the odd sweep isn’t deemed to be enough to get things going, then a c-section would be decided on and off you go: v good times (not that I’m thinking major surgery is an easier option but I am slightly nervous, I won’t lie, about the alternative route which is basically pushing what could be a baby in the region of 9lbs 10 plus out of my vajaja…).

Yes, I was a little disappointed to hear that if I was to try for a natural birth, I wouldn’t be able to do so in the midwife led unit: they advise against it if you’ve had a c-section previously because of the need to monitor you closely and keep an eye on your scar, in case of possible rupture (totes gross!). But okay, I understand the reasoning.

So where I netted out is in opting to try to go for a VBAC (is it just me or does anyone else ever have the urge to sing Justin Timberlake’s “I’m bringing sexy back” every time they say the word VBAC?! – ok, just me then…) and if a week past my due date I haven’t gone into labour naturally and they don’t think they can kick start labour without the aid if drugs, then I’ll be booked in for another c-section.

I honestly can’t imagine myself going into labour naturally but then that’s probably just because it wasn’t my experience the first time around. But of course, every pregnancy is different, as is every birth, so who knows?!

All I know is this, I’m going to keep an open mind and accept that what will be will be. Ultimately, my priority is to do whatever is necessary to bring our baby safe and sound into the world, and whatever path that turns out to take I’ll try to simply go with it and see it as a means to a very exciting end.

Did you have a successful VBAC? What would your advice be to me in my situation?

11 thoughts on “Birth Plan

  1. Hi B, Sorry i didnt have a successful VBAC, did go into spontaneous labour this time (not as much fun as spontaneous laughter) but the same problem occured and ended with another emergency section but another safe delivery. With Daisy (3rd) i had a planned sectiona and it was fantastic. I knew when i was going into hospital and all my childcare was in place. They made it really special too and although it was more scary than the emergencies it wasnt that bad. Personally i wish i had stood up to my OB-GYN with Christopher and just asked for a section. I felt i was emotionally bullied into trying for a VBAC when deep down i didnt want one.

  2. So you can’t do the water birth option at Kingston? That’s a shame. But I am living proof that second births CAN be different. I can’t remember any friends who had VBAC’s off the top of my head. Try filling in the form on this site and they’ll put you in touch with someone who has had a good VBAC experience. http://tellmeagoodbirthstory.com/ (it’s free) I was so terrified and so traumatised from my first birth that I considered booking in for a c-section. I got a lovely doula instead http://www.sunshinedoula.co.uk/ and she really kept me strong and positive. I think even talking to her up front alleviated some of my fear. Just don’t feel pressurised to do anything you don’t want to do, but if you feel you really want to try the natural birth thing then go for it and think positive. It worked for me. xx

    • Thx Sarah, yes it is a real shame I can’t do the midwife-led unit option and try for VBAC, but it’s just not an option if you’ve had a c-section first time around unfortunately. I think if I do go into labour naturally then I would like to try for VBAC, I just really didn’t want to have to go through being induced again and that’s already off the table, which is good. Will think about it more over the next few months but am trying to keep options open at this point. Will defo check out that website though, thank you xxx

  3. Congrats first of all, and secondly this post could not have come at a better time, I am 35 weeks and have to decide on VBAC or not by Friday, I am so torn in what to do its awful! I did hypnobirthing for my first and again this time so really want to try for a natural labour but just feel like everything is stacked against it being successful and that I would be more in control of my birth if we had a csection! So confused!!!

  4. Hi! Congrats with the second baby to come! I had my second one 3 months ago, hard work but good fun to have to little ones too! I was late first time around but then Matilde decide to “make her way out” a day before I was to be induced. This time around 2 weeks over they decided it was better to induce and so I went to hospital thinking I will had theis baby in non time. Thing were not planed out that way for me tho and I ended up 2 and half days in hospital as nothing happened after the gel or swipes and they did not gonna brake my water. So after a long wait Zoe ( yep is got another baby girl! Kind of had a feeling it wil be but then again it was a nice suprise when she came along as it was still 50/50) arrived with just 20 mins yes 20 mins! Active labour, 10 mins of first stage and 35 mins of thirt stage ( my placenta was high up and as it all went so quick they did not manage to give me the injection so the placenta will come on its own) so as if labour quick but painfull as hell as I could just have gas and air no time for anything else I had to push the placenta out too! But the min I got Zoe in my arms and I knew I was the most lucky person in te world to have yet another healty baby girl I forgot about all the pain. So but I’m trying to say is that all pregnancies and labours are so different with Matilde I had epidural, took long, had lots of stitches and felt like OMG I’m not sure I wanna do this again, second time around felt “easy” and ur body kind of knows what it gOt to do, specially if there’s short time between the pregnancies as it is in our case 😉 any way I don’t have experience with vocab but 3 of the girls of my NCT group ad c section first time around an perfectly normal delivery second time around so theres hope! Best of luck! And keep us posted, I enjoy reading ur messages. X Therese

    • Hey Therese, thank you for your lovely message – so sorry not to have replied until now. Congratulations on baby Zoe – it sounds like you had two very different birth experiences indeed and I guess that’s what I’m keeping an open mind about, so we’ll see what happens…! Hope to see you soon in/around Richmond 🙂 x

  5. Hi lovely, I don’t know if you read my post http://www.mummydaddyandmemakesthree.co.uk/index.php/home-2/item/vbac-or-c-section but I have the exact same dilemma as you. Theres lots of stories on mine so it is definitely worth a read.
    My problem is my body has never experienced any labour so therefore I just have no idea how my body will cope with it. Couple that with the fact this baby will probably be big and the fact that the scar could rupture and I just have this immense dilemma on my hands. Yes I know that I could be one of these people who have really quick labours and everything will be fine and I could get an amazing natural birth, but I could also be one of these people where it takes forever and it may not progress and I might have to have an emergency c-section- I don’t really have experience of emergency c-sections but the one thing I don’t want to have to happen is that I am under general anasthetic for the birth of our baby.

    I had a consultant appointment the other day, and although they were lovely, they were definitely pushing me with the VBAC option. I explained my fears and she did agree to book me in for a growth scan at 36 weeks to see how the baby was measuring- my only worry with this is that with Mads her scan was inaccurate anyway. They have said they won’t induce me so if I get to 40 weeks and no baby they will book me in for a c-sec- but that could take a week depending on how busy they are and then the thought of pushing out one at 41 weeks because I could go into natural labour scares me.

    I have gone along with their plan of a VBAC for now, after all I have so long to change my mind, but I think honestly deep down I would rather just have a planned section- however I am a wimp sometimes and don’t know how forceful I will be when I next see the consultant at 36 weeks.

    I just don’t know what to do and I do worry about the recovery of a c-section with a toddler, however my hubby would be off for 2 weeks to help. I just really don’t know and I find it so hard so I sympathise!

    Sorry for the essay!x

    • Hi there – yes I did read your post and it sounds like the two of us are in a similar dilemma. Don’t get me wrong, I am totally terrified of having to have a natural birth but at the same time, I think that if I were to go into labour naturally, maybe my body would just know what to do and I should trust it and see what happens. The things that worried me the most were going overdue and/or being medically induced and I’ve been reassured that next time around they wouldn’t let me go more than a week overdue and I wouldn’t be medically induced having had a c-section before, so that’s good.

      I think you have to do what your instincts are telling you to and if you think it would put your mind at rest to opt for a planned c-section then you should just do that and refuse to take no for an answer when they try to persuade you otherwise!

      But… if you are thinking about a natural birth, then I wouldn’t worry about how your body would cope with it – it just would, you have to trust that 🙂 and besides, if you felt you weren’t coping, then you could just have all the drugs!! 🙂 no shame in that!

      They have warned me that my baby could be big as well, purely because second babies often are and Allegra was 9lbs 10. But, I have had many friends tell me of their second being smaller than their first, so again, I wouldn’t necessarily worry about that at this stage either.

      When I had an emergency c-section, I wasn’t under general anaesthetic, I just had the hard-core epidural thing. Have they told you that you would be potentially knocked out?!?! I wouldn’t like the idea of that either 😦

      If I was you, I would try to put it out of my mind for a bit as it is clearly something you are worrying about and that’s not good for you right now. It’s still a long(ish) way off, so try not to dwell on it, just enjoy your pregnancy as best you can, and think about it again nearer the time. Then decide whatever feels right for you, regardless of what anyone else says.

      lots of love xxx

  6. i agree about birth plans and not adhering to them and accepting that things may not go to plan during labour and the actual birth. I cant offer any advice as I only ever had natural births but i hope you get some advice which i am sure you will x x

  7. Pingback: Thoughts at 37 Weeks Pregnant | Tots 100

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