Welcome to the third installment of“My birth series”!

Mums will share their different birth stories with you from natural, hospitalised (private/public), c-section, VBAC, home birth, water birth etc. Expert advice with how to choose the right birthing partner and birthing sanctuary.Lots of expert articles and advice to assist you through your birth plan and process.I will also introduce you to lots of different services and products for new mums.

Today we are chatting to Nicole. She shares her beautiful VBAC journey with us!

The Birth of Baby Thomas

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In her own words:

“I am so excited to share my birth story with you all!!!

Our daughter was born at 39 weeks on 08/01/2013. We had planned a home birth that turned into a Cesar, due to pre-eclampsia. We were abundantly blessed by this tiny human we had brought into the world.

In November 2014, when we found out we were expecting our 2nd, I was ecstatic. We were trying for several months and finally we would make our little girl a big sister! I was determined to find a health care provider that would allow me to attempt my VBAC dream. We had spent time looking for a midwife that would deliver baby at home, but for personal reasons we chose to find a gynae instead. My gynae was wonderful. Positive. Encouraging. But I still had my doubts. I had this huge fear that I would be ‘forced’ to have a RCS due to unforeseen circumstances. It would keep me awake at night. Nothing frightened me more. I had a 2.5 year old baby girl waiting for me at home. Spending 3 nights in hospital after a Cesar, without her, was not an option. She was not going to be without her Mama. Our little girl was a huge driving force for me. I had the support of my amazing husband and he backed me all the way. Our pregnancy was wonderful and we had no complications what so ever.

I had my last visit in my 35th week of pregnancy. We had tons of questions for our gynae, as our due date crept up. My gynae told me what to expect. I gave him the low down on my birth plan and what I wanted. I wanted to remain active during labour and I did not want to be given any pain medication. His views on this were a little concerning as I was ‘high risk’ with our previous cesar. I would need to be limited to my hospital bed every two hours for 20/30 min so they could monitor baby. He mentioned how he would need me to progress, once in labour, to avoid a RCS and that he would monitor how I handled the pain of labour and then decide on an epidural. If he wanted me to progress, why was i being advised to go for an epidural and not remain active instead. Again I felt like someone else was trying to make decisions for me. He told me he was away on holiday throughout my 37th week and that there was only a 3% chance of us going into labour while he was away.

Saturday evening 11/07 I had a show. For the next few days, I kept losing bits of my mucus plug. 15/07 marked 37weeks. I went into the hospital to get some peace of mind as the leaking of the mucus plug was a lot heavier and I wanted confirmation that it was not amniotic fluid. I was having constant BH that were uncomfortable but no pain was associated with them. I was checked out and it was definitely not amniotic fluid. I met with my gynaes stand in. She was lovely. She did an internal and I was definitely not in labour. She said that she could fit just a finger tip into my cervix. I was pleased that we could go home and hopeful that baby would hang in there till my gynae was back the following week.

That evening, after putting our daughter to bed, I started having what I thought were Braxon Hicks. But now they were no longer pain free. I was uncomfortable. I tried getting some sleep that Wednesday night but every time I fell asleep, I would have a contraction and it would wake me up. I couldn’t sleep through them. About an hour later, around 1 am, I got up. Started timing the contractions. There was no real pattern. They seemed to last between 60 and 90 seconds but the interval between each one was not consistent at all. I was up all morning trying to get comfortable as my body prepared itself. A hot water bottle seemed to dull the pain and that was a nice comfort. I texted my Doula that Thursday morning around 6 am and filled her in on our progress. We did not know if this was the real deal. I of course had nothing to compare it to.

I got more uncomfortable throughout the day. I was so tired. All I wanted was to get some rest, but our bump had other plans. The contractions remained irregular but they were getting more intense. I jumped in a hot bath that afternoon and although it dulled the pain, it did not subside. That was when I knew it was the real thing. We decided to go for a walk, to help things along.

We thought it would be wise to go to hospital. I got the last bits together for my night bag, which I had just packed on the Tuesday evening. We got to the hospital around 5 pm. Our Doula arrived and i was at ease. Back up gynae checked me and I was only 2 cm dilated. I was told I could go home. Hooray! Exactly where I wanted to be. We were told to come back when we were having 3 contractions in 10 mins.

Off we went, bathed, got our little girl into bed and then I was in pain!! They were coming on a lot faster and we knew it was time to get our butts back to hospital. My mom drove through with hubby and I. Sitting in the back with me, rubbing my back gently with each contraction. That really helped the 10 min trip be more comfortable. Our Doula arrived right as we did. We walked into labour ward around 21:30. I was told I would need to be checked 4 hourly and that baby would need to be monitored every so often. My gynae also mentioned that they would need to insert a catheter at the end of my labour as apparently that would help diagnose a uterine rupture, should I have one. I was not happy about that at all and told hubby and Vania, our Doula, that i was going to refuse. I was checked right before our new gynae went home. I was 4cm dilated. We were going to have a baby!!!!!!!!!

Vania, was a God send. Setting the mood for us and always dimming the lights the secomd the midwife left my room. With every contraction, she was right there. Rubbing my back. Talking me through it. Telling me how well I was doing. How my breathing was spot on. The encouragement was everything I needed and more. We walked the corridor and rocked that birthing ball. In between we were monitoring baby’s heart rate. This got uncomfortable the more intense the contractions became. i remember my doula holding a tray in front of me at one point as i felt the need to be sick. It only happened once and that was that. At 00:50, 40 mins before my next internal, I was experiencing intense pain. I was on all fours on the floor. Moaning through every contraction, demanding pain relief in ANY form. The midwife on duty said she could not give me anything until my next check in 40 mins. It felt like a life time away. In those moments I did not feel strong. My husband kept telling me how I could do it and I kept telling him he was wrong.

FINALLY it was 01:30 Friday morning. Midwife checked my progress and we were FULLY dilated! Oh happy days!!! Gynae was called and she was on her way! Moments later, my body let out a push with a contraction and my waters broke. With every contraction after that, my body wanted to push. I was told not to, and to wait until our gynae arrived. The catheter was inserted. At that point i did not give a damn!!! Shortly after our Dr walked into the room.

She got her goodies ready and when she checked me she was pretty shocked. The way my husband explains her face at that moment is pretty funny. Baby was crowning and showing off a full head of hair. Our Dr told me to listen carefully or I was going to hurt myself. She told me when to push and when not to. To push with every contraction. But once baby’s head was out, I was no longer experiencing contractions so I pushed as I was told. My Doula to my left, with her hand under my head, gently encouraging me as I was bringing our second child into the world. We did not push for long. I think 3 good pushes and he was out. I still remember the feeling of his little body leaving mine! A moment i never thought i would own!!!! Being told we had a son!! Having him on my chest immediately after birth!!

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He was born Friday 17/07/2015 at 02:23. Weighing 3,040 kilos and 48 cm in length. I was so tired at this point but I remember it being such a surreal moment. Oh man, I had done it!!!! I tore only slightly on the inside and needed 3 stitches. I was able to WALK out of the delivery room and have a bath! What!!!! Oh, and we got to leave the very same day so I could go home and be a Mommy to our daughter and introduce her to her baby brother.

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Our stand in gynae was absolutely amazing. A young woman who probably does not understand the magnitude of my gratitude. Our Doula, who will always have such a special place in my heart, was a huge part of our VBAC success and helped make sure our birth plan was honored in every way!

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It has been 8 weeks since I experienced the most powerful moment of my life. My healing. My peace. I believe in my body again, as I was so sure it had let me down. I am a woman. And my body was made for this!!!! Totally doing this again!”

Thank you Nicole for sharing your beautiful birth story with us, it has empowered, encouraged, uplifted and motivated us!

If you would like to be part of this new exciting series or share your expert advice contact us @ editor@mumandbabywellness.co.za

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