Barnabys Birth Story. VBA2C turned EMCS

Our third baby Barnaby George made his way into the world on 31st March, weighing in at 8lb 9oz.

As you may know I was attempting a VBA2C but had been booked in for an elective cesarean a week after my due date as I wasn't able to be induced. Although this was my third pregnancy it was the first time I went overdue and as the date of my elective section loomed closer I worried that I wouldn't get the chance to labour after all. When I went into labour on Monday 28th March at 5 days overdue I was very excited! 



After having tightenings and other signs for a while beforehand I just kind of knew this time it was the real deal. I'm not sure how I knew, it must have been instinct. My contractions really started slow and steady and I just knew that I was probably in for a long ride, when i laboured with Seb it had been the same so we kept the boys at home that day and night. 

I kept active, walking around and bouncing and rotating on my ball to try and keep things moving along.  I made sure that Phil had change for the hospital car park ready and we had an early night. I dozed a bit but didn't really manage to sleep properly, I was so restless, again I remembered this from when I laboured with Sebastian. Phil of course slept like a log!

On Tuesday morning my midwife text me to see if I still wanted her to visit me at home for a sweep as we had arranged at my last appointment. I let her know that my contractions had started and that I was happy to let things progress as they were. She advised me not to stay at home for too long as I was considered high risk. Because I was booked in the following day for a c section(I had been trying to delay the date but had been turned down) I was booked in at the hospital for bloods to be taken so we carried on with our original plans for the day. I didn't want to rush straight to the labour suite because I knew once I was there I wouldn't be going home again and I would be constantly monitored and timed. I felt really calm and relaxed at home. 

The boys headed off to Phils parents , we had a bit of time at home and then we went to hospital and got my blood taken as planned. The wait was around an hour and a half so we walked laps around the hospital to try and get my contractions to pick up. The lady taking my blood couldn't believe I had come to have them taken while in early labour!  
After my bloods were taken I popped over to triage where I was monitored for a while, saw a consultant and officially told I was in early labour. As expected they wanted me to stay in on the ward. All this took several hours and it was evening time by the time I got to the ward.

The evening and night was pretty uneventful, everyone else on the ward seemed to come and go.  My pains picked up as hoped. We had a bit of concern when i was on the monitor and he wouldn't stop moving meaning his heart rate was all over the place. The doctor was happy enough that Barney was just being active which i had explained was the norm for him and things then settled down again. I started being sick around this point, this happened when i started to progress with Seb too.  At some point in the early hours I was examined and taken to the delivery suite at around 6am where I was given access to the gas and air which was exactly what I needed at that point! 



I was on constant monitoring from this point which i had expected. I was still able to move about on and around the bed pretty freely and use the birthing ball. By this point found that the ball made things so much more uncomfortable for me, I found it most comfortable laid on the bed on my side. I was examined at around 10.30am and found not to have made any more progress which was so dissapointing, it felt like I was going through so much pain for nothing. There was talk of c section at this point but the consultant on duty was willing to let me try for another 4 hours to see what happened. They knew I really wanted my vba2c and i felt like most of the staff I saw were really willing me to get it. My contractions started to become stronger and closer together and at my next examination I was found to have progressed and shortly afterwards my waters went spontaneously. It is amazing how much water there is!

I decided at this point to opt for an epidural, i'd been having contractions for around 50 hours now and was absolutely exhausted. The anaesthetist was available right there and then so I had no waiting around. The relief from the epidural was immense. I could still feel my contractions happening just without the awful pain and i felt much more in control. Phil had been in contact with his parents and they had said the boys were worried about me so as I was feeling much more relaxed we had the boys pop in for a quick visit to see that I was okay. It was so lovely to see them and Sebastian had loads of questions for me and the midwife. I felt so much happier after seeing them.

At just before 10pm the consultant came to check on me and I had progressed to 6cm but he didn't feel i was moving along fast enough particularly as my waters had gone. He recommended that I have c section. I was very unsure what to do by this point and I was happy that he had been honest enough to tell me what he thought i should do instead of leaving it in my hands. I just wanted my baby in my arms.

Things moved quite quickly and by 10:20pm we were in theatre. It was at this point that I started to worry something may not quite go right. I was able to feel the cold spray they use to test the epidural on my right hand side. Again this was the exact same thing that happened when I had Seb. I started to get a bit upset as I was worried they would need to put me under a general anaesthetic as I had with Sebastian but was assured it would be okay. The epidural finally took and they started to operate.

Quite quickly it was clear something wasn't right. The surgery came to a standstill and I was advised that my internal scarring was very severe and covering my other organs and they didn't want to proceed because there was a high risk of damaging me internally. They paged another consultant to come from home and we had to hold tight and wait for him to arrive. I have no idea how long this wait was but it felt like forever. I could hear the doctors talking and I started to get frightened that something was going to go wrong.

The doctor finally arrived and the operation carried on, i was told they needed to slowly work their way through the layers of scarring in order to get baby out safely and not to damage my organs. At this point I realised I could feel what was going on like my epidural had started to wear off again. It was different to the feelings I had in my previous section with Alex, this time was uncomfortable and painful. At this point I was panicking and I was offered the general anaesthetic but I refused and was begging not to be put under. Instead i was given gas through a mask and injected with some other drugs, the anaesthetist was fantastic and talked to me the whole time and listened to what I wanted. I was feeling really worried now, it seemed to be taking so long and I was feeling more than I thought I should.  I was terrified we were going to die. Looking at Phil I knew he was scared too so I closed my eyes to concentrate on hearing the cry that would mean my little boy was here.

That cry finally came at 00:18. I sent Phil to see he was okay and he got to cut the cord, put a nappy on him and have a cuddle and bring him to mr so I could see him. At this point I was told by another doctor who had appeared at some point that an infection had been found inside one of my fallopian tubes. He told me that my baby needed to go to special care to have some swabs and bloods taken and to be given antibiotics while they finished operating on me. There were absolutely loads of people in the theatre,  the people operating, the anaesthetist, two baby doctors, a midwife and more.
The process of clearing out my uterus and stitching all the layers of scarring took what felt like forever and I was taking gas the whole time for the pain so it was a bit of a blur.  We finally came out of theatre at about 1.30am over 3 hours after we went in. It was explained to me that as well as the scarring they had found pus in my uterus and fallopian tube and that it would be too dangerous for me to have any more children in future. It was a bit of a blur to be honest and I just nodded along.

Back on the recovery ward we waited for our baby to come from special care. It felt like a really long wait. Phil rang both sets of parents to tell them the news. They knew I had gone for a c section but we're worried as it had taken so long.  I remember talking about how scared I had been.

And then Barney was bought down. He had a cannula in his tiny hand and they had put a knitted sock on it to stop it being knocked about. They explained he would need to be given antibiotics for 48 hours. Phil had skin to skin with him as I wasn't able to do it at that point. As soon as I was able to hold him I also had skin to skin and breastfed and we spent some time just getting to know our beautiful boy. We managed to get a few pictures to send to family members too. 

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We were taken down to the postnatal ward in the early morning where I shared a room with 3 other mums. We stayed in hospital for several days post surgery, staying in hospital is pretty awful and I was in so much pain post op this time around. Barnaby had the all clear for infection and my swabs were clear but my blood showed signs of infection which I am still on tablets for now. 


Barnabys birth story

Despite my VBA2C becoming an EMCS and it being far from what I had wanted I am really glad that I tried for a natural birth again. I definitely would have regretted not trying for it and I am really proud that I did it.

Why not take a look at my previous birth stories, a semi elective c section and an undiagnosed breech baby leading to an emergency c section under general anaesthetic. 

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