Every moment is a new learning experience for VBAC mums, but what I'm about to disclose is something many VBAC mothers have probably never been told before. The build-up to the onset of labour is very stressful for many, not to mention for VBAC mothers.
They don't only have to think about the birth of their babies, but when the next battle will commence. The battle they wish they didn't have to fight, the fight between their birthrights and some medical professionals opinion on how they should birth their baby. That's just half of where the anxieties come from, they superimpose on their c section scars during pregnancy and labour, looking out for any possible problems and signs of rupture or scar dehiscence.
Any pain is a possible red alert. How can this be normal?? All because the right information is not provided to the mother by their care providers. And when we turn up to see the midwife or Dr anxious, they look at us like we are having a psychotic breakdown, forgetting all the anxieties put on us from the stigmatisation of having a VBAC, and guess what?? They write anxious mum in our hospital notes.
Many of us have to search through a mountain of websites, blogs, forum posts just to find something that says having a VBAC is a safe decision and we're not putting our babies life at risk.
If you think about what we're told about uterine rupture, it's worrying. Tell me if I'm wrong, it goes a little something like this.
Mums at midwives office booking in her pregnancy and she's being asked a thousand and one questions.
Midwife: So you've had a c-section before then Mum: Errm, Yes.
Midwife: So we will book you in for an elective c-section around 39+ weeks. Mum: I want to have a VBAC Midwife: You know it's too dangerous for you to have a natural birth. Your scar will open up, and you'll end up with a uterine rupture which can kill you and your baby.
Every-time I tried for a VBAC this was the type of conversations I was having. I found myself arguing why I wanted a VBAC until I stopped attending the appointments. (I don't recommend anyone do that)
"I never expected to bleed during my VBAC. In fact, I was told bleeding during labour or my pregnancy was a major sign that I was rupturing" said Evey. "
"There was bright red blood in the toilet bowl when I went to the bathroom. It was like a horror scene". "I freaked out; I didn't know what to do. I felt powerless, and all the strength, boldness and certainty I had, or felt towards my VBAC suddenly started to slip away from me".
"I felt scared... My body began to shake, and my heart beat felt as though it was slowing down, my breathing became slow and shallow. My hands became sweaty, and I felt as though the room was closing in on me".
I subconsciously started to feel pain in my scar and then before I knew it, my scar was feeling weird. There was a feeling there, but I associated it with the onset of uterine rupture. I felt so anxious.
The midwife supporting my birth reassured me everything was fine, and in fact, the bleeding was my mucus plug and nothing more, BUT I couldn't shake the feeling or thoughts I had throughout my labour.
The midwife supporting me was amazing! She was awesome. She believed in me, supported me and protected my birth space.
I believe Mothers are worked up so much when something out of the norm happens, but if the mother doesn't have a supportive VBAC midwife, Dr or network, she will be set up for an emergency repeat c-section.
"No one told me I could have a fair bit of blood loss when I lose my mucus plug either." I never saw this information in any book, nor did I find it in the childbirth classes I attended.
A uterine rupture is catastrophic, but it's not the only reason women bleed during labour.
You could have a tear from pushing your baby out It could be a very bloody show which I have had
If you're bleeding during labour, you must get it checked out by your healthcare provider, but many times it's nothing TO WORRY ABOUT.
Stay calm, breathe and wait to hear whats happening with you. Just because you read what the danger signs LOOK LIKE, It doesn't mean you're experiencing a uterine rupture. If you're experiencing pains or you're bleeding, don't think it has to be a catastrophic symptom of VBAC. Remember, Slow your thoughts right down and stay calm...
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