My VBAC Story


If you haven’t read my earlier post about my previous birth, I had a planned c section. Long story short, I was polyhydramnios (too much amniotic fluid) and a breached baby, so was advised to have a section at 39 weeks. 
Ever since I found out I was pregnant this time round, I have been researching vaginal birth after c section (vbac) and more specifically home births after c sections (hbac) . I spent the best part of my last maternity leave recovering physically and emotionally from my c section. Not to mention the post-natal depression and inadequacy I felt surrounding being unable to give birth. Because of these delights, I was determined for my second birth to go my way and ideally at home. 

After my initial antenatal appointment during my first trimester, I soon released my wish for a home birth would be greatly contested, by both medical and Midwifery staff. 

My second pregnancy also appeared to follow the same unfortunate trajectory as my first. At my 20 week scan I was found to be polyhydramnios again, and as my third trimester approached baby was breeched again and would stay that way until I was 36 weeks pregnant. All these factors contributed my decision to compromise with the hospital staff and have a hospital birth, although I chose the midwifery lead unit over the consultant lead birth suite. 

Thankfully, baby turned cephalic before my 37th week. I’m not sure if it was the reflexology I’d been getting and the various positions I was trying, or whether baby just did it on her own accord. Once I knew she was no longer breeched I definitely relaxed more and awaited her arrival – declining the medical ‘recommendation for induction’.  

The Labour and Birth

If you want the basic story, my labour was loooong! But if you want the specific details, read on. 

The First Stage

I hit my 39th week on the Friday, and as Monday approached I began to feel heaviness and achy feelings as though I was going to get my period. This continued into the week and progressed to irregular cramps which came and went but seemed to completely stop at times which left me feeling really frustrated. 

Wednesday morning arrived and I had a session of ‘labour prep’ reflexology booked which I was very optimistic for. Soon after the session started, my cramps amped up to mild contraction pain and came more regularly, every 15 minutes or so. 

These contractions progressed and by the evening they were regular and stronger. I called triage and they told me to go in and get checked due to my risk factors. We got checked and I was confirmed to be in labour but only 1.5 cm dilated so sent home to get some rest. On the way out the pain increased and I put the tens machine one, which remained on until I have birth (and was worth every penny I may add). 

The contractions increased for the next 24 hours where we then went in again as thought we were getting close only to be sent home only 2cm dilated.  Once we got back home, my waters broke and the contractions got much stronger. Initially, when my waters broke I got a bit of relief as the pressure in my stomach from the excess amniotic fluid was temporarily relieved slightly. I laboured overnight until about 6am when I couldn’t take anymore and we went in. 

Once we arrived I could barely walk and got admitted despite only being 2cm as it was quite clear I was in established labour. I didn’t get the midwifery led unit unfortunately, as felt I was getting scar tenderness. In hindsight, I think it was just baby’s head getting lower and contractions getting stronger. At this point, they were less than 5 minutes apart and I was vomiting profusely. I ended up using gas and air and was given some sort of opioid – I think diamorphine. I did want an epidural, as had been in labour for almost 5 days at this point (now Friday). However, as things happened there wouldn’t be enough time.

Shortly after I was 6cm dilated. Vommiting continued and my hind waters had gone too. The CTG monitoring alarmed a few times as baby’s heart rate changed but thankfully it resolved on its own. Despite this, the doctors were informed and were swanning in and out as I remember. 

The second stage

I began to feel the urge to push soon after, which I was told by the midwife to breathe through it as I was only 6cm. However, after being checked I ended up being fully dilated. Thank god!!! 

My second stage was very fast, unlike the first! After about 10 minutes and some horrendous contractions baby girl came shooting out (it felt like I had the fetal ejection reflex, as didn’t really feel in control of it). 

It happened a little too fast as I ended up with a grade two tear, but at this point I didn’t mind. I was just glad it was over. Despite my worries of tearing, I didn’t feel the pain until a few moments after baby was out. 

I got delayed cord clamping as per my birth plan (at least one thing went as planned). However, the cord was so short I had to have skin to skin on my leg as it wouldn’t reach to my chest – delaying breast feeding until the cord was clamped. 

The Third Stage

I opted for the Oxycontin injection for the third stage, as I was high risk for hemorrhage due to the elevated amniotic fluid I had been carrying. This did mean that I could breast feed faster than if I’d have waited with the short cord. Thankfully although the bleeding slightly heavy, it wasn’t a hemorrhage. I promptly got stitched up (which I was thankful for the gas and air), very painful I may add. This wasn’t pleasant but nothing compared to the c section after pain! 


Although recovery has been hard, and the stitches haven’t been ideal, I have been so great full to have been able to have my Vbac. My birth plan got almost completely thrown out, but I’m so pleased I achieved my Vbac I actually don’t mind. The recovery has had its challenges but it’s much better than my c section recovery. Here I am 6 weeks down the line, in a completely different place than I was this time in 2020 after my c section. 

I hope that however you give birth, you feel empowered and ideally get the birth you wish for. 

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