If you follow me on social media you will know that today we were a little nervous because we had our meeting with the consultant this morning.
So, today is the day that we go to speak to a consultant to determine how this little guy is going to make his entrance into the world. I have no idea what to expect, I don’t know what their thinking is going to be but I’m really hoping the vbac is an option. I’ll update you later in case anyone else has one of these meetings coming up.
We weren’t too sure what to expect because we have never been given any answers as to why I needed an emergency c-section in the first place. We knew that my labour had slowed and they were concerned about Jake’s heart rate but no one has ever sat down with us to go through the ins and outs. We actually have a birth reflections meeting booked in for 29th September which should go over what happened hour by hour, so after 4 years we will finally have the full picture.
Back to today and we did inform the consultant of the fact we didn’t know these details and he was very surprised that nobody had offered us the birth reflections sooner. I had never heard of this service prior to falling pregnant this time around so all I can say is if you also had a traumatic labour and delivery and you have felt as though you have been left in the dark go and speak to your midwife or GP and ask for one of these meetings to be set up. I think it is so important to understand why things didn’t go as planned.
The doctor today was lovely and he did briefly cover some of the facts from Jake’s birth to let us know that there were a lot of factors that led to the emergency c-section. One of these factors alone may not have led to surgery but due to them all happening the team had to make an executive decision based on what they had. So, we can now understand that I was slow to dilate, that he was in the wrong position, that he wasn’t moving down and I wasn’t progressing as they had wanted. All of this could well have been due to the fact that I had an epidural very early on leading to the lack of movement and my lack of strength. Overall the good news is that there is no medical reason as to why I needed the section, it was just purely the circumstances in that particular labour. Which led to him very happily telling me that there is no reason that I cannot go ahead and have a VBAC delivery with baby number 2.
Our meeting was very quick because I knew a VBAC was what I wanted and once I heard those words I was beaming and we didn’t have any further questions. We have come away with a leaflet outlining the pros and cons of both an elective c-section and a natural birth but the risks are so low that I am determined to have a more relaxed, a more active and much more positive experience.
Here are basics of the advantages and disadvantages (as laid out in the leaflet provided) of each type of delivery in case you are also about to go to a meeting or are worried about your next labour:
Advantages of a VBAC
- Greater chance of uncomplicated birth in future pregnancies
- shorter recovery time
- less abdominal pain after birth
- no surgery
Disadvantages of a VBAC
- you could still end up with an emergency c-section. This happens in 25% of women.
- Higher chance of needing a blood transfusion
- Scar rupturing- although this is only a 0.5% occurrence in women.
Advantages of an elective c-section
- Avoidance of risks in labour
- no risk of uterine scar rupture
Disadvantages of an elective c-section
- A longer and possibly more difficult operation due to scar tissue.
- Chance of blood clots
- Longer recovery period
- Breathing problems for the baby
- A need for elective c-section in future pregnancies
After a quick check of my stomach and a listen to the baby’s heart beat he was happy to sign us off until we reach the 40-week mark. After this, they will have to make further decisions about inducing and the delivery but we will cross that bridge if and when we come to it. For now, I can continue to focus on staying fit and healthy and looking into antenatal classes as well as hypnobirthing.