Birthrites: Healing After Caesarean.

'The Triumphant birth of Tori.'.

I really wanted to have a vaginal birth after my first baby (Kayla - 9 pound 9 oz.)was delivered via caesarean. My body just wouldn't go into labour no matter what we did and at 42 weeks with high blood pressure there didn't seem to be any other option

.I didn't realise at the time how much of a failure i would feel afterwards, so being able to give birth to my second child was really important for the way that i viewed myself as a woman. Because of my previous experience and all the negative feedback from some of the doctors I still couldn't imagine that my body would know how to go into labour on it's own. But I was wrong.

After being told at my antenatal appointment on Tuesday (40 + weeks) that i was 2cms dilated and he had stretched me to 3cms I was over the moon. I waited anxiously all night but nothing happened (besides the usual Braxton Hicks I had been having for weeks). So I got up on Wednesday morning and started to get my 6 yr old ready for school when I felt a bit wet. I rang my husband and said that my waters might have broken but i wasn't sure, I took another step and said ok they are definately broken you'd better get your butt home now (he worked an hour away and still had to pick up a babysitter on the way).

I was a bit scared because i was having contractions every five minutes but they were very mild so i had a shower and they backed off to being 10 minutes apart. We didn't end up getting to the hospital until nearly 3 hours later but nothing much was happening anyway. I was monitored for a few hours and then they said i had to get the dreaded canula in my hand (one of my biggest fears about going to the hospital), it didn't end up being as bad as ones i've had in the past though once it was in right. We waited and waited but mum and hubby ended up going home at about 9pm leaving me in the antenatal ward, which is when things finally decided to start getting serious.

Every second contraction seemed to be quite painful so I kept getting off the hospital bed and leaning on the end of it trying to breath through them. At about 10.30pm I went down to the nurses station and broke into tears. She felt one of the mild contractions and suggested I have a hot shower and a panadeine and try and get some sleep - that is until a strong contraction came along and she went ok change of plans you're going straight down to the labour ward.

By 11pm when i arrived in the labour ward I was doubled over the sink in the toilets trying desperately to relax through a contraction but it was just to painful. I was taken to a room and hooked up to the monitor where i continued to writhe around on the bed trying to escape the pain but it was no use. I eventually gave in at about 2am to a shot of morphine, which I think was more painful than the contactions and the only time i swore through the whole labour.

I still didn't have any relief and it wasn't until 3am that i asked them to call my husband. Disappointingly I was still only 3cms so I told mum to wait a bit longer until she came in. I got moved to a labour room at 3.30am so i had a shower and the midwife agreed to let me labour standing next to the bed for a while. I was leaning on a bean bag and inhaling the gas, but i couldn't stop myself from screaming through the peak of the contraction so i kept ending up biting down on the inhaler instead of breathing through it. Finally the midwife called the anaesthetist in and he inserted the epidural - What a relief!

I went from complete and utter agony to total bliss in a matter of minutes. We called mum in at 5.30am but I still had a long way to go and was only about 8cms by 8am. I couldn't stop shivering and I ended up with a temperature, it turned out that the drip wasn't in my hand properly so I hadn't been getting any fluids.

The midwife called a doctor in as she thought that the babies heart rate was a bit erratic, so they ended up taking some blood from her head to check that she was getting enough oxygen. All was well so we waited until the new doctor came on at 10am to see if I was fully dilated. My heart sunk when I saw the doctor who had been pushing for the elective caesar at my antenatal appointments. He started talking about me having labored for too long already and i probably wouldn't be fully dilated so I would probably have to have a caesarean. I was speechless and devastated because I had come so far.

Thankfully he was wrong though. He examined me and I was fully dilated and he said I could start pushing when I was ready. We had to turn the epidural off so I could feel how to push and I was petrified of the pains coming back. After 2 hours of pushing, the babies head had come down but the shoulders wouldn't. The doctor had to come in and use vacuum extraction to get her out.

All of a sudden the room was filled with midwives and doctors and they all seemed to be pushing along with me while the doctor prepared me for the procedure. I felt a sting and then we heard a loud snip as he did an episiotomy and got the vacuum going. I have never pushed so hard in my life, the vacuum flew off when Toris head was half out and I thought my body would split in two. The feeling of pressure was unbelievable and i wanted to scream get her out but I couldn't even speak.

I managed one last enormous push and Toris body slid out of me, I felt overcome with relief. They put her straight on my stomach which I was so grateful for. She was a little bit slow to get breathing but then everything was perfect. We did it. She weighed 8 pound 9 oz. 53cms long and 35cm head, so she was smaller than my first.

I felt so well afterwards, compared to the caesarean. Giving birth to Tori was the most powerful and healing experience of my life.