What was your labor like with your VBAC? - Mothering Forums
VBAC > What was your labor like with your VBAC?
babycatcher12's Avatar babycatcher12 01:31 AM 07-22-2010
I had my first labor and subsequent c/s 7 (almost 8) years ago (2002).
I am planning an HBA3C next month. I'm just curious what labor was like if you labored with your first, had a c/s and then had a VBAC?

I guess I'm wondering if it will be more like a first time mom or a multip? FWIW I labored (induced and rambo pit), got to complete and pushed for 3 hours. Babe was OP and turned with his ear coming first. I went into labor at 39 weeks with DS #2, but VBACs were banned and I didn't know better.

I've heard you labor like a second time mom, but push like a first timer.
Just curious what it was like for you. (Really...I'd like it if you could look into your crystal ball and tell me what my labor will be like )

MyFillingQuiver's Avatar MyFillingQuiver 03:24 PM 07-22-2010
Hi Fellow DDC Mama!

My situation is/was a little different than yours, but hopefully just sharing stories will help!

I had 2 vaginal births. I had a freaky misdiagnosis/medicated/toxic pregnancy with #1, and had PROM and labor began immediately at 34 weeks. They augmented, cause after 2 hrs I was only at a 5..just not fast enough for em' I had no pain meds and I delivered 6lbs 10 oz.

My second birth was induced at 38 weeks because he was "huge". He was 8 lbs 10 oz, with a head of 14 3/4 and a chest of 15, and I had a non-functioning epidural, but overall great birth.

Next birth was a c-section the OB scheduled for 36 weeks when I was 32 weeks, because I had mild pre-e and she was transverse. I was so dumb, I didn't even ASK about a version.

Next birth was a forced un-necessary c-section due to a VBAC ban locally.

Then the last time around I found an OB and hospital in another state that supported VBA2C. When I went to 41 weeks, the OB got a little antsy, and I agreed to ROM. My labor began slowly after a small tear was made into the bag (couldn't reach it enough to open it fully) and then opened all the way after lots of walking. I was dilated to a 1.5 and 50% effaced and very posterior when I checked in. My first "real" contractions-the heavier kind where I had to breathe through them, began about 3:30. I began pushing at 6 pm. He was delivered at 6:14 pm.

I found the labor to be similar and quicker than I expected since I was so "not dilated". The pushing was harder for me than with my 2nd..he seemed positioned well, but he came out with a nuchal hand. I felt like a "first timer" again. Although, I wouldn't say that pushing for roughly 15 minutes is horrible, (I realize how long it can take in very normal births) I could FEEL the difference, you know? His head was 1/4" smaller than #2, and his chest was 3/4" less, though he weighed the same. So, I don't know if that was a function of being cut twice, the nuchal hand, not having birthed vaginally in 7 years, or a combination of all of it.

This time I'm having a homebirth, and praying to be left alone to birth without so many constraints. Sorry for the book, but i wanted to share my experience as being somewhat close to what you were looking for.

I pray all goes well with you coming very soon!
VBACMama2007's Avatar VBACMama2007 05:26 PM 07-22-2010
For me, with my oldest I was given Pit and an epi and that led to a c-section after 24 hours of "labor". With my 2nd son, my water was broken for awhile before labor actually started, and fortunately since we were planning a hb, I waited for labor to start at home. Anyway, when we transferred to the hospital because my water was broken for too long, my labor miraculously started on it's own and 3 hours later of natural labor (no pit or epi), after 15 mins of pushing, he came out with his hand by his head (we found out that that was why it took so long for labor to start because he wanted to come out waving ). Not sure if my labor was like a 1st timer, but it did go really really fast.
MNHall's Avatar MNHall 06:21 PM 07-22-2010
I feel like I did labor like a 2nd timer, but push like a first timer.

My DS was induced so I had about 12 hours of labor, 2 hours of pushing and had the c/s for FTP!

My DD, I went into labor, labored for 5 hours, still pushed for 2 1/2 hours...but, she came out!!!! Unlike her brother! Well, I also had more knowledge, so I'm sure that helped.

But anyway, yes, I feel like I did labor like a 2nd timer, but push like a first timer!
courtenay_e's Avatar courtenay_e 06:26 PM 07-22-2010
I haven't had a VBAC myself, but have attended MANY. I would say that typically you are right. If you got to complete, it is unlikely that it will be difficult for you to get to complete...that said, I see many MANY VBAC mamas who end up with several days or even weeks of prodromal labor. it changes the cervix a little bit at a time, makes you exhausted and frustrated...but I really see it as your body protecting the scar. The labor can start, stop, start again, and stop again...I think it's REALLY the wisdom of a Mama's body, protecting the scar by doing a little bit of early labor at a time. This isn't to say that you WILL have prodromal labor, but if you do, I strongly encourage you to believe it is very very common and well within the range of normal, rather than your uterus being "irritable" or "not working right by just GOING INTO LABOR!" (I DID have prodromal labor for six weeks with both of my kids, so I completely understand the frustration that comes with it, VBAC or not!)
MyFillingQuiver's Avatar MyFillingQuiver 08:18 PM 07-22-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by courtenay_e View Post
I haven't had a VBAC myself, but have attended MANY. I would say that typically you are right. If you got to complete, it is unlikely that it will be difficult for you to get to complete...that said, I see many MANY VBAC mamas who end up with several days or even weeks of prodromal labor. it changes the cervix a little bit at a time, makes you exhausted and frustrated...but I really see it as your body protecting the scar. The labor can start, stop, start again, and stop again...I think it's REALLY the wisdom of a Mama's body, protecting the scar by doing a little bit of early labor at a time. This isn't to say that you WILL have prodromal labor, but if you do, I strongly encourage you to believe it is very very common and well within the range of normal, rather than your uterus being "irritable" or "not working right by just GOING INTO LABOR!" (I DID have prodromal labor for six weeks with both of my kids, so I completely understand the frustration that comes with it, VBAC or not!)
Wow, Courtenay, thank you so much for that insight!

This rings SO true for me..with my RCS (VBAC ban) I had so many contractions from about 36 weeks. The OB even gave me terb a couple of times, once a few days before my scheduled CS. It felt SO dumb to be getting that when I had this head down, healthy pregnancy ready to move along on it's own! GRR!

My last pregnancy, I went into L&D twice in "false labor". The nurses were totally blown away at the strength of my contractions, yet my cervix was not changing. So, they did the usual "maybe you have a UTI" or "you are probably dehydrated", route. When they saw I was very well hydrated and did not have a UTI, they were stumped! After hours of contx, they went away...but when I did have real labor it was quick, efficient, manageable and my body DID know what to do, even after being cut twice!

thanks for explaining the why's of prodromal with a prior c-section! This time, (I'm 35 weeks) and nothing yet.
courtenay_e's Avatar courtenay_e 11:50 PM 07-22-2010
I'm glad I can help...it's more of a theory, but I see it time and again with VBAC Mamas. AND I strongly believe in the wisdom that our bodies and our babies have when it comes to birthing, so that's the conclusion I have come to!
womenswisdom's Avatar womenswisdom 01:04 AM 07-23-2010
For me, with my first, I was 40+4 and induced w/ AROM for no medical reason. TONS of prodromal labor (like off/on for weeks). Started at 5cm and around 75% effaced. Went to complete and pushing in 9 hrs and pushed for 3 before a c/s was called for persistent posterior.

Second time, less prodromal labor, spontaneous labor onset at 41+1 w/ no VEs during pregnancy so no idea how dilated I was. I thought I was maybe in labor for a couple hours, KNEW was in labor for 3 more and pushed for 1.5 hrs through a posterior position at one point and had a successful HBAC.

I agree with the general "rule" that if you got to pushing the first time, you labor like a second timer and push like a first-timer. Also, lots of prodromal usually means a shorter active labor IME personally and as a doula.
babycatcher12's Avatar babycatcher12 01:07 AM 07-23-2010
Thanks for the input guys! I'm just wondering what it will be like for me. I think it's hard for me not to panic a bit because the only experience I have with labor has been the induction, which was awful!

I did have a friend who had a VBA2C and her labor seems to support your theory Courtenay. And I would have to agree with you, in the VBACs I have seen (I'm an L&D nurse), they do seem to labor a bit slower and have the start stop kind of thing. I hadn't thought of it as the body protecting itself, but it makes complete sense.

--Erin
courtenay_e's Avatar courtenay_e 01:37 AM 07-23-2010
Well, Erin, except for one woman who had back labor with her VBAC, every client I have had who has VBAC'd and gone into labor on her own and was not augmented, have all looked at me when they were done and said, "Well. That was all? I could do THAT again, easy." Or something close to it. Contractions induced by chemicals are NOT like contractions that your body makes on it's own. Again, our bodies are wise. Our bodies do not typically make labor something that is not bearable. Or we would not choose to do it again, thus making it a lot more difficult for humans in general to "go forth and multiply!"!!

Again, malpositioning is the caveat. That can be a more painful, bone on bone, labor. But I will reiterate that I have just seen time and again beneficial results with women who have gotten osteopathic/chiropractic/accupuncture/theraputic massage during pregnancy, so that their sacrum is not locked, their pelvis moves the way it should, and the baby can comfortably (so to speak) descend into and through the pelvis before and during labor, in an appropriate position.

Have you considered hypnotherapy with a licensed practitioner or cranio-sacral therapy with a practitioner who is accustomed to working through these kinds of issues with pregnant women, to help you through the expectation of pit (or other chemically induced)-level pain during contractions? I would be willing to bet that one or both of those routes would go a long way towards helping you feel more comfortable during labor. You know the old adage...the less tense you are, the less pain you have.
rainbowmoon's Avatar rainbowmoon 02:16 AM 07-23-2010
my VBAC labor was a breeze in comparison to my c/s labor. (had a c/s due to malpositioned babe and basically maternal exhaustion) I had a posterior aclyntic (sp) babe and it was HORRID. my VBAC labor was nothing like my first. the contractions were much more even and way less painful. (babe was not posterior and in the best position oa) pushing was the same though. (hours and hours) I always seem to have long LONG pushing stages thus far. Fetal positioning is crucial though IMO in regards to pain (At least for me). I also changed my laboring positions every 10-20 minutes with my VBAC and stayed super hydrated (Something I failed to do during my labor leading up to my c/s). I would drink after each contraction basically the whole labor with my VBAC. it helped sooo much IMO!
hannybanany's Avatar hannybanany 05:28 PM 07-23-2010
courtenay, that's an interesting theory. I had contractions for weeks and weeks and was 4 cm before real labor started. My labor was long, but much easier than the induction with my first DD. Pushing was tough, and I was exhausted, but she was born by VBAC!
oddduck's Avatar oddduck 07:53 PM 07-23-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by babycatcher12 View Post
I had my first labor and subsequent c/s 7 (almost 8) years ago (2002).
I am planning an HBA3C next month. I'm just curious what labor was like if you labored with your first, had a c/s and then had a VBAC?

I guess I'm wondering if it will be more like a first time mom or a multip? FWIW I labored (induced and rambo pit), got to complete and pushed for 3 hours. Babe was OP and turned with his ear coming first. I went into labor at 39 weeks with DS #2, but VBACs were banned and I didn't know better.

I've heard you labor like a second time mom, but push like a first timer.
Just curious what it was like for you. (Really...I'd like it if you could look into your crystal ball and tell me what my labor will be like )
That's what my MW told me too. I VBAC'd earlier this month. I had been walking around at 5cm for a week when my water broke in the morning. I had a fairly short labour (5cm to complete in 5 hours). I got hung up on some cervical lip like I did with my first as well which added at least 30 minutes, if not longer onto transition (d'oh).

My second stage wasn't bad for a first timer (30 minutes). Body knew exactly what to do and I was just along for the ride. I probably would have been a bit faster too if DD2 hadn't had her hand up by her ear the whole time.
babycatcher12's Avatar babycatcher12 02:29 AM 07-24-2010
Quote:
Have you considered hypnotherapy with a licensed practitioner or cranio-sacral therapy with a practitioner who is accustomed to working through these kinds of issues with pregnant women, to help you through the expectation of pit (or other chemically induced)-level pain during contractions? I would be willing to bet that one or both of those routes would go a long way towards helping you feel more comfortable during labor. You know the old adage...the less tense you are, the less pain you have.
Actually...I'm doing hypnobabies which has helped me a lot already with some of my anxiety and have been seeing a fantastic chiropractor who specializes in crainosacral therapy and pregnant women. She has agreed to come to my home during labor if necessary to help readjust and help with some positioning if needed. It's made a huge difference in my comfort level during pregnancy and here at the end. I mean HUGE difference!!

As I'm getting closer I just find myself wondering what it will be like since it will be so new for me. I'm a type A kind of person who does a lot of planning. This is such a new and exciting experience for me that I find myself wandering off into lala land dreaming about my "labor day".
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