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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I know this isn't really specific to VBAC, but this is something I struggled with during both of my labors (both ending in c-sections.) Especially during my second labor, I was so exhausted I couldn't even think. I was fully dilated but my daughter was not moving whatsoever. I was standing on the side of the bed and I was literally falling asleep in between contractions while I leaned over on the bed. They started talking about a c-section and I was so tired, I didn't think I could make a good decision. I had my husband and doula present, but I really had no idea what was going on. I said I wouldn't consent to anything until I could think more clearly, so I asked for an epidural, then slept for a couple of hours. Upon waking, the baby's heart rate was not doing well and she still hadn't budged despite extremely strong contractions.

I feel like I need a plan to push through that exhaustion this time. I'm going for a VBA2C, but I'm worried that I'll have yet another long labor and I just won't have the energy to attempt different positions or whatever else I need to do to get the baby out. What can I do to prepare? Stock up on energy drinks? I don't even know what I could have done differently last time. Most of my labor took place during the day after a good nights' rest, but I was up all night and then she was born the next morning. How can I work on endurance for something like this? Any insights would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
 

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Make sure you eat and drink during labor. Start walking/exercising. Make sure you do everything to ensure the baby is in an optimal position. Stay out of the hospital. Sleep between contractions. Don't push without an urge to push. DOn't get cervical checks. Stay home as long as possible.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the suggestions. I'd say the only thing I didn't do was chiropractic care to ensure the best position. I didn't think I'd have two asynclitic babies in a row!

I arrived at the hospital at 8 centimeters dilated and got to fully pretty quickly. I did have a bit of an urge to push, but it definitely wasn't what it could have been had the baby been properly engaged. I had a bowl of mini-wheat cereal right before we left for the hospital, but I think I could have eaten more when we got there. I just wasn't thinking about it at the time.

Third time's the charm!
 

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I am a firm believer in chiropractic care during pregnancy!! My first labor was 42 hours and ended in a c/s (I did push for 3 hours), so I know what you mean about the exhaustion part of things! I was so worried that would happen again. When I was taking childbirth classes for baby #2, my educator brought up chiropractic care and said, "I won't hurt, and it might help" - and that was enough to get me to make an appt. I needed EVERYTHING in my favor. Well, long story short, both baby #2 and #3 were SUPER fast labors (as in, 2 hrs start to finish for baby #2. I literally woke up having to push! Baby #3 was more gradual, but it was still FAST. I just didn't happen to be asleep during most of it!)

Sorry, I'm kind of all over the place. #1 - I am a firm believer in chiropractic care. Never went before I was pregnant, but if you told me after my first labor that I would ever have a fast delivery, I would have laughed out loud in disbelief. I know that every pregnancy and birth are different, but the difference was SO enormous, that it was almost miraculous. I don't know for sure that it was the chiropractic care, but if it had any influence at all, it would be worth it to pursue.

As far as staving off exhaustion....which I was very concerned about...my game plan was to ignore labor until I couldn't. It sounds cliche, but mentally, it was crucial for me. For example, with my first labor, I was so excited to finally feel contractions that instead of going to bed, I was up all night journaling and pacing - way too excited to sleep! But the end result was that when t things really did get difficult I didn't have anything left in me! And I just never imagined it would go on so long!! I too took an epidural out of desperation, still not quite understanding why the midwife was so concerned about my exhaustion....ah, hindsight!

So, for baby #2, there were a couple of times before I actually went into labor where I would feel contractions for several hours...but instead of trying to keep it going, I would try to get the contractions to STOP. I'd drink water (dehydration can start contractions), take a warm bath, go to BED. I refused to let myself get caught up in it. I went about my life. ANd when it did happen, WHAM! I also had planned not to call my doula until I really felt like I needed her. I didn't want HER to be exhausted too, when I needed her the most. That's kind of what happened with my midwives the first time around. I would also try to maintain your physical fitness as much as possible. Birth is an endurance sport! I'm not saying you should be running in road races, lol, but def. look into yoga (the stretching and breathing are great for birthing - an I say that as a NON yoga enthusiast!) and try to walk regularly. ANd as you know, birth is very MENTAL too, so think of ways you can distract yourself for the early parts of labor (watching tv never worked for me, it had to be something more engaging and active) and maybe some visualizations or vocalizations for the later parts. You know that when it kicks in, it kicks in! But sometimes having some ritual can help center you or change the energy. You will know what will work for you. Esp. since you've been through this before! That works to your advantage in a lot of ways. As long as you don't let yourself have "triggers".

Sorry, didn't mean to write a book. But I hope you'lll find something useful in my post. Good luck with everything!
 
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