Lison's birth story
Updated: May 11, 2020
VBAC, I wished it, I did it
I really wanted to write this story and share it with you for several reasons. First or all, because I think it is a beautiful short story worth to be shared but also because lots of you asked me to write it and wanted more details, VBAC are specials and I know a lot of women out there dream about a vaginal birth after experiencing a c-section. Cesarean aren’t funny at all, I hated mine, I was so drugged for 24 hours I barely remember the first moments with Ambre and the next few days and weeks were painful either physically and emotionally, I found super hard to cope with the idea I didn’t let my daughter come to the world naturally and now that I had a vaginal birth with Lison I know my body would have done the same amazing job the first time, I should have trusted myself a bit more and listen less to all the doctors telling me I will bleed the death.
Let’s go a bit back in time to understand why I had a c-section the first time. At 26 weeks pregnant with Ambre, I had some pretty heavy bleeding and though I lost her. We rushed to the hospital that night, Ambre was still here, alive but my cervix was heavily bleeding and we had no explanation for it. My obstetrician had a look the next day and I remember the look on her face when she first saw my cervix, she looked at me and told me “there is something wrong here”. She called another doctor to have a second opinion and they were both pretty sure I had cervix cancer. Can you imagine how I felt hearing this, being 26 weeks pregnant, all the thoughts that went through my mind in half a second. They sent me to a gynecologist to get samples of what was looking like a growth on my cervix that could potentially be cancer. Results came back and were negative. In the meantime I saw an oncologist who gave me the name of my condition : cervix ectropion described as a condition in which cells inside the cervix develop outside of it and form a red, inflamed patch. Cervical ectropion, is not usually a health concern. However, because of the way it looks, some people might worry that it is an early stage of cervical cancer. What a relieve it was but from there they were all against vaginal birth and I was booked for a c-section straight away. It was my first baby, I had no idea, was alone here in Australia without family to support me and afraid to put my life at risk and leave Lucas alone with a baby. Ambre came to the world 13 weeks later, healthy and beautiful but I hated every second of that c-section, the epidural, that feeling of having my baby plucked frrom my belly and all the after, the pain, not being able to enjoy those first few hours with her. I remember thinking “never again”. 6 weeks after I gave birth, the ectropion was completely gone and we realized it was only due to hormones
And then came my second pregnancy, I was unable to see any doctor before we came back from France and the only thing I wanted was, first of all see my baby and then get my cervix checked to see if Mr ectropion was back, and sadly it was. I was so sad to hear that and had to start accepting the idea I will have to have another c-section. Weirdly my new obstetrician wasn’t that worried about my condition, he was the first one to saw it at the hospital when I was pregnant with Ambre and remembered it. He told me “this time it does not look that bad, but we will keep an eye on it until the end”. What we did and at 37 weeks, he checked for the last time, c-section was already booked, he was pretty confident and gave me two choices, either go for the c-section as planned or try a VBAC. He wasn’t too afraid of the bleeding and I was over the moon. Someone finally gave me the choice, I could at least try, experience anatural birth and let a chance to my baby to decide when it wanted to come earth side and not being pulled out of the womb without notice like you pull the laundry out of your washing machine.
So no more c-section in sight and we were patiently waiting for our little girl (which we did not know was a girl) to decide when she was ready to meet us and her big sister. From 36 weeks, my pregnancy became hard, I was in pain, uncomfortable and Lison was already super low and pushing on my cervix, I remember that feeling in my vagina too well, like poking needles. I knew my body wouldn’t be able to handle this pregnancy a lot longer and I was totally fine with it because she was already big and I was way too uncomfortable, added to the fact that I was parenting a toddler on my own and still working, we all know instagram never sleeps and resting wasn’t an option. Anyway, at 37 weeks I was ready to pop already and on the 22nd of march, the day after I celebrated my 30th birthday, I went to bed and remember saying to Lucas “don’t be surprised if I give birth this week, my body is over it already” I must have felt something because that same night, I wake up at 2:30 am with contractions, I know straight away those are different from the Braxton Hicks I was having for weeks. It is not really painful but not enjoyable either.
Straight away I download an app to time them and I am surprised to see they are already pretty close to each another, 30 seconds long and 5 minutes apart I think, shit, this is it, it can’t be something else. I keep timing and an hour later they are 3 minutes apart and a lot more painful, my app is telling me to go to the hospital, everybody is still asleep and I am handling them, one after another thinking "I am going to have this baby today and I have absolutely nothing ready, no hospital bag, no car seat, no pram". So I start packing in between contractions, and oh my god it is hard, after each of them I am thinking “why the fuck I am so unorganized this time?” For two weeks I kept saying I had to pack the hospital bags and here I am, in labor about to go to the hospital without anything ready, the best way to add a bit of fun, not so fun tho !
By 5 am, the contractions are really close and really painful, I spend an hour in the shower, the hot water running on my lower back is the only thing helping, a little bit. At 5:30am I say to Lucas he has to call the hospital to tell them I a in labor and let them know we are coming. We drop Ambre at our friend's and drive to the hospital, Lucas drives like in a video game, runs two red lights and says "I always wanted to do that, the police can't tell anything, this is an emergency, WE ARE HAVING A BABY !!
I feel like this baby really want to come out even though my waters haven't broke yet, each contraction is stronger than the previous one and I keep telling myself “I want this baby out” We arrive at the hospital at 6:30am, it is so quiet, no other birth, no other babies, it is super weird but I think at least if I have to scream I will not bother or wake anyone. They push me in a wheelchair up to the birth suit, get monitored and now waiting for the doctor to come and check if I am dilated or not, at this point I really hope I am because fuck this is painful and it is going for four hours already. The doctor arrives, she checks my cervix and tell me “looks like you’ve done an amazing job already, you are 6cm dilated” woooow, means it is too late for any drugs to help with the pain and I start to panic. At one point I even wonder if I am gonna survive this, the pain is so intense, my contractions are now probably 1 or 2 minutes apart and I have absolutely no rest, it is coming like waves every 2 minutes. Only thing I can get is the gas which doesn't do anything except helping me focus on my breathe. I feel like pushing more and more, I really want this baby out. Lucas is by my side, poor thing, holding my hand, supporting me to go through each contraction, giving me water and of course, true to himself, trying to be funny in all this, telling jokes, I am laughing inside but my face isn't responding and I can't give him a smile back, I am just in pain, surrounded by pain and want to scream and cry, waiting for the next wave to hit me. I am navigating between the shower and the bouncing ball, looking for a position where I can feel comfortable, there isn't one really...
Come the time to check my cervix again because my water still haven't broke and that poor Lison wants to come out but she can't, that damn sac is still very much closed. The midwife asks me “how far do you think you are?” “If I am still 6cm you better kill me now” Everybody laughs and she says “what about 9cm?”
"that's what I wanted to hear" Oh thank god we are moving forward and it is time to break my waters, they really won't break on their own even tho all the work is done. The contractions keep coming and now that my waters are broken, I am just focusing on the next one thinking you won’t have to feel this one again, you’re getting closer to the end, even tho it is the worst pain I have ever felt in my whole life I am so close to meet my baby, I need to focus on my contractions, stop this stupid gas and prepare to push.
Suddenly I feel this urge everyone was telling me about, like you need to poo, this is exactly what I feel right now, I instantly understand it is time to push this baby out. Everybody around is getting ready , Lucas is holding my hand and I keep thinking he is going to end up with a broken finger. Before I give the first push, he tells me “come on, it’s a boxing fight, this is your last round, give everything you have left” what kind of partner says something like this in the middle of a delivery except one that watch too much UFC? Well that last round is quick but oh-so-painful, I can still feel the burning sensation down there, like my vagina is on fire and tiring apart. I can feel Lison going down with every push and keep asking if the head is out because I have the feeling I am pushing for nothing so one of the midwives places a mirror facing my “lady flower”. Oh my god, I can see hair!! Everybody is so encouraging, but I suddenly feel super scared, the baby is already engaged and I start thinking "and if I bleed to much because of my ectropion? If it stays stuck and I can’t push hard enough to get it out?" I can still hear myself saying “I can’t do it, I can’t do it”, but I want this to be over, I am done, I really don't want to do this anymore. But I also know I am the only one that can do it, no one can finish this for me and I have no other choice than pushing every time a new contraction is coming. And then I hear “the head is out, stop pushing”, I stop and I am laughing inside because I know after the next push my baby will be in my arms, I am already crying, comes the last contraction, I push one last time and suddenly I feel so much better, I feel physically empty and I understand she is out. In a second, I have forgotten about all that pain, have my baby on my chest, she screams straight away and it takes me a minute to realize I didn’t see the sex. I grab that tiny human, lift it and, oooooh surprise “Lucas it’s another girl” i was crying even more and laughing, for 9 months I though it was a boy and I was completely wrong. Lucas says “are you serious? I knew it, well it is gonna be Lison then” “Yeah Lison” I am so proud, it was her all along, with her dark hair and it is shocking how much she is the exact copy of her daddy when he was a baby. I am so happy, after 7 hours of labor and 10 pushes, i can finally say “i did it”, all the pain is a distant memory and in my mind everything went so quick, it was such a beautiful experience. I ended up with a few stitches here and there, she came a bit quick at the end and my downstairs was a bit damaged on the way, I had to seat on ice packs for a week and the whole thing was looking a bit like a cauliflower but I would do it again a thousand times.
After all that ectropion was just a scary name for something that should never make a vaginal birth impossible, I did not lost more blood than usual and my recovery was normal. I am 100% sure now that my first delivery could have been natural too but in the end I have two beautiful healthy daughters and I was finally able to experience a magical vaginal birth.
Thanks for reading and I hope I haven't scared anyone, birthing a baby is the most beautiful thing in the world, such an incredible phenomenon.