Our son, Avery Wolf Dahaby was born, safely and quickly, on Friday the 10th August at 8:25am, weighing 3.66kg and 50cm long.
I wanted to share Avery’s birth with you, as you were all with me through the pregnancy and so many of you are pregnant and about to go through your own birth experience. I also had a lot of questions about a VBAC (vaginal birth after C-section) so I thought by sharing my story, it may give some of you who are hoping for a VBAC some information and hope.
Firstly however, I need to give you a quick back story on my first two births so you know what led me to here. Also, these are MY experiences. They will be different to yours or the next woman, some of this information may be different to what you have been told, so always check with your doctor for the facts. This is what I was told, this was my experience.
Vienna was born June 18th 2011, I was 40 +5 weeks pregnant. I was ADAMANT that I did not want a C-section, it HAD to be a natural birth. (first tip for new mums, always have a open mind for birth, things may not go to plan) I went into the hospital and was told my water had broken so I needed to get myself into labour within 24 hours or I would have to be induced. Cut a long story short, 24hours later I was 4cm dilated and given hormones to make labour happen quicker and stronger. 16hours later and then 2 hours of pushing I was rushed into theatre for an emergency c section. I was so defeated and upset.. Vienna was 9.2pounds (huge) and slightly obstructed, which resulted in an emergency c section. I lost ALOT of blood during the procedure and spent the next 48hours after she was born feeling like I had been hit by a truck and then run over by a semitrailer.. I was given a 3-bag blood transfusion. When I was in recovery, I asked the doctor if my next baby could be a natural birth. He looked at me and said, ‘this baby isn’t even 2 hours old and your worried about the next baby?” to which I responded “just answer the question” he then said to me something that I would keep in the back of my mind for the next 2 years. ” Well, you fully dilated this time so your body knows what to do, as long as you don’t fall pregnant for at least 2 years from now, the baby isn’t too big and you go into labour naturally, you will be able to have natural birth.” THANK FKN GOD I thought quietly..
Fast forward 2years and 9months…
Harlow was born March 19th 2014, I was 39 +2 weeks pregnant. I had spent the last 2 years and 9months thinking about a VBAC (vaginal birth after caesarean) I was ADAMANT I would have this baby naturally. From 37 weeks I drank raspberry leaf tea to help soften the cervix, I bounced on the medicine ball, I stayed fit and healthy, I ate pineapple, all to bring on labour naturally. Then at 7pm in Wednesday 19th March I felt my first contraction and at 10pm that night Harlow was born via a completely natural VBAC and I was SO happy. However, because it was such a quick labour I had to have a manual removal of the placenta, which meant I had to go into theatre. But it didn’t matter. I had a vaginal birth and I felt like a million dollars!
4 years later I was pregnant with my third and even though I had had a natural birth with Harlow, this birth would still be considered a VBAC2, which meant,
*I have to go into labour naturally
*I can’t go past 40 weeks
*The baby can’t be huge
*I cannot have any intervention
*I can only be in labour for no more than 10hours and I have to dilate a cm an hour.
The main risk for a VBAC is Uterine Rupture, so you want to do whatever you need to to reduce that risk.
Hence my Instagram posts about getting the baby out from 37weeks. I had so much stress behind me, as I knew that every day that baby is in my tummy the bigger he is getting and the closer I am to 40 weeks the closer I am to having a c section, which after my experience with Vienna, was my worst nightmare.
At 39weeks pregnant I started to get really anxious about the birth. I felt great, I didn’t feel as if labour was close at all and that really stressed me out.. I had had 2 stretch and sweeps the week before and was 3 cm dilated at 37 weeks, so the nurses and doctors kept telling me it would be “any day now” which can I add is complete torture for a pregnant lady. Best not to say anything at all! Baby will come with he/she is ready.. In my case, hopefully before 40weeks. On the Wednesday, 39+3weeks, I had an induction massage. It was so relaxing I have to admit and although I didn’t go into labour immediately after, I am so glad I had it. The next day at 39+4 weeks, I had induction acupuncture.. No idea if that did anything however it was an interesting experience I must say. Later that same day I booked another induction massage, this time with a lady named Laura Wheeler in Eltham. Now, this is not at all sponsored, but I HIGHLY recommend seeing her, especially if your pregnant. As soon as I walked into her room I was immediately calm. Not only did she give me the most amazing, relaxing massage, she talked me through my fears. Reminded me that I have done this before and there is no reason that my body won’t do it again. Laura was a god send, I walked out of her room so much more relaxed and had come to the realisation that the baby would come when he was well and truly ready. I didn’t need to stress about having a VBAC because I knew my body could do it and at the end of the day, if I needed to have another Caesarean, it wouldn’t be the same as Vienna’s birth. I think I left her room truly ready to have a baby.
Now, having had 2 massages in a week my hair was super oily and if you have been following my journey you will know that having clean hair before I went into labour was my goal 🙂 So that night, after the massage with Laura, I was going to just get in bed and wash my hair in the morning. I turned to my husband and said, “ill wash it in the morning, what are the chances I’ll go into labour tonight?” Hubby knows me so well, he said, “yeah but if you go into labour tonight and your hair is THAT oily you will be so upset.” lol so I got out of bed and into the shower. THANK GOODNESS I DID..
I woke at 2:46am with my first contraction. It wasn’t a huge pain but it was ‘something’ and considering I hadn’t felt anything for weeks I thought just maybe this was it. I sat in silence for the next 2 hours. I would have a slight contraction and then nothing for 15/20mins, then I would have 3 contractions all 7min apart however still not super super strong. At 4:50am I called my mum and asked her to come over just in case this was it, so she could stay with the girls. I continued to have contractions on and off for the next 30min, not regular at all and not overly strong. At 5:30 I woke up my husband and said “I think we are going to the hospital soon” He immediately jumped out of bed and started organising things, plus he was stressing out because I was so calm and wasn’t in a rush, however we knew that since Harlow’s birth was so quick that this one could be even faster.
I called the hospital at 5:50am and told them I might be in labour and exactly as I thought, they told me to wait till my contractions were stronger and more regular before coming in. The hospital was really full and there weren’t any beds for me, I was told. The thing is, we live about 25min from the hospital and it was a Friday morning which meant if we didn’t leave soon we would be stuck in peak hour traffic and I would most likely have a baby on the side of the road. So, we completely disregarded what the nurse on the phone had said and got in the car at 6:10am.
The next 50min are a bit of a blur. I kept telling hubby to drive slowly because I didn’t want to get to the hospital and then they tell us to go home because I’m not in real labour as that meant that the VBAC clock would start. (remember I could only labour for 10hours and then would be made to have a caesarean) So when we arrived at the hospital we parked out the front, where I sat in the car and had ridiculously painful contractions in the front seat 🙂 I lasted 20min and then I thought you know what, let’s just go inside and I’ll walk around the hospital till the contractions are more regular.
At 7:10 we checked in and went straight into a birthing room. The first midwife who looked after me was talking to me about pain relief and basically was convinced I would be there for a long time, (I was later told that she told the next midwife that I wasn’t in “real” labour at all) Well, I showed her lol, the next midwife, Alex, that took over the shift was so lovely. I had told her that my last labour was super quick and that those contractions weren’t regular either and she just smiled at me and tried to make me as comfortable as possible. The contractions at this stage were super intense and I had a strong feeling like I wanted to push, but my water hadn’t broken and no one thought I was even in active labour yet. Alex said that she could check how far dilated I was but it was my choice because once we checked the clock would start. At the back of my mind I was so scared that she would check and I would only be 4cm dilated which meant it could be hours and hours before baby would come.
At 8:15am another midwife entered the room to check how I was going and asked if my water had broken etc. I just kept saying, I feel so much pressure like I need to push and the two midwives just looked at me, probably thinking, hold up hun you just got here there’s no way you are pushing yet..
Then, just like that, at 8:20am my water broke..
At 8:24am his head was out..
and then at 8:25am Avery was born.. via another successful, drug free VBAC.. I did it… again 🙂
For the next, I don’t even know how long, we sat there staring at our beautiful baby boy and every few minutes I would say, I just had another natural birth! What the hell just happened? I cannot believe I just did that again! and this time the placenta came out on its own. It was a perfect natural vaginal birth. Super fast yes, but within an hour I was up and in the shower and I felt so good! I was so proud of my body and I was overwhelmed with love. Ultimately, our baby boy was here and he was perfect.
We were so lucky to have the amazing Miranda from Elly Flynn Photography take these amazing images. She arrived to the hospital just in time to capture the birth and then the moment the girls met their baby brother. If birth photos are something you are thinking of getting, I would 100% recommend doing it. I have looked at my images at least once a day, everyday. It is incredible to look back and see those raw moments that you otherwise would forget. Miranda I cannot thank you enough for being there on this amazing day and capturing Avery’s birth.. I will treasure these memories forever.
Thank you for reading 🙂
All images are property of Krystal of House Of Harvee
All images were taken by Miranda of Elly Flynn Photography