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Believe it or not, with heights of ignorance and blessings in the form of miracles, I got to know I was pregnant only after my first trimester, despite my contraceptive device. I had done almost everything I was not supposed to in those three months. I had also just started living my life and doing things I loved. My daughter was old enough and did not need me for every little thing. Of course, I had to entertain her, as she had no sibling to bug, but we were more like friends who communicated well.
My second and third trimesters crawled. I was getting impatient but simultaneously did not want to think of the delivery day. It is believed that if you have had a baby through a caesarean the first time, it will always be a caesarean thereafter. I remembered the pain and embarrassment of my first time and wondered if I could survive it again. On checking with my gynaecologist, as it had been four years since my first delivery, I had a choice to opt for either. So, I bravely chose to try having a normal delivery but silently doubted my tolerance for the pain.
Early one morning, when the skies were still navy blue, my water broke. I called my doctor about it. A couple of hours later, after a relaxing warm bath, my husband and I strolled into the birthing center and got myself admitted. I was sent to the labour room where I was subjected to bouts of pain with needles, suppositories and internal examinations. There were no contraction pains until a little after noon, so they induced it. As soon as the labour pain began, I was given an epidural as it was already nine hours since my water bag had broken. I endured pain for half an hour until I was given another dose of the epidural anaesthesia which numbed me completely below the waist.
I did not care about the numerous internal examinations which were done after that. Finally, my cervix had dilated to eight centimetres and it was time. Doctors, nurses and my husband were all ready for me to push. I was not sure if I was. I was asked to yank my thighs towards my body and push with all my might. I could not feel my legs. I could not feel anything inside my body but I did accordingly. I pushed; pushed with all the strength I could muster from my anesthetized lower body. Several tries later, nothing happened.
I had not eaten for more than ten hours so I began to feel uneasy. The various juices given to me, while waiting for the pains to be sensed, were not helping either. I asked for a bowl and began throwing up continuously. When I was done, I saw everyone laughing. In my exhaustion, I gave them a confused look. Just then I saw my baby in my doctor’s hand. It was a boy. He was automatically pushed out by the inner bowels with the pressure of my unsettled stomach. I smiled. I was relieved it was over. In a few days, I could do something I missed the most while I was pregnant; sleep on my stomach.
My doctor chatted with us while she stitched me up like a tailor doing some heavy embroidery. I could not feel a thing. Later, when I got back to my room, I was a little sore but I did not have to hold the lower part of my stomach and walk. I did not have unbearable pain. I could sit comfortably and walk easily though I had to do everything slowly because my body had just been through an ordeal.
My delivery was called Vaginal Birth After Caesarean (VBAC). This was something that was unheard of as I was told by everyone that after a caesarean, it normally is a caesarean. The fact is that after a caesarean, within two years, there is a high risk of uterine rupture in case the operated portion and stitches have not healed completely. In other words, there are chances that the stitches or uterus may split with the pressure of pushing the baby out. After twenty-four months, the risk lowers, but the doctor present still needs to be ready to perform an emergency caesarean in case of any ruptures or complication during the delivery.
All went well and I am back to my regular routine with, of course, a little twist in the time-table. Let me emphasise here that as compared to having another caesarean, vaginal delivery was a cake-walk. It involved no surgery, less time in the hospital, almost no pain and faster return to my daily activities. I do not feel like I have delivered a few days ago. Despite my experience, I would request you to research on this option and discuss with your gynaecologist before you make a decision. All the best and feel pretty!