Birth Report: Natural birth after cesarean sections

Kathrin is 40 years old today and a landscape gardener by profession. After two caesarean births, she refused to accept a third caesarean, which her doctors had predicted. She researched, informed herself and asked persistent questions. So Kathrin’s third daughter was born naturally. Read her testimonial here.

I gave birth to my first daughter in 2000 through a cesarean section because of a breech presentation . An external turn or even a vaginal birth attempt from the breech position were not up for debate at the time. I chose caesarean section as the mode of delivery because I was completely unaware of the consequences of such an operation.

After this caesarean section, my second pregnancy was uneventful. My daughter was upside down, I was carefree and had no doubts that there would be a normal birth. Unfortunately, my doctor did not explain to me that he would never put an epidural on patients who had already had a caesarean section during the birth . He just forgot!

I went into labor five days after my due date. Everything went well and after a few hours my cervix had already dilated to 8 cm. But now the birth stopped. The midwife examined me and felt that my child was facing my stomach. A little stargazer .

The second cesarean section

It went no further, but the midwife made no attempt to change anything about the position of the head. Even during the hours before, I had actually only been looked after by my husband. The midwife called my doctor, who came and soon ordered another caesarean section. According to my husband, the anesthetist also wanted to call it a day and pushed.

After the operation I felt very bad, both physically and mentally. I couldn’t enjoy my baby, on the contrary. Everything was a burden for me during the first few weeks. This cesarean section was the worst thing that had ever happened to me. The time after that was characterized by quarrels and despair about the missed birth experience and the fact that I might have achieved my goal of a natural birth with better preparation and in another clinic, with more capable midwives and possibly an epidural. In addition to my dissatisfaction with the clinic staff, there was also self-reproach.

Also, I felt like I wasn’t a real mother. I was jealous of women around me who had experienced spontaneous births. I felt like a failure and despaired that I would never have a spontaneous birth in my life. For me, the second caesarean section was the epitome of being at the mercy. The child was cut out of me, I didn’t give birth to it!

Research on: Natural birth after caesarean section

I soon started browsing the internet. I found what I was looking for, ordered many books, especially English ones from the USA, where the “Vaginal Birth after Caesarean” movement (VBAC) was obviously much further along than here in Germany.

I also interviewed doctors in various forums, copied studies from specialist journals and much more. I also started to visit the clinics in the region (still a long way from being pregnant again!) and inquired about the possibilities of a spontaneous birth after two caesarean sections. A clinic emerged that worked alongside conventional medicine from an anthroposophical point of view. Later, a clinic was added, which would have supported the attempt at a spontaneous birth and represented a closer alternative.

Comprehensive education in the third pregnancy

When I then became pregnant with my third child, I wasn’t very worried at first about the forthcoming course of the birth. The topic only became dominant as the pregnancy progressed. I got referrals from my doctor for the two possible clinics in good time and made appointments for discussions.

I had very positive contacts with the senior physicians in both clinics, who informed me comprehensively about the safety measures during childbirth: close-meshed CTG , in-dwelling vein catheter from the beginning, no PDA possible. They also explained to me that if I experienced pain during the pauses in labor or the labor did not progress in any way, the planned spontaneous birth would be terminated.

The clinic of my choice also had a special delivery room that could function as an operating room. The possibility of intrauterine , i.e. in the uterus taking place pressure measurement during birth was not considered useful in both clinics, since the freedom of movement of the woman would be severely restricted. As far as the measurement of the uterine scar by ultrasound was concerned, I was unanimously told that the measurement results obtained in this way were not meaningful, since it depended on the pressure conditions during birth. As long as the birth progresses steadily and the pressure conditions are constantly changing, the risk of a uterine rupture is rather low. That seemed logical to me.

The right midwife

At the same time, I was looking for a midwife who also offered prenatal acupuncture . This should cause the cervix to dilate more quickly during childbirth. I had spoken to my midwife a few days before my expected due date about what she would think about trying a labor cocktail if you missed the deadline (only in the clinic and under supervision, of course). She spoke out in favor of it. With the knowledge I have today about how it works and the possible consequences of an induction, I would not go down this path again.

The birth begins

My husband and I drove to the hospital five days late in the morning. After I drank the castor oil cocktail there, I was connected to the CTG and already had a venous catheter in my arm. Two hours later it suddenly made a “plop” and after a few seconds the amniotic fluid had flowed out of me in a gush. We called the midwife and the two doctors came straight away and the CTG was done again.

The baby was fine, I was in slight contractions and could still lie down. Soon the contractions got stronger and meanwhile I got loud too. At the next examination, the cervix was already 5 to 6 centimeters. At times I felt the need to push. An hour later, the cervix was almost fully dilated. I was now as far as with my second daughter. The doctor said that I had just about made it past the point of the last birth and I replied that only then would I be able to believe it.

But then came the news that although the cervix is ​​fully dilated, the child may be a stargazer. I despaired and saw myself in the operating room. The midwife worked on me with every contraction and I had never screamed like that in my life. The two doctors stood in the background, but my midwife got through to me and I did as she said. After a few more contractions I was allowed to feel my head, it was about 2/3 out and from there – only from there! – I really believed it: Yes, it will actually be a spontaneous birth!

Finally: We did it!

A long distance followed and everyone waited for the final contraction. It came and seconds later the little human was on my stomach. I couldn’t believe it and yet it’s actually like this: our third daughter was born naturally! I’m sure it wouldn’t have gone the way it did without the capable midwife. This is obstetrics! The spontaneous birth was a lot of work, yes, but I was so proud afterwards, so grateful, so happy, I could have hugged the whole world, I could have uprooted trees. Even though my body still had to regenerate after the birth, I was so carried away by the high feeling that all the exhaustion and any pain that was still there were compensated for.

I will never forget the feeling of gratitude when I felt my daughter come out of me and then immediately had it on my stomach. I gave birth to her myself! I managed to give birth together with my child, we both walked the path – together!

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