Disclaimer

I am a childbirth educator, lecturer, doula, and natural mother of eight children. This is not a medical reference; I do not proclaim to give medical advice. Anything stated here is from personal experience, research, study, and opinion. Each woman has the responsibility to do her own research, consult with her own medical team, and make her own decisions about pregnancy and birth.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Homebirth After TWO Cesareans!

Bismillah al-Rahman al-Rahim
Baby Fatima
 8 lbs. 5oz., born 9/11/11

Masha’Allah, I absolutely love this story.  This is dedicated to all the mamas who have had a cesarean (or two) and dream of having a natural birth next time.  May Allah bless you with naturally born, healthy children who are pleasing to HIM and their parents.

I really enjoy sharing birth stories and would love to share yours, insha’allah.  Now on to the story...Homebirth After TWO Cesareans!...
I had planned a 'home birth' at my mums after having prayed Istikhara as to whether I should give birth in Saudi or England; so back to England I went at 36 weeks pregnant with my two daughters.  But sadly, my husband had to stay to work. After having a c-section in both countries I thought:

If I do end up with a 3rd caesarian, I would have a better experience in England, compared to my traumatic one in Saudi Arabia."

Contractions started at 7:50 am, not long after I had woken up. They were the strongest I'd had over the last few weeks, but I didn't want to move in case they stopped like all the previous ones. Eventually I had to go to the toilet and my kids were getting up too, so I went to the bathroom, made breakfast, and thought, “Maybe today is the day!" because they were still regular and consistent, even though I was doing my usual morning routine.

My contractions from the start were every 2-3 minutes, lasting about 1 minute, which is the same as my two previous labors. I decided to get my daughters ready, in case there was a need to transfer to the hospital (I had booked a home birth but I had been labelled 'high risk' due to my 2 previous c-sections). I called the hospital to cancel an appointment I had at 1pm for monitoring and a membrane sweep (I was 42weeks and 6 days pregnant and was being pressured to get the baby out!).  

Even though I could speak through the contractions, I couldn't walk through them and had to use the toilet frequently. Throughout the morning my contractions would stop, or be less intense when I sat down.  Once I had done everything that needed to be done, I stood at the computer (around 12 pm) and decided it was time to concentrate on laboring now lol. 

After about 20 minutes I decided I would sit down to give myself a break as my contractions were increasing in strength. But they were still every 2-3 minutes and I didn't fancy standing for the whole of my labor. My aunty then came around to visit, not knowing at the time that she would end up being babysitter.

Soon after she arrived I had a contraction that seemed the same as the previous, but then the intensity seemed to triple...and then pop! My waters broke and flooded me at 12:45pm.  I quickly told my mum, “My waters have broken, my waters have broken! Can you get me a towel?' As she had previously told me not to get her new carpets wet!

Upstairs I went with 2 towels folded into a make shift nappy and stayed on the toilet for the next 35 minutes. I was glad my waters had broke, alhamdulillah, because I wasnt sure when to call the midwife and was looking for a sign. The midwife arrived at 1:20 pm, did the usual checks, and said I was 3 centimeters dilated. 

I didnt want her to stay, as I felt fine and wanted to continue on until I felt I needed her back.  So she left at 2:30 and I ate some porridge, prayed Asr as soon as it came in, and then got into the bath. Since my waters had gone (well they continued to gush for about 2hrs) I had to breath through the contractions. I just wanted to keep blowing out during each contraction which were now lasting 1 1/2 minutes, with a minute break. 

I asked my mum to call the midwife back as I new that things were happening quickly. My mum couldn't get through to the midwife and I decided to get out of the bath and go to my room.

In my room I knelt on the floor and leaned on my bed. The blowing through contractions no longer worked and changed to a tearless sobbing through each contraction as the pain worsened. I told my mum she has to keep trying the midwife or call the hospital. 

I could tell my mum was starting to panic and I tried to reassure her by telling her, "I am not worried; it just really hurts.”

Alhamdulillah, I was completely aware of everything. Because I had researched so much (I was strongly considering having an unassisted birth before praying istikhara), I didn’t feel scared of what was happening.  But at the same time, not having gotten to the pushing stage in my previous two labors, I preferred that the midwife be there for the birth. 

The sobbing only lasted a few contractions before I started to scream into the matress! My contractions were now lasting 3 minutes, with a 1 minute break. My body was pushing but I didnt quite realize at first. Finally my midwives were on their way as I bit the edge of the matress and screamed into it.

Midwife D arrived at around 4:30 pm and wanted to see if she could feel the baby’s head. I didnt want to be touched but she said the baby’s head was there and to just go with what my body felt and if I wanted to push I can. 

I asked for gas and air but knew it was too late anyway. I didnt feel the need to push, my body was just doing its own thing; I just let it. The second midwife arrived but just stayed in the doorway. 

I thought Midwife D was trying to stretch me or something and I was shouting for her to get off me. I tried to whack her away but she said she wasnt touching me and that it was the baby’s head crowning! Sure enough, with the next contraction the baby’s head was out and she started spluttering and trying to cry. 

I was told to pant, which I did, but there was no need as I was enjoying my 1 minute break before the next contraction. Midwife D told me the baby is turning its body, ready to come out, and reassuring me that she was not touching me. 

With the next contraction I knew it was the last one and I thought I might as well give a bit of a push (I really had no urge to push, my body was just expelling the baby). At 4:45 pm, out she came, alhamdulillah, just giving me a small tear which I left to heal naturally. After giving myself a few seconds to recover, I took the baby from underneath me and my 4 year old daughter came in to see her new little sister.

I sat up on the edge of the bed with the cord still attached (which felt strange) and called my husband to let him know that we had another little girl. I planned to keep her attached until I had delivered the placenta but I needed someone else to hold her as I started contracting again. So the cord was cut and I passed her to my mum. It took a couple of contractions and the placenta was delivered. I naively thought the placenta slipped out without pain, but the contractions and pressure I felt were nearly as painful as pushing my baby out!

For anyone who has had a c-section (or two as in my case) it is possible to go on to deliver naturally and at home and I was one day short of being three weeks overdue! I would advise researching your options and rights and to not be pressured by doctors, friends, or even family.

All praise be to Allah, I am so happy and thankful that Allah answered all my duas.  My labour was short; I was able to bare the pain, and I got my natural birth! I can honestly say that I hope Allah blesses me with more children so that I can do that again!

6 comments:

  1. Allahu akbar. A truly inspirational story. May Allah bless you and your family. Ameen.

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  2. Thanks for reading and commenting, Ukthy.

    I’m with you on that...ameen!

    Best regards,

    -Aisha, Natural Mom

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  3. masha Allah...
    Allah may grant that strength to every women :)

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  4. Congratulations. You are really brave lady. Mothers are great, making all the sacrifices for the sake of little ones.
    May God bless you and your family.

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  5. As salaamu alaikum.
    Your story waS sent to me by a friend. I was also planning a homebirth, but Allah had planned for me to have a caesar. You have inspired me to keep trying. JaZakillaah khair.. Sister from south africa

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  6. Wa alaikum asalam, Sisters,

    I replied earlier but the post didn’t seem to appear. Thank you all for reading and commenting. Ameeen to the duas for Umm Fatima. May Allah continue to bless her and her family.

    To Ukhty, Barakah, may Allah grant you ease and may you be blessed with more children and births that are emotionally healing; may your children be healthy and reach maturity of years and may they all be pleasing to Allah and their parents.

    Best regards,

    -Aisha, Natural Mom

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