Supporting Families, Preventing Tragedies

Joshua

Injured Mother

Joshua

Sunday, January 8th 2012

My baby is four and a half months, and I just had a catheter removed, because of a c-section gone wrong after a failed VBAC. I urge all pregnant women who previously had a c-section to seriously consider the risks of a VBAC. I wasn’t very keen on having one, but the medical advice was so reassuring about the monitoring of VBACs and rapid intervention if labour failed to progress that I decided to give it a go. There was also some pressure from people close to me to give it a go; sometimes in the forms of jokes like “are you too posh to push?”. Somehow I felt a little bit embarrassed if I didn’t try.

How much I regret this! Labour started on my due date but it didn’t progress. Rapid intervention by hospital staff as promised didn’t happen either. After 10 hours of labour, which was far too long for a VBAC, baby got fetal distress.

When the c-section finally started my bladder got seriously damaged through cuts. In addition, I lost an overall 9 litres of blood when an accidental cut was also made in an artery in my uterus. My husband was taken out of the room with the baby, asked to stay outside and I had around five hours of surgery to fix the damage.

I woke up from my c-section in intensive care, with several drains attached to my body. It took five days from the day my baby was born for us to share a room the maternity ward, where I stayed for another week. Recovery was hard and very emotional; caring for a newborn baby and a four year old boy was not easy.

I had another major surgery last month to do more bladder repairs and to close a couple of obstetric fistulas. After 4 and half months my bladder started to work again, and fingers crossed it seems that if everything continues to be this way, long term I will be okay.

I am very disappointed with the trial of VBAC, the length of time the hospital took to give me a c-section (when in reality I could have easily asked for an elective one). Things could have been a lot more controlled through elective c-section.

Although disappointed with my birthing experience, I also feel very lucky that baby escaped unscathed from this all. But I do urge you that if you do feel inclined to try a VBAC, please do some research, ask questions to your doctor or LMC until you feel comfortable with the answers and, above all, please don’t feel pressured to try the VBAC if you don’t want to. It doesn’t matter what people think; you need to do what makes your comfortable and secure.

Red Flags

        RED FLAGS

  • Lack of monitoring
  • “Normalising” the abnormal
  • Lack of action/delay in getting emergency care
  • Going over due date
  • Failure to progress in labour
  • Meconium-stained liquor (waters)
  • Lengthy handover during emergency
  • Inconsistent reporting and documentation
  • Your concerns being ignored

    Click here to read more about common warning signs


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