At our hospital, water births are possible with telemetry (wireless) monitoring, VBACs included. However, if there is meconium present in the waters they won't let you water birth. It's not to do with the monitoring aspect - it's the risk of infection etc. I was told if at any point they see meconium you will be asked to leave the bath. No matter what stage of labor.
Waters breaking isn't a reason not to water birth, but meconium is.
I know of another girl in my yoga class who had a similar experience to you with her first - waters broke, meconium was present so she ended up on syntocin to speed things up (due to risk of infection) and as very often happens, ended up with a c sec. From all the birth stories I have read etc it seems the meconium stained waters really fks things up as they put you on the clock immediately. If you don't progress quickly enough, they operate.(FYI said woman ended up with a successful VBAC for her second).
I don't think you were ripped off (by fate yes, but not by the staff). I don't think you could've done anything any differently - the meconium was not in anyone's control, it happened, and the flow on effect took you down a path that led to the c sec.
I don't know any vic hospitals that offer water births for VBACs but surely our little sunny coast private isn't the only one?!
As you know I didn't get my water birth with my VBAC - tub was full of water and ready to go, but my body told me otherwise, and it was a good thing I listened to it as Bub needed assistance turning on exit, so I would have had to get out if the bath anyway. For me, that was something I really wanted to avoid - with my first child I was made to exit the bath due to slow progression and everything went to sh!t from there. It's a memory that has potentially destroyed any chance of me ever having a water birth - if I do get the opportunity again - I will have to be monitored - and I would only get in the bath if Bub was not only ready to come out but almost crowning! I just couldn't deal with being told to leave the bath again.
Sorry for my ramble but I do understand you feeling ripped off in one way or another. I mourned the water birth I didn't have for years. But my recent successful VBAC has done wonders to heal that wound - despite missing out on the tub once again.
I had an emcs with my first as (I now think) I had gastro - fever and vomiting - that started during labour. Bub's heart was going well over 200bpm and while I was effacing, I wasn't dilating yet - so speeding things up wasn't an option for her.
With DS I laboured at home and came in when my waters broke. I was disappointed when I got there to discover I was effacing again but no dilation, but bub's heart was good so I was put in a ward room to labour. After a couple of hours I went to the toilet and saw stained waters, let them know and got moved to a birth suite for monitoring. It was all still very calm, I wasn't being buzzed over like my first - despite being "high risk" with VBAC, 37yo and GDM. Then bub's heart started staying elevated between contractions. The MW rang my Ob to discuss options. All through pregnancy it had been "no induction, blah blah" but given how I was coping ok and bub's distress wasn't serious yet, they said I could have a mild drip or another CS if I preferred. They explained that bub would be getting very worn out due to the heart rate staying high (was not as high as DD's). I asked to be checked again and when they co nfirmed I was effacing still (90%) but still less than 5mm, I decided on the CS.
So I didn't get my VBAC, but the whole process was still very healing for me. I was well researched so I could stay calm and I always felt like everything that happened was my choice (well not the mec and tachycardia! The monitoring and CS).
The baby could breathe in the meconium at any point once the meconium is floating around, which can happen so quickly that 1 minute the heart rate is normal the next second it has dropped and they can't find it. I think it would be safer and easier to monitor if this happens if the mother is not in the water, as all of sudden they could be rushing around needing to wheel the Mum as quickly as possible into theatre to have an emergency cs. They need to get the mother there asap.
It wouldn't be practical to do this from the bath and to safely get the mother out, dried,dressed and up on the bed again to be taken to the op room as fast as which they need too. It wastes precious time and puts the baby at risk. They need to know if the heart rate drops when it does.
They may not have told you the reason as they didn't want to stress you out further and also wouldn't have known what caused the baby to stress in the first place to do the meconium.
It sounds like they did the right thing. It could have been a lot worse with the baby ending up on 100% oxygen and in an incubator and having breathed in it, would have it on their lungs.
I guess the thing is, people can have a birth plan but to understand things don't always go that way, sometimes the baby has different ideas, so to also be prepared for not being able to follow the plan if something arises.
I had one baby with light mec stained liquor. I was 41 weeks so most likely just because I was overdue but when my waters initially broke they were clear, and then three hours later they were stained...but after the gush of stained liqhor my body started contracting so my only intervention was that I had constant monitoring, and there was no concerns about bub the whole time. I had a vaginal birth, but it wasn't the water bith I had planned but so far hadn't had (the other times I had gotten tired and got out of the bath). I was disappointed, not so much about the water birth...but more the lack of control and the restriction to the monitor.
Then with my last bub I was soooooo determined to have a water birth. So determined. It took until my last birth to realise that I actualy don't want to birth in water. I much preferred the shower for pain relief, and every time I birthed on the bed....even though not once did I have to. I'm done having kids but I'd be less concerned about a water birth now. It took me a few births to realise I'm not a water birther...and it makes perfect sense for me. When I'm in pain...I never choose a bath, I choose a shower and bed. I love bed when I'm in pain. And a hot pack to go with it. It makes sense to me that I would choose this in labour as well. I guess I just liked the idea of a water birth...but I probably wouldn't plan one again now I've finally figured out it's not for me ☺
The OP is questioning the information for good reason as she was not informed correctly. It might still have been no but at least she had the information so she could understand why and the risks involved.
Im saying considering that meconium is in the womb is because the baby is under stress from reasons they are not sure of, they may not have gone into a full blown explanation at the time as to not cause the mother to panic which could stress the baby more. So gave her one basic possible reason, infection risk.
Maybe more questions could have been asked at the time from the mothers support people to find out the full situation.
But it can and does turn into a high risk situation quickly and decisions are taken off the mother when the baby could stop breathing any second. Taking a bath or shower becomes the least of their worries.
Monitoring with a doppler at intervals is not the protocol when meconium is in the womb. Monitoring needs to be done by ctg. It is serious, you can't walk around and get in baths and get checked 15 mins later, when in that time the baby could have breathed the meconium into their lungs, which is a tar like substance, and dropped their heart rate. How would the midwife know it had happened soon enough if she wasnt constantly checking?
When there are concerns for the baby in these situations, what is there to compromise on?
Maybe the OP can call her midwife and ask more questions.
Most mothers get told after the birth all the reasons as to why things had to go certain ways too when they ask questions then, also it is usally on the discharge forms or some paperwork too.
I think I am/was attached to the fantasy of a water birth...it's very romantic and "natural" and non-clinical. maybe if I'd had the ability to birth in the birthing pool, I'd have asked to get out anyway. I did love the shower though, I could've spent the entire labour in there (I kept worrying about wasting water while I was in there, can you believe the stupid things that go through ones head in such a situation!? ).
like you, it's the lack of control and restriction that the monitoring brought. I get why it was necessary and given the risk to bub, I actually feel better that they do it than take risks and not do it. I did envisage a more active labour for myself though and the monitoring did screw with that significantly. I think also me watching the monitor constantly, monitoring my contractions (which was actually kind of useful as I could see them coming) and monitoring his hb (which I found counter productive to my labour as I kept worrying when they'd drop or get on the higher side) and the silly alarm which just put me in the wrong frame of mind completely, it's no wonder my labour stalled really.
I definitely don't feel ripped off by the medical staff on duty. the midwives all did a fabulous job, each one was lovely and supportive and amazing. the OB on duty (I went public) was a bit of a turd but I handled him fine, right to the very end when he tried to stall the cs and I ordered everyone into theatre there and then. I definitely feel the calm birth classes helped me stay in control, not only with the breathing techniques (which I used a bit) but the strategy to maintain a sense of control even when interventions are going on. despite the time limits in place, we were able to negotiate waiting and seeing how bub was going rather than jumping straight into the next intervention. it all ended up going to sh!t anyway but I feel we gave ourselves every opportunity for a natural labour, it's just that ds had other ideas. looking back there's nothing I would change about how the medical staff nor I handled things. it's just the way it was, the hand we were dealt, with bub opening his bowels.
Last edited by turquoisecoast; 02-06-2016 at 10:54.
Give yourself time...it's early days still. Reflect on it, keep talking about it. Interestingly for me...until I got to the point of acknowledgment and acceptance I could remember the pain of that birth...which for my others, I couldn't even remember it within hours of giving birth. But that particular birth I could vividly remember...until I had full acceptence, and then I couldn't remember the feeling anymore. It was such a profound experience in my life. I am glad I had that experience now. It enabled me to learn a lot about myself.
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