Motherhood Pregnancy & Birth

My Birth Story 3 : When a VBA2C Goes Wrong

February 11, 2018
NewBorn Baby, C-sEction, Postpartum
In this post I will cover all aspects of my attempted VBA2C Hospital Birth Story. Continuing on from my emotional journey preparing for my VBA2C, I was looking forward to a natural birth and did everything in my power to mentally not let anything get in the way. 

I went for my last acupuncture and adjustment at 40+4 weeks (Wednesday) in the evening. From that night I had inconsistent contractions. They mainly would come on strong in my sleep and then went away by morning. I was still so excited as I had never gone into labor without intervention.

I continued to have what seemed like strong prodormal labor for 5 days. I got to Monday October 9th when I was 41+2 and I was due for my foley bulb insertion. I had lost my mucous plug and spent all night up in labor. I didn’t want to jeapordize my body preparing for labor so I called in and canceled my foley. That set a series of phonecalls back and forth between a very upset doctor/assistant and myself. They scheduled me for a later appointment and told me not to miss it. I said I would let them know if I could go. Even though I wasn’t against the foley bulb, I was afraid it wouldn’t do anything and I would be forced to get pitocin the next morning which was how it was arranged. I decided with my husband to go to the hospital for the second foley bulb appointment to see my doctor and not leave things on a bad note in case it brought on bad vibes for me for when I did go into labor and got another on-call OB. Also since I didn’t have any appointments set with her after that day I felt it was best I go and resolve things. I was trying to be diplomatic.

At the appointment, we discussed the foley bulb and had a lot of back and forth debating. However in the end, my husband and I managed to convince her to delay the foley bulb insertion by another 2 days. Since we hadn’t done a cervical check for the foley she asked if I wanted to do one which I didn’t refuse. To our pleasant surprise I had progressed to 3 cms, 70% effaced and my baby had moved down to -2. So technically I didn’t need the foley but she kept the appointment anyway just in case. When she did the check it seemed like she did something to my cervix because I immediately started getting contractions when I left the hospital. And they didn’t stop this time….

Laboring at Home

From when I got home to the time I slept I had severely intense contractions. This pain was different. It all over my hips, lower back, bottom, pelvis, abdomen etc. So I took a shower and decided to rest as it started to feel like the real thing.

My mom (who had just arrived from Africa less than 48 hours prior) and husband told me I woke up a lot in my sleep from painful contractions. They continued consistently through the night. Since my son was resuming school after a 3-week break, I asked my Doula to come over and support me as my mom was helping care for my 2-year-old. Since my contractions were 3-4 mins apart she said we should go to the hospital once my Hubby got back from dropping my son to pre-school.

It was a struggle to get to the car, and the contractions were unbearable especially if I was sitting down. When we got to the hospital I was only 4 cms, 100% effaced but the nurse insisted baby was NOT head down. I was so disappointed because contractions were UNBEARABLE and I thought I would be much further along. They had to do an ultrasound to confirm that baby was head down but the nurse still said she felt like the baby was posterior. In my heart, I knew she was right because of the positioning of my baby’s kicks in the last few weeks but I had asked my doctor and she said there was no way of knowing without an ultrasound and until labor.

Laboring at the Hospital

They checked me in, and while I waited for my doctor they got my heplock set up. I didn’t want to get into bed as I couldn’t manage the contractions laying down or sitting. My husband had to leave to pick up my son from school early and take him back home so he could be back in time for what we thought would be a natural birth. I tried to manage my contractions with the help of my Doula but I couldn’t handle the pain so I asked for morphine which was the only pain medication they offered other than the epidural. All morphine did was make me dizzy which made dealing with the contractions MUCH harder. When I think about it right now, I don’t know why Doula & husband & I all forgot about the labor tub the hospital had in the bathroom. Even the doctor and nurse didn’t offer it and when I think about it now, it makes me really upset.

My doctor came in and said that if I needed it, I could get the epidural. She didn’t want to do a cervical check as everything looked ok. When my husband got back from school I discussed it with him looked to him for approval to get the epidural. I was exhausted from 6 days of labor, the nurse said I was dehydrated (they had a very hard time drawing blood) and I seemed really weak. So even though it was against my birth plan, I got the epidural around 11:30 am.

I felt immediate relief, and my doctor came in and asked for me to use a peanut ball to help progress the labor as I was 6 cms by then. She also broke my water to help move the baby into better engagement. She then said something that I heard from afar (since I was high on morphine and sleepy from the epidural). I heard her say (my husband confirmed it later) that she didn’t tell us but she “may have done a little stretching to get things going faster” when I saw her the day before at my appointment. This made me so upset, because everything happened SO fast right after the appointment but since I was progressing I didn’t feel the need to say anything.

I got a tiny bit of sleep but was super dehydrated and exhausted. I was laying on my side using a peanut ball to get things moving and the nurse and my OB said my contractions were great and I should rest and when I felt like I needed to push to let them know which was music to my ears!


Contractions Monitor Hospital Birth

A little while later my baby was having decals and they would keep dropping to like 100 when I had a contraction. My contractions were strong and I felt movement and pressure even with the epidural but somehow my baby was having decals. So they just moved me over to the left side and that’s when it got worse. They then realized with another cervical check that my baby was posterior as they kept touching the nose and eyes the moment they did the cervical check and the chin was upwards. That made it hard for her to try moving the babys head a little to get him more into a better position for me to push. My baby was in brow presentation and from what the nurse said she has never seen a case like this at their hospital and there was no way I could push because if baby came down with its chin that way, it could cause severe damage. According to Baby Center, Brow presentation is a rare complication, which affects only one in every 500 to one in every 1,400 births.

Birth, VBAC, VBA2C, Brow Presentation, Birth Injury

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They still gave me time and moved me from side to side and did another cervical check a few hours later to try move the baby’s head. Around 4 pm (I had been in the hospital for 7 hours by then), my OB came over and spoke to me and explained the risks of delivering the baby this way. She suggested doing a repeat C-section even though this wasn’t the route I wanted to take but there was nothing we could do to change the situation. I was gutted and needed time to process everything and discuss with my husband and Doula. We did our research and I asked a few of my VBAC sources, and my birth coach as well. My doctor said that I could wait a few hours but if I did she wouldn’t be able to do the c-section as she would leave at 7 pm. This put me under more pressure.

About 5 pm, I decided not to risk it and do the c-section. I could have waited another few hours or got on to all fours but there was a risk baby’s neck would move the wrong way. Something deep down inside me told me I tried my hardest for my VBA2C and I had to look out for the baby. I was also super exhausted after a 9-month fight of a VBAC journey and got this far so I decided that if I were to do the surgery it had to go my way.

I made sure to tell the OB exactly what I wanted from the c-section, i.e to hold & see him when the baby was born, not to be knocked out, for photos to be taken of us, for my Hubby to tell me the sex (since it was a surprise) and to go home as early as possible.

She agreed to my terms and the surgery preparation was the smoothest & least traumatic I ever had. I felt respected, cared for and supported and this was so helpful in my healing process. My husband got to witness the whole surgery, I saw my baby as soon as they pulled him out. He had a HUGE swollen bump on his forehead from pushing against my pelvis the wrong way AND he had the cord around his neck. So from what we saw there could have been damage from allowing labor to progress further. I didn’t get to hold him as I wanted but I did get a (not so great) photo of him next to me after birth. So yet again for the 3rd time, I didn’t experience skin-to-skin immediately and this was very upsetting.

NewBorn Baby, C-sEction, Postpartum

Recovery & Postpartum

My recovery was really rough compared to my other surgeries. I think mostly due to having 2 toddlers at home. It’s been exactly 4 months since the birth and I have healed but I am super weak and have started a fitness program to start to feel healthy and get my body back after 3 surgeries in 4 years.

I guess you could say I am at peace with the decision I made although the scenarios keep playing in my head. The What-If’s, and why my doctor did a sweep without my consent and whether I would have progressed if I used the tub. I will never know, but what I do know is that I have a beautiful baby boy who is truly a blessing and brings complete joy to my heart every time I see him.

NewBorn Baby, C-sEction, Postpartum




Despite the end result, I am happy I was able to advocate for myself for this birth. If you are preparing for a VBAC and want to see the Birth Plan I used please enter your details below to subscribe to our mailing list to get the printable emailed to you – >

This Visual Birth Plan will make it easy for the staff to understand your needs. After years of research, I can safely say I know that doing all these things in my VBAC Preparation Check-List helped me go into labor on my own.


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NewBorn Baby, C-sEction, Postpartum

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  • Reply Jamie February 12, 2018 at 12:00 pm

    That’s so frustrating for so many reasons but so joyful that you had a better experience with the surgery and have a sweet healthy baby! I hope you’re able to be very at peace with it and no regrets!

    • Reply afra February 18, 2018 at 8:49 pm

      Thank you so much. I am on my journey to making peace with it and having no regrets…It’s tough..

  • Reply Marysa February 12, 2018 at 12:15 pm

    My second baby was a c-section, and the recovery was so much easier than my first (and very rough) delivery. I’m glad you were able to find a way to customize your delivery even though it wasn’t what you originally wanted.

    • Reply afra February 18, 2018 at 8:49 pm

      I am glad too. Thank you

  • Reply Dr Zak February 12, 2018 at 6:08 pm

    Wow. That’s an intense ad draining journey. I’m glad you were an advocate for yourself a d for your needs! You go, girl! My first pg was a c-section even though I thought my body and my OB would know what to do. Recovery, physically and emotionally was insanely hard! This prompted me to research and become my own hero! Baby #2 and #3 were vbac. Praise the Lord!

    • Reply afra February 18, 2018 at 8:50 pm

      It was so draining. Please do your research and do download the free printables to help you 🙂

  • Reply Kristen February 13, 2018 at 5:00 am

    Wow. Sounds like a rough labor! Love hearing birth stories no matter how difficult and not according to plan they are. Glad you and baby are ok and healthy!

  • Reply Ayeina February 13, 2018 at 9:57 am

    Alhamdulillah.. Happy that everything was okay in the end. May Allah bless you <3

    • Reply afra February 18, 2018 at 8:51 pm

      Ameen. Thanks sis 🙂

  • Reply ashley February 13, 2018 at 11:37 am

    Glad you and baby are healthy and okay! Every birth story is so different.

    • Reply afra February 18, 2018 at 8:50 pm

      Yes so interesting how they are are all different.

  • Reply Daniela February 13, 2018 at 9:11 pm

    Wow! What a journey. Alhamdulillah thanks for sharing! I learned some
    New things ma sha Allab

    • Reply afra February 18, 2018 at 8:54 pm

      I am glad Daniela!

  • Reply Daniela February 13, 2018 at 9:12 pm

    Ma sha Allah*

  • Reply Van Cast February 13, 2018 at 9:56 pm

    Wow! Birth is such an amazing thing, I’m happy everything came great at the end ♥

    • Reply afra February 18, 2018 at 8:51 pm

      It is, although not what I wanted at least I have a healthy baby

  • Reply Fozia S February 14, 2018 at 2:32 am

    Oh wow I can’t believe she did a sweep without even getting your permission. That in itself is wrong on so many levels! But alhamdulillah for a positive outcome although the journey getting there wasn’t the way you wanted it to be.

    • Reply afra February 18, 2018 at 8:51 pm

      I know, I really want to send a letter to their department…

  • Reply Rafeeda - The Big Sweet Tooth February 14, 2018 at 3:20 am

    Alhamdulilllah, reading through yours I have had such easy labors SubhanAllah… May He reward you for all the pain you went through… Aameen… I am surprised you are still able to vividly explain everything…

    • Reply afra February 18, 2018 at 8:54 pm

      Ameen, its amazing how we remember everything like it was yesterday. I can talk about my son’s 4 years ago like it was yesterday…Its so engraved in our minds…The feelings, everything..

  • Reply Noor February 14, 2018 at 3:57 am

    Alhamdullillah you were able to overcome that stage. Very good article to share to all.

    • Reply afra February 18, 2018 at 8:51 pm

      Hamdullilah, thanks and please do share!

  • Reply Hafsa February 16, 2018 at 12:16 pm

    wow – this brought back memories, although my labour was very different, it made me realise Allah will only put us through what we can bare – mashaAllah you are a brave strong woman! thanks for sharing this!

    • Reply afra February 18, 2018 at 8:53 pm

      So true, It’s important to think of it that way so that we can overcome the trauma from the birth…

  • Reply K.T. Lynn February 16, 2018 at 6:59 pm

    Al hamdililah you have three beautiful and healthy children. I’m sorry you didn’t get to deliver the way you wanted. May God bless you and your family.

    • Reply afra February 18, 2018 at 8:52 pm

      Ameen, JazakhAllah Khair Kate

  • Reply Sumaira February 16, 2018 at 10:41 pm

    Thank you for sharing your personal birth story with us! Although your birth plan didn’t go as planned, I’m happy that the outcome was a positive one alhamdulillah!

    • Reply afra February 18, 2018 at 8:52 pm

      Thank you Sumaira.

  • Reply Lubna March 1, 2018 at 4:06 am

    MashaAllah such a cute pics….as I have mentioned in my earlier comment in the earlier post on VBA2C….this is new to me and I was learning educating to learn on this subject….thank you for sharing minute details…I really hope people who are going through this will find this very useful….

  • Reply Brittany March 5, 2018 at 10:29 pm

    This made me cry a bit. I was a failed VBAC but I was ok with the decision for another c section. I knew I gave it my all. It’s amazing how supportive your doctor and team was. I think that makes a HUGE difference. Recovery is rough. You are a super momma MashaAllah May Allah swt give you the strength and health Ameen <3

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