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VBAC Success - Sharanya - Your obstetrician in Singapore matters

I achieved my incredible unmedicated VBAC Jan. 5 on my EDD. Gynae: Paul Tseng (TC Chang was covering doctor, met him only at labor room) Hospital: TMC 2-bedder Doula: Lorraine Sanghani, my rock and pillar


History:

#1 was emergency c section in July 2021 after unsuccessful induction at 39+1weeks, was 3cm dilated after 20 hours (no medical indication for induction, had not done enough prep to question gynae)


#2: Nil GBS, GDM

Things I did differently to have a better birth

Hypnobirthing

1. When I got pregnant, I committed to an unmedicated birth. I did not like the epidural last time (made me feel nothing, like I was a passive spectator of my own birthing experience; bad after effects like fever, nausea, shivering that I could not focus on my daughter after all that waiting) so I researched alternatives and chose hypnobirthing.


Dr Paul Tseng - Obstetrician who allows autonomy

2. I enlisted an OBGYN who was respectful and pro-VBAC. Dr Paul Tseng.


Doula Lorraine

Hired a doula: Best decision, I wanted a support person who has witnessed spontaneous labour and unmedicated births to ease any of my fears and doubts. Lorraine was truly magical, taking care of me physically and emotionally on top of her labour aids like massages, scents, affirmations etc.


My birth timeline - things I did plus the support team (obstetrician and doula)

Week 32: Started weekly hypnobirthing classes & stretches Week 34: Started red raspberry leaf tea, one cup daily (2 cups after week 38). Also had 4 medjool dates daily. Week 38-39: As my EDD drew closer, I had no "stereotypical" signs of labour. My previous doctor would have induced me by now. Although Dr Paul was very chill about the timeline, and baby was head down in pelvis, I felt my mind wavering. Talked to my doula and refocused on trusting my baby and body. It was the right thing to do. I also did 10-15 mins of stairs daily.

Jan. 4: Day before my EDD, I was awakened by bad period cramp like pain at 6.30am. Lasted for 30-60 seconds and disappeared, but kept recurring every 30 min until 8.30am. With the last cramp, my mucus plug (jelly like discharge with pink staining) was seen. I informed my doula and was working from home as usual. Drank a few cups of raspberry leaf tea, started bouncing on my ball, climbed stairs.

Jan 4 afternoon: Doula arrived around 1pm for some massages and affirmations. The cramping picked up by 3pm, and I was getting them regularly. The contractions intensified after 4pm but still around 30sec long, I had to stop whatever I was doing to breathe through them. I kept losing bits of mucus plug through the day.

Jan. 4 evening: I took a long, warm shower and laboured in dim lighting with affirmations playing as planned. Contractions were getting closer and longer. I started using the TENS machine around 8pm. From 9-11pm, the contractions suddenly started getting less frequent from about every 5min to every 7min. I was getting tired and listened to my doula's advice to rest when labour rests. Napped in between contractions, and soon... they picked up again.

Jan. 4 night: Doula arrived close to midnight. Did massages, relaxed in the shower. I had fresh blood too. Decided to head to hospital around 3+am.



Thanks to my obstetrician and doula for a wonderful natural VBAC
Sharanya and her expanded family


Jan. 5: EDD; was 5cm dilated and fully effaced on arrival. Continued labouring the same way in hospital, nurses were great to accommodate position changes while on CTG. Reached 8cm around 6am+, and 10cm close to 8am after the water bag released spontaneously. Since I was feeling pressure in my lower pelvis all along (and not tummy), I didn't feel any different pressure to bear down. As the water had started to stain with meconium, opted for directed pushing. My son arrived at 8.22am and the team respected our wishes for skin-to-skin, delayed cord clamping etc. It was a truly exhilarating and healing journey.



Hope my story helps others too. You can do this mamas

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