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Vaginal birth after Pelvic Organ Prolapse is possible - Ari shares her story

"My pregnancy with Wilder was much worse than my previous 2 pregnancies, I was sick up until 26 weeks vomiting and feeling nauseous every day from about 4 weeks. The vomiting was mostly once a day which was manageable but the mental strain of the regular vomiting was much worse. I was constantly worried about my pelvic floor and prolapses with all the pressure from vomiting, terrified that I was going to cause more damage. That was a pretty constant theme throughout my pregnancy, I stopped exercising not only because I was sick and exhausted but because I once again became so anxious about causing more damage. Stopping exercising resulted in my pelvic floor becoming much weaker as I didn’t keep up with my regular pelvic floor exercises as well.

Leading into my due date I was sure I was going to go early because I had been “early” for my other 2. I did lots of birthing prep, even though I had done it before I read all the books again, I did birth classes, I did optimal baby positioning circuits, and I had chiropractic treatments to ensure my pelvis was ready for birth. I was so determined to have another good birth and hopefully a baby that wasn’t in a posterior position. I was also preparing for post partum which I hadn’t done before, I didn’t want to have PND/PNA again and was putting things in place to give me space and time to rest in that early PP period.

Thanks to COVID the MGP program that I was in was cancelled and I no longer had a midwife, I was devastated, I was counting on the continuity of care to help me birth without causing more damage to my prolapses. Thankfully about a month before I was due, the MGP midwives were given their birthing women back and I had a midwife again, it wasn’t the midwife I originally had, but a midwife is better than no midwife.

I didn’t go early… 4 days after my EDD after spending the day at my parents we headed home around 4ish. I made some dinner and then went to the toilet where I had a light contraction and some of my mucus plug started to come away. I came out and told Blake and to be repaired to have a baby this weekend. He kissed me and said to me we've got this, I'm ready, are you ready? I continued to have irregular contractions during the evening some of them I had to really breath through, others weren't so bad. I called mum to let her know I was having contractions cause she was going to come over and look after the Boys but I couldn’t get hold of her or my dad, I managed to get in contact with my cousin who was able to let me mum know. Blake put the boys in bed and fell asleep with them (he had been up since 4am). I did my hair and made sure I had everything ready to go, I let our birth photographer know I was having contractions but nothing to send me to hospital just yet.. Around 7:30 the contractions stopped. So I lay down on the couch and fell asleep. Eventually I got up and went to bed thinking it was a false start. Around 10:30 I was woken up by some contractions, I was tired and didn't want to get out of bed yet so I stayed there and rubbed my leg on the bed and counted through them for a little bit longer. Eventually I realised they weren't stopping so I got up to have something to eat. It was nice to be in the quiet house with the lights low just breathing through the contractions. By the time I decided to wake Blake up I was using horse breath (Thanks core and Floor restore) and swaying to get through the contractions. I got Blake to put the tens machine pads on my back and call mum to come over. This was my first time using a tens machine for labour and it made such a difference; I wish I had it for my other labours.

Once mum arrived I called our midwife, she was so casual on the phone about planning when I should come in, then realised I had had 2 or 3 contractions in our short conversation and all of a sudden was like oh you need to come in to the hospital. So we packed the car and headed there, calling our photographer on the way. The drive was a little less hellish this time around, thanks to the tens machine and no traffic. The long walk from the carpark to the birth suite though was another story, my contractions got so close and strong as we were walking in, Blake was worried we weren’t going to make it into the birth suite. A kind wards-man offered to take me in on a wheelchair and I very firmly told him NO!

Once we were in the birth suite I went to the toilet, it was important to keep my bladder empty so that my bladder prolapse wasn’t damaged in the delivery. While we were waiting for the birthing bath to fill up I was working through contractions with horse breath and swaying while leaning on Blake. I made him also horse breath with me so we were just horse breathing spit all over the place but it was working for me. At one point I changed to moaning and Blake trying to help me was shushing me, more in a way you do with a baby to help calm them, but I got so mad at him for doing it and threatened to punch him in the face if he did it again. As I was working through a contraction my waters broke, I could feel it happening and just before the membranes broke I warned everyone it was happening, which Blake was relieved about as he was able to get his shoes out of the way of the gushing waters.

After what felt like forever the bath was ready for me, I was devastated to take the tens machine off but I wanted to be in the water. Once I was in the water the contractions slowed down, they were still strong just not very close together like they were. This really frustrated me, I don’t know how long I was in the bath for but it felt like such a long time between contractions, I said to my midwife multiple times I’m ready, what’s going on, I’m ready for him to come. She encouraged me to just relax and enjoy the break my body was giving me. Blake had the hose on my back and a cold cloth on my head, At one point he put the cold cloth on my back and I got so mad at him! I occasionally sang along to some music and just rested between the contractions. Eventually I decided it was time for the baby to come, so I got up and went to the toilet, this gave me a few very painful contractions while I was out of the water. Once I was back in the water it happened, that all mighty contraction of transition the most intense of them all, I squeezed blakes hand so hard and was horse breathing so hard. My body was pushing, I couldn’t stop it but I was scared to push, I had planned to breath this baby out, but I had to let my body do what it needed to do. I ended up doing some pushing, and then realised what I was doing and went back to just trying to breath him out. My midwife wanted me to put my hand down to feel the baby’s head but I couldn’t let go of Blakes hand. After a few contractions his head was out and then his body and my baby was here! I was so relieved and so happy, that rush of oxytocin was real! There was a lot of blood in the bath, the midwives helped me out and onto the bed where I was able to have something to eat, have skin to skin, leave Wilder attached to the placenta for as long as we wanted before we cut the cord, and start to breast feed. I was so exhausted I could hardly move my body, but so happy and so proud of myself for doing such a great job. I was so exhausted I didn’t feel the giant Meconium poo Wilder had done all over me while he was laying on my chest J. I ended up with some internal tearing which was stitched up, and Blake was able to have some skin to skin time while I had a beautiful hot shower before we headed home.

When we got home, after having a sleep mum bought River and Fox over to meet their brother and they were so in love!"

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