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VBAC when a Uterus Ruptures

It took me some time to decide if I should write this post, but my overwhelming feeling is I need to share what happened to me. I hope that I can raise awareness of VBAC and the very rare chance of a uterus rupturing.

I have had three children the first OEP was born via section at 42 weeks due to a missed breach, infact I never went into labour. ATM was successfully naturally delivered as they say by VBAC. Then we had ZAP......

I happily opted for VBAC the second time, I have two children and the last thing I needed was a section meaning I could not drive or lift for 6 weeks. I was told I was classed as high risk, in fact it was written on all my notes and would be carefully monitored at all times during labour.

So two weeks before my due date I woke in the middle of the night feeling rough and was violently ill. I could not get back to sleep due to the most terrible pain in my right hand side and back. I thought the pain in my side was from being so violently ill that I had pulled something, and by the morning the backache turned into contractions. We phoned the hospital and I was admitted into the day unit for monitoring. 

I was still experiencing the constant pain in my back and side, the midwife thought maybe back to back and asked the delivery suite for a scan, but they were too busy and it was refused. This situation continued throughout Wednesday into Thursday and Friday, I was a total mess. Despite the labour not progressing the pain was almost out of control, I could not lie down due to the pain and the need to  monitor the baby. I can not put into words how awful that was, after a few mins I ripped off the monitor while ringing my emergency bell and retreating to the comfort of the birthing ball. The reason for not being moved to the delivery suite was because the sister hospital was not accepting patients and they were all coming to us I was not in labour so had to wait.

Finally on the Friday night I got the word and was taken to the delivery suite, with the prospect of the hormone drip to get this baby moving. I was shattered having not slept or eaten for three days and I was still only at 2cm, despite the constant pain. The "Rachel from Friends" scene playing over in my mind, wanting to shout "2cm". The midwife did one final sweep and told me I was back to back, this was the moment I broke down and could not take anymore. Then the words that will haunt me were uttered "I could back out and have a section". BACK OUT I have been in agony for days, a scan on the first day would have proved the baby was back to back and a section is classed as backing out. I felt a failure, humiliated, sad and ultimately angry all at once.

I opted for the section, the thought of hours more labour was something I knew my body could not cope with  physically or mentally. Also a word with the midwife that maybe her use of that term was not helpful then received a full apology. My section was approved and I could finally see the end. 

Baby ZAP was born, hearing his first quiet cry then the loud roar and knowing he was OK, my heart skipped a beat. The joy of my darling baby boy in my arms melted the last few days away. But I could not help but notice everyone was rather concerned at the birth and phone calls to a surgeon had been made and a lot of talk about blood loss. The wonderful anaesthetist stroked my hair and kept me calm as I asked if all was OK. The surgeon arrived, I knew it was not good if I had a "Mr" called into deal with the situation. I could only hear this reassuring voice as he was shown whatever the problem was and the words he is going to scrub up. The next thing I was aware of was waking up, I had no idea where I was, what was going on or even that I had a baby, slowly it came back to me along with the question what the hell had happened.

I could do nothing,my husband was looking after OEP as his diabetes needed his attention and my amazing mum and sister looked after me and the baby. I have to admit now I was a mess, crying and on another planet, breast feeding went out of the window I had not the patience nor milk. I am being totally honest about the mental state I was in at this time. All I could think about was what if....

Then I was moved to a side room, oh the joy I could slightly move and was in less pain. I had some sleep as it was quiet and we started ZAP on a bottle. My drain and catheter were removed, I have been through all that pain yet the feeling of the drain being removed still makes me shudder. A shower to wash away the last few days and then the joys of my body settling back down the odd noises from my tummy and of course the wind!!! I was a real delight.

On arriving home I collapsed into my family the tears still came mainly in the shower where again my brain went into overdrive but they got less and the black cloud that was above me rose slightly.

The facts came out, when they went to preform the section they discovered my previous section had ruptured and was bleeding. I lost a lot of blood and they needed an experienced surgeon to sew up the rupture as it was complicated. I lay there in total shock, but "what happened if I had gone for the hormone drip" I asked? Their faces told the story with out words. So that was the pain in my side the whole time? I felt myself take a long breath my brain leaping into action which I wished it had not done.

Finally the miracle that is three units of blood arrived and the transfusion started, to all those people that give blood thank you from the bottom of my heart it saved me in every way.

The reason I decided to write this was, I want anyone considering VBAC to be fully aware of the symptoms of a uterus rupturing. This is extremely rare but it can happen and information is vital. I do not want to put anyone off VBAC it was very successful with ATM and if the symptoms had been managed with ZAP I would not have to write this post. Please when your having the conversation with your midwife and they are telling you the advantages which there are many and it's a wonderful experience, ask them about what can go wrong and how they as a hospital have training on this. For example, are they aware of the symptoms of a rupture? How they monitor you with a mind set that the pain maybe something else and not just a woman in labour! 
It's now 8 weeks later, I am fit and healthy and physically you would not know what happened but it's stayed on my mind and I know will do for a long time. I am booking in my birth choices session and I will update once I have been and I get the whole story maybe I can help them help other women as I must take something positive from everything that happened.

A couple of links

Mami 2 Five



  1. Oh my goodness, I'm so so sorry you went through all that. I know that it had been long and complicated at the time but had no idea all this had happened. No wonder you were so exhausted and i can't believe they didn't catch the symptoms of the rupture. I hope the merging with the hospital gets you all the answers and I hope it brings some kind of closure too. When E was born the surgeon told me afterwards that she thought my uterus lining was at risk of rupturing. I had no real idea what that meant at the time. Sending you lots of hugs xx

    1. Thank you for your kind words, it was really quite a shock and this has helped and I hope helps others too. Sounds like you had a close escape xxx

  2. Oh my goodness, this is horrendous! I'm so glad you're OK now, but what a scary thing to go through. You knew things weren't right - they should have checked you and listened to you. Well done for sharing - it could help someone else!

    1. Thank you Sarah, I good now and sounds typical but makes you realise what you have. I hope it can raise understanding and that other ladies can see the symptoms sooner xxx

  3. I am very sorry you went through that lovely. So glad you are ok now!
    Thank you for linking up to #justanotherlinky

  4. Oh my how awful and scary. Never heard of this before so thanks for sharing. Thanks for linking up - Jess xx


  5. Such a scary time for you. I've never heard of this but well done for you for sharing it! Thanks for linking up to #justanotherlinky xx

  6. That sounds absolutely dreadful. Thank goodness you're ok. I have to say, I admire you for writing this such a short time after what must have been an extremely traumatising experience. I was certainly surprised that only eight weeks have passed! I also lost a lot of blood after the birth of my second, and I felt completely out of my own body so I can only imagine how it would have been after all those unnecessary days in excruciating pain. All the best for your continuing recovery.
    x Alice

  7. That sounds a horrible experience. I thought my birth 5 weeks ago was horrifying but yours seems not a nice experience. I was 12 days overdue so went in to be induced, after two days of having the pessary and on the drip i was only 4cm dilated. my waters had been broken and they contained meconium, so I had no choice but to have a c-section for the sake of my baby. I lost over 4 pints of blood during the c-section and due to having a rare blood type they managed to salvage my blood and put it through a cleaning machine so i had my blood back. It was not a nice experience.

    Great to hear you on the mend. xx


  8. How awful for you, glad you are ok now though. I desparately wanted a vbac with my 2nd but she was overdue, back-to-back and ended up getting her wedged underneath her so I ended up with another section. Had no choice with the 3rd! Having had a traumatic time with my first all I can say is take it easy and keep talking about everything. Sending hugs Midge xxx

  9. Oh sweetheart I knew it was an awful birth but u had no idea it was quite to this scale. Must have been so scary and no wonder you were so emotional!
    Pretty disgusting from the hospital as well to miss this and leave you in pain for so long.
    I'm so pleased it turned out okay and you have your gorgeous little one.

    Stevie xx Thanks for linking up to #Picknmix

  10. Oh my goodness. This is horrendous. So relieved that you and baby are OK. I would attempt a VBAC if I ever had a second, so good to be aware of the symptoms of rupture as well. #picknmix

  11. Oh my. Someone was smiling on you that day making sure you ended up with a c-section. I can not believe what you had to go thorough thank goodness you and your baby were okay. I think its great you have written this post and I am sure it will help to raise awareness of others making the same decisions. Thank you for joining us at #BloggerClubUK hope to see you again next week x

  12. Oh I'm so sorry you had such an awful experience its terrible they left you for so long. I had two back to back labours and they were awful and very long which caused damage to my pelvis and meant my third pregnancy I was on crutches. She was born by emergency section and I almost needed a transfusion due to blood loss. I hope you are recovering as well as you can be and well done for raising awareness. Thanks for linking to #PickNMix

  13. Thanks for sharing this with me. Yes it is such a rare occurrence and so serious that all hell breaks loose and you are a lucky lady that all went well in the end. It is so difficult to diagnose but if you are in severe continuous pain and you've had a previous CS then the first thing that should be done is a scan of the scar. It's also important to let people know that uterine rupture can also occur without a previous CS although very rare. It's great that you have highlighted this but it's also important to stress that it is rare and that VBACs are proven safe once carried out in a controlled environment with proper monitoring. So glad everything was ok, it must have been so scary for you and your family xx

  14. It's rare, but it happens. I had a silent uterine rupture during a closely monitored VBAC attempt with low dosage induction, so I was on the drip. I didn't have the pain you had, they discovered when they opened me up that my baby was basically looking at him through the three places my uterus had ruptured. I feel very lucky I consented to surgery when I did and went down as if it had continued on the drip it would have been a very different story. It's put my husband off any more children and could have been very different. Thank you for sharing your story xx #SundayBest

  15. Oh my goodness this sounds terrifying. But such an important to share and raise awareness of. I have had 3 c section deliveries by choice so nobody has ever really spoken to me about uterine ruptures. Thanks so much for joining us at #SundayBest, hope to see you again tomorrow! x

  16. It's so important to talk about things that happen to us, not just to raise a awareness but for your own chance to reflect. Thanks so much for sharing with #SundayBest x

  17. I'm so sorry that you went through this. I do think it's great that you've written about it though, raising awareness around these issues is so important! Thanks so much for sharing with #Blogstravaganza xx

  18. Wow! Just... wow?!?! I can't believe the midwife missed the signs?? Birth is an amazing thing, and we are lucky to experience it as a gender. But it is a trauma and we all come out afterwards feeling rung out and hung up to dry. Am so pleased you're ok and that you've healed up well.xx #blogstravaganza

  19. It's so terrible that you had to go through that. I had a c-section with Peachy because she too was breach. I would like to go with VBAC next time around. This option, along with the risks and measures to minimize these risks, were discussed with me at my 6 week post delivery appointment. I do have an amazing doctor though. That makes all the difference. Thanks for joining #Blogstravaganza. Hope to see you again.


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