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Second Pregnancy // 20 Week Update

September 28, 2018

It’s official, we’re over halfway through this pregnancy and whilst today I’m 20+3 it was the day we had our 20-week scan.

I’ve been feeling weird about it this time; as well as the scan we were booked in for a vbac consultation with a specialist midwife. If you don’t know; vbac stands for vaginal birth after c-section and the idea was to review my notes from last time and discuss what my options would be this time.

Normally I would have been so incredibly excited about this scan because it would be a chance to find out the baby’s gender but we’ve known for weeks so it sort of took some of the excitement away and I became more aware that this scan is actually to check everything is fine with the baby. In the past it’s been all about the gender confirmation and all the other stuff was just the formalities that came first, maybe it’s because it’s the second time and I’m much more aware now but this time they seemed to spend a lot longer looking at the organs, telling us exactly what they were checking for and confirming that (thankfully) everything is perfectly normal.

As you will remember, my husband was somewhat in shock to find out we were having another girl and even though it was confirmed by a blood test we still asked the sonographer to check for us, you know, just to be extra sure.

It’s definitely a girl by way! No doubt about that.

After the scan, which took almost 45 mins and has left my bump and section scar (and damaged skin tissue) so very sore but needs must, I had my flu and whooping cough vaccine. One in each arm and although the nurse warned me they were more stingy than last year I wasn’t quite prepared for just how much they would sting. I don’t remember that happening at all last time but I definitely remember the pain in my arm that lasted for a week so yay looking forward to that again.

Our vbac appointment was the thing I was most worried about, I was desperate to know what my options would be this time and I was so relieved when the midwife told me there was no reason I couldn’t try for a natural birth if I wanted but the elective section would be available to me if I wanted it.

She was able to review my notes from Amelia’s birth and explain to me what happened; before and during surgery and give me an indication of why I found it so difficult to heal afterwards. Turns out Amelia was actually back to back which was why she was struggling to be in the correct birthing position which ultimately resulted in her low heart rate and the rush to theatre.

I was also told that she was already part way down the birth canal and needed a lot of manipulation to be brought back up to where the surgeon was able to remove her safely. I didn’t know it at the time but a specialist was brought in during the operation to provide another set of eyes, hands and expertise and there were a couple of failed attempted to remove her where she was actually tucked back inside and they moved her around again before she was finally born.

I remember it taking a long time to put me ‘back together’ after Amelia was born, we were in theatre for another 1hr15mins after her birth and the midwife today confirmed there had been a lot of ‘things being moved’ and a bleed internally that needed to be addressed because I could be stitched up.

All of these things added to the overall troubles I had with recovery afterwards, the reason I found it so difficult to walk and my wound seemed to take longer than everyone else’s to heal. Internally, there had been a LOT of fiddling around and that takes time to sort itself out afterwards.

I’m reassured that if I end up having an elective section this time, I most likely wouldn’t have some of those complications as baby would be in a position that she’s easily reached and my body won’t be under the stress of active labour as well as the surgery.

At the moment I don’t have to make a decision about birth, I can think about it and decide later but I definitely have the option of trying for a natural birth and there’s no medical reason why it wouldn’t be successful this time around. I’ve been warned that if I choose another section it’ll likely be in the 39th week of pregnancy and that if I become overdue and need to be induced the process would be very different from last time as I would be unable to have the same drugs they used for Amelia.

I think at the moment, I’m leaning towards wanting to try for a natural birth but I know I definitely don’t want to be induced by the methods available so if it came to that, I would ask for the section. Induction is no joke and I really don’t fancy having my waters broken by hand or being put on a hormone drip.

I have another consultant appointment booked in December where I will be able to talk about it again, hopefully, I will have made a final decision by then about what I want to do and we can make a plan…

In terms of pregnancy at 20 weeks, I’m feeling much better. As you will probably have seen on my Instagram account, I had a few weeks of illness that whilst not pregnancy related were definitely made worse by it and they knocked me off my feet for just over 2 weeks.

I’m over all of that now and back to just feeling massive, tired and out of breath all the time. Walking upstairs is an absolute killer, and you can forget rushing anywhere I’d rather be late. I’ve still not had that ‘I am mother nature I can do anything’ feeling that I had last time but maybe that’s just my recent illness and looking after a toddler that’s sapping all my energy.

There have been a few kicks, they’re small and infrequent and only noticeable right down near my pelvis due to another anterior placenta but baby is definitely kicking away in there and when she kicks low enough to miss the placenta I can feel her clearly.

Last weekend I even felt it on my hand through my bump which was the first time (and only time so far) that the kicks have been that strong.

Another few weeks and I’ll be able to feel them all over, just like it was with Amelia.

Well I think that’s all, sorry it’s a long one but I get asked loads of questions about my section and what I want to do this time so I hope this is helpful to anyone who’s going through it and wants to know what happened.

Rachel xx

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