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Uterine rupture survival story teaches two lessons

by | Oct 29, 2018 | Birth stories, Infant Outcomes, Maternal Outcomes, Uterine Rupture, VBAC | 3 comments

Having a prior uterine surgery increases the risk of uterine rupture. The relative risk is still low, but it’s there.

Other factors can push that risk higher (such as induction.)

But sometimes there is no “reason” for a uterine rupture other than a prior cesarean.

Uterine rupture stories illustrate that even though the risk is ~ 0.4% (among those with one prior low transverse cesarean in a spontaneously laboring VBAC), that small number impacts real parents & babies.

Sometimes, outcomes are good. Other times, not good. And many things impact how a uterine rupture plays out.

This specific uterine rupture survival story is an excellent example of two things.

One, mothers and professionals, learn the facts so you know the symptoms of uterine rupture and how they present differently than labor pain. (Shoulder pain is another sign that I have seen missed.)

A tell tale sign in this situation was the sudden, sharp pain that persisted between contractions. This is a well-documented sign of uterine rupture which should have prompted further review rather than suggesting the mother get an epidural.

Two, birthing parents, listen to your instincts. They are almost always right. Even if it’s your first labor, if you feel that something is wrong, keep saying what is happening until someone listens.

One mother’s uterine rupture story:

“I was not induced, I went to 41.4 weeks and naturally went into labor.

I labored for 4 hours and then suddenly had this sharp pain in my lower right abdomen that was so strong and continued through contractions- the nurses knew and shook it off (they just thought I was being a pain because I didn’t want an epidural.) I literally asked if there was a chance that I ruptured because I read someone else’s story on here about their rupture.

It finally became so intense I did ask for an epidural and thankfully I did because the next morning while still laboring, my daughters heart rate dropped and we rushed into emergency c section.

When they moved me from my bed to the operating table, I started bleeding out and when my OB cut into me, she informed me that I had ruptured.

She had never dealt with a rupture and it was clear. She kept saying she couldn’t get the baby out and I could tell she was a little frantic.

My baby busted through the corner of my last internal suture and that’s where I felt the pain between contractions (listen to your bodies ladies – you know when something is wrong and my nurses didn’t listen).

I literally started telling my husband to take care of the babies if I didn’t make it.

I know this is scary but it’s real. I’m not trying to scare anyone. I still support those who wish to have a VBAC.

What happened to me is RARE.

Thank God and all the stars that my baby made it out (my incision was cut larger) and that I did too. She is 100% healthy and happy and turning 2 in December ❤”

As a birth professional, your clients turn to you when they need information.

Providing them with emotional support and accurate information gives parents the foundation they need to make truly informed decisions.

If you would like to quickly get up to speed on the evidence, and easily stay current, then click here to join the VBAC Facts Membership for Professionals.

Jen

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3 Comments

  1. I had one successful unmedicated VBAC, and then a rupture during my next attempted labor. I had horrendous pain as well, and knew it was more than I could handle (my VBAC Labor was intense, but manageable). My doula and friend encouraged me to pray, and in the middle I stopped and said “I need a c-section.” They thought I was in transition, but I was listened to when I said, “I have done this before, and something is wrong.” It helped being a third time mom; you hold more clout in L&D. It still took over an hour before I was in the OR, and the nurse made me walk. My doctor, upon opening me up said “whoa! We’ve got a major window here,” followed by “my finger just went through her uterus.” The membrane that the placenta attaches to hadn’t stayed in place, though the muscle had separated, and fell apart when bumped on the operating table. I consider that God’s grace to us, that it somehow held up. Persistent pain was absolutely part of it, as well as that intuition that something was wrong. That little rainbow baby is now 3 years old, and just came out dripping wet and crying because the kitty scratched him when he tried to take him in to the shower. ❤️

    Reply
  2. I too had a rupture during my attempted VBAC. We didn’t know it at the time but, my doula and I actually heard it happen on the fetal monitor…it sounded like a little explosion. Within the hour, I started to get that persistent pain between contractions. I got the epidural. Despite the epidural, my pain persisted and although I knew the epidural wouldn’t take the pain away, I knew my pain should not be increasing. Soon after this, I developed the sharp right shoulder pain. Having had a an accident where my liver was lacerated and referred pain to my right shoulder, I called my nurse immediately. I knew there wasn’t anything wrong with my liver but, I KNEW that this referred pain was telling me something was wrong. My OB did suspect rupture but didn’t immediately tell me this as not to alarm me. She recommended the RCS and agreed. And despite knowing full well that ruptures could happen, it never occurred to me that it was happening because it was rare after all. When I came back from my “trip” in the OR, I heard my OB mention rupture. I had indeed had 3 tears and I never bled vaginally because my daughter’s shoulder was wedged in the tear acting as a stopper. My daughter is a happy and healthy 16-month old. I was my OB’s 5th rupture in 15 years! I guess I was just special 😉

    I reflect back and question whether or not certain things increased my likelihood for rupture. If I could go back in time, I’d adjust those things knowing that there was still a chance of rupture. I don’t regret attempting my VBAC. I am very much a VBACtivist and believe wholeheartedly that VBACs are an excellent option for many women. It must be a choice option for mothers.

    Reply
  3. Thank you so much for sharing your story. It is scary, but it is important to hear the scary stories so we can make truly informed decisions when deciding to try for a VBAC. I’m so glad your story ended happily!

    Reply

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Jen Kamel

As a nationally recognized consumer advocate and Founder of VBAC Facts®, Jen Kamel helps birth professionals, and cesarean parents, achieve clarity on vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC) through her educational courses, training programs, and consulting services. She speaks at conferences across the country, presents Grand Rounds at hospitals, advises advocates seeking legislative change in their state, and serves as a expert witness in legal proceedings. She envisions a time when every pregnant person seeking VBAC has access to unbiased information, respectful providers, and community support, so they can plan the birth of their choosing in the setting they desire.

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