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    Third Time’s a Charm?

    November 18, 2006 by Brandy Vencel

    The regularly scheduled programming around here has been pushed back a bit due to my overwhelming desire to prepare for the coming of Baby Q. It all really started when Grace and Kristie gave me some money to buy a scrapbook as a late birthday gift {thank you so much!}. I started working away, and as I was sorting all the photos of A.’s birth {yes, I am 20 months behind}, I started thinking about how we are going to be doing this all over again…perhaps as soon as three weeks from now.

    For my readers who are unaware or have forgotten, both E. and A. were born by C-section. E. was a 28-hour labor that went from bad to worse. A. was a scheduled C-section because I was frightened by my first doctor into thinking that the same thing would happen again. Si and I both wish I had tried a VBAC with A., but we didn’t know then what we know now.

    The doctor I have now is willing to let us do a “gentle trial of labor” and attempt a VBAC. We have decided that this is a good chance for me to avoid a third surgery and a long recovery. I was in bed for almost eight weeks after A. was born. I do not recover well, and hope to be able to go the more natural route this time around.

    VBACs, however, have their accompanying risks. Then again, surgery is always risky, so there really is no safe way out of this situation. Here is how I am preparing for the VBAC, if anyone is interested.


    • Liquid Calcium: Experienced mothers are great resources, and I recently read some writings of one mother who swears by liquid calcium as a help for contractions and afterpains. As I have done more reading, I have learned it can also assist with the leg cramps that many women experience in the third trimester. Calcium helps with proper muscle contraction and waste management within the body, two issues that can effect labor and delivery. After reading a lot written by midwives and mothers, I plan on taking 1 tablespoon of liquid calcium on days where I am having difficult with calf muscle crampings {common to pregnancy}, and then 1 tablespoon every 4-6 hours once labor has started, continuing this until the afterpains have subsided. Many midwives believe that the hard work involved in laboring uses up a lot of the calcium in the body, so it is important to be replacing it as labor progresses.


    • Red Rasberry Leaf Tea: One of the risks that is often mentioned by doctors when discussing a VBAC is uterine hemorrhage or rupture. Red raspberry is known to tone the uterus and help prevent postpartum hemorrhage from an atonic uterus. It helps reduce uterine pain and helps the uterus work more effectively during labor and delivery. I will be drinking 2 cups of this tea per day until the day of delivery, and I will drink the leftovers {if there are any} because red raspberry also assists in the production of mother’s milk.



    • The Pink Kit: I bought the Pink Kit and had it shipped all the way from Australia. That is how determined we are to try our best to be successful. The Pink Kit is probably unnecessary for lots of moms because their babies come out. However, E. was completely stuck in my pelvis bones when he turned into the occiput posterior position. Lamaze class was entirely unable to prepare me to deal with this, and my doctor’s only solution was that I should try walking {again}. The Pink Kit teaches many techniques for assisting a posterior baby to descend. Since this baby has appeared to be posterior also, we want to work on getting her through the pelvis. Kimbrah also pointed me recently to a website on turning posterior babies that I will be studying.



    • Staying Hydrated: This should be obvious considering the hard work involved in labor, and yet many hospitals deny a laboring mother almost any kind of nutrition or hydration because they fear a C-section, and surgeries are best performed on fasting patients. I know a C-section is a definite possibility considering my history, but I also need to make sure I am behaving in a way that promotes a successful birth rather than a successful C-section. I will be drinking a wonderful hydrating solution throughout labor {whether the hospital staff approves or not!} called Innergize for Kids, which tastes better than the adult product {in my opinion}, and also contains some added calcium.



    I like to think that this is my complete plan of action, but I will probably add new things I learn in the coming weeks. If you think of me, please pray for a safe and healthy VBAC delivery for Baby Q. and I. Even though this is my third child, I have never actually delivered, so I will admit that I am completely frightened of the unknown! Also, I have experienced extreme difficulties with milk production in the past. Please join us in praying for a miracle in that area also, that I will be able to be the sole source of nutrition for Baby Q.


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  • Reply Kimbrah November 22, 2006 at 6:37 am

    The Yogi tea tastes really good. The store I shop at most stopped carrying that brand though, so I has to switch to Traditional Medicinals, which I really don’t care for. I disguise it by making a concoction recommended by my midwife to help with hydration and stopping false labor of 10oz boiling water, 2-3 bags of chamomile or bedtime tea (like Tazo Calm, Sleepytime, or Trader Joe’s Bedtime Tea), 1-2 bags Raspberry Leaf Tea, and 1-2 packets of Emergen-C (I really like the Cranberry flavor, but I have heard that Black Cherry with Lycopene is the most palatable, but more expensive).

    It does the trick every time! When the contractions are harder, I use more chamomile and Emergen-C and when I am just feeling generally overtired and dehydrated, I use more Raspberry Leaf Tea and less of everything else. It really helps. I haven’t had the baby yet and I was having contractions so strong one day that I was sure it was time. I called my midwife and she said to drink that little concoction and if it was real labor it would keep going and if it was false labor it would stop. She was totally right. I am not ready for my little guy to come yet, so I have been telling him to stay put for now. I haven’t fully recovered from our illnesses yet. I would like to get enough energy back to really tackle cleaning this house before he’s born, but otherwise, we are good to go. Oh, and I need to buy arnica. Those are the last two things! (But I am sure I will think of more in the days to come, oh I just thought of one, I still haven’t packed a hospital bag in case things turn south. Maybe I am just trying to block that.)

    We’re definitely praying for you guys. I can’t wait to meet all the new babies after they are born!

  • Reply Brandy November 22, 2006 at 1:39 am


    You’re going to be jealous…my rasberry tea tastes pretty good! 🙂 The brand is Seelect, I think. The label is mostly in French…

    Thank you for the helpful hints. I am always looking for something to add to my bag of tricks…

  • Reply Κimbrah November 19, 2006 at 5:37 am

    We are definitely praying!

    I have been drinking the Raspberry Leaf tea my entire pregnancy and am upping the amount now that I am in the home stretch. I prefer the Yogi brand (but dislike supporting them) but Traditional Medicinals also has a somewhat palatable option (that’s why I like the Yogi tea better).

    I am going to ask my midwife about the liquid calcium. I had not heard of that before, but it sounds helpful. I like the boxes of White Grape Juice from Trader Joe’s during labor, especially when they are refrigerated. I have my cupboards stocked now. The only thing I haven’t purchased is arnica pellets to help with the healing after birth. It really helps to keep the swelling and bruising to a minimum. You should check it out! My midwife recommended 100c, but I think you could find them at Lassen’s at 30c, which is perfectly acceptable also. Hope that helps some, too.

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