I haven't had my VBAC yet. I'm due in just 5 weeks. I was a home birth turned hospital transfer last time. I'm going for another home birth this time, as I know that despite what happened with my DS my body is not broken. Here is my story in case it helps.
My waters broke just before 1am Monday morning, and 20 min later my contractions started at only 5 min apart. DH & I foolishly thought this meant we would have a quick labor. Even though contractions were close together I could easily talk through them. We were excited first timers and after a few hours called the MW (LM) to come to the house (bad idea, still way too early) as she lived on the same street as us. It was about 10am before she checked me for the first time and I was only 2cm. It was at this point we realised this was going to be a really long slow labor. I tried using the tub a few times but found it much more comfortale to be on my feet leaning on DH for support during contractions. They were not getting closer together, but were very slowly getting longer and more intense. By late afternoon I had gotten to 4-5cm and then by 10pm I was at 7-8cm. It was at this point the MW first mentioned the possibility of a transfer if I reached 24 hours without getting to the pushing the bay out stage. By the time I reached 24 hours after ROM I was still only at 8cm so I had to transfer to the hospital (stupid Florida law for LMs.)
At the hospital I was immediately put on EFM and kept in bed as they would loose the heartbeat whenever I moved. They also had problems finding my veins (a lifelong problem that I tried to warn them off) so instead of listening to me about my veins being deep they assumed I was dehydrated from the long labor and started pumping me full of fluids. I got put on pitocin to try to augment my own contractions. But I refused the epidural. I labored the rest of the night with the pitocin which wasn't even doing anything for me. (The problem was mal-positioning not contractions) I was checked by the on-call OB just before the morning shift change and was told I was fully dilated with just a cervial lip, and I'd be pushing within the hour. An hour later the new on-call OB checked me and I was back to 8cm, the same as when I was admitted. He was really pushy about an epidural, and as tired as DH & I both were (no sleep in 48+ hrs) we gave in. After I had the epidural I made no further progress. At noon it was decided I needed a c/s for stalled dilation. At 2:23pm after over 37 hours of labour DS was born by c/s.
Only 6 months later I got pregnant again with this LO due in just 5 weeks. DH & I have learned a lot about what went wrong and what we need to do differently this time. We didn't know LMs had a time restriction for ROM. This time we have a CNM as she doesn't have that restriction so the labor can take as long as it takes. We also called the MW too early and got too focused on the birth while still in very early labor so I become the proverbial watched pot. At the hospital I didn't get to move around enough to keep going, and didn't take in that my dilation reversed until months after. If I had realised at the time I would probably have fought against the c/s instead of consenting to it.
This time we are a lot more prepared to keep me eating for strength. To prepare for a long slow labor if it goes that way again. And more importantly we have learned a lot of physical things to do to help labor along, including positions that keep my pelvis open and what to do when progress appears to stall. I've also been working on better fetal positioning ahead of time to try to prevent the mal-positioning DS had.
While I know there are some risks to a HBAC everything I've read shows a greater risk to me of a ERCS and also of hospital protocol not being in my favor. I completely trust my CNM's judgement, and we have talked through as many of the different situations as we can think of. She is very confident in my ability to birth this baby naturally and at home.
Slow doesn't mean your body doesn't work. It just means your body takes labor slowly, and there can be benefits to a slower labor (less trauma & tears) if you are given the right support and environment.
Only you can decide what kind of birth is best for you. Just like only I could decide what kind of birth to aim for this time for me. Hopefully I'll have a good HBAC, but only time will tell. Even if it doesn't go according to my plan, I know that I am not broken, sometimes the baby just isn't quite in the right position.