I had my daughter, my third baby, on Sept 17th. I was trying for a VBA2C. My first birth ended in c-section after too-early AROM and pitocin, and failure to progress, and ever since I have wanted a vaginal birth. I was convinced with my second that I would be successful, and I got to the pushing stage, and then he moved into a weird position and wouldn't descend any further. This time, I was surprised that my doctor and OB were both supportive of trying VBA2C, but wouldn't have thought of doing anything else. The thought of scheduling a repeat c/s just wasn't an option to me. I think I had a feeling all along that I would have another c/s, and I was so much more worried about rupture this time than I had been the last time, so it wasn't really a surprise for me to have the c/s, but I could never have *not* tried, you know? I would have regretted it so much. I always would have wondered. I have always wanted to have a baby "the real way" and if I hadn't tried, I would have felt like a failure before I even began.
Not many people around me understood the way I felt, especially my family. They felt the risk was too big (they didn't know how small the risk really was,) and worried the whole pregnancy. They kept asking me why I would take such a huge risk, and were convinced something would go wrong. They just couldn't understand why this was so important to me.
Well, I guess someone has to fit into that 1%...and I had a uterine rupture. I had a wonderful labour, for about 14 hours, and most of it was amazing. I was managing contractions really well, and felt really good about everything. I was sure that this time I could do it. But the last little bit of the labour was suddenly excruciating, and I wasn't progressing despite the strong contractions, and the OB wanted to do a c/s. I agreed, it just felt like the right thing to do at that point, even though I was very sad to agree to it. When they opened me up, I had ruptured, and we are so lucky that we did the c/s when we did, before baby showed any signs of distress. If we had waited any longer, it would have been catastrophic. The top of her head was out, but the cord was still inside the uterus. I just feel so blessed that I consented when I did, and that there happened to be a free OR just then, or I might have lost my baby.
Now I'm at the point where I'm trying to process. I'm recovering really well, and my baby is an absolute dream. That helps. But I do burst into tears pretty regularly when I think about what could have happened. What if things had played out differently? What if we'd been too late? Should I have tried a VBA2C?
I still believe that a trial of labour is the best option. I don't have any regrets. This was my best labour and birth by far, believe it or not. I am happy that I know for sure that the c/s was necessary--with the others, I always wondered (and still do,) what I could have done differently to avoid it. This time, I know it saved my baby's life, and possibly mine. I am also strangely content to know that this is my last baby (the OB could only do a single row of stitches instead of double, because my bladder ended up in a weird spot, and was very traumatized by baby's head pushing on it. He strongly feels it would be a bad idea for me to get pregnant again, and I tend to agree.) If I hadn't had the UR, I might have had another baby, and then it could have gone really wrong. For so many reasons, I just don't have any regrets for trying, even though when I think about it, I am just so lucky that I have a live baby. This is a hard dichotomy for me to process. I am glad I tried, but am scared that I did, and am just glad that it turned out the way it did.
And explaining those feelings to my family and others...they don't understand. They think I'm selfish for trying, or stupid. They keep telling me how lucky I am (believe me, I KNOW!) and tell me I should have just had a repeat c/s to begin with. In a way they're right, but how was I to know? I just wish they could understand, instead of trying to make me feel guilty.
And in a way, I guess I do feel guilty. If she hadn't made it...I can't even think about that. I would have blamed no one but myself.
I don't know who to talk to about it. I don't want to scare ANYONE out of trying for a VBAC, because I still truly believe it is the safest and best option. But my feelings about my birth experience are so mixed up right now, I don't know what to think. I'm so incredibly grateful for my healthy baby, but I get so upset when I think about what could have happened if things had been just a little different. I am at peace with the c/s, but I'm not at peace yet with the whole experience, if that makes any sense.