I'm 37 weeks 5 days. I have wanted a VBAC since the moment I signed the consent for the last c-section (pre-eclampsia) four years ago. The pregnancy has been uneventful but we have felt as though there were a lot of bridges to cross.
#1: We had to hope the pre-eclampsia would not re-occur or we would likely end up in c-section again. I'm still wearing my wedding rings, we are way past the time it started last time, and my blood pressure remains on the low side of normal so we are ecstatic to cross that off the list. Yeah!
#2: We live in a small community where the one of the surgeons moved away. We were told that if the other family doc who does c-sections is not available when I go into labour we would have to travel 1.5 hours away to a hospital with c-section coverage in order to VBAC. Although we might have still VBAC'd at this hospital we would lose our midwife, get the OB on call and basically be strangers with no idea about hospital policies or the scope within which a VBAC would be managed. But, we met with the family doctor and he is essentially around for the next five weeks and, as it turns out the new locum surgeon will also do c-sections so it is very unlikely that we would have to travel. Yeah!
#3: On my 20 week ultrasound they had a look at a small ovarian cyst that I have had for awhile that is now a mass. We were worried they would recommend a c-section so they could take it out at the same time. As it turns out, unless it is big (which it is not) they don't want to touch it until after the birth. We had to meet with a very unsupportive to VBAC OBGYN to get this information but all in all he really had no good reason to recommend against a VBAC at that point. Yeah! (not for having a cyst but for not having to have a c-section).
#4: Although my mid-wife is great the other doctors we have met with have all expressed concern about my "big baby." My first was 7 pounds, 7 oz. at 37 weeks so would have been a good sized girl at 40 weeks. I have tried not to concern myself too much with this as I am a woman with broad hips and many women in my family have delivered big babies naturally (up to 11 pound - and yes, she deserves a medal).
The baby has been head down since about 28 weeks. I actually started to put things in my homebirth box as we seem to have jumped many hoops to be candidates. Our midwife was very honest about the risks for a VBAC but was still willing to do it in our situation. We are in Ontario so she is a Registered Midwife.
Then the baby moved a lot on the weekend. Then I went for an ultrasound to confirm that the cyst hadn't grown so as to impede labour and the baby is breech. I remember saying to my husband on Sunday that I thought the baby had changed position because I no longer had this line from the top and curving down the side where the baby had been laying on its side for weeks. I had hoped it had just maybe started to line up more vertically in time for the big day. So, baby is breech. The ultrasound tech wouldn't give me much information at all (liability) and I don't have the full report from the radiologist yet but the midwife confirmed it at my weekly appointment.
I am doing what I can to turn the baby including acupuncture, inversions, diving in the pool, visualizing, cold packs, heat packs, talking to baby etc. I'm hoping the baby will turn. I had a dream tonight that the baby turned and we had a beautiful birth. I'm just also preparing for a c-section. My midwife will always give me a choice but strongly cautioned about VBAC'ing a breech baby in our facility. She doesn't have a lot of experience with breech babies (the profession was established after they basically stopped doing them) and neither do very many doctors. We also have no NICU. I can respect her honesty about the local conditions. I would imagine we will schedule the c-section in a week or so if the baby hasn't turned .
I will be thrilled for a healthy baby as everyone keeps reminding me but am mourning the process of birth. It is funny that we mourn something we are taught to dread and fear is something to mourn later in life. My midwife will ensure that I don't lose my baby for two hours after the c-section this time and make some things a little better than last time. Any thoughts on your own experiences preparing for a c-section after planning for a VBAC (home or hospital) would be appreciated. Any well wishes and happy baby turning thoughts would also be appreciated.
Thank you for the space to write about this.