I just want to say, I am so thrilled to see this forum, and I want to thank the moderators and the forum leaders for their hard work. I love the forum guidelines, the way they are written is so compassionate and supportive. Thanks again!
So, some of you may have read my story before if you've been participating in these recent c-section threads, but I will repeat it here because I've come pretty close to finalizing my decision.
With my first baby I planned a homebirth with a wonderful group of midwives, and everything went perfectly until 38 weeks, when the midwives discovered that the baby was breech. I actually suspected this at around 36 weeks, because the head felt wedged under my rib cage and was very hard, and hurt a lot. But the midwife convinced me that I was wrong. So when she told me at 38 weeks that I needed an ultrasound, I wasn't surprised when we found out the baby was indeed breech. That afternoon I went to a chiropractor and acupuncturist, then spent most of the night doing special yoga positions and lying inverted on a board. We tried everything! The next morning I had an external cephalic version at the hospital. The doctor, a huge supporter of homebirth, tried for two hours to turn the baby, with two short breaks in between. It was a grueling and frightening experience, and didn't work. She sent me home, and I went back to the chiropractor and acupuncturist for one more session. While we were downtown buying herbs that might help, I had a contraction that knocked the breath out of me. Scared that this was it, I went home, elevated my legs, and drank a bunch a fluids in the hope that rest and fluids would stop the labor. It was not meant to be. The contractions progressed quickly, and six o'clock that night they were three minutes apart. The midwives told me it was time to go to the hospital. I had a c-section that night at 8:00 P.M.
I have to say, I was really surprised at how supportive and kind the hospital staff were, after all the horror stories I had heard. I was nursing within fifteen minutes of the c-section, the baby never left my sight, and we coslept during my whole stay. Nobody ever suggested circumcision, formula, or vaccines. The recovery wasn't easy, but I was at peace with the birth.
Although I knew the possibility of homebirth was over for me, but I didn't know the extent of the implications. I had no idea about VBAC bans, etc. I was about to learn.
When we started trying for our second baby, I was deeply hurt to find out that I was not allowed to visit or talk to the midwives. I had been friendly with them socially before the c-section and now I was literally shunned. They are not allowed to have patients with previous c-sections. I would have to do my prenatal care with an OB, and I would have to have an RCS. I just wasn't prepared to have that contact completely severed.
I immediately began investigating VBAC. The nearest hospital and doctor that does VBACs is almost three hours away. I live in a mountain town, so the drive is not an easy one. In good weather one faces a number of switchbacks, in bad weather the drive is a nightmare. Two other major factors: we don't know anyone who lives there that we could stay with, and I am the breadwinner. I get maternity leave, but it's unpaid, which means I really have to work right up to delivery, which I also did with my son. However, the window of time in which I could go into labor is about 2 weeks. When to go down? Where to stay? What to do with our toddler? We cannot afford to stay in a hotel. I can't imagine driving down in labor.
See how complicated this is? I really want women who think VBAC is the only option to understand that many women are not faced with easy choices.
Because of all of these complications, and because of my research into VBAC versus RCS outcomes, we are strongly leaning toward RCS. On the one hand, I fear and dread another c-section, and I mourn the loss of a vaginal birth, but on the other hand I am hopeful that we can create a wonderful and memorable birth experience regardless.
I guess I'm hoping to hear from women who have had a similar experiences, or who have chosen RCS for whatever reason, and were able to be at peace with their RCS and their birth experience. Please no RCS horror stories! I'm nervous enough as it is.