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Feeling conflicted about VBAC - need advice!

post #1 of 57
Thread Starter 
I've just written my update at the end of the thread!

I just found out that the placenta previa I was diagnosed with (at 18 weeks) is now, at 24 weeks, far enough away from my cervix (3.5 cm) that it will probably be fine for me to try VBAC.

My dd was born via C-section due to being breech, and because I could not push during labor for fear of bursting a rare lymphatic tumor (cystic hygroma - not cancer, actually a birth defect) in my neck.

So far the hygroma hasn't appeared (hopehope that it won't!) so I'm considering VBAC. But I'm so nervous about it. I guess I might as well also mention that I have a plum sized cyst on my ovary but I don't think that would make any difference...

Anyway. I'm thinking I might let my OB schedule the C for 39 weeks but go ahead and try VBAC if I go into labor before then. I know, wishy-washy! I just can't decide! I'm sorta scared, but this pg is soooo diff from the 1st that I actually feel a strange confidence that my body can do it.

I just heard a nightmare birth story from a friend that nearly threw me off track totally. I would love it if you would share your stories - both successes and otherwise, and if you have suggestions for preparing for VBAC I'd like that too (books, etc).

I really don't know where to start. The weird thing is the feeling I have of indifference... It could go either way and I'd be happy as long as my baby and I were healthy... but I would much prefer a natural birth with less recovery time... My earlier C was a great experience, I had a wonderful, advocating OB who let me attempt to nurse on the operating table. But she decided to go traveling for a couple of years.... (OT!)

Thank you so much for reading this far and for any help you can offer.
much love,
alison (and I'm sure Liam will appreciate this, too!)
post #2 of 57
I have had a VBAC and it went really well; drug free, hospital birth.

It was an awesome feeling

One of the major pluses was being able to return home quickly and not be recovering from a c-section, especially since my other child was 2 at the time.
post #3 of 57
my vbac story

sorry about the pop-ups and banner ads, I need to find a new free host since Ivillage quit hosting personal websites

don't listen to anyone who has anything negative to say about childbirth, or your plans. Just absolutely refuse to discuss it with them if they can't be positive and supportive!! Seriously, that made a huge difference in the success of my vbac.
post #4 of 57
Thread Starter 
thank you for sharing - i'm in TN too but far east, and thinking of finding a doula to assist me...
post #5 of 57
Go to www.ican-online.org they have a lot of great info. I just have to say it was such an empowering experience for me, I would pick vaginal birth anytime. You can read my story from the link in my sig.

What exactly are you scared of or unsure of?

FYI the rupture rate according the the New England Journal of Medicine's study in December 2004 for Spontaneous labors was only .4%. So please don't let the dr.'s scare you about rupturing!
post #6 of 57
I ended up with a c-section with my DS because the docs pushed me to agree to a Pitocin induction. All the interventions created a slippery slope which led straight to the OR.

I vowed that I would never let that happen again.

Well...when I got pregnant with DD I learned just how hard it is for women to get the chance to deliver vaginally these days! I went through 3 OBs and finally found a CPM who trusted birth.

I think it's extremely important for women wanting to deliver vaginally to learn about natural birth and get in touch with their bodies.

We're DESIGNED to give birth. Only in America are women told their bodies are inadequate and that they need assistance to deliver their babies.

I think it's an absolute necessity for hospital VBACs to have a strong doula with you to run intervention with the staff. If planning an HBAC select a midwife that has confidence in your body and follows the midwife model of care.

I posted a version of my DD's birth story on the birth story thread. Let me see if I can hunt it down.


Here it is:

http://69.20.14.30/discussions/showt...highlight=hbac

--Kari
post #7 of 57
Thread Starter 
Thank you!
Fortunately, my doctor strongly advocates VBAC. She actually brought it up to me and has been encouraging me to consider it. I guess she's one of the few who really care. She would rather not perform a repeat C-section if I continue to do well.

I guess my fear is that, although the risk of rupture is low, the consequences are terrible. I see the VBAC vs. repeat C kind of like a plane crash vs. a car accident. Yes, you are more likely to get in a car accident (i.e., more likely to have complications with C) than a plane crash (uterine rupture with VBAC), but if you do get in a plane crash the results are usually fatal. I just love my dd so much, I'm willing to endure almost anything to see her grow up. I know that a scheduled C-section has risks, too - but it seems more controlled. I don't know. This is why I'm so conflicted!

Your birth stories are really giving me confidence... thanks for sharing them....
post #8 of 57
do a bit more research then. UR is not usually fatal for either mom or baby. so you take a really small chance that it's going to happen, and an even smaller chance that if it does happen someone dies.

You really have to feel comfortable with your decision, you have to KNOW it's the right thing to do, and you have to trust your body to give birth (or your doctor's surgical skill, depending on your choice).
post #9 of 57
I HBA2C, but I'll start from the beginning sort of...

With my 2nd child I decided for a repeat c/s, I didn't have all the facts. But in the end it was what I needed. I had very bad scare tissue from the 1st c/s being horribly done the 2nd c/s repaired that. My focus w #2 was also not on natural birth but on breastfeeding. I so longed to breastfeed and suffered major depression for almost 2 yrs after the horrible c/s and treatment of #1. So, I set out my course to bf and decided I didn't want a repeat of #1. A few points along the way, I was really wanted to go into labor before the sch date. I even tried inducing labor herbally to do so, not smart, but... I felt like I couldn't change my mind b/c my parents were flying in from overseas and already had their tickets etc.

W #3, I was fired by my OB at 30 wks and decided this was my opportunity to get it right. I had wanted a hb when I first found out I was pregnant w #1. It took a while to find a hb mw around here, but I did find her. We had 6 wks together before the birth.

My HBA2C was incredible, really. I was so empowered by birth and was on a birth high for at least 3 mo, then it faded a little. Breastfeeding was a snap, dd is such a happy baby, I want another hb.

Either way you go vaginal or c/s there is a healing process you body must undergo. I felt great emotionally after my hb, but my physical body took a long time to start to get better. It didn't help that I had an undiagnosed UTI for 2 wks before I go treatment -- ouch. Anyway, all it all I'd still do it again. Being able to get out of bed with no hands holding on to my sleeping baby at the breast is far better than having a my stomach cut open and require assistance for 2wks while I got some of my ability to rise out of bed or a chair by myself.

As for rupture and fatality -- in a hospital setting it should not be fatal for you or your baby. For me the risk was greater being a HBA2C, but I knew that if I got a c/s w/in 30 min of rupture we would survive and if it happened in 17 min or less her survival without problems would be greater. I live 3.4 miles from the hospital and it takes about 14 min if you stop for all the lights.

I realized that if I ruptured I would lose my uterus and not have anymore children, but I trusted God would see me through what ever happened. In a hospital, some ruptures can be repaired and you can continue having babies and c/s.

The biggest reason I had a HBA2C was a little bit of information no one wants to tell c/s woman... Each pregnancy after your 3rd c/s carries a greater and greater risk of uterine rupture during the pregnancy. I sat at 24 weeks pregnant with this information thinking to myself, if I made it past 24 wks and my uterus ruptured I would survive, my baby might survive and I would definitely lose my uterus. If it happened before 24 wks my baby would die. I could live with the risk of losing my uterus, I could not live with the risk of losing a baby that way.

I spoke to my OB about this information I had read. He told me that he only recommends 3 c/s and that I should have my tubes tied this time (they tried to get me to do this the last time). I said that I could not be having my tubes tied for religious reasons and asked what my risk are for having more children, he never answered me. I received a letter in the mail 3 wks later terminating me from their care for reasons of non-compliance. They stated I refused a GT test, when in fact it wasn't due until my next appt. which they canceled and left me with no prenatal care for amost 2 mo in my last trimester.

I feel God was leading me to greater things and wanted me to begin healing from my horrible experiences with hospitals and c/s.

I love Ina May's Guide to Natural Childbirth -- it was so empowering to read about woman giving birth naturally. I had it checked out until I gave birth!
post #10 of 57
Thread Starter 
wow, thank you for sharing your experience. I think one of the best decisions I've made so far has been posting in this forum...

Ok, I'm going to get Ina May's book...

I feel certain that the doc who did the 1st c did a wonderful job putting me back together, I healed very well and very quickly. I'm so amazed that you all overcame your fears, or had the strength - whatever it is, that made you choose H/VBACs. I'm a pretty neurotic individual, but I'm getting better...

So many of you (I've read other posts from other threads, too) had such awful experiences with doctors. I think for some of you this may have encouraged you to have VBACs, but maybe others were freaked out or miseducated because of their docs. I've been one of the lucky few with incredible, young (i do think this made a difference), truly caring female (i think this made a diff, too!) OBs who really treat me with respect, and I feel like it would be a travesty if I didn't VBAC considering my doc is so supportive. It's like I'd be throwing it away after so many of you could have used an OB like mine!

Time for me to do some reading. I was about 50/50 when I started this thread, already I'm about 65/35 pro VBAC...
post #11 of 57
ITA with getting ina may's guide to childbirth. and the book birthing from within.

i think the more research you do, the better. listening to birth stories is also very important b/c you'll see what obstacles other women have overcome.

good luck to you!

i would post a link to my vbac story but i don't know how.... hmmm, gotta figure that one out.
post #12 of 57
I just thought I would add my experience too!

I had a c-section with my first because he was breech and we couldn't get him to turn. I had a c-section with my second after a very long labor in a Free standing birth center for many reasons: he was large, big head, cord next to his head, posterior position, and heart decelerations. It was a tough labor, but I still preferred the 2nd experience to my first. (Going through labor, painful as it was, made me feel ready for my son's birth. I think it was better for him too.)

Here I am now, pregnant with my 3rd, and planning a vba2c. I will admit that I had a hard time for the first half of the pregnancy--I was feeling pessimistic about my chance to actually have the vbac. (I'm also in a hospital setting now, with midwives, but it's VERY different from the FSBC.) Then I did some reading, and it helped me to become optimistic again--it was the Ina May Gaskin book already suggested. (Wonderful book, fantastic and inspiring birth stories, and excellent info. Slightly OT, but I'm going to be seeing her speak tomorrow at a conference I'm going to, and I'm VERY excited!) I would also suggest Birthing from Within, which is a fantastic book and useful for working through fears. It also might help to do a lot of research on vbacs and csections, which will help you realize that the risks aren't as bad as some people think. (And that the risks of csections are often downplayed.)

It's wonderful that your ob supports you in having a vbac--this is very important! I also have an ovarian cyst, which I have been told will not affect my ability to have a vbac. (It's 6.1 cm, and hopefully not growing.) Good luck!!
post #13 of 57
I think a supportive caregiver, whether OB or midwife, will make a huge difference. I've had two c/s, both for breech presentation. And, if this baby is again breech, I'll probably have the repeat c-section. But, my OB is being quite supportive of my wish to VBA2C if the baby's presentation is okay. If I'm breech a couple of weeks before due date, I'm going to wait until labour begins before consenting to a section, though. Both my babies turned very late...my son during labour, and my daughter in my 40th week.
post #14 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamasarah
ITA with getting ina may's guide to childbirth. and the book birthing from within.

i think the more research you do, the better. listening to birth stories is also very important b/c you'll see what obstacles other women have overcome.

good luck to you!

i would post a link to my vbac story but i don't know how.... hmmm, gotta figure that one out.
Ina May's Guide to Childbirth is great and I absolutely adore Birthing From Within and the keepsake journal that goes with it. The journal is on sale at their website for $9 right now. :-)

I had a horrible experience with my first pregnancy. I was induced at 36 weeks for toxemia and after only 6 hours, the OB lied to me and said DS was moulding (I was only 2cm dilated 100% effaced) and that he had to do an emergency section to ensure that he didn't suffer brain damage or a damaged skull as a result. I didn't find out it was all a lie until this pregnancy when I brought up wanting a VBAC and the other OB at the practice told me the reason I was told I needed a cesarean made no sense. Then he looked back in my chart and it said the baby was too big (barely 5 lbs at birth, what a load of crap) and that he wasn't even engaged. So he was nowhere near moulding! I was so pissed. But then he told me it would be like taking a revolver with 100 chambers, putting a bullet in and pulling the trigger. Could I take the chance that I wouldn't shoot my son's brains out, even though it's only a 1% chance that I would. I got up and walked out. I thought that was highly inappropriate and instead of terrifying me into scheduling a repeat section it made me want a VBAC even more. So now i have a new OB who is being much more supportive of my VBAC decision and hopefully things will go much better this time around.

Good luck with whatever you decide to do!
post #15 of 57
Jillene -- it's stories like yours that make me wonder how any woman gets out of the hospital with a vaginal birth. Doctors make me sick! (But glad you found one that isn't such a BLANK!)


Birth in the US has become ridiculously entangled with 'cover my butt' syndrome. It puts the woman being treated with this CMB syndome at an increased risk for unnecessary interventions and c-sections.
I'll climb down now...
post #16 of 57
Thread Starter 
:LOL I love you guys.

I'm about 90% there. I think I'm going to do it!!!! I'm feeling more confident every day. I know this sounds silly, but I just *feel* that my body can do it!!! Now let's all hope the baby will co-operate and turn around when he's supposed to... and that I don't get that silly hygroma thing in my neck... I had it a month earlier in my pregnancy with Abigail than I am now. (I was about 19 wks, I'm at 25 now).

I am beginning to think that my ambivalence is more about my fear of disappointment if I get my hopes up for a VBAC and then can't do it. Yeah. That sounds about right.

I'm calling a local doula right now. Or should I say *the* local doula...

Thanks again, you ladies are really helping!!!!!!
post #17 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by jillene
So now i have a new OB who is being much more supportive of my VBAC decision and hopefully things will go much better this time around.

Good luck with whatever you decide to do!
There are some out there who definitely support VBAC. My family doctor and the OB were both behind me having a VBAC last time...until the baby was breech (again!). I'd never heard anybody suggets that a vaginal breech birth was practical until I came here.

But, they're both a lot more hesitant about a VBA2C. Fortunately, the OB isn't the "this is just the way it is" type. My family doctor's attitude was basically "you'll have to have a c-section again next time, so you might as weel accept that now", whereas the OB is much more supportive of my desire to avoid the section.
post #18 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by daekini
I am beginning to think that my ambivalence is more about my fear of disappointment if I get my hopes up for a VBAC and then can't do it. Yeah. That sounds about right.
I've had some of that, too. Then it occurred to me that if I "fail" to VBAC, all that happens is another section. If I don't even try, then I get the section for sure! I'd rather have the possibility of VBA2C than no possibility at all...

Besides, if I try VBA2C and don't succeed, my body will still be ready for the baby when it comes. I don't think it was with my scheduled c/s for dd.
post #19 of 57
Thread Starter 
OMG!

I just spent the last 45 minutes talking to the doula that I may use.

She sounds great. I didn't realize when I called her that she is also a midwife, but she takes a couple of doula clients a year.

She seems really experienced and is emailing refs to me. I want to ask about people's experiences with doulas - should I go over to another forum?

I think that I need labor support in addition to dh - he would have a hard time being an advocate for me, and if I started crying for meds he'd be dragging the anesthetist in ASAP rather than help talk me out of it...

I still sort of feel like I'd wait up to 40 weeks. I don't want to be induced! I don't want any meds! But I also don't want to wait too long b/c I'm afraid of the rupture risk increasing as weeks pass by...

Mark and I are going to meet with Belinda in the next couple of weeks. Maybe she'll really tip the scales for me!
post #20 of 57
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Storm Bride
I've had some of that, too. Then it occurred to me that if I "fail" to VBAC, all that happens is another section. If I don't even try, then I get the section for sure! I'd rather have the possibility of VBA2C than no possibility at all...
Well said, mama... never thought of it that way.

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