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VBAC vs. C/S question - Page 2

post #21 of 26
My c/s after labor was a breeze to recover from, I felt pretty good within a few weeks. But now, almost 15 years later, stuff is coming up. Things I never thought about, maybe didn't want to know, are undeniable now and there are a lot of emotions to work through.

I had a second c/s without labor. I had no idea about the benefits for the baby or I may have chosen differently. The recovery was horrid. It took me two years to feel like my body was healthy and strong and pain-free again. Major disillusionment after believing that all c/s were "easy" to recover from based on my prior experience.

Good for you, looking into all the facts now. There is a lot to consider.
post #22 of 26
There's a section in the really interesting book What's Going On In There by neurobiologist Lise Eliot --


It's not about birth, but brain development in utero and afterward and she has a fascinating section on birth and exactly how labor and going through the birth canal stimulate a baby's brain development,and releases certain hormones, etc... It's an excellent section and made me feel really good about the long labors I had prior to my two csections.

post #23 of 26


You all are really helping me. I am new to this board and have tried since I became pregnant to get both sides vbac and planned c.s. But it was always one way or the other.

I had a very traumatic c.s. with my first. In April 2003 I was in labour for 17 1/2 hours started on citotech (I think that was the name) the night before and pit the following morning. I got to 9 1/2cm and did not progress past that I had been pushing for about 1 hr - 2hr and was in excrusiating pain it felt like my son's feet were breaking my ribs. My CNM called in another doc and asked his opinion and they took me for a c.s. I was terrified as they wheeled me out I had not reserched anything on c.s. and was made to think that I really would not be able to take care of my baby. My CNM could not understand why I was so hystericaly upset and kinda laughed it off when I told him I wanted to be able to take care of my baby. I remember shaking so bad after they took my son out like I was going into seizures or something I was so scared something was going terribly wrong because I could not control my body, I thought my teeth were going to shatter. And then I was out and the next thing I remember is trying to force myself to wake up I could hear my family talking around me but could not wake up. I was so terrified because I didn't know what happened to my baby. I missed the first hours of his life he was 10lbs 19 1/2 inches. It took me weeks to be able to function again. And I still have pain where my incision is especially now that I am strectching with this baby. Everytime I tell this story I cry it is something I don't want to experience again. I am now due with my 2nd a girl on May 19th 2006 and I am so scared both ways and don't know what to do. My ob has pushed me to have a repeat planned c.s. I think he just doesn't want to take the time he says it is my choice but he wants to make sure I understand there are NO benfits to trying a vbac. Which I don't believe at all I am so much more worried about the babies lungs than my scar rupturing, I am an adult who could handle to have surgery or what ever kind of repair to fix me but my baby may not surivive with lung problems. And he had never suggested labouring before the c.s. had always told me that my recovery would be much easier if I do a planned c.s. than labour, he really had me beliving that I could not handle the recovery if I labour and still have to have a c.s. Now that I have read some of your stories I really feel I should try a vbac. I have recently decided to switch ob's because I am very upset my ob has not given me one bit of encouragment he lectures me on gaining weight every visit I have only gained 12 pounds since i have been pregnant, even at the first I had lost a couple of pounds and he still lectured me and gave me a pedometer and said to do 10,000 steps a day, ya right give me a break. I really felt he was punishing me at my last appointment and did not do a good ultrasound did not listen to her heart or anything. So anyways I have made an appointment with my sister in laws ob that she absoulutly loves and hopefully she will be more supportive if not I may look into a midwife. But anyways thanks!
post #24 of 26
There's a good article about this topic at www.nejm.com (New England Journal of Medicine website). You have to register to see the article, but it's free. Here's the link to the full article:


In case, you have trouble with the direct link, you can find it from the main webpage. It's in the December 16, 2004 issue and titled "Maternal and Perinatal Outcomes Associated with a Trial of Labor after Prior Cesarean Delivery."

Here is a quote from the abstract:

Methods We conducted a prospective four-year observational study of all women with a singleton gestation and a prior cesarean delivery at 19 academic medical centers. Maternal and perinatal outcomes were compared between women who underwent a trial of labor and women who had an elective repeated cesarean delivery without labor.

Results Vaginal delivery was attempted by 17,898 women, and 15,801 women underwent elective repeated cesarean delivery without labor. Symptomatic uterine rupture occurred in 124 women who underwent a trial of labor (0.7 percent). Hypoxic–ischemic encephalopathy occurred in no infants whose mothers underwent elective repeated cesarean delivery and in 12 infants born at term whose mothers underwent a trial of labor (P<0.001). Seven of these cases of hypoxic–ischemic encephalopathy followed uterine rupture (absolute risk, 0.46 per 1000 women at term undergoing a trial of labor), including two neonatal deaths. The rate of endometritis was higher in women undergoing a trial of labor than in women undergoing repeated elective cesarean delivery (2.9 percent vs. 1.8 percent), as was the rate of blood transfusion (1.7 percent vs. 1.0 percent). The frequency of hysterectomy and of maternal death did not differ significantly between groups (0.2 percent vs. 0.3 percent, and 0.02 percent vs. 0.04 percent, respectively).

Conclusions A trial of labor after prior cesarean delivery is associated with a greater perinatal risk than is elective repeated cesarean delivery without labor, although absolute risks are low. This information is relevant for counseling women about their choices after a cesarean section.

Basically, the risks are low no matter what you decide, but both maternal and fetal outcomes appear to be better without laboring. If you read the whole article, you can get a better feel for where you are likely to fall within the group and make a better informed decision. Obviously, everyone is different and no one is going to have the same experience as another person. You have to decide what's right for you.
post #25 of 26
i'm another one who had a very easy recovery physically from my c/s-- my medwife and doc joked about how i should be on one of those birth shows (baby story, etc.) to showcase how wonderfully i recovered.
i was in emotional anguish for more than a year. i felt robbed of my daughter's birth (i'd been induced for no real reason-- i was due around christmas-- and was sectioned at 2.5cm after only a few hours of weak labor due to "fetal distress") and left out of some sort of club of women. i felt like i wasn't allowed to participate in talk of labor and birth, like i was unqualified; i mean, everyone knows how a c/s is performed, what was unique or exciting about my daughter's birth?
i got pregnant again when my daughter was about 14 months old and eagerly started planning a homebirth. we unfortunatly had to transfer to a hospital (i'd been in labor for more than 36 hours, 24 with hard, regular contractions but my cervix wouldn't budge past 2cm; my midwife was concerned my labor would be prolonged and i would be too tired to push in the end). i was terrified someone would take my vbac, but i was exhausted (no sleep for 2 days) and had been in active labor for so long, i requested an epidural. after many troubles with the epi (let's make a long story short, shall we?), i did have my son vaginally that evening. it was the most amazing thing i've had the privelage of doing. after my right leg regained feeling (botched first epi), i felt well enough to run around the block. it was completely different from my c/s, even with my "amazing" recovery.
post #26 of 26
I'm sort of an unusual one-most women looking at VBAC's seem to be mamas with only prior c-sections-I had two vaginal births with my daughters, and a c-section with my youngest, my DS. Even though I knew the c-section would be coming about two weeks prior to the birth, and I researched, asked LOTS of questions, and came up with a birth plan that was as hands-on as a c-section can get, it still wasn't the same as a vaginal delivery. The recovery sucked bigtime for me with the c-section-and was much harder than bouncing back from a vaginal birth (hemi's, a tear, and all!) Mine was supposed to be scheduled, but surprise surprise, my water broke the night before the scheduled section, I went into labor with piggybacking contractions within an hour, and DS was born by c-section soon after. I'm not sure if my recovery would've been easier had I not been in labor first, but either way, the c-section recovery really sucked.

I'm leaning strongly toward VBAC this time-and my OB supports that if that is what I choose (surprises the heck out of everyone around here-in the past year or so they've gotten to the point where the hospital has become very VBAC unfriendly, and they rarely do them anymore, which is sad). I know I really had no "recovery" with my daughters-I felt terrific and ready to go, and that did not happen after DS's birth.
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