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#1 of 180 Old 03-28-2011, 03:26 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm hoping for a VBA2C this time...this being my last baby, I sure hope I get the vaginal birth I've always wanted this time.  With my first, I was a first-time mom and was not informed as well as I should have been.  I was in early labour, but let them give me pitocin and break my water to "speed things up", and then the epidural...of course once the water was broken, I was on the clock, and when I'd only dilated 3 cm in 24 hours, they decided I "needed" a c-section.  With the second, I devoured information, and was convinced this time I would get my vaginal birth, but it didn't work out.  I had a midwife, but I wasn't happy with her support.  When I was slow to dilate at home, she talked me into going into the hospital for an epidural to see if that relaxed me enough to dilate.  I gave in, and I did dilate fully this time, and even pushed for a couple hours, but the baby moved into a strange position and wouldn't come down any further.  I think if I'd been given more time, he would have moved back into position, but at the time, the mw and the OB on call had convinced me I had an infection because my temperature was elevated, and scared me into another c-section. 

 

this time will be in the hospital again--being a VBA2C, and with my blood-clotting issues, and the bleeding I've had through the pregnancy so far, the risk of hemorrhage makes me want to be in the hospital.  I wasn't able to get a midwife this time anyways, so homebirth wouldn't have been an option.  so far my doctor is very supportive.  she has referred me to an OB just to get their opinion on it, so i'm hoping the OB will not give me any problems, though i have a feeling she will (this OB is horrible.)  But if that's the case, I'm going to get a referral to a different one, until I find one that supports my choice.  I really don't want a third c-section.  If I end up with one, I will deal with it, but I will in no way be scheduling one.

 

Anyone else VBACing?  Or anyone who has had a VBAC that has any good advice?


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#2 of 180 Old 03-28-2011, 04:05 PM
 
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I've had two hbac.  My first labor after the c was really long.  36 hours.  I only dilated to 4 in the first 24 hours.  Had i actually been in a hospital, it would have for sure been a rcs.  Long labor, plus bad presentation, extended pushing time, it would have never happened.  I was extremely sore and I actually felt really deflated that although I'd gotten the vb that I'd wanted so bad, that I didn't feel great about it.  I didn't feel proud or happy or ecstatic, I didn't have the rush of hormones that made me weep over everything like with my first babe (csection).  I just felt kind of numb.  Like, well, I did it.  Now what.  My second hb was my dream birth.  The one I'd always wanted.  It was an easy 12 hours, water birth, water broke during the 17 minutes of pushing her out, I felt fantastic!  Not sore at all!  I honestly didn't feel like I'd just given birth!

 

ICAN is a good place for support.  I don't know if there is one in your local area or not, but if you could find one locally and go to a couple of meetings, you'll find lots of support for how to get that VBAC, as well as support for empowering yourself and feeling more in control of a c section if that's the route it goes.  Hopefully you can find a provider that really is willing to give you a real shot at it.  Lots of them like to play lip service, but then be quick to escort you to the OR when it gets closer to time.  Dr. Landon at OSU is a big advocate and has written several articles about the safety of vb and multiple cesareans.  If you have to, find and print off those articles and take them with you to appointments.

 

Good luck to you!


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#3 of 180 Old 03-31-2011, 02:46 PM
 
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Yay I'm in this club!!!  My first was a breech baby, stuck beyond all belief!  I tried everything to turn him, lying at a downward angle, music low on the belly, chiro, accupuncture, chinese moxibustion, and went through 2 ECVs, I wanted to try a third but the OB felt there was no way he was going to turn.  While the OB agreed to try a vaginal birth that would mean I would have to go into labor while he was on call or deal with another OB that likley wouldn't give that option.  I chose a scheduled c-section, sobbed the entire week prior and tried to fight off feelings that I hadn't experienced real labor, or had the vb I had wanted.  My midwives were amazing, held my hand through everything and made sure my baby stayed with my husband and by my side even when the anesthetic made me so sick that they had to drug me into unconsciousness until it wore off. 

 

This time I've chosen the same midwives, and have asked for an OB consult with the same OB who told me at 6 weeks postpartum that I would be an ideal candidate for a VBAC.  I feel so lucky and happy to have an amazing professional support team and a very supportive husband, I'm confident that provided this baby doesn't go breech I will be able to have that successful VBAC.  I'm seeing a chiropractor that specializes in maternity and babies on a regular basis so hopefully that will help as well.  My midwife informed me today that having an OB consult may mean some things like constant monitoring and an IV, meaning I won't be able to move around.  I'm not happy about that so that will be my first thing to discuss with the OB.  I don't want to run the hallways or anything and I want to make sure I do what's right and safe for me and my baby, but I know the importance of movement during labor and if I feel like moving or changing my position I want that option to do so.  As for the IV the midwife already agreed to a heplock.  I know I may sound like a difficult patient, I'm really not, I just like to be well informed of my choices and have the freedom to make those choices, that's why I chose midwives so that I can have the information I need and the ability to make choices.  On the other side I am fully aware of the possiblity of a repeat c-section and if that happens, despite my dissappointment, I know I'll be able to handle it emotionally and physically.

 

Good luck to everyone else hoping for a VBAC!!

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#4 of 180 Old 03-31-2011, 03:24 PM
 
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Yes, I am planning my second HBAC in September or possibly late August.

Wife to James mom to dd(1999) ds1(2001)and ds2(7/08)
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#5 of 180 Old 03-31-2011, 06:07 PM
 
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Robyn, thanks for starting this thread! I am also a VBA2C mama, and my birthing history is pretty similar to yours.

 

C/S #1: I was bullied into an induction at 42+4, 20 hours of unanaesthetized pitocin labor, only got to 3. I had a doula and had read all the right books, and still it happened to me.

 

C/S #2: A very educated hospital VBAC attempt with supportive OB and doula who is also HB midwife. 35 hours of unanaesthetized labor, 18 hours of it VERY hard, unrelenting ctx, posterior baby, and (I think) asynclitic head. I got to 10 and was there for 4 hours, never felt the urge to push, and DD never descended past -2 station. I made the call for a section at that point. My OB did not try to manually turn my baby, and I am still peeved about that. I had a doula and had read all the right books, done my spinningbabies exercises, the works -- and it still happened to me.

 

Now no OB in my town will let me attempt a hospital VBA2C, so I am with a homebirth midwife who I really like. I am planning a waterbirth. I am damaged goods when it comes to birth, so I am having to really work hard on my mindset and preparations. I have found some good cognitive behavioral therapy books that have been helpful in reducing my birth anxiety and reframing some of the crappy treatment I have gotten from OBs in the past few weeks. I have been lied to and talked down to, and I am way past done with the OB world right now. I will go in and get cut again if I need to. But I am not scheduling one.

 

I have found VBA2C to be a very different endeavor from a mental, emotional, and practical standpoint that a plain vanilla VBAC. Having a "failed" VBAC under my belt has really changed my ideas about controlling birth. I go to ICAN meetings and feel like the turd in the punchbowl, but I keep going because I need the support.

 

Now my mantra is: I cannot control birth, but I can create optimal conditions for avoiding a c/s.

 

Whew! It feels good to get all that out there. orngbiggrin.gif

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#6 of 180 Old 03-31-2011, 08:33 PM
 
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Ms. B Sprout we seem to be following each other around this DDC!  LOL  I'm happy to have some other informed moms to discuss this with.  So many of my friends just go along with whatever their OB tells them to and it's everything I can do to bite my tongue and not yell at them "you have choices, learn them and make the ones right for you!"  One friend was told that no way no how could she ever have a vb after 2 c-sections, so she's prepared to schedule the birth if she decides to have a third.  Others talk about their induction dates like it's no big deal, one friend was even told she was stupid for waiting two weeks past her due date to be induced and that she should have been induced no later than her due date, um right cause nature binds us to a precise 40 week gestation.  Sorry if I'm offending anyone but I hate how scientific many OBs have become, they like labor to follow a precise schedule and order and if it doesn't go that way they run for the OR.  Labor rarely goes perfect cause none of us are perfect, even though those babies are all pretty darn near perfect! Sorry, I really need to stop venting everywhere lately, hormones are out of control!

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#7 of 180 Old 03-31-2011, 11:03 PM
 
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*waves*  Hi!!  This will be my 2nd VBAC :D  I had my last child in the hospital naturally (was only there 30mins before she was born and had a 25hr labor).  Having an HBAC this time! 


Amy Lynn, Loving wife stillheart.gifand mom to 3 sweethearts. Christopher (8/06), Katherine (10/08), and Matthew (09/11).  2 time VBAC Momma and NCB & BFing advocate.

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#8 of 180 Old 04-01-2011, 03:46 PM
 
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Hi all, I will be trying for a VBAC in Sept, 2nd birth.

 

With #1 I had researched, switched providers at 30 weeks to a midwife, had a doula, religiously done Hypnobabies--the works. Baby ended up with IUGR discovered in week 36; an induction was scheduled for 38w5d after my fundal height actually started shrinking....Thankfully I went into labor on my own the day before my induction, but I had a dysfunctional, extremely long labor for which I had to be monitored the whole time (due to baby's compromised status). I'm very grateful that my midwife worked to try everything she knew to help me birth naturally, but it just didn't work. At 36 hours, I finally had gotten to 7.5 cm and felt the urge to push during contrax (MW kept telling me I didn't have to make it to 10 b/c the baby was so tiny) and we thought I'd be done before long. The urge to push dissapated after just a few contrax, though, and the MW rechecked me and found that my cervix was actually closing up. We made the decision at that point to try an epidural, but after baby started going into prolonged decels and had an ever-lowering baseline, we made the decision to go to do a c/s at 44 hours in. Everyone was devastated. Even the random OB who was on call for surgery that night whom I'd never met before was crying, according to DH.

 

DS turned out to be fine, though his blood gases indicated we made the right call in taking him out when we did. The OB went feeling around trying to find out what had caused the problems with my labor since nothing was obvious (like short cord). It turns out my sacral promontory was jutting out at about 90 degrees, making it impossible for the baby to get into the birth canal. She told me I'd never birth vaginally, and the MW agreed with her.

 

I had semi-resigned myself to a RCS, when I emailed the CNM blogger at The Midwife Next Door, and she said she'd had a client with the exact same problem (she had felt the sacral promontory in surgery and everything). She didn't think her client would VBAC successfully, but didn't tell her that, and the lady went on to a successful VBAC the next pregnancy! She also suggested seeking chiropractic care BEFORE I got pregnant to see if they could adjust my sacrum. I had just made my first chiro appt when I unexpectedly fell pregnant! The chiro says my sacrum absolutely is NOT in the same position now as what the OB found during my labor. So I immediately changed plans to VBAC (surprising my MW, but she was supportive of my decision).

 

I am cautiously optimistic about my chances for a VBAC. It's funny--I'm not scared of labor or uterine rupture, but I am really fearful of getting my hopes up for a VB and then having my body not cooperate again. I am more afraid of the emotions of "failing" again than anything else. How do you mamas who have been down this road before deal with that? Did you have a harder time emotionally with your 2nd C or 1st C, Ms. B Sprout?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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#9 of 180 Old 04-01-2011, 04:07 PM - Thread Starter
 
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i had a harder time with my second c-section, mainly because i had done so much research and preparation, i was absolutely convinced i was going to have a vaginal birth.  also, since i made it to the pushing stage, i thought i was out of the woods.  and with the second, i wanted a natural birth so much more than i did the first time, having known what it was like to have a c-section.  however, going into it for the third time, i think i will be okay with however it ends up.  obviously i do NOT want a c-section, but i trust in my body and my knowledge enough this time that if it does come to that i feel i will have done all i could. 


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#10 of 180 Old 04-01-2011, 06:03 PM
 
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I feel very much the same way as Robyn's post above.

 

I set myself up for major disappointment because I so passionately wanted a VBAC last time around, and I did all the right things and still it failed. Of course, for 1st time VBAC moms you do sort of inevitably fall into passionately wanting it (all the research, all the planning, all the mental/emotional/physical preparation), and that's ok. But it can be really rough when it doesn't go the way you want it to.

 

As far as I know, there may not be much way around this phenomenon. Perhaps a 1st time VBAC-er can let go of the passionate desire to VBAC, and still prepare and learn and hire supportive folks and etc. But I think letting go of wanting to control birth is a difficult proposition. I have walked through fire to get to this point. 

 

At ICAN meetings a lot of the 1st timers say the same thing: "Last time I had an awful OB and I didn't know what I was doing. This time, I have hired X as my doula, I am delivering at X great hospital with X supportive OB, and I have read X, X, X, X, & X books." Or the midwifery analog. And they think they will get their VBAC because they have done this work and lined up this support -- they have done all the right things. And a high percentage of them will, and they will (rightly) feel a sense of accomplishment. But a percentage of them won't, for a range of reasons. Are they "failures" if the others are "successes"? I struggle with this. I can't take away the sense of accomplishment from a successful VBAC-er, nor would I ever want to do that, but I struggle with being a failure.

 

And it all boils down to controlling birth. If we think we can control birth, then we have "successes" and "failures." If we think we cannot control birth, then we have lucky folks and unlucky folks. But a mama who has worked her tail off to VBAC is not just lucky. It's not just luck. It is a true accomplishment. So I throw my hands up and just try to be at peace. wink1.gif

 

The good news for all you first-timers is that the odds of succeeding with a 1st-time VBAC are pretty damn high, my experience notwithstanding. Everyone wanting a VBAC (or VBAMC!) has my utmost support and well-wishes. orngbiggrin.gif


coolshine.gif Mama to DS ('06), DD ('08), and DD (9.18.11).

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#11 of 180 Old 04-01-2011, 06:14 PM
 
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Oh, and konayossie, the way I healed was time (the better part of 3 years!) and telling my birth stories in safe places over and over and over again.

 

My feeling about my births have also changed over time, sometimes dramatically. I went through a honeymoon period with both of my sections (even my ridiculous 1st one!) where I felt they were necessary. Then over time the anger set in as I realized just how screwy they both were, albeit in different ways. Once I was not ok with them, I started talking about them to folks who could understand -- so that cut out some natural birthers (who, bless their hearts, sometimes just do not understand c/s stuff) and most mainstream birthers too. That's one of the problems with birth trauma in general is that not a lot of people get it. And it's VERY isolating to be in the failed VBAC club. Almost nobody truly gets it, though thankfully some folks make a tremendous effort to understand. 

Goodness I am rambling on about birth. Can you tell I think about this stuff a lot? lol.gif

 

One more thing -- konayossie, your sacral promontory story is amazing!! The body is a strange and complex thing, huh? I am excited for your newfound VBAC-ing hopes and abilities! winky.gif


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#12 of 180 Old 04-01-2011, 06:43 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Ms. B Sprout--you have a wonderful way with words.  and you are so right that so many people don't understand birth trauma, or the pain and anger of a "failed" VBAC.  i had very few people to talk to about it, and most people give you the whole, "just be grateful for your healthy baby!" spiel.  i mean, of COURSE i'm grateful for my healthy baby, but that doesn't mean i'm not hurt, disappointed, sad, angry, not to mention caring for a new baby after recovering from major abdominal surgery...so many just do not understand.  so if you do have safe places to tell your story, take advantage of that--it really is healing, and hard to come by.


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#13 of 180 Old 04-02-2011, 11:35 AM
 
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Hey everyone!  Feel like I haven't posted on this board in so long...dealing with some of my own birthing issues.  But in the meantime I would love to share my story that I hope has some inspiration in it!

 

#1:  Went into the hospital already 6 cm and quite honestly not in that much pain.  Put in a bed with monitors and an IV and stalled at 7cm.  At midnight given the choice of an epidural to "sleep" and accepted after looking at the tired and worried faces of my husband and mother.  Fast forward to the next morning, pitocin, AROM, and a horrible nurse.  I was pushing by 3pm and in the operating room by 5pm due to "failure to descend."  I won't get into the horrific details of how I was treated by the nurse.  I did not do any research, get a doula, etc.

 

#2:  Repeat c/s because I didn't know any better and of course my OB thought it was a fantastic idea.  I had difficulty bonding with my baby and breastfeeding suffered.

 

#3:  Came to the realization that my first birth was flawed not because of what I did but what I didn't do.  Found a very supportive OB and CNM team, researched a lot, read a lot, physically prepared and got a doula.  Had an amazing vaginal birth in the hospital, intervention and med-free.

 

#4:  Planned for same OB and midwife team, CNM left for another practice, followed her there but that also meant a new hospital with new policies on my monitoring, etc.  Freaked!  And switched to a HB CPM.  I had an awesome homebirth.

 

#5:  Due in September and currently doing my own prenatal care and more than likely my own birth but I figure I have 24 weeks to figure that out (YIKES!) 

 

I'm sorry that some of you failed your VBAC attempt, my heart aches for you.  I wish I had something profound to say that would help you achieve your vaginal birth but it really does sound like you did everything right!  I actually think reading the books for midwives instead of mothers is helpful in making realizations about your own birth and body.  I have learned so much about myself through Ina May "Spiritual Midwifery" and  Linda Davis "Heart and Hands" and that's after I got the vaginal births I wanted.   Hope that helps!  I'll be watching your journey unfold :)


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#14 of 180 Old 04-04-2011, 03:47 PM
 
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Thanks for the wise words, Robyn and Mrs. B Sprout, on how to deal with the possibility of a "failed" VBAC. I completely know what you mean about feeling like no one wants to hear your story or understands the emotional impacts of it (and I haven't even joined that particular club yet). I feel weird enough being a promoter of physiological birth (just taught a college course on it!), and yet I ended up with one of the most interventive labor and births I know. I also feel like I'm in a weirder position than women with more typical c/s stories (those with a knife-happy OB who just couldn't wait on birth to happen, etc.) in that there actually was something physically there blocking the baby's exit, and there's the possibility that I'm going to have the same problem again. I don't know... I think your mantra sounds really good, Mrs. B. Sprout, we can't control birth, we can just control the circumstances around it as best we can.

 

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#15 of 180 Old 04-05-2011, 08:52 PM
 
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Wow I'm amazed at how much I can relate to all these stories in different ways.  konayossie I started seeing a chiropractor to help turn my son, I've seen her ever since and I'm hoping that will help reduce the chances of a RCS.  I also take my son to her, shortly after birth he was extremely fussy, the midwife suggested the chiropractor and I was amazed at the difference it made.  I don't really mean it this way, but I guess I'm "happy" to find others that feel the way I do about a failed natural birth.  While I haven't had a failed VBAC, yet and hopefully won't, I did have many of those feelings about the cs to begin with.  My prenatal instructor did some brief explaining about c-sections, she was a doula, and made it sound very grim, impersonal and made me feel like I was failing by allowing it to happen.  She turned the lights down, had one of the husbands lay on a mat to act out what would happen, she spoke very softly and it felt like a funeral!  During the postpartum period I broke down sobbing a lot because I felt like I'd missed out on something, even more so because I couldn't remember the first 3 hours of my sons life, apparently I tried to nurse him and I don't remember that at all.  I felt like no one understood because friends who had had c-sections didn't seem to feel the same way, and the classic line of "but at least you have a healthy baby" just pissed me off more.  Even worse at one point the OB commented how discreet and small the scar would be, like I cared about the damn scar! 

Anyways, thank you for the stories from those with "failed" VBACs, though I'd hardly call the intense labor you went through to be any sort of failure.  I want more than anything to have a VB this time, but it's definitely in the back of my mind that that may not happen.  I haven't read any books, but I do have my midwives, who brag about their VBAC success rate, and the OB that was very supportive of VBACs.  I'm seeing my chiropractor as often as she recommends.  I will continue to do everything I can to have a VB, but in the end I know it's not going to be in my control.  That terrifies me, I'm quite small and don't take well to anesthetic, the point when they pushed the baby out was excrutiatingly painful, recovery was extremely difficult and more than anything I just want to feel a contraction, a labor pain, anything!  It's nice to have this group though, in case things don't work out my way I'm going to have a lot of venting to do.

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#16 of 180 Old 04-06-2011, 06:55 AM
 
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Thanks for the support, sweet mamas! I am pulling for all of us to get the births we want this time around! orngbiggrin.gif

 

Ok, so what are we all doing to create optimal conditions for birthing? I would love to learn from y'all.

 

I am doing daily walks and Spinningbabies exercises (tailor sitting, pelvic tilts, hamstring stretch, hand through the hole stretch). I am sitting mostly on my birth ball and will be OFF THE COUCH after 20 weeks. lol.gif I am eating well and tracking my food on FitDay to monitor my carb intake. I am borderline GD, plus I don't want to grow a huge baby. Weekly chiro care.

 

I am trying to think of a way to sleep with my belly pointed downward. DH won't like it if I cut a big hole in the mattress. shy.gif

 

I want to hear other folks' plans/activities too!


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#17 of 180 Old 04-06-2011, 01:50 PM
 
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Wow you're way more ambitious than I am, I'm doing chiro but that's about it.  I may try to do more as the baby gets bigger.  I could tell DS was stuck in a breech position at 26 weeks and was no longer turning around.  I'll do what I can around that time period, birthing ball and stuff like that, maybe some swimming, underwater handstands are supposed to be great.  Does anyone know if you can do regular handstands while pregnant?  I'm not sure if I'd still have the balance to hold one for more than a few seconds but I can use a wall if it'll help and if it's safe, as long as no one has a camera!  LOL

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#18 of 180 Old 04-06-2011, 04:01 PM
 
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If I don't succeed this time around, I have to be able to look back and say I did everything I could. So yeah, I'm a little nuts with all this stuff. orngbiggrin.gif

 

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#19 of 180 Old 04-06-2011, 05:31 PM
 
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I relate to so much of what you said here, Smurfy. It's a strange place to be--supporting the idea of natural birth and wanting one so desperately and then not getting it. Lots of my colleagues at work had c/s, so they understand the problems of recuperation, but they totally don't get the emotional baggage of it being the complete opposite of what you wanted. Then my natural birthing friends don't get it since I'm the only one to "fail" at having a baby through my vagina (not that anyone IRL has ever come out and said failure, but I think it's often implied in all the "well, did you try...."). Anyway, yes, I get what you're saying that it's nice to hear from others who are in the same boat and GET IT. I also completely understand about feeling you missed out on an experience you so badly wanted. I know I feel that way about pushing--I don't know what it feels like. I am grateful that at least I got to experience contrax (as strange as those might some who don't care about "the experience"). 

 

As for what I'm doing to prepare this time: just seeing a chiro biweekly right now. I will start doing Hypnobabies in a few weeks. Trying to decide whether to join back in with their yahoo group again or not--that was one place where I felt really let down after my birth went so badly. I remember posting my birth story soon after my son's birth, and I think I got two responses of congratulations and then crickets (not the usual outpouring that accompanied birth stories). Although I suppose that wasn't the right group to hope for help in working through the trauma of a failed natural birth, I was not expecting to be so completely let down, and that was rough...so I'm really debating on whether I want to go back there or not with VBACing baggage now. I will get my birth ball out in a few weeks, I expect. It was the only comfortable way to sit (or hang more like) in the last trimester. My problem wasn't a malpositioned baby, so I guess I'm less worried about all the posture stuff. I am planning a c/s "birth plan" in case I end up there. I want to have delayed cord clamping for my baby even in a c/s and I want skin to skin in the OR, neither of which happened the first time.


 

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Originally Posted by Smurfy View Post
 I don't really mean it this way, but I guess I'm "happy" to find others that feel the way I do about a failed natural birth.  While I haven't had a failed VBAC, yet and hopefully won't, I did have many of those feelings about the cs to begin with.  My prenatal instructor did some brief explaining about c-sections, she was a doula, and made it sound very grim, impersonal and made me feel like I was failing by allowing it to happen.  She turned the lights down, had one of the husbands lay on a mat to act out what would happen, she spoke very softly and it felt like a funeral!  During the postpartum period I broke down sobbing a lot because I felt like I'd missed out on something, even more so because I couldn't remember the first 3 hours of my sons life, apparently I tried to nurse him and I don't remember that at all.  I felt like no one understood because friends who had had c-sections didn't seem to feel the same way, and the classic line of "but at least you have a healthy baby" just pissed me off more.  Even worse at one point the OB commented how discreet and small the scar would be, like I cared about the damn scar! 

Anyways, thank you for the stories from those with "failed" VBACs, though I'd hardly call the intense labor you went through to be any sort of failure.  I want more than anything to have a VB this time, but it's definitely in the back of my mind that that may not happen.  I haven't read any books, but I do have my midwives, who brag about their VBAC success rate, and the OB that was very supportive of VBACs.  I'm seeing my chiropractor as often as she recommends.  I will continue to do everything I can to have a VB, but in the end I know it's not going to be in my control.  That terrifies me, I'm quite small and don't take well to anesthetic, the point when they pushed the baby out was excrutiatingly painful, recovery was extremely difficult and more than anything I just want to feel a contraction, a labor pain, anything!  It's nice to have this group though, in case things don't work out my way I'm going to have a lot of venting to do.



 

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#20 of 180 Old 04-07-2011, 09:51 PM
 
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konayossie I was lucky that way I guess, I had time and opportunity to make some requests to the OB beforehand.  I didn't want my arms strapped down, the thought of that horrified me, and I wanted to hold my baby immediately after, and provided he was healthy I wanted him kept with me.  I got everything I requested, which is why I'm requesting a consult with the same OB, he gave me some choice and control when I felt all of that was being taken away.  One girl in my prenatal class when we were discussing c-sections said that c-section was not an option for her, she wouldn't even consider it.  Here's me sitting there with the very real possibility looming over me and knowing how desperately I didn't want it to happen and I'm thinking, it's not always your choice, no matter how hard you try.  I've always felt that I did everything I could though.  I followed the entire list of suggestions to turn the baby, no matter how wierd they sounded.  I braved two ECV's and wanted to try a third, at one point he had the baby almost sideways and I thought my stomach might rip if he went any further but I refused to say anything out of fear he'd give up.  I know some women that refused to do even one because they've heard they're too painful, well they are but I'd do it again.  The only thing I didn't do was to try a vaginal breech delivery, but at the time the Obstetrics society advised against it so only two OBs in the entire city would do it and had to be on call when I went into labor.  I didn't want further choice to be taken away if that happened so I made the only one I had left.  I was devastated but I know I did everything I could, and that's how I'm going to face this delivery, I will do everything I can and even if I don't get what I want, at least I'll know I tried.  To this day though I can't say "I gave birth" because I don't feel I did, hopefully this time that will change. 

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#21 of 180 Old 04-13-2011, 07:08 PM
 
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Hey VBAC-ers! How is everything going? orngbiggrin.gif


coolshine.gif Mama to DS ('06), DD ('08), and DD (9.18.11).

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#22 of 180 Old 04-13-2011, 08:38 PM
 
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I talked to a friend who had a successful VBAC in Sept, she may have scared me out of the OB consult route but I'll wait to talk over my concerns with my midwife first.  I'm a big believer that women should labor naturally in whatever way they need to to deal with the pain and contractions, but she was saying that for VBACs they give you an epidural, a fetal heart monitor and you're confined to the bed for the rest of the time.  I want the option to move if I feel the need, I want an epidural only if I'm screaming for one, and I don't want it until I'm at least 5cm dialated, and I may want the option to try a water birth.  Guess I have a lot to discuss with my midwife.  I just wish they didn't treat VBACs like such a freak show, the rate for uterine rupture is still extremely low, I understand the increased monitoring but don't confine me flat on my back in bed without the benefit of gravity like it's 1970 all over again. 

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#23 of 180 Old 04-13-2011, 10:12 PM
 
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I'm trying for a VBAC this time, too.

My first birth experience was... difficult. TWo years later, it is still hard for me to think about or talk about without crying. I did everything "right" and still had a c-section. My labor lasted 33 hours, with the first 24 unmedicated. When I finally did get an epidural, it kept wearing off. I dilated to 10cm, pushed for over 3 hours, and my son went from 0 to +1. That's when everyone decided that I needed a c-section. During the surgery, the epidural wore off again, and I could feel everything. The anesthesiologist knocked me out, and I didn't wake up for a couple of hours. My son was born at 3:59pm, and I didn't get to see him until sometime around 9:00pm. That's the short version!

It was mostly bad presentation (posterior) that led to my having a c-section, and a combination of interventions. Maybe if I hadn't let them break my water at 4cm, he would have been able to turn around. Maybe if I had refused EFM, I wouldn't have been stuck in bed and could have gotten us both in a better position. I've been going through this for 2 years!

I posted about this in the VBAC forum a while ago, but when I was pregnant with my son, I had a dream that I was in the hospital in labor, and I was strapped down to a bed, hooked up to IVs, they took my baby out, and I was left all alone. I was so determined not to let that happen, but it's exactly what happened.

I had another dream, only a few weeks into this pregnancy, that I was standing in my living room, leaning on my husband, and the baby just slid right out. I could see my midwife walking up to our door through the window- she had just missed the birth!

I'm still nervous about having a VBAC and a homebirth on top of that. I had some cervical damage during the c-section. Basically, my cervix was almost cut in half. The operating report lists a 5cm extension of the uterine incision on one side of the cervix, and a 4cm extension on the other side. My midwife does not seem concerned about it. She said that she has experienced this before, and evening primrose oil usually does the trick. So, I'm trying not to let it worry me too much.

I'm doing a lot of things differently this time. With my son, the initial bloodwork at the hospital showed that my iron was dangerously low. After the c-section, I was so anemic that I almost needed a transfusion. I'm keeping a close watch on my iron this time. Also, my son was a winter baby, so I was not very active during pregnancy. This time, I'll be pregnant all miserably hot summer long! But at least I'll be able to get outside and be active. I'm also drinking RRL tea.

I'm worried about how I'll handle it if I have to transfer or have another c-section. I was so disappointed and upset and angry and depressed and traumatized about my son's birth. I just don't know if I can go through that again.

Whew... that was a lot to get out!www

 


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#24 of 180 Old 04-14-2011, 10:04 AM
 
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Big hugs, bignerpie! hug2.gif You have really been through the birth wringer. Birth stories like your remind me of this post from the VBAC forum that has really stuck with me, from an MDC-er named jen6:

 

 

Quote:
I guess the best analogy I can come up with that has worked for me is swimming the English Channel. Some people who swim get sunny skies and calm waters, others get the storm of the century and a leg cramp at the worst possible time. So who "tried" harder? The swimmer who gets the storm gets to talk about it proudly, gets applauded for overcoming the challenge, doesn't feel shame, etc. I find the emergency c-sections judgments horrific. No one wants to hear my birth story. Another bad analogy----going to war. Some people get thrown into the Normandy landing, some people get to march into Paris during liberation. Same purpose, totally different experience to deal with. . . .  And you know what, I would do it again, only this time I would know more and be able to make even more informed decisions. THAT'S YOU! You know so much more this time, and you will try as hard, and do fabulously. JUST LIKE YOU DID LAST TIME! You survived and thrived and are willing to face the challenges to have a third child. I hope you will be swimming on a sunny day, : )! You can do it!

 

I just LOVE that quote. She was writing it to me -- I also had a terrible malposition labor similar in some ways to yours -- but now I am sending it your way. love.gif

 

 


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#25 of 180 Old 04-14-2011, 04:05 PM - Thread Starter
 
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*hugs* bignerpie.  birth trauma is so hard to overcome.  it's hard to get through all the "why's" and "what if's", i've done it (and still do) for both of my c-sections.  it's hard even when you are fully informed and do everything "right"...and in the heat of the moment, after many hours of labour, being pressured by doctors, it can be hard to make all the "right" choices.  and even if you do, things can still go wrong.  that's a hard pill for me to swallow. 

 

i also felt everything during my second c-section when the epidural was wearing off.  when they finally listened to me (they didn't believe me at first,) i told them explicitly that i did NOT want to be knocked out.  at the very least i wanted to be conscious for the birth of my baby.  they gave me fentanyl, and while i guess i was technically "conscious", i was so messed up that i didn't even realize where i was or what was happening, or that i was even having a baby. 

 

i hope you can have the birth of your dreams this time.  you deserve it, you've been through a lot.


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#26 of 180 Old 04-17-2011, 09:16 AM
 
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Big hugs to those in need... it's been 6 years since my c/s and I still sometimes play the "what if" game.  And after 6 years of listening to and sharing birth stories through ICAN it seems like "what if" and "I did everything right but..." are the two things that haunt mamas most.  It sucks.

 

In my case, I was being attended by a wonderful family practice dr.  There was no pressure at all, I went into labor on my own at 42+ weeks (my water broke but contractions didn't start for another 12 hours or so and still there was no pressure from the doctor), I labored/belly danced with my partner and a doula at home, arrived at the hospital at 5cm and labored in the birth pool, on the birth ball, in the halls, on the stairs, in the rocking chair, etc.  But it was back labor all the way, and after roughly 32 hours (19 of those hours at 7cm despite the gods be damned double peaked tidal wave contractions) I had a c/s.  Looking back, there were lots of moments where the story could have gone a different way.  I walked a LOT after my water broke to try and get things going... maybe walking wedged dd1 the wrong way into my pelvis?  Maybe if we'd realized that dd1 was posterior and asynclitic sooner I could have done something differently, or I could have opted for a c/s before I'd reached and gone past the point of exhaustion?  Maybe if I'd been more careful with my diet she would have been smaller and would have had more room to squirm around or if she wasn't my first or if I'd been more aware of fetal positioning during the second/third trimesters?  All the maybes and what ifs.  And with hindsight I know (at least with my head) that so much of that was simply stuff that was outside my (or anyone's) control.

 

I gestate long... dd1 was 42+ weeks, dd2 was 40+ weeks, ds was 42 weeks.  And I grow big babies... with dd1 I gained over 70lbs and she was 9lbs6oz, with dd2 I gained around 45lbs and she was 9lbs even, then ds I gained about 35lbs and he was 9lbs8oz.  And I know plenty of moms who stopped walking when their water broke and ended up with c/s, and plenty of moms who didn't.  I know moms who pushed out posterior babes and moms who didn't.  I know moms who lay flat on their backs and had beautiful births and moms who were active and had c/s.  So much is just the random shift of the moment.  Not that that really helps at 2am when my brain shuts off and my guts take over the game.  But still.

 

Anyway, I've had two hospital VBACs and am planning a third.  It's true that some care providers and some hospitals go a bit overboard with VBAC moms.  It's worth looking around, talking with a local ICAN group maybe, and figuring out what areas are most importnat to you and which ones you can let go.  I know mamas who have driven 3 hours to the only out of hospital midwife willing to take vbac mamas and I know mamas who have gone in pushing and invoked EMTALA.  I'm not comfortable at either extreme, but I did shop around and am willing to drive 45 minutes to a hospital that offers midwife attended VBACs.  It's not my dream birth scenario, but it's ok.  I agree to the heplock and intermittent monitoring and they agree to let me use the birth pool and push in whatever position I like.  There is a 41 week limit that bugs me, but they have good VBAC stats and while they think natural childbirth is a big odd they're willing to keep the meds out of the room and they're polite to my doula. 

 

There was "game" I played at my doula training that addressed birth plans and preferences... there were lots of birth preferences written on index cards (like epidural on one side and no epidural on the other).  You'd go through and select all the preferences you wanted.  Then the leader informed everyone that they could only "keep" ten of those preference cards.  And after everyone had finally managed to narrow it down to ten the leader walked around and randomly "took" one card from each person, leaving you with nine.  The point was to start a discussion about what was an absolute need... what a mama HAD to have in order to feel like the birth had been a success while also pointing out that life is random and so bringing up wyas to help a mom who didn't achieve everything on her list of needs (let alone on the list of wants).  It's a harsh little game but one I've found really helpful in terms of planning my own VBACs.  With my first pregnancy and birth I just assumed that everything was going to go fine... I did everything 'right", I had the right provider and the right doula and the right birth classes and the right prenatal yoga and the right hospital and the right mindset and a family history of quick easy births.  So when it didn't go "right" I had that double whammy effect.  With my VBACs I wanted to feel like I'd done everything in my power to have a good birth no matter how that birth eventually played out.  So my birth plan included c/s preferences and preferences for situations other than the "ideal easy vaginal birth".  And I realized that I was ok with certain interventions (heplock, intermittent monitoring, laboring in the tub but pushing on dry land) but not others (constant monitoring, arbitrary gestational limits, augmentation or any induction other than foley cath/AROM, etc).  And I realized I didn't really like my one option for attended homebirth and so with ds's birth I switched to a hospital based midwife practice fairly late in the pregnancy and then didn't look back.

 

Anyway, I'm rambling, but maybe doing a birth plan/preference game will help in terms of VBAC planning and deciding where to fight and what you can let slide.  For each person and in each pregnancy that balance will be different and it's easy to let outside pressures push you one way or the other... but in the end you're the one who will be playing the "what if" game at 3am.


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#27 of 180 Old 04-17-2011, 09:05 PM
 
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wombatclay thank you so much for sharing that, I think that's kind of the stance I've taken.  I'm in Canada and the hospitals here basically allow midwives to take control of the birth, they're using the facility, the OB on-call will check in but that's about it, if I don't want an OB I don't have to have one.  I've been given the option to consult with one beforehand though, which is where I'm torn.  If something were to happen that would require an OB to step in I would prefer it be the one who did my c/s, but I don't want that to limit my options.  I like your preferences, I'm ok with a heplock, I'm ok with intermittent monitoring, I just want to be able to labor and push in whatever way I find most comfortable, not be limited to lying in a bed on my back only.  So my next midwife appointment I plan to discuss all of this and see what my chances are that the OB would be ok with that or if I'd be better off keeping an OB out of it unless it was an emergency situation.  I like the game idea, that was a way better way to discuss unplanned birthing scenarios than what our prenatal class did, she had us paint a picture, half way through we had to put a black line through it, and that was to teach us to deal with a change in plans and the disappointment, I get it, but I'm not 6, I don't need the analogy of picture.  Plus the game gets you thinking about what's important to you personally and what's maybe not so important.

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#28 of 180 Old 04-18-2011, 06:54 AM
 
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I have to warn you that the game can be pretty emotional.  This was part of a DONA doula training program and none of us were actually pregnant and even so two of us ended up in tears.  Come to think of it, the crying was done my myself and the one other doula-to-be who had had a cesarean so I'm sure that had something to do with it.  But it really is a good tool for provoking thought and getting to the real core of what "makes" a good birth.

 

I was at a VBAC birth class (led by the OB who attended my first VBAC actually) and she asked the group to call out all the things they wanted/needed in their VBAC birth BUT you had to use positive language.  That was actually really difficult. I didn't think it would be so hard, but just switching things from "I don't want...." to "I want..." proved to be really tough.  But what was really interesting was that we then went through the list as a group and realized that there were ways to get a lot of those "things" even in a cesarean birth.  You just had to KNOW that those were things you needed.... like "I want to hold my baby all gooey and messy and smelly and wonderful" is totally do-able but you need to know you want that BEFORE the birth since otherwise you'll be handed a clean little blanket wrapped babe (and knowing L&D nurses, many have said they scrub the c/s babies up and have them ready to go as a way of trying to make c/s mamas feel better... not realizing that many c/s mamas look back on having missed out on the messy baby moment with a lot of regret).  So again, there's another "game" to help in birth planning. 


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#29 of 180 Old 04-19-2011, 01:38 PM
 
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Thanks for your thoughtful post, wombatclay. flowersforyou.gif


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#30 of 180 Old 04-21-2011, 07:26 AM
 
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I was glued to the computer all morning... The Feminist Breeder (http://thefeministbreeder.com/tfbs-live-homebirth-blog-event/) had her baby this morning! I've been following her pregnancy, and she just had an HBAC. This was her second VBAC, first at home. It was very inspirational to watch it unfold this morning, and it couldn't have come at a better time for me. I've been going through a minor freak-out lately, and it was pretty awesome to see a successful HBAC today.


ribboncesarean.gif 2/4/2009.  hbac.gif 9/6/2011!

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