Preparing for a VBAC - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 9 Old 07-16-2011, 05:37 AM - Thread Starter
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Let's use this for VBAC support...wishes, hopes, dreams, past experiences, what you're doing to prepare....

Birthed a beautiful baby boy, Ethan, 11/11/09.
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#2 of 9 Old 07-16-2011, 05:46 AM - Thread Starter
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So here's my story.  Last pregnancy was my first.  It went really well and baby seemed positioned well.


I KNEW he turned about a week before I went into labor, and sure enough, he was sunny-side-up (posterior?  can't remember the technical term) going into labor.


Still, I was committed to doing things as natural as possible, with openness to pain meds as needed.


After 9 hours of contractions every two minutes, I couldn't relax.  I just kept feeling more and more tense and could not sit or lie down at ALL.  So I asked for an epidural.  Bliss ensued and I dilated the final 6 cm in about 2 hours vs. the 9 hours only getting me 4 cm.


I pushed for three hours with the support of my midwife before she finally asked if I was tired.  She noticed my baby wasn't moving down anymore after the first hour or so.  She brought in the OB on call and she watched me push.  She said I wasn't doing anything "wrong," there was just no progress happening anymore and she wanted to do a c-section.


The room flooded with people and I had an "emergency" c-section, which dashed my dreams big time. (His arm was raised over his head, stopping his progress in the birth canal.)  I didn't get to hold my baby until what felt like (and, actually, probably WAS) hours later (maybe one hour?).  I didn't get to wash him.  I didn't get to see what was happening to him.  I was so drugged and drowsy I could barely bring him to my breast when the nurse said I should try to breastfeed him.


It was awful and I REALLY REALLY REALLY want a natural VBAC this time if possible.  I am hiring a doula, which I did not have last time.  I am looking for a VBAC friendly doctor to follow this pregnancy, and I canNOT find one that my insurance will pay for, which is super frustrating.  I am planning on using chiropractic and/or acupuncture as needed throughout and especially at the end of pregnancy.  I am thinking about actually being SERIOUS about hypnobirthing this time; I love guided imagery and such and think it might help with relaxation.


What else to prepare for a VBAC?  Anyone here had a successful one?  I have a high school classmate who just had a very triumphant VBAC, but her doctor is not covered by my insurance.  I'm almost tempted to pay out of pocket, but that has to be $$$$$$$!!!!  ? 

Birthed a beautiful baby boy, Ethan, 11/11/09.
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#3 of 9 Old 07-16-2011, 08:21 AM
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This is my first baby, so I don't have any useful advice.  I just wanted to post to say good luck, I hope you get your VBAC.  I was born by C-sec, and my Mom had a successful VBAC with my younger sister. 

Mommy to  N baby.gif, born 2/20/12.

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#4 of 9 Old 07-16-2011, 10:19 AM
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I had a rush,unplanned c-section with my first (he was premature and flipped breech during labor). 


With my second, I was really lucky to have a VBAC-friendly doctor.  I don't think it's something that he's "known" for, but I talked to him about it starting with my very first appointment and he was totally ok with it.  He told me about the risks, made me sign a waiver, and we talked about how I needed to avoid being induced in any way since that can increase the risk of rupture.  My OB wasn't there for the birth, but the hospital was aware of my plans (and made me sign the waiver again) and I had a wonderful successful VBAC joy.gifThe only thing that they insisted on was constant (external) fetal monitoring during labor, which I was ok with.  Of course, the labor progressed very normally so I don't know what would have happened if anything had come up (in other words, I don't know how quickly they would have tried to talk me into another section).


With my second pregnancy I just knew that there wasn't any reason why I "needed" another section, so I was very calm and basically just told people that I was going to have a VBAC (despite the fact that when I had my initial appt with the CNM at the clinic she looked very disapprovingly at me and told me that the high risk doctors would have to discuss whether they would "allow" it).


Good luck to you!

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#5 of 9 Old 07-16-2011, 10:40 PM
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I had a c-section with my boys. Both were breach feet first (i guess if they are butt first they will sometimes try anyways) I really wanted to go natural but they said it was WAY to risky. I got up to 4cm and they had to give me meds to stop contractions while waiting for a true emergency c-sec to finish up. At my first check up after (6 weeks) My Dr said that I was a great candidate for a VBAC so I'm hoping she was right. 


In a perfect world I will get my drug free VBAC but I have to keep in mind the chances of multiples again or a gigantic baby (I was 11lbs)


I hope we all get our VBACs!

twin boys born 11/28/08, pregnant with #3 due 3/13/12

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#6 of 9 Old 07-17-2011, 12:23 AM
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I'd like to have a VBAC this time, but it depends on how I'm feeling at that time. I have a condition that causes my voluntary muscles to spasm so much that they'll get stuck and be rock hard. Generally it affects my neck and back, and sometimes it makes it hard to walk. There's about a 50/50 chance that I will get at least partial remission. If so, I'd really like to go for a vaginal birth. I'm working on prenatal yoga to stretch myself out and gain strength when I can.

On similar note, I was talking with my chiropractor, and she has had several friends use the same OB that I have. She said that the OB is very supportive of a trial of labor in cases such as twins. She'd prefer you to go into labor naturally if possible. I need to ask about that at my first "official" appointment. Even if I can't do the VBAC because of a flare-up, I would like to get the hormones going by starting labor naturally. Crossing my fingers that I can have a natural birth!

Last time, I accepted the c-section for several reasons. I was physically exhausted from having non-stop Braxton Hicks from around 27 weeks on. Around 29 weeks, the muscle just below my breast tore because of my expanding belly and muscle condition. That was a very sharp pain that made breathing and any physical activity uncomfortable. I was measuring 3 weeks too big, and they sent me for an u/s. The tech was very concerned and asked that I wait in the lobby while they called my doctor. I was asked to head over to L&D at the hospital for another u/s and check up. Turns out the original tech thought she saw low fluid. My baby's weight was estimated at 10.9 lbs at 38w5d. She was also sunny side up. I was offered to be induced or have the c-section when I reached 39 weeks. I ended up with a 9.9lb, 20 inch baby. What a chunky monkey she was! I am willing to bet that with a good midwife, I probably could have delivered vaginally. With the doctor, I had no chance without interventions and an eventual section. (I have since left that practice for a much better one.)

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#7 of 9 Old 07-17-2011, 04:04 AM
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I'm with you all. I had a terrible OB who was wholly unsupportive of my desire to have a drug free birth from the beginning, but I waddled into the hospital with my birth plan nonetheless. But then my son wouldn't drop, I was having painful and irregular contractions, and all it took was the doc (who was going on vacation the next day) saying "tell me again why you're refusing drugs..." in the middle of a screaming contraction for me to cave. Combined spinal, then pitocin, then a fever spike, and I was rushed into the OR before I knew what was happening. Because of the fever (which was a result of the pitocin, not an infection btw) they swept my son away for antibiotics before I could even really get a look at him, and I remember just lying in recovery all alone (dh went with him so he'd have one of us) knowing nothing except that I wasn't pregnant anymore.

I still cry when I think about it. And I feel really strongly that no matter the outcome of labor for me this time, I plan to deliver on my own terms. I've found a practice that I think will be more supportive, I'm investing in a doula no matter what, and I'm committing to my own convictions.

Hoping for VBACs for all of you too!
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#8 of 9 Old 07-17-2011, 07:52 AM
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I'm a Doula and VBACs are one of my favorite things ever. I suggest chiropractic (the non-crunching type) the last several months as well as really good nutrition, supportive environment (ie. Stop any and all 'horror' stories or negative birth stories), an EXCELLENT birth provider and a Doula. If you have and do those things, you set yourself up for success and then your little other half is set up to do theirs. smile.gif I think there are a few good books (The VBAC Companion is one) with positive stories. The hardest part of any VBAC birth is jumping past the moment of c/s from before... which if that is after you pushed a while, can mean you might benefit from positive visualization or meditation. Usually once you pass the time the last decision was made, it's not as much of a mental game. But VBAC moms deserve a little extra acknowledgment for the road they travel prior to birth... it isn't all easy. If there is an ICAN group that meets in your area, look into that too, they likely know good and bad providers (some say they will support VBAC but change their tune at 36w when you are less likely to be willing to search out someone new all of a sudden. Good luck and huge blessings!!!

Mama to 5 amazing little people, and a surrogate mama to another.
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#9 of 9 Old 07-17-2011, 09:35 PM
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Im just jumping into this post. I had a necessary emergency c/s due to my baby flipping transverse during active labor and his cord presenting. I'm not necessarily traumatized by the c/s... It was necessary as we could not move him. He was almost 10 lbs anyway.

In any event, I am awaiting my medical records to see if I had a T incision or not. The doc who assisted at my surgery thinks I did so if that's the case vbac may just not be an option. I'm not going to hold my breath on this one, just think positively and see how it goes. If I ended up with a repeat section I would hope for an easier recovery at least!

Mom of 7, ages 13, 12, 9, 7, 5, 4, and 2.5!
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