how did you decide if vbacing was right for you? - Mothering Forums

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Old 03-16-2010, 02:17 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Long story short, I'm trying to decide what I want to do when I become pregnant with my next child. I had a c section with my dd, and I'm not entirely sure it was necessary. But I'm also not entirely sure that it wasn't. I'm basically just researching all of my options at this point-ucing, finding a midwife, finding a vbac friendly doctor, talking to my past obgyn about care again (I rather enjoyed his care during my pregnancy but I worry that the hospital he works at likes to lean toward repeat c sections.) I'd really like to hear from women that are having a vbac or are attempting a vbac what made you feel sure this was the road for you.
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Old 03-16-2010, 02:33 AM
 
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For me, the decision was easy: DD was a scheduled breech c/s. No labor, straight to the OR. Since there was no "real" reason for her to have been a c/s, there is no reason for this one to be a c/s. I am delivering w/ an in-hospital group of vbac-friendly midiwives & my back-up OB is comfortable delivering a vag breech, if that happens. If you are already a vbac, I don't seen the midwives or dr's giving you a hard time at all if, during labor, you decide you want another c/s. Or, if you end up needing one, you know that you tried to avoid one. Good luck on your quest!!!!!

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Old 03-16-2010, 02:42 AM
 
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It's hard for me to give just one reason, there are so many. To name a few I felt like the drugs given during the c/s really made things tougher for DD and myself. I also can't imagine trying to care for two kids while recovering from a c/s. There is an increased risk of respiratory issues for babies born via c/s.
For me though, the hardest thing was not being able to hold DD after birth. I know I want to be with my baby right away. That's the real deal breaker for me.

Becky- Wife to DH, Mama to "Nani" (July '08) "Coco" (July '10) and expecting one very wiggly baby boy in May 2013!

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Old 03-16-2010, 02:49 AM
 
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I will be reading along. I am 28 weeks and wrestling with tis decision myself. I went into labor naturally, stalled at 7-8 cm for 10 hours. With meconium and decels was sent or a c-section after 46 hrs of labor. NOT the birth I wanted but they gave DS to me right after the 5 minute apgar and then never took him away. he was on my chest as they wheeled me to recovery. Recovery was easy, no pain, no complicatons for DS or me. Now I am struggling, what is the right decision? What's best for me and this baby? I have more research to do. The midwife practice, back-up OBs and hospital are all VBAC friendly. Their stats show slightly higher risk for babe with the VBAC, slightly higher risk for mom with the repeat C. Both are very small risks to start with. The particular risk they are looking at is maternal or fetal death. I really don't know what to do.
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Old 03-16-2010, 02:55 AM
 
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Overall I wanted a birth experience with DS 2 that was completely polar opposite from what I had with DS 1. DS 1 was a very medicalized birth that ended in CS. In the end a CS would have been needed anyway, but the decision wasn't really ever presented to me as a choice. When I started drafting a birth plan for DS 2 I did a good bit of research and asked a lot of questions and decided that I at least wanted to try a VBAC. If it didn't work then it didn't work but I wanted the right to try. Fortunately I ended up with a really great midwife who was ubersupportive and I got to have my VBAC in the hospital and pretty much had everything go the way I wanted to with just a few small compromises. So basically the short answer is...I did it because I wanted to. And my mother and sister told me over and over again for years how I would never be able to handle "real" childbirth and I really really really wanted to prove them wrong.

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Old 03-16-2010, 02:59 AM
 
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I felt like my c/s was due to a cascade of interventions. I got to 10cm, pushed for 2 hours, but DS never dropped down low enough to actually push out. I started with an induction, agreed to having my water broken (well, honestly, I just did whatever the OB said), and I pushed for 2 hours and thought my time was up....because that's what i was basically told.

I knew that this was NOT what my body intended, so I knew that if I let my body do it's thing, everyone would be must happier. I knew that my body knew what to do, I was just impatient and uneducated at the time about what was right, best, and natural. So, I found a VBAC friendly doctor, educated myself a lot, found a lot of support, did a lot of reading and mental preperation.

I knew that it was the right choice for me because I wanted more children, and I knew that the benefits far outweighed the risks when it came down to attempting a VBAC vs 2, 3, or 4 MORE c/s's!

I also knew that I personally did feel like I missed out on something vaginally birthing a baby. Not to say that everyone feels that way, and obviously I only feel that way because I was not an emergency....but I wanted to get that sense of satisfaction and pride that i felt like I was missing!

Oh, and like previously mentioned one of the things I HATED, HATED, HATED about a c/s was the fact that my baby went to the nursery, while I went to recovery. I sat alone, while all of my family could go watch my child have a bath, get his hair brushed, have a bottle (grrrrrrrrrrr, NOT happy about that one since my DH even said NO BOTTLE, NO BOTTLE, she wants to breast feed!!!)

Me (30), DH (31), DS (3.5 yrs - 5/07), DD (1.5 yr - 2/09) via VBAC!!! DS (newborn - 11/10) via natural VBAC! 2 angel babies - 06/06 & 04/08
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Old 03-16-2010, 04:08 AM
 
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I think like most of the mom's out there, a c-section was never on my radar. I was transferred from my midwife to an OB during my pregnancy due to extreme weight loss from hyperemesis gravidarum. I had an urgent c-section at 39 weeks do to cord entanglement (twice around the neck & once around the chest with ds in a transverse position.) Since I never went into labor, there was no doubt in my mind that I wanted to do a vbac. Due to another pregnancy with HG, I kept my OB who is very VBAC friendly, but had the caveat that I could not go post dates. I ended up with another c-section, but I am OK with it now. We are done having babies, so I did not have to worry about VBA2C. If I had wanted more children, I would have probably been more disappointed.

Wife to M , Mommy to DS aka Captain Obvious  (06/06) and DD aka Lissalot  (03/09, anoxic brain injury)
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Old 03-16-2010, 04:16 AM - Thread Starter
 
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thanks. I'm going to be reading more of this thread. It's so hard to know whether my c section was a positive thing or not. On one hand, I was induced. I did not want to, but I felt pressured by the hospital and my husband wasn't supportive of not getting the induction either (I think he was just very afraid and now he's supportive of other options). I never went into true labor, despite pitocin to the max and having my water broken. A part of me says that dd just wasn't ready to come out. And yet. During my c section they found out my daughter was facing wrong, had her cord around her neck, and my pelvis is misshapen. I know none of these things necessarily mean the worst would have happened, though. But my mom had the same issues with her pelvis and she hemorraghed and had an awful, awful experience delivering me.

I've heard many conflicting things about the hospital itself as well.

I don't want to have more than two more children at the most, at least not biologically. I don't think I could emotionally handle it. My husband and I have decided (at least for now) to stop at one more and if we later feel the call to down the road to foster/adopt. So I guess that factors into a reason that some people want a vbac that doesn't apply to me.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not saying I DON"T want to vbac, or that anyone who does want to is wrong. I"m just still pretty undecided about what direction I should try to go for.
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Old 03-16-2010, 10:14 AM
 
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I'm just over 13 weeks, so I'm still pretty early in my pregnancy. After I became pregnant, VBAC wasn't really on my mind. Then I started reading. And reading. Books that I would have probably viewed as propaganda with my previous pregnancy, I identified with. I realized that I had been a victim of a medical system that failed me, and of my own lack of knowledge and faith in my own body. I've since hired a wonderful doula, found a great midwife practice with great VBAC experience, found a more VBAC-friendly hospital and am strongly leaning towards a med-free labor. Instead of taking another "this is what an epidural is and it is wonderful" class, I will be taking a Bradley or hypnobirthing class this time.

Some basic reasons for VBAC instead of a repeat C-section:
- Avoiding major abdominal surgery.
- It is far easier to get a VBAC vs. a VBA2C or more. Chances of complications increase with the number of C-sections that you get.
- Recovery is much easier with VB than with a C.
- Bonding with baby and breastfeeding will be easier after a VB.
- Chances of complications with you and your baby are higher with a C-section than with a VB.

Knowledge is power Only you know what is best for you, but you definitely owe it to yourself to explore all of your options.
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Old 03-16-2010, 11:30 AM
 
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For me it largely came down to the fact that we're orthodox Roman Catholic and would like a large family. Having 5+ c/s gets pretty unsafe. My first two were c/s and then I had a hospita vba2c. Honestly, if I knew dd3 was going to be my last (ie one of us would have been sterilized after her birth) I would have had the repeat c/s.
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Old 03-16-2010, 01:11 PM
 
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For me, we were planning a Birthing center birth with our first, and ended up transferring after 27 hrs and limited dilation (from 4-6cm) and had a c/s due to him being asynclitic, when their head isn't fully on the cervix, kinda tilted, and usually ends up with c/s if you don't have an experienced MW who can recognize this and turn the baby, which we didn't. The hospital experience was horrible. I come from a back ground of sexual abuse, and see how some women relate being raped to their hospital experience. When we went in, the nurse and the OB tore the inside of my vaginal walls with their exams, my hips came off the table! It was terrible. The nurses were rude, insensitive, pushy, and constantly looked down on us like we were irresponsible parents who didn't know what we were doing.

I had a bad reaction to the epidural,and itched like crazy, and shook like crazy on the operating table. It was weeks and weeks till I recovered physically, and over a year emotionally, and that was with 6 mo of crazy meds, and 6 months of counseling. I struggled with believing baby was mine for a good amount of time.

We couldn't BF due to lack of support at hospital, and the blood loss with c/s. And that was even more traumatic.

All and all, the hospitals here are not pro-vbac, so even if I wanted to "try" for a VBAC in hospital, I'm about 99% sure I'd end up with another c/s. So we are HBACing in Sept.

I believe the safest way for a baby to be born is vaginally, as our bodies and the baby was meant to be born. Whenever this is possible (like without life threatening pre-e, GD, etc) one should birth normally. A prior CS, is not a contraindication for vaginal birth. I believe babies and moms need to go through those body changes in order to have the best start.

VBAC is MUCH MUCH safer for mom, and MAYBE slightly riskier for baby, if you have an induction, augmentation, or very medicalized birth. I'm not, and I see it safer for both of us.

Go to an ICAN meeting for more info. You don't have to commit to anything, but it's a great place to get knowledge from those experienced in this topic.
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Old 03-16-2010, 01:17 PM
 
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I knew that unless I had a medical reason for a c-section, that a vaginal birth was better for me and the baby. I really never considered a repeat c-section b/c I didn't have a medical reason to do so.

I recently changed my username, but I still say "Hello" to all those who know me in real life! Hi P, S, T and K!
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Old 03-17-2010, 05:53 AM - Thread Starter
 
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thanks ladies. I'm just processing more and more thoughts and emotions now that I'm thinking of ttc again. One thing I've realized after many different stories is how lucky I really was with the ob and hospital I went to. I'm still not entirely sure what happened with my c section and I don't know that I ever will be. BUT I can say for sure that I was never treated disrespectfully by any staff member, nurse, or doctor at my hospital. I didn't care for a few nurses bedside manner, but I feel like I had my medical questions answered, etc.

I also feel like I have lost some of my birthing confidence, though. I was worried about what birth would be like before I got pregnant with my first child. My mother had such a rough experience, and I grew up knowing that. (Of course to be fair, she had pretty horrible medical care too.) When I was pregnant, though, I felt pretty confident that I would be fine and could birth fine-and then I was overdue, and then I was induced, and then the c section happened. I chalked that up to the cascade of interventions, and I told myself I was for sure going for a vbac next time. Then I thought more. Well, dd DID have a two vessel cord. Her heart rate WAS getting irratic. I never did progress whatsoever even with pitocin and having my water broken (never went 3cm), my pelvis IS apparently misshapen like my mother's, and dd's cord was around her neck. Now I know that all of that still doesn't necessarily mean I truly needed a c section, but it puts things into a different light for me. And my mother, with her misshapen pelvis, was told to have a c section-her childhood doctor (who wasn't an ob) even wrote the clinic she went to and told them this. She hemorraghed, she flatlined, she was anemic for a long time after my birth, and had an awful recovery. She did have my sister vaginally, but they let her go four weeks overdue and she had a long labor that wasn't disturbed (not even the midwives here let you go overdue that long, and I'm not sure how they feel about a stalling labor).
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Old 03-17-2010, 07:56 PM
 
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How did I decide I want to VBAC? I had been wanting a natural birth, so when it came down to c-section, I told the doctors before we even went into surgery, "Stitch me up good, I want to VBAC." I've never wavered in my desire. I HATED the c-section, knowing I was being cut but not feeling it (not that I wanted to feel it). Hated the anesthesiologist reporting to the team that I was handling the drugs well (and what if I don't????). Hated the recovery, drugs, being in a fog the first week of my son's life. Plus, now I have a 2 year old who likes to sit on my belly--not comfy with a vaginal birth, but could be dangerous with a wound. AND we want more than the two kids, so I don't want to deal with increased risks in future pregnancies. It's priority for me, and I made it #1 in finding a health care provider.
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Old 03-17-2010, 08:52 PM
 
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Originally Posted by happyhats View Post

I also feel like I have lost some of my birthing confidence, though. I was worried about what birth would be like before I got pregnant with my first child. My mother had such a rough experience, and I grew up knowing that. (Of course to be fair, she had pretty horrible medical care too.) When I was pregnant, though, I felt pretty confident that I would be fine and could birth fine-and then I was overdue, and then I was induced, and then the c section happened. I chalked that up to the cascade of interventions, and I told myself I was for sure going for a vbac next time. Then I thought more. Well, dd DID have a two vessel cord. Her heart rate WAS getting irratic. I never did progress whatsoever even with pitocin and having my water broken (never went 3cm), my pelvis IS apparently misshapen like my mother's, and dd's cord was around her neck. Now I know that all of that still doesn't necessarily mean I truly needed a c section, but it puts things into a different light for me. And my mother, with her misshapen pelvis, was told to have a c section-her childhood doctor (who wasn't an ob) even wrote the clinic she went to and told them this. She hemorraghed, she flatlined, she was anemic for a long time after my birth, and had an awful recovery. She did have my sister vaginally, but they let her go four weeks overdue and she had a long labor that wasn't disturbed (not even the midwives here let you go overdue that long, and I'm not sure how they feel about a stalling labor).
I can relate to this SO much. My mom was a nurse and with her first baby, she wanted a natural birth, she labored hours and hours in hospital, and had a cs because heart rate started to drop. She did have some oxytocin augmentation, so that fan be coughed up to the heart rate problem. But, her OB and her second OB with her second pregnancy said that her pelvis was tilted weird and if she had a 7lb baby she could birth vaginally, all of us were over 8lb. She couldn't vbac, and was very discouraged.

With my son, we labored and labored and BC (as you can see from original reply i posted) and had to have a cs. I have no idea what my pelvis looks like, I didn't have the x-rays like she did. My son was 9.5lb. So small babies may not happen for me. I went through a really hard time with trusting I didn't have a faulty body. What really helped was when I read Ina May Gaskin's Guide to childbirth and she talked about how if you put one hand on your pubic bone and the other on your tail bone and move from one birthing position to the other, you can see how much your pelvis expands, like from laying on back to hands and knees. Then find the isacial points (the points right next to your tail bone) and move from side laying with leg up, laying on back, hands and knees, squatting, etc and you will be amazed how much your pelvis can open in "non-traditional" birthing positions.

I doubt I have my mom's pelvis, and I still doubt that she had a "faulty" pelvis in the first place. The only way you know, is to birth. I do know that if you talk to a MW with your vbac pregnancy, they can give you some tips on how they would handle the situation you went through before and that gives you confidence.

Much Love!
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Old 03-17-2010, 10:04 PM
 
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I was never one of those girls who wanted to "experience" birth. I was all about the epidural, inductions, all that. Mostly I wanted it to happen as soon as possible and as painless as possible. I just wanted to have my baby.
I had a picture perfect pregnancy, but I went a week over due. My doctor suggested induction, which I was excited about, so I said yes. Then I wasn't progressing enough, so they broke my water. Then I got an epidural. Then they gave me pitocin and that made my daughter's heartrate drop. That scared them so they said c-section for me. If I knew then what I know now, I wouldn't have done almost any of those things.
I didn't really mind the c-section part so much, but my recovery took forever. I was not myself and was in a lot of pain. I don't ever want to do that again. This time, I'm doing hypnobabies, probably getting a doula, and driving 3.5 hours one way to most of my doctor's appointments in order to get a good doctor (we're moving when I'm 7 months pregnant). There's that and the fact that I don't want to limit the number of children I have. I'm from a large family as is my husband and right now we aren't sure how many kids we're going to have. I don't want to make a decision now that we'll regret later, you know? Those are my reasons.
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Old 03-18-2010, 11:24 PM
 
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I want a vbac with this one because my first birth experience was very medical. I was induced (bad, I know), had lots and lots of fetal distress issues because my dd couldn't tolerate contractions. They had to keep starting and stopping the pit. because of heart decels. It was VERY stressful. By the time the doc suggested a c-section I just wanted it all to be over. I was done. I knew I absolutely did NOT want to go through anything like that ever again unless it was really necessary. My dd was born perfectly healthy and there was no explanation for the heart decels, except that she might not have been ready for delivery, especially a forced one.

Now, I'm nervous because I know my OB won't let me go to "overdue", but I really, really don't want another C.
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Old 03-19-2010, 12:14 PM
 
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My CS was one of those things where if we'd known 2 days in advance, it might have been avoided, but by the time we knew how bad it was, that train had left the station. I had preeclampsia, and by the time it got fully diagnosed, my daughter had gone into distress and I needed a section. If I'd gone in a day or two before, I might have been able to be induced. Hardly the birth of my dreams, but at least my uterus would be intact.

Anyway, the whole thing was like being run over by a Mack truck. I hadn't expected needing a section, I didn't want one, and the recovery sucked. I knew right away I didn't want to do it again unless I had to. I also knew I wanted at least 3 kids and that every section meant more complications.

DD 01/2007, DS 09/2011

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Old 03-19-2010, 02:10 PM
 
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OP: A few questions and some thoughts:

How far "overdue" were you when you were induced? Do you know what your Bishop's score was? Have you looked at your medical records? Those might be a good place to start getting more clarity on what really transpired during your first birth.

Cord around the neck occurs in about 30% of births. It is not an indication for a cesarean and would have nothing to do with you not dilating unless it was also extremely short and prevented any descent.

An erratic heartrate could have been caused by the induction or a cord issue. It's not something that is more likely to repeat in your next birth.

What does "misshapen" mean? There are several different pelvic types, and none are really considered "misshapen", though some believe that certain types make for easier births. OBs tend to say things during a c/s that are intended to make a mother feel better about it like that it was necessary b/c your pelvis it too small, baby too big, cord around neck, blah blah blah. I really think that they usually think they are helping by letting the mother know it wasn't anything she did wrong, but something out of her hands. Those words are so important, though, and I don't think they realize that a lot of the time.

From the limited amount of information given, it sounds like you had a failed induction. Period. Whether there were additional factors that contributed, I'm not sure if you'll ever know unless you try a vbac without being induced. But only you can make a decision about which risks you feel most comfortable with, since they both have them.

Personally, I believe that vaginal birth is best for both mother and baby when possible, so there was never a question in my mind that that's what I would try for. I made decisions that I felt would be most likely to lead to a vaginal birth (with respect to choosing my care provider, birth location, etc.). I was more willing to take the risks of vbac than the risks of a c/s because I believe that the benefits of vaginal birth outweight those of a rcs. That the bottom line for me.

Fledgling midwife on hiatus, Wife to B, mama to C (c/s ribboncesarean.gif 12/04) and S hbac.gif (12/07), angel3.gif m/c (3/12) and expecting another bean 6/13 stork-suprise.gif.

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Old 03-19-2010, 05:25 PM
 
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I was pretty sure because I knew my body wasn't broken for starters. Uterine Rupture is extremely rare ...I know I can vaginally birth a baby without ripping in two (so to speak)... And I knew going for a vaginal birth was right for my baby. Its what they deserve. A natural peaceful entry into the world. Vaginal birth is the healthies and safest option for both of us.

For me - it was't much of a 'decision' to 'vbac'. There was no question/doubt about it really. At first, I could justify my c-section. But who was I kidding? Myself only really.

What I found most useful was was sifting through all the fact from fiction. What is really true about a womans body and giving birth - and what is just plain poppycock/scaremonger/medical rubbish. It is actually quite simple.

And personal healing of course. Emotional healing especially. I feel that is probably most important. Healing from the past before you can move on to the future (or now).

Mummy me : > Thats Ann! and my beautiful SONS Duncanand Hamish 19/09/05 & 22/04/10!
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Old 03-20-2010, 02:36 AM
 
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I had my c/s after 48+ hours of labor and it was a horrifying experience. There was no question in my mind that that was not happening again.
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Old 03-20-2010, 05:01 PM
 
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I knew that unless I had a medical reason for a c-section, that a vaginal birth was better for me and the baby. I really never considered a repeat c-section b/c I didn't have a medical reason to do so.
This is how I feel about it. Vaginal birth is the default, since it's healthier and safer for normal births. My first c-section was not medically necessary (it was caused by a cascade of interventions and scare tactics), and I have always regretted it. My second c-section *was* medically necessary, but it was caused in part by my first. To me, that underscores the importance of VBAC and natural childbirth. The medically unnecessary interventions in my first birth may have contributed to endangering my fifth baby's life, even six years and three successful VBACs later! I do not at all regret my second c-section, but I am very determined to have a VBA2C this time!

Michelle, Christian , sahm, homeschooling , breastfeeding , no vax, blogging , photographer mom with ADD and Social Anxiety Disorder Mom to 4 boys, 3 girls.
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