My oldest was born via c-section in 2003. It wasn't just the induction and c-section that was traumatic for me, but because of some of the complications that led me to having the c-section in the first place they ended up taking him to the NICU just in case and then, even though he was fine, wouldn't let him out until I left the hospital. And the NICU nurses were horrible to me, on top of that, and acted like my desire to breastfeed was an inconvenience. But I blame it all on the c-section that I let them perform.
My younger boy was a successful VBAC, in the hospital. I had to go through several doctors and through all the fears - what if I can't push him out, what if I don't go into labor, etc. But I did it, I had him. I felt so good about it, really. It was very healing.
Or so I thought. When we started trying to get pregnant with this one, years later, I actually felt nervous - I thought, maybe I shouldn't be tempting fate, having a third child, when I had a successful VBAC with the last one - what if I ended up having another terrible birth experience? Not nervous enough to stop trying, but the thought was there.
Now I am pregnant, 16 weeks along, and I think about it more and more. I really just wanted a relaxing pregnancy after the one with all the fears and self-doubt and fighting, but sometimes I am just so scared that it will happen again, that some quirk or fluke, that no matter how much I educate myself, even though we're planning a homebirth this time, it's going to happen again, and I just can't bear the thought of having to have another c/s. Especially because this is most likely going to be my last pregnancy.
It's not something I obsess over, or think about all the time, but I'm still quite far from the birth, so I suppose that could change. I just really hoped that this could be all behind me. We're having the first ICAN meeting in our chapter that we've had in a while next weekend, and I will definitely mention it (but our meetings are, sadly, not well attended) but I just thought I would see if anyone else knows how I feel. There are so many moms out there who need support who haven't even had a VBAC yet and I sort of feel like...I don't know. Like this shouldn't be a problem again. Does anyone have experience with this? How do you deal with it?
Mom of two intact, intelligent and funny boys, 8 and 5. VBAC mom pregnant with #3, Due 6/24/12
I have had my c-section and my VBAC and while I am not pregnant with #3 (I really hope to wait a couple years before TTC again), I already am asked which I'd rather do, now that I've had both experiences. Honestly the recovery from the VBAC was harder (hello 4th degree tear!), but I'd still go vaginally again in a heartbeat. The birth really empowered me to believe that I can do it! it's hard, it hurts, I can't say it was anything close to blissful or orgasmic, but it was worth it.
And I think, really, all things being equal, I would still do a hospital birth. because honestly, the idea of complications, including rupture, still exist, and that does concern me. Not to mention that midwives here don't attend HBACs, at least no midwives I know of, unless the mandates are changed or rewritten by the time we have #3.
How do you deal with it? I think the same way you did the first time. For me it really helped to hire a doula that had VBAC'd herself. I could talk through what I needed to with someone who really understood. Relive your prior birth(s) and what was good and bad about each of them. honestly. Even your VBAC - what would you change? what would make it better? for me, this kind of problem solving was really therapeutic.
Someone on here said that her doc said the first half of a VBAC pregnancy you need to focus on the "after cessarian" - processing the prior birth and its repurcussions. The second part of the pregnancy you need to focus on the "vaginal birth" part - doing what you can to ensure baby is in a good place physically, you are in a good head space, etc. I think that's perfect advice.
Katrina - Mama to Gabriel 11/20/2009 and Norah 10/11/2011- married to Wayne -  and now new baby Theodore born 3/11/13