Thankfully, I'm an exception and most women have wonderful VBAC experiences.
I agree with PP, if you want a hospital VBAC find a doc who is pro-VBAC. My practice was and they did everything they could to make my VBAC happen.
Emily, WOHM to Joshua (05) River (08) HBAC, Rylee (09) HBAC and Levi (coming 8/11) planning another HBAC
Momma to DD (12/04) and DS (11/09) .
I survived 16 mos! Ask me about breastfeeding a baby with posterior tongue tie, high palate, and weak oral motor skills- whew!
If you decided to go directly to a repeat c-section, you may be second guessing yourself wondering if you should have done things differently. Despite the extra pain, it was so worth it to have a failed VBAC than to not try a VBAC for me. There are cases where vaginal births are more difficult than c-sections. But in general, vaginal births are safer and easier. There will always be exceptions. It's all about benifts vs risks - no one knows exactly what will happen in their case until all is done with. But having no regrets was very important to me. And I don't!
However, I do have a compication - a cystocele (prolapsed bladder) that is a huge PITB. It brought me down right after birth because I felt like I should have felt much better much quicker. It still bothers me occassionally at 3.5m PP but its a good reminder to do my kegels.
But in the end, even with the prolapse, the 2nd degree tear, the pain of the ctx, the pain of pushing...it was all worth it.
Here is my long answer, which will explain why::
I had a horrible first birth, typical first time mom hospital thingy that turned into a c section for basically no reason. Then I had massive complications from the c/s, hemmoraged twice, needed several units of blood, almost had a d & c, and couldn't take care of my newborn baby who had to have formula for 2 weeks while I pumped till my nippled bled. He was 3 weeks old and our friends and family had to take care of him because I was so sick.
I did not really start to process it until I was pregnant with our second, at which point all HECK broke loose emotionally and I realized what it had really meant to me, that I second guessed myself as a mother at every turn as a result of subconciously feeling like I 'failed' at birth, and not being able to take care of baby afterward. I felt like I couldn't trust myself to mother at all.
I did a TON of soul work, I laughed, I cried, I read, I talked, I shouted, I wrote and drew and fought to get to a place where my VBAC was possible. It was hard work. I basically spent my whole pregnancy taking care of myself & my fetus & my toddler & working trying to align everything perfectly for my VBAC.
I had a quick second labor after weeks of predomal labor, and had the baby at home unassisted (accidentally though I think I knew it all along in my soul it would be that way), and my first words were "that was SO MUCH FUN!" said to my husband (who caught the baby) beaming. It was wonderful. It was worth it and then beyond worth it a billion times. Words aren't enough to describe. I tore a little, which hurt for MONTHS. My tailbone hurt so bad that I could barely sit (combined with my tear) for weeks. That stuff was NOTHING compared to how much better it was emotionally,mentally, spiritually. I felt connected to my VBAC baby right away, I feel like we had know each other a long, long time. I felt like all lines were open for communication between us. While I love my first son & would not trade him for anything (and am grateful for the rough C/S birth with him because it taught me HOW IMPORTANT BIRTH IS), I did not have that off the bat with him.
My VBAC freed me to become anyone I want to be. It made me into a stronger, more confident woman. It reassured me to trust myself with my mothering instinct. It was this turning point in my life. It was so fricking awesome it swept over the pain left from the Csection and almost a year later has let THAT become just 'something that happend' "something I have a scar from" instead of letting it destroy a part of me with the power it initally took from me & the pain & shame it left in its place. It was like night and day. It was like saying to my section, 'screw you, you are not going to take that from me, you are not going to mess with me for the rest of my life. you happened, as s--t happens, but that was a ONE TIME THING.' that was one of the amazing things. I had a section and everyone assumed I just couldn't have a baby, that the section had spoken for that. I assumed that it was a circumstanial fluke and I could have as many babies normally as I wished, given the right environment, which I FOUGHT for my whole pregnancy. It was nothing short of pure triumph to feel my body birthing my second son.
But, ya know, that's just me.
Pros: didn't have to worry about healing from tear/episiotomy.
Cons: difficult for me to heal from (very painful the first 2 wks, the 1st being the worst); I don't do well with pain meds. Took me til the 6 wk pp check up to get more energy
2nd DD, VBAC:
Pros: felt so incredible afterwards, no words to describe the joy. Had much more energy. Didn't hurt to get out of bed. Healed much more quickly
Cons: had a 2nd degree tear that healed funny and had to get repaired (took a 1 week or two to heal from that)
I don't know if there is "an answer" to your ?; every pregnancy/birth is different, but hope these replies help
So, although my section sucked most hugely and I do not want to repeat it, I don't think I can have that kind of healing experience from the birth itself, because that wasn't so traumatic for me. I could very peacefully have a repeat, if I knew it were truly necessary, that my care had been right.
Now, I haven't VBAC'ed yet so perhaps the act of birth will be transformative, but I don't think so (I know myself). I think that having an entirely different pregnancy experience (and birth/hospital experience) will be a huge thing for me, but not so much the vaginal/CS thing.
I am NOT suggesting that VBAC isn't huge for a lot of mamas or that other women should feel the way I do. Just that if you've come to terms with your section, and have that certainty/rightness/peace, VBAC has a different significance.
DD 01/2007, DS 09/2011