I read your post and felt led to respond. Sorry this is incredibly long, but I've had a lot of babies, hee hee!
My first 2 were c/secs. First was for breech(she had been breech the whole pregnancy), and they didn't even give me a chance to go into labor. Just scheduled a c/sec 2 weeks before I was due, and that was that. She weighed 7-6.
2nd baby I wanted a vbac(it was actually recommended back then, 17yrs ago). I was induced at 39wks, because dr. thought the baby was already around 9lbs. They gave me prostin gel to soften my cervix, and then broke my water the next morning when I was at a 2-3cm and started pitocin. I labored for 20hrs, dilated to a 6 and stalled there for several hours, and baby never dropped into my pelvis. I finally gave into another c/sec. The reason on my chart said c/sec for failure to progress and cpd. The day after my ob gave me the whole, "your pelvis is too small speech, and you could probably only birth no more than a 5lbs baby". That baby only weighed 7-5, a bit off from 9lbs.
At first after the birth of my 2nd, I was just happy to have a healthy baby, but as the weeks and months went on I began to feel like a failure, like I was somehow broken/abnormal and realized just how desperately I longed to someday experience natural childbirth. When my 2nd was less than 2yrs old I started reading everything about vbac and natural childbirth that I could get my hands on. I joined ICAN and took a vbac class. I interviewed my future mw, even though I wasn't even pregnant yet. I really liked how encouraging she was. She told me story after story of women who had been told similar things as me and then went on to have bigger babies naturally. Slowly, bit by bit I started believing in my body again, but still the words that my dr. told me after that 2nd birth about how narrow my pelvis was kept haunting me at times and made me wonder if I was really just wasting my time. I guess my desire to at least try was stronger than my doubt, and I kept pushing forward for what I wanted.
By the time I was pregnant with our 3rd I knew that my best bet at avoiding a c/sec was to go the mw route. My ob was pretty laid back as far as they go, and he said he'd let me try for another vbac. But, deep inside I had this feeling that it'd end in another c/sec. Being a labor/del nurse I also knew that a lot of how my labor was handled would depend on which nurse I happened to get. They can really make or break a labor. If it was one who was all for natural birth it could be great, but more than likely it would be one of the many who liked to push pitocin and epidurals(I think because it makes a nurse's job easier). I felt I needed to be outside of hospital guidelines and the traditional, textbook mindset of how labor should progress if I really wanted the best shot at natural birth. I'm SO thankful I went with the mw. First off, I went a week past my due date, and I looked BIG. I have a feeling my ob would've really put the pressure on to induce before I even got to my due date. At 40wks even my mw thought I would likely have a 8 1/2-9lbs baby, which I felt was big for my petite 5'2" frame. My mw, though, assured me that true cpd is extremely rare and that a baby that big was not too big for me or the vast majority of women. She kept reminding me how amazing the female body is and how much things can move and stretch at just the right time. My labor ended up being 20hrs. I stalled at a 5-6 for several hours towards the end. All along the entire labor I fought feelings of doubt, some of them I voiced out loud but each time my mw kept reassuring me that my baby was happy and that my body was working beautifully, to just surrender to the surges. Finally, I made it to transition, and from there things went fairly quick to complete. Then pushing lasted 1 1/2hrs. I was so exhausted and even when my baby's head was crowning I kept saying I didn't know if I could do it, that maybe I was too small. I remember my dh and mw kind of chuckling at me and saying honey, you ARE doing it. I was in state of a joyous, awestruck disbelief for days after the birth hardly believing that I had really done it. My baby weighed 8lbs 10oz, and I didn't have even one tiny little tear or scratch. I can't tell you how healing that birth was.
Each baby since then has been born at home with the same wonderful midwifery group.
Baby #4 was footling breech at 40wks, but still a fairly easy and fast! labor and birth. He weighed 8-2.
Baby #5 was a super easy labor and birth at 41wks, lasting only 3hrs start to finish. She weighed 8-3.
Baby #6 was another easy labor and delivery at 41wks, lasted about 4hrs. She weighed 8-7.
Baby #7 was my easiest labor, so fast and mild, at 41wks, lasted 3hrs but only about 1hrs from the time I thought I was in labor. She weighed 9-2.
Baby #8 was still what I would consider a good labor, though it was harder than my others because he was posterior. He liked being posterior the whole pregnancy. He did turned just before coming out, but it made for a slightly longer labor, 6hrs start to finish, and was definitely more painful. He weighed 8-2.
*I've never torn at all with any births. With the exception of that 1st vbac, my pushing phase has only lasted 10-15min each time.
I hope reading through this gives you a glimmer of hope. If you really, really want a vbac, I would highly recommend interviewing with some mws. Also, read Silent Knife and Spiritual Midwifery if you can. Hypnobirthing is great too!
What helped me to finally decide to go with a mw that first time was to realize that if I didn't at least give it my all trying that I would always look back and question, "what if I'd done this or that?". I knew that if I tried all that was within my power to make a natural birth happen and it still ended up in a hospital transfer or c/sec that it would at least, on some level be easier to accept, because I would know that I had given it my all. I had plenty of doubt along the way, and I met resistance from family, friends, and previous co-workers who thought I was completely insane to try such a thing. I prayed a lot that God would allow me to experience birth the way He designed it and give me the strength, stamina, and courage to face what was ahead, and then a peace with whatever that was. I hope you can search in your heart and listen to your gut and have the courage to do whatever "you" feel is right for "you", whether that is going for a vbac with a mw or going with your ob in the hospital. I'll be praying for you to find peace with whichever decision you make.
Best wishes to you!