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Starting to worry about VBAC

797 Views 4 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  pamamidwife
Hi - I am currently 24w pg with #2 and starting to really think about delivery. I realize how little time I have left, how much work I still have to do, and how little I know even though I feel like I know 100% more than I did 2+ years ago when DD was born.

I have a wonderful OB, found through referrals from LLL friends, one of whom had 6 children (4 of them VBACs with this particular OB). His bedside manner is not quite what I am used to after having a CNM last go-around but I truly trust that he will be great during my labor, which is where my CNM "failed" me.

I am also exercising, though not nearly as much as I should be. It seems to be quite sporadic - I'll go for a week or two and then skip several days (or weeks, truth be told). At least I have managed to keep my weight gain at a reasonable amount this time: 14 lbs. so far. My diet, although lacking somewhat in veggies, is pretty decent. I rarely do my Kegels and squats. Not sure what it is that is holding me back...

I have read one book, "The VBAC Companion", and have "The Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth" on reserve at the local library. DH has agreed to read through the Bradley books with me although he would not commit 100% to taking the classes, as he feels that the classes we took with DD#1 (not Bradley) plus the reading I have done / knowledge I already have should be enough. Not sure how I feel about that one
: Any other book suggestions?

I know that at a certain point I should start making a conscious effort to sit with my hips above my knees to avoid / try to avoid another posterior baby. When should I start this? I plan to purchase an exercise ball that I can sit on here at home and also use during labor if I can tolerate it (last time sitting on that ball was unbearable).

My worst fear is that I will end up with another c/s because I have not done enough. I am not sure why I all but refuse to do my Kegels, squats, etc. but I don't. It's almost like I am setting myself up to fail, or that I am afraid of succeeding. I do this in many areas of my life, not just VBAC. I am, however, very confident that I can handle the pain unless she is posterior. Last time I managed to stay off the pain meds through 11 excruciating hours before getting the epi. and DH and I both feel like I can do it again. If she is posterior, or if the pain ends up getting the best of me I am scared that I will "cave".

Well, this is getting to be an epic. Any thoughts are greatly appreciated.
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Hiya, Laurie

Here are my thoughts, coming from a mama w/ a DD the same age and expecting a VBAC baby in February too:

My gut feeling is that you are too concerned about trying to "manage" and "control" a birth that hasn't even really yet begun. I'm a control queen, so I know how hard it has been for me to try and accept the VBAC mentality and to learn to let go of the need to micromanage everything and everyone around me. There isn't anything wrong with being proactive and being prepared, but I think that worrying you're not doing "enough" is symptomatic of a deep down fear of losing control over the situation.

I am trying to keep the mindset that birth is a natural process and there is little that I can really do to change that. The VBAC is a big, important hope for me, but I also have the presence of mind to know that things (especially in a hospital situation) do not always go as planned....posterior babes for one.

Try to release yourself from the worries of "what if" in the meantime. They are too much along the lines of seeking out problems.

With my DD, I was all psyched up to have a natural birth and had a mostly supportive OB behind me. Unfortunately, at my last pre-natal appt I had a high BP and was spilling protein. I was sent across the street to the hospital "just to check" and didn't leave for five days.
: The cascade of an induction leading to an epidural (and I'm claustrophobic, terrified of being unable to move) which led to a freaked out OB-on-call who convinced me that I couldn't deliver a big baby...straight on to a c-sxn.

I think part of it was buying into the medical interventions. I begged to go home on the first day just to get my bag, but no one listened. I never asked about alternative options for controlling my BP or why my OB didn't say something at the previous visit when I presented with only slightly lower BP. It was my due date, I was expected to simply be induced and that was the end of that. Now, I know better. There are alternatives to nearly every intervention and I am so much more empowered about myself as a mother that I feel I can handle more things and make more informed decisions. I wasn't a mother before the first birth, but now I think I can find depths in me that I have never plumbed just because of how important it is to me to make the effort to give my baby an unmedicated VBAC delivery.

Whew! I don't know if this missive helps or hurts you, but it sure felt good to me.
I just know that I am really working on adapting to the mindset of letting the birth "happen" and that it really won't matter in the end if I did an extra set of Kegels or not. Positive imagery and a soul-deep belief in my ability to birth is what is giving me the peace I have been seeking.

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TY so much for your thoughtful reply. You are right
- it is my mindset that needs the work more than my thigh muscles. I am looking for "Birthing from Within" (I think my LLL library has it - I'm checking there b/f I buy) and hope that will help some. G/L to you - I hope you have the VBAC you are looking for
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I havebn't even really thought about it. With ds i had the BRadley book and the like within 2 months of knowing he was onthe way. This time I can't even get the books out.

I don't know if my heart is saying vbac and my brain is thinking that it isn't really going to happen or what the deal is.

I guess I need to start thinking about it. I had a posterior babe too and I had an ob that would not listen, wouldn't try to turn him, had no interest. it was late on a friday night and he was tired of me being "undelivered".

Maybe its this underlyng fear that my body can't do it...
You're doing all the right things. Unfortunately, we cannot control the outcome of our birth. We can plan, make informed choices, and try not to let our providers dictate everything that will happen, but birth is not always about what is within our control. So, to some degree, there is an amount of worrying that is taking us out of where we are right now, so we miss out on the beauty of the pregnancy.

You're educating yourself, your desire for a VBAC is great, and you are healthy. Don't beat yourself up over what you're NOT doing - and trust that if you nurture yourself, learn more about your choices, and have open communication with your provider, things will be so much better with this birth. But, there is only so much you can do right now in regards to the actual outcome of this next birth. What you cannot do right now can be released to trust in whatever higher power (if you have one) you choose.

Even if you birth with another cesarean, it sounds like you will have a vastly different experience - that you will be more informed of your choices, be an active participant, etc.

That said, you are at a higher risk for having a successful, empowering VBAC. Henci Goer's book is fabulous - I would buy it and have it to reference to once you've checked it out from the library. Read some VBAC birth stories here and other places on the net. Write down some affirmations and positive thoughts, posting them around your house.

Having some anxiety and being hopeful about your birth is normal. Expect the best outcome!
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