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I just wanted to make a few comments...
In your first post you indicate that you feel selfish for wanting a VBAC experience. There is nothing selfish about wanting to birth your baby vaginally! The evidence is very strong that a natural, vaginal delivery is the best thing that you can do for your baby. You might like to read Sarah Buckley's book 'Gentle Birth, Gentle Mothering' for more information about this. She also talks about the benefits of starting labour naturally even if a C-section needs to follow, and makes some suggestions for reducing stress and improving health outcomes for C-section babies.
I would also recommend you consider doing something like a CalmBirth course. The course gave me so much understanding about how our bodies work, how our uterus functions and how our different nervous systems impact on the progression of labour. Amazing! Through a course like this you are also likely to meet other mothers who are wanting something different for their subsequent births.
And definitely consider working with an independent midwife or doula as you work toward your VBAC. They will be able to review your previous birth notes and help you heal and accept the experience that you had. If the model of care/environment/supports you had for your last birth didn't give you what you wanted, they are unlikely to give you what you want this time - so consider making a change. Midwives and doulas are very strong advocates for natural birth and will back you up on what the evidence says to be true.
All the best with your decision making.
I just had a vbac 4 weeks ago and I'll admit I was a little fearful but for me I looked at the possible risks with a c- section and a vbac and felt comfortable with my decision. I also went through a vbac clinic army hospital which helped. I had a very difficult labour resulting in a c-sect with DS and was scared of a repeat of that. This time I was induced due to preeclampsia and DD was born "naturally" in 4hrs and I was so glad I did it!
This is honestly just not something I'm worried about.
Years ago, I looked into all of the statistics, and found pretty much what you posted in the OP - statistically, I have a very very small chance of rupture. And, even if you do rupture, the risk of anyone dying as a result is even smaller. Much smaller.
I mean really, if someone said "you have 99.5% chance of winning the lottery," you would enter and EXPECT to win! I find the idea of VBAC the same - I will enter the VBAC lottery and expect that I will not rupture, because statistically, I'd have to be quite unlucky to experience uterine rupture.
I know it's not for everyone, but I've also decided on a homebirth for my future births. So a HBAC rather than just a VBAC in hospital. That makes me feel even more confident about uterine rupture. While I may not be in the hospital if I rupture, I do not live far from a hospital, and having ONE woman pay attention ONLY TO ME for the entirety of my labour, I feel safe that she will see the signs of uterine rupture must sooner than if I were in hospital, being left alone for great periods of time, with various middies flitting in and out, shift changes, all while dealing with other birthing women too. So that adds an extra layer of comfort to me. I expect my independant midwife to see the signs of rupture sooner, get me an ambulance and thus have the issue dealt with sooner than if I were experiencing the rupture in hospital.
I've had years and years to get used to everything though... my daughter is nearly 8 and I'm not yet pregnant, so I've had plenty of time to plan and research and get me head around everything.
Thanks for your responses. I guess the thing is that there is any risk at all even if small. Like I said I have been that rare statistic with my health complication post birth and I can see how my mentality of 'it won't happen to me' can happen to me.
I really appreciate your stories. I will ponder over it all and get more advice. I am totally undecided what I would do. I just found out a friend had a natural birth and while I was so happy I was so jealous and I am not a jealous person at all!!
You would have to talk to a midwife who offers homebirth services, but it's not out of the question just because you've had a caesarean. DP's boss's wife is a HB midwife who had her 2 last babies at home... after 2 prior caesareans.
I love reading your birth stories and in particular the empowered amazing women who have succeful VBAC's!
I have some questions that i would really appreciate some input on. How do you know you are making the right choice to go through with your birth plan? How do set aside all the doubts and fears and comments from OB's about risks and statistics and just instinctually know that this is the right course for you and your child? Did you have doubts even throughout the actual labour and delivery or how do you check that at the door and focus on one contraction at a time?
I would love nothing more to be one of the amazing women declaring that I am strong, I am proud and I had an amazing VBAC experience.. but i don't know how to get through my fears in order to make that happen.
From 1st contraction to delivery of DS was all of 4hrs, it was intense, unbearable and quickly spiralled out of control when DS was in serious distress. Before I could even come to terms with what was happening I was in theatre being put under a general aesthetic and don't remember anything from then until about day 2 of DS's life. I had a major haemorrhage, BF problems, issues with persistent bleeding, wound infections, as well as just coming to terms with the fact that I had no memory of birthing my child and it made bonding with him very strained. He felt like a stranger to me for weeks because I felt like I woke up from a bad dream and then there is this baby they are telling me is mine.. it was cold and awful and makes me cry to think about it. That's not how the first few days of your child's life should be and it is clear to me now that all these years later, i have never realy come to terms with my birth story.
So now I am in this odd position- I can choose to try for a natural delivery or have another c section. Both have pros and cons. Both have risks. I cant seem to feel confident about either. I cant find that place that makes me feel like i am doing the right thing.
I thought I had made the choice. I thought I had decided VBAC was for me and I would move hell or high water to get it. But slowly I am beginning to doubt my decisions. All the what ifs are taking over.
- What if i am the 1% that has a uterine rupture
- What if 'the risks' become real
-What if there is complications again and I end up back in theatre for another emergency C.
-What if its the wrong choice and something awful happens. I will never forgive myself for not choosing the other option.
-What if booking in a for C section is just the easy way to go. Its organised, definite, I can plan to have DS cared for and know it wont affect his routine too much by last minute dashes to hospital.
-What if I am just not meant/built for birthing babies.
-What if I do go into labour naturally and I cant handle it
- Am I really ok with knowing that even if we start on the road to a natural birth, that things might change and interventions may be required.
- Am I really ok knowing that this is our last child.. and whatever happens cant be undone. I cant try again next time.
Its just scary and unknown and I wish there was some way to just know everything would be fine and I would get the empowering amazing natural birth and healthy baby I have always dreamt of, complication & drama free. Just the way nature intended.
Thought I might bump this. I joined a Facebook group VBAC Australia support group that maybe able to answer your question too madewitlove.
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