Dear Crissy

Hoping for a VBAC: Vaginal birth after cesarean

When I was pregnant with Evan in 2009, the one phrase I continually uttered to my friends and family was, “I just don’t want to have a c-section!” I didn’t have goals loftier than a medicated, vaginal delivery in my local hospital, but, avoiding a major surgery was definitely the plan.

Breech presentation wasn’t in the plan, but from 20 weeks, through those final frantic moments of labor when they gave me an ultrasound to check his position one more time, my kid was butt-down. Staunchly, butt down.

 

While I had a cesarean scheduled, I went into labor two weeks before my due date. I was still hoping for a last minute flip, but it just wasn’t in the cards. I was soon whisked into an operating room, given some incredible drugs, and Evan was expertly removed from my body.

There really wasn’t a lot of emotional trauma at this point. I had already accepted that a c-section was inevitable, and besides, I had plenty of other things to worry about, like my own recovery, and caring for a newborn.

Having a c-section is hard, and healing can be slow, but overall I weathered mine well. I didn’t even fill my prescription for pain killers after coming home. I think I was running on adrenaline!

In the months and years following Evans birth, the idea of a VBAC (Vaginal Birth After Cesarean) was never in my mind. Why? Because I was informed by my OB that VBAC was not an option at my hospital. Period. No negotiating.

After deciding to switch OB’s during the middle of this pregnancy, I was informed by my new doctor that VBAC was certainly an option for me, and that the hospital we would be using is supportive of this. He also told me that if an emergency situation would arise due to any possible complications during labor, that there would be ER staff available to perform an immediate c-section.

When I walked out of my first appointment with my new OB, I felt like a major door had opened in front of me. Being able to even contemplate a vaginal delivery, for me, was huge. HUGE!

So, it appears that I am a great candidate for VBAC. Assuming this baby is head down, and everything else looks normal through the end of my pregnancy, I am totally giving this a shot.

I don’t have any hard feelings about needing a c-section the first time, and I will not be totally broken if I require one again. It is what it is, and in my case, it was the way it needed to happen.

I actually endured 15 hours of contractions, and was 6cm dilated before my doctors and hospital got around to doing a c-section for my breech baby (ahem…. I mentioned that I SWITCHED OB’S & HOSPITALS, right?) I have a little taste of what a normal labor feels like, but yeah, I’m still slightly terrified. Terrified, but also excited and hopeful that I can in fact get my VBAC. Stay tuned!

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25 Comments

  1. Truthful Mommy — September 2, 2011 @ 12:52 pm (#)

    Good luck, mama! I hope you get a safe, quick….as painless as possible birth. Either way, i the end you will be holding a beautiful little piece of yourself and your husband in your arms. If you endured all that labor, you know what it feels like. If you have enough epidural the ring of fire is non existent. COngrats on the impending baby:)

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  2. LaurieBee — September 2, 2011 @ 1:53 pm (#)

    I was one of the first in my area to have a vaginal delivery after a C-section. That was in 1979. I later had two more. Good luck! I’m sure it will be fine.

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  3. Barbara @ Atlanta's Frugal Mom — September 2, 2011 @ 2:31 pm (#)

    Hi Chrissy,

    It sounds like you and I are in the exact same boat! My son is due in early January. At my first OB appointment, I was told I had the option of a VBAC, after my daughter was born via c-section almost 2 1/2 years ago. …and after 19 hours of labor, dilating to only 5-7 cm (depending on who measured!), and two episodes of fetal heart distress, I was ready for a c-section. I, too, spent 40 weeks willing myself to have a vaginal birth, citing I just didn’t want it to end in a c-section. Further, my OB at the time stated at my 6 week post-op that any subsequent pregnancies would automatically result in a c-section. Thus, I have spent the last two years mentally preparing for scheduled c-section, and came up with all the perks of such.

    Then at my first prenatal appointment, when my OB told me I had the option of a VBAC, my world was suddenly turned upside down, in all kinds of great ways. After all, to not have to recover after surgery with a very active toddler AND a newborn seems divine. But I still spent many weeks researching, asking around, praying, and pondering.

    While instill have this nagging suspicion that I may end up with a c-section again, I feel like I owe it to myself (and my womanhood?) to give it a try. I can’t explain it, other than that I wish to give it a try. If I can deliver, fantastic; if not, well, then, so be it. As a girlfriend said to me, she’d rather have just one thing “messed up” (referring to her scar), rather than have two. LOL

    However this experience ends, for you and for me, I wish you the best of luck. After all, in the end, it doesn’t matter HOW our children enter this world, but rather how we impress the world upon them, how they leave their respective marks on this world, and how we as parents impact those impressions. :-)

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  4. polkadotprincess — September 2, 2011 @ 2:39 pm (#)

    What a fun blog! I found you on mommy bloggers and I am excited to follow! If you get a second to check out mine, I’d appreciate it! Hope you have a magical day!

    Reply

  5. Heather @ Localfunforkids — September 2, 2011 @ 2:45 pm (#)

    My sister had a very successful VBAC this past spring. She had a wonderful experience giving birth in the hospital with the help of a doula and midwife.

    Ignore the naysayers… It is possible! Good Luck!

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  6. Nolie — September 2, 2011 @ 3:36 pm (#)

    Keeping my fingers crossed that everything works out for you. Recovery is much quicker than a c section and I don’t know about you but epidurals are the greatest invention ever.

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  7. Megan — September 2, 2011 @ 4:03 pm (#)

    Oh sweety! I hope you get your wish too – much easier recovery with a vaginal delivery than a c-section. Stay positive, if you were already 6cm then you already know you can do this as long as bubba cooperates! =)

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  8. aterhea — September 2, 2011 @ 6:49 pm (#)

    After my first and only baby yet at the moment delivered through c-section (which never even crossed my mind before), I have that fear within me to deliver another one. My recovery was a bit tough considering it was just me and my hubby as in purely him and me but we manage but after that, I don’t think yet I will think of delivering.

    Your such a strong woman, good luck and have a safe one.

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  9. Heather — September 2, 2011 @ 9:48 pm (#)

    I wish you the best of luck. The town I am in does not perform vbacs. We only have one hospital.

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    • Crissy — September 2nd, 2011 @ 10:22 pm

      Heather, same here. I’ll actually be delivering at a hospital an hour+ away from me… hope i can make it in time! LOL

      • Heather — September 2nd, 2011 @ 10:29 pm

        Oh great. An hour isn’t so bad. I’m about 2 hours away. I’m sure you can. Early labor lasts a long time, but its true that second births come faster. I hope you can make it in time too! I think every woman deserves to have that natural birth experience, have you thought of a midwife? I’m not sure if I’m that brave, but its been a thought with me for sure.

  10. Lisa Brown — September 2, 2011 @ 11:20 pm (#)

    I highly recommend watching The Business of Being Born. There was SO much i didn’t know for my first born… and it was a bit too late for baby #2… but if you want a vbac, you can have one. There’s even a midwife on the movie, Ina May Gaskin, who delivers breech babies vaginally all the time. Our bodies are often made to do so much more than we give them credit for. Also, check out Hypnobirthing. With my first born, I thought the pain was going to kill me. So, after learning about Hypnobirthing, I was determined to have a much less painful labor. I told hubby I wanted to be so calm my little boy could even be in the room… in theory, of course! Well, be careful what you wish for! I had a 2 hour labor, with no epidural… and… with my husband AND 2 1/2 year old son in the hospital room – and I highly credit Hypnobirthing for helping he labor go so quickly and for giving me the ability to stay relatively composed during delivery. Best of luck to you!

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  11. Mandi — September 3, 2011 @ 12:06 pm (#)

    I know a couple of mommies who have had successful VBACs. I hope it goes well. We are in the opposite boat. I’m not pregnant yet, but some day when I want another baby, I will be opting for a C-section (for many reasons). I hope it goes as well as yours did.

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  12. Robyn Ely — September 3, 2011 @ 1:44 pm (#)

    Good Girl ! You moved on and there was hope afterall ! My daughter layed Trans-verse my whole pregnancy (Across my stomach) and I went through the same thing with my OBGYN. I had taken Lamaz classes and just kept wishing. One night we went to the movies and I ended up pacing the lobby of the theatre ! I just count not sit. I went to my next appt. and sure enough she had turned. That child to this day has her own timing in life ! My sister’s second child was cesarean and the third was natural. No problem on the third at all ! Good luck doll ! Keep updates !

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  13. Royalegacy — September 3, 2011 @ 3:18 pm (#)

    Oh, hon. I hope this happens for you. I had six children, the last was a c-section. I memorized the feel with the last fifth one the feeling of the baby’s head being born, the feel of the him turning, then the rest of him sliding out. It is a memory of mine that I will cherish for the rest of my life.

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  14. Karine Traverse — September 4, 2011 @ 1:54 am (#)

    That is awesome. I switched just after 20 weeks with my last to have a VBA2C. I did go into labor, but ended up with my 3rd c-section…. which almost 18 months later I am still recovering from. Sending you head down vibes for a VBAC! Good luck!

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  15. Christine Grudecki — September 5, 2011 @ 9:04 am (#)

    I’ve got my fingers crossed for you! My sister had a Cesarean 14 years ago with her frirst child and has had VBACs for her next 5 (yes 5) children. She’s also hoping for a VBAC with the next one (yes she’s pregnant again, but I will mention that she already has 6 of the greatest kids on Earth!). I’ve never had a Cesarean (3 vaginal), so I don’t know completely what it’s like, but I’m a believer that you “do whatcha gotta do” to make sure mom and baby are safe. Congrats on the news about the possible VBAC!

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