24 answers

Planned C-section After an Unplanned C-section

Hey moms,
Well, I have a very important decision to make: VBAC or Planned C-section? My questions today are about having a planned c-section. If you were in this situation, what was your recovery like the second time around, compared to your first unplanned c-section. Are you happy that you made this decision? My doctor is giving me the options, letting me know pros and cons of both. There is a one percent chance of uterine rupture, however it is not always fatal. I just cannot decide what to do. Luckily I still have about 19 weeks until my due date, but please any advice/experience in this area of a planned c-s are appreciated! Thank you!

What can I do next?

More Answers

I did the VBAC and it was a piece of cake.. with an epidural frosting. I preferred the VBAC because I felt like more of an active part of the birthing than with the C-section. Whatever you decide, the outcome will be the same.. another wonderful blessing in your life! Congratulations on your family expansion. :)

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One way to think about it is that a 1% chance of uterine rupture is a 99% chance of it not rupturing - which is a pretty great statistic! I had to have a C-section with my DD because she was breech and unfortunately will probably have to have another due to a uterine anomaly (the reason she was breech). I WISH I could have a VBAC and I think it's great that you're exploring your options. Make sure you look up stats on complications from C-sections when you do your research (staph infections etc). Having major surgery always involves risk. Just because Cesareans are performed all the time doesn't mean they're "safe" - or any safer than a VBAC. Part of why we are led to believe they are safer is doctor mentality. Doctors are trained to deal with problems, to see everything that could go wrong and often a normal vaginal birth is the last thing they expect. (Not knocking doctors here - we NEED them to know how to deal with all the complications).

Check out this website: ican-online.net - the International Cesarean Awareness Network. I think it could be really helpful in your decision making process. Good luck - enjoy your pregnancy and however you choose to give birth.

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Hi B.

My first born was an emergancy c-sec. 12 years later I became pregnant again. Alot older this time and because of my age they wanted to do a procedure that would give me a 1% chance of miscarrage. They gave me the option of having the procedure or not. I based my decision on this someone has to be in that 1% and I didn't want it to be me. I did not have the procedure I was lucky and have a beautiful 3 year old daughter.

just a thought I don't mean to scare you.


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My "kids" are 26,23 and 20 so they aren't really kids any longer.
My 1st, James, was an unplanned c-section. Breach presntation w/ "water" leaking. We planned a VBAC, I labored long and hard but Niki just didn't come. They broke my water and I progressed to 5+ but no further. There was an internal and external fetal monitor in place. Her fetal heart beat dropped each time I had a hard contraction. When they broke my water there was muconium(sp? fetal poo) in it, meaning fetal distress. As soon as a c-section was suggested I couldn't wait for the saddle block; end of lots of hrs of severe pain. Ries,("Reese") was by c-section also. The Dr on duty felt that w/ my history and that I've got narrow bone girth in the hips, I shouldn't labor.
I've been told by moms who have had both types of deliveries that c-section is "easier."
Why did you have the unplanned c-section?
Best wishes, which ever way you decide.

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Hi B.,

I had an emergency c-section with my first baby & everything went fine. With my second baby, I really wanted the v-bac & my good friend had a successful v-bac with her second baby. I went into labor on my own & went into the hospital to labor, but after 12 hours or so, I was very slow to progress & the babies heart rate was dropping with each contraction- which was the reason for the first c-section. My Dr. said that we were not in an emergency situation yet, but that if I continued to progress at that rate & the baby's heart rate continued to drop, I would need another c-section. I talked it over with my husband & decided to just go for the c-section at that point instead of worrying for another few hours. The recovery after the second c-section was much quicker than the first because I knew what to expect & what to do to help myself recover. With the first birth, I stayed in the hospital for 3 or 4 days, with the second I left after 48 hours exactly. I just wanted to get out of that hospital & be with my family at home & I was feeling fine. Now, I'm having my 3rd baby in 3 weeks, & I have a c-section scheduled because my hospital will not do a v-bac after 2 c-sections & I'm fine with that. I'm a little worried because with a planned c-section you get a spinal block instead of an epidural & I don't know what that's going to feel like (you can apparently get terrible headaches from leaking spinal fluid) or how it might effect my ability to nurse right after birth, but I'm thrilled to be skipping the labor this time around! I am glad that I tried for the v-bac, because I really wanted it, but if you go for it, just be prepared that it might not work out as you hoped & be open to any changes you might have to make during labor.

C. : )

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B. I'll tell you what was ultimately on my mind when I went through this. I wanted to experience a VBAC more than anything as I felt I was missing out on something when I found myself faced with a c-section the first time around. But when I started thinking about it more I realized that even if the chance of a rupture was really low, it would end up being at the top of my mind during labor. Meaning, all I would be thinking about was "is it going to rupture with this contraction?" Also, there is a chance that you'll be forced into a C-section regardless of how hard you attempt that VBAC anyway. So for peace of mind and of course safety reasons, I chose a planned c-section. Now everyone recovers differently, but I feel my recovery was slightly better, faster the second time around. I was pleased with my decision afterwards. Even though I never got a chance to experience labor and delivery the natural way, my baby was out and in my arms in 30 minutes. She was healthy, we were safe and everyone was happy. I hope this helps a little. Good luck to you in making this difficult decision.

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Well, my first c-section was not planned, but my next two were. I decided to have my other two children by c-section, b/c I did not want to go through the labor again, and end up having to have a c-section. I was also worried about rupturing, even though the chances were slim. I have to say that I really liked the planned c-sections. I went in early in the morning, went through the prep, and then not long after I had the baby. Recovery was much better the second and third time around. It wasn't easy =), but it was better. I hope all goes well with your birth, how ever you choose to do it. Congratulations on your new addition to your family!


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I think it's incredibly sad and depressing to see so many responses leaning towards a repeat cesarean. You have a 4x greater risk of dying in a cesarean than you do in a vaginal birth. Your baby has a 10 fold greater risk of respiratory distress from a cesarean, than he/she does in a vaginal birth. Let's not forget the MRSA infections that have been going on in the hospitals. Our maternal death rate is the highest it's been in *decades*, and so is our c-section rate. It's NOT a coincidence.

You have a less than 1% chance of a rupture, no matter how close in age your babies are. That means a 99.3-99.7% chance of NOT rupturing. On the other hand, you have a very high chance of having problems after the cesarean, especially because it's your second. Your risks go up dramatically for things like placenta previa, accreta, and scar tissue and adhesion build up if you plan on more babies after this one.

I am a VBAC mama. I actually had my VBAC baby at home with a very skilled midwife. And I'm SO glad I did. I was up the next day, feeling amazing. I wasn't hobbling around trying to recover from an incision in my belly. And my baby was almost 11 lbs and posterior. So I had a very hard labor. It was only 19 months after my cesarean. I'd do it all over again if it means not having ***major abdominal surgery***.

If you go the VBAC route, I'd highly recommend finding a midwife. OBs are surgeons first and foremost. They handle pregnancy and birth as an illness, something that has to be "managed", rather than what it is....a normal, physiological process.

Do your baby a favor and give him/her a safer birth. Give yourself a safer birth.

<b>Recently, ACOG stated that VBAC is safer than repeat cesarean and VBAC with more than one previous cesarean does not pose any increased risk.2
2. ACOG, Midwifery Today, Winter No 36, page 47</b>






Do some thorough research hon...don't go off of other people's experiences. Often women who have had repeat cesareans try to justify it and make themselves feel better by saying it was no big deal. They don't call it major abdominal surgery for nothing.

Depending on where you are as well, we have ICAN meetings in Fullerton ( CA ) every first Wed. of the month. ( Except January due to people's schedules ). If you're interested, message me. Good luck in your search!

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