34 answers

Seeking Advice from Mom's Who've Had Repeated C-sections And/or Vbac's


I could use the help of anyone who has had a cesarian delivery and then attempted a vaginal..or opted to stick with the c. I am pregnant, very early on - 11 weeks :) - but pretty worried about the decision I need to make to have a VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean) or to just opt for a scheduled c-section. This will be baby #3. I had my first child 8 years ago, uncomplicated pregnancy and extremely easy vaginal delivery (3 pushes and she was out!) My second pregnancy was 6 years ago and went well but when my water broke I went to the Hospital and they discovered (last minute) that she was breech and I had a c-section. It was successful surgery except for that the baby did inhale the fluid when she came out and had difficulty getting her breath(transient-something or another - common for c-section babies because they are not going through the birth canal so the fluid doesn't get squeezed out) and she did have to be placed in the NICU for several days. Not being able to hold her after she was born was very devestating to me. And trying to get around to get down to the NICU floor was extremely painful as well. After dealing with that long and painful recovery I was really afraid to have another baby, figuring "once a c-section, always a c-section" even though I did always want to have "3". I know a lot of women who love the idea of scheduling the c-section and avoiding the labor but for me, having had both experiences, I can honestly say that the vaginal was much easier (in-terms of recovery time), less invasive, and doesn't rob you of that initial moment of when the baby comes out and they hand her over to you...

Having mixed feelings and waiting 6 years since the birth of baby #2, we decided to just "see what happens" and give it a try. We got pregnant right away which to me was just a sign from God that it was meant to be :) - BUT now the worrying began. (BTW - I am a high stress worry wort to begin with - lol). I've been to my first dr. appt. and the first thing she asked was "so do you think you want to have another c-section or try for the VBAC?". She said I was a good candidate for either and that it would ultimately be up to me. I was actually glad that she was supportive either way - many dr.s push for the repeat "c" from what I've read. But at the same time, I really wanted her to just tell me what I should do!

I know I have awhile to think about it but I'm really scared. I was/am scared of delivery in general. I don't do well with pain and surgery scares me to death ~ all the things that "could" go wrong...but the risk with the VBAC is that 1% chance of uterine rupture which is rare, but from what I understand pretty dangerous situation. I wonder if it is a risk worth taking?

If anyone has attempted a VBAC I would love to hear from you and find out how it went and what helped you to make the decision. If anyone has opted for the repeat "c" I would also appreciate your advice.

Thank you so much for taking the time to read this!

M. :)

2 moms found this helpful

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

My first child was a c section - baby in distress. My second child was VBAC - which I agree with you is a much easier birth, and one I enjoyed much more. With my third child (born three years ago)I had trouble with the doctors even considering a VBAC. I ultimately had my third c section due to him being two weeks overdue, but would have preferred another VBAC.I feel there is a risk in anything - even a "normal" birth - and in life itself. If you really want to try a VBAC then you should, but if you go with the c section, or have to have another one, I will say the second was easier than the first and I have heard many others that said the same thing also. Good Luck!

1 mom found this helpful

Hi M., I have had three babies; #1 c-sec, #2. vbac, and #3 c-sec. I will have to agree with you that vbac recovery time is much easier. I would choose that again if I could. I am a very petite woman, and the c-section was suggested to me the first time. My second baby was a whole pound lighter, and the labor went faster, so the doctor allowed vbac. It went fine, but the doctor had to use forceps to help the baby out. Knowing this, I decided to have the second c-section because it was easier to plan, etc. I think you should opt for vbac if you do not develop any problems along the way. I never had any complications from any of my labors whatsoever. Good Luck!
M. P.

I don't know if this will help you...but here goes.

Almost nine years ago, I gave birth to my first child vaginally. I was in extreme pain. More than I should have been in. I found out afterward that I had split my pelvis and as a result, I couldn't walk without some kind of assistance until my pelvis grew back together, which took about two weeks. I also now have occasional bouts of sciatica as a result of splitting my pelvis.

I pushed the doctors into letting me have a scheduled c-section with my second child five years later. Then again almost two years after that with my third child. I do not regret me decision to have a repeat c-section in any way. I was told that my frame was really too small to deliver vaginally and that is what caused the split pelvis. There would have been a good chance of that happening again if I had chosen vaginal births with all of them. That was definitely not something I wanted to go through again.

More Answers

Congrats on your pregnancy. Like many other postings, I had a successful vbac. My first birth I was induced due to low fluids, pictocin, never got past 4 cm dilated, and after 21 hours and fetal distress ended up with a c-section. When I got pregnant again, I wanted to try a vbac. I did a lot of reading/research. I read the vbac companion (which has mixed reviews and is a little outdated but gave me valuable information). In my 8th month of pregnancy I switched from a doctor group to midwives because I was not convinced that all the doctors in the group would support a vbac. I also had a doula which my husband questioned but afterward agreed she was invaluable.

The midwives encouraged natural onset of labor (which is important to reduce risk of uterus rupture) and were with me along with my doula throughout my 22 hours of labor. I only dialated 1 cm every 2 - 3 hours, I think a doctors group would have given up but my midwives encouraged me to continue and I had a healthy baby girl with only brush burn tearing. I walked out of the hospital with my new baby girl 24 hours after she was born (as opposed to be wheeled out 4 days later).

It worked for me but you have to choose what is right for you. Continue to research and educate yourself and ask a lot of questions. I know several friends who had a scheduled c-section after a previous c-section and had a much easier recovery the 2nd time around.

Good luck with whatever you decide!

2 moms found this helpful

M. ~

I am mom to a boy, age 3.5, and 34 weeks pregnant with #2. My boy was an emergency c-sect because, although I dialated to 10cm, he never descended enough to be pushed out. That said, I am going to try my best for a successful VBAC.

You need to check out this site http://www.vbac.com/ It gives you a ton of statistics and studies as well as the benefits of VBAC to you and baby.

The short answer is if you have a low transverse, double stitched scar and your c-sect was more than 2 years ago, you have a less than 1% chance of uterine rupture. In other words, you are more likely to die in a car accident on the way to the hospital, or get struck by lightening, than to have your uterus rupture.

The benefits of a VBAC far outweigh the risks of major abdominal surgery (c-sect).

That said - the choice is ultimately up to you, as it is your body and your baby. Just be sure it is an informed choice. :-)

- D.
Registered Yoga Instructor
Certified Khalsa Way Prenatal Yoga Instructor
Childbirth Educator

2 moms found this helpful

I had the exact situation as you with the C-Section and the baby in the NICU for the same reason. I will always regret not having that special moment when he was first born to hold him. It was really tough spending his first couple of days in the NICU holding him and seeing him with tubes in his body. But then I looked around and saw all the very sick babies in there and thanked God that he was OK and realized that is what is important.
With my second I opted for the C-Section againg because 1% is 1% and was too high for me to be comfortable. It was SO easy! Everything form the birth to the recovery was way easier than the first time: I got to hold him right away and he was perfectly healthy. I healed so fast...with the first I swear it took months to feel better. And yes-it was nice to schedule the birth with having a 2 year old in the mix.

Check out TIME magazine this week---article on how many doctors and hospitals are now refusing to do VBACS.

1 mom found this helpful

I will be in a similar situation soon (plan to try for #2 this summer). My son was an emergency c since there were some complications during delivery (I tried). I was told the same as you were, that its my choice for future pregnancies. From what I read, as long as you wait like 2 yrs after c section your uterus should be healed. I'm going for vbac because I want that experiance. So unless the doc says you must have C again, go for vbac. Good Luck!!!!!

1 mom found this helpful


I had two c-sections because my doctors don't do vbacks. I liked having a scheduled c with the second one. I really didn't have the choice in my case unless I went to a diffent baby doctor- not a chance!!

Good luck with your decision.

1 mom found this helpful

I had a c-section with my first for being breech and a VBAC with my second. The vaginal delivery was very difficult for me (part b/c the baby was crooked and ended up needing the assistance of a vacuum) and I tore a great deal. Even with all the trouble of the VBAC I would opt for that again over a c-section. My boys were 15 months apart...at least your uterus has had several more years to heal to avoid rupture. I am very glad you have a doctor who is willing to support you either way. That seems to be very rare now-a-days. If I were you, I would definitely do the VBAC, especially since you've had a vaginal delivery before! Best wishes!

1 mom found this helpful

Congratulations on your pregnancy! I have had a c section with each of my children (3). I labored 25 hours with my first, pushed for 4 1/2 and ended up with a c section. My baby was malpositioned and would not move down. I tried to vbac my 2nd, but he was even bigger then my first baby and I stalled at 3cm and agreed to the C. With my third I fought to attempt another vbac, but after having 2 previous sections and no successful vaginal deliveries I could not find an attending doctor and ended up with another C. I was not comfortable putting myself in an environment other then the hospital because of chance of rupture. I did extensive research on the topic in order to make the most educated decision, and bottom line is that it is safer for you and baby to deliver vaginally. There are a lot of risks with a c section in general, it is major surgery! Much greater risks with surgery as compared to the rate of rupture. Because you had a successful delivery with your first baby, and your c section was only due to breech presentation you are a perfect candidate for a vbac. It is awesome that your doctor is willing to support a vbac, and ultimately it is your decision. There is a wonderful message board on Yahoo Groups called ICAN, international cesearan Awareness Network. There are soo many knowlegable and suppostive women on there that can point you to tons of statistics and research studies. I would urdge you to join that group. Good luck in whatever you decide.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi M.,
I had my 1st daughter as a c-section in Sept. '05 due to estimated large birthweight. She was 9lb 1oz, delivered at 39 weeks. My second daughter was born in Sept. '07, and was a successful VBAC, at 40wks. She was 8lb 4oz. I was mainly worried about size the 2nd time around, and since my drs. were supportive of vbacs and knew I wanted one, they allowed me to be induced. All of the other advice you've received has been excellent, so I won't repeat. I just wanted to you to know that although having an induced vbac is not ideal, it CAN be done. I was only 1-2 cm when I was admitted, and given pitocin. I reacted well, and also had my water broken at 3 cm which helped things along. I had an epidural as well, and things progressed slow and steady. The doctor did need to use an internal monitor/probe of some kind to keep track of the intensity of the contractions becuase of the risk of uterine rupture. But I believe this was only because they used pitocin.
I am so glad I went VBAC, the recovery was AWESOME. And I thought that my c-section recovery was actually pretty good, but compared the the v-bac, I felt a million times better than i did after recovering from the csection. It amazed me how gingerly I had to stand up, walk, etc after the surgery, and how i could pretty much do any activity I needed to after the vbac. What a difference!
Good luck with whatever you decide, and congratulations on your little blessing!

1 mom found this helpful

1 / 3
Required Fields

Our records show that we already have a Mamapedia or Mamasource account created for you under the email address you entered.

Please enter your Mamapedia or Mamasource password to continue signing in.

Required Fields

, you’re almost done...

Since this is the first time you are logging in to Mamapedia with Facebook Connect, please provide the following information so you can participate in the Mamapedia community.

As a member, you’ll receive optional email newsletters and community updates sent to you from Mamapedia, and your email address will never be shared with third parties.

By clicking "Continue to Mamapedia", I agree to the Mamapedia Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.