Should I Have a 3Rd C-section, or Try VBAC?

Updated on August 26, 2008
B.S. asks from Tulsa, OK
6 answers

I am almost 4 months pregnant with my 3rd child. With my oldest 5 years ago, I had to have an emergency c-section. This was due to him facing the wrong way, and he had already had a bowel movement, but my body was not progessing with the labor. He was also a week past the due date, and I was scheduled to be induced the next Monday, but started having contractions the Saturday before. I had no complications with the caesarean, and he was 9lbs 6oz and beautiful. I had my 2nd son last October, he is almost 1, and I also had him by c-section because my doctor does not offer the vaginal birth after caesarean option. It was weird to me for me to pick his birthdate, and it just wasn't as exciting and suspenseful as my first pregnancy experience. Now, I am pregnant again (with my last child, I think), and I am wondering if I should talk to other doctors that offer VBAC to see what the risks are? My last caesarean actually hurt. It was not a good experience for me at all. My baby was a healthy 8lbs, but they had to push on my chest to push him through the scar tissue and my chest hurt so bad. And, I would rather not have my stomach cut open again if it wouldn't put a risk on our baby or my body. I understand a vaginal birth comes with pain as well, but I wouldn't know! Does anyone have any suggestions on having 3 caesareans, or having a vaginal birth after caesarean? Also, can anyone refer a good doctor I could talk to that offers VBAC? I don't want to have any unnecessary risk, but I also don't want to be cut open if I don't need to be. Thank you so much!

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answers from Tulsa on

Everything I've read says it is not a good idea to try VBAC because the uterus wall (where the old incision was) can rupture or something. Especially after 2. If I were in your position, I'd opt for the C-section, I think there is a good chance you'd end up having to have one anyway if the vaginal route isn't going smoothly. I have no personal experience to share with you, as I have not had a c-section, I've just had one vaginal birth (very painful, by the way, because the drugs stopped working in some spots, I had a vaginal tear and subsequent stitches, that was the worst pain the week after delivery, thank goodness for the drugs!). Don't think you would be "missing out" on "natural delivery" or something like that, trust me, it wasn't a fun experience for me! Having to push over and over for a long time was not fun. And NOT having to go through hours of labor (c-section), that sounds great to me!! I like to have everything in my life planned perfectly, and so when I suddenly went into labor and had to go to the hospital, the whole time I was freaking out because I was not in control. I personally would feel better if I had more control, like scheduling a c-secition so you can be 100% ready. If your concern is just not wanting to be cut open unneccessarily, as you mentioned, that is certainly a good reason to want to do a VBAC, but a repeat c-section is still what I personally would opt to do if I were in your shoes. I'm just going by what I remember reading in books or articles by medical professionals. Although, your last c-section did not sound fun at all. But I think the general idea is that there are fewer risks for complications with the repeat c-section that with a VBAC. But good luck, I probably wasn't much help, sorry, but I thought I'd share my view as someone who gave birth vaginally.



answers from Tulsa on

B, I used Dr. Barrette in Claremore. The Claremore regional hospital was unbelieveably wonderful. With my first I had a midwife at home but after nearly 3 days, we had to go to Hillcrest and have a C section. For my next I used Dr. Barrette and a doula and tried for a VBAC. Dr. B had been trained as a midwife and was very open to my birth plan. Unfortunatley, I ended up having two days of pitocin labor and a C section. Both babies were turned and big. my second one was 9,10 and they had a tough time getting him out.

Simply being pregnant with a C section scar on the uterus is risky. Scars don't stretch very well. Make sure you are vigilant about taking your prenatal vitamins and fish oil.

In answer to your question, if you can find a doctor or hospital that will let you try a VBAC, I wold go for it.



answers from Tulsa on

Hi B.,

This is a subject very near and dear to me. Obviously each situation is unique, but here's my story...

I was devastated when my ob/gyn told me I was going to have to have another c-section when I found out I was pregnant with baby #2. I was truly heartbroken and angry that I was being forced into this surgery (by my ob/gyn's mal-practice insurance company). My first c-section was planned because my daughter was in a transverse position and would not turn down. It turned out to be anything but routine, as I lost a tremendous amount of blood, had to have a transfusion and stayed in the hospital for 5 days. There was no medical reason for me to have a c-section this time around. After much soul searching and A LOT of research, I decided to leave my ob/gyn of 10 years. He helped me find a wonderful doctor named Marsha Howerton. I switched at 26 weeks. Dr. Howerton was so supportive and understanding of my desire to birth my son in the safest and best way for both of us. Having a 3 year old at home, I did not want to stay the extra time in the hospital that a c-section requires nor did I want to spend the extra few weeks recovering from an unnecessary surgery. I never even felt a contraction with my first pregnancy and I know this sounds crazy, but I wanted to feel labor. I wanted to have my son handed to me right after birth, not whisked away for hours until I was out of recovery. I wanted to nurse him immediately unlike my daughter who was taken to the nursery for 2 hours. My family saw her before I did. I am so blessed that my VBAC was completely successful. I would not hesitate to do it again. It was an incredible experience and I would highly recommend it to anyone who has done their research and understands the risks and benefits of both birthing methods. If you are as determined as I was to attempt a VBAC, I would say interview the ob/gyns that can and will let you and make sure you are comfortable with the doctor you choose and with everything that goes along with it. I felt so empowered after my son's birth, in fact I could not have scripted it any better. Obviously the perfect outcome is a healthy mom AND baby either way you deliver. I'm not sure if it has changed, but I had my VBAC at St. Johns in Tulsa and the nurses were fabulous. Best of luck to you and congrats!! If you have any more questions, feel free to email [email protected]




answers from Tulsa on

The Birthmother of our beautiful boy wanted a vbac after her first c-section. THe OB said that he was reluctant to do a vbac since he wasn't the ob that did the first. He said I don't know what your scar looks like on the inside. He said that by the time the monitors detected a problem, she could have hemmoraged. He said the window is so short that if there is the slightest problem, there WILL be harm to either mother or baby. In our case she chose the c-section. THe Dr. stated after that the moment he merely touched her urterus with the scapel it split completely open. He stated that if she had gone with the vbac she would have at a minimum had a hystorectomy.

It sounds like you have really romanticized the natural birth process. The goal of any pregnancy is to deliver a healthy baby. So wouldn't you rather have a healthy mommy and baby, than to risk the health and life of you both? You have two others to be concerned about.

GOod luck, I'm sure you will make the right decision.



answers from Tulsa on

HI B..
I also had an emergency Cesarean with my first child. I am currently pregnant - due end of Oct, early Nov... I am seeing a wonderful OBGYN, Dr. Adam Myers. He is with Southcrest (the only hospital in Tulsa that allows VBAC) adn he is very understaning to the health concerns for moms & babies considering VBAC. As you have probably noticed it's the insurance companies that make it difficult on doctors to procede with VBAC eventhough cesareans are twice as likely to end in some health issue for mom & or baby.
I have a friend who owns a natural baby boutique, Natural Lullabies, on 81st & Harvard. SHe offers several classes andhas a library of great books you can check out on this very topic. Melissa is also a trained andcertified doula and Bradley Method instructor and can offer wonderful advice for you & your husband to consider when making this decison! Good luck to you.
Some great books to look at on Amazon are:
The Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth
Anything by Ina May Gaskin or Sheila Kitzinger...



answers from Tulsa on

I found some information on this website....

I don't have a personal experience to share with you b/c I haven't had a c-section. However, with my child I was in labor for 12 hours and the drugs wore off about the time I felt the urge to push. I pushed and pushed for 4 hours straight and then they finally "helped" get him out. It was a long very exhausting and painful experience. I don't know that you are actually missing out by having a c-section.

Hope this helps!

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