Vaginal Birth After C-section - Sherman Oaks,CA

Updated on October 07, 2008
M.V. asks from Sherman Oaks, CA
34 answers

Hi. I am going to have my second child in January and my first baby was born via c-section after 36 hours of labor. I am not sure if I am going to have a c-section again or if I will try vaginal birth. I am curious about other women's experiences of delivering vaginally after having a c-section.

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W.S.

answers from Los Angeles on

My VBAC was the BEST thing that could have happened. The healing was much easier and the emtional healing from not being able to deliver my first was amazing. I would not change it for the world, as a matter of fact I had three VBAC's total and they were all very succesful.

My first born was 6lbs. 6oz. by emergency C-section and my second that was my 1st. VBAC was 9lbs. 3oz. don't let the Dr's scare you in to a C-section if you want a VBAC!

Good luck!

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M.M.

answers from Los Angeles on

M.,
I have 3 boys. My last delivery was a C-section. So, although, I have not had a VBAC I have experienced both and I have to tell you that a vaginal birth can be an absolute nightmare. With my first two boys I tore all the way from front to back (a 4th degree tear) and the recovery was aweful! I know lots of people will tell you that the recovery is easier with a vaginal birth, but you already know that you can handle the c-section recovery and you already have the scar and, for me, that would be much better than going for the unknown possibilities of a vaginal delivery. In fact, my tears were so bad that they were the reason I had to have a c-section. The doctor told me that if I tore one more time that I probably wouldn't have anything left to repair. She called it "vaginal preservation". So my advice is don't take a chance - go with what you know. Good luck to you.

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K.T.

answers from San Diego on

Don't do it. My best friend had major complications when trying this - her incision opened open and covered cut-off oxygen by clamping on the baby's cord. Her baby has brain damage and may not ever develop past a 3 month old level physically - he's already a year old.

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C.B.

answers from Los Angeles on

This will be a tough decision. I wasn't going to respond, but after reading the responses you have received I see you need some on my side of the debate. I very nearly died attempting a v-bac. I won't go into details, but it was fortunate that my Dr. had an OR prepped for me just in case, and that there happened to be another specialist in the hospital that was pulled out of a scheduled surgery to help save my life and my baby's life. I spent 5 days in critical care and another 4 days in the maternity ward.

I would take into consideration why your first labor was 36 hours, and what went wrong to lead to the c-section, and how likely it would be to repeat this scenario. I'm sure you will discuss this thoroughly with your doctor. If it helps, I know 2 women who scheduled c-sections after their first emergency c-section (after long labors), and both agree that the scheduled one without the labor before was a much easier recovery, and that they would both do it again. I sure would, but there won't be a next time for me.

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F.H.

answers from Los Angeles on

Check out ICAN (International Cesarean Awareness Network)on the net. You'll find lots of support and answers there. I had a VBAC with a midwife nearly five years after having a cesarean with my first son. Despite the negative feedback I got from some doctors and nurses, it was the best decision I've ever made. I was able to give birth naturally with no complications. Not even a tear or a cut. I forgot that I ever had a cesarean when I was giving birth. It was just so great. I took an awesome childbirth prep course based on the book Birthing From Within. It really helped me deal with my fears surrounding birth. I came out of natural childbirth feeling empowered, I know what I'm capable of now. Healing from natural childbirth was sooooooooooo much easier than healing from a cesarean and I wasn't on painkillers so I was able to connect with my baby better. I implore you to get as much info. on the subject as possible so you can make a truly informed decision. You have every right to give birth the way you choose. Don't let a doctor's fears of litigation get in the way of your will to have the best experience possible for you and your baby. Best wishes!

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C.F.

answers from Los Angeles on

Having had all of my four children when I was in my thirties, (they are now all in their twenties), and having the first two C-section babies (at 7# 3oz, and 8# 10 oz respectively), the third (at 9# 14oz) with a bit of help with forceps, and the fourth (at 9# 3oz) completely natural, with me laboring the final hour in a tub of water before delivering standing up, I can vouch for VBAC's! In addition to a lot of prayer and studying within my own faith, I read a wonderful book entitled Silent Knife...and found it VERY powerful in helping me realize that I WAS HEALED, and, in fact, the scar tissue was actually STRONGER than normal tissue (a prior concern regarding VBAC's was that there could be a rupture of the scar tissue). I'm happy to talk, should you want any other particulars....but I can definitely refute the "once a Cesarean, always a Cesarean" which was for so long the belief. Please do note that it took seeking out VERY SUPPORTIVE doctors who "let" me labor! Go for it!!!!!

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L.S.

answers from Los Angeles on

Of course you will have to be flexible on this as each delivery is different, and you may in the end need a C-section. That being said, I would at least prepare and try for a VBAC. There really should be no need for a C-section just because you had one before (if all progresses normally in your second labor). I've had 4 children, and only the second was a C-section. She was in distress and needed to be delivered very quickly. I had 2 more deliveries after her, both vaginal, and everything was fine. I prefer a vaginal birth and I found the recovery to be faster and easier, but everyone is different. Having a baby the way nature intended is just more satisfying, however, in the end it's not really about what mom wants....our goal as Mothers is to get the baby here in as optimal condition as we can, and we have to make decisions during labor to have the best outcome possible. Best of luck!

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D.F.

answers from Los Angeles on

One month ago I gave birth to my 3rd son vaginal and my 2nd son was born c-section. The vaginal delivery was my choice with the c-section as back up. I would talk to your dr to see if it is possible with you. The recovery was quick with the vaginal where the c-section it takes a day or two to just walk normal. The only for the c-section with my 2nd son was that the baby was under stress and for the baby sake it had to come out asap. Good luck but I think the choice should be yours.

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S.H.

answers from Honolulu on

have you asked your OB/GYN about it? Some Doctors/hospitals will not do a VBAC... because of the risks. So best to find that out first.

With me, with my first child, I had to have a c-section due to complications during labor. With my 2nd pregnancy, my Doctor asked me if I wanted a c-section or a VBAC.... however, he said that he personally feels VBAC's are riskier... due to complications and/or hemorrhage risks and the loss of baby/mother.

Best to find out all the risks and scenarios first & ask the Doctor and how many he/she has performed and the outcomes, and given your status of your pregnancy or if you are higher risk or not?
For me, I went with a c-section with my 2nd pregnancy.
Each is a personal decision...

All the best,
Susan

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A.B.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hi! I delivered my daughter v-bac 5 years after having twins via c-section. I had no problems. Recovery time was a lot shorter. I would go v-bac again.

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C.D.

answers from Los Angeles on

I'm lucky to have a wonderful OB who delivered my first by C-section. He is entirely willing to try a VBAC, but we've had some long talks about the risks, and the variables that affect the risks.

The short version (and I recommend you get the long version before you make a decision!) is...

There is around a 1/600 risk of the scar rupturing, which puts you at risk of a hysterectomy or bleeding to death and puts the baby at risk of death or permanent brain damage. That risk changes a bit depending on how big the baby is, how big the head is, and other stuff I don't fully understand. If the baby is early, the risk is lower. If late, it's higher.

That risk is similar to the chances of something going wrong in a C-section, *but* the risk of it being something serious isn't the same (i.e. 'something going wrong' versus 'something life-threatening causing permanent damage going wrong').

The route I agreed to take with my doc - and I'm not suggesting this is the 'right' thing for you, just where I decided I was comfortable - was to schedule a C-section 6 days before my due date. I had a scan a week ago and she's on track to be a 9.5 lb baby, which is a factor in where I've landed, obviously. I'll have an internal exam 2 days before the scheduled C, and if she's partly engaged and I'm partly dilated, we may cancel the op. If she's not showing any signs of imminent arrival, we'll go ahead with it.

My OB's original advice was that we pick a date - maybe 39 weeks, maybe 41 weeks according to my comfort level. Then we reevaluate after the 36-week scan. Either way, we keep an open mind at the time and see how things are looking.

It may not be universal, but the hospital and doc I'm seeing absolutely will not induce labor if you've had a prior Caesar. Contractions are often more intense and raise the risk of a rupture.

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J.F.

answers from Los Angeles on

Good luck with whatever you decide. I have a friend who had a successful VBAC after her first was a C (for the same reasons as you). I have another friend that tried, but was unsuccessful. The first thing you need to do is talk to your doctor to see if your doctor and hospital will support you attempting the VBAC and if your health is up for the challenge. If not, you have some tough choices to make. You may need to look at changing doctors and hospitals to make the attempt.

I had one emergency C and one planned C and will have my third C in April. I was not a good candidate for the VBAC and it was a VERY difficult decision to not attempt the VBAC. I am totally supportive of anyone who makes the attempt, if health of mom and baby are good!

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M.T.

answers from Los Angeles on

All I can say is that I passionately wanted to have my babies naturally, with no epidural, and wasn't able too. I'm scheduled for my third in one week, all C Sections, and my doctor gave me no option... my youngest is only one year old (I think I've heard that the more time in between the safer the attempt). I wish you luck, and if I happen to get pregant again, I'll try to find someone who can work with me... there is the convenience factor to having the births scheduled, but for me, I feel like a birthing failure! Like, if this was pre-surgery times, I wouldn't be allowed to reproduce!!! :-(

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L.W.

answers from Los Angeles on

you have a lot to think about now ,dont worry you will know when the time comes let nature take care of it L.

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J.W.

answers from Reno on

I wanted a vaginal birth after my c-section. The doctor refused and told me that most women who have vaginal births after c-sections become infected. A friend of mine did that and wound up in the hospital for a week from an infection that would not go away.

I would talk to your doctor and see what they would recommend.

J.

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G.W.

answers from Los Angeles on

I too had a c-section with my first, and opted for a v-bac for my second. I wanted a quicker recovery for the sake of my 2 year old daughter and also had been disappointed with not having the traditional birthing experience the first time.

I spoke with my OB/GYN and also got 2 or 3 other recommendations and all were very positive about being able to attempt a vbac. They went over the concerns and precautions with me, and let me know that it was considered a high risk delivery and I would be monitored closely.

After 24 hours of "natural" labor, I ended up needing an emergency c-section after all. My son was in distress and his heart rate kept dropping. It turns out that once they went in for the c-section my uterus was already open. I was the one in 200 that have uterine rupture and it was a blessing in the end that I didn't get to the pushing stage with my son either.

I know that every experience is different. I think if I could do it again, I would still attempt the vbac. Just be in great communication with your doctors and make sure they are monitoring you very carefully.

Good luck and Congratulations!

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L.J.

answers from Los Angeles on

You know that every birth is different. I had an emergency c-section with my first after laboring 14 hours, and VBAC with my second. My doctor never hesitated about VBAC. Two seconds after my second son was born via VBAC I turned to my husband and said the next one would be a scheduled c-section! In my experience, the VBAC was MUCH harder than I was expecting. Labor and delivery was hard and painful, I was pushing so hard it felt like my eyeballs were going to pop out, so my eyes were closed and I didnt' even get to see my son being born. Recovery was much worse/longer with the VBAC also. I don't know which was worse, the hemorrhoids, or the episeotomy. Sorry to be so graphic, but that's reality. I'd say it was a least 2 weeks after the VBAC before I was feeling "normal" again. With the c-section, it was less than a week.

I really wanted to do the VBAC, it was certainly an experience. And if we were ever to have another baby, I'd attempt it again. But I think, in my heart, I'd hope for a c-section. ; )

Good luck!

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R.B.

answers from Los Angeles on

My first was also c section after 36 hours due to ftp and him showing signs of stress. That was followed 2 years later with my second born vbac. That was followed 1 1/2 years later by my third also vbac. And that was followed 1 1/2 years later by twins also vbac.

It really does depend on why you had to deliver c section, how it was done, and the current condition of your body. The only one who can really help you decide is your dr. Unfortunately today many are so afraid of being sued that many are now refusing to even let their patiens concider vbac.
Congratulations on your new little blessing and best wishes as you look into what will happen this time around.

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M.L.

answers from Reno on

Hi M.,
I do not know where you live and I have not yet read any of your other posts, but you should first see if your doctor will even allow you to have a VBAC. I had my first daughter 4 1/2 years ago via c-section after 20 hours of labor. When I got pregnant with mu second daughter I was excited because I wanted to try the VBAC. Unfortunatley, my doctor wouldn't allow it. Furthermore, many of the doctors here in Reno, NV> wouldn't allow it. They claim there is a very high liability with this and the chance of the uterus rupturing during a vaginal birth after a c-section is greater. I couldn't find anyone that would even consider it. So, needless to say I had to have a second c-section. I will say this about it though, the second one was much easier than the first one as far as recovery and pain afterward. I did so much better after a planned c-sec. than after the first one. Good luck with your VBAC, and congratulations with your new addition. I hope it is a very easy delivery and that you get to stick to your birth plan. God Bless.

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P.F.

answers from Las Vegas on

Wow...I'm surprised to read all your responses about the risks involved with a V-BAC. I never once heard these "horror" stories or I may have been more hesitant to have had a V-BAC. But I did it (ignorance is bliss so they say?)...#1 was an emergency C-Section (unplanned) but she had the cord wrapped around her neck...#2 was a vaginal delivery...no problems at all (like I say, I'm glad I didn't hear about all the things that could go wrong). The healing for my V-BAC was just as difficult if not more difficult than the C-section...so when I became pregnant with our last 2 (twins), the doctor gave me the choice. I CHOSE C-Section. It was planned (you could set the date to go in and have them), no hard labor...and I could just say "Cut on the dotted line"..........it was quite simple. Good luck to you with whatever you decide on, but this was just my experience. Now my precious 4 are 21,18,& 16 & 16. P.

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T.D.

answers from Los Angeles on

My first was a c-section because the baby was breech and I had a successful vbac 3 years later after 26 hours of labor. The vbac was a cakewalk compared to the c-section. Don't let anyone scare you about uterine rupture with a vbac - the chance of it happening is about half of one percent (0.5%). Ask your doctor. I'm SO happy I chose to go vbac the second time around.

Good luck!!

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T.

answers from Las Vegas on

M.,

My older child was born via c-section because he was breech. My second child was born via VBAC (vaginal birth after c-section). My husband was very freaked out and unsupportive but both my OB and my perinatologist (I have high risk pregnancies with lots of preterm labor) were supportive. I would have had another c-section if there would have been a valid medical reason to do it, but I was not going to sign up 6 months in advance!

My experience: I loved the VBAC. I felt so much better and was so much more mobile after the birth. I had my son at 4 a.m. and I was up walking around by 7 a.m. I went home the next morning. I wasn't on pain pills, I wasn't hunched over and I wasn't recovering from major surgery (a c-section is major surgery and it sucks, I don't care what anyone says!). I did have quite a bit of tearing (I ended up with a vacuum assist because the cord was around his neck so they pulled him out) and stitches and it was still 99% less painful and gross than the recovery from a c-section. I also had considerably less bleeding after the birth. I would highly recommend a VBAC to anyone. Once I researched the actual risks of a VBAC (uterine rupture) and figured out that the risk was actually only slightly higher for a VBAC than any vaginal delivery (something like 3.5% vs. 3%) and that the risk of death (to mother and baby) is still considerably higher with a c-section, etc.... there was no way I was going to volunteer for the c-section. Everyone has their own opinion and should do their own research and talk to their doctor (because the reason you originally had a c-section and your medical history needs to be considered) but personally, if your doctor is supportive, I see no reason to not try it. My recovery from my c-section was really rough and I didn't want to go through that again with a newborn and a 3 year old at home.

:-)T.

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J.R.

answers from Los Angeles on

Two months ago today, my friend, who shares my commitment to natural childbirth and attachment parenting, went into labor intendint to have a VBAC. When her contractions were still 10 minutes apart, her uterus ruptured. The baby was dead before the ambulance even got them from her house to the hospital.

It makes me tear up to write this. The odds against the rupture were high, and against the baby dying were even higher. Until this happened I would have attempted a VBAC. Now, if I get pregnant, I will have another Cesarean. That's just me. The odds said she should have been fine. But the baby's gone.

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E.O.

answers from Los Angeles on

Good morning...wow I can actually give feedback on something I went through.

I had my older daughter via Csection at a very young age, and then after re-marriage I was blessed with having my second daughter. At first I was prepared for a Csection again, but it had been 7 years between the two and I was able to have the VBAC with her. As I drove to the hospital for my scheduled Csection I went into labor (not realizing it). I did have an epidermal, and the VBAC and the experience was great for me (except of course the basic pain that comes with child birth). I was not asleep and was able to hold my daughter. As far as the bottom end, all seemed normal. Had the episomety (sp?) and was up and about alot sooner then with the Csection. I do suggest getting feedback from your doctor and his/her backup so you know both of them and they are aware of your situtation.
Congrats on the baby, and good luck.
EO

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M.L.

answers from Las Vegas on

Hi. I'm hoping for a VBAC any day now, I'm 4 days overdue and hoping to go in to labor in the next day or so, because my dr. wants to induce on Tuesday. I strongly suggest getting in touch with your local ICAN (international ceaserean awareness network)group. The one here in Vegas has been a wonderful source of information and support for me. You can find a local chapter on the website
http://www.ican-online.org/
Best of Luck!

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E.R.

answers from Los Angeles on

I had my first child by unplanned C-section and felt a gypped by the experience, after going through the birthing class and imagining it going so differently...
I always thought I would want to have a V-BAC for my next child, but my friend's mother, who is an Ob.Gyn. nurse, has strongly discouraged me, because of the risk of rupturing that would potentially harm me and/or the baby, and even render it impossible to have any more children after that. For me, the experience wouldn't be worth such a threat, though of course that is for you and your doctor to decide. Congratulations, and no matter how the baby arrives, it will be a delight!

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E.H.

answers from Los Angeles on

M.,
Now a days it is no big deal to have a Vaginal birth after having a C-Section many OB's are willing to give it a try. I had twin boys both over 8lbs each via C-section and then a beautiful daughter over 9lbs vaginally with no complications. Talk to your OB if there is no medical reason not to. Go for it!

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S.R.

answers from Los Angeles on

I had a V-Bac. It was a completely different experience, and my daughter came out 4 minutes after reaching the hospital. I loved it! The recovery was so much faster, I was up and about after less than two days. I did tear and have stiches and was quite uncomfortable for a while, however, even that was beter than the c-section recovery (which was quite easy for me too). I did process a lot before my birth, had WATSU and Feldenkreiss to work on my pelvis to be as mobile as posslbe.
Good luck!

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E.K.

answers from Los Angeles on

There is a VBAC wsebsite called ican network or something like that. Check it out!
Talk to your OB and find out if they used a single suture or double suture method. There is a higher rate of uterine rupture with the single suture method.
Also, find out the policy of your hospital-I found out that our hospital placed some heavy restrictions on VBACs.

If you do have another C, request that your OB use the double suture method, to avoid placenta percreta and avoid uterine rupture for future pregnancies/deliveries.

Check out Ina May's Guide to Childbirth. There is a section on VBACs.

Best of luck in whatever you choose! And congrats!
E.

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L.F.

answers from Los Angeles on

M., I highly recommend contacting my midwife, Tonya Brooks, who is located in Sherman Oaks. I experienced the most naturally incredible pregnancy and birth with her as my midwife, and her BIRTHING CLASSES are sooooo AMAZING! And, I know that her and her staff would be able to assist you with your question re: VBAC.

Here's her data:

The Natural Birth & Women's Center
14140 Magnolia Blvd.
Sherman Oaks, CA 91423
Tel: ###-###-####
http://www.gr8birth.com

Please feel free to call me if you have any questions: (323) 906~2784.

LOL,
L. (MAMA to 1 year old Dylan Orion).

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V.G.

answers from Los Angeles on

Speak with/email Ana Paula Markel, she was my child birth educator. (I had my first child on April 5th drug-free and natural) Her first two children were C-section and her last 2 were vaginal. [email protected]____.com has a wealth of information on which doctors would be best to see about your VBAC interests.

Good Luck!

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D.G.

answers from Las Vegas on

Please discuss this issue with your doctor!!!! Although it is possible to deliver vaginally after a c-section sometimes that is not an option -- it wasn't for me. My first was delivered with an emergency c-section after trying and failing a forceps delivery. Numbers 2 & 3 were scheduled c-sections as it would have been dangerous (or impossible) to deliver vaginally. The possibility of vaginal delivery after a c-section is dependent upon the reason for the c-section, and should be a decision made after discussion with your OB/Gyn.

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J.D.

answers from Reno on

You probably haven't talked to your doctor about it yet, as it's still a few months away, but most doctors won't do VBACs anymore. My doctor told me after my first was born (I think the next day, when he came to my hospital room to see me) that I'd have to have c-sections from then on. I ended up having three. You'll have to ask your doctor, but in Reno, where I live, I've only heard of one or two doctors that will allow VBACs. Good luck! It is easier to heal the second time around if that makes you feel any better. :)

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