VBAC Or Repeat C-section - Cambridge,MN

Updated on November 09, 2010
B.W. asks from Cambridge, MN
23 answers

About a year and half ago I had a c-section because my baby was breech. I was planning to do a VBAC for my second baby however my hospital no longer does VBACs. The closest place that offers a VBAC would be about an hour away. I would only be able to see my dr until 28 weeks and then I would have to transfer my care to the hospital an hour away. I am not sure what I want to do or what will be best for me and for the baby. I am looking for any feedback on VBAC vs repeat c-section and what others would suggest.


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So What Happened?

My second baby was breech too so I ended up not having a choice to do a VBAC.

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answers from Janesville-Beloit on

I had an emergency c section with my now 9 year old. When I was pregnant with my now 7 year old I was given the option of a VBAC. My OB and I went over the pros and cons of the VBAC vs. the C-Section. Chances were (with me) I was going to end up with the c section anyway so my husband and I made an informed decision to go with the scheduled c-section. Everything went very well.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Houston on

I too had the option and ended up just scheduling a c-section to be done with the going back and forth on the decision making. The deal breaker for me was if I were to go into labor and there were any complications they would do I c-section anyway so why go through all that pain for nothing. Second c-section is a cinch... recovery is so much better!

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answers from Flagstaff on

Yes I do have an opinion-do the C-section. I did VBAC on my one and only son and he had difficulties breathing after. If I would have just done the C-section I think things would have gone so much better.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Fargo on

I had a c-section with my first because of her being breech, too. While I did recover quickly and easily from it, I still didn't want to have to do that again. My OB for my 2nd told me that I was a candidate for a VBAC and that's what we decided to go for. My little one decided to come 7 weeks early, and with us not knowing if I could deliver vaginally, I got an epidural so I could already be numb if we had to do emergency c-section. Thankfully, she wasn't a big baby and I had a very successful VBAC. My 3rd, it was no question that I was going to go with a VBAC (as long as I fit all the criteria: spontaneous labor, no induction, etc...). My son was 6 weeks early and the labor went really fast that I was fully dialated and wanting to push before we left the house. The OB on call barely got to the hospital in time to "catch" my son. In my 3 experiences, I would defintely do the completely natural, no pain meds VBAC all over again if we were to have a 4th! I felt so good after he was born.
As far as your hospital situation...did you labor at all with your first before having a c-section? If so, was the labor progressing along quickly, rather slowly? That would be a big factor in my decision of whether or not I could make it to the hospital an hour away. In my case, I don't know that I could, but that's the only option for where I live as our small local hospital doesn't do deliveries. With all that said, I have a cousin who has had c-sections for all 4 of her children and is completely happy with that. Go with what you're most comfortable(at peace) with and don't feel guilty or let anyone else make you feel guilty for your decision. Congrats on baby #2!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Fort Wayne on

A lot of people are going to advocate for the VBAC, especially since a second c-section is most often seen as elective surgery. I had an emergency c-section with my first and opted for a second c-section with my youngest. My doctor was fantastic and would have let me do a VBAC, but I felt more comfortable with a second c-section.
Honestly, I think I would probably just opt for the second c-section. An hour is a REALLY long time to drive to visit your doctor, which you'll be doing more and more frequently. I'm going to guess, but I'd bet your doctor would induce (even though I guess it's a no-no for VBACs) since you live so far away.
That's just my opinion though. There are definite benefits/drawbacks to either choice. I suggest that you really talk to your doctor about your different options. Weight them carefully and see what YOU feel most comfortable with.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Davenport on

I was in the same position, I had a C-section with my first, becasue she was breech with the cord around her neck turned out it was wrapped around 3 times, and they even had issues pulling her out of the c-seciton "bikini style" incision....one of the older Male Dr.s in the room wanted them to cut me again, in a "T" shape to get her, but the woman Dr., who was my primary, advocated for me and got my baby out fine, just took a few more tries! It wasn't terrible, I recovered fairly easily/well, was walking that night 8 pm, after being delivered at 3:45 pm. BUT, somehow it left me feeling lacking, and as if I had done something wrong/less than, in not "giving" birth, but having my baby taken out - I think this is a common feeling in women who have only had c-sections, especially when they feel it was not really their choice, the choice was made for them.

So I wanted to do a VBAC with my second delivery, but a month and a half before he was due, my Hospital stopped doing them, thay had been doing them up till then. Also, for the lady wo said eliminating VBAC from a hospital makes it a backward thinking hospital, etc. that is not true, we have a brand new state of the art hospital, and they were doing them, until the insurance became cost-prohibitive, they didn't want to eliminate them, but had to...a year after my boy was born there, they stopped doing deliveries at all, and they had had a wonderful Family Birthing Center only a year and a half old, OB insurance is sky high, since there are so many litigous people out ther ethat sue for every thing. Anyway.... Like you, the closest where I could do VBAC was about an hour away, and I would have to transfer all remaining care there, and especially with a toddler in tow, I didn't want to have to drag myself and her all the way to every one of those last appointments, an hour away. Plus if you are doing a VBAC and thus waiting for labor to start naturally, you don't know when/where you'll be, or who will be with you, or how long your labor is, since you don't have previous experience with it.

I decided to stay at my local hospital and have a scheduled C-section at 39 weeks. It was another surgery, which is not what I really wanted for myself. BUT it was an even easier recovery than the first one, we knew exactly when everything was going to happen, so we could plan for childcare for my toddler (we are new to our area, I am a stay at home mom, so no regular daycare, and the closest family to watch her was over 45 miles away), and we could plan for time off for my husband, so he wouldn't be at work 45 miles away when I went into labor or something. In between the two kids I had had a 12 week miscarriage, and I did it naturally, and went into labor and everything, and just waiting for my hubby and then taking the 15 minute drive to the local hospital the pain was excruciating, and that was with a baby only the size of a papaya! I couldn't imagine that wait and then a hour dirve to the bigger hospital, and finding our way through that huge place, etc, in that kind of pain. Maybe I am a woos!

I the long run, we got a healthy baby, with less unexpected things in the mix, so it was easier and less stressful for all of us, we knew exactly what to expect. Except for one surprise, our Dr. had been telling us for months that on Ultrasound he was 85% sure it was a girl, but we had a beautiful baby boy!


1 mom found this helpful


answers from Cedar Rapids on

You're going to get a lot of people who passionately advocate for a VBAC and I understand their feelings, I really do, but don't let yourself be "guilted" into something that puts you an hour away from home with a doctor you're not as comfortable with. I never went into labor with my first and they couldn't even induce me (tried pitocin for 14 hours and nothing!) so I had a c-section and it went fine since I hadn't had any labor. My uterus was so thinned out from all of the pitocin that it didn't contract and I nearly ended up with a transfusion.

After that scare from induction, and given how fast I recovered, I opted for a scheduled c-section with my second child and was thrilled with how it turned out. Super fast recovery and I had the piece of mind of knowing when it was going to happen and planning ahead for the care of my older child.

Best of luck with whichever you choose!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

I also struggled with this desicion and my hopsital (kaiser) does offer them. I talked with a family friend who is also an OBGYN. We talked about a lot, but he let me know that his experience is that most mommies are very happy with repeat C. In the end thats what I did. It was the right decision for me, she had the cord two times around her neck as well was sunnyside up. My Dr. told me she would never have been delivered vaginaly. I'm really glad that I made the decision for C-section. However, i know how very empowering it is to push that baby out. For me, I put the decision up to God and asked him to lead me. My deal with God was that if I went into early labor I would VBAC and if not, I'd go a head with the scheduled C. Even so, I agonized and agonized. Its a hard decision. Best of luck.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Madison on

I'm not sure I'd want to risk having to drive to a hospital an hour away while in labor.



answers from Austin on

This probably won't help but it truly is up to you and your partner. I had planned to do a VBAC for my second. I had an emergency c-section with my first and of course hospitals push for a c-section all the time. If I wasn't going to get my tubes tied this time around, I would still be planning on the VBAC as I tend to want things to be more natural rather than forced. I'm at 36 weeks and I still wish I could do the VBAC, but due to the cost, time, etc, it just made more sense for us to do the schedule c-section. Good luck on what you decided and congrats!



answers from New York on

Can you schedule an appointment with the doctor who will do a VBAC? That was what helped me decide. I tried for the VBAC and got almost to the point of pushing but had an emergency c-section because the cord was around the baby's neck. I don't regret the decision to do the c-section or the decision to try for a VBAC. But the combination of going through most of labor and then a rushed c-section is very hard on the mommy! My emergency c-section was much more painful than the first one and it ended up infected. The infection was horrible and more painful than the c-section.

There was a lot of time and $ put toward doing the VBAC. If you aren't sure about the VBAC, you may want to put the time and $ toward getting the help you need immediately after the birth. On the other hand sometimes the VBAC works out, as it did for at least one of my friends.


answers from Tampa on

VBACs are the safest. I'm very glad to hear so many women on here survived and healed from their multiple cesareans - but truth is, it is MAJOR surgery where they remove and re-arrange your organs. If you have had a prior cesarean, your body has created a lot of scar tissue and adhesions - which the OB surgeon will not know about until AFTER they cut you open.

I've been in 4 cesarean surgeries (as an observer during clinicals) and have had one myself. I will never have one again unless I or baby are minutes away from death. Vaginal births that do NOT have pitocin or epidurals rarely if ever have fatal outcomes.

80-90% of VBACs are successful, especially after only one cesarean. You CANNOT be induced if you have a VBAC and epidurals are frowned upon. Pitocin and epidurals put you at risk without already having a cesarean, so after one, they are really bad news.

With cesareans, every single time you run the risks of: anesthesia problems; permanent migraines or spinal fluid leakage (if a spinal or epidural is used); perforated bowels, bladder or other organs; intestines not placed back into body cavity in the correct pattern; baby can be sliced while uterus is being cut open; skin tears from when they pry your skin and abdominal muscles apart to get the baby out; hemorrhaging; and some women can die - especially if a nicked intestine or bladder isn't noticed until days after the surgery - by then sepsis can occur and death shortly after.

Cesareans aren't mole removal or ingrown toenail quickie surgeries. They are major major surgeries where outcomes can cause death. The less amount of cesareans you can have the better for your health, baby's health and easier recovery time.

For those mentioning umbilical cord wrapped around baby's head... that is so common it'd venture it is more normal than not. What can make that dangerous is if they umbilical cord is too short, which would be found in the unltrasound. Also - 'sunny side up', most breeches (there are 5 types of breech), etc can ALL be born vaginally - usually only if you have the support of a CPM (Certified Professional Midwife), since they deal with this over 800 times a year versus OBs and CNMs who deal with normal births quite sporadically.



answers from Grand Junction on

I was set on having a v-back. My doc and I went through pros and cons and he said that statistics show that both are just as risky as not. So he filled out all paper work and we were set. He did tell me that if he had to induce, he would do a c-section.....I ended up with a c-section at 40.5 weeks.



answers from Chicago on

I've had two c-sections, the first after a long labor and pushing, the second planned. The recovery after the second was nothing like the first. I was up and walking hours after surgery, taking care of my baby as soon as I got feeling back. I only had a few hours of labor (went into full labor at the hospital right before the scheduled surgery) so I wasn't so exhausted afterwards, and it was much easier to take care of my baby that night since I wasn't so tired. It was so much easier, and the second time, I was smarter too. The first time, I didn't want to take the meds because I was afraid of nursing my baby after taking them, so everything was slower and took longer to heal. This time, I took them regularly at first , so my body was able to do what it needed instead of having to fight constant pain. I also had two to look after, so it was just necessity. Personally, I wouldn't want a hospital too far away, but that's just me. I know plenty of women have VBACs, but because I had such an easy time with this c-section, I don't regret it at all. Good luck with your decision!



answers from Washington DC on

My vote would be vbac. I had placenta previa which i found out about 4 days before I found out my doc did not vbac. He kept that little secret from until the other doc let it slip. HE wanted my level 2 results then was going to let me make an informed decision. I would switch doc now and go with the one that would deliver you by vbac. Surgery is always a big deal



answers from St. Louis on

I have had three c-sections. My 1st was emergency because I was in labor for 26 hrs and no luck getting baby to come out. My 2nd was planned because the doctor thought I was having another big baby and thought it would be safest to have another c-section. 3rd was also planned but baby came the night before my scheduled c-section so he was an emergency c-section. My 1st suregery was the worst recovery ever since I was in labor for so long too. 2nd and 3rd recoveries were fine; within a couple of weeks i was back to normal activies. Personally i would try vbac if you find a doctor you like that approves of it. One less surgery is always better i think. I wish i would have tried with my 2nd because he even turned out to be on the small side. The doctor that did my last c-section had advised me to either not have any more children or only one more because of the scar tissue from previous surgies. Ive always wanted four children but now im afraid of having another surgery and not knowing what recovery i will end up having. good luck in whatever you choose.



answers from Sioux City on

I am totally for a VBAC. I personally have not had one (yet). I had an emergency c-section with my first. His heart dropped too low during my contractions. He was a low birth weight baby (5 lbs 9 oz) and had some issues after birth. My labor progressed great, I was dialated to 6cm after 4 hours of labor. I was @ 7 or 8 cm when they took me in for the c-section. When I got pregnant with my 2nd, I so badly wanted a Vbac, but like you my hospital no longer does them. So, we had to schedule a c-section. Shortly after I had my 2nd, I found a hospital that will do them. I personally have to drive an hour to my regular hospital anyway so driving an hour doesn't phase me. I feel like I was forced into having a 2nd c-section. My recovery was horrible! It took 6 months for my incision to heal. With my first, even with having gone through labor, my incision was completely healed by my post-op appointment. I'm not really sure how a c-section can cost less than a Vbac, because c-section is surgery and vbac is not. Therefore, you have all those extras to pay for. Maybe I am missing something??? I found a lot of support and useful information through the ICAN website: www.ican-online.org I gives great information for both a scheduled c-section and vbac. It is ultimately your decision and you shouldn't feel pressured one way or the other. I wish you the best of luck your decision!



answers from Milwaukee on

I had an emergency C-section with my first. I really wanted to experience a vaginal delivery and opted for a VBAC with my second. I had a VERY supportive OB. It was a really long and difficult labor, but I'm so happy I got my VBAC and I definitely don't regret it. I had a very easy C-section recovery, and I don't think the vaginal birth recovery was much easier, but I think the VBAC was the safer choice for me and my baby and it was a much more emotionally satisfying experience than my C-section. I had a doula, and would highly recommend getting one if you go for a VBAC! I don't think a 1 hour drive would be that big of a deal, although I would recommend doing the drive before you're in active labor as it's not fun sitting in the car with massive contractions.



answers from Minneapolis on

I don't have any personal experience with c-sections or VBACs (except that my sister-in-law had a VBAC in 2000. However, this is a pretty well known and informative website with some information that might help you decide.
Good luck



answers from Des Moines on

I had an emergency c-section with my first after laboring for about 15 hours. I was really disappointed with the entire experience, to say the least; but I won't bore you with the complete details:) Recovery and hospital stay were sort of a blur. Needless to say, then, I really wanted a VBAC and took as many steps as I could to go that way. I had a mostly supportive OB (a group of OBs, so some were more than others). However, they were pretty frank about the conditions in which I could have a VBAC (essentially a perfectly progressing labor).

Perfect labor didn't occur (or start), and I had another c-section. The difference between a planned and emergency c-section were night and day for me. You said yours was breech, but I don't know when you knew you'd have a c-section. Another thing that really helped me was that we videoed the second c-section, which helped me experience c-section more as a "miracle of birth" thing than "just surgery."

Good luck, whatever you choose!



answers from Honolulu on

In addition to finding a hospital and/or Doctor that will do this... you NEED to make sure, that your medical insurance will cover it.
Some will not.

I had 2 c-sections. I opted not to do a VBAC.
My choice.
The first, was an emergency. The second was scheduled/planned.

A hospital, 1 hour away.... and only seeing your doctor until 28 weeks, to me... for me personally... would not be an option I wanted.
What if... you go into labor... and it goes quickly and before you can even get to the hospital... 1 hour away??? That is what I would worry about.

C-sections, are done about 2 weeks prior to a due date. This is to prevent premature labor.... and/or the possible risks/hemorrhaging that 'may' occur.... to both baby and Mom.

all the best,



answers from Chicago on

While this isn't the case for all women, second babies tend to come quicker than the first. Do you have time to sit in a car for an hour to get to the hospital for a VBAC?

I dunno...you may wish to pick the option that is safest for you and the baby. If the VBAC hospital were closer, it'd be an easier decision. However, if you're trapped in your car, if there is traffic, if you don't have sufficient time to get to the hospital in time...do you really want to take the risk of having your VBAC baby outside of a hospital, with maybe only your partner, an EMT, or someone who doesn't know your history attending? I realize that this likely WON'T be the case, but it is definitely something to consider.

No one gets a prize for "birthing better". Search your soul and pick the option that is healthiest for you and your baby in your unique situation.



answers from Allentown on

I always recommend VBAC's! Doesn't sound like a very progressive thinking hospital, so I would be leary of using them for anything! They still think that we are in the 60's and they need to medicate and strap women down to give birth? Sorry- this is one of my pet peeves! ;) One of my friends in her late 30's had a c-section, then VBAC with a midwife at the hospital, and 7 months ago had a home birth with the midwife! I'm sure there are medical reasons for a repeat c-section, but in most cases unless there was some real physical issue that the momma was unable to deliver naturally- no reason to not do a VBAC!

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