VBAC Vs. Repeat C-section?

Updated on June 06, 2008
C.R. asks from Birmingham, AL
47 answers

I'd like to hear your experience(s) with attempted VBACs. Successes? Horror stories? I cannot find any friends or aquaintances who have had a successful VBAC! Early in this pregnancy I felt strongly about trying a vaginal birth, but now I just don't know if it's worth the effort [I did the whole labor thing last time and then had to recover from an emergency c-section].

What can I do next?

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So What Happened?

Thanks for the abundant responses. I decided to keep my scheduled c-section mainly because I wasn't really effacing/dilating, so I didn't expect to go into labor naturally by my due date. And I REFUSE to be induced again [I blame my first c-section on being induced]. If I lived near family, I might have waited longer to try a VBAC, but everyone had their flights arranged based on my c-section date ...
Thanks again for your replies. -C.

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J.M.

answers from Lansing on

I had a successful VBAC with my second child. In fact, the labor and delivery went very smooth with no complications. Unfortunately, with my third child, which I was planning on delivering vaginally came out with another c-section. It seems as if the doctors don't really want to have us to try a VBAC anymore. I highly recommend the VBAC (if the docs will let you) over another c-section. The recovery is much easier especially with another little one at home.
Best of luck,

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T.H.

answers from Detroit on

C.,

I'm so glad you've gotten a lot of positive feedback- I had a VBAC 6 years ago with my 2nd and it was an amazing experience.- I would do it all over again in a heartbeat. Good Luck.

T.

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C.L.

answers from Detroit on

Hey C.,

My girlfriend had a VBAC after a C-section with #1, and it went beautifully. She was so happy not to have another C-section. *C. (mother of an almost 3 yr old son and 14 month old daughter).

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A.M.

answers from Detroit on

Hi C..

I had a VBAC with my second and it was sooooo great! The birth I had imagined for the first. The first was a 36 hour labor, where I never dilated past 6. I hired a doula for the second and that made a HUGE difference. I had her support and knowledge. She gave me confidence to go ahead with that. She was so experienced with births. I'm not sure I could have done it without her, because the docs scare you and make you think the worst is going to happen because they will be held liable if it does. My experience was so great and the recovery time was so fast compared to a c-section. And you feel so much better, stronger and are very happy from the hormones and the achievement. Go for it, but hire a doula if you can. I used Bonnie Miller and she was a Godsend. Here is her info : http://www.askdoula.com/clients.asp

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L.S.

answers from Grand Rapids on

http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/ICAN-online/

The above is a yahoo group dedicated towards helping support mom's who are interested in VBAC and preventing uneccesary c-sections. They have a wealth of good advice! In fact, a question just went around about whether mom's would prefer to labor or not before being sectioned. The overwhelming response was YES, women want to labor first! This was based on the health outcomes of moms and babies and breastfeeding success post partum. Among many other advantages, babies who choose their birthdates and endure some labor are less likely to have breathing difficulties; mom's get more of the good hormones for breastfeeding and bonding and are less likely to suffer PPD. Don't be discouraged mama! This labor could be completely different from the first one based on the baby, positioning, and whether you labor on your back or are able to move around at will. Please look into things further. I personally know mom's who have had several successful VBAC's even after more than one section! You CAN do it! Please look into the reasons you had your section and learn about how iatrogenic interventions during labor cause sections.

Blessings on you upcoming birth!

1 mom found this helpful

J.W.

answers from Detroit on

Hi C.,
I know of 2 midwives who are fearless in the VBAC arena and have an extremely good success rate. Goldie Parker and Kathy Milosch of The Mother's Touch Midwifery and Birth Center in Lapeer. Goldie also works out of Shelby. You may contact them at [email protected]____.com or ###-###-####.
I teach HypnoBirthing and that is a great method to ensure a smooth and gentle birthing. www.YourPeacefulBirthing.com I commend you for wanting to go the VBAC route!
J.

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J.A.

answers from Detroit on

C.,

My first first delivery I went thru full labor from 6:30 am till 10:30pm and ended up with a C-section (my son got stuck and would not come out). I am due with my second in August and have had talks with my doctors regaurding a VBAC.
I do not meet the criteria to do one. You have to be less than 30 years old (I will be 41). I was told my son was stuck for a reason and if there was even the smallest issue with this baby or myself in the attempt of a VBAC I would end up with an emergency C-Section anyways. So I go into this with a 98%-99% chance of having a C-Section.(Needless to say I will not be having a VBAC especially after doing some research). If you are at any risk for uterine rupture it is not worth the risk for your life or your baby's life. The stats talks about 1 in 1000 births that rupture happens. (What if you are that 1? Ask yourself is it worth the risk?) Everyone recovers from labor and C-Section differently. I had a C-Section at 10:45 at night and I got out of bed at 5:00am. The pain from the C-Section was nothing compared to the pain of my son being stuck in my pelvis not wanting to come out. Please make an informed decision and do what is right for you and your baby. I hope this helps. Good luck. J.

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D.S.

answers from Detroit on

Hi C. -

I personally have not had a VBAC (or a c-section), but I have two friends back in California who both had successful VBACs with their second children. It's really up to you - how strongly you feel about having a vaginal delivery, and if your doctor thinks your body can tolerate it. (I had a vaginal delivery with my triplets, which is practically unheard of, but I felt VERY strongly about a vaginal delivery and I was in a reasearch hospital where the docs could handle whatever problems might have arisen).

Good Luck
Dana

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M.R.

answers from Saginaw on

Well, here is one mom that is here to tell you that I had an awesome VBAC. My first c/s was due to footling breech presentation. I used a midwife for my VBAC, and would do it again in a heartbeat. I did A LOT of research before making my decision that VBAC was the safer route to go, and the one that I really wanted. Mothering.com has a whole section on their discussion boards with positive VBAC stories. Ina May's Guide to Childbirth is a great read that will really have you believing in your body's ability to birth again. Feel free to email me if you have any other questions!

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R.H.

answers from Detroit on

Hi C.,

I currently only have one child, who was delivered vis emergency C-section. I won't go into all the reasons why ... but that being said, I plan to try a VBAC with our second.

I would encourage you to do ALOT of research. Find out ALL the facts. The fact is, scheduling a c-section is easier for the DOCTOR, and ONLY the doctor.

C-sections are MAJOR surgery. There is risk for both mom and baby the more c's you have. Vaginal births, are the safest route to go. Yes, a VBAC can present risks as well. However, if you educate yourself about ALL the options then you can make an informed decision.

No one is going to advocate for YOUR health and your BABY'S health except you. That's just the way it is. There are specific things that happen to a woman when she gives birth naturally that enhance the mother baby bond. These things do not happen when you have the baby cut from you.

There are alot of resources out there... some have already been mentioned. www.vbac.com is also a good resource.

Your experience is going to be different from anyone else's. Succuessful VBAC's happen all the time. It IS possible. I am convinced that just because I had to have a c-section the first time, does not mean I will need it the second time.

Educate yourself with the facts C. before you make a decision.

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A.K.

answers from Detroit on

Hello..

BOTH my births were v-births, NO PROBLEMS. Kids are happy and healthy and I am perfectly fine. NO COMPLICATIONS. NO HORROR STORIES... Sex and Exercise in 4-6 weeks after birth...

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B.B.

answers from Detroit on

I have a good friend that had 3 c-sections and then procedded to have 6 vbacs... Yes, that is 9 kids (plus they adopted one)
It can be done, some drs may hesitate and try to push the issue and "make" you have a c section. But, YOU are the boss. Keep an open mind and at least give it a try...
Your body has a better idea of what to do this time. Even if it would need a c-section at least you tried and the main thing is healthy baby. :-)
good luck!!

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S.K.

answers from Detroit on

I have 3 daughters, all c-sections. #1 was breech and the c-section was scheduled after a failed external version (not fun). #2 was going to be VBAC. I was induced (something evil, invented by men no doubt)and after 12 hours of labor her heart rate dropped, so off the the OR we went. #3 was a scheduled c-section due to the history after 1 & 2. I recovered fine from all 3. I don't think I could have bonded better. My only regret is letting someone talk me into a VBAC when I ended up in the OR anyway. The baby was put at risk for no reason (& I was miserable). Of course it was worth it but it never had to be that way. I guess you'll have to decide for yourself & get your Dr to agree.

God Bless!

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K.D.

answers from Detroit on

Hi I've found that midwives and doulas have the most info on VBAC's. There is a registry where you can find them and all that I've ever spoken to are happy to share there experiences

http://www.dona.org/

http://www.midwife.org/find.cfm

Congatulations and God Bless
K.

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A.H.

answers from Detroit on

I think it's worth the effort, but you'll need the support because as I'm sure you know there are some other risks after a C-section. I did not have a C-section, but I did have a 36 hours of labor and had some things not worked, I would've been operated on. I delivered in a hospital here in Germany, but had a midwife as all expecting mom's do here. They were very patient with me, gave me lots of options and the support I needed. I feel like if I had delivered my baby in the US they would've pushed me into a C. If you are really motivated to have a VBAC then I would find a resource (midwife/dr.) that will work toward your goal with you...

Here is a great video about birth in the US worth watching. It's like a movie, but worth the knowledge none-the-less.
http://quicksilverscreen.com/watch?video=45525

Best of luck for your dream delivery. :o)

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H.H.

answers from Grand Rapids on

I have heard about women who wave successful vbacs but honestly it's harder and harder in the hospital. I would recommend a home birth because they are safer and have a much lower rate of csec in general and a much higher rate of vbac. A CPM (Certified Professional Midwife) is a highly trained care provider who caries proper equipment and knows what to watch for - through the whole pregnancy, not just at birth! Check out ICAN which is a advocacy group focused on reducing csec rates and avoiding unnecessary repeat csec, as well as offering support to women who have had a csec. Also, an excellent read is Ina May's Guide to Childbirth. It has awesome info and statistics. What ever choice you make get as much info as you can so you can make a truly informed decision. Oh! The movie Gentle Birth Choices has a vbac birth in it and she had 2 or 3 csec before the birth they show. It's very inspiring! Good luck and I wish you the best! By the way, size usually is not a good reason for csec - as long as the baby is in a good presentation, it will come. I have seen giant babies slide out of tiny women like toothpaste! Our bodies are amazing and they are designed to birth! Maybe take a Bradley birth class. They are fabulous and help you eat properly and educate you well! They design them to include dad or a partner what ever is best for you.

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K.G.

answers from Detroit on

My 1st DD was an Emergency C-section, failure to progress. My 2nd was a secessful VBAC after 27 long hrs of labor and wouldn't trade a min of it! My 3rd was also a sucessful VBAC and a water birth, in the hospital, after 6 very quick hrs of labor. I thought that the recovery from the vbac was so much easier than the c-section. If I were you I would go for the vbac. Why volentarily have major surgery if it is not nescesary?
Blessings, K.

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M.S.

answers from Detroit on

I had 2 CS. It is easy and quick but more risky.
I also miss the bond that occurs in the normal delivery,
So it is worth it and less risky.

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J.R.

answers from Grand Rapids on

I am an RN and mother of 6. Baby #5 was an emergency c-section
I chose VBAC for baby #6 and it went very well. Infact, baby #6 was 1lb 13oz bigger than the other. I would never elect for a c-section. I find after vaginal delivery, I'm up and about faster and recover much quicker. I wish you well.
PS. I was 42y.o when all this occurred!!!
I'm sure you can do it!!1
Sincerely, J.

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D.H.

answers from Detroit on

Hi C. ~
I'm an L & D nurse. It all depends on the reason for the c-section for the first baby. Was it that the baby didn't fit through the pelvis, even though it was average size? Did you not dilate even after adequate labor? Or was it because of the baby's heart tones and they were concerned because you were still far from delivery? I've seen successful VBAC's - they're usually the ones who had a c-section due to the baby's heart tones being low, or their baby was extremely large ( 9 lbs or more). And I've seen unsuccessful ones - including a couple where the uterus tore back open and they had to be an emergency. Midwives are not supposed to deliver VBAC patients because they are considered "high risk." I strongly suggest speaking with your doctor, some of them will not do vaginal deliveries if you've had a history of a c-section. Some will, but may have you sign a consent first saying that you understand all of the risks. A ruptured uterus is rare, but it can happen. Any time you have plans for your delivery you should speak to your doctor and make sure that they can be accommodated. Somtimes women come in with birth plans that they've never discussed with their doctor and then are angry when we can't follow everything they want. The recovery is much better after a vaginal delivery compared to a c-section, but make sure you talk to your doctor first to see if it's even an option.
Good Luck!
D.

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G.T.

answers from Detroit on

Morning C.,

Have you discussed this with your dr.? The reason I ask is after my emergency C-section, I was advised not to have VBAC. I have had three C-section, all have been wonderful. Yes, the recovery time is a little bit longer, but I have heard so many more horror stories with vaginal delieveries, that to me personally isn't worth the risk.

Both of my sister-in-laws struggle with vaginal deliveries, tore miserably and had to have have c-sections. With a c-section, you pass on the risk and damage.

Yes, I did have to work twice as hard on getting my stomach back into shape. But I healed beautiful each time. And I went into the hospital with out fear or the stress of a normal delivery.

I was sitting at my twins birthday party, announcing that our newest addition was to arrive that Tuesday. We had a scheduled c-section my third time around. My first two pregnancy were preemies. My third, was perfect. I was able to hold my son, and keep him in the room with me. With a c-section, I was in the hospital an extra day, but that only helped me get some sleep and have a little more one on one time with my son.

Some say the bonding process is different.. I can't believe that to be true. That precious baby came from you. I couldn't love my children anymore.. I just don't have the horror story of .. "I was in labor so many hours." Instead I have the story of having my entire family at the hospital ready and waiting for that perfect child to be born.

~G.

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B.W.

answers from Detroit on

I had a c-section with my first (after a very long labor) and had a VBAC with my second (just short of 2 years later). One of the reasons I wanted to have a VBAC was because I felt I'd better be able to also care for my 2 year old if I wasn't recovering from a c-section.
My VBAC experience was great. The only problem was because she came so quickly and was fairly large, I did tear. But the recovery was much easier than with the c-section.
Ultimately, you have to make the decision yourself. My third was a c-section due to breech presentation, and I did think that recovery was easier than with my first c-section. It's a big decision. My other reason for VBAC was that with the possibility of having more pregancies, I didn't want to have multiple c-sections. (because I don't know of any OB who will allow to try VBAC after 2 c-sections.)

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A.G.

answers from Detroit on

I had a c/s w/my first, then went on to have 2 VBACs -- the cord was wrapped around my son's neck & I never dilated past 4 the first time. The first VBAC was hard -- I did not expect the trauma that happens "down there" when you deliver vaginally. I tore a small amount, which made recovering more difficult, and I could not believe the amount of blood that was coming out of me! Also, I don't know if it was b/c it was my second birth, but I didn't feel like the nurses took very good care of me after that second birth/first VBAC. Overall though, my husband & I knew we wanted four kids, and I wasn't crazy about having 4 c/s. My third baby (2nd VBAC)was delivered so smoothly and so easily -- no tearing, and I felt like I could go work out the next day! It is so important to be on the same page with your doctor -- mine is awesome. He understood that I wanted to try a VBAC, but I also didn't want to force something to happen if it wasn't supposed to. My fourth baby is due this September, and I'm planning on my 3rd VBAC -- hopefully it will go as smoothly as with my 3rd baby!

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A.H.

answers from Lansing on

I did try a VBAC for my third baby. The first baby was a vaginal birth. The second her heart wasn't stabilizing so, I had to have a c-section. For my third I tried a VBAC. Although the baby was 6 days late so, they also tried to induce. I did get a shot of a epidural in my back because the contractions were getting worse and worse. Well I was almost there, dilated to a 9 but his heart wasn't stabilizing just like his sisters. I ended up getting a C-section but it was probably for the best because I had a lot of scar tissue from my first c-section. I do not regret trying for a VBAC at all. So, I felt like I had tried. I still do not have regrets in trying at all but now that I know I have scar tissue if I have another I will have to have a C-Section. Also the vaginal birth is easier to heal and lose weight in my opinion. Ever since I have been cut my stomach hasn't been the same.

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M.C.

answers from Detroit on

Hi C.,

I'm in the same situation! I was in labor with my son for over 24 hours before I had to get a c-section. I'm pretty sure I am going to go for a scheduled c-section this time. I'm 8 months pregnant with my second child and my son just turned 1 yr old today, so I'm thinking trying VBAC would be too dangerous for me because I didn't have a lot of time to heal before I got pregnant again.
I'm not saying you shouldn't consider a VBAC, definitely take your time and consider all the options.

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G.G.

answers from Detroit on

I've had 6 successful VBAC's. My 1st was a c-section, because he was breech, and every other child has been fine. I had the bikini cut. But I also have a friend who has had 7 successful VBAC's, and she was cut top to bottom. So if your doctor is on board, I would definetly recommend it. Praying for you - G.

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K.J.

answers from Detroit on

I had a c-section with my first daughter - almost 9 yrs ago. This was a scheduled section since she was transverse. I actually went into labor before my scheduled date. (So, I got to feel almost all the labor without the pushing. I was dilated to 5 cm when I got to the hospital and within a half hour I was up to 8 cm!) I had a very successful VBAC with my second daughter three years later, completely natural. I had educated myself and prepared myself better this time and wouldn't have done it any other way. I was so glad that I could experience a vaginal birth. My best friend is a childbirth educator and doula, so of course, I had a little more incentive. She was also at the birth and was a great asset! Was your incision at the bikini line or do you have the long scar down your abdomen?

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C.S.

answers from Detroit on

From an issue of pure safety, the VBAC is the safest way to go. I had a successful VBAC homebirth and know how well worth it it is.
The best book on the subject is, "Silent Knife" by Nancy Wainer-Cohen. It is very enlightening to find out the true risks 35% of women in this country are exposed to every day through the standardization of surgical birth. Nancy says, "If you really don't want a cesarean, don't go to where they give them. I couldn't agree more.
I have an extra copy of her eye-opening book if you would like a hefty dose of women's experiences and statistical research supporting the inherent safety of vaginal birth.
Something else to keep in mind. When your doctor tells you that you "need" a C-Section, he and the hospital ring up about $35,000.00 in sales. If you have a vaginal birth that sales figure drops to about $3,500.00. You might ask yourself Which direction do you think they will be leading you towards?
Best of luck in your research C..

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J.G.

answers from Detroit on

I am a successful VBAC mom. With my first I had a c-section because he was breach. Both of my pregnancys had no complications. I loved the choice that I made. Labor was hard though. I had braxton hicks for three solid weeks and if I was not laying down I was contracting every 2-3 minutes....just not dialating. Once I went into active labor though it went very fast. I was a 4 when I got to the hospital and complete 4 hours later. If we have a third I will try for another vaginal birth. If you have any interest and the doctor agrees with your choice, I say go for it. It cannot hurt to try! Good luck!

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L.J.

answers from Grand Rapids on

When I was pregnant people loved to tell their horror stories of birth! I got to the point where, when people began to tell me something I would stop them and say "If you can't say something positive, then don't say anything at all" I was already scared to death of what it would be like, I didn't need any more awful stories!

I hope you get a lot of positive responses!! I think it is great you want to try for a VBAC!!!

It is a very personal choice to be discussed with your care provider. Have you seen "The Business of Being Born"? it is a great documentary to give you another perspective.

Have you considered hiring a birth Doula? she would be able to help you during labor (relaxation, emotional and physical support, making sure your choices are followed )and help avoid a possible repeat c-section.

if you and baby are both healthy- you can do it!!! Go VBAC!!!

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D.M.

answers from Saginaw on

My best friend had vbac on her second baby. It was very successful. Her water broke we went to the hospital, she didn't dialate as fast as they wanted so they told us to go home, gave her something to relax and said they would do a c-section in the morning. 1 1/2 hours later we had a baby boy.

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N.W.

answers from Detroit on

I don't have any experience with VBAC. But I can tell you that I had an emergencey C-section with my first and a scheduled c-section with my second and the second recovery and procedure was MUCH easier/better.

What does your doctor say about the change of a sucessful vaginal delivery? I was told I probably wouldn't be successful b/c my kids were small (6lbs) and my son got stuck in the birth canal.

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K.V.

answers from Detroit on

Hi C., I have had 3 C-sections. After the first one (14 yrs ago, 2 wks overdue and not even thinned), I decided to do a vbac. When I got to my due date(in 2005)and still hadn't even thinned with the 2nd, I told doc to sched the c/s and if I go into labor before that day, that would be even better, but I didn't. I am dead set again being induced because I know so many people who were and ended up with emerg c/s.

I have to say that 2 days after my second c/s I walked 1/2 mile pushing the baby in the stroller. The cramping was worse with the second but it really only bothered me with bm's, I didn't have a stool softener. I saw someone joking, but I really did do my hair and makeup before going to the hospital.

I would recommend that if you do a c/s, make sure you are at a hospital that will bring the baby into the recovery room for you to hold, the only reason some don't is because they would need 2 nurses in the room (one for you and one for baby). Make sure and ask them to unstrap your arms as soon as the baby is born so that you can touch the baby int he operating, your hubby can carry the baby from the cleaning and weighing tables over to you and can hold it up against your face for as long as you would like, then a short separation for the medical stuff for the baby, and then have the baby brought into the recovery room. I don't feel like I had/have any bonding issues. My baby stayed in room with me the whole time (my husband stayed the first night).

I think that you need to know that you can have pretty much the same experience as vbac women, you just need to make sure that you get it and make sure your hubby knows what you want and demands it on your behalf. With some planning (picking the right doc and hosp) you can have a good experience. I so wish I could have had a vbac, but without going into labor, and having 3 10 pounder's I guess it wasn't meant to be. Good luck, maybe a flexible plan like mine would work for you.

T.M.

answers from Lansing on

With my first I was in labor for 38 hours and then had to have an emergency c-section because the baby wasn't doing well.

With my second my water broke naturally and I dialated to 4 in less than an hour. Then 12 hours later I was still only dialated to 4 so I asked my doctor to just do a c-section.

With my third and fourth - they were adopted so it's a different story there.

For me, my doctor said that because of the way my uterus is tilted and because my babies were so large (8.5 lbs and 10 lbs) I would have a hard time delivering vaginally, but that I could always try if I wanted to.

Right now we don't plan on having more kids, but if we do I will try a VBAC again.

Good luck!

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H.B.

answers from Detroit on

Hello C.:

I too did the whole labor thing that ended in an emergency C-section with my first-born daughter. And just like you I was told that just because I'd had a C-section the first time, there was no reason to expect I couldn't have a VBAC with my next child.

I ended up being two weeks late with my son, so they induced me, I went through the whole labor thing AGAIN, only to have another C-section!

I told my husband, we should go ahead and have a third child. At least I wouldn't have to go through the whole labor thing again, because there was no way they were going to convince me to try another VBAC. Might as well do my hair and makeup, relax and have the C-section. (Just kiddin'!)

On another note, my sister-in-law has had five children. And she did have a successful VBAC. It's probably worth a shot.

Good luck!

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S.C.

answers from Lansing on

C.,

Being an older mother (youngest is 17) I remember when C sections were the thing to be avoided and were used only for life threatening complications of the mother or baby. Vaginal births, though sometimes long and always painful are really what is normal. A vaginal birth offers instant relief once the baby is born. Your recovery is quicker allowing you more strength to deal with your newborn rather than going through an extended recovery time of your own. With all the advances in pain control available today I can't imagine opting for a C-section and the dangers that do go along with a surgery like that. Blood clots and infections are always a risk factor, it is not a minor surgery. I had both my children naturally and used pain medication for both. However, with my first they administered too much and I wasn't able to feel the contractions which are vital to a quick delivery. The delivery took way too long and I felt I had interferred with part of mother natures process. With the second I had limited medication and had a much quicker delivery. I find it hard to believe that you cannot find another woman who hasn't had a successful vaginal birth, it was the only way for our Grandmothers. I think our society has become one that insists on maskng pain and unpleasantness just because we have the ability to do so without stopping to see that sometimes pain is part of the natural process. Since you ask I would vote for a vaginal delivery but do your homework in what to expect and talk to your doctor about pain medications to take the edge off the labor. Again, limited amounts, you need to feel your contractions to make them work for you, but when it's over, it's over. What you have left after all your work is a beautiful child and little recollection of the struggle to give birth. Whatever you choose to do I wish you a safe birth and healthy baby.

S.

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C.H.

answers from Grand Rapids on

I had an emergency c-section and then had 2 VBAC's. I had a C-section scheduled for my 2nd, but he came fast and furiously. The experience is so much better, in my opinion. My husband loved being able to cut the cord and I had less post partum issues. (Part of the issues were probably first time mom anxiety.) I was more sore from the VBACs because I tore, but the overall experience was better for me.

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B.M.

answers from Detroit on

I'm here to tell you that I have 4 children, 2 were C-sections and 2 were VBAC!! And if I had to rate them, my favorite experience would be the VBAC's, then my second C-section and the worst experience was my first C-section (which was my first born!!)
My best advice for you is to have a frank and honest conversation with your OB/Gyn (it would be great if it was the one who performed the C-section) about what happened, what were the series of events that led to the decision of C-section? What is the likelihood that these circumstances are going to happen again? Is it possible that what happened is unique to that birth? Knowing what you know now from the first birth, are there things that can be done differently to increase the chances of a successful VBAC? What type of incision was done (ideally it is a low transverse)? How was your uterus stitched back together? (Apparently there are different ways/techniques that make the uterus strong). What are your Dr. assessment on the likelihood of you being a good candidate for a VBAC? Are you giving birth in a hospital equipped for emergancies so if you do happen to be in the less than 3% who experience a uterine rupture you are at a facility to care for you quickly?
These are all important questions to ask your Dr. about. Hopefully your Dr. is helpful in this discussion and can help you make this very important decision.

As for my own personal story. My first child was overdue, and I was measuring big (he ended up being 9lbs 9oz!!) So the Dr. decided to admit me and induce. I had petocin, they broke my water.. everything, but when they tried to increase my petocin to get me into active labor, baby's heart rate would drop and put him into distress. So after playing this game of up with the pit - down with the heart rate, they decided to do a C-section. While I was glad that the baby and I were fine.. I have to tell you that I felt a little cheated that I didn't get to have a baby the natural way. So when I got pregnant with #2, I ask Dr. what he thought. He said that the reason for my first C-section was because of a "failed induction" that they were not able to trick my body into going into labor so they had to take the baby (especially because they had broken the water and that set the baby up for more complications.) It wasn't because my pelvis wasn't big enough (He thought that I had enough room to safely deliver a 10 lb. baby) And he thought I was a good candidate for a VBAC. So when baby #2 was due, he closely monitored me at the end. I again went in for an induction. This time they took it a little slower and took a different approach to help get me into labor. And it worked!! Baby #2 came out after 20 minutes of pushing!! (8 lbs 12 oz) Baby #3 I went into labor on my own and went to the hospital 50% efaced and dialted to 5.. but when they hooked up the baby to the monitor he was in distress and his heart rate was dropping with each contraction and not coming back up. So another C-section. Then baby #4 (9 lbs 2 oz) was another VBAC, easier and quicker (out after 3 pushes!!) than baby #2.

The best part of the VBAC's is the recovery!! You're up and eating within an hour or two of the birth! The C-sections you've just had major abdominal surgery and now you have a baby to take care of (or in the case of the second C, I had to go home and take care of 2 kids and 1 infant!! Though I do have to say that my recovery after the second C section was quicker than my first.

I'm sorry this is really long!! But I hope that you have found something in all these words that helps you in your decision. To me it was definately worth it!! Twice :-)
Best of Luck!
Peace!

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L.J.

answers from Detroit on

i went through the same thing with my first pushed almost 3 hours and emergency c section. i was very adement about a vbac with my second and it worked. it was still a long labor ( 24 hours and 2 hours of pushing and a little help with the vacuum suction) but totally worth it. i was in the shower an hour later, up and walking felt great. within 2 days we were out at the grocery store.
the doctors mentioned c section with my second and i was lucky my doctor let my body do the work and let me go through with a vbac. though my nurse did mention that if one of the other doctors were on call that night they may not have let me labor that long and just do a c section.
so talk to your doc and make sure that they know you want a vbac and hopefully they will help you through it.
good luck and don't give up

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C.H.

answers from Detroit on

I have not had a VBAC, but with my daughter I had a scheduled c-section because she was a big baby (10 lbs!). I had an easy recovery. Everyone that I have ever talked to who had an emergency c-section (after going thru all the labor & pushing) had a bad recovery, but everyone who had a scheduled c-section without the labor, had a decent recovery. So, IMO, if you are worried about the possibility of just ending up with an emergency c-section again, I would just forget the VBAC and have your doctor schedule you for another c-section.

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S.W.

answers from Detroit on

I had a successful VBAC with my daughter. I know that every experience is different, but the vaginal birth experience was so much better. The recovery seemed so minimal compared to the c-section. I was up and showered within hours of giving birth, and able to pick up and hug my then 17 month old son as well.

If you felt strongly about trying, go for it. But remember, regardless of what happens, you'll have your baby!

Best of luck to you.

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F.P.

answers from Grand Rapids on

Hi C.,

What was the reason for your first C-section? Oftentimes, the next pregnancy will be much different than the first and the reason for the first section will not be present the second time, e.g. breech presentation.

I had 4 c-sections (labored with three of them) and then I had a midwife-attended home birth VBAC for my fifth child. My husband used to joke that I earned a Ph.D in childbirth by the time of our home birth. That is because I researched all I could on the subject so that I would feel confident in my choice. Learning all I could was important for me. There are many library books and of course, the internet.

The reason for my first section was that the dr. said my anatomy would not allow a vaginal birth and that my baby was too big. (He was 8# 8 ozs.) My homebirth VBAC was successful with a 9# 5 ozs. baby! Having an experienced person deliver your baby is so important...I mean experience in VBAC. I trusted my midwife with my life and that of my child's and I have never regretted that. But you need to find someone you completely trust.

My daughter just delivered her second child VBAC. For her first, she dilated to 10 cms (complete) and the dr. could see baby's head, but couldn't get baby out after much pushing so did the section. For second baby, she delivered VBAC with only the assistance of that vacuum device applied momentarily.

I am a VBAC proponent of the highest order! Study and learn all you can and find someone you trust implicitly. God bless you and your growing family!

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K.V.

answers from Saginaw on

I personally haven't dealt with this issue, but a friend of a friends blog that I read sometimes is planning on her 2nd VBAC, the first one went very smoothly, which you don't hear about that often. Here is the link- check it out!

http://mammamillan.blogspot.com/search?q=AJ+birth+story

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C.D.

answers from Detroit on

If your doctor allows it, definitely try vbac! My first was an emergency C-section, my second and third were both vbac. The vbacs were much easier to recover from. My third was even natural (not by choice - anesthesiologist was delivering twins) and she was the easiest one of the three. (The second was epidural.)

Good luck!

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L.N.

answers from Benton Harbor on

Hi C.~
There are a lot of things to consider here. In my case, a VBAC wasn't even an option becuase our hospital won't allow it, whether the doc is agreeable or not. Im sure I could have done a home VBAC, but skirting the 'rules' didn't seem like a good idea! I trust my doc completely, and since I had prior uterine surgery, the risk of uterine rupture was far too great. He didn't want me to labor AT ALL! My c-sec recovery was great! I was up and around with no pain meds by day 4. Personally, I think my recovery was way faster than my vag. births. Of course, that's my experience, not everybody recovers so quickly. I think what's important to keep sight of is safety. This isn't about money...insurance companies pay a certain amount for births and no matter what the hospital charges, they only get paid what the ins. company has pre-set as a fee. Granted, c-sec fees are greater than vag births, but money is certainly not their driving force! Make sure you trust your doctor, and remember that just because you can find a way around the repeat c-sec, doesn't mean its a good idea. That said, I certainly hope your situation is such that you CAN safely deliver your baby the way YOU choose. But remember, the prize is the same no matter how that baby gets here. Just do what is safest for you both!

~L.

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C.L.

answers from Jackson on

C.,
i'm having a vbac at the end of this month. We decided to go to a birth center because in the hospital's they don't give you as good of a chance as they do with your first.
i'm determined not to go through what i did with my first. i went through 43 hours of labor and then had to have a c-section. i'm certain it would not have been so if i wasn't in the hospital.
refer to http://www.ican-online.org/
i wish you the best of success!
~ C.

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T.C.

answers from Saginaw on

I had a VBAC 8 years ago with no complications (and no epidural) but I contribute my success to my great doctor. He spent more time with me during labor than he normally would. Both my babies were 'sunny side up' and VBAC was difficult to push out. Honestly, if I could do it over, I would probably schedule a C-section again. Go with what YOU really want. If you have a great doctor who supports your decision of a VBAC, then go for it. Everyone told me that the recovery was easier, but I was REALLY sore for a long time. So, no easy answer. Good Luck!

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