VBAC or Repeat Cesarean?

Being pregnant is scary.

Aside from the constant questions; Is my baby healthy? Are they growing properly? I have to get another ultrasound to make sure they don’t have what?

And also knowing once they are here, every aspect of your life is changed forever.

Then there is that looming thought hanging over your head every waking moment-this kid has to come out of me somehow.  I only know of two options, and neither is a day at the spa (I guess unless you have baby in a tub at home…)

My oldest was born via emergency c-section. When I was first pregnant with my son, I just assumed I would have to do a repeat.

Not true!  I started researching VBAC’s (vaginal birth after ceserean).  

I wasn’t given a whole lot of help from my midwife or my OB. They just kept throwing facts and statistics at me.  And they didn’t recommend one way or the other.  They did say i was a “good candidate for it”.  But I wanted a, “you should do this, because of this.”  No luck. This decision was to be made by me.

Vaginal Birth After CesareanOnce I decided to try for a VBAC (they always say “try” because if the tiniest thing doesn’t go their way, you’re rushed into surgery), I was surrounded by support. 

I started contractions on a Friday morning and they were intermittent throughout the day.  Finally at 9 pm, we went in.  

I was far enough along for them to keep me.  I got the epidermal by about 11 pm because the contractions were getting really tough.  Unfortunately my buddy, the anastesiologist messed up the first time (not his fault necessarily, I have a 96 degree curve in my spine.) So he had to do it again.  

I don’t remember a whole lot through the night, I think I slept, and played a word here and there in “Words with Friends”. 

At 5 am I got to start pushing. It took a looooong time. His head was crowning with each contraction, and he would start to come out, then back in. Out a little, then back in.  

My husband watched the whole thing.  The midwife offered me a mirror so I could see. I politely (I hope) declined.  I was too embarrassed to see what my husband had been staring at for 5 hours.

Finally, they called in the OB. He helped pull my little guy out.  Literally.  During each contraction he would reach in and grab baby’s head and pull.  

Then, just like that, as if it was nothing, baby was out and on my chest.  

His right hand was on his left cheek the whole time.  Which is why he kept going back in.  Also, he was 9 lbs, 15 oz.  That’s one measly oz away from 10 lbs, folks!  If they had known he was that big, I would not have been able to “try” for a VBAC.  Side note-it took the good doc over an hour to stitch me up.

This birth was empowering. I felt the immediate connection with my son that took several months to feel with my daughter.  I felt like I got my body back.  

Don’t get me wrong. I love c-sections.  Surgery saved me and my daughter. And it saves hundreds of thousands of others daily.  And if I needed to, I would have gotten one again.  

But I didn’t need to. And for that, I am thankful.  My recovery time was very short and not as scary.

Remember.  Every birth story is different. Don’t let anyone and their birth story scare you.  This is just one of mine.

Have you had a VBAC? A second cesarean?  Are you faced with making the decision now?

6 thoughts on “VBAC or Repeat Cesarean?

  1. Kirsty says:

    I just assumed I’d go for another caesarean whenever we have our second child, but after reading this you’ve definitely given me the courage to look into a VBAC. What a great post 🙂 x

    • mamabyfire says:

      Thank you! It’s definitely worth doing some research and having that conversation with your doctor. They used to be so uncommon-now women are having them all the time!

  2. Amanda says:

    What a beautiful and inspiring birth story! I’m so glad that you got to experience such an incredible journey and it gives me hope that I can do the same when we decide to have number two 🙂 Thank you for sharing this.

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