Next go around, I want a VBAC

My amazing pregnancy with LLB! Photo credit: True Life Fotos

Ever since LLB was born via c-section in December 2009, I have experienced all emotions: joyful to have had my beautiful baby girl, grateful that she was born healthy, but also had feelings of disappointment, failure, and frustration because I had a c-section.  First and foremost, let me be clear…I know I am blessed to have a beautiful baby girl who is healthy and thriving, but the delivery was not and is still not how I wanted it all to go down.   It’s possible that things could have been different even though I have done everything to convince myself otherwise.

Over the last 14 months, I have heard and read countless stories similar to mine…5, 10, 15 hours or more passed and not progressing enough, the baby was positioned the wrong way, the heart beat was slowing down, and so on.  I convinced myself that LLBs delivery was how it had to be.   Well, maybe not.  My husband and I truly believed we would be able to achieve a healthy, natural birth with the help of the doctors, nurses and each other.  But, my agonizing back labor combined with my incredibly slow dilation process was TOO hard to take.  It was near impossible for my husband to watch me be in any more pain beyond the 15 hours we spent at the hospital before the c-section.  He was scared, worried, and concerned for my and LLBs safety…as he should be.

I have the most wonderful, strong, supportive husband ever and we believed that his support and coaching would be all that I needed to guide me through the labor & delivery process; but the reality is, it’s a tough job and sometimes you need to call in some special troops.  Troops that have mama, baby and their natural birth plan in mind.  Troops like doulas and midwives.  We actually researched using doulas before LLB was born but decided not to have one, mostly due to finances, despite all of the statistics that say using a doula can decrease your chances of a c-section by up to 50%.  Perhaps having a doula there would have allowed us to have a natural birth, and maybe not.  We can’t change the past, but we can try to achieve a different outcome in the future.

So, as my husband and I begin to plan for our next baby, we have decided to do everything we can to have a natural, vaginal birth (referred to as a VBAC – Vaginal Birth after Cesarean).  Some of you might be wondering why this is so important?  Just schedule the c-section and be done with it.  Lets not forget that a c-section is a major surgery with serious risks.  Risks that, in my opinion, far exceed the risk of uterine rupture in a VBAC, which is .2 to 1.5% (approximately 1 in 500).  Bottom line, I do not want a drug induced surgery, followed by a doped up haze for days, and finally and long, painful recovery time where I can’t pick up my toddler for weeks.  I want to at least try for a beautiful, natural birth.

So the journey begins.  I have started by reaching out to local doulas, midwives, and birthing centers to understand all of our options.  This time, we are going to call in the troops.

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5 thoughts on “Next go around, I want a VBAC

  1. I think it’s awesome that you’re going to have a doula. My friends work as doulas and one trains doulas and I think they play such a wonderful role in birth. You may have looked into it already, but if not, I’d also recommend some birth healing for you before your next pregnancy to help clear the feelings that may get in the way of the birth that you hope to have. I think that we’re so trained to feel OK and to look for the gift in any situation, which is important, but that we sometimes don’t give ourselves the space to grieve or rage or whatever we need to do on the way to feeling totally OK with the bigger picture of how things work out.

    Personally, I’d go for shamanic healing, or something like NLP, but maybe even something like cranial work may be very healing. I really admire your conscious process through this and taking proactive action before your next pregnancy.

    And happy birth day mama (a week or so late!) – a whole year as a mama and a chance to revsit that rite of passage is a very beautiful thing!

    • Thanks for the words of encouragement, the great advice re: healing therapy and the birthday wishes. While her delivery was traumatic, she was born on my birthday…the sweetest gift!

  2. Hey Jill,
    Have you checked out ICAN? I think you might like them. I just posted the local network FB page on the WnS FB page. I hear so many stories similar to yours… and I think you should not be hard on yourself as you point out, it is the system not you!

    • Thanks Jenn, for your ongoing support! I have heard of ICAN!! Its amazing how many women are in the same shoes. I know its not my fault…hindsight is always 20/20…I wish I would have taken all precautions to avoid the csection, thats all. Hopefully things work out next time…

  3. hi, just found your blog through twitter (@curious_kitty)… I had a c-section in April 2010 due to my son being overdue & breech. we had a midwife, who unfortunately only discovered the baby was breech at 38 wks. despite our best efforts to get him to turn… he stayed put. after hearing the risks/benefits of breech delivery vs. c-sec, we made the decision to try to deliver breech… but they’d only allow that up until 10 days overdue. once again, our little guy stayed put and was delievered safely via c-section. i was very disappointed in the fact that i ended up with a c-section, as i was hoping for a drug-free natural delivery.

    ICAN does have some great support, as would a doula/midwife. i am planning/hoping for a successful VBAC the next time around! and hope you can also experience that! 🙂

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