I’m Considering Having A VBAC

childbirthIt seems like a successful VBAC is pretty common. If you make it clear that you want one – and you are a good candidate – you have a 75% chance of succeeding. So why am I so worried that it’s not going to happen for me?

Here in Brooklyn I am seeing midwives for all of my prenatal care. They are VBAC advocates, and are willing to do as much as they can to ensure that I can at least try to make this happen. The thing is, I’m going to be leaving their care in a couple of months. With baby number two on the way, Brooklyn has finally defeated me. We can’t raise a second child in our tiny third floor walk up. I need my family and more support around me. I’m waving a white flag. Second-most-expensive-city-in-the-country – you win. Your struggle isn’t fun anymore. We’re leaving.

We’re heading to Florida – a state that is pretty foreign to me. As luck would have it, my family all relocated to the state that has the third highest C-section rate in the country. This scares me. I’m terrified of having another surgical birth. Not because I am anti-hospital – although they do freak me out a little. Not because I believe my baby will be better off if she’s born naturally – even though she probably will. It’s simply because being cut open again scares the living shit out of me.

My doctors were great. I didn’t have any post-surgery complications. It’s just that the whole experience was so scary. Frankly, I knew nothing about C-sections because I never thought I would need one. I honestly never looked into what the whole procedure entailed. I think that worked in my favor. I’m way more terrified of the procedure now than I was when I was being wheeled into the operating room for my emergency procedure.

I hated being still – sweating nervously as they put the epidural in my spine. I hated being in a stark, surgical room for the birth of my child. I hated the feeling of doctor’s tugging me open to remove him. My body went into some kind of weird shock after he was born and I was shaking uncontrollably for 10 minutes. I hated that, too. Yes, I delivered a healthy baby and that is the most important detail of the day. But I hated everything else about it. I hate hating everything about the day my beautiful child was born.

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You can reach this post's author, Maria Guido, on twitter.
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  • Blueathena623

    I hear you. I want to vbac for my next kid, and my current obgyn practice has already told me they will hav to refer me since they don’t do it.
    For your friend, are you sure there aren’t any mitigating circumstances? That just seems insane that they would take the baby out practically a month early for fear of uterine rupture. I have a friend who won’t be allowed to go past 36 weeks for her next kid, but that’s because due to complications and a bunch of other stuff her uterus was cut up 6 ways to Sunday for her micro premie.

    • http://twitter.com/mariaguido Guerrilla Mom

      She didn’t mention any mitigating circumstances – she had a relatively routine procedure. The fibroid was huge, but not enough to cause any complications. With those stats, I’m beginning to think it’s just what they do down there.

    • StephKay

      Seriously, that’s insane. I was delivered by c-section at 36 weeks myself, but that was because not only did they find the fibroids WHILE my mother was pregnant, but because my sister caused a uterine rupture and pelvic break due to dystocia during her natural delivery (now THAT is a reason to call a c-section no matter what). She wasnt supposed to be able to get pregnant at all, but I guess 13 years between babies leaves a lot of time for a minor rupture to heal. Even after all of those factors I came out with slight issues due to being just a few days preterm, and the decision took months of debate and calculation. Of course this is Canada, and I’m in my twenties so this is fairly modern times. I write this while enjoying my government funded team of midwives with hospital privileges, so naturally the system is quite different, but that sounds like an insane amount of stress to put your friend through over a routine fibroid operation.

      I so hope both of you end up finding some way to keep baby happy and healthy without fudging with that baby’s mother’s right to consent to medical procedures.

  • 1st-Time Mommy

    I’m trying to focus on the article, but please, please, please….

    “You’re struggle isn’t fun anymore.”

    Your. Your. “You’re” is a contraction for “you are”. C’mon Mommyish; I love you guys. If you need a proofreader, I come cheap.

    • http://twitter.com/mariaguido Guerrilla Mom

      Sorry. I was perfect yesterday. You missed it.

    • Tea

      I don’t think that was meant as a personal dig, but as a site that specializes in a lot of articles in a short amount of time, you guys do probably need one. It keeps things looking nice and professional.

  • Melody

    Just so you know, I have had three vaginal deliveries and I was super shaky and trembling after every one of them. It might be the epidural or some sort of shock, but it’s not a c-section exclusive thing. It sucks not having the birth that you wanted, but I can tell you that I don’t know a single woman whether they had a c-section or vaginal who has actually told me that it was a beautiful, special experience like midwives have advertised. They say that it was awful and painful and they crapped themselves and the only good thing was getting a baby afterwards. Actually, scratch that, my childbirth teacher told me that she had a c-section for placenta previa and that it was great and painless (during, not after) and that she thought they might have done a tummy tuck when they were stitching her back up because she left thinner. It can go either way but you should try and think positively because if you go in thinking that a c-section will be awful then it might end up that way. Instead tell yourself that you have already made it through one and a vaginal delivery would be nice but if not, you’re a c-section vet and can handle it. Also the baby is the endgame here so whatever gets him/her out safely is good right?

    • jessica

      I just wanted to add that I had the weird shaking after surgery to remove an ovarian cyst. It is absolutely caused by the anesthesia. Other than that I don’t know what to say to you, Maria, because all of your concerns are completely valid. Ideally you’ll find a doctor who will really listen to you and work with you. If not, your family or partner should be at your side throughout and be willing and able to fight on your behalf. Either way, please try not to worry. (I know, easier said than done).

    • http://twitter.com/mariaguido Guerrilla Mom

      You’re right – all I can do is just plan as best as possible.

    • katydid0605

      im not trying to just be contrary, but i wouldnt explain my last delivery (i have three) as awful and painful and i did not crap myself. it was actually a really wonderful birth (yes, very painful, but still a great birth) except for my baby being rushed to nicu after

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=687125829 Eve Moran

    I prepared for a vaginal, medfree birth, but I did read up on c-sections. And two days after I was induced, that’s what I had. I had a great experience, and I’ll just echo another comment and say I resent the way births are promoted as “experiences.” It’s not like planning a wedding, and we should be encouraged to educate ourselves about all the things that can happen. I was also lucky that my ob was very encouraging and let me try as long as I wanted: I never felt pressured into surgery. I’m sorry you had such a bad experience, but maybe you can do some things to bring back a sense of control, short of a guaranteed successful vbac. It sounds like you’d be very disappointed all over again if you don’t get one, and that’s something you can actually try to work on. It might be too near your due date, but you might try seeking a therapist to help with your anxiety. I did Hypnobabies with my first and I was amazed at how effective it was at reducing my anxiety. Good luck! And btw, I’m scheduled for a csection in two weeks. I’m listening to the tracks again to help chill me out.

  • quinn

    I live in Miami and had a pretty standard vaginal delivery with an epidural, and about an hour into my epidural I was violently shaking and teeth chattering, yet I was only 1 cm dilated (I know, I’m not into pain and the crna was RIGHT there, but they said that some people just have that reaction to the epidural.

  • http://twitter.com/lehogan Lori

    I wanted a VBAC for similar reasons as you, and my C-section occured for similar reasons as yours. I had no complications recovering from my emergency C-section, but it *is* a major surgery, and not one I wanted to recoup from with a 2 year old to wrangle. I was lucky to have a supportive OBGYN, residents, interns and nurses, but they took things very seriously the second time around, to avoid any chance of rupture or complications. I got my VBAC but it was touch-and-go in the sense that if any of a number of things had gone wrong, they would have been wheeling me in to the OR much quicker than the first time around. Good luck!

  • Jessie

    I’m a L&D nurse and shivering is a side effect of both anesthesia AND labor. It can occur in women who do not have an epidural or spinal. And women who have had a myomectomy (that is a surgery to remove fibroids) have their uterus cut in places that if stressed, can cause a uterine rupture–so women that have had that surgery usually do have a C-section prior to full term.

    Good luck to you to getting the birth you want!

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