Friday, July 9, 2010

VBAC vs. C-section

I finally met with my doctor yesterday and he asked, “VBAC or C-section?”

I knew this was going to come but I still don’t have a solid answer. Thankfully, my doctor said I don’t need an answer until I start having contractions. He told me he’d work with me and do whatever I wanted to do. This is why I love this man. He’s soft-spoken, has a great dry sense of humor and never pressures me.

This is very unlike the doctor who actually delivered Peanut. My regular doctor was on vacation so I got the only doctor in the practice I didn’t like. He had no bedside manner, told me I had to be induced on my due date or the chance or fetal mortality would go up and was not very helpful when it came time to make the decision after 15 hours of labor, only 3 cm dilated and a Peanut’s dropping heart rate about whether we needed to wait or do a C-section right away. Plus he has suspended six months later because of drug and alcohol problems.

But I digress.

It took me awhile to come to terms with how Peanut was delivered but I finally decided it didn't matter. She is a healthy, lovely child no matter how she came into this world.

So I come back to the question, "VBAC or C-section?"

I told the doctor that I know a vaginal birth can be healthier for the child so that he/she will get all the necessary bacteria. I also know that, while the chances are slim, I could suffer a rupture during the VBAC that would be "catastrophic" for both the child and me, as the doctor said. He also told me that because I didn't progress past 3 cm the first time around, the chances are the same thing will happen the second time around.

So what would you do? VBAC or C-section?


Two Braids said...

You've picked a hot topic! IMO I would VBAC-if it were me. But I had a vaginal birth the first go around. I also was 3cm walking into the hospital although it took me 22hrs and 22ml Pit to fully dilate. For me vaginal was an amazing experience. I think I would want to attempt VBAC and see how it goes. You can then go C if need be you can't do that in the reverse order.

Megan, mom to Lea Nicole said...

I think if a VBAC is important to you, you should try it. You said you plan for this to be your last child so if it's something you really want to experience, you should do it now. If it isn't important to you, I would do the c-section and eliminate the potential risk - but that's just me.
And to clarify: It's okay if a VBAC is important to you. It doesn't mean that you don't care about the risks involved or that you are being selfish. You've proved over the last two years that you are a loving, devoted mom and Peanut and the little one are both very lucky to have you. So are the rest of us.

Jenny said...

I am due at the end of August, and I am hoping for a VBAC. I didn't get to go through the trial of labor and I felt very pressured into doing my c/s. I have a new OB, so we'll see how things go for me. Anyway, I've made peace with my son's c/s, and I personally think that you should play it by ear and see how you feel when the time gets closer. That's what I'm going to do, even with my preference leaning toward a VBAC.

Erin said...

What would I do? I wouldn't make the decision until closer to your due date. Like week 38, if you can push it off that long. Here's my logic: I had a c-section after a failed induction. I would like a VBAC for the next baby. What I don't want to do is have a repeat of what happened with my son: he didn't drop. I didn't dilate. I went to the hospital for an induction, waited, slept, waited, slept, hit 10 cm., pushed for two hours only to end up with a C-section because he was crooked in my pelvis.

I think I would watch my body for signs of delivery in the last few weeks of pregnancy, then decide. If I felt my body would cooperate, I would do a VBAC. I never even felt a real contraction until after my induction, and even then it was back labor. If, when it comes time for Baby 2, my body shows signs it wants to delivery naturally, then I'll try it. If I make it to 41 weeks with 1 cm. dilated, no contractions/baby still up high like I did with my son, then I'll probably skip the hoping and just schedule a C-section. I really don't want to waste energy and lose sleep pushing if it's not happening on its own.

A safe delivery is all that really matters in the end. Always, always remember that. You are not any less of a mom because you didn't squeeze Peanut out of your vag. I didn't have the delivery I hoped for, but everyone was healthy at the end of it.

Good luck in your decision!

The Mama said...

These are all really thoughtful comments. It's a tough decision and I feel like giving yourself more time to think about it is a great plan. My mom had 2 c-sections and was happy with it even though the first wasn't what she planned.

Anonymous said...

There is no reason to think that because you did not progress past 3 cm in the amount of time that the first doctor allowed you to labor, that you won't dilate this time. Imagine if someone with no bedside manner was standing over you commanding that you poop or they would surgically remove the poop. Of course it wouldn't go smoothly!

If you trust your doc to give you a real chance while carefully monitoring your baby, trust your body too. You can do it! Good luck.

Korinthia Klein said...

My first delivery was a mess and ended in a C-section. Vaginal birth was never important to me, and since the odds of a C-section were a little higher after having the first one, I went ahead and scheduled the second. The third one we went with a C-section again, primarily because it was the only way to know the date of the birth so my husband could be there while home one leave from Iraq.

I know people get very emotional about this topic, but I didn't ever have problems with my C-sections. The two scheduled ones went very smoothly, and I recovered quickly. I think if you trust your doctor and everyone comes out healthy you will be fine either way.

Danielle said...

Thank you for this. I am in the process of making this decision right now. Also love the post about coming to terms with your c-section.

I am currently taking the wait and see route - since my baby never dropped/engaged last time, a lot will depend on whether s/he does this time.

Whatever you (and I) decide, I hope we can find a way to make it a more pleasant experience overall.

Michelle said...

Thank you, everyone, for your very thoughtful and insightful comments. I do think I am going to take the wait and see approach and do what is best to birth this child in a healthy manner.

k said...

Having experienced both, I think I would go c-section (and actually I have to for risk of busting clear open down my mid-section, but whatever).

Woman, I do not lie when I say that that first poo after a vaginal birth will make you WEEP. It's horrific and scary and, uh, horrific.

(Perhaps too much information.)