Anyone else regret NOT VBAC-ing?

(18 Posts)
herethereandeverywhere Thu 03-Jan-13 20:56:40

I honestly don't believe that my body WAS designed to give birth! It was supposed to, yeah, but I'm sure I'd have been one of the Victorian mums (or indeed if I happened to be from rural Sierra Leone today) that would not have survived childbirth. Mother nature only needs enough women to birth "properly" (i.e. living and healthy mum and baby) to ensure the survival of the next generation, NOT 100% of women. One of the evolutionary trade offs for walking on two legs and having a large head to accommodate our large brain was the riskiness of birthing our human babies.

I've never had kidney stones or a migraine but my life is no less complete for not knowing my body would have coped with it!

I am of course coming at this from the perspective of having done VB so can never (unfortunately in my case) "not know". All I can say is that life is too short to have these regrets!

MelodyHarmony Thu 03-Jan-13 19:23:53

Thanks herethereandeverywhere for giving me some balance. I have a quite few friends who have had traumatic vaginal births with complication afterwards.I don't think I have by head in the clouds, I just think it's a shame that my body's never done one if the things it was designed to do.

herethereandeverywhere Wed 02-Jan-13 23:38:01

I'd suggest reading a few more traumatic VB stories to provide a bit of balance wink

But seriously, you can never know whether you would have been one of the beautiful, natural, breathed out births using only hypnosis techniques and aromatherapy for pain relief, with nothing but a small graze and a pelvic floor that snaps back into place like elastic.

I had a v. traumatic 1st birth ending in Keillands forceps VB and horrible damage and pain to me and DD. Had ELCS for second delivery and it was absolutely heavenly. I chose campaigned for ELCS BECAUSE no-one could guarantee me the beautiful natural laying-the-ghosts-of-my-previous-delivery-to-rest birth. All the midwives and consultants could say was "second births are usually easier but there are no guarantees".

You know what you are getting with an ELCS. Risks are well documented and it's a totally controlled environment.

Instead of feeling you're missing out on the natural birth experience, why not look at it as I do, that you're missing out on a long, painful, exhausting labour and permanent damage to your vagina and pelvic floor. Oh and several consultants told me that CS was safest for the baby and the risks were all to me - I was more than happy to put her safety before mine. smile

MelodyCatsAndKittens Tue 01-Jan-13 20:14:48

Sorry I've name changed (but still not happy with it!)
So no regrets at all then 1944girl?
Thanks for sharing your story and wow, what a story. I bet you are so pleased to have all those grandchidlren and two wonderful grown up sons.

I'm so glad surgical techniques have improved enough for us to go on having 2, 3, 4 CSeactions these days. I will stop at four, I think it gets way too risky after that.

1944girl Tue 01-Jan-13 18:47:30

I have had two children both by C-SECTION.43 and40 years ago when things were differant.
First was crash section because of baby going into transverse lie in labour waters broke with foetal distress and meconium staining.Complication with GA nearly killed us both.Baby brought out more dead than alive with Apgar of 1.Thankfully he was sucessfully resusitated.
Second pregnancy I was advised trial of labour which failed when baby's head got stuck in my pelvis and previous classical c-section scar almost ruptured.So another crash section.Baby had Apgar of 3 but was resusiated and is now father of five.
I had tubal tie done with second section,(I had previously, under duress been advised to have this if another section needed) consultant said at my first ante=natal appointment ''We cant keep cutting you open everytime you have a baby'' Imagine him getting away with that now.
I hve two live healthy sons because of those crash sections. And of course now five beautiful grandchildren.

Melody3boys Mon 31-Dec-12 09:37:51

Thanks everyone. I find when I've just had the baby, I'm really happy and don't care that they were born by cs. Like you alwayspregnant, I'm very very grateful to have my healthy children. It's in this inbetween phase, where I spend too much time on Mumsnet and reading birth stories that I have that 'what if...?' feeling.

Alwayspregnsnt it's not the not getting the birth I'd imagined that traumatised me the first time round. The trauma came from the traumatic situation of the foetal distress then being rushed into theatre, fearing for my own and my baby's lives. If anything, it's disappointment that I haven't birthed naturally, like my body is designed to.

Confuddled I just can't do it. I find stories like yours so inspiring and amazing but I just couldn't do it. The risks are just too risky for me. Even if I could afford a doula (I can't) I wouldn't have the time or energy during pregnancy (I am pretty ill during my pregnancies and also got antenatal depression last time) to find a doula or make appointments with supervisor of midwives. Anyway, I sound like I'm just making excuses now.... If I was going into my second pregnancy again then maybe I would have more peace about the risks (as they're lower), have more time and energy to research and find these gems of people who can help and support, and then maybe I'd go for it. What I need is a time machine!

confuddledDOTcom Sun 30-Dec-12 23:55:05

I did.

First baby was a footling breech at 31 weeks coming rather fast so I had a crash section, they had to do an inverse T cut because of gestation. I was happy knowing it was necessary but it left me with birth trauma and whilst I really wanted to VBAC I couldn't even talk about her birth without bursting into tears. I knew the statistics, I knew it was a high risk scar but I could do it but I couldn't do it.

Second baby I went into active labour at 35 weeks - after 11 weeks of early labour(!) - and they waited until I was effaced and did a crash section. It was the cure for my BT but I regretted not standing up for myself and getting the VBAC I wanted.

Third time around I'd already chosen my doula, despite saying I wasn't having any more children! I booked an appointment with an SoM and arranged it. I was surprised by how good everyone was about it. They made sure I understood the risks but after that they wouldn't talk about it, they supported my decision to do it. I was so pleased with myself that I'd gone for it and achieved it.

This time it was a given and when I was in labour the obstetrician was quite adamant that it was important to the baby I delivered naturally (because of being 29 weeks). I felt so supported that it didn't even matter to me that my doula was sick, although I'd have loved her to have been there.

If you want to go for it or even discuss it I highly recommend that you speak to a doula and make an appointment with a Supervisor of Midwives. If you can't do the doula then definitely speak to an SoM, they're amazing!

I find the comments about trauma offensive. I didn't choose to come away from my first section with PTSD! I don't think any of us who have suffered from it chose to.

alwayspregnant Sun 30-Dec-12 23:14:33

Had 1 emergency section, 1 breech natural birth (prem), then 2 elcs. For my last pregnancy the registrar was convinced I should try and deliver myself but I decided not worth risk. After section surgeon told me if I'd gone into labour and tried to deliver there was a high chance myself and baby would've died. shock

I'm happy to have 4 delightful children and couldn't care how they arrived just happy they are healthy. Don't understand people who are traumatised because they didn't get the birth they imagined.

salvadory Sun 30-Dec-12 23:02:07

She had her 3rd child after my second (planned cs obviously with tonnes of monitoring). It was a spontaneous rupture at home. So awful I can't even imagine how I'd have coped, but she did, amazingly so.
My opinion on vbac is coloured by her experience and that of my friend but I was prepared to vbac had I gone into labour, although tbh was kind of ridged I didn't and could have the elcs (selfishly it made planning childcare etc for my eldest dd/ pat leave for my husband that much easier).

ArthurandGeorge Sun 30-Dec-12 22:58:59

I have had 2 dc but never been in labour. Emergency section at 32 weeks to save my life and then just wanted everything to be nice and planned for dc2 so had el.cs. Do sometimes wish I had had that excitement of going into labour and perhaps one contraction but I never really wanted to push a baby out so not too bothered by it.

blueshoes Sun 30-Dec-12 22:53:11

I had 2 cs, first was crash and the second elcs. Both easy recoveries but the elcs was easier and scar healed much better.

Melody3boys Sun 30-Dec-12 22:24:01

Thanks Salvadory
The poor lady from your NCT group, how terribly sad. You can't begin to imagine can you? That scares me away from any pregnancy post CS let alone a VBAC. Did she go into labour or just rupture spontaneously?

I have also been lucky that I've managed to bf really well each time but I had significant pain after the first two and a LOT of pain and a slow recovery last time.

salvadory Sun 30-Dec-12 21:28:29

Not regretted my 2 sections, first one was an emcs second elcs at 41 weeks. A girl from my NCT group had agreed to vbac with her second baby and had a uterine rupture at 36 weeks and sadly lost him (and nearly died herself). I know it's very rare but it did play a part in my decision to have elcs if I didn't go into labour naturally (first cs was after a failed induction, failure to progress and foetal heart distress).
Fwiw my friend who had a very traumatic emcs with baby one and elected to have a cs for number 2, ended up with an unintended vbac and said it was an awful experience, really traumatic birth, damaged her knees through stirrups and has a prolapse etc as a result of the birth. She says here emcs took less recovery time and that she's blocked out the vbac as it was that awful.
I've been really lucky and both of my cs's have healed fine, I was able to bf both my daughters without a problem and heal fine enough to cope with a 2 year old and a newborn with no help. Good luck.

Melody3boys Sun 30-Dec-12 21:19:48

Yes, that's what I need to keep reminding myself. I'm too scared to VBA3C anyway!

FabulousFreaks Sun 30-Dec-12 21:05:36

3 c sections and no regrets as three lovely healthy babies

Melody3boys Sun 30-Dec-12 21:04:07

Thanks Blueshoes
How many CSections have you had? Good recoveries?

blueshoes Sun 30-Dec-12 21:02:14

This is probably not very helpful, but I never regretted not VBAC-ing. Then again, I was never plagued by the VBAC ghost either.

Sounds like you ought to give it a go, in my most non-medical and unscientific opinion.

Melody3boys Sun 30-Dec-12 20:51:48

Anyone else regret not VBAC-ing? Currently TTC for baby number 4 which will be another elcs as I really don't have the balls to try a VBA3C.

History...sorry, quite long...
DS1: Spontaneous labour, decreased foetal movement, meconium stained liquor when waters broke, continual foetal monitoring, call for crash caesarean when bradycardia detected for seven minutes. State lowered to emergency caesarean once in theatre as baby's heart rate had improved so able to have spinal block rather than general anaesthetic. Surgeon said afterwards that liquor was VERY thick with a lot of meconium, indicating that baby had been distressed for some time (we never found out why). Thankfully (I actually thank God) baby was totally fine with good apgar scores.
I was totally relieved both baby and I were alive and ok. Once home, I researched caesarean births a bit more and found that some people felt cheated/disappointed/a failure etc after emcs. I felt slightly traumatised but not cheated - just besotted with my new baby and VERY relieved.

DS2: Conceived him when DS1 was 12 months old. Straight away I decided that I was having an elcs and no one was going to change my mind. At scheduled consultant appointment I actually only saw a registrar who briefly outlined the pros of VBAC but I was having none of it and she didn't go on to provide further info to try to change my mind. I did not want to go through that trauma again.
Went on to have elcs at 39 wks. All fine with good recovery.

A few years later I discovered the joy of reading other people's birth stories online and I was hooked. I wished I'd discovered them before DS1 as I might have been better prepared for birth but the outcome would have likely been the same due to the foetal distress. But I definitely wish I'd read stuff like that before DS2 as I think I would have then tried VBAC.

DS3: During this pregnancy I did a lot more research into VBA2C and really wished I'd VBACed the last time round as results for VBA1C are far more favourable than VBA2C...I also read too many horror stories about scar rupture. Actually saw consultant at scheduled appointment this time who said I should have been given more information last time to make a more informed choice. Anyway, after a lot of hormone-charged dithering, decided on a third CS.

Even after the decision around that ELCS I didn't feel disappointed, just over the moon with a third healthy baby. Recovery that time was very tough.

Now planning to start TTC #4 and I just can't put the VBAC ghost to bed even though I know I would just never have the balls to go through with it.

Anyway, just wondered if anyone else had the same sad nagging thoughts in the background...?

M xx

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