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VBAC - am I fooling myself to even consider it?

(26 Posts)
abigboydidit Sun 18-Nov-12 18:36:58

Hi everyone,

Am tying myself in knots over this so would appreciate any wisdom. Currently 31 weeks pregnant with DC2. DS is 18 months old and was born by EMCS after a failed induction (pessaries, waters broken & drip). He was back to back (I had thought so but they all said no..) & I never got more than 6cm dilated. Having been induced on the Thurday morning, the CS happened on the Saturday morning (after being very unwell with high temp in between). DS was a difficult section and I had a lot of blood loss and the surgeon came and apologised to me for what was an unusually large scar. He was 9lb.

I always felt the dates I was given with DS were way out (too early) & that he wasn't ready to leave. This time they seem bang on and I am keen to try for a VBAC. However, friends and family keep telling me am crazy to even consider it as my difficulties with DS and my slight frame mean am not cut out for childbirth. It's not that I particularly want to experience a VB - more that I would rather avoid a lengthy CS recovery when I have a baby and a toddler. But then my 30 week scan showed a bigger than average baby (4lb or so) & am now worried am being stupid and selfish and will end up trying for a VBAC only to end up with an EMCS when an ELCS would be simpler and recovery easier.

I would love any advice. I am very narrow hipped/framed despite being quite tall, which is what everyone keeps referencing but is that an old wives tale? Sorry for waffling. I just feel so confused. And if am honest, the memories of DS traumatic labour are starting to creep in and am getting a bit frightened too (I was given a debrief by my consultant at her insistence and an apology).

Thanks for reading all my woes!

amazingmumof6 Sun 18-Nov-12 19:06:32

ELSC is my advice, simply because of risk of scar rapture - doesn't happen often, but results are catastrophic.

my midwife only ever witnessed 2 scar raptures in 15 years, but both babies died. as soon as they noticed there was a problem they had 4 mins to get the baby out - not enough time..

they used to only recommend a VBAC if there was at least 2 years in between births, for you it's 20 months tops.

I would not risk it, get ELSC, hope this helps

JustFabulous Sun 18-Nov-12 19:07:01

My neighbour laboured for hours, went backwards with dilating, and ended up with a section. Baby number 2 born vaginally, very easily. She'd been told she couldn't have a vaginal birth due to her body.

I have an EMCS then 2VBAC's. It was a bit hairy with DC3 and there has been consequences but we are both okay now.

Get all the info you can, be prepared for things to change and good luck.

abigboydidit Sun 18-Nov-12 22:35:13

Thanks. The risk of scar rupture hasn't even been raised so that made the hairs on the back of my neck stand on end... I think I need to reconsider and have a list of questions for when I meet my consultant next week.

JustFabulous Mon 19-Nov-12 07:44:23

I was told about the risk of rupture when I was having DC2 and was scared into booking a section. I actually had her vaginally the day after the section was booked for and 6 days late. I ended up with a retained placenta (Apparently can happen when a previous birth has been by section though I have never read that anywhere. And I actually think it was caused by the stupid midwife pulling the cordhmm. This meant I had to stay in hospital for 2 days and I was no happy.) I had to be monitored once I was pushing to check on the scar status. It was actually having my next baby where my scar came close to rupturing and it was only because I pushed him out in 7 minutes that he is here now tbh.

Just get as much information as you can. Find out all the precautions that will be taking should you decide you want a VBAC and what would happen should you need a section.

chickling Mon 19-Nov-12 12:57:20

I just had a VBAC 2 days ago after emcs. I too got stuck at 6cm, fetal distress and then he ended up back to back. This time was totally different. On drip at 12 and proper labour started at 1.30. Baby born at 4.45! Progressed much more quickly and only had gas and air. Recovery has been much easier already and I am so pleased I went for it. Drs were on standby in case I needed emcs again. Midwives weren't going to increase the drip because my scar meant that I couldn't cope with contractions that were too intense. I was in great hands and say go for it but obv talk through with obstetrician first as everyone is different. Good luck with whatever you decide.

Welovecouscous Mon 19-Nov-12 13:58:41

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ByTheWay1 Mon 19-Nov-12 14:07:13

I had one and all was fine - if you look at statistics for VBAC v ELCS for the UK you will see that the risks are about even anyhow (for every rupture in VBAC there is more than one cut bladder or something equally life changing in ELCS etc. )

Ask for the stats for your maternity unit - it is the only way you can make an informed choice.

MrsBucketxx Mon 19-Nov-12 14:17:18

i had a vbac and im glad i did, the risks of rupture are small. i only ended up with forceps cause dd's heart rate kept crashing. the labour was a breeze compared go the first.

elcs are much more risky, get lots of information and make an informed choice.

abigboydidit Mon 19-Nov-12 19:39:42

Thanks everyone. I am so torn as to what to do! I have been told that I will not be induced again (other than a sweep), so that may take the decision out of my hands. They seem obsessed with the weight of the baby so I can only assume that my friends and family are right in being concerned that I am too wee to push out a big baby? I would rather go into the consultant with a clearer idea of what I want but that isn't looking likely at this rate..

Really appreciate everyone taking time to reply. Been reading them out to DH as he was so traumatised by DSs birth that he only wants a ELCS confused

RancerDoo Mon 19-Nov-12 19:46:51

Don't think that because you are small you can't vaginally birth a big baby
My mum is five foot tall and slim and produced a 10.5 lb baby.
Me = normal height with mahoosive childbearing hips that can't let babies out (2 emcs when fully dilated, babies 7lbs).
Risks of rupture are small and shouldn't be given disproportionate weight - there are risks of elcs too.
I suppose it comes down to what your consultant advises you to do and whether you feel you'd like to try labour again. Incidentally, with VBAC there is often a low threshold for stopping and having a section so you wouldn't be left labouring for days.

PiedWagtail Mon 19-Nov-12 19:54:52

Your baby will geenrally grow to fit you. Small women can have big babies. Sounds like your baby wasn't ready to be born last time and that's why the induction didn't work. Also, growth scans can be wrong - my friend was scared into having a CS because her baby was big - and he was 6 lb 6!!!!

Have a look at the vbac site - - it was really useful for me, helped me get baby into an optimal position. I'm so glad I had a VBAC as it was infinitely better than my CS. Remember, there are risks involved with a CS too. The risk of rupture is very small. Read up as much as possible before your appt - forewarned is forearmed!

bonzo77 Mon 19-Nov-12 20:12:21

OP I had almost an identical situation as you. Discrepancy with dates, full works induction (though I only got to 1cm) and emcs. I was induced due to loss of foetal movement / low fluids at 38+5. This was 2yrs and 8 months ago. I have been told that they will not induce apart from breaking waters. And unless I go into spontaneous labour that progresses well it will be a CS. I'm now 33+3 and this baby is now small with reduced fluid. I've been told probably CS at 38 weeks.

Anyhoo, before the growth problems were detected I had planned to attempt vbac with a CS if I needed induction. Mainly because after 2 cs in the uk any subsequent delivery is very unlikely to be a vbac. and we might want a 3rd one. I have several friends who have had 2nd CS, all who say that the recovery was far faster than after their emcs, and luckily none of them had complications from surgery (though interestingly about half of us did have infections after our first emcs).

bonzo77 Mon 19-Nov-12 20:15:38

Sorry, are you fooling yourself was the question. You don't know till you try. I did discuss with my gp who said that if my induction totally failed last time, and perhaps also because I didn't pass a miscarriage fully, she thought the chances of ending up with a CS was high, so I could avoid some stress and disappointment if I wanted to by planning one.

brainonastick Mon 19-Nov-12 20:20:56

There is nothing in your post that makes me think that anything other than the standard risks of vbac apply to you (ie the very small risk of scar rupture). So ignore everybody's well-meaning advice, do some reading around stats and ways to labour effectively, then make your decision. Good luck.

ILikeToMoveItMoveIt Mon 19-Nov-12 20:22:31

You have to remember that your body didn't fail, the induction did.

Read up on VBAC and ELCS. Look at the statistics for scar rupture (0.5% from memory) and also look at the pros and cons for multiple sections (higher risk of emergency hysterectomy, possible reduction in future fertility, scar adhesions, higher risk of the baby having breathing difficulties at birth etc) and VBAC.

This post isn't meant to scare you, it's meant to help you realise that you need to find out the facts and make your own educated and informed opinion. Everyone will have their own opinion and many people will give you horror stories of both scenarios - neither of which are helpful.

Good luck with whatever you choose smile

newyearsday Mon 19-Nov-12 20:36:59

If you are keen to try for a VBAC, got for it!

No two births are ever the same: you will never have another experience like last time. You got to 6cm, your body can dilate. Don't listen to negative messages about your build, your body is amazing, the pelvis increases during labour to allow the baby to be born.

I found The VBAC Handbook very informative, there's a really good vbac yahoo group of supportive women/doulas/midwives. You may find this interesting:

If your DH is nervous, consider getting a doula for extra support for you both.

Whatever you decide, vbac or elcs - good luck!

abigboydidit Mon 19-Nov-12 20:48:00

Thanks for the advice - hearing other people's experiences helps give some perspective as I do feel rather alone in this. I think I need to go away and do some more reading before I meet with the consultant. My MW said she felt the induction, combined with DS being back to back, meant my contractions would have been less efficient and that was most likely why I got stuck.

So much to think about! Least it gives me something to ponder during the many hours of insomnia hmm

LadyWidmerpool Mon 19-Nov-12 21:00:44

If it was me I would keep the discussion to my health professionals and my partner. It isn't anyone else's business IMO.

newyearsday Wed 21-Nov-12 10:47:45

ladywidmerpool it's normal to reach out to others (as OP is doing here on MN!) when faced with a tough decision, and gather as much information as possible. Reading the VBAC Handbook is a good place to start because it has the latest statistics, and pros and cons for vbac and elcs. But it's not just about information, when you've had an emcs and you're facing a 2nd birth it's about confidence too. Women support women (and have since the beginning of time!).

OP you are not alone, if you join the yahoo group you'll find more women who have had vbac, some who have done their best but ended up with cs, and others who are pregnant and aiming for vbac or hbac.

lia66 Wed 21-Nov-12 10:57:21

it's difficult to get a measured response from a forum such as this as there are so many people that will have had great experiences and those that had bad experiences. The thing is , these are THEIR stories and are not you.

It was, as someone said, the induction that failed and not you. It's incorrect that you can't have have a vaginal birth after several cs's in this country. I suggest you research this in great detail and perhaps find a vbac group. i can signpost you to one run by mw's and doulas amongst other hcp's. Pm me for info.

Aims is a good place to get balanced info and the stats for actual scar rupture are very very small.

i suggest your dh needs to debrief your last birth as negativity in the birth room is a huge hindrance. His fear will feed your fear, your fear will produce adrenalin in your body, adrenalin blocks the production of oxytocin. Oxytocin is essential for positive birth. it's a cycle of fear and pain, therefore pain producing fear. Does that make sense. ?

good luck

katieelh Wed 21-Nov-12 19:57:27

I had a vbac 7 month ago and it was great, however my c section was 8 years ago and I had previously had a fairly big baby naturally. You have to weigh up the pros and cons and do what you feel comfortable with.

abigboydidit Wed 21-Nov-12 21:40:22

Thanks again for the recent replies. Am afraid that I just don't seem to be able to keep it to me, DH & my consultant. On one hand my closest friends and family (including DH!) are really just concerned for me and seem to think anything other than ELCS would be setting myself up for failure. None of them have experienced induction, let alone CS so it all seems pretty terrifying I guess. Then I have my less close friends and general work colleagues who just feel obliged to pass comment I suppose. I have a pretty massive bump - or at least it looks huge as my frame is so slight - so everyone feels the need to share horror stories of friends or friends of friends who were too small to deliver the babies they grew..

Have been reading up on the VBAC links so thanks for that and also doing listening to a Hypnobirthing CD to try to calm my nerves slightly. DH is very much a facts and figures man and will want the "safest" option after last time. I think the more information he can get on the processes involved (eg just knowing it won't drag on for 3 days again!) will help reassure him. Just hearing other people's experiences is probably the most reassuring for me as right now it just seems impossible that a VBAC is even an option for me!

ILikeToMoveItMoveIt Sat 24-Nov-12 08:55:12

It's hard isn't it. Even though I knew I wanted a VBAC with ds2 I still had wobbles about it. I think ANY woman heading towards giving birth, be it vaginally or by section, has a wobble of confidence.

For me my wobble was, should I just book an ELCS (the known) or have a VBAC (the seemingly unknown). It was almost like if I had a section I would be in control (I would know where and when etc), but of course having someone standing over me wielding a scalpel is not in my control at all - it couldn't be further out of my control!

You mentioned a Hypnobirthing CD, do you have one for VBAC? I used the VBAC one and it was called 'letting go'. It was about letting go of the negative feelings and guilt over an EMCS. It was great and really struck a chord with me.

If it helps bolster your confidence, I have had two VBAC's. Both home water births. Ds2 was 9lb 11oz and ds3 was 11lb 3oz. No pain relief, no tears. They are some of my proudest achievements.

Have faith in yourself and your baby smile

ILikeToMoveItMoveIt Sat 24-Nov-12 09:02:07

a great article about induction by a well known MW

a great VBAC link

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