Consultant didn't help with VBAC decision - help!(14 Posts)
(sorry this is so long) Hi, I’m currently 30 weeks and constantly fighting my head and heart when it comes to what to do for the best. The backstory is: My first son's labour was very (very) traumatic, I'd had an accident 2 weeks before his birth, I was essentially bed bound and had to have blood thinners. Waters broke at 38 weeks, phoned hospital they asked us to come in so we duly headed to hospital, I was checked, told I was in very early labour and should head home…she took pity on me being in a wheelchair (I’d had metal rods and pins put into my leg) so said I could stay on a ward, his father was sent home. I was on the ward for around 20 minutes before the pain became unbearable, all the other women were sleeping on the ward in the dark and I was there writhing around in agony trying not to wake them.
I hobbled on crutches out to the desk where I was told I was over-reacting I put in a room on my own, it all gets very vague from here on but I do remember leaning out of the window to try and cool down/catch my breath and being scared to death bawling my eyes out totally alone until a midwife came into collect something but she could see I wasn’t coping at all, she checked me, whisked me away in the wheelchair and before I knew it I was surrounded by people telling me to push, all I could hear was my son’s heartbeat on the monitor, that memory had stuck with me, I remember it slowing down to an almost dead stop. There’s a gap in my memory but my last memory is being in theatre, someone told to count to 10 and then someone saying “oh god she must be on blood thinners”…….I woke up, my son was fine thankfully but I’d lost a huge amount of blood and was really quite ill.
So that’s what happened, when I met with the doctor afterwards he said quite frankly, if I’d been sent home it would have been a very different outcome for my son as the cord was wound so tightly around his neck he would never have come out naturally. So fast forward 5 years, I’m finally over it enough to do it again! I met with consultant Monday, he told me I could try for a VBAC but I should think about a planned c-section . I cannot bear the thought of another emergency situation but I also felt like a complete failure for weeks afterwards for not having a VB so that’s pushing me towards a VBAC but I’m thinking I must also have laboured exceptionally fast, would that be the case again? This pregnancy is bringing up so many things I’d forgotten about and now its almost D-Day again I’m absolutely bricking it!
Any advice/words of wisdom/moral support...I feel quite alone at the moment x
Not sure I can offer a lot of advice, but you should never feel like a failure no matter which option you choose.
Have you spoken to anyone midwife/GP/family about how you feel?
What do you want to do? I mean, if you didn't care about what anyone else thought and you felt no pressure about being 'a failure' or not? I don't think you can think of it as being a black and white thing in terms of VBAC being a 'success' and c section being a 'failure'.
I think the consultant has given you two options- either VBAC or planned C-section, but I think it would be wrong for them to pressure you into making a decision either way. I know some women find this more traumatic as they felt railroaded into a situation which they later felt they had no control over. It does sound that they are trying to give you some prior warning that it may have to be a c section, which is more than you had last time by the sounds of it. I can't imagine how frightening an experience this must have been for you
Sorry if this isn't 'advice' as such, but if it were me I would try and not think about what I feel I 'ought to do' but more think about what would make me feel as confident and secure as possible.
Thank you, sorry my post was abit all over the place I think found it a bit therapeutic to actually write down exactly what I'd been through. It genuinely was such an awful experience I think I've blocked a lot of it. I think I lack a bit of confidence in myself and my own body in whether I can actually handle a VB even though it's what I want
ELCS all the way. Otherwise you will be continually stressed thinking about the previous birth.
ELCS aren't the easy way out, it's major surgery but after what you went through previously you could definitely handle it.
I went for a ELCS after a very traumatic crash section birth where DT1 died. I could not do that again and needed some control of the situation. The ELCS was the right decision for me even though DD3 still came earlier than the planned date. You need to do whatever is right for you.
Thank you all, @purplepandas that's definitely put things into perspective. I'm so sorry that happened to you! The ELCS is starting to look like the better option all round!!
Whenever anyone asks my advice (I'm a doctor but not an obstetrician so not an expert and the last section I was at was when I was a student), I always say that the research shows that the safest option for mother and baby is a normal, uncomplicated vaginal delivery.
However, that is a retrospective diagnosis and is never guaranteed, particularly if there have been problems in the past.
The next best option, better than a complicated vaginal delivery or an emergency section, and it is a good option is a planned elective section.
They can be really chilled, relaxed, and a lovely experience. It all much more controlled, everyone can take their time a bit more than in a rush concerned about a sick mother or baby.
I know what I would choose in your situation, but if you weren't sure, you can come up with a compromise of booking a section for, say, 39 weeks, and thinking about a VBAC if you deliver before. (Normally, if your waters break or if you go into labour before the planned section, you would be offered a semi-emergency section straight off so you are not too far progressed.)
Another final thought: would it help to go over your last delivery with a midwife if your hospital does something like Birth Afterthoughts or debriefing?
Thank you I hadn't really thought of them being calm and actually nice experiences I think I always just instantly relate them to mine, waking up groggy to my baby which everyone had already seen apart from me but I like the idea of having one booked in but if he decides to come early I'll try for a VBAC. Today I requested my maternity notes, I have to go to the hospital to see them costing me £10 otherwise they can send a copy of them for a mere £50 thanks everyone I feel a bit better already! I'm hoping reading through what happened should help
I had a traumatic section with my first baby and second was a vbac. I recovered mentally and emotionally from the first experience the minute my second was in my arms. I thought, wow, I'm holding my baby before anyone else does. I'm in control of my movements and my body. It was one of the best moments in my life. However I had the vbac by the skin of my teeth literally due to lots of factors and complications that kept on arising. I had however mentally prepared myself for the alternative: an elective section or a failed vbac and crash section and I think had the vbac failed I still would have been ok. Second time round it will always be different, you know what to expect and you know that ultimately it's not the end of the world how your child is born as long as they come out healthy. It's about finding a balance between this concept and the hope for a successful vbac. If you feel that a failed vbac will devastate you then don't risk it; if you feel you can find that middle ground between being hopeful and prepared for the worst then go for it- in glad I did !
This might help if you are having a follow up apt. I posted some questions that I used at my own apt's to help me make a decision
I had an elective c section due to birth trauma from DS. I couldn't handle the waiting and not knowing. I had felt abandoned and forgotten and from my perspective nearly lost DS as a result. I couldn't bring myself to trust that I would be sufficiently monitored with a vbac.
The elective c section with DD was amazing. Every one was lovely and calm. I was always looked after, communicated with and reassured. It happened at my pace, in a well out room rather than pacing up and down forgotten in a side room in triage.
In many ways it has redeemed the birth if DS too, put down the demons and robbed them of their power over my memories. I'll always remembered sitting with DH and dreaming dreams as we waited for the elective. I'll always remember lying in the recovery room holding DD and beaming from ear to ear holding DD. I'll always remember pushing her pram in the weeks that followed with a smile on my face rather than sobbing as I grappled to process what happened.
It's no walk in the park recovering but the physical recovery was much easier than the mental scars I bore for so long from the first time.
There is no standard right answer but for me it was an elcs.
Try making a decision answering how it sits for a few days. And all the best, I'll pray you have a positive healing experience whichever way you go.
Sorry for the long post but I hope it helps on some way
I had an EMCS (but not an 'emergency' one) as I was booked in for an ELCS and went into labour. What I will say is that it was very calm, possibly even 'fun' and very relaxed indeed. A couple of friends have had slightly more complicated ELCS since after traumatic first labours. I found my recovery to be very easy, and they took it a little longer, BUT despite that they found the ELCS experience overall to be very healing. I asked for a few things: skin to skin in theatre, help with breastfeeding. I didn't want the screen lowered but you could ask for that too. I don't know if it's important to you but I breastfed easily and successfully for a year, and I didn't heal any quicker than some of my friends who had third degree tears etc. My vagina is intact, but I'm no less of a mother because of it.
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