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VBAC or not after traumatic birth?

(16 Posts)
101dalmationspots Mon 08-May-17 20:38:52

DS is 3 and we have just decided to start TTC for number 2. It's taken me this long as my birth really traumatised me I didn't think I could ever do it again, but I've started to accept it more now.
It was horrific, 4 day Labor. waters gone and contractions every 2 mins for 43 hours of it - I had dialated 2cms in that time and was having back to back Labor.
2 failed epidurals and a clip on head with declining heart rate, emergency buzzers pulled twice with rooms filled with people. Placenta started coming away and I was in awful pain. Eventually I was taken to theatre for c section (far later than I should have been) and had to be put to sleep under GA as my spinal block didn't work.
Both developed infections, his much worse than mine. I had to have 3 blood transfusions, 1 week in high dependency unit and didn't hold my child for 2 days as was knocked out being injected morphine. I now suffer from a curved spine, split stomach muscles and chronic back pain.
So anyway...
Now I don't know what I want for the birth of Dc. (When it happens) The birth was awful and I really couldn't go through that again, I know I sound like a drama queen but I woke up in cold sweats having flash backs for months. Even now I cry sometimes thinking of bits of it.
But I want to be able breastfeed this one and move around more this time and that was harder after a section.

I also want that experience of a natural birth and feel I should Atleast try for one.

I watched my Best friend give birth naturally and it was the most amazing thing, I cried tears of joy whereas after my section I cried tears of pain and failure.

DH wants me to have a planned section but I really want to try. He says if things start to go wrong again I'll get PND again because of it.

What would you do in those circs?

NSEA Mon 08-May-17 20:48:15

I had a planned c section and bf my daughter for 2+ years. There's no reason that you won't be able to as well. It's just you need help for the first week having baby passed you etc.

If i was in your situation (which i had with my second) I would choose a planned c section. It is a completely different experience to an emergency one and you eliminate the stress of what ifs of labour.

101dalmationspots Mon 08-May-17 20:48:32

Also if anyone knows if it's likely my second Labor will be similar?

FraterculaArctica Mon 08-May-17 20:49:02

So sorry you had such a difficult first birth. Mine was not as bad as that but did have the dropping heartrate and crash CS under general experience. In my case I recovered mentally fairly quickly and was never in any doubt I wanted to try VBAC if we had DC2. I accepted it might all turn nasty again but was very lucky with DC2 and had a very quick and easy VBAC (except stuck placenta which had to be removed surgically). None of the things I was worried about happened 2nd time round (although several other things happened which statistically was unlikely and therefore I hadn't worried about!) So I guess the question is how determined are you to give it a go and do you feel you'll cope if it ends up as another EMCS? Think this is more important than the absolute risks, unless there's anything that actually clinically contraindicates VBAC.

NSEA Mon 08-May-17 20:49:29

Ps. You have experienced a natural birth and it was shitty. Don't allow yourself to be fooled by the "natural dream" birth

NSEA Mon 08-May-17 20:50:40

Btw. They will highly monitor you this labour as you had a previous section. So they will intervene sooner and your more likely to end up with an assisted delivery

FraterculaArctica Mon 08-May-17 20:50:46

Oh, my second labour was nothing like my first. First was 36 hours of excruciating pain, got to 5 cm before CS. Second was 50 mins and I didn't even realise I was in established labour till they told me I was fully dilated and starting to push...

FraterculaArctica Mon 08-May-17 20:53:38

Just to contradict NSEA, I had a truly dream natural labour VBAC and think happily every day back to the experience of pushing my DD out. I acknowledge I was exceptionally lucky and appreciate this isn't everyone's experience though.

NSEA Mon 08-May-17 21:07:05

Yes I didn't mean to make it sound like it was an impossibility. Of course it could go wonderfully. You have to weigh up the rosks for your mental health should it not go to plan x

DontbeaDickaboutit Mon 08-May-17 21:08:01

I think unfortunately it's one of those situations where everyone else's experience is anecdotal and for as many people have had positive VBAC's the same number will have elected for sections and found that really rewarding too.

I think in this scenario you really need to take some time to think what would be your absolute worst scenario - never experiencing a baby coming out of your vagina or having another traumatic birth. You can't guarantee your birth outcome but you might feel some satisfaction in "having at least tried." If you feel there is any mileage in what your husband is saying about the birth attributing to PND then you really must consider that carefully, PND is a bitch and even worse with two - believe me.

I know it's difficult and you have seen firsthand how lovely a straightforward birth can be, but a planned section won't be the same as your previous experience and I personally found it very cathartic to put to bed the issues and upset I was carrying from my first birth. You need to concentrate on the long game with having a baby at the end regardless and that being the reward rather than focusing on how they arrive, as tricky as I know that is.

With regards to breastfeeding, you can plan for this and make sure you get the support to get it off to a good start whilst still in the hospital.

Good luck, it's a toughie!

smellsofelderberries Tue 09-May-17 02:55:25

Your chance of an assisted delivery with the circumstances of your first labour as fairly high. If I were you I would have a planned section. With an assisted delivery you run the risk of injury to you and considering what you've said about the state of your body now, I wouldn't risk also ending up with pelvic floor trauma/prolapse on top of it. Good luck for TTC. I am desperate to expand our family already (DC1 only 6 months) but I still feel nauseous/very panicky over the fact that the baby has to come out somehow sad

fanfrickintastic Tue 09-May-17 09:34:30

Similar situation to you (ended in forceps causing damage to me rather than a section) and I'll be having a planned section

EdgarAllenPoe Tue 09-May-17 14:55:19

If you opt for a VBAC, it won't go on for days and days like your previous birth. They usually monitor you constantly and if it doesn't progress within a certain time, you'd end up with a cs anyway. So it probably wouldn't be the long, horrendous experience you described, even if it didn't go right.

That being said, I'm in a similar boat (12 weeks pregnant after emcs with my first) and I will be choosing an elcs this time. Just my preference. I don't feel any pressure or deep will to experience vb, and I dislike anyone who implies a woman should (not judging you OP, you do what's right for you). My birth experience while long and painful wasn't particularly traumatic, but my overriding memory is one of sheer exhaustion from having both a long labour and surgery. So I'm hoping to avoid one of those things and not feel quite so terrible this time.

I am worried about breastfeeding. It didn't work out last time (I had loads of milk too, but the baby was too tired to latch). I don't know if this might be because I was just so tired too. But again, a woman's worth is not determined by how she feeds her baby, and that's what I'll keep reminding myself. I found not breastfeeding the hardest part to deal with.

Have you spoken to Birth Afterthoughts? It might help.

Erinys Wed 10-May-17 20:14:51

A lot of your story is very similar to mine. Back to back, long labour, waters gone, failed epidurals ending in emcs, ds ending up in NICU. Although I did get to 10cms but ds was in an interesting position and couldn't descend. Was in a complete state for a long time with flashbacks, nightmares and high anxiety to the point that I'm still seeing a psychiatrist.

We started ttc a couple of months ago and it's looking like I'm pregnant (just waiting a couple more days before testing). My plan is repeat section under general anesthetic as I think I would spend the whole of a vbac attempt becoming increasingly stressed waiting for it to go all pear shaped. Labouring and it going wrong and/or my baby ending up in NICU again with all the guilt I had last time is my worst case scenario.

I think Don'tbe has it spot on, figure out your worst case scenario and go from there.

Emma1609 Sun 14-May-17 19:03:32

Please contact your nhs trust supervisor of midwives/ consultant midwife. I was in same position as you and reluctant to ttc #2 due to previous traumatic birth. I broke down to my prolapse consultant and she referred me, but all the details are on the nhs trust website, but i wouldn't have known otherwise. She will listen to your fears, go through your birth notes if you wish, acknowledge the trauma and talk through the options for the future. She should then offer to support you through the pregnancy when you get pregnant. Mine has been amazing support. You sound like you've been through a horrendous experience so you need professional support/advice to help make this a positive experience.

Emma1609 Sun 14-May-17 19:10:33

And also professional support to help you decide what to do (vbac or section) - I was in this dilemma too and talking with her helped me decide.

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