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Advised not to go for VBAC and am devastated

(117 Posts)
Kaito16 Wed 13-Jun-18 22:36:12

Hi all,

My first post on Mumsnet - hope I’m doing it right.

I had DS 2.5 years ago and am due with my second child in 3 months.

With first DS my waters broke and 18 hours later I was only 4cm and not progressing further so I was given the induction drip which successfully got me to 10cm fully dilated within a few hours and ready to push. I pushed for about 1.5 hours but to no avail. Baby was not coming out/stuck. I was rushed to theatre not knowing whether they would do an instrumental or c-section. Once we got there and they assessed me they decided an urgent c-section was required.

My little boy came healthily and we were pleased but I struggled emotionally to come to terms with having a c-section as I had my heart set on a vaginal birth and is something that as a woman I feel is important for me to experience.

So I met with the obstetrician who delivered my son today to discuss the birthing plan/options for my #2 due in 3 months. To my huge disappointment and devastation, he was extremely strongly encouraging me to opt for a planned c-section. He felt that a VBAC may not be successful for me because the reason for my first c-section was not a one-off occurrence (such a fetal distress) or a slow progressing labour. I still needed a c-section after getting to full dilation and pushing for a while, possibly suggesting that the shape of my pelvis was not allowing the baby to pass through effectively. Something he thinks may be likely to happen again (although no one knows until you get to that point).

He acknowledged that we would not know until I tried but if I tried a VBAC and then induction or emergency c-section occurred then this could have serious risks for myself and my baby.

I am so torn between my personal desire for a VBAC so I feel fulfilled as a women but now can’t help but think whether I would be selfish to go for this when I know full well what the risks would be. I would not be able to forgive myself if something went wrong with a VBAC and I knew it was because I went against medical advice because of my personal desire to deliver vaginally.

All I read all over the internet is how much you should push for a VBAC if you want it and don’t let anyone else tell you otherwise. Does this mean I should go against the advice of a well trusted and hugely experienced doctor?

I read constantly of women saying a VBAC was empowering for them and helped heal their trauma and guilt from their first c-sections. This is what I desperately wanted for myself but I just cannot see logically see I can go against the advice of a doctor with over 30 years experience who I trust and value his opinion, and instead take the risks of a VBAC as he explained them.

I feel like I have no options left and that this and God-willing any future children I have will all have to be by c-section. I don’t know how I will come to terms with this. sad

FartnissEverbeans Thu 14-Jun-18 17:24:17

I'm sorry you didn't have the birth you wanted. Very few of us do.

I think you'd be completely mad to ignore your doctor. You'd be putting your own life and your baby's life in danger - for what? So that, in the unlikely event you're able to actually deliver successfully - you can feel 'empowered'? What does that even mean? I just can't even imagine putting my own desire for abstract spiritual fulfilment above my own safety and that of my child.

I'm afraid you might have fallen for a lot of the natural birth bullshit online. They frame childbirth as being some sort of mystical experience that's intimately tied to your identity as a woman, whatever the fuck that means. In reality, birth is dangerous. Women die. Babies die. There is a time and a place for hippy shit and it's not the labour ward.

FartnissEverbeans Thu 14-Jun-18 17:27:24

I don't think I sounded sympathetic enough in my last post - I am genuinely sorry that your first birth was so tough and disappointing. I know how to feels to be shocked and horrified by the reality of childbirth but unfortunately that's what it is - a reality.

Maybe try to focus on being glad that you have access to a c-section - so many women don't have that. We're very privileged in the west.

Realowlette Thu 14-Jun-18 17:31:56

My DD was born by VBAC and I tore badly. I too the advice from my consultant had had my DS by planned C-Section. If them both, his birth I remember more fondly as it was calm, organised and didn't leave me with serious bladder issues (like the VBAC).
I have not bonded with my DS any less because he 'came out the sun roof'. I did not find my VBAC a magical experience.
It's really hard when your hormones are all over the place and when you read glowing accounts on line etc about this perfect experience. The doctors know what they are doing and I don't think they would suggest a c section unless they felt it absolutely necessary. Take care thanks

Nan0second Thu 14-Jun-18 17:32:08

I think you should speak to a second consultant obstetrician. (I am one but you need somebody with your notes)
I am usually pro vbac when somebody has got to fully dilated before (assuming that’s what they want of course!) as they usually labour really well second time round.
I have worked with other Obstretricians in different hospitals who always counsel for elective section but they are not the usual. Hence get a second opinion.

Lsnowe Thu 14-Jun-18 17:36:01

What @FartnissEverbeans said!

mayhew Thu 14-Jun-18 17:38:12

Well, I'm a midwife and from my experience
: someone like you would be offered a VBAC in my NHS trust, if that was what you wanted
: it is most likely to be successful if you laboured spontaneously
: just this week I supported someone in a similar situation. She has booked a CS for 41 weeks if labour hadn't started by then.
: I would encourage you to labour in an upright position and stay active to maximise your chances of the baby flexing and descending in the pelvis. Your contractions are likely to be better at this second time around.
: I would encourage you to labour in a place with quick access to caesarean if a repeat was needed.
: I would encourage you to request a meeting with a consultant midwife to support me with this.

His advice does not have to be the end of your story. Good luck!

MrsApplepants Thu 14-Jun-18 17:38:14

Sorry you didn’t get the birth you wanted. But I think the hippies have brainwashed you though. Agree with pp, in what way is a v birth empowering? I had one, just felt tired and sore, at no point ‘powerful.’ Load of bollocks.

And why would anyone feel guilt about having an emergency c section? Baby is unlikely to care, either now or in the future. What they would care about is still having a Mum.

Dinosauratemydaffodils Thu 14-Jun-18 17:53:56

Ds's birth sounds very similar to your experience, waters breaking first, long labour, pushing, failed instruments and then an emcs. I really struggled with everything not helped by the fact that I ended up hallucinating on the operating table.

Dd was born on Thursday by emcs (not intentionally, she decided she was coming early). I had an elective booked but when I turned up in labour, they asked what I wanted and I realised I would never forgive myself if anything went wrong or we ended up with a repeat of last time. No one could give me a concrete reason as to why ds got stuck and what the odds of it happening again were so we went to theatre and I had an amazing "gentle" section worlds apart from my son's delivery. Seeing her emerge from my body, yelling was an "empowering" experience and it helped put a lot of my issues with my son's birth to bed. She was on my chest in under 4 minutes even allowing for the fact that they left the cord pulsing for at least a minute.

I will also add I was told I would be supported whatever I chose but both the Consultant Obstetrician I was seeing during pregnancy and the one who delivered dd told me I was making the right choice.

I've also read of plenty of women who had "healing vbacs" but I've also read of plenty of women who hugely regret theirs/their attempts for various reasons. Only you can decide where you draw the line but second c-sections can be healing too especially when they are so different to your first.

Buddyelf Thu 14-Jun-18 17:54:42

‘read constantly of women saying a VBAC was empowering for them and helped heal their trauma and guilt from their first c-sections.’

Sorry but this isn’t how it is. I had an emergency c-section with my first and a Vbac with my second.
I’ve never had one second of guilt over having a c-section. It was an emergency and done to save my baby. Having a vbac the second time had absolutely no bearing on my feelings from my first birth.
I’m sorry you were disappointed in having to have a c-section but please listen to the drs on this one.

lalaloopyhead Thu 14-Jun-18 18:08:03

I don't think that recommending CS is something consultants do without good reason, but ultimately it is your decision.

I have had 3 cs but I don't think I feel any less of a mother because of it. First was emcs after 24 labour and failed ventouse, second was another emcs after an attempted vbac that had been recommended to me. Both times baby was lying back to back. Second labour was shorter as only trial labour but I think still about 12 hours and after realising also back to back both me and the consultant agreed the vbac probably wasn't going to happen.
Third was a recommended planned CS. I had thought about pushing for a vba2cs as I felt a little like I wanted to experience a 'natural' birth, the consultant advised against it but said it was my decision. In the end I realised I was thinking more about my own experience than I was my own and my baby's welfare.

Baubletrouble43 Thu 14-Jun-18 19:15:05

Fartniss first post is spot on.

Baubletrouble43 Thu 14-Jun-18 19:16:56

Why on earth do women have trauma and guilt from c sections? I have had a cs and a natural birth. Neither were empowering neither were traumatic. Just a means to an end.

QueenCity Thu 14-Jun-18 19:26:37

I think you should seek a second opinion too. DC1 was an EMCS. I was fully dilated and pushed for three hours but she wouldn't come out. They even tried a ventouse. They had to push her back up and pull her out of the birth canal to deliver her by section. From what you've said it sounds like your consultant would also have recommended me to have another section but I was given every encouragement to try for a VBAC. DC2 needed forceps but was delivered vaginally.

Stroller15 Thu 14-Jun-18 19:33:31

I'm sorry you didn't have the birth you wanted with your DS. It sounds a bit similar to mine, also emcs and 6 months pregnant with my second dc. The consultant advised I go with a cs this time round and I'm happy with that. Just looking at my ds1 and seeing how happy and lovable he is, I remind myself it doesn't matter how he was born. He is here and he is healthy. But I can understand your feelings - if you are set on it perhaps follow PP advice and get a 2nd opinion?
Good luck OP!

FaFoutis Thu 14-Jun-18 19:35:56

I don't understand this at all. Why would you risk your baby for a load of old nonsense about 'empowerment'? There must be some powerful bullshit around.

dontcomenearmewiththat Thu 14-Jun-18 19:36:25

what you’ve written is insulting to people who have had c sections.

You are effectively saying theyhave missed out on some part of the experience of being female, are potentially disempowered and are implying that they should feel guilty.

DashingRed Thu 14-Jun-18 19:36:58

Vaginal birth is NOT the be all and end all. Believe me......

Personally I think birth is empowering, regardless of the method of delivery.

Please just listen to your doctor.

merlotmummy14 Thu 14-Jun-18 19:37:53

Had a VBAC, although it was quite nice (epidural was amazing) I wouldn't have called it 'empowering'. The 8 months I carried her was empowering. Having a glass of wine after 8 months sobriety was empowering. Having sushi after 8 months seafood-free was empowering. Our first day out as a family to the park felt empowering. Pushing her out was kinda sore but the moment of coming face to face with her was the actual empowering bit. A planned belly birth can be done nicely if you want it to, my friend had her music playing, was awake for it and got skin to skin immediately after. She said she really enjoyed it despite husband making lots of jokes that he was going to slip the surgeon a little money to take her kidney out while they were in there and take her out to dinner somewhere nice with the money he made selling it on the black market. It's your choice but don't think a planned belly birth is the same as an emergency belly birth - watch some YouTube videos.

Isittimeforbed Thu 14-Jun-18 19:39:32

As pp said, ask for a second opinion. If your DS was malpositioned eg OP, deflexed, asynclitic then that is a correctable cause for him not delivering vaginally. If, however, he seemed to be in the right position for birth and still wasn't coming then it may be that the same scenario is likely again as it could be something to do with your pelvis shape (narrow pubic arch or prominent ischial spines may have been mentioned). Simply saying because you were fully you aren't suitable for vbac isn't really thorough enough.

Clairetree1 Thu 14-Jun-18 19:42:21

Just sending you lots of love and sympathy

yes obviously the sensible thing to do is take medical advice

BUT most of us understand that not having the opportunity for a vaginal delivery is a personal loss to be grieved

wandaandthealien Thu 14-Jun-18 19:43:31

As above, I don't think many have the birth they wanted or imagined. I had both mine naturally but both were very difficult, one a premature birth with lots of monitoring and stress and one where I was unable to get the pain relief or water birth I wanted. Neither did I feel "empowered", I just felt sore and glad it was over.

FaFoutis Thu 14-Jun-18 19:43:58

not having the opportunity for a vaginal delivery is a personal loss to be grieved

herecomesthsun Thu 14-Jun-18 19:45:24

I had an emergency section first off and then an elective. Both days the happiest of my life, with my beautiful babies.

It would be great to have had the whole earth mother water birth thing, but at the end of the day, healthy mother, healthy child, that was enough for me.

I also had a much much better experience with the elective than the emergency section!

nuttyknitter Thu 14-Jun-18 19:46:19

My DD had an emergency c section with her first DC. It was traumatic and she found the recovery very hard mentally and physically. With her second DC she opted for a planned c section and found the whole experience completely different - it was calm and peaceful and she recovered much more quickly. She was very pleased she hadn't risked a vbac and possible second emergency op.

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