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VBAC ...confused.. had 2 c-sections, should I have third or try VB?

(12 Posts)
whatsthetimemrwolf Fri 09-Oct-09 10:52:19

Hi, I've just posted this in pregnancy but think I shold have posted here instead.

I've had 2 c-sections. The first was because DD was undiagnosed breech. I went into labour but wasn't dilating and it was eventually discovered this was because DD was a footling breech. My first experience scared me so much that I went for an elective c-section with DS. This was a relatively straightforward procedure other than the fact that they cut DS's forehead when they cut me.

I am now 21 weeks pregnant and presumed I would have to have another c-section but I had my consultants appointment and was told the choice is mine. There was no pressure at all to have a c-section. They don't know for sure but 'guess' that the risk of the scar tearing after 2 c-sections is 1 in 100. Consultant said to me you need to think theres a 99% chance you won't tear. She did say they would monitor me and I may need an emergancy c-section if labour doesn't progress natuarlly.

DC will be 4 and 6 when this baby is due. My main concern with a c-section is not being able to drive for 6 weeks. We don't live close to DC's school & nursery so without the car I will need to walk for approx 3 hours each day. This sounds great in theory for getting the weight off but I wonder how stressful it will be working around baby's feeds and in the cold weather in February, when baby is due. Advantages of c-section for me are that I know what to expect so not so frightened, I can arrange childcare for DC, and DP can be here when it happens (he works 2.5 hours away from home if the trains run on time!). Also, if I go for an elective c-section, the consultant performing the procedure is more experienced in 3rd time c-sections (not sure how relevant this is??).

I don't want to place this baby at any increased risk during delivery and am also very scared about trying a VB but can see the huge practical benefits if a VB was successful. I am very confused and was hoping to hear from people who have had a VBAC.

The hospital have offered me an appointment with an expert on VBAC to talk it through more thoroughly. What questions should I be asking? Thanks

MrsHappy Fri 09-Oct-09 13:41:46

I haven't yet had my VBAC so cant be of much help, but just wanted to say I think the no driving for 6 weeks thing is a myth. You can drive when your insurance company says so and when you feel competent to do an emergency stop. I guess if you were only out of action for a few weeks it might be easier to carpool or something?

Hope that helps with one area of concern at least!

jellybeans Fri 09-Oct-09 15:51:00

Hi, I had my 3rd c section almost a year ago and found it harder to recover this time.

I had a VBAC after my first c section and then twins where the first was a VBAC but the second a c section.

I was strongly advised to have a c section rather than a VBAC2, but was very high risk for medical reasons. I would have loved to try for a VBAC though, the elation afterwards is amazing.

I waited till 6 weeks to drive as my scar was sore for alot longer. i wouldn't have been able to push the pram too far either for a couple of months.

Hopefully the VBAC adviser will be able to give you some more facts but what I kept in mind was that as long as me and the baby were OK, the mode of birth didn't really matter in the scheme of things.

whatsthetimemrwolf Sat 10-Oct-09 10:41:12

Hi MrsHappy - You are right, I checked with my insurance company and they said as long as you can do an emergency stop and you haven't been advised not to drive, they will cover you. I think the hospital advise no driving for 4 weeks, so that would make life easier. When are you due?

Hi Jellybeans - Wow, you must have your hands full! I think you are totally right, I will ultimately choose the safest method of childbirth. At the moment though I'm just not sure which it is! I hadn't considered until now that recovery from a third c-s would be any different to my others or that I might actually struggle to push a pushchair, so thanks for posting. I know that this wil be my last child so would like to experience the elation you mention.

Thanks ladies!

MrsHappy Sat 10-Oct-09 11:29:07

MrsWolf- I'm due in 2 weeks (eek!), although my first baby was nearly 2 weeks late so I could have another 4 weeks to go (hope not).

The reasons I am going for a VBAC are:

- I may want more children.

- I've watched lots of natural birth videos and while the women are clearly feeling something very intense/painful, the second that baby is out the pain ends, whereas with my cs I had 2 weeks of pain and/or being blurry from drugs.

And I want to get home quickly afterwards!

You might want to read the "VBAC Handbook" by Churchill and Savage, which talks about the relative risks/benefits of VBAC and CS.

Good luck with whatever you decide.

Lulumama Sat 10-Oct-09 11:34:03

you need to discuss going post dates and whether they will start to push you for a section at 40 + weeks or if you can go to 41 or 42 weeks. discuss their stance on indcution

you should also discuss monitoring and active birth , if you are stuck on a bed, with CFM and are encouraged to have an epidural just in case and are effectivley immobile, it can really reduce your chances of a succesful VBAC, being able to move, change positions and listen to your body will all encourage a vaginal birth

have you considered a doula to give you support before and during the birth?

there are pros and cons of VBAC and el c.s and it is your choice to make.

emotionally, you need to consider whether or not you will regret not giving it a try.

I had a VBAC,my c.s was due to failure to progress after a failed induction .

i did lots of reading and reserach and knew that for me, going for VBAC was very importnant and even if i had another c.s, i would have tried everything.

i found my VBAC very empoweing and a wonderful healing experience. of course, that is not true for everyone, but that is my experience

whatsthetimemrwolf Thu 15-Oct-09 07:38:12

Thank you for your posts. I think based on the info I have read so far that I am veering towards trying for a VBAC (although even 18 weeks off I am already very scared!). I think I will regret not giving it a go.

Is the epidural you can have with a VB the same as the one you have with a CS? Lulumama - I don't really know too much about doulas? What do they do and how much do they cost? Thanks for your useful questions to ask.

Good luck MrsHappy.

mo3g Thu 15-Oct-09 07:52:06

I think you should do what you feel is the right thing for you and your family. I have had 3 c-sections the last one was last year and i was home after about 23 hours totally fine in fact better than my friend who had a natural so really its your choice.

Toady Thu 15-Oct-09 09:50:26


I think it is great that you have met a consultant who is encouraging a VBAC birth especially after 2 caesereans, they are not very common.

I have had a VBAC2 and would thoroughly recommend it, although like Lulu says you do need to discuss monitoring etc, because it really will not help if you are stuck on a bed with continuous monitoring. Maybe intermitent monitoring (say every 15 - 30 minutes) would be an option.

Please have a look at this website Debbie and Gina have helped and given advice to ladies for the last 20 years and are lovely to talk to and to reassure you.

Have to go now, should be at work, will check up on this thread later

NellyTheElephant Thu 15-Oct-09 20:41:17

Good luck with VBAC if that's what you decide, but if you do end up with 3rd section just to add re driving that after my 3rd section I was driving after about a week (power assisted steering and anti lock brakes etc make it easy to feel confident on driving and the emergency stop issue, and my insurance co were fine). So driving wasn't an issue so far as I was concerned - if I was physically capable of loading a newborn, 2yr old and 4 yr old into the car on my own then I could certainly get behind the wheel! Unlike Jellybeans I was lucky enough to find that I actually healed most quickly 3rd time around (although I know that wouldn't necessarily be the case for everyone), so it's not a given that healing takes longer each time.

CoteDAzur Thu 15-Oct-09 22:45:20

Sorry no time to read thread but just wanted to point out to OP that 'no driving for 6 weeks' is a relic from a time with no assisted driving/hydraulic wheels. My doctor said to do what felt right and I drove 10 days after elCS with no problems.

whatsthetimemrwolf Tue 20-Oct-09 22:37:11

Thanks for posts everyone. I change my decision with every "success" story I hear! Great to hear of your quick recoveries after 3rd c-sections Nelly & mo3G. Still waiting for my appointment with VBAC midwife and almost wish I didn't have the choice! Thanks for info on driving. I checked with my insurance co and they said provided I haven't been advised not to drive and I can perform an emergency stop then its fine to drive.

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