Which route would you choose?(13 Posts)
I'm so conflicted, confused, anxious and just generally a worried mess over whether to try for a VBAC or opt for an elective c section.
I keep going back and forth, back and forth. For the first 5 or so months of this pregnancy, I was adamant I wanted to try for a VBAC. I wanted to feel and experience what it's like to give birth naturally. But the last few months, the niggle of my scar rupturing will not leave my mind and now I've only got just over 3 weeks left to decide which option to go for.
I had my first VBAC Consultant appointment when I was around 16 weeks (I'm now 32 weeks). I was told the statistics of rupturing but me being me always fears the worst and I know that someone has to become that statistic.
I had our first and only child 11 months ago via emergency c section. My waters went naturally on their own at 39+2. I contracted at home for almost 2 days before needing to go in to the hospital for a pessary and the drip. 12 hours of the drip, and my contractions had done nothing and I was only dilated 2-3cms. C section it was!
I then fell pregnant again around 13 or so weeks after the section and was told that shouldn't be a concern. However, I've since done a lot of research, and discovered a vast number of Consultant stories online in which they absolutely would not let women go in to natural labour with as small gap as mine between pregnancies. I even stumbled across a board which had solely midwives posting and talking about uterine rupture, and so many of them said that VBACing only 12 months after a c section is really risky.
I've also found studies that show my chances of rupturing are three times higher during to the length of time between my babies.
My midwife has also told me I'm quite likely to end up not dilating again due to how things panned out last time and that I may just have a cervix that 'doesn't do what it's supposed to do'.
I'm leaning more towards a c section at the moment, but the recovery is putting me off slightly and also the fact I'll never know if I could have done it naturally.
Then I think, just go for a VBAC! But then the next second I'm panicking something will go wrong and I'll have to live with that guilt and that decision for my entire life just because I want to squeeze a human through my lady bits - which, let's face it, no one is going to give me a medal for. Or, if I just wind up not dilating again and resulting in yet another emergency situation, then I might as well have just booked an elective in the first place.
I realise this thread is a little all over the place, but if you were me, what option sounds better? I've spoken to my partner and family members and everyone just says 'do what you want!'. To me, that's not overly hopeful given how on the line I am.
I'm so torn
Hi OP what a difficult decision to make! I think I was you, after weighing up all the risks and the pros and cons I would opt for the c-section. I think that there’s a lot less uncertainty in that route perhaps given your previous experience. It can’t help with everyone just saying to do what you want! Can you write a list of pros and cons and risks and think about it that way and try and take emotion out of it? Easier said than done I know! Good luck!
Honestly? Giving birth naturally is not all that. There's not a special feeling or experience you're missing, it was just a process to get the baby out for me.
You could look into vaginal seeding so the baby gets the bacteria that are beneficial from a vaginal birth if you decide on a c section.
Saying that, I've not had a c section so I've no idea what the recovery would be like. It took me about a month to be able to walk normally after having DS with the tearing and stitches though. And the grazes. Ouch.
Honestly, I would have an elective C-section with a gap that small between pregnancies.
VBAC statistics are not overwhelmingly positive to begin with, and the small gap would push me over to the C-section without much doubt.
Have you expressed your concerns with your midwife? You say you've been told of the risks etc. but have you expressed your fears to them? I would recommend that, as they will better be able to assess your situation and help you with your decision.
Bearing in mind I've never managed to labour properly in real life, I would (and did for different reasons) choose the CS option. My reasons in your shoes would be:
1. I'd be worried I couldn't labour
2. I'd be worried about scar rupture
3. Everyone told me I needed to relax as best I could for labour to go well - 1 and 2 would therefore be working against me
4. The VBAC success rate at my local hospital is <50% so I'd rather plan for a CS than have one thrust upon me again
It's a tough decision but I hope you have a great birth whichever route you choose
I feel like I'm focusing a lot on the risks of a VBAC and I do admittedly know I'm somewhat dismissing the risks associated with a c section - perhaps because my c section was straight forward, I'm not sure. I wish one of the birthing routes was risk free, my decision would be 10000x times easier!
I'm just so terrified of something going wrong with either option then it'd be my fault because I could have chosen the other option.
I have spoken to my midwife yes. She basically just told me to try for a VBAC if 'that's what I want to do' but be aware that all people trying for one have the potential to wind up needing another caesarean.
Thank you @DuggeeHugs those are my exact concerns!
There's absolutely no way I'd be able to relax during a natural labour, I'd be a bag of nerves the entire time.
With this being our last child though, I do worry that I'll regret not giving a vaginal birth another go. But I feel like that's a selfish reason to pick a risky route for both me and my baby.
Ah, pregnancy is so fun sometimes ha!
I would choose c-section if it was me. I reluctantly had a forceps delivery in my last pregnancy. I would have preferred a c-section but the consultant advised me to have a forceps delivery. I was in no position to argue. My body could not physically push him out he was too big for my vagina.
I have no personal experience of your situation
But I am a member of some Facebook pages regarding birth traumas and injuries (not saying yours was or will be traumatic)
But there are a lot of ladies on there who wanted a vbac for many reasons, mostly because they wanted to have a 'natural' labour!
And I have to say there are a lot of regretful posts on there, many woman tear or have the issues vaginal births can cause, but doctors and midwives seem to fail to properly explain 🙈
I have seen a lot of women mention how they wish they had gone for a c section because at least they were aware of he recovery etc but they weren't expecting such bad recoveries from vaginal delivery
I'm not a doctor but like you said your babies are really close together, that is going to be the biggest factor in your decision!
I would try and get as many opinions and as much advice as possible but when it comes down to it, you need to go with your gut feeling
As you don't want to feel regret, but if you make an informed decision that you are 100% happy with then I feel the likelihood of major regrets in greatly reduced!
Good luck and I wish you all the best!
Peeing became an event after my forceps delivery it was so uncomfortable. They have to cut you down there so they can put their instruments inside you. It was a lovely well put back together vagina but it felt like it wasn't mine anymore. I did wee myself on occasions.
I too have noticed quite a few VBAC women mention how they'd wished they'd just gone for a c section instead, due to either the injuries they received from the trial of labour or the experience just not feeling as great as they thought it would.
On the flip side, I've also read so many stories of successful VBAC's in which the women feel empowered and so proud of themselves for giving birth naturally.
I do feel as though for me, a VBAC is more risky than a c section. I think I need to let it sink in over the next few weeks that an elective is the best route for me, then I need to figure out how to cope with the recovery whilst also looking after a newborn and our first baby who will have just turned 12 months when his sibling is born!
I am very proud natural birth, but I think in your position I would go for a ec. The main reason for this being that if your mind is clouded with anxiety and worry about your scar rupturing, it could make the birth much harder, possibly resulting in a c sections anyway.
For me the key to a natural birth is remaining calm, and if you are going into it anxious it just doesn't get off to a good start if you see what I mean.
Best of luck!
Autumn even when you go into pregnancy knowing you want a CS not a VBAC there's still a lot of pressure and the occasional doubt, you're definitely not alone with this.
An old friend of mine had the textbook natural delivery - 4 hour labour, no pain relief, ready to push on arrival at hospital. She is expecting DD2 now and having an ELCS because of the damage it caused (physical and psychological). She always tells women who ask about her experience to be careful what they wish for (and to get there early enough for an epidural).
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