VBAC on baby #2-Is it going to happen or should I "give in"?

I have already began reading "Your Best Birth" and am loving it, but am still so nervous that something horrible is going to happen to myself and my child (im looking to get pregnant soon) if I attempt a VBAC. I don't know of any doctors in the area that support VBAC's, but I so desperately want one. I feel so robbed from my first pregnancy (they told me she was too big and they had to do a C-section...she ended up being 8 pounds, 4 ounces).
Any advice?

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Don't give up hope! I was also given a section for a too big baby and really regret it now. While a VBAC is more risky than a vag birth without a prior C-section, it is actually SAFER in many cases than a repeat C-section. I would suggest reading Pushed by Jennifer Block and Born in the USA by Marsden Wagner. Both great reads that will give you enough information to leave some of your fear behind.

Have you thought about going to a midwife for your care? I am planning to get pregnant soon and I am planning a homebirth just because most hospitals want VBAC patients to submit to continuous fetal monitoring and other interventions that impede the natural process of labor.

Do you have a local ICAN chapter near you (International Cesarian Awareness Network)? They will probably know of VBAC friendly doctors and will definitely have advice about how to achieve a VBAC. If you have homebirth midwives or birthing centers near you I would contact them. Even if you decide not to use them they will definitely be able to refer you to good doctors.
Don't give in. I had a homebirth after 2 c-sections. It is totally doable and is actually safer than a repeat c-section. My second son spent 3 weeks in the nicu on a ventilator and had 6 different chest tubes placed. All because i had to have a repeat c-section(according to my OB). The NICU dr told my husband there was a 60%chance our next baby would end up in the NICU too if we had another c-section, but there is only a less than 1% chance that your uterus will rupture at the point of the scar. If your scar can stretch the entire pregnancy without any issues than an unaugmented natural birth wont hurt it. Good luck and if you cant find an OB look for midwives. They are amazing.
Being a VBAC mom, I have to say, hands down, it was the most powerful, empowering thing I have ever done. Life changing. I would say homebirth with a midwife first; hospital midwife, with a doula to labor at home with you and transition with you to the hospital second. I had a wonderful doula who came to my home, then helped me find my voice when we got to the hospital. With her support and knowledge, I was able to have the birth that my child and I needed (even though it was against hospital policy).
You guys are encouraging me SO much. I am currently in a chapter of ICAN in my area and looking into OB's that support and my insurance to see if we are covered for a midwife.
Thank you SO much!
I would still look into investing in a doula. They come in all price ranges and experiences. I am a volunteer doula, still free. Many will work with you with regards to payment. You can check into DONA. Often, those in training are still not charging yet. Less experience, but . . . better than not.
Both a vbac and a c-section have their good sides and their bad sides. In my opinion, one is not necessarily worse than another risk wise...you just sort of have to pick your risks. But that said, having a vbac can be a very empowering experience for women. If I were in your shoes I would find a good doula (or a least a good friend that would back you), do it natural (much less complications can occur), don't use pitocin unless it is medically necessary(which if it was you might just want to do a c-section at that point anyways). Most of the problems with uterine rupture have come from the use of pitocin. Also, while I think a vbac is very doable, also prepare yourself mentally for the possiblility of a c-section. And one other thing that I feel is so important to being able to cope is learn to forgive...the doctors, the nurses, spouses, but mostly yourself....sometimes we make decisions that we look back on and beat ourselves up about (as well as others). Sometimes a vbac is empowering because we allow ourselves to heal with it. Rachel
Hi Rachel,

You've probably never heard a positive VBAC story. I have a PDF version of my book online for FREE. It has 48 positive birth stories. 2 of them are VBAC. You can find them at http://smenelli.wordpress.com

Second, hire a midwife even if you don't want to birth at home. They give you so much great
care for nutrition and so much great information that you will be well informed.

Third, get a doula. Find one who has done some VBACs if possible.

Fourth, take a childbirth class. There is a lot you can learn from HypnoBirthing, Hypnobabies, Birthing From Within, Bradley, etc that will help you. Do NOT take one offered by the hospital - many times the instructors are not allowed to tell you certain things.

Fifth, realize that you have more power than the doctor. I've had so many clients tell the doctor that they would switch (at 39 weeks) cause the doctor would not do a VBAC. The doctors will tell you what you want to hear until about 36 weeks. Then they usually start talking about a repeat C-section. Most people do whatever they recommend. You don't have to.

Find a good doctor now. The childbirth educators, doulas and midwives in your area all know who they love and who they don't when it comes to hospitals and doctors. Don't ever be afraid to switch doctors. I had someone switch at 40 weeks because she knew they were going to induce her early.

Finally, learn to meditate and trust your own instincts.

Sheri Menelli
All of your suggestions are helping me through this process and I really thank you.
Question--what is the primary difference between a midwife and a doula?

Im off to get the book, Sheri!
Thank you ALL--keep any/all suggestions coming!

Hi Rachel,
I second all of these posts - midwife, doula, research on-line and in books and know your options! I VBAC'd Dec. 08 after a c-section for breech presentation in April 07.......I dropped my ob practice around 32 weeks after I started to feel less and less supported for a VBAC attempt. Went to a midwife and it was fantastic - my doula was an invaluable support system too. I also attended a VBAC support group at the local midwife center and on-line on Babycenter.com.....all great experiences with so much helpful encouraging information and support. Research and do what you feel is right - and don't listen to those naysayers. I can't tell you how many people thought I was crazy to miss out on the "oportunity" to schedule a repeat c-section. After watching The Business of Being born a few times and reading various books I wanted to educate all these people so badly....shout it from the rooftops that this is what our bodies were born to do!! Needless to say my VBAC was an amazing, empowering experience. The recovery was quicker and I was just happier all around. Good luck on your journey!
Rachel well done on getting all your ducks in a row before you get pregnant ! You'll find it so much easier to relax into your pregnancy (when it happens!) with all the work you're doing now. Lots of great advice here. Get on the ICAN yahoo group - hopefully you'll be able to find more information on careproviders in your area that are vbac friendly. A good midwife and a good doula are invaluable. VBAC is a journey - surround yourself with supportive people that believe in you.

Thank you everyone for your help! Im getting more and more anxious to start the process! My husband and I have decided to begin trying to get pregnant so I will keep everyone updated. I think the part I am the most concerned about is finding a supportive doctor and midwife....

Rachel, Please join www.ican-online.org. Also the ICAN yahoo group list...these ladies are AMAZING and offer some great advice, real research....I could go on! If it wasnt for them, I would not be planning on a homebirth or birth center for baby #3. I just found out I'm expecting again, and this time I'm going to do this the RIGHT way! My first I was induced at term. 15 hours of labor and only at 4 cm (got an epi at 3 cm) off to OR for FTP. 2nd baby, induced again for being 10 days overdue, 10 hours of labor, only got to 5 cm (then got an epi, and didnt dilate past that) and off to OR again. This shows that my body NEEDS to go into labor when it is darn ready, not when THEY want me to labor. So I'm going to have a VBA2C. My scar never ruptured during 10 hours of intense pitocin induced contractions, so I believe my body can do this safely and on its own naturally un augmented! Good luck and I hope you make the right choose for you and your family! :)



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