Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Question

Let me preface this post by saying I'm not pregnant! We are trying to get information for when that time comes again. That's all. :-)

Okay, so here's the deal. I had Caleb by c-section. I knew that would probably mean repeat c-sections. (And, no, it wasn't elective.) I talked to my doctor about whether or not I would have to have c-sections from now on and she said I would.

My question is, "Have any of you had to make this decision? or Have you or anyone very close to you ever had a successful VBAC?"

I do not want to get into a dicussion of which is better, c-section or v*ginal birth. I know the statistics. I know there are way too many c-sections performed in the U.S. today. My cousin is a midwife; I know where they stand on the issue. I'm looking for personal experience from people who've had c-sections.

I have dealt with a lot of guilt over the past year or so about having a c-section. Lots of questions have gone through my mind, such as, "If I had done things differently, would it have turned out differently?"
I will never know the answer to that question. When I hear people say things like, "A c-section is not the way God designed it," I feel even more like a failure. I just have to trust that my doctor did what was best for me and for Caleb. That is my main concern--the health of the baby and myself.

So, any of you have experience with this? If I decide against a c-section, I will have to switch doctors. I love my doctor, but I want to make an informed decision about this. Of course, we're praying about what is best for our family. The thought of risking me and/or the baby obviously freaks hubby out, so we want to go the safest route for us all.


15 comments:

stephanie said...

My thoughts ... I had a c-section with both girls. I was set to have a vbac with my 2nd, and my Dr. was totally for it because I had healed so great from the first one, but when baby was 5 days overdue, my Dr. decided for my health that she needed to go ahead and do a c-section. Hindsight, it was the right decision ... Natalie was 11 lbs. 4.5 oz., and with the way I am built, I wouldn't have been able to deliver her. It would have ended up as an emergency c-section in the end. She was too big to drop far enough for my water to break, and since she couldn't drop, my Dr. couldn't break my water.

I was very disappointed both times when I had to have c-sections. The first, because I was planning to do natural childbirth and felt gypped out the fun and flurry of going into labor and getting to rush to the hospital; the 2nd because I had tried so hard to prepared for a vbac and my gi-normous baby had other plans. However, I am so thankful to have had both my babies safely ... Yes, the body is built to deliver babies. But, I wonder if I would have been one of those women who died in childbirth 100 years ago had I had to have the girls without a c-section? I'm glad I didn't have to try it that way to find out.

Please don't feel like a failure ... I think it's great that you are exploring your options to try for a vbac. I wish that I could have had one and been spared a 2nd c-section (and the 3rd one that I will have in another few months).

Anonymous said...

I know this is a subject that gets a lot of talk. It is hard to know what is best. We know that vaginal birth is what would be the best but when our bodies and the babies can't handle this - then I am thankful that we have modern medicine. I had to have Braxton by emergency C-section. My water broke and we went to the hospital - 14 hours later with the help of petosin (sp?) I was dilated to a 1. Braxton's heart rate had dropped three different times during the day and the doctor was worried about him and the fact that it had been so long since my water had broke - never mind the fact that I was 5 days overdue. Needless to say after an epidural and another 2 hours I had not made any more progress and Braxton was having a lot of stress so they took him. I am now thankful for that.
When Brazos rolled around I had to make a decision two months before he was to be delivered. After doing the research and asking all the doctors I decided to have a repeat C-section. As I progressed I am glad I made that decision as when I delivered Brazos I still had never dilated. Lets just say I am thankful that both of my children are here and healthy and I am thankful to be alive and able to raise them.
It is your decision and one that you and your family will have to make. You are not a failure but rather blessed to have been in the hands of someone who could make a decision that saved your and your child. Good luck and we will be praying for you and your decision.

Anonymous said...

Okay, I may not be totally qualified to answer this question because I have only had one c-section but I have had my uterus cut into twice so I know a little about that. My doctor insisted on a C-section when I had my daughter because I had previously lost a baby due to fibroids and then had surgery to remove the fibroids before getting pregnant with my daughter. The way the doctor explained it to me is that there is no way to know for sure how the body heals. He did not want to take a chance that there was any weak spot in the uterus from the previous surgery and that is why he not only insisted on a C-section but also took my daughter 2 weeks early to avoid putting my uterus thru the strain of labor. I think you may need to ask yourself why a vaginal birth is so important to you? Will your OB not do vaginal delivery after any C-section or is there something unique about your case that she is refusing to do one? I accepted the fact that any babies I had were going to be born C-sections and I praised God that I was living in a time that it was possible, I think I had more guilt about the breast feeding issues than the C-section. Don't know if any of this helps you in your search for answers but I am always willing to put my 2 cents in. :)

Stacy said...

Let me know what you find out, because as you know, I am curious about this subject, too. It sure seems like the number of those who have a successful VBAC is very small. I don't feel guilty about having to have an emergency c-section, but I do feel robbed of the experience of a natural birth. It's very strange to listen to birth stories and not be able to know or understand what they have been through, even though I have had a child, too. Bottom line, though, is like you said--healthy moms and babies.

p.s. Glad you guys had a great trip to Hawaii and that you made it back safely!

Barb said...

I didn't have to have a C-section, Jen. But after two days and nights of helping my daughter (I literally held one leg up while her husband held the other) through a truly awful ordeal, when the doctor told us it was time for surgery, we were all hugely relieved. Cameron was caught behind her pubic bone. Had surgery not been done, my precious grandchild would have died and possibly, unimaginably, my daughter.

Sometimes it's just necessary and yes, I think that most doctors will tell you if you've had a c-section, then the safest way to have the next baby is with c-section. I repeat, the "safest" way. I know vagin*l birth is possible but it's not necessarily the safest way after you've had a c-section.

You know? I don't like that, "This isn't the way God intended it," attitude that some people have at all. God intended for moms and babies to survive the birth process. Period. God doesn't want either one to die because of some stupid idea that there are right and wrong ways to give birth.

And I wonder when I hear people say that a c-section is a modern day convenience. I wonder if people understand where the term c-section comes from. Caesar was delivered by c-section. It was the first recorded surgery through the abdomen to deliver a baby that worked. That's where the name comes from and that wasn't a couple of years ago.

My advice? You want another baby, do whatever it takes. If a c-section is the safest way for you and the baby, then do it. Period.

And for goodness sake, don't feel guilty or torn about it. I think any way you give birth is heroic. And it's even more heroic to do whatever it takes, even surgery, to bring a new life into this world.

Anonymous said...

I have had 3 c-sections and one VBAC. My VBAC was my second delivery and was not planned. She was scheduled to be delivered by c-section and chose to come on her own on Oct. 14. I didn't recognize labor for what it was until my water broke and then there wasn't time to do a c-section. She was also foot-first breach. So while I had a successful VBAC it was a traumatic situation and not planned at all. That being said, my doctor gave me the option when baby #3 came along since I had a history of successful VBAC. I chose c-section (obviously). I was just too scared of the risk of uterine rupture.

There are risks with repeat c-sections and I don't know how many children you plan to have, but the risks increase each time. If I were to get pregnant again the decision about delivery will be a tough one, as I had some minor issues with my last recovery. What is scariest to me about the possibility of uterine rupture during a vaginal delivery is that it may be too late to do anything before the doctors and nurses realize it is happening.

My first child was a week overdue and after being induced and laboring overnight, my doctor decided to do a c-section. It was not an emergency situation, but it was the right decision. My baby had not moved at all and was not going to move apparently. When she was born they realized she had a huge head and probably wouldn't have fit in my pelvic cavity anyway. I was happy to have her out and healthy. My recovery was remarkably easy. I have been blessed to not suffer from difficult recoveries from any of my surgeries, but I know that is not always the case.

Spend time in prayer and do your own research and you will be led to what is right for you. Don't let others condemn you for your choice--it is not their choice to make. I would suggest you spend time considering how many children you are led to have and make that a factor. As I said above, should we have more kids my doctor has already mentioned the possibility of attempting a VBAC again. Makes me nervous.

Good luck!

Rabbit said...

My oldest came via Cesarean. My second came via planned, researched VBAC with a supportive OB. Email me, Jenn, I would be happy to talk to you about this. I understand!

Susanne said...

My first was c-section. My next two were very successful VBAC's. I seem to recall the doctor saying though that it also depends on the incision. The bikini line ones worked while the up and down incision does not, but they don't do those very often anymore. Anyway

Anonymous said...

First of all, I just want to say, the thought of any woman giving another woman grief for decisions made during labor, delivery, breast-feeding vs. bottle-feeding, or mothering in general makes me want to go grrrr inside!! Every woman is different and her experiences are NOT wrong, right, or to be judged in any way! I hate that you feel you have to justify a c-section to us and I really hope that you'll relieve yourself of the guilt soon. Ok, enough of my high-horse.

I've had two friends who have had very successful VBACs and are so happy they did. Another friend had to have an emergency c-section and just had her second c-section on Monday. I think the best advice a doctor can give you is to go into the labor/delivery with no expectations. That they'll do their best to carry out your wishes and will have the operating room ready if the occasion arises. Good luck in your decision and I can't wait to see your pregnancy announcement on here someday... soon! =)

lrlwreath said...

I had three C-sections. The first one was an emergency. I was going to try to have a VBAC for my second one but he got to big. So for you know right now is almost impossible. IT all depends on the baby itself. There is a worry of your uterus rupturing where the incsion was from the first C-section. That I believe is the main concern.

My first C-section was the hardest (I guess because everything happend so quickly) but the second one was easier (knew how to heal knew what to expect I guess).

Blessings.

Anonymous said...

Whomever tells one that GOd intends this and that especially with pregancy and labor, needs to.......... well that just makes me quite angry. God intended on there being no pain whatsoever and a wonderful experience - absolutely perfect - but guess who messed it all up - we as humans did! So it never has been what God intended, but I praise Him for allowing the inventions that have come about over the years to help us make it through. Make it through - literally by missing death with a huge baby or breeched baby or just be able to endure the massive amount of pain.

You are so wise to be seeking advice. I would just encourage you to be careful about finding a doctor that just agrees with what you want to hear. We can find one these days to agree with anything we want them to, but it may not be the safest. But you are doing your homework and that is to be commended!

Please let us all know what you to resolve to.

Leigh
www.leighgray.com

LaShawn said...

I have had two sucessful VBACs. I would love to talk to you about it if you are interested.

LaShawn0831@gmail.com

Dave & Lisa said...

You know, I guess I've never thought about this before, and I may not have much of an opinion (I know, shocker!). But what I do feel strongly about is that NO ONE should say things to you that make you feel like a failure as a mother. You are one of the best mothers I know! Every one of us trusts doctors and nurses and hospitals to take care of us, and there is no shame in doing that as long as you're also trusting God, which I KNOW that you are!!

I love you, Jenn. I am thankful to God for Caleb's safe entrance into this world, however it happened! I am thankful that you are healthy and able to have another child. Those are such wonderful gifts! May no one ruin them for you!

Love always,
Lisa

Susanne said...

I'm glad I popped back. I notice some of my comment is missing. I wanted to finish saying: "anyway, Jen you just need to do what is in you and your hubby's hearts from God. What is important is the safe delivery of baby and the safety of mom. Don't let someone make you feel guilty or like a failure. My first was delivered by c-section and we chose that because she was very breech with one leg dropped. Not an ideal situation. The doctors left the decision to us. Because of my husbands own birth story with being breech and not the best of breech circumstances for my babe, we chose a c-section. I've never regretted it even when some said the same thing to me. You do what's in your heart to do with the information you have from your doctor.

Anonymous said...

Jenn--I missed this post originally, but you know that I am always ready and willing to give my opinion.

I had a V birth with Amanda, and then an emergency C-section with Kyle. It saved his life. I would first tell you not to beat yourself up.

I do have a friend who had two successful VBACs after her first son came by C-section. If you want to email me, I'd be glad to ask her the specific questions you might have. She was glad she was able to do it. If I had another child (and I won't, ha ha), I don't know what I'd do.

The first couple of days after the Csection were rough, but the healing after a V birth takes much longer, and I do know that some drs are unwilling to do a VBAC.



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