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VBAC - A Delicate Thread.  Please Educate Yourself
~ A Message Board Archive

From Angellochie ~ I have been seeing lately quite a few girls saying that they want to try VBAC, but I just need - for my own peace of mind - to add my 2 cents worth.

First, I think VBAC is a great idea in the right situations - but for goodness sake PLEASE do not go into it blindly like I did. There are many risk factors involved and you need to research it thoroughly before you make your decision.

Your doctor has probably spun out the "rupture occurs in only 1% of VBAC attempts" line, but remember that is 1 in every 100 and in my experience of knowing almost 100 women who have had ruptures, most of those babies do not make it or have severe problems. I am not saying this to scare you I just want you to be fully aware of the risks.

A general search for VBAC and uterine rupture can yield a lot of information about the risks and I would advise you to look at every thing you can and then make a birth plan and stick to it.

Please do not think badly of me for posting this but having been through the trauma of having had a uterine rupture and my son dying as a result, I would NEVER EVER wish it on someone else and so I feel obligated to let you know about the risks that your doctor won't tell you - my OB actually said that it would not happen to me and well, it did.

From ElizabethB ~ I have read stories like yours, and I have seen another pretty long in depth story about a little girl that was born brain dead and on and on. I spoke with my ob/gyn about his opinion about VBAC, and he said he has seen many many things go wrong and he does not like doing it, but he said it was my decision and that he would be prepared. I have waited three long years for this baby, and I really feel more comfortable with a c-section, just because the doctor has seen problems. I am sorry for your loss, but at the same time it is one of the many reasons that no one can change my mind.

From Tami C ~ A mom from JFM 02 lost her dear son to the same situation. It is absolutely heartbreaking. I had thought I was being punished when my OB told me our hospital doesn't do VBACs anymore. I had wanted to try it soooooo badly. But after listening to him talk about why, and then Davae's loss, I was convinced a repeat-c was the way to go. I am so sorry you had to feel this same loss. In a few months, we will welcome our babies with open arms, no matter how they exit our bodies. Their safety is all that matters.

From Tigo ~ I'm really sorry for your loss, and I appreciate you sharing with us. There are risks to VBAC, vaginal deliveries and c-sections. There is a risk of rupture in a regular run of the mill vaginal delivery too and it is lower than that of a VBAC but not significantly. There is also a risk of rupture during pregnancy for women who have had c-sections and with each c-section that risk increases. It's all pretty terrifying in my opinion. A friend of mine had a rupture during a VBAC and the baby did fine. She became very ill due to the large amount of blood she lost and other complications, but they have both recovered. She does not recommend I have a VBAC though. I've been researching since my c-section 18 months ago and both prospects - c-section and VBAC - scare me quite a lot honestly. Again I appreciate your perspective and am glad that you shared.

From Wheezie ~ I'm very sorry for your loss. I can't imagine what you went through. Before I got pregnant this time, I kinda kicked around the idea of a POSSIBLE VBAC, but my doctor wants no part of it really. And I'm to the point that a c-section wasn't that bad anyway, and I don't want to take any kind of risk where my baby is concerned. So it's a definite c-section for me again. And I'm 100% fine with that. To me it doesn't matter how the baby gets out, as long as they're okay.

From Mama2rzl ~ I am so sorry for your loss and want to thank you for the info. I have been lucky - I've had two VBACs - both Pitocin induced and both times the baby and I were fine. The first VBAC was only 13 months after my c-section. I plan on another VBAC this time. Just my decision - all was fine with the other two, so I feel confident that it is a good idea this time too. I think there are arguments for either side, but I sure can see why you feel strongly about it and don't blame you!

From Dayna ~ Thanks for posting this. I am so sorry for your loss and you are right that 1% is not that low. It is up to each person and their doctor, and I think some women do go into it blindly without looking at all the facts or more importantly, their personal history and genetics that should be a part of the decision. Every women should take the opportunity to educate themselves on this and other topics during pregnancy to make informed decisions.

From vonda ~ I am so sorry for the loss of your precious baby. As someone who tends to fulfill any statistic out there, I am not willing to risk a VBAC. My doctor asked what I was planning this time, and I told him another c-section and you could see the relief on his face. He told me he would not argue with me on that.

From ElizabethB ~ Sounds like the doctors are now going against previous medical thoughts. I read above on a post and I thought Pitocin could NOT be used in a VBAC and it increases risks. Am I right? I have gone back and forth on the issue due to recovery time but I am willing to take the 'risk'?

From Mama2rzl ~ I had a perinatologist (two different ones) for both my second son and my third son's (VBACs) deliveries. They were both induced with pitocin. With my second son, because my water had broken early with no labor and they were afraid of infection, they put all kinds of monitors on me and in me. The one monitor they explained was exactly for that, to check for uterine stress and signs of rupture. I had no problems with that one - and it was 13 months after my c-section. Keep in mind that was in 1995.

With my last one, the doctors felt confident that since I had had a VBAC so long ago, it was safe to go for another. They did repeated ultrasounds to check for scar tissue, make sure the placenta was not anywhere near the scar, etc. All was well. We had to time the birth to coordinate with the cardiologist's schedule as he needed open heart surgery soon after birth. I had my membranes stripped three times, then the day of the induction had the bulb catheter inserted to get me dilated to 5. Then they started Pitocin. I know that there is a certain limit on how much Pitocin can be given during VBACs, and I was at the limit when I finally was ready to push. I had no problems, again. I know I am probably very lucky, and thankful.

With this baby, I pray that I can labor on my own, but we will have the ultrasound to make sure that the scar is doing well, and that the placenta is in a good location for a VBAC. I would never do anything dangerous. I have lost a child and sure NEVER want to experience that again. I just think a VBAC is the way to go again for me. The entire experience was just incredible, and I was up walking about ten minutes after giving birth to my two younger sons. I had a really tough time after my c-section. As I said before, there are both sides of opinions out there. I would just advise a careful, well thought out decision for anyone.

From Tigo ~ I'm responding again to say thanks because I'm really considering a VBAC and as you said we should do lots of research. I mentioned that I've done lots and lots of research and I have, but I have to confess it's been a bit one-sided. I was a bit traumatized from my last c-section and I've been pretty anti c-section since then. Anyway your post gave me a kick in the butt and told me that if I'm going to do any serious research, I better read both sides of the story. I've been doing some research on the negative sides of VBACs too over the last couple of days. What it has done is opened my mind a bit and now I'm going to be able to have some intelligent discussions and make some intelligent decisions. Basically it's removed some of the emotions/stubbornness that I was feeling about a VBAC and reminded me that I want to deliver a healthy baby in whatever is the best way for both me and my baby.

My friend that had the rupture had been induced with Pitocin. Although that is legal here, my hospital refuses to do it for VBACs and as I had a not very good induction experience last time, I wouldn't do it anyway.

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From metta4 ~ I agree; education is key in any decisions we make that affect us and our little ones. For me I will be doing a VBAC. I have been reading and talking to my midwife even before I was pregnant. She said the obs will only let them do VBAC's under the following conditions:
  • No Pitocin
  • No inducing labor. They can augment labor but not induce.
  • I have to be monitored (the hospital has a unit that allows me to walk around etc).
There were a few other things too but I can't remember right now.

From Mommy 2 Angels ~ I was told no induction because no Pitocin. My doctor said if I was showing signs of impending labor that he'd strip my membranes, but he wouldn't give me any kind of meds to bring on labor because they make for stronger contractions which leads to a greater risk of rupture. But, I showed no signs of labor and ended up having the repeat c-section. (Glad I did, too. My doctor said my uterus was way too thin. The midwife I saw with this pregnancy said it was probably because I had so many contractions from dehydration and braxton hicks, though. I do wish I'd had the opportunity to have a vaginal delivery, but I look at the bright side. I'll know exactly what day this baby will come, not sit around waiting for labor. Hey, gotta find the positives.

From Angellochie ~ I went into labour naturally but was augmented - any form of induction drug is a major risk. Please check into your birth plan and consider this during your VBAC.

From metta4 ~ I personally don't plan on letting them "augment" me other than breaking my water if needed. I went into natural labor just fine with my son except his big head got caught after four hours of pushing. If this baby does the same thing then it will be a VBAC. If it needs any sort of medication/drug intervention, I won't be doing a VBAC. I also get only one hour of pushing with this one, two hours if I do an epidural but since I won't be doing any meds, it will just be one hour.

I think it is a very personal decision for everyone and their choices should be respected. I glad this thread has stayed respectful. Good luck to everyone!

From Angellochie ~ I am glad this thread has stayed respectful as well. I started it not knowing what I was getting into. All I want is for people to be aware and make an educated decision. Like I have said before, I am not at all against VBAC; I just think that doctors should be obligated to give their patients all the information - good and bad.

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