Q. With my first baby, I had an emergency due to the baby having an abnormally high heart rate. Emotionally, the c-section was VERY hard for me, and I truly believe I exhibited several characteristics of post traumatic stress syndrome. I am pregnant again and planning for a VBAC. How should I prepare myself in case a repeat c-section is necessary? I have not allowed myself to consider anything BUT a successful vbac, but what if? I have no medical issues other than a previous c-section. Should I allow myself to consider anything but a successful vbac?
A. I think you are wise to think carefully and plan carefully for a c-section, just in case. I think everyone should. In your case, partly to help you heal (I do believe that you had PTSS!). I would write down everything that made you sad and angry about the birth of your first baby. Then next to each of those things, write everything you can do to make it different this time. This may include the wonderful support people around you, how healthy you have been, all the info you have been gathering etc. Next write down - what if it was the same scenario as last time - then what? It is not your preference, of course, on the other hand, you have a wonderful, healthy baby I assume.
Next plan for if it is a c-section - what options do you want? What kind of anesthesia, who do you want with you, do you want to hold the baby while on the operating table, what kinds of photos do you want, do you want to breastfeed your baby right away, have your partner or mom give the first bath etc. The important thing to remember is this is the birth of your baby and you have options and choices.
Once you think about all that and write a birthplan to share with your midwives, partner and doula, plan for your vaginal birth. Plan for it and know in your whole being that it will be successful, beautiful and incredibly empowering! And, don't look back!
What you are feeling is normal! But, it is time to heal!