To VBAC or not to VBAC…

…That is the question.

I didn’t get to decide if my first child would be born via c-section or not. Mind you back then I would have said no to it anyway. I didn’t pay attention to any of the facts, statistics or stories about a c-sec because well… I plain wasn’t going to have one. End of story! I was/am so damn terrified of surgery. I was so sure that since I’ve always been queen average/good health that I wouldn’t need to know what it meant to have a c-sec.

Well, my world went upside down not long after I had the epidural. I finally was able to relax because the pain had dissipated and I fell asleep watching my then favorite show, CSI. I was startled awake by a swarm of doctors and nurses who needed me to rotate, move, sit, and turn on all fours before they calmed down. Apparently my baby girl just couldn’t handle the stress of contractions. What felt like ten seconds later I was under bright lights, strapped to a table, and feeling a tugging at my uterus which apparently was them opening me for delivery. I “blinked” and there was my baby. All clean and dressed in her father’s arms. I say blinked because I didn’t know I was going to be knocked out and then brought back to consciousness.

 I will spare you readers the mourning I felt for the birth of my baby. Needless to say, it’s been six and a half years and I still can’t get over the loss of my baby’s birth. It wasn’t the loss of being able to try pushing; it was the loss of hearing her cry at her entrance to this world. It was the loss of seeing her naked and gooey the moment she was born.

So naturally you would think that this time around I would OF COURSE want a VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean). Well you would be wrong to assume that. As scary as my memories of a c-sec are, I still am scared of a VBAC. I’ve done one, I haven’t done the other. Not to mention that I could attempt a VBAC and still need an emergency c-sec; this is more risky than just having a planned c-sec to begin with.

So then I think, ok have a c-sec. You can pick the day and time he’s born. No worrying about if he can handle the birth. I get to have a safe entrance for him. Well that doesn’t account for me. This would be the second surgery in the same place. Bring on the scar tissue! I also remember that recovery for me was the equivalent of being ran over by a dump truck every other day. It hurt to laugh, cough, sneeze, or even move. I couldn’t get out of bed on my own because it required too much stomach muscles. All I wanted to do was soak in a hot bath and I couldn’t because of my healing incision.

Back to VBAC we go. But hey, a VBAC isn’t your average vaginal birth. It means that you cannot be induced. If you go too far past the due date, it’s a c-sec for you. You also can’t attempt a home birth or water birth (neither appeal to me but it’s just another fact). I regretted just lying in my hospital bed all day the first time I was in labor so I planned to this time walk a lot and only sit for as long as my body would allow. Well a VBAC requires extra monitoring so you can’t walk around! My doctor did say I could sit on the exercise ball in my room. It just has to be right by my monitors. Sounds fun to me!

All in all, I am set to have a VBAC birth. This is as long as Grayson naturally comes into the world before November 16th. If he does not then we will have a c-sec. I just can’t give birth to Grayson at Thanksgiving when both of his siblings will be on holiday in their other homes. It would just break my heart.

So I will soon sign a form saying that I understand the risks of having a VBAC and that I have discussed them with my doctor. One of these named risks is the 1% chance that my uterus could rupture during birth at which time they could not do much to save baby. Yep! Sign me up for that! Both forms of birth come with their risks but the VBAC carries less risk and offers a healthier shot for me and Grayson.

Here’s to a happy healthy VBAC! Please Grayson; don’t keep me waiting past my birthday. 😉

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