Feel free to ask me any questions if I don’t answer them. These are all questions I’ve been asked since my VBAC and questions I’ve asked myself.
WHY did I choose to have a VBAC and a natural delivery? I personally could not stand my c-section. I never thought that I ‘failed’ at labor or anything like that. I just hated having my body cut open and my baby ripped from me. I seriously thought by B’s birth, I had “dealt” with all the feelings, but, after visiting the hospital where K was born via c-section and having a near panic attack, I realize those feelings haven’t completely been dealt with. I chose a natural delivery because it’s so much better for mom and baby. I hated having the epidural with K. I hated having no control over my body and of course, I can’t help but ask the “what if’s”…(would I still have had a c-section? My OB was more than willing to allow position changes so I feel that had I not had an epidural, I could have maneuvered K into a better position…maybe? maybe not…) Once I made the decision to attempt a VBAC, I knew I WOULD only do it naturally. Drugs were not an option. Having already had a c-section, getting an epidural was setting myself up for a repeat.
Would I consider a homebirth? Before this delivery, the thought did cross my mind, however, now that both my boys have had cord issues (K’s being too short and B’s wrapped around his neck twice), it scares me to think what else could happen. I would love to give birth at home with a midwife (having seen that the only thing the midwife did was ask me to get out of the tub, and then the OB sat and watched the clock and ‘caught’ B…yeh…I could do with out the hour drive!)
Waterbirth? I want this more than anyone could imagine. It wasn’t allowed at UNC (I can’t remember if *I* couldn’t do it as a VBAC patient, or if it was hospital policy – I honestly wanted to labor in the tub as long as I possibly could and then “accidentally” give birth in there….maybe next time!) 😉
Would you do it natural again? In a heartbeat. Basically, B was born, they checked him over (because of the decels), handed him to me, stitched me back up (I had 2nd degree tears), I nursed him during this process and then we slept for about 3 hours (they didn’t have a post partum room ready yet and we were MORE than willing to sleep where we were!) In the middle of that 3 hours, I really had to go to the bathroom, I called a nurse and she was asking about my delivery and was curious what I would choose for the next birth, I all too excitedly said, “completely natural…over and over. It was amazing!” She just beamed 🙂 I honestly can not wait to do it again!
What if you had to have another c-section? What about uterine rupture? Uterine rupture can happen to ANYone, not just women who’ve had a c-section. The actual risk is so low, (I found a chart once showing how you’re more likely to be struck by lightening twice before having rupture…**I’m NOT saying it doesn’t happen, it does! But, seriously, the risk is as low as .2%…meaning there’s a 99.8% chance I’ll deliver just fine…um, yeh, I’m taking that chance!**) With that being said – labor is SO good for mom and baby (I won’t use this as my soap box…yet! It’s coming, don’t you worry!) I would have much rather labored for 36+ hours again and ended up with another c-section than just scheduling myself for major surgery.
How did you prepare for your natural VBAC? Lots of praying, reading, researching & talking. I had friends and family praying for me (atleast I hope I did!…I asked them to! haha!) I did lots of reading. Some of my favorites (I can’t remember everything I read!) were Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth (PHE-nomenal!!! I could totally read this book every day! It is truly amazing!), The Thinking Woman’s Guide to a Better Birth, The VBAC Companion, Don’t Cut Me Again!, Birthing From Within, some Bradley Method books (this one and the corresponding workbook – I have a friend who took the classes for her firstborn and lent me her materials) and tons of articles and other women’s VBAC stories. I made sure to surround myself with women (from church, the community, and bloggers) who had children naturally or VBAC. When I had people around me asking why in the world I’d want to put myself “through all that pain” was very discouraging. To some, it may not matter how baby gets out, and that’s fine. It did (and does) matter to me. I needed the positive thoughts in my head reminding me that women everywhere do this every hour of every day. Faye was great in reminding me that I was laboring with women all over the world (even right down the hall, as the other widwife’s patient delivered at the exact same moment!) I continually reminded myself, even while pushing that my body had been created my by Maker to do this – and I honestly felt as I pushed that sweet boy into the world (and then looked at Zach and said, “wait…that’s it??” (LOL – I seriously did this, I can’t believe it!) that I was created for this. (I will add that I had Zach read Robert Bradley’s Husband Coached Childbirth. He read it cover to cover and was AMAZING during my labor – both at home and the hospital – and during delivery!)
Why do you want to be a doula? To encourage other women, especially women who’ve had a c-section and want to attempt a VBAC, that they CAN do this! (that’s my summary!) 🙂