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Women's Health: Postpartum Community
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Avatar universal

Anxious about VBAC

Hi there everyone!
My son was born 15 months ago via emergency caesarean due to fetal distress throughout the labour.
I was induced 11 days before my due date because of high blood pressure. I could have delivered naturally but had a caesarean because his heart rate started to drop after my obstetrician pressured me into an epidural cos she thought I wasn't going to handle the birth.

I'm due for our 2nd baby next month, so they'll be 16 months apart. This time I'm going to the public hospital, I feel like I'm treated better there than I was at the private. So far the doctors & midwives are fully encouraging a VBAC attempt because I have no existing reason for a caesarean so am therefore a good candidate for a successful VBAC.
However, I'd feel alot less anxious & more confident if I heard more stories of successful VBACs. Has anyone had a successful VBAC within 16 or so months after their c-section? I've heard that uterine rupture is possible but rare.
Seeing as I'm coming close to my due date I really need some encouragement or good feedback to make me stress less about this birth.
40 Responses
172023 tn?1334675884
There are ladies here who have had sucessful VBACs.  If your midwives and your doctors are encouraging you, VBACing is a wonderful idea.  good luck!
Avatar universal
I just had a VBAC birth 2 weeks ago.
My c-section was 5 yrs. ago. My son was breech at 38 weeks.
My VBAC went very well. I was 6 days past my due date, went into the hospital with contractions...broke my water the next morning.. went into labor which lasted 12 hours...pushed for 45 minutes..my baby was 8 lbs, 20 inches.

THe number one questions I would be asking if I were you are
Did the doc who did your c-section do a double stitch on your uterus?
Do they think you have had enough time to heal in between pregnancies?
Are you dealing with a doctor or hospital who has experience with high risk? VBAC is considered high risk. Make sure the doc you have is conservative.
Are they going to perform NST (non stress tests) prior to see how babies heart rate is with contractions?
There is only a 1% chance for rupture..they will have you sign something saying your aware of all the risks involved..this will state that on there.
If your wondering about an epidural...yes you should have one..in case of emergency csection..you dont want to be knocked out.
I guess last all dont go in there with the mindset that you are gona have a VBAC no matter what. Go in there with the mindset that your gona try it..but if another csection is needed your ok with that as long as you and baby are safe.
I was ok with the fact I may have needed another csection, although I was scared when I had the contractions and it came time to push...my blood pressure sky rocketed cause I was so worried,,but once the nurses reassured me the baby was low enough and rupture wouldnt occur at that point..I felt much better. The nurses and doc were awesome.
It was an awesome experiecne for me, I would do it all over again and SOOOOO much better than a cesection.I feel great.
Good luck and let me know if there are any other ? I can answer or help you with.
Avatar universal
Something else to think about.
Is this going to be your last baby?
If not there are also risks with having multiple c-sections.
C-sections are not free and clear of dangers.
Here is a recnt article regarding rise in death during childbirth, some of it being attributed to rise in csections .
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070824/ap_on_he_me/dying_from_childbirth

I know what you are going thru. I went back and forth my whole pregnancy regariding doing this.
I knew this would be my last baby, so I really wanted to experience the whole excitment with childbirth...I also wanted my husband to expereince it as well.I also knew I DID NOT want to have to go thru the horrible recovery of another csection. I did have a bad experience with mine..included getting an infection.  

Good luck on whatever decision you make. I hope a VBAC works for you.
Avatar universal
Sorry one more thing.
Since you have a midwife are you planning on doing some home laboring?
I had talked to a midwife and she had helped me out during the end of my pregnancy.  
She had suggested to me doing some home laboring..and I was considering it. However once I talked it over with my doc he said that was NOT a good idea. Since the rupture can occur during contractions...it may not take long for a problem to occur.
I did not labor with my first..so my second was actually considered my first (make sense?)

Since it sounds like you labored with your first this will be considered your second and may happen VERY quickly. If it happens to quick and there is a problem you may not get to hospital on time.

Also is your midwife opposed to epidural?
I thought I wouldnt have one at first but then realized during labor that everytime I had the contraction that fear of rupture was even stronger.. also knew I wanted to be awake if a csection was needed. An epidural can very quickly be converted to a spinal.
Avatar universal
at 25 weeks i am still debating the idea of a vbac.  my dr doesnt do them.  the thought of changing drs now is scary.  the thought of rupturing would be very scary during pushing same as tomel said, i dont know if i would be able to relax.  good luck i hope it all goes smoothly for you.
Avatar universal
I actually switched docs at 34 weeks. Even though the doc I had said he was willing to do it..I wasnt trusting him (was with him for 11 yrs.) He was pretty shocked..even called me on the phone. It was the BEST decision I made.
It was scary...the epidural did help take some of that fear away... and they are constantly monitoring you.
Also my husband had to keep telling me to relax cause the blood pressure monitor kept beeping.
But like I said once the babies head is decnded enough that chance goes down alot. They told me they waited for him to decend as naturally as he could go.
I was shocked when they told me he was 8 lbs. I was pretty tiny during my pregnancy..If I would have known his weight sooner I probably would have really been freaking.    
Avatar universal
i guess i will talk about this with my dr, and just be honest about my want for vaginal.  thanks.  however the thought of tearing from one hole to the next doesnt sound pretty either!  do they do an ultrasound while your in labor or just prior to make sure the baby is in the correct position?
Avatar universal
I had an ultrasound at 36 weeks, cause prior to that he was breech and I was actually scheduled for version. He turned back to head down (thank God).
That was the last ultrasound I had done prior to delivery. They can tell if the baby is head down when they check the heartbeat...heartbeat will be detected below your belly button.
They can also tell by palpitation and internal exams.
However if you would feel comfortable with having one you could request it and see what they say.

Believe me I was worried about that to the whole stretching of vagina...well its only been 2 weeks and I feel like I could have sex already...of course I have to wait at least 6 weeks.
My body and mood ares SOOO much better than it was with my c-section. If it is your first vaginal birth your vagina will go back to shape...I have asked that ? many times and everyone has told me it goes back.  Ripping thru the stomach muscles and uterus several times I didnt feel would be pretty either. I wanted to be able to excercise within a reasonalbe amount of time.
Good luck. Let me know if you have any other ?.
Avatar universal
Also I had my baby at 41 weeks.
Avatar universal
Well I'm not actually with the same doctor who delivered my first baby through c-section. But would you suggest getting in contact with her just to find out if she did do a double stitch on my uterus? The hospital I'm with now is very experienced with VBACs & has good success rates too. But you are right about going in there with an open mind, and not expecting to successfully VBAC it. I've been getting used to the idea of a repeat c-section, as much as I hate the thought. However, I'm really just putting all my energy into delivering vaginally this time.
I'm not familiar with what NST is, but I will definitely look into it. What do they actually do?
The doctors & midwives haven't told me (yet anyway) that it's too soon between pregnancies for me to safely attempt a VBAC. I'm hoping to atleast have a trial of labour, and thanks for the tip about not doing home labour, I really was going to stay at home as long as possible this time, but after hearing that the risk of rupture is high during contractions, I'd feel alot better if I were at hospital ancase that were to happen.
I've heard a story of a woman who has had a successful VBAC within 16 months of her c-section. I didn't hear all the details except that she did it, but obviously it is possible right? Do you think I atleast have A chance of a successful VBAC?
Avatar universal
Also, I do want to have more babies, eventually. My partner and I decided we might try for one more in maybe 6 or 7 years, seeing as this baby is another boy, it would be nice to have a girl one day (not that that is a big deal though, I'd be happy with all boys)

PS. Congratulations on your successful VBAC! I envy you. You must feel so victorious, I know I would, especially if I beat the odds with this birth. Did you have any complications at all? I love hearing success stories, it really helps.
Avatar universal
A NST or non stress test simply checks the babies heart rate during movement and when he/she is still...also checks what happens to babies heart rate during a contraction (braxton hick)... they also monitor your blood pressure during.
Did you have pre exlampsia with your last? Is that why there was fetal distress?
If you did have fetal distress with your last I would think they would want to do some NST's if your gona have a trial of labor.
I would check with your last doc to see if she did a double stitch.
Yes especially cause of possibiltiy of fetal distress you DONT want to stay home to long. I know there are some success stories of VBAC's with midwifes at home...but I wouldnt chance it.
The midwife could go with you to the hospital and be a support. I wish I would have had the midwife with me at the hospital..although I will say my DH did pretty good.
If your doc is willing to do it and thinks you have had enough time to heal then I say go for it.
Let them know all your concerns and questions and dont be afraid to ask for or request something..like ultrasounds or NST's. I think you have a good shot.  
Avatar universal
I learned about the double stitch thing when I was in labor..the old doc I had delivers at the hospital I was at...the new doc I had asked one of the nurses if they knew whether or not my old doc did double stitching...the nurses said yes..so the new doc told me that was really good and made chances of rupture even smaller.
I hadnt even known about that prior...but now that I know that I pass that info. on.
The nurses epxplained to me that some docs arent very good (obviously) and they dont take there time with the sewing up process after c-section. I was glad to know that my old doc (even though I was very leary of him) at least did that for me.
Avatar universal
I thought that's what NST was, I had that with my last pregnancy because of high blood pressure from 31 weeks. (I was under alot of personal stress then which was a big contributing factor)
I've recently heard of alternative fetal monitors, ones that aren't attatched to your belly and don't prevent you from being mobile. Did you have anything like that? I want to have an active labour this time, my doctor wouldn't allow me to walk around with my last labour for whatever reason (she was so controlling) Is active labour recommended if your attempting VBAC?
11 days before my EDD I had protein in my urine, so yes I did have pre-eclampsia.
The obstetrician who performed the op said the baby was under distress because of the umbilical cord being tight around his neck. She never mentioned anything to do with my condition, but it may have had something to do with it too. I believe the epidural contributed, but that's just my opinion.
This baby's head is already facing down and always has been as long as they could tell. I keep telling myself how low the risk of rupture is because if it is only 1% then that does make me feel a little more confident about attempting VBAC. Do you think I'd notice anything at this stage (pain, bleeding, etc) if there were a chance of rupture? Or is it something that is only evident during labour?
Also, this may sound stupid, but do you have any helpful tips for the remaining of the pregnancy that may increase my chances of a successful VBAC? I've been maintaining my exercise and drinking *tonnes* of water, I've also started drinking Raspberry Leaf Tea. What's your opinion on that?
Avatar universal
Avatar universal
With the NST you have to sit in a chair hooked up to the monitor...but it only takes an hour.
I had several done (2 times weeks for 3 weeks) before I had my baby.
WHen you have a VBAC you have to be constantly hooked up and monitored during labor...you can get out of bed and sit on therapy ball...however with that being said...my baby always passed the NST with flying colors and his heart rate was perfect during labor...so they would let me walk around for 30 minutes at a time....I would come back and they would hook me up to the monitor some more...get the reading they needed and then let me walk again.

I'm pretty sure Pre eclampsia can affect fetus and put fetus in distress...although I am not an expert on this.

If your not having any hard contractions no I dont thinkyou will rupture...it is only when you have constant contractions that you need to get to the hospital..talk to your doc about when she wants you to go to the hospital

As far as prepping..how far along are you?
What I did yes..excercise, tons and tons of water...nurse told me a hydrated uterus works the best in labor......took evening primrose oil 1 a day and rubbed evening primrose oil on my perintatal area
Ask midwife about this.
Eat lots of iron rich protein food and veggies.

Are you planning on an epidural?

I didnt have any complications. But I did test positive for group B strep so I had  5 bags of penicillin  during labor. I was able to walk around with this though. Its an IV hooked up to a bag. My husband just pushed it while I walked.

I have been on cloud 9 since my VBAC. It was awesome for me to be able to do it. I was feeling pretty low and even kinda like a looser about having had a c-section and was feeling low about the possibility of another one(I know that sounds silly). But I was stubborn and did everything I could, even switched docs at 34 weeks.

Igot really tired of always having to explain why I had to have my csection. alot of people can be very jusdemental about this...now I am an expert at both
My DH and I also had alot of people praying for us..which I feel really helped. But I know some people arent religous.

I will pray for you that it works out.
Avatar universal
Oh and squat all the time..sit on a therapy (yoga) ball as much as you can..if you have one..sit up striaght..dont slouch back or recline....rock back and forth on all fours

get that babies head as low as possible...the rocking bask and forth will help get baby head down and face down (dont want him sunny side up)

I would even get up  in the middle of the night and do like 5 standing squats..anytime I could I would squat, squat, squat
Avatar universal
Oh ok, *derrr* I must sound like I know nothing when it comes to this. So the fetal monitor that I'm talking about isn't exactly the same as an NST but I know what you mean now. Thanks. I just really want to be as active as I can during the labour, even if I do have to be constantly monitored.
I didn't know about the evening primrose oil, when should that usually be started and can I just purchase that from a Naturopath? And that just helps to avoid tearing does it?
I'll definitely keep up the h20 and exercise!
I'd rather avoid an epidural as much as possible but if it is recommended as the safest option for my circumstance then I'll consent to it. I probably sound desperate to have a vaginal delivery and that's true, I am. But if my baby or myself are at risk then ofcourse I'll go for another bloody c-section, as much as I dread it!
I'm currently 33 weeks. Due on the 21st of October. So they'll probably do the NST at my next antenatal visit at 36 weeks. I haven't had any braxton hicks, or sharp pains, but I have had lower back & upper leg/pelvic pain, which I guess is to be expected. But yeah, walking regularly has been helping. My blood pressure was up high at the very beginning of the pregnancy, but that I suppose was cos I stressed so much about it that it went through the roof. Sometimes I get a bit of "doctors fright" when having my blood pressure checked. But my last check up at doctor it was as perfect as they could ask for.
I know what you mean about getting sick of explaining why you had to have a c-section. Everytime I have to talk about it and remember, I feel like a failure and like I should've done something else and maybe it wouldn't have turned out that way.
I've learned that stressing plays a huge part in things going wrong, so I've become a bit more relaxed now and am enjoying the pregnancy as much as possible, even though I am anxious about the birth.
I am religous, so I really appreciate the prayers- thanku!
Avatar universal
I started taking the evening primrose at 36 weeks, it supposed to help "ripen" the uterus or cervix or something like that. And doint the pereantal massage will help stretch out the vaginal muscles a bit. You can buy ep at any health food store or pharmacy.

Yes try to relax and mabye try and avoid salt or salty foods.  

When you are being monitored at the hospital during labor you will need to stay in bed or close to bed. Again though you can get out and sit on therapy ball next to bed and even rock back and forth on all fours in bed as well as squat next to bed. One of the nurses there told me she thinks the only thing walking does is tire the person out. Its true what they say labor and delivery is like running a marathon...even with an epidural...man pushing is hard work...I was so dang tired from that
Avatar universal
Thanks for that! Yeah you're probably right, that walking during labour just tires you out. I didn't mean that I wanted to go on a hike or anything, just that I don't want to be on complete bed rest & wait for whatever's going to happen. I want to be atleast a bit mobile and to have atleast some involvement in my babys' birth. Having a c-section (especially an elective one) deprives you of that experience and involvement.
Does the therapy ball help with dilation? How did it benefit you? I wasn't fully dilated when I was taken in for emergency c-section. Would you say that dilating quickly is good for someone attempting VBAC? If so, what tips do you have for quick dilation? I'm sure you're probably thinking I should ask all these things to my doc/midwives, but hearing others' personal experiences are very helpful too.
Avatar universal
Ok this is to anyone who's ever had a c-section.
I had an emergency c-section for my last baby & am due next month for my 2nd. I'm puting all my energy into having a vaginal delivery, but I'm also trying to keep a level state of mind, knowing that a repeat c-section is a possibility.
I dread the thought of another caesarean, and never getting to experience a natural vaginal birth, but obviously if it has to happen then there's nothing I can do about it. So I want to learn how to just accept & be content with whatever happens.
I don't want to feel like a failure again, disappointed and excluded from my child's birth.I felt like I had no say or involvement. How do I find a different state of mind/better outlook on something so scarring? I can't seem to think positively about a caesarean birth because to me, it's not a good experience.
Avatar universal
I did not dialate quickly....12 hrs of labor.
I would say if you dialate quickly and are gona have a VBAC that yes that is a very good thing. If I were to guess I would say your gona have a fast labor with this one.  
Therapy ball helps get baby more head down in the pelvis. I dont think theres really anything you can do on your own that will make you dialate faster....I'm not sure. Oh another thing that helps get everything ready is sex (orgasm and sperm).
They broke my water to speed up labor, the only other option is a little pitocin.
Hope that helps.
Avatar universal
Yes that helps- thanku! I've heard that sex helps as a natural induction, but I heard that pitocin increases the chances of repeat caesarean. Obviously didn't for you. But as I said, hearing about yours and others' experiences is far more beneficiary to me than hearing what doctors have to say. Knowing that there actually are people out there who have succeeded makes me feel like the chances of succeeding myself are better.
Were you this anxious during your pregnancy before you had VBAC? I spose I should just calm the heck down and relax lol.
Avatar universal
I didnt have any pitocin...it was gona be an option (a little bit of it) if I didnt progress on my own after my water was broke.,, But I progressed after that.

I was a little anxious during my pregnancy...mabye try getting a pregnancy yoga video (I had gotten one from the library) and doing that...it may help you relax....have someone give you a massage...that may help also.
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