Let me start by saying this: There’s no fun way to have a baby. Natural, medicated, c-section, vaginal birth, home birth, they all have their pros and cons and it’s important to discuss your medical history and preferences with your doctor. This post is about my experience and my decision. After a lot of thought and research I’ve decided that I would like to try for a VBAC: vaginal birth after cesarean.
This time around I have my fingers crossed for a non-breech baby so that I can try for a vaginal birth. Currently in the United States more than 90% of women who had a prior cesarean have a repeat operation….an operation that they probably didn’t need to have, but were not educated about the VBAC option from their doctor. VBACs are associated with fewer complications, decreased maternal death, and a decreased risk of complications in future pregnancies. It is also major abdominal surgery that puts the mother and her baby at an increased risk of infection, hemorrhage, injury to other organs, anesthesia complications, and a maternal mortality two to four times greater than that for a vaginal birth (source).
Even though I got to pick my c-section date and I knew exactly when I would be having a baby, nothing could mentally prepare me for what it was really like. My c-section with Hudson went perfectly…..except I was in a lot of pain afterwards. Being sliced open was not in my original plan and let me tell you this….it is no fun. It is not the “easy way out” that a lot of people think it is. A c-section is major surgery. I remember feeling extremely itchy all over thanks to the medication they gave me. I also couldn’t walk until the next day and had to have compressors on my legs that went off every minute. I didn’t sleep at all that first night and was basically miserable. I was in a lot of pain, had a lot of swelling, and I was itchy. To top it off I had a brand new baby to take care of! I couldn’t get out of bed so my husband changed all the diapers and brought our baby to me. It was a lot for him to take on as a first time dad too.
After my c-section it has hard for me to walk without the fear of ripping open my scar. Going up and down the stairs was torture. I was sent home with a ton of pain medications that helped manage the pain but they put me in a fog for those first few weeks. I think it took me about 10 months to feel “normal” again, and to not constantly feel my incision.
2. My incision is low transverse.
There are risks associated with a VBAC, and I will be closely monitored when I am in labor to make sure I am safe and so is my baby. I feel confident in my decision. And I hope I at least get to try for a vaginal birth. But if I don’t, I’m not going to beat myself up about it. What matters in the end is that I have a healthy baby to love on.
Any VBAC moms out there? I would love to hear your experience!