Tuesday, September 10, 2013

VBAC vs. C-Section

My delivery with Belle was amazing.  Water broke at 2am, started pushing at 7, and by 7:50am the girl was out!  I was petrified of labor and delivery, and by the end of it all I realized how much I LOVED it (with an epidural, of course--I don't have any pain tolerance).

With Evie I never expected anything to be much different.  I assumed I'd have an easy breezy labor and delivery again.  To be honest, the labor part was easy!  Water broke at 3am, and by 7am I was ready to push.  Unfortunately, when my doctor came in to check on me he informed me that there would be no pushing.  Evie was breech.  Emergency c-section, here we come.

I really struggled with the c-section, because I knew my body was more than capable of delivering Evie the good ol' fashioned way, and that my recovery would have been much easier.  I assumed I was doomed to more c-sections, since I felt like the risk of VBAC wasn't worth it.  Welp, once faced with the decision, I became really torn.

I think the reason I really decided to seriously think about a VBAC was because I knew how different and easy it could be to have a vaginal delivery.  The recovery was night and day different from a c-section.  Don't get me wrong, c-sections have some pros in comparison to vaginal deliveries in regard to recovery, but none of which make major surgery worth it.

Two weeks after having Evie I had a follow-up appointment for my c-section, and my doctor told me right away that if I were to have more children I would be the "perfect candidate" for a VBAC.  Today, I had an appointment to discuss VBAC vs. c-section, and again I was called the "perfect candidate."  This is why:

  1. I have had a proven pelvic delivery.  Belle was a vaginal delivery, so they KNOW I can get a baby out.
  2. The only reason for the c-section with Evie was because she was breech, not because my labor failed to progress or she wasn't moving anywhere.
  3. My labor is quick.  Labor is hard on the uterus and causes strain on it.  A longer and harder labor means a higher likelihood of uterus rupture.
  4. I have had at least an 18 month gap between births.  Evie and this baby will be 26 months apart, so the time between delivery is perfect.  
For some reason, despite ALL these factors, I still find myself unsure.  I know that a planned c-section has its own set of pros and cons, but I worry about something going wrong and completely regretting my decision.  I don't want to feel like I am being selfish choosing a VBAC, if it risks my life and the baby's life.  However, c-section isn't risk-free either.  

60-80% of women who choose VBAC are actually successful.  There are 5 to 10 women out of 1000 who will have a tear or opening in the uterus.  My doctor told me that in her 20 years she has seen few tears, and of the ones she has seen only 2 of them were so severe that it required a hysterectomy.    All in all, the risk is low.  Paul and I still aren't sure if we are done after 3, so the risk of having a hysterectomy does scare me, but if I have one more c-section I am not able to try for a VBAC in another pregnancy.  

The risks in c-section are different, but still very scary.  There is still a risk of the uterus tearing just from having a c-section, scarring, higher risk of infection, problems with the placenta in subsequent pregnancies, as well as injury to other organs.

All in all, Paul and I have a lot to think about and costs to weigh out.  I want to feel confident in my decision and not freak out on delivery day--whether it be VBAC or c-section.  I know others have had to make this same choice, and I am curious how you made your decision and felt confident that it was the right choice for you and your family. 


1 comment:

themarkofsandm said...

Best of luck to you and your family. I hope everything works out. I cannot help with the "decision" fears as both of my boys were C-section- first one was emergency(they kept loosing his heart beat as they found he was tangled in the cord), second one planned as my body would not go into labor, (even though I was VBAC acceptable). All in all, I am happy I have both boys here. I understand your fears, truly I do. I hope(know) God will help you through this. Many prayers. God Bless. :)