I just had my second baby. Ok, five months ago (today), I just had my second baby (time flies when you’re
having fun, changing diapers at 2 AM). Life has been crazy, blissfully crazy, so I’m just getting around to sending out my VBAC experience into the Wild West Web.
I just want to preface with a little disclaimer. Everyone and their experiences are unique. I am not judging anyone who made a repeat cesarean choice. I’m sure you made the right choice for you and your baby. I chose to have a VBAC because I knew it was right for me and my baby. So, please have the same courtesy and do not judge my decision. I’m glad you have your opinions, but (and I say this as nicely as possible) if they are negative you can just keep those little “pearls of wisdom” to yourself. Ok? Mmmk…
I’m writing this because when I was debating on doing a VBAC, there weren’t a whole lot of articles out there documenting people’s experiences. I was shocked because I felt like I was hearing about more and more decisions to VBAC or HBAC-(that’s a whole other thing that I won’t be discussing). So, I was a little surprised when I didn’t find a lot out there. There might be more now, I don’t know…but I digress.
So, nervous-anxious-tired Mama if you are reading this and debating on whether a VBAC is right for you I hope I can impart some scrap of wisdom to help you have a clear mind in your decision making.
My first birth experience was not what I hoped it would be. You can read Evie’s birth story here. Basically, take everything I wanted and do the exact opposite. Ugh! So much for that “Birth Plan” everyone talks about. And because of that experience, the second time around, I was very pro-VBAC. I worried over it, studied it, read tirelessly about it, until I ate, slept and breathed VBAC articles. So, if that’s you, I see you. You aren’t alone, which is how I mostly felt.
KNOW THE FACTS. I didn’t know anyone who had a VBAC or was even considering one, so facts were the girlfriend I didn’t have and as a result, it was a very lonely experience, but I learned a lot. I knew all of the risks, which aren’t anything to sneeze at. You can read more about the risks for a VBAC here.
However, cesareans are scary as well. It is MAJOR surgery. Some providers make it seem like going in for lip injections. It is not that simple and you should read about the risks here. A little food for thought, the risks go up the more cesareans you have, something to keep in mind, especially if you plan on having more than two children. This is a great site illustrating how important your decision can be to VBAC or not depending on your number of pregnancies/hopeful pregnancies.
TALK TO YOUR PROVIDER & HOSPITAL. Unfortunately, depending on where you live, there aren’t a lot of providers and hospitals willing to take on the risks of a VBAC-ing Mama. It sucks, but it’s a reality. I live on the central coast of California and am very fortunate to have a VBAC hospital in my county just 30 minutes away. I read about people who drove hours to get to a VBAC friendly hospital. Sometimes, it’s hard to find which hospitals are VBAC friendly online. If you can’t find any information on their websites, give them a call. In my experience, they will let you know very quickly.
The same goes for providers…wah, wahhh. Again, the most effective method is to research which providers take your insurance and call every office until you get a resounding, “Yes!” Just keep in mind, even if you get a provider that allows VBAC, they may not be super supportive. Which leads me to my next point…
YOU HAVE TO WANT IT…REALLY WANT IT. If you don’t really push for a VBAC, you might just be talked out of it. That’s why it’s important to know your facts. For example, my provider allowed VBACs, but wasn’t overjoyed to know that’s what I was planning. When he discussed it with me, he gave me a scenario involving a pterodactyl (Seriously, I can’t make this stuff up). And the pushback I received didn’t stop there, you can read Olli’s birth story here.
TRUST YOUR GUT. This is not your first rodeo. You know by now you have crazy-good Mama skills. Trust them. I was scared of having a VBAC, but I was terrified of having another cesarean, not because my first one was bad, but because I just “knew” it wasn’t the right decision. Trusting yourself will be the hardest part, but you can do it. And after reading this, your Mama spidey-senses may be telling you that C-Section is the way to go. And if that’s the case, you have my love and blessings. Because, either way, you’ll have a beautiful baby, which is the most important part.