Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Being Informed

I wanted to be someone who took the time to be informed on the subject of VBAC. Of course I had heard different ideas and I wanted to have the knowledge so when I heard inaccurate information I would know the truth.

I had done plenty of research along the way and was knowledgable and informed about VBACs. I was so thankful to have supportive midwives. I know of so many doctors that use scare tactics to discourage a women from considering a VBAC. Our countries cesarean rate is outrageous and I am saddened that so many women are not allowed to have a natural birth. Doctors are so quick to stress the risks of having a VBAC but don't mention the risks of a c-section. Did you know there are more risks in having a repeat c-section than there are in having a VBAC?

I am going to list some of the ideas I had heard and what I learned through research. I'm sure many of you have heard these same things so hopefully what I learned will help you too but of course I also encourage you to do your own research too.

#1 "Once you have a c-section you always have to have a c-section"---this of course is not true. Chances are you will be able to deliver your next baby vaginally. According to more than 80% of women will have successful VBACs.

#2 "They tell me the baby is too big or my pelvis is too small"---True Cephalopelvic disproportion or CPD---where the baby is thought to be too big to fit through the pelvis--is very uncommon. According to Dr. Sears, "in most cases the births could just as easily been labeled failure to progress." Better positions such as being more upright, and squatting can enlarge the pelvis making it easier for the baby to find a way out. Many experts believe a true diagnosis can only be made after laboring for awhile any ways. To go along with this I have heard many stories of women who were told their baby is too big and had a c-section only to have a VBAC with the next child and delivery a much bigger baby. Also doctors may rely on ultrasounds and say the baby is too big when ultrasounds are not very accurate and can be a pound or more off. Since they are so inaccurate you should not be told you need a c-section because of the size of your baby.

#3 "Your uterus will rupture"---Most incisions now are made low and transverse (horizontal) and are very unlikely to rupture. It is now estimated uterine rupture occurs in less than 0.2%. Even though the term sounds scary, it does not mean your uterus suddenly explodes. What can happen is the previous scar gradually pulls apart. There are signs if this is happening and it can be detected by electronic fetal monitoring. This risk is so small, having a VBAC is still less risky than having a c-section.

#4 "It is safer to have a C-section, VBACs are dangerous"---According to the Birth Book by Dr. Sears "researchers studying the medical literature on VBAC over the last 40 years found not a single mother died from uterine rupture but mothers have died due to complications of repeat c-sections. The estimated risk of death from c-section is around one in one thousand, which is two to four times that of vaginal births."

These are just some of the reasons you might hear as people try to misinform you with reasons to not do a VBAC. If you have experienced any of these or other misguided information that you have heard or overcome please share your story so others won't be misguided. As I said before I encourage you to do your own research that way you too can be informed.

Friday, April 24, 2009


As my pregnancy progressed I found myself revisiting the events and feelings of my first birth. I desperately wanted a totally different birth experience. I had fears of having a repeat c-section. I had confidence that I would have a successful VBAC but at the same time little thoughts of doubt would enter. I never was worried about the actual VBAC, I was worried about another birth happening in a different way than I had hoped and planned for.

Some doubts caused me to think what if I end up needing another c-section? I thought of the money it would cost because I would be paying for the midwives and then the hospital. I thought of my mental well being if I had to go through it all again. Those doubts would come and go throughout the beginning of my pregnancy.

So how did I overcome it? During my research I found out that even if I ended up with another c-section going through the labor was definitely beneficial to me and the baby. Also knowing that the baby was ready to be born rather than automatically scheduling a c-section when the baby might not be ready. I also realized that if I tried for a VBAC and for some reason it didn't work I would know that the c-section was absolutly necessary. I knew if I didn't try than I would always wonder if I could've done it. So there was no doubt in my mind that I wanted to try.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Wonderful News

In February of 2008 I found out I was pregnant! We were so excited and couldn't wait to bring our new baby into this world. Now I had to figure out how and where I wanted this delivery to happen. I was still considering the idea of another homebirth but also decided to look into hospitals or birth centers that did VBACs. I found out that if I wanted a hospital birth I would need to travel outside my area. I briefly considered that but quickly realized I didn't want a hospital birth.

One day I decided to just look up midwives in my phone book and came across a name of a birth center. I was intrigued because I knew there were no birth centers in my area when my son was born. So I quickly looked them up on the internet and was so excited. I made an appointment to go visit Bella Vie Birth Center.

My husband and I were amazed when we took our visit and met with the midwives. It was a gorgeous place and the midwives were great. We both knew instantly that was the place we were going to have our baby!

Similar Emotions

Whatever emotions you may have after your c-section are perfectly fine, and don't let others tell you otherwise or make you think you shouldn't have those feelings. Take the time to process, grieve or as some say mourn the birth. In my research I found many websites and books that talked about the mental effect c-sections can have on women and it was comforting to know I was not alone. "Many women recover fully physically and emotionally from a cesarean birth, others do not."--Nicette Jukelevics, MA, ICCE.

One great website is This quote I read seems to sum up how I was feeling. "
Realize that there is more to birth than a "healthy baby" and that even the healthiest of babies can come through a traumatic event to the mother. You have the right to mourn your birth and your trauma while celebrating your child. These are two different events in your life, even if they are happening simultaneously."

So you can see how you can have different emotions from overwhelming happiness in having a precious baby but at the same time a sadness of how the birth happened.

On the website they even show how women who have c-sections are more likely to have postpartum depression and even Post-traumatic stress disorder.

So as I said before let your emotions come out and if you need to talk to someone to help you through it I encourage you to do that. If you have gone through similar emotions I would love for you to share. Hearing that these feelings are ok and normal can help another person tremendously. It took me awhile to sort through my own feelings but as time went on I healed. However a few years later all of that came flooding back to me and I again had to take time to process.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Road to Recovery

So I was so delighted and blessed to have a healthy baby. The physical recovery from the c-section was extremely hard but the mental recovery took the longest. Some people might not understand, they say you had the baby why did it matter how he came? Yes, the outcome of having a beautiful, healthy baby was the same but the road getting there took such a drastic turn that I had to process it all...and that took some time. Thankfully with a loving family, supportive friends, and my faith I accepted that for unknown reason's that was God's plan for me. I know I have talked to others who have gone through a similar experience and since I started this blog as a a place to support one another and a resource for some, I would love it if you would share your story on here as well.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

A Look Back

In 2006 I was blessed with my first baby. How happy I was with having a new baby but I was having a hard time getting past how my birth experience had gone down a totally different path than what I hoped and planned for. I never thought I would ever have a homebirth but after some events that changed my mind I had decided to go in the direction of having just that.

I was going to have a natural childbirth and hopefully a water birth too. I had taken the Bradley childbirth class and felt more prepared to have my baby naturally. I was nervous just like any first time mom is, but of course couldn't wait to meet my precious baby.

So the due date came and went. Then days, weeks passed by. Finally almost three weeks past the due date I went into labor. It was strong, hard, exhausting labor that was just not progressing. After 20 hours and only at a 7 dilation we made the decision to go to the hospital. I couldn't believe I was going to the hospital but I was so exhausted I decided to have an epidural in hopes to be able to rest and renew my strength. I was also given pitocin to hopefully make some progress. Those decision did not help. After another 10 hours and some drops in the babies heart rate I was informed I needed to have an emergency c-section. I remember being in shock, and crying uncontrollably and wondering how this had gone down such a completely different path than what I desired. That was hard to accept and come to terms with. So many different emotions, thoughts, and fears enveloped me as I was wheeled in for that emergency c-section. Then joy and an abundance of love thankfully overshadowed those earlier emotions as my beautiful baby came into this world!

Beginning the Path

For the past few days this idea just kept coming to me to find a way to start supporting and encouraging other people who are considering a VBAC. I thought if sharing my journey could help someone else than I wanted to do it. I am not an expert but I have done a lot of research and believe that being informed is the first and most important step. So I wanted to share some of the information I found out in hopes to give others knowledge and the desire to continue with their own research. I also wanted to share my story and let others share their stories. I wanted a place where questions could be asked, feelings expressed, encouragement given and joys shared. I want to share my passion with others and hope to help someone along the way who is thinking about journeying down the same path. The path to VBAC!