With a VBAC the fear of the unknown can sometimes get the best of someone. It is like being a first time mom again and all the fears that went with labor and not knowing what to expect. The same is true with a VBAC. For me even though I knew what to expect more with the actual labor since I had gone through that before I had no idea about the pushing part and was really nervous for that. The fear of the unknown. Unfortunately sometimes that fear can actually cause someone to just have a repeat c-section because they are at least familiar with that and know what to expect.
So what can you do if you have a fear of repeating another hard labor? How do you overcome that fear if it seems to be holding you back from considering a VBAC? Take the time to look back on your birth that ended in a c-section and try to identify those fears and ways to avoid repeating those same problems if possible.
Maybe you realize now you didn't have good, supportive care whether it was with your doctor/midwife, or the birth setting. If that is the case you should look into other caregivers, and/or birth settings. You also might want to look into hiring a doula or have a close friend or relative with you this time who you know would give you the support you need.
Maybe you realize you didn't have enough knowledge of what to expect or knowledge of procedures or things you could do to help yourself in labor. In that case there are great books, websites, etc. that can help you gain knowledge. Some of these are listed in my resource post. Also a good birthing class, such as a Bradley Birth class, would be beneficial. You can also look for a VBAC support group in your area to gain insights from other women who have experienced what you are going through.
If your anxiety is towards having another long, non-productive labor or hours of pushing remember all births are different and this one most likely will proceed in its own way. Also keep in mind the first is usually the longest. However since you haven't given birth vaginally before it is like a first time birth. Again gain knowledge about ways to help labor progress and learn about what can also interfere with labor.
If your fears are related to the pain of labor learn ways to help you work through the pain. As I mentioned before it is best if you can avoid epidurals. I will have a post soon on some pain management techniques. Just remember that once the baby is born all that pain is quickly forgotten. :)
If you are still having a hard time dealing with your fears it would be a good idea to talk to someone. Seek a trained counselor who also is knowledgeable about maternity issues.
If you seem to be questioning your decision to have a VBAC here are some good questions to ask yourself and think about how you would truly feel:
If you tried to have a VBAC and it wasn't successful and you ended up with another c-section, would you feel better for having tried or worse because you went through all of that just to have another c-section? As I mentioned before I knew that I wanted to at least try and if I did end up with a c-section I would then know it was completely necessary.
If you just scheduled a cesarean, would you feel relieved that you wouldn't have to go through labor again or upset because now you would never know what would have happened if you had chosen a VBAC? As for me, like I said before, I knew that I wanted to at least try and I knew I would always wonder if I could've been successful if I had tried.
If you planned a VBAC and were successful, what would that mean to you? After my baby was born the sense of accomplishment and empowerment was amazing! I was truly blessed!
I hope you take time to ask yourself these questions and really be honest with yourself about your answers and feelings. You will realize if trying for a VBAC is really something that is important to you and that will help you overcome your doubts and fears!