Wednesday, April 21, 2010

More on VBAC

Initial research: saw an ad for a book on TFB radio show website that seems to be very helpful - called the VBAC Companion Guide, I am going to order it from Amazon.

Some other good resources I am looking into include:
  • Hypnobabies (they have a VBAC CD)
  • Business of Being Born (documentary suggested to me by TFB)
  • Birthing From Within
  • Your Best Birth

I called my OB/GYN practice an asked if they supported VBAC, answer is yes. I found a Hospital Database on TFB blog from her Cesarean Awareness Month post to find out if my hospital allows VBAC, and it does. However, I saw on TFB blog that it is not enough for them to simply say “yes we support VBAC” b/c they still might oppose me during labor and fish for reasons to perform a cesarean. In addition to asking if they support VBAC, I need to also ask what their VBAC success rate is: very clever! And personally, I want to ask them of signs of fetal distress that might be causes for cesarean and compare with my research and then quote them back on delivery day if they try to mislead me (Failure to progress/dilate is not a medical indicator of needing a c-section, I do know that babies need to be born w/in 24 hours of water breaking…I wonder if that is a myth too?). I am doing all of this research now, before I get baby fever and lose focus, before I get pregnant and exhausted, before nesting becomes insane and before I have a toddler (whoh! that is weird to say)! I am going to read everything I possibly can and memorize as much as I can and maybe print out a type of “manual” to carry with me to the hospital.
I am gonna have to eat a few of my words from this post …(regarding epidural) b/c I have done A LOT of research since then, but I am going to:
  • NOT get induced, I want the baby to come when he/she is ready
  • Try not to get an epidural (not sure if this is possible for me, I am a wimp, but epi slows down labor and I don’t want to give the medical staff ANY ammunition to suggest a c-section)..I will probably get pain meds through IV (haven't researched that yet)
  • NOT get pitocin if I can help it (makes contractions much more intense and can put stress on baby - affecting heartrate, which is also ammunition for them to suggest cesarean).
These are all goals, not written in stone. If I have learned anything this past year its that you can’t write anything in stone when it comes to pregnancy, birthing, babies, and parenting, END OF STORY. But this time, I CAN be informed, and I can state my goals for labor/delivery and correct these “misleading” reasons for unnecessary surgery, should they be brought upon me. This time, I have an opinion and a strong voice, and I won’t just sit back and listen.

When I approached Cory about a VBAC (he was very supportive of whatever I want), he said “you are already thinking of #2?” This coming from the man who has the most baby fever of any man I have ever met, if it was his decision alone, we would have been pregnant on Carson’s 6 week B’day….Just kidding, but he has mentioned that he wanted to start trying when Carson is 1…me….not-so-much. Ideally (I know nothing works the way we plan it!) I want Carson to be 2 or 3 before baby #2 joins our family. Anyway, from what I have read so far, everything suggests that you have your plan laid out before you are even pregnant. So I am on the right track.

You may be thinking, what is the point of all this research, effort and time spent since you may have a c-section anyway? I read somewhere (I think in a sample paragraph from VBAC companion book) that it is good for babies to be in the birth canal and go through at least some labor. It squeezes fluid out of the lungs, and releases a hormone for alertness which benefits breastfeeding and bonding. MAKES TOTAL SENSE! I did not push AT ALL, I wasn’t even in real labor (I was having small contractions during pre-op), and on top of that I was very doped up, so Carson was not very alert at all the first day. The nurses kept saying “he’ll be a different baby tomorrow” hmmm ya think? I can already tell….they are gonna hate me in the hospital the 2nd go-round!!!!!!

I have already done a little bit of research on fetal distress in an effort to not be fooled. Just a basic google search:

The following information is copied from the ICAN website :

Research consistently shows VBAC is a reasonably safe choice for women with a prior cesarean, consistent with the recent NIH Consensus Panel findings. While VBAC does carry risks associated with the possibility of uterine rupture, this event is rare ( *I read also that – women w/ out prior c-sections also have risk of uterine rupture FYI). Cesarean surgery carries life-threatening short-term risks, as well as long term risks to future fertility and pregnancies.

Women are often told it is safer, less painful and easier to have a cesarean, even though cesareans are generally shown to have greater risks and have longer recovery times than VBAC. The choice to have a non-medically indicated surgical procedure is based on a false representation of the risks and consequences of a scheduled repeat cesarean and an inflated representation of the risks and consequences of VBAC.

“Women are subjected to a provider’s lowered risk threshold for practice and do not receive complete informed consent regarding the risks of a cesarean delivery,” said Andrews. “Women and their babies are forced to take on increased medical risk during pregnancy and childbirth so that providers can feel they’ve decreased their own non-medical risks in practice.”

For women who encounter VBAC bans, ICAN has developed a guide to help them understand their rights as patients. This resource discusses the principles of informed consent and the right of every patient to refuse an unwanted medical procedure. The guide can be found at

Women who are seeking information about how to avoid a cesarean, have a VBAC, or are recovering from a cesarean can visit for more information. In addition to more than 130 local chapters worldwide, the group hosts an active on-line discussion group that serves as a resource for mothers.
About Cesareans: When a cesarean is medically necessary, it can be a lifesaving technique for both mother and baby, and worth the risks involved. Potential risks to babies from cesareans include: low birth weight, prematurity, respiratory problems, and lacerations. Potential risks to women include: hemorrhage, infection, hysterectomy, surgical mistakes, re-hospitalization, dangerous placental abnormalities in future pregnancies, unexplained stillbirth in future pregnancies and increased percentage of maternal death.


Carrie said...

I totally support you in whatever you want to do with your next pregnancy. I had an epidural with Cade at 9:00 am and was only 3 cm. The epidural didn't slow my labor down at all. I started pushing at noon to have Cade. I was real slow getting from 1 1/2 cm at about 4 am to 3 cm at 9 am. I was real tense because I was hurting and the epidural helped me relax and let Cade come on down. I am not trying to change your mind about an epidural because I heard all of those facts too. I just don't tolerate pain so my last resort was the epidural.

And they call it puppy love said...

Thats good info Carrie, thanks! Yeah I am not sure how I will be able to tolerate the pain either, I may be begging for the epi as soon as they admit me!

Amanda and Keith said...

I think Vbac is a great thing I have read up on it before Jackson was born and my Dr and I had planned for the vbac. My first child was born at 37 weeks water broke on its on no contractions Dr never even checked me or anything they did and er c section for "distress" I did not want that with my second at 32 weeks with #2 I developed preeclampsia and Jackson was taking at 36 weeks not my choice with either. I had problem with my first c section but not with my second. Both of my children had low birth weight Adrianna 5.3 Jackson 4.7 Adrianna spent 10 days in nicu but Jackson smaller was releades from the hospital before I. If I ever have another I will again wish to have a VBAC I want to one day experince child least a contraction even make it longer than 37 weeks would be a plus

Anonymous said...

LOL you took the words right out of my mouth - I am about to put up a post about the relationship between epidurals, pitocin, and c-sections. People think I am some kinda wierdo for wanting to try to go natural. I'm like no, but I really don't want a c-section. Every single person I've talked to that "ended up" with a c-section, it was because of fetal distress from the pitocin. But ask why they were given pitocin, and its kind of a mystery. Like it all happened real fast and the doctor said "lets do this" and you trust your doctor, right?
Its just something no one talks about, and once your baby is born, you don't care about it anymore.

Amanda and Keith said...

I was never induced and never had pitocin.