After 9 months of weighing a repeat C-section vs. a VBAC, I've finally decided to go for the VBAC should I go into labor. As of now, I have a C-section scheduled at 41 weeks. So, if I don't go into labor before then, I will have the scheduled C.
What made me opt to go for it? That's tough to answer. Since I've been told by my practice that I'm a good candidate and doctors never want to put anyone at risk, I feel like I should at least try, especially if it means avoiding major surgery. According to the American Pregnancy Association you are a good candidate for a VBAC if you have:
- No more than 2 low transverse cesarean deliveries.
- No additional uterine scars, anomalies or previous ruptures.
- Your health care provider should be prepared to monitor labor and perform or refer for a cesarean if necessary .
- Your birth location should have personnel available on weekends and evenings in case a cesarean is necessary.
- If the original reason for a cesarean delivery is not repeated with this pregnancy
- You have no major medical problems
- The baby is a normal size
- The baby is head-down
My former labor wasn't your typical situation. After speaking with several labor specialists, it is standard practice to check a woman's progress before performing any sort of intervention such as pitocin or an epidural. I wasn't checked before either of those so we have no idea what sort of progress was or was not being made. We only know that my contractions slowed/spaced out after the epidural and when I was checked 17 hours after my first and only previous check, I was at 7 cm. It's hard to know if I had been there for 5 hours since I got the epidural or if I had slowly been moving along. My daughter was on the large side at 8 lbs, 9 oz but there are much bigger babies born every day. (Not that I'm hoping for a whopper with this one!)
After interviewing several doulas, I feel that the chances for a vaginal birth are on my side though I do secretly fear that it may result in a c-section which is much much riskier than if I had gone in for a scheduled C. I'm doing all I can though to try for a successful vaginal birth.
I've been getting prenatal massages, had one acupuncture session, hired a doula and plan to see a pregnancy chiropractor specialist. Of course another fear of mine is damaging my you know what but I've been told that while it happens, extreme tears are rare. I'm trying perineal massage to avoid it and doing exercises that supposedly help get the baby in optimal positioning for labor.
So, if after all this, we go to a C, I'll know we did what we could to avoid surgery but in the end the most important thing is a healthy baby and mommy. That's my ultimate end goal.