VBAC or CBAC

More little BLWers in the making... <rubs hands>

VBAC or CBAC

Postby mamapup » 04 Dec 2013, 09:13

We have reached the stage where Mr.C and I now need to a) be prepared for our VBAC discussions with the hospital; and b) be able to have some semblance of an idea as to what we (I?) want to do.

The puppy was a footling breech, which basically meant no choice but a planned c-section. At the time I was devastated as I'd had my heart set on a natural, water-y type birth. It took a while for me to make peace with the enforced change but I did once I was able to remember that the main thing was the safe delivery of a baby (and, of course, keeping me safe, too). I don't yet know which way up this baby will end up but I certainly feel that she prefers to be head up not head down thus far. I oscillate between wanting to try a VBAC and thinking that we actually had such a good experience last time that we should just stick with what we know.

As far as I can see a VBAC lets me experience what I do feel my body was made to do but I know I'd really have to push (sorry!) for a water birth or an un-monitored birth as that's outside of NICE guidelines. A CBAC in some ways lets me stay in control since we'll know when and how and can plan around everything, which of course, makes life easier with the puppy. A big part is not wanting to get my heart set on a VBAC and then, at 36 weeks finding out that we have a second breech baby and have that taken away again.

I know I can make the decision late but I also know that the hospital staff are quite keen to have some sort of answer from us as to what we'd like.
I'd love to know what others have done in this situation and what your experiences have been. Why are some women so adamant that they must have a VBAC (not asked in a tricky way, I'm genuinely interested as I can totally see both sides)? Will I always feel that I've missed out on something important or 'woman-defining' if I have two children delivered by c-section, partly by choice?
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Re: VBAC or CBAC

Postby KateGladTidings » 04 Dec 2013, 09:47

I think in the scale of things, birth is such a small part of your child's life that it doesn't matter whether they arrive by VBAC or CBAC, BUT what does make a difference is having a birth that you feel happy with - it's so much easier to give your child what they need if you're not traumatized by your birth experience. So, if that means that a planned C-section is going to facilitate that, then go for it. But if you're desperate to have a VBAC (and it doesn't sound like you are tbh) and that's the only thing that will make you happy, then you should push for that.

In other words, go for the birth that will be easiest to just move on quickly from. Does that make any sense at all?!
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Re: VBAC or CBAC

Postby meerkatsmum » 04 Dec 2013, 10:09

Birth is such a personal thing. I'm a big believer in natural birth (I'm totally in support of necessary medical intervention though!) So I think I would attempt a vbac. One of the things I'm even more passionate about though is women educating themselves and making informed birth choices. You are an intelligent woman though and I know whatever decision you make, it will be well thought out. I think that's really important thing.

Is there any harm in choosing vbac now as you can always change your mind later? I would imagine it will be easier to decide to cbac at a later date than try and convince then to let you vbac at a later stage. And for what it's worth, it's still early days and she will most likely turn. This baby was breech at 28 weeks and definitely head down and engaged at the 32 week scan (I think s/he was head down at my 30 week appointment too but can't quite remember).
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Re: VBAC or CBAC

Postby RJandA » 04 Dec 2013, 10:28

Just marking so I remember to come back and tell you my experience of a VBAC when I have a bit more time and access to the laptop!
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Re: VBAC or CBAC

Postby mathsgirl » 04 Dec 2013, 12:57

I had an emergency c/s with DD1 - she was showing signs of fetal distress before labour even got going, and I was totally happy that it was the right decision.

With DD2 I had a VBAC - I never had a moment of 'shall I ask for an elective section?' though - I always knew I would aim for VBAC but if I did need a c-section I think I would have been fine with that too. The reading I did suggested VBAC is generally better and safer for mother and baby. I also had in my mind that I may want a third baby and I wouldn't really want to have a third section. I met with the consultant midwife to discuss an unmonitored birth - at the end of the day she would have allowed me to have an unmonitored birth - she said they couldn't stop me - but she did convince me to be monitored in the end. But I was lucky that when I went into labour, delivery suite was full so I actually went to the midwife-led unit until they had a room for me on delivery suite. As a result I was only continuously monitored for the last few hours of labour. I didn't like the monitoring and it was more intrusive (IMO) then the midwife had convinced me of, so if I ever had another I would go for a midwife led unit.

I would agree with meerkatsmum that opting for VBAC now gives you more choice and time to think through the decision and chat to a consultant midwife type person if you wanted.
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Re: VBAC or CBAC

Postby gingerbreadhouse » 04 Dec 2013, 13:10

I haven't got any experience of vbac/cbac, but I wanted to reassure you that just because you've had one breech baby, you might not have another! My oldest, M was breech (undiagnosed frank/extended - no section but she was born in theatre, a long way from the watery birth I'd hoped for!) and I was absolutely convinced that A would be breech (my mum had had a few breech babies, but she can't remember who was and who wasn't!) as well so I insisted on a late position scan and ta-dah! There she was with her head very firmly down.
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Re: VBAC or CBAC

Postby junglewonderland » 04 Dec 2013, 13:39

Saying the same thing KateGladTidings said but in a different way- birth outcomes are usually best when the mother feels safe and comfortable when having her baby, because of the way birthing works with hormones etc. For some people, that is having/attempting a natural labour, but for others it is in theatre. From your post you sound like you might be the latter? It might be different over there, but over here if you want a VBAC you have to fight pretty hard to get it, so only those that are really really keen do it. I think you would need to make peace with having an emergency caesarean if you choose VBAC, so that whatever happens you know it was worth it.

That said, I think there are heaps of good reasons to have a VBAC, so I can see why some are really really keen to do it!
Mama to Feb boys, Koala (2012) and Taz (2015).
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Re: VBAC or CBAC

Postby FestiveTidings » 04 Dec 2013, 14:47

I'm in a similar quandary MP except my first time round was a EMCS.

My consultant has spoken at length about the options available and I have decided on a VBAC simply because the recovery time is quicker. I don't want to be reliant on anyone again to pick up my baby for me or unable up snuggle in to my toddler. Because if my risk of uterine rupture they want me in the labour ward when my contractions are 15 mins apart so I'm likely to spend a fair amount of time in hospital, but we have spoken with my mum and she is happy to stay with Roo.

The consultant won't let me go more than 14 days over my due date so if OB2 isn't out by then, if will be a planned c section.

However the fear of the unknown is getting to me a bit and I do wonder if asking for an elective section is the best way!
Mum to Roo born Feb 2011 and Wee One born April 2014 - each one a miracle.
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Re: VBAC or CBAC

Postby mamapup » 04 Dec 2013, 15:35

Thanks for all your replies. I can't reply at length right now as the puppy is meant to be napping but isn't!
FT, though, I agree, it's the fear of the unknown that's part of my problem.

The main thing here is that actually, it is possibly the other way around to what you might expect, JW, it's actually VBAC pushed on you unless you fight for c-section. It feels as if fighting for a c-section is weird.

I'll be back!
In my heart I am Rascalpup, a name awarded during battle with one persistent spammer. I like to think ironside but with sarcasm rather than an axe.

Slightly horrified by my huge number of posts.


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Re: VBAC or CBAC

Postby SharkiesMum » 04 Dec 2013, 17:08

I have no experience but was planning on posting a similar post at some point! I'm in the same position as you but have decided on vbac (there is not much choice as you say, it's put forward as the only real option by the hospital) and I am happy enough with that. My csection was so easy last time, that a planned section would be even easier. But I would really like a natural delivery. Can't really put my finger on why, I just do. Also I do not want to spend one more minute in that hospital than I have to. Being able to go straight home is a huge plus for me.

However, I haven't discussed this with them yet, but I'm very clear...if they want to induce me if I go over I won't be induced. I'll go for a section if this happens. It appears to increase the risks of vbac...and to me there is not a huge difference in risks of both vbac and cbac - and it takes away the positives of not having to be in the hospital for 48 hours.

Our normal hospital delivery suites have pools in most rooms and have wireless waterproof monitoring devices, so I'd be able to use it. Is this something you have asked about? You might be pleasantly surprised!

Don't know if sharing my plan helps at all but I've given it a lot of thought!
A - April 2012
T - May 2014
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Re: VBAC or CBAC

Postby StJuniper » 04 Dec 2013, 19:15

As far as I can see a VBAC lets me experience what I do feel my body was made to do but I know I'd really have to push (sorry!) for a water birth or an un-monitored birth as that's outside of NICE guidelines.


No experience with the specific issue, but curious why you would feel the need to push for a water/unmonitored birth but would be happy with a section-- in terms of invervention, a monitored VBAC would still be a lot less intervention than a CBAC, wouldn't it? I have intermittent monitoring in my birth plan for the tadpole, but with P's induced birth, I was constantly monitored and the birth tub was out of commission, and while it wasn't ideal, I still coped fine and did it without pain meds.
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Re: VBAC or CBAC

Postby Where'stheMistletoe » 04 Dec 2013, 19:35

I've just had a water birth vbac. My main reasons for wanting to go for it were (i) recovery time with baby and particularly with the toddler; even with a 3rd degree tear, recovery has been so much better this time. As DH put it, he initially kept forgetting I wwasn't disabled this time. (ii) wanting the natural experience - I'm such a believer in natural birth (obviously with medical intervention when necessary) and really wanted to experience it and (iii) I wanted more children if possible (although straight after the birth I told DH that babies 3 and 4 were not going to happen!! - although a week later I was back open to the possibility!)

If you do want to try it and it's financially viable my top tip would be to get a doula. She armed me with lots of info to justify in advance the birth i wanted and her support got me through a very long labour to get that birth.
Mummy to gorgeous wriggly baby boy (Jan 11) and beautiful baby girl (Oct 13)
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Re: VBAC or CBAC

Postby pirate_han » 04 Dec 2013, 19:46

This is something I think about quite a bit and I'm not even pregnant with no.2! Although no experience, I just wanted to say that B was born via emergency csection, and I would personally lean towards a csection over a vbac next time, if that makes you feel any less weird.

I found my labour and B's birth very traumatic (74 hour labour and blue lighted to hospital ending in emergency csection) and although I completely appreciate what you are saying about vbacs, I would personally prefer the control that came with a planned section. The only thing that puts me off is having to stay in hospital for three days afterwards as we have no family who could stay with B, but I think I would rather have that than have a similar labour again with the added worry about B.

Two csections are OK, if that's what you want. As Kate said, birth is such a small part in the grand scheme of things.
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Re: VBAC or CBAC

Postby mamapup » 04 Dec 2013, 21:01

SJ, I think because it's because a.monitored birth in my mind is very intrusive and also often ends up with a woman lying on her back old style, which goes against everything I know to be sensible about giving birth. It seems odd to defy gravity to me. I'd rather have a planned section and be fine with it than be forced in to something I know isn't sensible.

P_H, Good to know I'm not alone, thanks. Apart from the length of recoverytime, as WM says, I had a really great experience with the c section last time so wonder if I'm nuts to stray from what worked so well for us. But then every time I start thinking I consider how I wouldn't be able to pick up my baby or my.beautiful puppy and.that puts.me back to the beginning of the prices again.

Kate is, of course, right that the birth is a teeny part of the whole process.

SM, I didn't know about waterproof.monitors, I shall ask at our meeting next week, thank.you for that.tip. And for sharing your.thoughts. Appreciated.
In my heart I am Rascalpup, a name awarded during battle with one persistent spammer. I like to think ironside but with sarcasm rather than an axe.

Slightly horrified by my huge number of posts.


One puppy June 2012 and one little croc March 2014
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Re: VBAC or CBAC

Postby StJuniper » 04 Dec 2013, 21:21

For my monitored birth I did the bulk of my labouring upright, leaning against the bed. I didn't do much walking around (just back and forth to the bathroom), but I didn't feel like it at all anyways. Not trying to argue or anything, of course you need to do what feels right to you, just saying it doesn't have to be negative any more than a c-section has to be negative, you know?
Mama to two boys, the Scout Kid P, 02/26/12 and the Feral Kid R 12/15/13, and one little Tumbleweed girl, 05/27/16.
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