With Claire, I had a small tear in my amniotic sac which was causing me to leak a small amount. It was my due date and I had a doctor's appointment. She checked me out and as she did, there was more of a gush. Not broken, but she had moved the sac enough that more water came out so she sent us right to the hospital to get started. We were so excited, thinking that we'd have a baby in a few hours. 40 hours of labor, pitocin, no food or water, no epidural until hour 36, and never dilating more than 2cm later we finally had to pull the plug and do a c-section. Worst experience and worst recovery because of all the labor beforehand.
With Alex, I was set on a VBAC (vaginal birth after c-section) and found a great doctor who was supportive and on-board. That was the plan until we found out I had placenta previa (placenta attached to my scar tissue and staying too low over the cervix, blocking any exit for baby and making it a bed-rest kind of pregnancy). Recovery was much better but the anxiety before and during surgery was intense. They almost had to put me out because I couldn't stop sobbing. I was so scared. The added risks involved with previa didn't help, but I was just losing it.
With baby #3, I have been thinking from the very beginning that I have to have a c-section again... because that's just what you do after you've had two. When I went to my first doctor's appointment and we were talking about the past two, he said to me, "Are we thinking c-section then again?" I was taken back a little and said, "I've been thinking c-section because I thought I had to?" And he said "Well if you were in tears right now telling me you wanted to do it vaginally, we'd talk about it." I didn't think much more of it and continued with my "have to have another c-section" thinking until about a week ago.
A couple of months ago I made the mistake of watching my first c-section on YouTube. Don't do it. Don't do it!!!! I was bawling and it majorly freaked me out. I think in my mind I just pictured a clean little surgery with easy cuts, minimal bleeding and.... who knows. I just didn't picture it like it truly is.
Also, in St. George with all the walking and activities we were doing, I was experiencing a LOT of contractions. Most taking my breath away and getting one every 10 minutes or so for a couple hours (still nothing serious, just braxton hicks) but more than I'd had before. This got me thinking... do I really have to do another c-section?? So I started researching it. And here were a couple of interesting things I found:
"If you had a previous cesarean, the risk of uterine rupture in a vaginal delivery is .2 to 1.5%, which is approximately 1 chance in 500."
"If you do not have a clear and compelling need for a cesarean in the present pregnancy, having a VBAC rather than a repeat c-section is likely to be: safer for you in this pregnancy and far safer for you and your babies in any future pregnancies."
Basically, in my mind:
Pros: I know what to expect, no uterine-rupture risk, it's scheduled
Cons: anxiety, painful longer recovery, always worried about the look of the scar w/new doc, not birth experience
Pros: Even if tear - faster recovery, get to experience "birth" not surgery
Cons: low, but still risk of uterine-rupture, could tear
I have an appointment on Tuesday and will be getting my doctor's opinion. But what it comes down to to me is that if the only risk with a VBAC is uterine rupture, that's probably the same chance as something going wrong with surgery during a c-section. So if the risk levels are the same, why not choose VBAC? And if we could at least see if my body will go into labor on its own before the due date and set a time that if I haven't, then we will do c-section then I will at least know I tried. And if I do go into labor and everything goes smoothly--HOORAY, I did it! And if things don't go smoothly and we have to do an emergency c-section, well that would be fine because I've been there, done that.
This is a big deal to me right now and a wrestle in my mind. Lots of prayer and hopefully I'll get some inspiration and answers this week with the doctor.
I know that bottom line is that it doesn't matter how I get the baby here, as long as it's healthy. I want to do what's best for the baby. But I would just like to think about the possibility of experiencing a vaginal birth, as it was meant to be. I feel like I could do it! I feel like there is a trend with c-sections (and research to prove the increase) and being induced is part of the problem. Obviously, there are reasons to be induced, and c-sections are a blessing (as Alex and I would have died in pioneer days with placenta previa). But due dates are not a SET date and we get too impatient. I think it's also easier for doctors to do scheduled c-sections (they probably make more too?) And for some people, c-sections are great and they love them - I have a hard time with them. I would like the option. I think it would be a more sweet and tender delivery to have the experience of vaginal rather than in a sterile operating room, strapped to a table and I get to hold the baby an hour later.
In the end, I don't think I will be making the decision: vbac or c-section. I think it will be a decision of 'Should we TRY for a VBAC and see how it goes? And if it doesn't go well, then we do a c-section…. '
We shall see! All will work out :)