Last week I was invited to meet with a consultant to discuss my plans for this baby’s birth. This is something that all women who have had a caesarean previously are invited to; at least they are in my area.
It was very interesting to speak to someone about what I might expect when the time comes for this baby to be born. While it felt quite strange to be talking about it at only fifteen weeks pregnant, it enabled me to talk about some of my concerns and learn about the potential risks of a VBAC (vaginal birth after caesarean).
Interestingly, I felt the risks of a VBAC were highlighted far more than the benefits. The first question I was asked, was, Do you want another caesarean? You can if you want. Er, no, actually I’d like a VBAC if possible. Oh, okay, yes, that is possible.
To be honest, I was quite surprised with the way the conversation went. I was expecting to be encouraged to have a VBAC, but it feels like if there is any level of risk, the hospital want to medicalise the birth. The consultant explained that because there is a 1 in 200 risk of my c-section scar rupturing during a natural labour, myself and the baby need to be monitored continuously.
I understand that it’s important to ensure the safety of both myself and the baby, but it didn’t feel like there was any wiggle room at all. I voiced my concern that I would be effectively strapped to a bed, on my back, which I didn’t want, as I believe that an active labour is more likely to be successful. The last thing I want is to be whisked off for an emergency c-section. I asked if there was a portable monitor that I could use. I was told that the hospital ‘probably’ didn’t have one, that I, and the baby, need to be monitored and that ‘that’s what we’re dealing with’.
So, that filled me with confidence! I was hoping for a calm, hypnobirth, maybe with use of a birth pool. I feel like that’s no longer an option. I was also informed that only 60% of VBACs are successful. Maybe that’s because all of these women are made to lie on their backs during labour…
Have you had a VBAC? What were your plans for a birth after a caesarean? How did things work out for you? I’d love to hear your experiences.