To VBAC, or not to VBAC?

October 18, 2017

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).

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.

2 responses to “To VBAC, or not to VBAC?”

  1. I went for a VBAC with my second child following an emergency section with my first child. I managed to labour and go through to pushing before they realised that he was too high in the birth canal and I ended up with another emergency section. I’m pleased that I did at least try to labour and birth naturally again, however, my body is clearly not meant to birth babies so had an elective section with my third child.

    • Jules says:

      If I have to have a second c-section, then so be it, but I was surprised that more isn’t done at my hospital to facilitate women choosing to have a VBAC. I’d like to at least give it a try! Although if this baby ends up being breech like Little M, then I will opt for an elective section again.

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