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Thread: The flip side of VBAC Cheering...

  1. #1

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    Question The flip side of VBAC Cheering...

    So.
    Bear with me.

    I am just not getting it. WHY does having a VBAC need to be some big deal/ordeal?



    I can understand that for women who have never laboured, or had other physical issues that led to c/s that overcoming these - either physically or mentally - will be a big deal.

    But I had no physical reason for the emergency c/s I had with DD. There was nothing *wrong* or *off* with MY body, my ability to labour and birth etc. The issue was with DD herself, not me.

    So all this talk of VBAC encouragement is really having the exact opposite effect.
    After having Charlotte I had NO doubt AT ALL that I would and could happily and healthily birth a child vaginally if I wanted to.
    But now all I seem to read about VBAC is that is needs to be some huge effort, and I need to read 17 more books than I did with the first and empower myself (what ever that means) and it is really making me feel like I am missing something, making me doubt my body, not give me confidence in it.

    I wasn't scared of the first labour - I was hell scared of ending up with a c/s, which happened and was terrible. But I wasn't scared of labour this time either until I started applying a "VBAC" tag to it.

    Why do I have to have a label?
    Why can't I just be Woman Giving Birth Second Time Around?
    Please tell I am not the only one who feels like this? Surely VBAC doesn't have to be some monumental hurdle for women who had no physical impediment to vaginal birth in the first place?

    Yeah. Because quite honestly I am freaking out about the birth this time - labour, not phased - the actual BIRTH is scaring the hell out of me - I don't like feeling like this, it seems so unnecessary...
    Can someone please give me permission to NOT get all caught up in this VBAC hooplah?

  2. #2

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    I think I get what you mean, kind of.

    For me, with my VBAC, I had already had 2 VBs. So I knew that i could do it. But there is still a lot of hoo-haa, mis-information (my GP told me I would probably need asnother CS and he knew nothing at all of my past pregnancies or labours) and medical attitudes to overcome (are you ok with continuous monitoring, a bung in the arm, etc...)

    So in my case it wasn't so much wanting to know that I could give birth vaginally, as knowing that VBAC are safe...

    FWIW I didn't read much to empower myself, I didn't need that, but I did read so that I could be informed and play a part in the decision making process.

    Some of the things that applied to me, could apply to any VBACer; for instance I went 10 days past my EDD and I had until 42 full weeks to go into labour. I have heard of other women who were pushed into a CS after 40+3.
    I birthed a 10lb8 baby...size does not always mean you can't VBAC...so stuff like that.

    Anyway, as to the point of your post... of course you don't have to get caught up in hoopla... it's entirely up to you how you approach it. Not just your labour, but your approach to it as well

  3. #3

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    I'm not sure if it is just the mothers out there that are making it such a big deal about the birth itself but the atmosphere it has to be conducted in. As a VBAC you don't have many options. You can't go to a birth centre, homebirthing midwives can be touchy about it, particularly now, so for many women their ONLY option is the delivery suit - no such things as birth choices there really. I just had my VBAC but I had to FIGHT the medical establishment for it. There is a LOT of old thinking still out there, and because of this, VBAC women have a whole lot of extra unwarranted and often in contravention to the research hospital policy surrounding their "management" that causes more stress. For instance, a VBAC mum will have to fight to have an active birth where they can move freely and not be continuously monitored. I allowed a ten minute trace once an hour, but they weren't happy about it, and wanted me strapped to the machine except to go to the toilet - with a possy labour, forget it! I also had to keep knocking back 3rd trimester ultrasounds because I knew they wanted to find out the size of the baby. If they'd known that my son born at 39 weeks was going to be 9 1/2 pounds they would have tried to bully me into a c-section because the cut off is meant to be 9 pounds. At a time when you just want to focus on having a good birth and healthy baby, VBAC women often have to deal with a whole lot of extra and exhausting crap that is often completely unnecessary. I know there was a stage when I had three obgyns in my room discussing my unconventional (aka keep intervention to a minimum) birth plan. It's just ridiculous. The risks of issues with an untampered with VBAC is as safe as life gets. In the end, I had a wonderful birth and a large and VERY healthy baby. I never had any issues with my uterus or my scar, and after a possy labour, pushing was awesome - because it heralded the impending end, and even though I tore in three places (my son's head didn't mould at all) I didn't feel it - the stitching up afterwards was what hurt but I think the OBGYN was being deliberately rough because I was being a "trouble maker" by not just doing as I was told earlier.
    Last edited by Yeddi; September 15th, 2010 at 11:50 AM.

  4. #4

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    I totally give you permission to not get weighed down by the pressure of the term VBAC and all that is associated with it. Sometimes i think there is a fine line between being prepared and empowered and putting too much pressure on yourself. As you know too well, births can go the opposite direction to planned without warning. And being able to cope with that is a massive thing. Sounds like you have your head around the necessity of your first C/S so i imagine you will take this second birth in your stride no matter the outcome. You can have all the goals and dreams you like, you can plan it up to the tiniest detail, but you can not always control it. I think being prepared for the birth and at peace with the fact that some things may be beyond your control is a great mental place to put yourself.

    I think feeling pressured and doubting yourself can only ever have a negative effect. So sweep away those VBAC pressures and approach the birth the same as your first.

    If you stop calling a VBAC and call it your second birth, then perhaps it will change how you feel in your head. just a thought.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Junglemum View Post
    I totally give you permission to not get weighed down by the pressure of the term VBAC and all that is associated with it. Sometimes i think there is a fine line between being prepared and empowered and putting too much pressure on yourself. As you know too well, births can go the opposite direction to planned without warning. And being able to cope with that is a massive thing. Sounds like you have your head around the necessity of your first C/S so i imagine you will take this second birth in your stride no matter the outcome. You can have all the goals and dreams you like, you can plan it up to the tiniest detail, but you can not always control it. I think being prepared for the birth and at peace with the fact that some things may be beyond your control is a great mental place to put yourself.

    I think feeling pressured and doubting yourself can only ever have a negative effect. So sweep away those VBAC pressures and approach the birth the same as your first.

    If you stop calling a VBAC and call it your second birth, then perhaps it will change how you feel in your head. just a thought.
    I think Junglemum has hit the nail on the head. Call is your second birth, thats what I would do

  6. #6

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    You definitely don't have to get caught up in it. Call it what you want to

    I think all that "stuff" is out there because of the people that make it such a big deal. The OBs that don't support it. The medical professionals that think its riskier than another c-section. All the nay-sayers. Those are the ones making it a big deal. Making it harder for those going for it to just have a normal pregnancy because its normally filled with negative nancys and lots of pressure to do things "their" way.

    Definitely do it your way, call it what you want - and all the best for your second birth!

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    I agree with alot of what you are saying, both of my CS were because of my babies health and nothing to do with my ability to birth. The following statements you made really are true to me.
    Quote Originally Posted by LimeSlice View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by LimeSlice View Post

    After having Charlotte I had NO doubt AT ALL that I would and could happily and healthily birth a child vaginally if I wanted to.
    Quote Originally Posted by LimeSlice View Post

    I wasn't scared of the first labour - I was hell scared of ending up with a c/s, which happened and was terrible. But I wasn't scared of labour this time either until I started applying a "VBAC" tag to it.

    So all this talk of VBAC encouragement is really having the exact opposite effect.
    When I was pregnant with DD1 I had no fear in birthing my little girl, I was happy that my body knew what to do and that it was natural, I was scared however of a CS, when I was pregnant with DD2 I started researching VBAC's and I found myself afraid of birth and I remembered how easy a CS was (for me). My birth ended in a CS once again due to problems with my baby.
    Quote Originally Posted by LimeSlice View Post

    Yeah. Because quite honestly I am freaking out about the birth this time - labour, not phased - the actual BIRTH is scaring the hell out of me - I don't like feeling like this, it seems so unnecessary...
    This time around I am hoping for a VBA2C and as it is only early days I am haven't had time to panic yet, I am going to try and find that place that I was with my first baby, I think I will also find it easier this time as the fear of 'rupture' scared me last time, and now that I have done it before I know I can do it again IYKWIM. There was a thread, here on BB that I read while pregnant with DD1 that explained why we feel pain in labour and it helped me alot, I am going to search for this thread and read through it again.

    Best of luck Limeslice, I really do understand what you mean and best of luck for your birth.


    ETA: This is the thread if anyone is interested: http://www.bellybelly.com.au/forums/...f-methods.html
    Last edited by DaintreeDream; September 15th, 2010 at 03:50 PM. Reason: Adding thread

  8. #8

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    I did it without any major drama, I didn't do any reading or stress over it. I told my ob what I wanted and that was it for me. He warned me of the risks and I would prepped for a c sect jic, I went on my merry way and had a successful vbac. I didn't even consider my latest birth to be a big deal until the midwives all came and asked how I managed to deliver such a big baby in what was technically a second vbac.

  9. #9

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    I know what you mean. I have never experienced and c/s so I can't say I fully understand the whole situation, but from reading here I thought VBACs where a lot bigger deal (that is not quite the right word but I can't think of anything else at the moment). It wasn't until some of my IRL friends had VBACs in a much more 'no fuss' fashion that I realised the reality of it. Like you say, for them it was just a second birth using a different method. One didn't really even decide to try for a VBAC until it got down to either booking a c/s date or not, and you know what, she did just fine

    So definitely, go ahead and give yourself permission to let the hype wash right on past you.

  10. #10

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    Yeah, like everyone else has said, call it what you want. My c/s was due to placenta praevia, so like you no problem with my body being able to labour and birth, it was just where the placenta ended up. I think the "big deal" about it is from the "medical profession" side. They all want to cover their asses so it makes it hard to find the support. At first I made a big deal about getting my VBAC and finding a supportive OB. I felt I had to be somewhat pushy in saying 'This is what I want and how it's going to happen'. Once I had that all sorted out I just thought of it as a normal second birth. When people were asking me if I was going for another c/s, I'd just say no just a regular delivery, don't need a c/s this time, everything's in the right spot.

  11. #11

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    I think you make it what you want.
    I tried not to read too much or envision having a perfect birth to enhance my VBAC experience and honestly it didn't really occur to me that I successfully VBAC'd until well and truly after the fact (months really). I just successfully delivered my baby ... what was more empowering was the fact that I had a term pregnancy!
    I didn't read books, I didn't really venture into the VBAC threads ... I had a game plan on what I wanted but that wasn't really anything very special. I think my Ob put more emphasis on it being a VBAC (due to the risk and my high riskiness).

    Don't worry hun, when it comes down to it being a VBAC'er won't even be a thought in your mind LOL

  12. #12

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    I forgot to say -after I actually had my VBA2C (like a few days later) I said to DH "so thats it? Thats what the big deal was all about? I just did what women have been doing for centuries... why do they make it out to be some sort of accomplishment?"

    So that was my immediate take on it - what was the big deal. There shouldn't be one. I just gave birth. Big deal - lots of women do it, why am I special? The answer - I'm not

  13. #13

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    It shouldn't be a big deal. Well any birth is a big deal and a great achievement but ykwim. I think the big deal is that you got past all the hurdles that VBACers most often have to jump and had a normal birth!

  14. #14

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    I think I was lucky with my ob, he is very much pro choice, I had the two natural births after my c sect but my neighbour has the same ob and she has had 4 c sects.

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by Heaven View Post
    It shouldn't be a big deal. Well any birth is a big deal and a great achievement but ykwim. I think the big deal is that you got past all the hurdles that VBACers most often have to jump and had a normal birth!
    Definitely agree with this. VBAC is just a birth. Full stop. However the mental and medical hurdles that you have to get through to attempt one (let alone "get" one) are pretty difficult for some people. My sister was another who has a "fuss free" VBAC with her DD 15 years ago in a private hospital private ob etc.and she didn't even know what VBAC stood for.
    When I was getting ready for mine she didn't quite get why it was all so difficult and the pressure I was getting from the hospital and the discussions and negotiations I had to have to change dates etc. Im babbling now but I guess what I am saying is that yes it is just a birth, yes it is no greater achievement than any other birth but there are some hurdles that for alot of women have to be overcome to get there in the end. Some of these women need the support from others, some don't. FOr some the cheer squad make things worse and I guess it is up to you to decide how you want to tackle it.

  16. #16

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    I am one of those who never got to labour. I spent nine months last time building up this beautiful image of myself birthing naturally and calmly in water, spent months practicing hypnobirthing, downloading meditation music, massaging downstairs to prevent tears, having sex to stimulate labour etc etc. Then 39.5 weeks I had an ovarian cyst which started twisting. And those need to be removed. I had to have surgery, and they had to take bubs out at the same time as he was in the way.

    So, this time, it is a really big deal to me to get what I want. I wanted it so badly last time, and ever since I got pregnant again I have started wanting it so badly again. It never would have become such a big deal for me if we hadn't planned to have the baby elsewhere and found that no birth centre there would take me, and the Drs all had special requirements. In the end, I had to choose to have bubs in the same place, with the same Dr, as my first, as they're the only ones who'll let me birth in a birth centre, with no continuous monitoring, and in the water.

    So, yeah, it became a big deal. It became a effort to fight to get my way. I am still so determined to have my VBAC and yet terrified that I won't, that I'll be cut up again, or that something will go wrong. But I just so desperately want to experience even just one real labour contraction.

    Recently, I was told my baby is small for age and I might need another c-section. I was so depressed. I went away and researched and decided to fight it. It's just a fight for some of us. It's great if it some easily to you then of course you don't need to get all up in arms about it. But, for some of us, we're made to fight, we're told to worry, we're told it won't be good for us, or it won't be good for our babies.

    If you have it easy, forget all the anxiety - go for it!

  17. #17

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    After all the talk/debate/discussion/support/disagreements on here about what is and isn't desired or acceptable for a VBAC, I had my VBAC on 31st October.
    It went well, I wanted to share what my midwife said to me...I was lying in birth suite with an epidural in, doing well, last check I had been 6cm dilated. The nursing shift changed and this wonderful midwife came in, and said 'right lets get going and have this baby before dinner....'. She outlined what we were going to do..increase the syntocynin drip,
    I said- 'You know I am a VBAC or trying for a VBAC dont you...' She said (well something like this- it may not be word perfect!!) 'so what, its just a phrase, almost as bad as 'trial of labour', you are a mum having a baby, lets get on with it.' Basically last time didnt matter (I was monitored, progressing well, ob was hovering-reading hubbys sunday paper) I felt safe and this midwife set my mind instantly on another more confident path, I instantly felt like, yep, this is it, I am having this baby. and I did!!

  18. #18

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    With my daughter I was booked in for a sceduled c/s due to her being breech, so I didn't start labour, experience contractions, or even make myself emotionally aware of what childbirth would be like because I didn't have to (I have a bicornuate uterus so I was told from an early stage that my baby would not turn to a head down position). This time around my baby was breech up until 34 weeks, luckily the shape of my uterus is not as bad this time around because the muscles have already been softened from my previous pregnancy. I was also fairly young and didn't do my research very well about pregnancy in general and just took it how it was, which isn't nessesarily a bad thing. This time around my partner and I had planned for another child so I looked into it a bit more. When I fell pregnant I told my GP that I was horrified of the thought of another c/s and that I definately wanted to birth naturally, still he filled in the delivery plan on my pregnancy card "trial of scar US/ elective c/s". So he still assumed that I would end up with a c/s. Also statistics say that 70 out of 100 women will be able to birth naturally after a c/s, however if you look up hospital statistics they are much lower, and they vary from hospital to hospital. The highest success rate for any hospital in NSW in Kempsy Base Hospital at 30.8% successful VBACs. My local hospital has a success rate of only 10.7%. So I feel that for me it was nessessary to do as much research as possible so that when push comes to shove, I know what is and it's normal, what I should and shouldn't worry about, what to expect, what hospital policies are, and how I am going to negotiate with them (i.e: continuos monitoring, time limit on labour progress).

    I figure if I know what I'm talking about I am much less likely to be talked into a repeat c/s due to convenience for the doctor, and much more confident in myself. I can see what you are saying, though I think how much the reason why alot of women feel the need for all the reading and research and questions etc. is because of the fears and limits projected by alot of doctors and midwives. And after reading on this site I did get alot more confidence in myself!

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