Why I Chose a VBAC :: Patty

Patty's Birth

What was the reason for your initial Cesarean birth?
The reason for my C-section was the baby's heart rate dropped too low for too long, and despite manual stimulation, they were unable to stabilize him. I had been in labor for about 18 hours at this point and was 6cm. Ultimately, the reason for the C-section was being induced too early (the doctor broke my water to initiate labor) even though I had no medical issues for induction.  Now I know:-) And, based on my first VBAC, I do believe cervical scar tissue was a factor as well.

Why did you choose a VBAC?
I chose a VBAC for several reasons. One, I had a VERY tough recovery from the C-section, both physically and emotionally, and I just knew birth didn't have to be like that. Second, I felt very inadequate after the C-section. Like something was wrong with me and my body. Third, I felt like cattle being shuffled around during my C-section birth and knew that I wanted a birth where I felt in control of the process/decisions, etc. And, finally, I felt like it would help me heal from the emotional scars of my C-section.

What were your fears and concerns (if any)?
My biggest fear in preparing for the VBAC was uterine rupture. That is, until I did my research and got a supportive doctor.  Once I learned how rare it really is and that there would be warning signs, I really felt very comfortable that I was an ideal candidate and had a great chance of being successful.
The biggest challenge during pregnancy was overcoming my mental fears. No matter how much research I did, there was always a voice in the back of my head thinking that I must be missing something!

What was the biggest challenge during pregnancy and then during labor and birth?
The biggest challenge during delivery was second guessing myself after 17 hours of labor and seeing the same signs as before... only 6cm dilated. Once my doctor rubbed out scar tissue, I dilated and birthed within a few hours! After the 17 hours, I got an epidural and was really upset because I thought that meant I wasn't going to be successful.  Having a doula there was great because she reminded me my goal was to have a VBAC, not no epidural. She assured me that a VBAC was possible with an epidural so she helped so much to get me through it mentally.

How did you prepare for your VBAC?
I prepared by hiring a doula, joining ICAN and going to meetings, hearing all the success stories I could and reading absolutely all the data available.

How did you find your care provider and were they VBAC supportive? If so- how? If not, did you think they were and they ended up not being so? How did you respond?
I found my doctor through referrals from ICAN. Yes, he was VERY VBAC supportive! At the first appointment, he said, "you can and will have this baby through your vagina!!" I knew it was the right fit.  He never discussed a C-section with me.  He never discussed "due dates" or anything like that.  Instead, he said, "the baby will come when he's ready," and... he did!

What would you say to a woman who's considering a VBAC? How would you encourage her? 
EDUCATE yourself.  Hire a doula.  Find a supportive care provider based on referrals from actual patients who had VBACs with him/her.  Surround yourself with those supportive of this process rather than the naysayers. And, TRUST your body, trust your instincts and know that it IS possible!!