VBACs — The Bump
April 2018 Moms

VBACs

I wanted to start a discussion for people planning to have their first VBACs and a place for people to write their birth stories/experiences with VBAC.

 

Re: VBACs

  • I personally am planning on having a VBAC, I had to have a cesarean with my first because I was in labor for 28 hours and her heart rate started to drop and I was only at 5cm. However, I was included, so I think if I go naturally my body may respond better and actually progress.  Has anyone had a similar situations happen and had a successful VBAC? Also, this shouldn't matter but an OB (not mine) and a nurse asked me in the hospital how tall I was, as if it was a factor, so for the sake of discussion I am only 4'10" 1/2 and do have small hips.  

  • Thanks for starting this thread @itsrandiyo! I'm excited to hear some veterans experience and how everyone is preparing for the VBAC.

    Last time:
    My DS was born via c-section due to fetal distress a little over 2-years ago. My water broke before I started to dilate. After 30 hours of a pitocin labor I finally made it to 10cm. With every push his heart rate plummeted. His cord was wrapped around his neck twice and was quite stuck. After delivering him the cord was removed and he took a very deep breath which resulted in pneumothorax and a trip to the NICU for 3 days.

    This Time:
    My OB this time is on board with the VBAC, as long as when we get to the finish line it is safe for both baby and I. She recommends a min. of 18 months between the c-section and the VBAC and prefers patients who did dilate to 10cm. I have also hired a doula who has experience with VBAC mamas.

    Fingers crossed, but also know from last time that all is fair in love and labor!


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  • shireeallason  That is for sure about the all is fair!  Interesting that your OB said she prefers patients who dilate to 10cm (concerns me). But I'm glad there is another momma who is going for one! ...hopefully there are others...lol 

    Also, if you dont mind telling, can you give a price range for your Doula? I really don't even know the average price of one I am trying to decide if I want to hire one or not.

  • @itsrandiyo I'm not entirely sure why she mentioned the full dilation. Have you talked to your OB about VBAC already?

    Last pregnancy, my delivering hospital actually offered a doula service! It was amazing, but apparently no one was using the service so they discontinued it. This time I decided to hire a private and certified doula (the certification is important!) and it still is incredibly reasonable at $700. This includes monthly "appointments" and GTKY sessions until 38 weeks. After 38 weeks we meet weekly and she is on call 24/7. She will also stay around after birth to make sure I'm comfortable and breastfeeding is going ok. Or, you know she'll be there through labor regardless if it all goes to shit again  ;)

    I totally recommend a doula. There is such a stigma that all doulas are only for natural birth. My experience was completely different. After 24 hours of pitocin labor my doula was the one who held my hand during the epidural (dads aren't allowed in the room for this), she walked me through my c-section prep and even "milked me" on to a plastic spoon to get my colostrum going while they were closing my incision. 


  • shireeallason Yup I have talked to my OB and he is super on board. He actually was the first to mention it! So I am very excited about that.

    I think that is a VERY reasonable price for what it seems you get, I will definitely need to look into that. I am really leaning toward no intervention at all because I feel that if I have any I most likely won't be able to do it naturally. Even if they say they want to start me on pitocin I will probably just ask for a csection then. Last time I actually got an epidural pretty late in the game but it wore off on half my body and so right before my csection they pumped me with more meds, but it didnt work and I had to be put under; which was obviously devastating because neither of us saw the birth.  SO I really reallyyyy don't want that to happen again lol Otherwise, I would be to totally for intervention. So, I think I may need a Doula.

    Sidenote: I think its odd your husband couldn't be in the room when you got your epidural, they just made mine go to the other side of the bed so he couldn't see.  


  • @shireeallason when I met with my midwife she also asked if I dilated to 10. She said that in girls who fails to dilate chances of success in VBAC are lower statistically. 
    That being said, I don't think I'll go for a VBAC simply because I have to be induced this time around too so it makes my chance of success low. If I'm gonna end up with another Csection I'd rather have it not after 28h of labor like last time. But I highly encourage women who wants a VBAC to go for it!!
    kmallsitsrandiyoshireeallason
  • Hope it's ok I post here! I went for a VBAC with my last birth, and although it didn't work out for me, I'm so glad I tried. Here's a little of my experience: 

    Like others who have posted, I had a c-section with my first due to fetal distress. I never dilated past 2cm because they immediately called for a cesarean. The next birth (which was 19 months after my c-section), my OB practice was extremely pro-VBAC. They never mentioned anything about how far I had dilated with my first and focused only on the fact that I had gone into labor on my own. 

    I ended up being induced a few days past my due date because of high fluid levels. It wasn't ideal, but they were still on board with a VBAC. Because of my previous c-section, they induced with a Foley bulb overnight (rather than going right to cervadil or pitocin) and broke my water the next morning. I did end up needing pitocin as my labor never really got going, but it was administered in very small doses a few hours apart to avoid triggering massive contractions too quickly. 

    Long story short: labor lasted forever, I never made it past 5cm, and then the epidural failed. By that point I was physically and emotionally done and I asked for a c-section. Although it was an agonizing decision to make I'm thankful they left it up to me, and ultimately I felt empowered by my choice. 

    I guess my best advice is to ask your OB when and how the call for a cesarean will be made, if needed. Mine told me from the get-go that I could make the call as early or late as I wanted, provided there was no emergency (in which case they would make the call). 

    Also: yes to the doula. I wish we had pulled the trigger and hired one. I think I would have benefitted from extra emotional support when labor was stalling. 
    shireeallasonitsrandiyoladythrice
  • danjoly  yes, my OB said if I had to be induced a VBAC is a no go. I'm sure that's not the case with everyone but with my experience it totally makes sense. If I have to be induced I will be getting a scheduled C. 

    kmalls Thank you for your story, I'm encouraged you don't regret trying! I think every experience is helpful in making a decision and coming up a plan for a VBAC. Good idea with discussing "calling its" with my OB. I will definitely have to do that, even if I have my own in my head..we should probably be on the same page ;)

    kmalls
  • I am planning for a VBAC. My OB is well known as being the best to go to for this in our area, so I'm really hoping it'll work out. I do have a couple factors against me, one being that I have big babies. DS was 9 pounds and she seemed most concerned about that. She is willing to induce for VBAC, but only if conditions are right. 

    With my first, my water broke a little bit. I went in about an hour later and they immediately started pitocin. I labored about 22 hours, they did the foley, completely broke my water, and it sounds like I never got past a four or five? I guess they thought I was showing signs of infection, so they did a C. They said DS dropped on his head crooked, so he couldn't come down all the way. I honestly don't think they even tried and being immediately down in bed wouldn't help get him in the right spot. I really hope this time works out, or I at least feel like I have more control. 
    itsrandiyo
  • I'd love a vbac. My doctors do allow vbacs but they have cautioned me that it will need to be an almost perfect senario for me to have one. I found a vbac calculator online and chances are given at just under 50%.

    My pregnancy is already high risk for several factors. And my last baby was delivered at 36 weeks and was 7.5 pounds. He was a c section after induction for pih which turned into pre-e after birth. I never dilated even a finger tip after several attempts w different drugs. 


    Lilypie Pregnancy tickers

  • I too am hoping for a vbac but will be open to a C if conditions aren’t favorable or if there is even a slight risk to baby or myself. For my first, my water broke and I was in labor for 18 hours (pitocin for 12) and only progressed 2cm. Given my families history of csections (two older sisters have 7 children total and all were c’s) I’m not hopeful. I don’t think our bodies are built to birth babies! They get stuck in the pelvis and won’t budge. My doctor knows this (as she also delivered my first) and if we have a repeat performance of no dialation or if I’m pushing for hours at 10cm (like my sisters did) then we’ll call it a day. I just want the opportunity to go into labor on my own and see what happens. 
    itsrandiyo
  • I am hoping for a VBAC this pregnancy. My son was transverse and the Dr. said that it was to high risk to go into labor, so I had to have a C-section. I really hope everything works out well this time! Thanks for starting this thread, it is reassuring to know there are others out there planning VBACs. I look forward to hearing everyones stories. 
  • okayrunner You're story sounds semi similar to mine! Good luck :)  Did you have to be in bed after you got pitocin? Or why do you say you were laying the whole time? Just asking because when I got pitocin I was still able to walk around/bounce on the ball with my IV rolly poll lol

  • I'm so glad there is a few of us!!!

  • I just want to add a quick note that the comments from some of the OBs in this thread point to a not-so-friendly VBAC OB practices. There's a post in a thread on this board (I can't remember which thread) about VBAC-tolerant practices vs. VBAC-friendly practices.

    The difference is primarily much more strict guidelines on the VBAC process. These sorts of things are signs of VBAC-tolerant, not exactly VBAC-friendly:
    -Concerns about your body size
    -Only approving VBAC candidates that reached 10cm dilation
    -Refusing to induce VBAC candidates

    ... I will try to go find the post to which I'm referring and paste it here, or post a link here for people to access. It's got some great info.

    DS: EDD, December 19th, 2014. Born, December 19th, 2014!
    DD: EDD, July 18th, 2016. Born, July 19th, 2016!
    CafeMom Tickers

    Baby #3: EDD, April 16th, 2016
    Pregnancy Ticker
    kmalls
  • I should have warned in my first post that I have all the feels about this topic so I'll probably post a lot in here lol.

    DS: EDD, December 19th, 2014. Born, December 19th, 2014!
    DD: EDD, July 18th, 2016. Born, July 19th, 2016!
    CafeMom Tickers

    Baby #3: EDD, April 16th, 2016
    Pregnancy Ticker


  • DS: EDD, December 19th, 2014. Born, December 19th, 2014!
    DD: EDD, July 18th, 2016. Born, July 19th, 2016!
    CafeMom Tickers

    Baby #3: EDD, April 16th, 2016
    Pregnancy Ticker
    okayrunneramj161820


  • DS: EDD, December 19th, 2014. Born, December 19th, 2014!
    DD: EDD, July 18th, 2016. Born, July 19th, 2016!
    CafeMom Tickers

    Baby #3: EDD, April 16th, 2016
    Pregnancy Ticker

  • DS: EDD, December 19th, 2014. Born, December 19th, 2014!
    DD: EDD, July 18th, 2016. Born, July 19th, 2016!
    CafeMom Tickers

    Baby #3: EDD, April 16th, 2016
    Pregnancy Ticker
  • ladythriceladythrice member
    edited October 2017
    So! Here's my story/goal!

    DS was born via C/S in December of 2014 and DD was born via VBAC in July 2016 (19 months between births) and I'm shooting for VBAC2 with this pregnancy.

    With DS, my water broke at home, labor did not kick in right away, but I still reported to the hospital that evening. Once at the hospital, they admitted me and gave me 30 minutes (45 after I begged for more time...) to see if labor would start without aid (/being induced). Labor never started so they started me on pitocin. They steadily increased my Pit every half hour until I went from zero contractions to writhing on the floor vomiting... fun times... I asked for an epi. Once I got my epi, labor completely stalled. I never progressed past 5cm. My OB called for a C/S about 17 hours after I showed up at the hospital (18 hours after my water broke).

    I was disappointed with my entire experience and carried around a lot of grief for the birth I never got for a long time post-partum. I elected to go for a VBAC with DD and it is single-handedly the best decision I've made in my pregnancy/pre-natal journeys. And I would feel this way even if I had ended up with another C/S.

    To the more conservative VBAC tolerant OBs, I was NOT a great candidate for a VBAC. Off the top of my head:
    • My body never experienced labor on its own without aid (other than water breaking).
    • I did not progress beyond 5 cm.
    • DS was high and never descended during the labor process.
    • My C/S diagnosis, "failure to progress," is not considered good for VBAC candidates.
    That said, I successfully had a VBAC with DD and I have a super long post about my 'tips' for the VBAC process. I'll paste it in this thread too.

    DS: EDD, December 19th, 2014. Born, December 19th, 2014!
    DD: EDD, July 18th, 2016. Born, July 19th, 2016!
    CafeMom Tickers

    Baby #3: EDD, April 16th, 2016
    Pregnancy Ticker
  • Quote from other post:
    My personal tips for a successful VBAC:
    • Write a birth plan - Tell your doctors you have one (it doesn't have to be crazy, but it should outline your goals)
    • Hire a doula (I didn't do this, but if you worry that you can't advocate for yourself or that your birth partner won't be able to advocate for you, hire a professional who WILL)
    • Be active during your pregnancy - Try to get out and walk as much as possible
    • Labor at home as long as you can (safely)
    • Be active during your labor - I was active EVEN AFTER I had my epidural!!! During my first delivery the hospital all but tied me to a bed after getting my epi. During my second delivery?? I was moving all over the bed. On my hands and knees, using the peanut, sitting up bow-legged, sitting against my husband's back etc. Make sure your delivery nurses know how to get help be active during delivery
    • Find a VBAC friendly delivery location - this is essential. Most hospitals (or wherever you go, I felt more comfortable in a hospital) that do VBACs are friendly, but some aren't. Make sure the staff has done VBACs before. Make sure your OB has experience with it.
    • Make sure you OB is on-board and not just 'well if you insist' about it
    • Make sure your partner and birth coaches are on board. My mom and husband were in the room and they helped me immeasurably. Their support and advocacy for me absolutely made my VBAC attempt successful.
    • Avoid unnecessary medical intervention - If you can, try to avoid any intravenous fluids. Any added medical intervention will increase the chances of a C/S (it obviously doesn't guarantee it, I had a successful VBAC with an Epi, fluids, monitors, little bit of pitocin, some anti-nausea meds, etc). However, the deeper into the labor you let your body get without intervention, the higher your chances of success.
    • Link up with your local ICAN chapter for recommendations on hospitals, doulas, etc
    • HAVE YOUR BACK-UP PLAN: A family friendly C/S--ensure your hospital has this... its as close to a vaginal delivery as you can get with immediate skin to skin and nursing. We made sure that in the event I did end up with a C/S, it would be the 'kindler, gentler' event than my first. [Obviously, emergencies arise, so acknowledge that may happen too.]

    *Based on my personal experience... this is not medical advice.... Hopefully it goes without saying, but talk to your doctor..



    DS: EDD, December 19th, 2014. Born, December 19th, 2014!
    DD: EDD, July 18th, 2016. Born, July 19th, 2016!
    CafeMom Tickers

    Baby #3: EDD, April 16th, 2016
    Pregnancy Ticker
    itsrandiyo
  • ladythrice  Thank you for sharing your stories and success and all the information. It is super helpful. I am sorry about your first birth being so hard for you and remembered as a bad experience. I know that is hard.

    Can you go into more detail on how long your labor was/how you went into labor with your first VBAC?

  • Sure @itsrandiyo !

    DD Delivery: [New OB Office, new hospital] Labor started naturally at work. I labored at work until I realized my contractions were timeable (I had been having contractions for weeks). I went home, labored at home until the wee hours of the morning, showed up at the hospital and was only a 3 (/cry). The on-call OB came in and told me to get an epi, I refused (I was terrified of stalling labor like what happened with DS) and kept ball sitting and bath/spa sitting until the doc came back and told me that he promised my labor wouldn't stall, I had continually had contractions for for over 15 hours, he said the train wasn't about to stop. So I got my epi. Glorious. Labor progressed, albeit S L O W L Y (scar tissue on my cervix slowed progression). After about 27 hours of labor my doc said we might call it and go with a C/S if I didn't progress past 5 cm. Honestly, at that point, I was fine with it. I was like, WTF, I gave it my all, lets get this over with. Half an hour after that, my epi stopped working and my body flew to a 9 and the next thing I know it was time to push. I actually told them I changed my mind and I wanted a C/S (lolz...), they laughed at me and told me it was too late. Out came my baby girl and holy balls I've never felt more powerful in my life.

    Post partum was 19882347598734871928374 times easier guys. SO MUCH EASIER. Milk came in faster, the oxytocin high was real, my post-partum baby blues were nothing compared to the first time.

    I hope this delivery is the same: labor at home as long as I can stand it, show up and get my epi, deliver a healthy baby.


    DS: EDD, December 19th, 2014. Born, December 19th, 2014!
    DD: EDD, July 18th, 2016. Born, July 19th, 2016!
    CafeMom Tickers

    Baby #3: EDD, April 16th, 2016
    Pregnancy Ticker
    dirtybootsitsrandiyopeppersmith22
  • ladythrice that is so encouraging. Do you think this time you will still get an epi? If so right away, or wait?

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