Birth Stories

"Failed" VBAC, perfect baby.

My first labor and delivery with Lucy was traumatic and regretful. I was induced at 41 weeks with no progress, labored for 40 hours and pushed for 3. After many drugs, a large episiotomy and 3 vacuum attempts, Lucy was born via emergency c-section.

When I got pregnant with Molly, my only wish was a VBAC. I spent hours upon hours preparing for it and we moved downstate at the end of my pregnancy, to deliver with midwives at a move mother and baby-friendly hospital.

I made perfect progress and was dilated to a good 4 and a half cm when they swept my membranes at almost 41 weeks. I went into labor almost immediately and was having steady, painful contractions every 2 minutes. I went in at midnight and labored until 5am when everything just stopped at 6 cm. Molly had floated up out of the birth canal and her heartbeat was right under my ribs. My midwife felt around and estimated her to be a bit smaller than we had originally thought. She said that I might have had a lot more amniotic fluid than is typical and that breaking my water would be too dangerous and would risk a cord accident, since she wasn't head down at all. As she felt around and did several internals, my midwife said that based on my trial of labr with Lucy and the fact that Molly's head couldn't engage properly, it seemed as if the top of my birth canal was presenting a bigger problem than we would have imagined. To save me from more physical and emotiona trauma, she suggested we spend awhile talking and possibly consider a repeat c-section, since we were already in the hospital and baby was unlikely to re-engage.

We talked about it for several hours and I remember going into the bathroom and crying and crying, feeling like such a failure. I had been envisioning my VBAC and preparing so hard, and this was what it had come to. I couldn't believe I was about to face the scalpel again and I felt like such a quitter.

Andrew sat me down and we rehashed Lucy's birth and tried to come to terms with everything. We eventually decided that a c-section was the way to go. The small details from there to the surgery aren't important, really. Molly was born about 24 hours after my natural labor stared. I'm proud of the fact that I labored for so long and made so much progress before the c-section, but I'm still coming to terms with a lot of it. Molly is just beautiful and she's been a model breastfeeder, so I think that makes up for it a little bit. I think that mentally I really needed that bond to form to help me past the fact that her birth wasn't what I envisioned at all. My recovery was picture perfect and faster than Lucy's, and it looks like #3 will be a section as well, when the time comes. Molly has fit into our family perfectly and her big sister loves her. Regardless of delivering via section, her birth was still emotional, thrilling and beyond compare. It really doesn't matter how you deliver. Everyone sobs when they hear that first cry. Smile

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Re: "Failed" VBAC, perfect baby.

  • What a beautiful story! I will be attempting a VBAC in September, and although I hope it goes well, it's nice to be reminded that the important thing is the baby- not how the baby got here.


  • Congratulations on your beautiful girl!  I'm sorry you didn't get the delivery you wanted.  Take care of yourself.

    Big sister {September 2008} Sweet boy {April 2011} Fuzzy Bundle {ETA July 2014}

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  • Congratulations! I'm sorry that things didn't work out how you hoped, that must have been really difficult. I'm glad that everyone is happy and healthy though, and you're right, being a model breastfeeder has to partially make up for it at least :)
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  • Congratulations on the birth of your daughter. I am sorry the VBAC didn't work out but you have a healthy baby and that is what counts. I am also tryiing for a VBAC in June but I am more open to the fact that a c-section may happen. You tried and that is what counts!!! Congratulations again, and enjoy your new family!!
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  • Congratulations on a healthy baby!
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  • The perfect baby is ALL that matters.  Enjoy!

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  • Congrats!!  Thanks for reminding us that it's a healthy baby that really matters.  Way too many people put the focus on method of delivery rather than the REALLY important stuff.  GL!
  • Your babies are beautiful!  My DS was/is a model BFer and it has made everything so much easier.  I was worried about BFing, especially when I found out I was going to have a c sec but he was great.
    Nathan Thomas, C-section (frank breech), September 22, 2008 Maren Anne, VBAC, April 6, 2010 Lilypie Fourth Birthday tickers Lilypie Third Birthday tickers
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