those who have had VBAC — The Bump
VBAC

those who have had VBAC

I need some guidance from those who have been through both experiences.

If I have another C Section the second time around, am I really missing out by not expeirencing a vaginal birth ? For those of you who had both a C and a VBAC, was the experience itself that much more fulfilling? OR, is it just the recovery that was so much easier?

Re: those who have had VBAC

  • I think how fulfilling it is depends on what you want from it, and probably also how your c/s went. I felt my c/s was necessary, so I didn't feel like I was robbed of something I "should" have had. I was also never separated from my daughter. I can completely understand why someone who feels coerced into a c/s and/or who didn't see their child for hours afterwards would find a VBAC a lot more fulfilling than an RCS, but that didn't apply to me.

    I had two reasons for wanting a VBAC. 1) the recovery time, particularly with having a toddler around, 2) in most cases, it's healthier for both mom and baby. If at any time it was apparent or very likely that it would NOT be healthier, then that would take precedence over getting a shorter recovery time.

    I wasn't expecting fulfillment through VBAC, and I wasn't hoping for a particular experience. I just wanted what was best for us. I was surprised when I did get emotional about it in the end, and I would say that yes, it was better and more fulfilling? BUT it didn't rock my world or anything. If I had needed a c/s, I'd have been ok with that. If I need a c/s in the future, I'll be ok with that too. But I really don't see the point in major abdominal surgery that's not necessary, and the recovery time really was THAT much better. I was totally blown away by how great I felt, physically, after my VBAC. 

  • I think the fulfillment part has a lot to do with your feelings about your c/s. If it didn't bother you, then there's nothing left to fulfill is there? But I was one of those who felt my c/s was unnecessary (and 2 OBs who have seen my records agree), and I didn't get to hold DD for 5 hours, so yeah, I felt "robbed" of the experience I wanted.

    I knew that having a vbac wasn't a guarantee, so I did what I could to make sure my birth experience was better no matter what - different hospital with better post-c/s procedures, different OB of course. And I felt a little bit happy each time I met a milestone that I hadn't done before - go into labor on my own, dilate a bit further, be in labor a bit longer, get to the pushing stage, etc.

    But yeah, the recovery itself was AMAZING. I had 2nd degree tearing and it was a breeze compared to the c/s. And I don't have any c/s horror stories, I think my c/s recovery was pretty typical.

    - Jena
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    I think how fulfilling it is depends on what you want from it, and probably also how your c/s went. I felt my c/s was necessary, so I didn't feel like I was robbed of something I "should" have had. I was also never separated from my daughter. I can completely understand why someone who feels coerced into a c/s and/or who didn't see their child for hours afterwards would find a VBAC a lot more fulfilling than an RCS, but that didn't apply to me.

    I had two reasons for wanting a VBAC. 1) the recovery time, particularly with having a toddler around, 2) in most cases, it's healthier for both mom and baby. If at any time it was apparent or very likely that it would NOT be healthier, then that would take precedence over getting a shorter recovery time.

    I wasn't expecting fulfillment through VBAC, and I wasn't hoping for a particular experience. I just wanted what was best for us. I was surprised when I did get emotional about it in the end, and I would say that yes, it was better and more fulfilling? BUT it didn't rock my world or anything. If I had needed a c/s, I'd have been ok with that. If I need a c/s in the future, I'll be ok with that too. But I really don't see the point in major abdominal surgery that's not necessary, and the recovery time really was THAT much better. I was totally blown away by how great I felt, physically, after my VBAC. 

     

    This is exaclty how I feel about wanting a VBAC this time around! Just had to comment on this! I havent (yet) seen anyone else state it like that, and I've had a hard time putting it into words myself. While my c/s was necessary, and the c/s itself went fine, I contracted complications afterward, and my chances of having this problem again while not definite, are high. But mostly, I feel a VBAC is better for baby and I both, as long as this LO cooperates and stays in an appropriate position! =) 

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  • I agree that it is a personal thing.  For me, it was definitely a different experience and thus more fulfilling.  I think I would have had a hard time if I did not successfully VBAC but I would have gotten over it.  My recovery was SOOOOO much easier with the VBAC.  I also think my experience was different than someone who only had vaginal births and never had a CS. 

    That said, I had mentally prepared myself for my VBAC not going as planned and ending in a repeat CS.  I don't think you are going to be missing out on something if you do a repeat CS unless YOU think you are.  Only you can really answer that.  For me, the answer was yes.  I had such a great VBAC experience that I can't imagine it any other way.

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  • I'd planned for a med-free birth with my DD and was really bummed when I found out she was breech and that I'd need a c/s.  I had the easiest c-section and overall it was a good experience but for me I felt like I missed out because I never even felt a single contraction, wasn't the first person to hold my baby, etc.  Other women would say things like "trust me, you should be GLAD you never felt labor," but I wasn't.  Labor and birth seemed like a rite of passage and I wanted to experience it. 

     My VBAC was very fulfilling.  My recovery was amazingly easier and I loved that I felt like myself right away, was up and around, etc.  I almost collapsed in pain as I made my way back to bed after my first time up post-c/s but with my DS I walked myself to the bathroom 30 minutes after he was born.  Also I don't know if it was from the sense of accomplishment, the hormones or what but felt that love high that you hear about for a solid 2 or 3 days.

  • I really felt like I was missing out on "birth" by having a scheduled c/s.  That is not to say that people who have only c/s or don't go into labor on their own or something aren't experiencing birth, but to me, I felt like I was missing out.

    My VBAC was incredibly fufilling for me.  I thought it would heal a lot of the pain from my c/s and it didn't (if anything it made it a little worse because now I know what I didn't give DS) but it didn't compound it either.

    The recovery was a million times easier though Smile

    For me, VBAC is the way to go, but I don't think it is that way for everyone.  I think you have to weigh the pros and cons and risks and benefits to both a ERCS and a VBAC and see which feels more right to you.

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  • I can't even compare the recoveries, with the VBAC I didn't even take tylenol after wards unlike the heavy meds I had after the c-section.

    My c-section was after laboring for 15 hours and it was unexpected. I blamed myself for a long time, thinking that I could have had a regular birth if I just "sucked it up and handled med-free child birth".  The docs told me DS was caught in the cord so he wouldn't have descended enough but I still didn't believe them.My strong reaction to the epi makes me think it was part of the issue.

    From the moment I had them say I was "going to join the zipper club" (yes, that's honestly how the doc broke the news about needing the c-section) I was looking forward to a VBAC.  Getting the chance this time honestly was life changing for me.  It was about taking control over my own body, laboring without meds and beliving in myself. I knew in the back of my mind that a c-section was possible, but once I got to the hospital I just focused and it didn't come up again.  I had 2 goals, 1. to experience labor without drugs and 2. to push my child out of my body the way she was meant to be born (sounds weird but it was the most empowering feeling to actually do for me)

    If I hadn't been successful I think I would have been depressed about it, but it would have gone away faster knowing that I did everything I knew how to do to avoid one. 

    Overall, the VBAC was "life changing" for me.  Not that it makes me love my DD more than my DS or anything, but it was a goal I had wanted to achieve for a long time and I was able to one of the less than 10% of pregnant women who get to experience it.  My husband calls me the "Amazon" lol after watching me go through it all.  It at least makes me smile to know he was impressed :)

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