VBAC after a really bad first labor? Is it worth trying? — The Bump
VBAC

VBAC after a really bad first labor? Is it worth trying?

I'm pregnant with number two.Labor with number one lasted 40 hours, it required pitocin for half that, my epidural failed, and it involved 3 hours of incredibly painful pushing (and constant charlie horse cramps in both legs). It caused nerve damage to my legs.  I couldn't walk without a walker for over a month. That meant if I needed to move anywhere and take the baby (even a diaper change), I had to crawl on my knees. You can imagine how fun that was with the c-section recovery also happening.

I'd love to have a successful VBAC, but, frankly, I can't do what I did last time. It was both physically and psychologically grueling. My body was certain I was going to die and that feeling stuck with me for months. It affected my parenting and would affect my first to see me like that now. 

Did anyone have a really awful first labor and a successful VBAC? Was it worth it?

Re: VBAC after a really bad first labor? Is it worth trying?

  • Wow, that was a traumatic first labor- I'm sorry you had to go through that.  All I cna say is that all labors are different.  I have a friend who actually lost use of her legs temporarily due to a mistake with the epi and couldn't walk for weeks.  She had to do physical therapy to regain full use.  She went on to have two more babies vaginally without any issue.

    My first labor was not good (though not nearly as bad as what you went through) and my second labor (VBAC) was textbook (minus the fact that I had to be induced). 

    What does your doctor think?  Good luck with your decision!

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  • imageMAprincess:
    I have a friend who actually lost use of her legs temporarily due to a mistake with the epi and couldn't walk for weeks.  She had to do physical therapy to regain full use.  She went on to have two more babies vaginally without any issue.
    That is really encouraging. I had about two months of physical therapy to walk properly again.  I guess the only difference is that my nerve damage was the result of the pushing, not the epi. Through those three hours of pushing the baby never moved.  Apparently, instead of contracting on her properly, it was contracting on my nerves.  I wonder if there is something wrong with my wiring and the next labor would trigger the same thing or if it was specific to her positioning. She was twisted around, head pushed back from her body, cord around the neck three times. If the pushing had been successful, she would have likely crashed and it would have been a more rushed emergency c-section.

    My OB wasn't there because she was out having her own kid.  When she saw me afterwards she said "there is no reason you can't try for a VBAC next time." but that was based on the chart - not seeing the labor itself.  

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  • I didn't have a good experience the first time (looong labor, multiple failed epidurals, ongoing problems with baby's heartrate that left me laboring in really uncomfortable positions, etc.), but I'm happy to try it again because I know that not every labor is the same and I'm optimistic about a better experience this time for a few reasons.

    However, my experience obviously wasn't quite as traumatic as yours.  I would definitely discuss your experience more in depth with your care provider to find out what they think caused the nerve damage and if this is something that could or is likely to happen again, etc.  I've honestly never heard of something like this so I don't know what even to suggest as far as cause and whether to be scared of it happening again.

    GL!

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