Am I setting myself up for another c-section? — The Bump
VBAC

Am I setting myself up for another c-section?

I went to a birth trauma workshop last week and it brought up a lot of memories from my son's birth.

While I have a very pro-VBAC midwife with an extremely high success rate, I feel like talking to her about trying to make accommodations for me if I do end up needing a c-section. The things I'd like are to not have my arms strapped down, and if the baby's apgars are high (my sons were 9 and 9), I'd like him on my chest and not in the other room while they stitch me up.  Those two things (arms strapped and the separation) were the most traumatic part of the c-section for me.

I'm worried that in some way I will be undermining my chances of having a VBAC if I do this, though.  I feel like if I make a fuss about this and she agrees to these terms (unlikely, but worth a shot), I'm setting myself up to be ok with a c-section.  Am I crazy? Someone set me straight. :-)

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Re: Am I setting myself up for another c-section?

  • I don't know about it ruining your chances for a VBAC but during my c/s my OB agreed to those terms. My arms were not strapped down and the baby never left my side in the OR or recovery room.


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  • If your MW gives you a hard time about this, I'd find a new MW.  Even though you don't want a RCS, it is a possiblity, and you should be prepared. If you do need one, making these preparations will make you more comfortable with that scenario, but by no means means you are settling. I bet most of the women on this board went into their labor with a RCS birth plan along with their VBAC birth plan.  Your MW should be accepting that you are preparing for all outcomes. 

    And it's not up to your MW to agree to your RCS terms.  She won't be performing it, an OB will, and he or she would be the one to agree. 

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  • I don't think you're crazy at all.  I'm ALL about positive thinking and the power of the mind, but at the same time you have to recognize that there is still a possibility that you will have another C/S even if you do everything "right".  It could just happen.  I'm planning to write up a C/S birth plan in the event that I do have to have another C/S.  To me, being honest with myself about the fact that it's a possibility doesn't undermine my positive thoughts about a successful VBAC.  I think it's just smart to do so that your preferences are known.

    GL!

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  • My super supportive, encouraging, and positive doula suggested that I still write briefly in my birth preferences (birth plan) about what I would like in the event of a c-section, which I then discussed with my doctor.  I think it was actually good for me to get it out of the way, so that I'm not worried in the back of my mind about needing a c-section and not having said what I would like.  I totally understand where you are coming from, I was that person!, but I don't think you are thinking negatively or jinxing yourself.  Only being prepared!
  • For my second, I wrote up a c/s birth plan and talked about what would happen if I needed one with my doula/doctor.  So no, I don't think you are setting yourself up.  I think what you are doing is smart. 
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  • I understand what you're saying.  I refused to believe a c/s was a possibility.  So, I didn't even want to think or talk about it.  I figured I would cross that bridge when I got there.  The two things you're hoping for could be easily communicated just prior to a surgery.  So, you can give DH a piece of paper to have in his pocket, just in case.
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  • I think it is a positive thing to write out your birth plan so even if things do not end up the way that was intended you are still in full control.

    I am very confident in my self in order to VBAC but I am also a very realistic person to not expect that there is a possibility, no matter how small that is, to not end up sectioned again.  I was put under for my cesarean with DS so having a family centered or natural cesarean isn't an option in my mind so I want to make sure that it will happen if that is the route that is needed.
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  • I'm sorry your surgery was such a bad experience :-(

    They might not be able to put the baby on your chest (since they are working right there) but they should be able to have someone hold him/her right by your head. 

    I had a bad labor and recovery from labor, but my surgery went really well.  They didn't strap down my arms (I don't think - but I was pretty wobbly after 40 hours of labor and no sleep in 50 hours). They definitely gave her to DH immediately after swaddling and had him bring her to my head so that I could stare into her face while they stitched me up.  She was never away from me during the next five days of hospital stay except when they wheeled me down for my MRI. Usually she was right in my bed with me or right beside me in her little hospital bassinet thingy. 

  • It is always good to have a plan b. I had a similar discussion with my midwives.
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  • imagejaymiegerard:

    While I have a very pro-VBAC midwife with an extremely high success rate, I feel like talking to her about trying to make accommodations for me if I do end up needing a c-section....

    I'm worried that in some way I will be undermining my chances of having a VBAC if I do this, though.  I feel like if I make a fuss about this and she agrees to these terms (unlikely, but worth a shot), I'm setting myself up to be ok with a c-section.  Am I crazy? Someone set me straight. :-)

    I think it's just being realistic!

    Frankly, I never made a c/s birth plan when I was pregnant with my VBAC baby (though I knew I should have), bc I was so worried it would jinx me. So you're leaps and bounds ahead of where I was, ha ha...

     

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  • I discussed both birth plans with my OB around 32 weeks and it really helped my anxiety. Good luck!
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  • Thank you so much for your responses everyone.  I am definitely going to talk to my MW to see what we can arrange (she assists with the c-sections, actually, and stitched me up during my c-section with DS....she's in good with the surgeon).

    Big Smile

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  • Absolutely not! I did the same thing. I wanted to make sure if there was an emergency the csection would have no surprises. I did not want to have another horrible experience. Although the csection went flawless I had to beg to not have my hands tied down. My baby was whisked away with my husband while I was stitched up by myself. I was also not able to have my husband or baby with me in recovery. I was alone there too. I missed the first few hours of her life and I was not about to allow that to happen again.
    I switched practices to a vbac friendly one after interviewing several. I laid out a csection birth plan and a vbac birth plan. My dr who would have done the csection agreed to everything. Baby and husband never leave my side. I can hold and nurse my baby right away. No restraints. No additional meds with out consent.
    Luckily I didn't need that plan. I had a sucessful vbac. But I knew if anything went wrong I knew what to expect. I wouldn't have to fight there too. It is not setting yourself out to fail. I wish I did that with my first birth and then I wouldn't have such awful memories associated with my first babys birth.
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