To vbac or not to vbac…

…that is the question.

Can’t believe I am bastardising Shakespeare to come up with this blog post title. How wrong of me!

I am in a bit of a quandary. My due date for cupcake’s arrival is exactly a week away and I am starting to have doubts about my birth options.

With my 1st pregnancy I had planned a water birth and to be as natural as possible. I was, however, open to all possibilities so wasn’t disappointed or anything when it went the way it did. In the end, Munchkin went 12 days overdue and I had to be induced. I then went through a 32 hour labour, had an epidural at about 24 hours in and then following 2 failed ventouse attempts, had to have an emergency c-section. Couldn’t really have been further from my original idea!

Second time round, my options are a bit reduced. There is a small risk (0.2%) that if I have a VBAC (vaginal birth after c-section) that my scar could rupture which is pretty dangerous. This risk to me seems pretty small and the statistic at my hospital for people having a successful VBAC is about 75% which I think sounds good.  All the way through this pregnancy I have been firmly in the camp of trying the VBAC option.

This decision has been driven from how hard I found it to recover from the c-section the last time. I spent 5 days in hospital after the birth, unable to really move or pick up Munchkin. Movement was pretty painful for a good amount of time afterwards and the idea of going through that again with a baby plus a very active toddler is not appealing. I want to be able to go home as soon as I can so I am not away from the Munchkin for too long and also don’t want to feel like I have to push him away so he doesn’t hurt me.

However, I had an appointment with my consultant yesterday to discuss my options. Essentially, they will still let me go past my due date but if I have to be induced again then the risk of the scar rupturing goes up to 2%. Again, didn’t seem that bad to me until my husband said that was 1 in 50 people which makes it sound worse.  The consultant said that I could decide if I wanted to book in for a planned c-section.

My worry is this: I’ve never really understood why I wasn’t able to give birth normally the last time. I told him this and he said that someone should have discussed the last birth with me (thanks for telling me this now). If the baby was in the wrong position there is nothing to say that I couldn’t give birth naturally this time. However, if it was just because Munchkin was big (he was 9lbs 4 oz/4.3kg) and this baby is shaping up to be big then maybe I am not set up to have big babies. If the latter is true then to me it would make more sense to have the c-section rather than go through a really long labour that would end in a c-section anyway.

I am booked in for another appointment next week where they will look at my previous notes and we can discuss options.

Really….I wish the baby would just come of its own accord and I wouldn’t have to make the decision!

Wondering if anyone out there has been in a similar situation or just your thoughts.



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4 Responses to To vbac or not to vbac…

  1. Suzanne says:

    I don’t know if this is helpful AT ALL, but I actually have a friend who’s uterus ruptured during her attempted VBAC. IF YOU WANT you can read her post about it here: (not so spoiler alert – she and the baby are both totally fine). In the post she expresses some regret but I know that now she’s glad she at least tried, although she’s on board with c-sections for any future babies.

    I think you can probably put off making the decision until you HAVE to, right? Maybe the baby WILL come on its own and then you can just see how labor goes. Either way, I am sending you lots and lots of pleasant, easy labor and recovery thought xoxo

    • londonmum says:

      Thanks Suzanne. I did read the post and while it is a bit freaky she seems very balanced about the whole thing. I am definitely going to put off the decision for at least another week and see how things are going at my due date. Fingers crossed cupcake takes the matter into her own little hands and pops out in a hour or so ;-). Thanks for the nice thoughts too, I appreciate it. x

  2. Kelly says:

    Hey London Mum, a dilemma huh? Every woman, every baby and every birth is different, but here’s my story for what it’s worth. I’ve experienced both deliveries and have very positive memories of each of them. During my first I had a great labour, everything was going all fine and dandy and then the little monkey got stuck. I had a episiotomy (sp?) which then developed into a third degree tear, and a ventouse delivery. My daughter was 8lbs 8oz so on the bigger than average side. Despite making a speedy recovery, I have to say I am still suffering from problems ‘down there’ 3 years on. 😦 This, however, is not particularly common and I have been told it’s a ‘pyschological problem that manifests itself physically’. I buried my head in the sand with my second in regards to having to give birth again. In the end I went over and on induction they discovered he was breach. I had a C-section – thank God he was 10lbs 7! Luckily ( unlike you it sounds) I again made a speedy recovery and was out and about within a week. Maybe it was because my C-section was planned and yours was emergency? Anyway, if I did go on to have a third, based on the fact that I seem to produce huge babies ( I’m a size 8) and the problems I had with my vaginal delivery I would definitely go with the C-section. I wish you the very best of luck with your decision and the birth, send me a message if you want to chat more. Look forward to hearing your exciting news very soon x Oh by the way I have been subscribing to your posts for a couple of weeks and I think your blog is great, check mine out if you get a chance 😉

    • londonmum says:

      Thank you so much for taking the time to reply. Sounds like you had it not easy either time and it’s good to hear perspective on both. Big babies are a bit more difficult aren’t they? I am glad to hear despite not very straightforward births you saying that you have positive memories of both. Sorry to hear you are still having trouble so far down the line though. I have a friend with a similar psychological problem so can sympathise. Thanks for your best wishes and it’s lovely to hear you are enjoying my blog. I will definitely check out yours too. x

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