Monday, November 16, 2009

Get On Track, With a Successful VBAC!

By VBAC Mom, Sally H.

Get On Track, With a Successful VBAC

When I was approached to write a blog about my experience with a VBAC, I have to admit that I was little reluctant. I mean who wants to hear another story about VBACs? But when I starting to tell other women about my VBAC experience they encouraged me to share my story. You see, like me they wanted to try to have one, but unlike me, they were told they couldn’t. I couldn’t believe this. Even though the success rate of having a VBAC is 75%, many women are denied this either because her doctor does not want to risk the liability or her doctor or even her spouse is afraid of the possibility of her uterus rupturing. Sure, there are many risks with pregnancies and many risks with birth. In fact, death is a risk for both mother and baby any time when giving birth. In fact, according to ICAN, “the risk of fetal death among the 13,115 women attempting VBAC was 0.038 percent (5/13,115). Thus the risk of a baby dying in association with VBAC was 12 times lower than the risk of a baby dying from non-rupture-related causes.” So how do we change the tide and encourage our doctors, spouses and even the hospitals that VBACs are safe and they are worth the attempt?

When I was pregnant with my second child in 2005 I knew that I wanted a VBAC. My first delivery was a nightmare and my doctor explained that the need for the ‘emergency C-section” was eminent. I did not want to go through with the pain of another C-section again. I certainly did not want to miss the opportunity of giving birth naturally. I had read enough to know that I was not in the high risk group, however my biggest obstacle was getting my doctor to be in agreement with me. More importantly, I had to get my husband to be in agreement as well. We barely fight, but we fought over this for weeks. This is a serious decision to make. If there is not the support from your doctor or midwife, nor your spouse, then I suggest you get them to agree with you or find another doctor or hospital. I guess you cannot go out and find another husband, but there is so much supported evidence as to why VBAC are safer than repeat C-sections that he may oblige.

VBACs are safer for both mother and baby. VBAC is not major surgery, repeat C-sections are and who wants more surgery?

So, you have to get them to be in agreement with you. I was fortunate that I had my doctor’s approval. There were other doctors in this practice who were not with me and my VBAC but I explained that this is what I really wanted. They all agreed for me to go into labor naturally and when the time came to be in a birthing room next to the ER, you know just in case. I had my plan and the hospital made me sign a consent form which basically said that I knew of my risks of attempting a VBAC, but I am willing to take it anyway. It is so funny how even at the last minute the head nurses and the hospital were still asking me if this is what I wanted. I remember looking at them and saying through my grunts of labor, “don’t you think this is what my baby wants?” My first one was poked in the eye in utero, was drugged from the anesthesia and I did not get to hold nor see her for three hours after birth. I was not going to go through this again. Again, I had the support of my doctor and my doula who helped me through the worst part of my second child’s labor. I had to push through the old scary memories of the first birthing process and move through the second, natural one. To have everyone in that birthing room to be in agreement with me and to be on the right track, was part of my success. It all came down to that moment when I pushed her out and heard her cry. To be able to be there for the whole process was surreal and beautiful. I encourage anyone who is thinking about VBAC to go for it, but please make sure everyone supports your decision. Now, if I can only encourage my husband to go for a third, but this story I will keep for another day.

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