Thursday, December 6, 2007

I Want a VBAC

I know that it's weird because I'm not pregnant and I'm not even trying to conceive baby #2, but I have been thinking A LOT about having a VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean) lately. The weeks and months after Brookie was born I had a lot of sadness and frustration over the method in which she was delivered. I am confessing right now that though I don't cry about it or feel depressed over it anymore, I still really, really wish that I could have delivered Brooke the NORMAL way. The first thing I asked the midwife after they took Brooke away from me was "Can I have a vaginally delivery next time?" That desire hasn't lessened one bit from that point on.

A C-Section just sounds so easy to me! People hear that I had one and they don't know that I spent 20+ hours enduring a drug-free labor. I worked so hard to handle the pain naturally and it would have been so amazing to deliver without any medical interventions.

Every time that I watch A Baby Story and see women deliver naturally, I have to admit that I'm a little jealous. The thought of having your baby delivered and then put immediately on your chest... all mucousy and bloody... just enthralls me. When you have a c-section, your baby is quickly taken from you. There were nurses who got to hold my precious daughter before I did and that thought still kills me. When Brooke was still a newborn, I used to irrationally have the thought that she didn't feel connected to me because I didn't hold her first. I know now that that's not the case, but it really took me some time to forgive myself for that. I kept thinking that if I had pushed harder or longer or that if I had done something else different then she could have come out vaginally.

Most people in my life think that my desire for this is so crazy and they simply don't understand why a vaginal delivery is so important to me. It just feels like part of my womanhood is compromised because I can't deliver a baby. For some odd reasons it kills me. Honestly, though, I feel really guilty for feeling "bad" about having a C-Section. I know that I have a beautiful, healthy, amazing baby and that there are women out there that would kill to have a baby... No matter what it took. Even though I have come to grips with that and I'm not sad anymore, I still don't think that it's wrong for me to have the desire to try for a VBAC next time around.

The doctor who delivered Brooke told me that I shouldn't ever try to deliver vaginally. He said that Brooke wasn't all that big of a baby and if my pelvis was big enough then I wouldn't have had any trouble delivering her. You would never know that I didn't have a big pelvis by the look of my hips! I used to laugh and call them "childbearing hips." HA! Anyways, I know that he's a medical professional with many years of schooling, but is that his educated GUESS or is this a FACT? I just don't know.

The thought of simply scheduling C-Sections for my future kids sounds horrible to me. I will never have the opportunity to labor for them. That's robbery because being in labor is an act of love. It's something so amazing and empowering that you do to bring your baby into this world. It doesn't even sound exciting to have a date and a time where you go into the hospital and get sliced open. Half the fun of Brooke's birth was the uncertainty of it all and not knowing when she would arrive.

Another main reason that I really want to try for a VBAC is because I missed precious moments of Brooke's first days because I was either doped up on pain killers or I was in too much pain. My recovery in the hospital was really rough because I refused to take any medication. I was sick of feeling like a space cadet so I told them I wouldn't take any more. Long story short, I ended up getting really bad blood clots and having excessive bleeding. My point is that I shouldn't have had to sacrifice time with Brooke for my recovery. SHE was what mattered and if I had had a vaginal delivery I wouldn't have had to be on such nasty medications. I can only imagine having a new baby AND Brooke and trying to manage a C-Section recovery. No thank you.. I'll try for a VBAC.

I've also been doing research and I've found that 40-60 percent of VBAC's are successful! Women that succeed at VBAC's are usually women that had scheduled C-Sections due to their baby being breach or whatever the cause may be. Those who have had C-Sections for the reason I did aren't too likely to deliver vaginally in the future. I still have hope though!

John doesn't think that trying for a VBAC is wise, either. He says that if I'm putting my life at risk (because there's an ever-so-small risk of a life threatening uterine rupture) then it's selfish of me to try. I tend to disagree because having major surgery like a C-Section is also putting my life at risk. Either way you slice it there's still risk involved!

I hope that this post didn't seem like a pity part. I promise that I'm definitely NOT feeling sorry for myself. I have so much to be thankful for! I'm just really eager to know what it feels like to deliver a baby vaginally because it's something that's very important to me. However, I am willing to accept that if I can never have a VBAC then it's OK. Brooke isn't any less special because she was delivered via C-Section and my future kids won't be either.


Kara said...

I completely understand how you feel, I felt the same after my first son was born by c/s. I had labored for 20 hrs and pushed for 2 and he hadn't budged, so I was labeled CPD and wheeled off to surgery. I had a "normal" recovery, but I still hated the pain, crying because it hurt to do anything. I was told that I had less than 20% chance of a successful vbac because I hadn't been able to push my son out, but that didn't stop me and I did go on to have my second son by vbac, unmedicated, and it was wonderful! I really hope that you can vbac in the future. Have you checked out for a lot of great info?

rccalyn said...

You definitely should try! It seems to me that in the "Doctor's world" VBACs are considered bad, but with midwives, and the more natural side of things, it's perfectly normal and expected. It's kind of weird how doctors these days think of having a baby as something so medical, when it really is something so natural that people have been doing forever! I really hope you get to try a VBAC!