From the moment I decided another baby was on the cards, I always knew VBAC would be my first choice. I had done some research, I wanted to educate myself so I could make informed choices about my birth. I was pretty sure that I would be a good candidate for VBAC. Finlay was an undiagnosed breech. There was no other complication with the labour. So as long as baby number 2 was not breech, a VBAC was entirely plausible. Although I know this is often not the case with those having previous sections having limited choices. With many women having to fight for Vaginal births.
I had a lot of anxieties as a result of Finlay’s birth, Things were missed and I ended up back and forth between home and hospital and was extremely poorly. Although the cesarean was not entirely to blame, I have associated it with the fear and trauma I went through. I am desperate to avoid it unless of cause it is ‘truly‘ the safest option. However, it’s almost impossible to know what’s ‘truly‘ the safest option when it comes to VBAC.
When Chris and I discovered baby number two was arriving, it was one of the first questions I asked. Could I go for VBAC? The booking in appointment was really positive. We discussed the options and VBAC was agreed. I would have an appointment with the consultant in a few weeks where things could be discussed further. I left feeling really good about the birth.
During the consultant’s visits, it was agreed that a VBAC birth was an option as long as the baby was not breech. We would be scanned at 37 weeks to check presentation, but I should plan for VBAC. However, I remember feeling that there was a lot of emphasis placed on the risks of rupture. I asked about monitoring and I was told I would have to have constant monitoring, along with a canula my heart began to drop.
I have done alot of research about VBACs about what can help make them successful. Constant Monitoring was not one of them. I really want to be free, to move about, to be upright. Monitoring may not allow that.
VBAC is too often associated with fear and risks. Ask anyone about VBAC and the first thing likely to come to mind is uterine Rupture. Why? Because this is highlighted time and time again. You can’t labour too long you may rupture, if you’re induced you may rupture, you must be monitored to check for rupture. Everything about a VBAC comes back to rupture.
So what is the risk? Figures in the UK are hard to come by but 0.5% appears to be the agreeable figure. However what they don’t tell you is this 0.5% figure includes all degrees of rupture. Not every rupture is life threatening. This figure includes those where the rupture is actually where the scar only just begins to fails. It hasn’t ripped or burst open, and not life threatening at this stage. Did you also know your uterus can even rupture if you have never had a section? This is also included in this figure. I am not playing down the seriousness of a full rupture, but the risk are so slim, why scare women so much? To put it into perspective I found this article written by Eileen Sullivan, where she puts the risks into perspective, here are just a few:
- you are more likely to suffer a rupture than to be struck and killed by lightning, by about 30 times.
- you are 2 times more likely to be murdered than die of a rupture.
- you are nearly 10 times more likely to cord prolapse than have a rupture.
- You’re about 17 times more likely to contract an STD this year than you are to have a uterine rupture.
- Follow here link above to read them all.
Although I feel there is some support for my VBAC choice, I feel I am being geared up to have another cesarean. Especially with the constant monitoring as if they are waiting for my scar to rupture. There is no evidence to suggest constant monitoring improves the outcome and in fact has shown it can increase the chance of having another cesarean. Why do I need a canula straight away? If VBACs should be treated like a normal labour, then why the need for all this? If the hospital is set up to deal with emergency C -sections during a natural labour, then why not treat the VBACs in the same way?
I haven’t even had the chance to talk about Induction. With Finlay, I was booked in as soon as I hit 40 weeks and I had gone in to be induced. I really want to avoid induction with the planned VBAC. I just don’t know if I am strong enough as a person to hold my ground., I have researched into hiring a Doula which I love the idea off. However, I just don’t have access to that kind of money. So, for now, it appears I will be going my VBAC journey alone. I feel that everything is against it being successful and that it really is just an impossible dream with all the clinical procedures that need to be followed. Who am I? Little me to fight against them?