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Labor of Love: My Vaginal Birth After a Cesarean Section (VBAC)

Editor’s Note:  This VBAC birth story is from guest writer Heather Garvet. Heather blogs at A Mama’s Blog, where she has written other posts on C-sections, VBACs, breastfeeding, pregnancy, and birth issues, as well as her two boys.

I had a C-section with the birth of my first son, Ryan, in 2004, only because he was a breech baby, and refused to turn.  I wasn’t very informed on other alternatives for turning breech babies at the time, other than the external version, and accepted having a C-section was the only way to give birth to my baby.

I was thrilled of course, to have my new baby after the C-section.  The hospital was very baby friendly and I was “allowed” to nurse Ryan while I was in the recovery room.  As soon as I was out of recovery though, the problems started for me.  I had a bad reaction to the anesthesia, and stared vomiting.  That was the worse pain I have ever experienced.  The nurses were trying to get me out of bed to walk around, but I was too weak, vomiting, and almost fainted every time I sat up.  That evening, I started itching like crazy- another reaction to pain medication.  On top of that, the pain from the C-section was intense as well.

Without going into all the other details, my recovery from the C-section was very long.  After twelve weeks post-partum, I was still sore and having pain occasionally.  I had a sixteen week maternity leave, and it killed me that most of my leave was spent recovering from the C-section.

After having such a negative experience from the surgery, I decided with our next baby, I was going to have a vaginal birth, or VBAC for short.  I started researching everything I could about VBAC’s, and found out that in most cases, VBAC’s are very safe for the majority of women.  I was troubled to learn though, that the majority of hospitals and doctors don’t “allow” VBAC’s, because of the small chance of uterine rupture.

What never was said though, that just being pregnant again increases the chances for uterine rupture after a C-section, because of the baby growing and stretching the uterus.  However, the chances  for uterine rupture was 0.05% higher than having a repeat C-section.  I was still convinced I was going to have a VBAC. [Read more…]