VBAC vs. Repeated C-Sec

So, we’re coming up on 36 weeks now and we have a decision to make.  Vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC) or have a scheduled repeated c-section.  I have never been one of those women who were hell bent on having a baby come out of my hoo-haw.  I figure, whatever is safest for me and baby, that’s what I want to do.  And I always just sort of assumed that a VBAC carries more risk, just from knowing how careful doctors and hospitals are about it and talking to friends and family.  It always seemed like the stars had to align in order for a doctor to be OK with doing a VBAC.  While at this point in the game a VBAC is slightly riskier, repeat c-sections for multiple pregnancies carries even higher risk, and I want more babies!  Well, at least one more.  Or, at least that’s what I’m telling myself right now.  And the reason we have to decide what we want to do, or try to do, right now is because of the cerclage.  If we want to have a scheduled c-section, they keep the cerclage in place and just remove it when they do the c-sec.  Makes sense, extra support to keep the baby in until go-time.  If we want to do the VBAC, they remove the cerclage now, and wait and see what happens.  If we opt to have the cerclage removed, there is still a chance that my body just doesn’t want to have a vaginal birth, although I have this weird fear that the second they remove the stitch, this baby is going to fall out.

Anyway, doing my best Rory Gilmore, I’ve decided to create a pro/con list:

VBAC PROS:

  • Better option if we’re planning on having more kids.  The doc actually said we should consider this if we’re planning on having “several” more kids.  J just shook his head no when the word “several” came up.  Haha. (see C-SECTION CONS below)
  • Easier recovery, or so I hear.  And with an easier recovery  comes the better chance that I may be able to play volleyball right away and not have to miss any games! (My favorite adult rec league sport me and some friends play.  I usually captain when I can, but registrations are now and I feel I’m a little too pre-occupied to take care of it.  I had to miss it the year I was pregnant with Baby Groot.  It was a very sad time.  Season starts mid-end of March)

VBAC CONS:

  • Small risk of uterine rupture.  I guess there’s a chance that the scar from the previous cesarean can rip open.  I have this very horror movie-esque type scenario in my head of what it would be like, blood everywhere kind of thing.  I believe this is the reason why doctors are sometimes hesitant to do it, but I should add that some c-section incisions are more favorable than others to do a VBAC.  I happen to have the favorable one, which is assuring.
  • I may not even be able to push the baby out anyway.  According to the ultrasound, this baby is currently the same size Baby Groot was when he was born (and we’re only at 36 weeks!)  Baby Drogon is measuring “average” but turns out I’m not “average” size (I’m a bit smaller if you don’t know me) so, can a below average size person push an average size baby out of her??  Who knows.
  • Cerclage stays in.  The only reason this is a con is because I have this fear that I will go into labor and  baby will try its darnedest to come out and in turn, everything will be all ripped and torn because that stitch ain’t going anywhere.  I’m not sure what the chances of this actually happening are, but it’s still scary.
  • From what I’ve seen on other mommy blogs, this one is probably actually a deterrent for many parents, but with a vaginal delivery, you’re not in the hospital as long.  J and I loved being in the hospital.  We loved all the help and sending the baby to the nursery when we needed some sleep.  We’ve got that baby for the rest of it’s life, the nurses can watch him for a few hours.
  • Less coverage from Short Term Disability.
  • There’s still a chance things wouldn’t work out and we would just have another cesarean anyway, which in itself is not a bad thing, but something could go wrong causing a rushed emergency c-section (blood pressure issues, cord wrapped around baby, etc.)  Since our first c-section was pretty chill (not planned, but no rush either), I do not know what this would be like and I don’t I really want to find out.

C-SECTION PROS:

  •  If planned, there will be no rush making it less likely that something bad would happen.
  • Cerclage stays in, helping keep baby stay in place (I know this was a CON for my other list, but it makes sense.)
  • Longer hospital stay (yay!)
  • More coverage from Short Term Disability

C-SECTION CONS:

  • It is a major invasive surgery where they cut you open and rip out a human straight from your loins.
  • Longer recovery time (and likely would have to miss the first couple volleyball games)
  • Like I mentioned earlier, with each c-section you have, the higher the risks are.  Since this would only be our second, it’s not really an issue right now, but I guess with each c-section you have, the scar tissue builds up and there’s a chance that the placenta can attach to said scar tissue.  Doc mentioned a patient who apparently had to have a hysterectomy when the baby came out because this happened.  Yikes!

 

So, there you have it.  Decisions decisions.  I’ll keep y’all updated on what we do.  Or maybe this baby will decide to come before we’ve even decided what we want to do.  We’ll just have to wait and see…

decision-racoon

Please comment if you’ve been in the same situation and had to decide what to do!

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3 thoughts on “VBAC vs. Repeated C-Sec

  1. So, I had three vaginal deliveries….. recovery was quick and that was awesome. I was working out within couple weeks with no restrictions. I have a couple friends who had vbacs and both liked it more 2nd time around. The one is very petite (taller than you but super narrow with no hips….that’s why she had the first section – dr said pelvis too small- so she found a new doctor for #2) But I have 2 close friends who each had 3 planned caesaereans and they both claim healing was so easy and the scheduling was amazing etcetcetc. They think I was crazy for pushing kids out my vag when they can be so easily removed via a relatively small scar. I was too stressed about having an epidural and major abdominal surgery. So there is No help for you here. Firmly adding 2 to your pro and 2 to your con list. 😂. Good luck!! Prayers for this little nugget to just fly on outta there in a few weeks. 💪🏻

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    • Wow, did you not have any drugs for deliveries?! I don’t think I could do it. The epidural thing supposed to be on my c-sec CON list actually, but I forgot. When I got the epidural the first time, I was pretty preoccupied with contractions to care too much. But if they’re going to shoot me in the back again with no distractions, especially if my husband can’t be there (much like they do when I get the cerclage put it), i don’t know if I want to do that. I should ask because I don’t know how they do the anesthetics for a scheduled c-sec.

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  2. Well I’ve done a c-section, an induced VBAC w/ epidural, and a 100% natural 2VBAC. If you can do it, vaginal birth is the way to go. Easier recovery – with my unmedicated birth I didn’t tear at all (even though pushing was terrifying). I always knew I wanted a VBAC if possible, but that stemmed from a traumatic c-section that I still believe was not needed. All I wanted was the chance of natural birth. If you are more ambivalant about it (which is totally fine) there are a lot of great perks of a planned c-section – maybe look into a “gentle c-section” which is more family centered. Good luck!

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