What if I said that's normal. It's okay to feel scared about the decision you've just made. Especially when you're told, you will have a rupture, and you're putting your baby at risk.
I was scared and feeling anxious; and do you know over 80% of women feel like you do right now? Not knowing what will happen during childbirth; not being fully in control of your birth, having no support or not enough support, receiving negativity from family and friends, or your care providers are all tenants to make you feel this way. What was your caesarean experience like? If your caesarean was unjustified, justified or you have unanswered questions, this could make you feel anxious too. Not to mention, feeling let down and worthless.
But not all women feel this way. Some women are fine with their experience.
What I noticed on my VBAC, VBA2C X2 journey, there weren't many people supporting my choice to birth naturally after two caesareans. I had to be a support network for myself at all times. I had to know what I wanted from my birth and I had to fight for it...
I met three types of people during my journey.
1. Group one- didn't know what I was on about when I spoke about having a VBAC birth, so I found myself explaining to them what a VBAC is, and how hard sometimes it is to have one due to no or very little support. When I spoke of hospital bans, I got that look like is this really true?
2. The second group I met were mortified upon hearing I was choosing to birth naturally after two previous c-sections and was very convinced my scar would rupture, and my baby and I were in great danger. This group of people made me feel depressed, lonely and confused every time we knocked heads. I chose to stay away from these types of people because they only made me doubt myself and my bodies ability to be powerful and birth the way it was designed to.
3. Group three were very interesting and I found myself gravitate closer to them. Group three were moved by my confidence and in fact, they supported my choice and rights to birth vaginally, after two surgical births. Either way, I felt as though I was stuck between a rock and a hard place (My wish for a VBAC and the thought of me making a wrong choice potentially ending in a catastrophic outcome for my unborn child and me.) They empowered me and gave reminded me why I was having a natural birth and that it's ok to change my mind. Nonetheless, they reminded me that it was my decision and no one can make it for me.
Many nights I would sit in the dark, thinking about changing my mind, even though I knew it wasn't an option. I gradually became depressed and unhinged, and this got worse after every midwife appointment.
All I heard was "NO; we cant support your VBAC".
"No, you cant birth at this hospital if you choose a VBAC".
I was given a letter after my 2nd caesarean stating I cannot birth in the hospital should I ever decide to get pregnant again. I felt like I was a failure and that I had failed my babies and my body.
The internet has become such a big part of everyone's lives, and I can honestly say I spent so much time researching VBAC success rates, VBAC stories and I got more negative stories and articles as opposed to positive, evidence-based facts.
Planned VBAC is appropriate for and may be offered to the majority of women with a singleton pregnancy of cephalic presentation at 37+0 weeks or beyond who have had a single previous lower segment caesarean delivery, with or without a history of previous vaginal birth.
This made me feel as though I had hope and that perhaps if I was lucky, I just might be that percentage of women who have a VBAC. A safe VBAC.
One reason I found myself having the line of interventions was down to going past my due date. As soon as my due date started to approach, my midwife would say we are booking you down for an induction. I even had a sweep at 35 weeks pregnancy,my waters broke, no contractions and I ended up being induced and having yet again, another C-section.
“Waiting for the birth of a child is an exciting and anxious time. Most women give birth between 38 and 42 weeks of pregnancy. But very few babies are born on their due dates. It is normal to give birth as much as 3 weeks before or 2 weeks after your due date.” Read
Many women are anxious during childbirth, whether they've had a caesarean birth or not. It's a normal emotion. I found myself finding evidence that I could have a VBAC but only if I had only one previous caesarean. The hospital I attended actually had this view. They would not support my VBAC, Should I decide to attempt a VBAC. By this time I had two previous caesareans and I was contemplating birthing at home. I didn't want to put me or my baby at risk, but I did believe I could birth my baby naturally and in fact, I truly felt I was failed by the hospitals and by the midwives and even consultants who had seen me.
The success rate rises to 85-90%, if the woman has had a previous successful vaginal birth.
Fortunately, I didn't give up hope., I continued to search the internet and I found supporting evidence which showed me,
Not only can I have a VBA2C, But I had a blinking good chance of a successful VBAC after 2 previous caesareans.
After two or more CS births, the rate of success remains high at 71%.
It's quite an anxious times for VBAC mothers, especially when you research VBAC success and end up reading mum should be on continuous fetal monitoring etc...
It makes me so angry that there is more of the scary advice online as opposed to advice that encourages, strengthens and motivates mothers to try for a VBAC if their pregnancy is straight forwards and they don't have any problems that show eminent danger to her and her baby during pregnancy or during the birth of her baby.
The craziest thing is mothers with a prior CS scar can have a uterine rupture which is under 1% but women without a CS scar can have a rupture too..
Just food for thought.
I love you all and I want women considering a VBAC to make an informed, evidenced-based, un-emotional decison regarding her pregnancy and birth of her baby. It is her choice and she will have to live with the decision, be it good or bad.
What we need to remember is women have between 70%-90% chance of having a successful VBAC and a rupture occurs in under 1% of VBAC attempts.
Our VBAC rights must be respected and our voices heard and our birth space protected.