when your surgeon asks you to VBAC, you say yes.

I’ve been writing this post in my head for almost a month now, and nothing poetic seems to come so I’m just going for it. The end is near and plans have changed quite a bit. I’ve been quiet about birth plans this pregnancy because I haven’t really been able to put words how I feel. From early on, our plan was for a repeat c-section with a hernia repair performed by another surgeon at the same time. I’m still passionate about natural birth, but even more so… I’m passionate about a woman owning her plans and feeling good about them. Try as I might, I just couldn’t get there this time. So I just stayed quiet, focused on the end result.

I’m so over not being able to sit up in bed, or pull my own kids from their cribs, or wear regular t-shirts that sit against my belly button. However, I’m also not keen on the idea of coming back for another abdominal surgery (if this birth ends in a section), with another anesthesia bill and another bedridden recovery. Ain’t nobody got time for that! It’s also important that the right surgeons be available for this ordeal, so I tried to get used to the idea of a scheduled cesarean around thirty-nine weeks. My OB discussed it with the general surgeon, who agreed to scrub in and repair my poor guts just as soon as the baby was out. And so we went with that… until my OB convinced me to VBAC.

There I sat in his office last month, with a message from the general surgeon that he’d asked me to pass along (we all work together at the hospital). My OB learned that the hernia repair approach wouldn’t involve my c-section incision like he originally thought. An additional incision might need to be made. So he took off his glasses and put his pen down. He turned towards me and said, “I’d be doing you a disservice if I didn’t tell you this. You’re an excellent candidate for a VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean). A fantastic candidate. I think you’d rock it. And I’d like you to considering trying.”

If you’ve been around long enough, you know that I respect hospital births for the beasts that they are. I acknowledge that I’m on someone else’s turf, and that I’m probably not going to get my every wish granted like I did at my home birth. VBAC moms are put on a clock, and they can’t hang out for hours and hours at the same state of progress. There must be forward movement, and there must be more frequent monitoring. All of the rules and stipulations were what pushed me away from the idea at the beginning. I’ve always had such an unhealthy fear of failure, that sometimes I don’t even want to try.

But something about that discussion made me come alive. For the first time this pregnancy, I began to let myself dream about a vaginal birth. I left his office and immediately called my home birth midwife, who cheered and quickly agreed to attend at the hospital. She repeated pretty much exactly what my OB said. I’m an excellent candidate. They think I can do this.

If it doesn’t happen, it doesn’t happen. But by golly, I’m saying it out loud. I’m going to try. I’m going to try to pull this mystery baby out the old-fashioned way, onto my own chest in a few weeks.

20 thoughts on “when your surgeon asks you to VBAC, you say yes.”

  1. Yay! Good for you!
    P.S. It often bothers me when people go to the hospital with their list of demands and then are shocked when the hospital doesn’t just comply with their wishes. I know being in the medical field yourself, you know that isn’t how things work at hospitals. Thanks for spreading the word. ;)

  2. Our middlest, Abigail, was a VBAC, and it was amazing:) I had a birth plan with Paige, that included a midwife, in a birthing center and no meds…ended up with a csection and a 9.5 lb baby. I was so hard on myself after her birth…felt like I failed her and Rusty, because “the plan” was so much sweeter than IVs and hospital gowns. Three different births, three totally different experiences. Thankful for an OB who allowed me to try again and cheered us on the whole time:) Praying for you sweet lady!!

  3. What wonderful news. I had a successful vbac with my youngest and while I had my own complications, technically it didn’t have to do with the vbac itself but that I apparently am a ‘bleeder’ and struggle with clotting. All in all it was amazing! And healing, woah! MUCH FASTER! I’ll be praying for you girl.

  4. I don’t know if I have ever commented, but I have been reading your blog since the girls were born. I am so excited for you! As an RN and a birth doula, I have so much respect and admiration for the birth process. VBACing is such an empowering thing to be a part of. I am sure you will rock it! Sending you prayers and peaceful birthin’ vibes!

  5. Yay!! Praying for you and that you get the birth you hope for. I wondered what your birth plans were for this little one, but I figured you had reasons for not sharing. :-)

  6. That’s great! I’ve wondered about the VBAC options too but have been nervous to try it. My first was a scheduled c-section because my son needed an immediate myelomeningocele repair. I had to put all my natural birth “wants” on the back burner but now I’m wondering if I should resurrect them, come baby number 2!

    Whatever happens for you, I’m sure it will be memory filled and you’ll “rock it” come what may!

  7. I love your perspective and I can’t wait to see you with that sweet baby in a few weeks. Also, let me know how that hernia repair goes. It’s on my to-do list…

  8. Any!’ yay!! Good for you and good for the drs to suggest it. I was a c-section girl but love that there are options should we choose

  9. very cool. I’m expecting again 13 weeks and my Dr. said she’s putting her foot down. I’ve had 2 that had water broken early and got stuck in the birth canal and wouldn’t arrive naturally. I’m having a C-section end of story. I lost so much blood last time and had to be stitched and re-stitched. While I hate the idea of another surgery, I know I heal well from them, I will have help at home, and my Dr. will do her best to make it as easy as possible for me.

  10. Thank you for sharing! I am counting down the last few weeks too as I prepare for a VBAC. May we each have healthy sweet babies in our arms before we know it.

  11. i pray you get your vbac, mama. but if you don’t, there’s always next time. and even though you say this is your last, i know better. it’s always the mamas with lots of babies that say THIS ONE is their last, that go on to have at least one more. you are so blessed. i’d give anything, everything, all of it to be able to have babies and breastfeed and just get pregnant. apparently, that ability disappeared after ezra. i’m so thankful for my easy fertility in those years, and i’m so sad it’s gone. you’re lucky, no matter how that baby comes out. love to you.

  12. “All of the rules and stipulations were what pushed me away from the idea at the beginning. I’ve always had such an unhealthy fear of failure, that sometimes I don’t even want to try.”

    Yes! Thank you for admitting this. I’m 6 weeks pregnant and had a c-section almost 3 years ago with my twins. There are SO many opinions on VBACS and so many rule and regulations that it scares me. Plus, I’ve never had a vaginal birth, so I have no idea what to expect. I had a great c-section experience, but I think I would regret it forever if I didn’t at least try for a VBAC. I’m pulling for you and anxious to see how it goes!

    p.s. I read your blog waaaaay back when you first had your twins, but I lost touch. Glad I found you again!

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