Tuesday, February 08, 2011

VBAC Decision

I got a question on the blog yesterday from someone. The questionner asked me about why we had decided to have a repeat c-section instead of a vaginal birth after c-section (VBAC). She had read previously that we were considering our options but hadn't read how we had arrived at our final decision.

As I looked back to find the link to where I had explained the answer to the question in the past, I realized that I hadn't. So now I will.

Basically, VBACs are becoming quite uncommon. Doctors don't like to do them. Our friend Tara is a family medicine/OB doctor. She is a fan of VBACs and we talked to her about it quite intently. She was a fan of me trying it. I would LOVE to avoid a c-section. I know some people disagree, but after three stomach surgeries in my lifetime (hernia, c-section, and appendix and now about to be another c-section), I am so tired of recovering from a stomach surgery.

I am also proof that electing to have a major surgery is just not advisable. Yes, things can go very wrong in a vaginal delivery as well, but I had nearly every surgery complication known to man occur to me after Elijah's birth. (Endometritis, Illeus, C-dif, etc.) My recovery was lengthy and PAINFUL, and I would love to not repeat that.

JB emailed all three doctors who were involved in my care at Eglin when I delivered Elijah after we talked to Tara. We were hopeful that maybe I could try for a vaginal birth. However, in the end, two major things have made us decide to not try for this.

1. All three doctors believe I am not a candidate for a VBAC. They believe that my pelvis is too small for any child (with any size head) to come through. They do not believe Elijah was a c-section because of inducing labor. They believe my pelvis just does not have enough give. (Add to that the fact that this new baby's head is measuring one week ahead and I don't have extra confidence.) Their opinions -- three of them from three doctors who have all been practicing for 10+ years were enough to make our decision for us.

2. I am not comfortable with the idea of laboring for 1.5 days again to have a slight chance at success. If someone could tell me I had a good chance, I would do it. But when three veteran doctors tell me they do not think I will succeed and that it isn't in my best interest to attempt, I don't like my odds.

Okay, so I hope that answers the question. I believe that vaginal births are the BEST way to have a child. I know some people may disagree (including the 85-95% of women in Turkey who have elective c-sections.) I think God designed our bodies to deliver vaginally. Reserach indicates babies born vaginally thrive outside the womb better. Recovery for mom is usually better. There are a host of reasons why this is preferred.

However, I also believe that God gave doctors knowledge and skills that we need to utilize. It's like the story of the man stuck in the middle of the ocean who turns down help three times because he is "waiting for God." God later informs him, "I sent help three times! What were you waiting for?" Exactly. My help comes in the form of doctors who have more knowledge than me and opinions I value. We had a very painful and emotional journey in bringing Elijah home healthy (you can read about it here if you weren't around when this occurred.) We believe we have made the best decision for me and baby #3.

So, there you have it. The not-so-short but sweet answer!

Oh and as for our reason for deciding to storknest in Germany -- that was a question I did answer on a previous post. You can read about it by clicking here.

P.S. My Internet has been down for two days -- so if you have emailed me and haven't heard back, don't panic. We think we have it fixed but it is still seeming to have some issues.


Rachel said...

Congrats on making your decision not to proceed with a VBAC. I did have a successful VBAC about 18 months ago and like you, we did not come to the decision without much, much thought, research and prayer.
In the reading that I did, I did find over and over that the recovery from a PLANNED section is typically MUCH easier than the recovery from an "emergency" section. This is certainly a positive!
I pray that the rest of your pregnancy continues smoothly!

Anonymous said...

just wanted to tell you -that Ed's mom who is 4 '11 also had a pelvis too small...and has had 9 children by c-section , much to her doctor's consternation (is that a record?)...and she is here at 85 with sometimes i think more energy than I have!...
Ed's sister had her first by c-section, but had an unplanned vaginal birth in the Hinsdale Oasis bathroom on the way to the hospital for the second one! Life -ya gotta love it! Tante Jan