Although I have a fair bit of time still to go before the arrival of baby number two (who we’re calling boogaloo-2 at the moment), I have of course been thinking about my options when it comes to the birth.
Last time, I had hoped to have a natural birth, ideally more or less drug free, and preferably in the midwife-led unit of our local hospital – spending much of labour in the birthing pool etc.
As it turned out, I was two weeks overdue and after a number of sweeps that failed to kick-start anything, I found myself being induced and subsequently having ALL the drugs – I literally dined out big time at the drugs buffet – before then ultimately having to have an emergency c-section due to “failure to progress” in labour. I wasn’t happy about having to be induced, it was the farthest thing from my birth plan, but I got over it and ultimately was just over the moon to eventually have my gorgeous girl brought safely into the world by whatever means necessary.
I have to say, I’ve never felt like I missed out by not having experienced a natural birth. And as such, I don’t feel driven to try and have a natural birth second time around. Having said that, I’m not adverse to giving it a go, but I do feel deep-down that it’s possibly/probably something that may not work out for me again, and actually I’m okay with that prospect too.
I guess if I’ve learnt anything from my first experience it is not get fixated on a birth plan! And while it’s a good idea to have a clear view on your ideal, getting myopic about it probably isn’t the best idea.
If I think back to Allegra’s birth, what I feel most strongly about in planning for childbirth second time around, is (a) I do NOT want to go more than one week overdue, and (b) I do NOT want to be induced. The prospect of forceps or ventouse or an episiotomy doesn’t fill me with much glee either but let’s park those from the debate for now.
So I went to talk through my options – the great VBAC discussion – at the hospital the week before last and was pleased to come away with a much clearer view of the facts and my choices.
Firstly, I was very pleased to hear that if you’ve had a c-section before, then apparently they don’t let you go more than a week overdue: good times. Secondly, I was pleased to hear that if you’ve had a c-section before then they do not induce you, well not with drugs anyway, but they don’t rule out having a poke around “down there” in the hope of naturally kick-starting things: good times/uncomfortable times. Thirdly, if you are around a week overdue and the odd sweep isn’t deemed to be enough to get things going, then a c-section would be decided on and off you go: v good times (not that I’m thinking major surgery is an easier option but I am slightly nervous, I won’t lie, about the alternative route which is basically pushing what could be a baby in the region of 9lbs 10 plus out of my vajaja…).
Yes, I was a little disappointed to hear that if I was to try for a natural birth, I wouldn’t be able to do so in the midwife led unit: they advise against it if you’ve had a c-section previously because of the need to monitor you closely and keep an eye on your scar, in case of possible rupture (totes gross!). But okay, I understand the reasoning.
So where I netted out is in opting to try to go for a VBAC (is it just me or does anyone else ever have the urge to sing Justin Timberlake’s “I’m bringing sexy back” every time they say the word VBAC?! – ok, just me then…) and if a week past my due date I haven’t gone into labour naturally and they don’t think they can kick start labour without the aid if drugs, then I’ll be booked in for another c-section.
I honestly can’t imagine myself going into labour naturally but then that’s probably just because it wasn’t my experience the first time around. But of course, every pregnancy is different, as is every birth, so who knows?!
All I know is this, I’m going to keep an open mind and accept that what will be will be. Ultimately, my priority is to do whatever is necessary to bring our baby safe and sound into the world, and whatever path that turns out to take I’ll try to simply go with it and see it as a means to a very exciting end.
Did you have a successful VBAC? What would your advice be to me in my situation?