When I found out I was pregnant for the second time, the first few weeks were filled with the same fear of miscarrying. Honestly, I didn’t really think far past what was happening at the moment because making plans or getting excited only to have that taken away isn’t fun at all. It was only at my 12 week appointment when we felt like this baby was truly going to stick around that I had the conversation with my doctor about my delivery options with this baby.
If you have been around here long, you’ll probably remember that Caleb was delivered by emergency c-section (you can read his story here) and was also two weeks early.
The Case for a VBac
VBac stands for vaginal birth after delivery. There are many women who successfully deliver naturally after a c-section and I wanted to know what that would mean for me if I wanted to try that. My doctor shared that I have a double layer of incisions in my uterine muscle and that if I wanted to attempt to deliver naturally that I would have a really good chance of that going well. However, with Caleb I never really progressed and had to be given pitocin. Pitocin takes contractions from 0-100. It makes them so much more strong and aggressive and this is where some danger would come in. As my doctor shared, there is always a chance that the incision can rupture or rip open— this can cause a women to bleed to death pretty quickly and requires an emergency hysterectomy. At our hospital here in Kalamazoo she shared that one women attempting a vbac did in fact have this worst case scenario happen and died. We basically decided right there that the ONLY way I would attempt a vbac is if I went into labor on my own, progressed without the help of any drugs and the baby’s heart rate was good. I don’t know how many children we want in total, but I do know that I am not prepared to have the option of having more children taken away from me if something were to go wrong and I had to have that emergency surgery.
The Case for a C-Section
So, this would be the less risky choice. But also, they say that really your max is 3 c-sections because after 3 the risk increases that the placenta can grow into your scar tissue near the incision. The most important reason we would consider this is for the same reason we were planning on inducing labor with Caleb at 39 weeks. Because babies who have mothers with lupus do not withstand the birthing process well, the longer they stay in the womb, the higher the chance for stillbirth. So, there’s that.
So, Our Decision?
So basically we have a lot going on. I have thoughtfully and prayerfully considered both and I think I have finally come up with a sort of kind of plan. We are going to move forward with a scheduled c-section at 39 weeks. I am not okay with risking stillbirth and know that inducing with pitocin would increase my risk of a rupture.. so surgery it is. HOWEVER, if I happen to go into labor on my own earlier than 39 weeks– like I did with Caleb– and things look good and are progressing without the help of drugs then I am going to attempt the VBac. I feel like keeping our options open and praying that God orchestrates the perfect arrival of baby #2– in whatever way that may mean is the best for us. I sort of like the idea that although we will have a csection scheduled that I very well could go early on my own and have the experience of a natural birth. I am not married to either option and have never been the girl who has a birth plan scheduled out to every moment. For me, I find that carrying and delivering a baby– in whatever way –is a huge miracle. Honestly, it is an INSANE miracle because so much can go wrong every step of the way. Having a healthy baby, being alive myself (with all my parts) is so beyond good enough for me. Despite what happens I don’t ever think I will feel like I missed out on some experience, or am less/more of a woman for which direction my baby comes out of my body. We are leaving the details in God’s hands and are so excited for what is to come. (Okay, scared too! Because labor is kind of scary to! Let’s all be honest!)
So there you have it, there is my decision and how I came to it!
Have you had a vbac or second c-section? I would love to hear your experiences, decisions and recovery times!