Book Review: Natural Childbirth after Cesarean

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I saw this book at my first consultation visit with a midwife group 1 1/2 hours away to see if they would consider doing a VBAC on me. After some of their stipulations plus the distance from home we decided it would not be the best fit but that didn’t stop me from checking out this book from their library : ) I am so glad I did. This is an excellent book. It has really helped strengthen my drive for my VBAC. I absolutely do not want to have a repeat c-section (my first was vaginal, my second was c-section because of breech presentation) and my chances of a VBAC are good. I have never done research or compared VBACs and repeat c-sections and there are so many stigmas out there that it’s hard to know what is old fashioned and what is up to date. Come to find out the risks for a VBAC compared with a normal vaginal delivery are pretty similar. VBACs really are not dangerous or risky. However, major abdominal surgery, wait, REPEAT major abdominal surgery in the form of a c-section… far more dangerous and risky.

It was nice to read from a group of advocating VBAC experienced women on why they would urge me to have a VBAC. It presented a lot of questions and perspective that I will need to gather from my OB doc who we are going to deliver with in a different state (did I mention where we live that no one will do a VBAC… period. The closest place is 4 hours away. And if you stay here you are doomed for a repeat c-section and you have no voice or say in it). Yeah, that’s not okay with me. So we’ve made plans to stay out of state where we used to live and to deliver with my doc who delivered my other 2 babies.

I still have a lot of fear. My first baby technically was an induction although I began having contractions on my own after she stripped my membranes but I still used Pitocin to “start” active labor and she was born about 7 hours after Pitocin started. I also used an epidural (which I do not regret as she was a posterior baby so the back of her head was jamming against my pelvis the entire time). But that instills doubt into my mind that my body will not know what to do since I had medication to help me along. What if this baby is breech too? Hey, it could happen. What if the only way for Adam to be there for the birth of this baby is by scheduling a repeat c-section to prevent me from going into labor while he’s travelling? … what if… what if… I need to not worry as I’m certain when the time comes that worrying this will end in a c-section is the last thing I need to mentally think about. It is all in God’s hands. He knows the path of delivery for this baby just like He knew Joshua would be breech and requiring a c-section. Although I would have wanted it differently I must trust God had a plan for it even if it was just to humble myself to His will and control over my life. His full plan I may never know until I can ask Him personally in heaven (with my renewed body that will not even reveal my cesarean scar and it’s associated discomfort yipee!).

I would definitely recommend reading this book whether or not you are thinking about a VBAC or if you’ve already planned for a repeat c-section. I wish I had done more research and been more of an advocate when I found out Joshua was breech but I just didn’t know any better. You should learn about all of your options so you can make an educated and convicted decision.

Now my next topic of research: Should I try this birth without an epidural? This book mentioned on numerous occasions that an epidural can slow the progress of labor (which leads to a tendency for OB docs to question the need for a c-section for “failure to progress” labor). This thought scares me as my epidural with my first baby was wonderful. I fully enjoyed my experience as I watched Everybody Loves Raymond on the TV while watching the intensity of my contractions on the monitor yet barely feeling the baseball bat slamming into my back over and over and over. I think I even snoozed for 30 minutes : ) But in an effort to increase my chances of a successfull VBAC? It may be worth it? And I can just hope for a normal presentation baby to slide right out : )

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