A Follow Up – C Section vs. VBAC

csection or vbac

You might remember my post a few months ago where I was deciding whether or not to try for a VBAC. I was induced with my first pregnancy and did not progress. Due to some complications, I wound up having a c-section. With this pregnancy, my OB gave me the option of trying a VBAC or having a repeat c-section.

It took me a long time to decide what to do. There are obvious pros and cons to both, as well as respective risks. I was officially on the operation room’s schedule for a long time, but for a long time I was secretly hoping to go into labor prior to that date so that I could try to VBAC. Indecisive, much??

Well, as fate would have it, I didn’t go into labor. Not even close. The morning of my c-section I was still 0 cm dilated, 0% effaced, and the baby was still up high. In other words, nowhere near labor. My doctor told me he’d let me go up to three weeks overdue before he’d officially have to intervene (as long as there are no complications). But here’s the thing – my doctor would not induce me again. So, in other words, if I went three weeks overdue and didn’t go into labor on my own, I’d go straight to a c-section.

Now, let me be the first to say this. I know there will be some of you reading who want to strangle me through the screen. ‘Get another opinion!’ ‘Wait until you go into labor on your own!’ Blah blah blah. I’ve heard it all – and thought it all, too. I had done my research and am confident that we made the right choice for my family.

We opted for the c-section. I say ‘we’ because my husband was very involved in this decision. I know that I was the one having the surgery, but his input was extremely important to me. And as I mentioned in the previous post, he was much more comfortable having the repeat CS. Selfishly, we were also able to plan for my toddler’s care and my husband’s job ahead of time, which were two great ‘perks’ to electing the c-section.

first look

The surgery was on time and very routine. There were no complications and I felt much more calm through the whole thing. My daughter (!) was brought to me within 30 minutes upon completion of the surgery and didn’t leave my side for the rest of the hospital stay. I was well-rested prior to surgery, and I think that helped me recover quickly. I was able to get up and walk around that same day and was shocked at how ‘okay’ I felt. I was sore, for sure, but did not have that ‘wow-I-just-got-hit-by-a-truck’ I had after my first c-section.

My husband was able to take two weeks off of work once home. It was so essential to my recovery, as I was unable to pick up anything heavier than the baby (so my 35 lb toddler was out). It also helped us ease into life as a family of four. I was able to rest and recover during those two weeks, and I felt about 85% by the time he returned to work. Here I am, 3 1/2 months out, and I’m feeling great. There is no part of me that feels like I had surgery. My only reminder is my scar – well, that, and my sweet baby girl.

I have absolutely zero regrets. Yes, I put my body through a major surgery. True, I did not “push my baby out.” I do not feel any less of a mother because of this decision. My husband and I made the right choice for our family, and we are confident in that. 🙂

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Tom and Lauren Tate met each other in college and fell in love (there may or may not have been alcohol involved). Years later, they got married, had a baby and now live happily in Southeastern PA with their little boy. Lauren manages the home, while Tom manages projects at a software company. While their interests range from cooking and working out (her) and playing guitar and video games (him), together they manage to maintain a blog, Little Old Home (www.littleoldhome.com).

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2 Comments on "A Follow Up – C Section vs. VBAC"

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Sara W
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Congratulations! You got the birth experience YOU wanted-and a healthy baby to boot! No justifications or explanations needed: your body and your baby!

Habiba
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I had a csection in what sounds like a similar situation to your first one, and I often wonder what I’ll do if I have another baby. I still don’t know, but… Reading this has been a great reminder that whatever choice we make will be one that works for us. I love posts like this, “real” stories. Thank you for sharing!!

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