6 Questions You Should Be Asking Before Attempting a VBAC
With the birth of my third baby looming in the not-too-distant future, I've been crossing my fingers, toes, and anything else I can find that I'll be able to avoid a second C-section. My first was delivered vaginally and things went smoothly. My second chose to be the difficult one before he was even born and was transverse (sideways) throughout my entire third trimester. My midwife and doctor attempted an external cephalic version, but when he still wouldn't budge, it was C-section time.
I'm not hating on C-sections; I am beyond grateful that there was a safe way to bring my baby into the world. I would be lying, though, if I said that my recovery wasn't much worse after having a C-section than it was with my first. Going through major abdominal surgery and then immediately being charged with caring for a newborn is no small task. Because of that, I'm really hoping my third child is more agreeable and keeps his head pointing down where it belongs.
Most women who have had a prior C-section are good candidates for a VBAC, or vaginal birth after C-section (the American Pregnancy Association puts the number at 90 percent), but, ultimately, you'll need to work with your care provider to determine if a VBAC is the best option for you. In my case, my practitioner gave me the thumbs up because I've had a prior vaginal birth (which increases your changes of a successful VBAC) and the only reason for my C-section was the positioning of the (stubborn) baby.
After determining that this was the route I wanted to go, I had lots of questions. My first experience giving birth was so close to perfect, but I wasn't sure if it would be the same in a VBAC situation. The problem with questions during pregnancy is that most of them fly out of your brain as soon as you step foot in your doctor's office (please tell me that's not just me?), so I wrote down a list of questions that I wanted to know the answers to before I showed up at the hospital.
If you're hoping to hop on the VBAC train, you'll want to address these questions with your practitioner as early in your pregnancy as possible so that you can make an informed decision and know what to expect when baby time rolls around.