Giving birth. There are so many variants to this term. Vaginal birth. Caesarean. Forceps. Vacuum. Drug free. Epidural. Water birth. VBAC. Yet another wonderful birthing option.
VBAC stands for ‘vaginal birth after caesarean’. I have found that some women are under the impression that they are unable to have a vaginal birth once they have had one caesarean. Some women will elect to have a planned repeat caesarean with second and subsequent births after having a caesarean, unaware that they may be able to attempt a VBAC.
However it is possible for some women to give birth vaginally after having a previous caesarean. I’m proof of this. I’ve done it three times!!
The circumstances surrounding my first birth meant that I had to have an emergency Caesarian under a general anaesthetic. Long story short, my 4kg baby boy was in the posterior position and he got stuck in the birth canal. Plus the cord was wound around his neck, he had done his first poo while still inside and his heart rate was not right. Add to that my epidural wasn’t working properly and I could feel the operation starting.
On the positive side though my body was able to give birth as I got to 10cm dilation. It just couldn’t birth my firstborn!
When I became pregnant for the second time I was determined to do everything I could to have a vaginal birth. I had faith in my body as I was able to get to 10cm, it was just the size and position of my first baby that prevented the natural birth.
My obstetrician was open to me having a ‘trial of scar’ (going into labour after having a caesarean) and trying for my VBAC.
I went into spontaneous labour and the epidural worked properly this time, I made it to 10cm and began pushing. This baby was also posterior but was only 3kg. He almost got stuck like his brother but was able to be born naturally, with the help of a vacuum.
I cannot even compare the difference in the aftermath and recovery between the two births. Following my VBAC I was awake, aware and amazed by this tiny, warm, slippery baby that was placed on my chest. It was the most incredible feeling! I was able to get up and have a shower only a few short hours after giving birth, and care for my baby in the hospital without needing help. Chalk and cheese!
My third and fourth sons were 3.1kg and 3.2kg respectively, both were in the correct position and were born via VBACs. When people ask me which way of giving birth I prefer I say, for me, there is absolutely no comparison. My experience of having an emergency Caesarian was not the greatest. It was a traumatic birth and took me a while to overcome it. The following three births were amazing!
I can’t comment on the recovery from a planned Caesarian, though I have friends who say it is much better following a planned versus an emergency Caesarian.
This story was written to give hope to women who would love a VBAC and show them that it can be possible to give birth vaginally after a caesarean.