Posted: Apr 30, 2013 10:00 AM
I made the decision to attempt a VBAC before we made the decision to conceive a second child. Despite my best efforts, my labor ended in a second C-section. I still wouldn't have made a different choice.

VBAC: an easy decision

I decided on a vaginal birth after caesarean with my future second pregnancy at my post-partum appointment after having my daughter. When I got pregnant a little over a year later, my doctor completely supported my VBAC plan, based on the circumstances surrounding my first C-section and my strong desire to attempt a vaginal delivery for the second time.

Experiencing the ideal labor

Six nights before my due date, I went into labor. Determined to labor at home for a while, I showered, letting hot water take my mind off the contractions for seconds at a time. By the time I went to the hospital, my contractions were on top of each other. I asked for an epidural as soon as possible, like I'd discussed with my doctor.

Unlike the one I'd had with my daughter two years before, this one worked — well enough that I napped a bit while laboring. Still, I absolutely felt when it was time to push. I could feel my body working with the contractions and for the first time in my life, I felt the baby shift position with my pushes. My confidence grew — as did my determination to see this delivery through to a successful VBAC.

Stalled progress and quick decisions

No matter how many positions I tried, no matter how hard I pushed, no matter how many bones I tried to crush in my husband's hand, that baby was just as determined as I was — determined not to move any farther down the birth canal.

I pushed until the fetal monitor showed the baby's heart rate wasn't recovering between contractions. I caught glances bouncing between my doctor and nurse and my husband, and I knew it was time to go back to the operating room. I wanted to meet my baby, and while I knew the monitor could be wrong, I wasn't willing to take that chance.

Lasting effects of a failed VBAC

Labor wasn't the last battle of wills I've had or will have with my children

Cradling my son in my arms later that day, it didn't matter to me how he'd gotten there. Now, three years later, I remain at peace with the decision. I made the call in the delivery room, and while I still don't know that it was absolutely the right decision to make, I can truly say I don't care. Labor wasn't the last battle of wills I've had or will have with my children, and I hope I can be so lucky to have all of them end with my babies safe and surrounded by love.

Don't miss expert tips on how to prepare for a VBAC.

More about birth options

One mom's story of VBAC success
Choosing a caesarean
The benefits of a hospital birth