Tuesday, December 21, 2010

My birth "plan"

This is a subject that is close to my heart, and I thought I would share a little bit about what it is, and why we made this choice.

If you didn't already know, I had a C-section with Olivia. When I went into the hospital, in very early labor (paranoid first time mom!), her heart-rate went through the roof shortly after we arrived, and stayed there. The on call docotor didn't like it, and decided a section was best. I did not question her. I don't doubt the decision, though I of course wish the scenario had been different. I had been planning and all natural birth, with no pain meds or other interventions. Needless to say, we got this:
 and could not be happier with the results :)

But this time, I want things to be different. When I walked into my first appointment with this pregnancy, I knew I wanted to ask her about doing a VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean). But alas, I didn't have to ask. When I sat down, she said "you know, you are a great candidate for a VBAC, would you consider it?" Ummmm, yeah!! So no need to find a new provider, argue the benefits/risks, nothing. All things I was prepared to do. As it turns out, Dr. Crowe's success rate for VBACs is about 75% which exceeds the national average of 70%. All of which is awesome!

Why do I want this?  This is the way it is meant to be. My body did not fail me last time, and it won't this time either. Women are made for childbirth, and there is no reason that my previous birth should prevent a natural birth this time around. I prefer to have the least intervention possible, and the least amount of medication streamed into my child moments before she is even born. I have spent 9 months taking care of her, and I want her entry into the world to be just as wonderful.

Not to mention I now have a 2.5 year old at home. My recovery from Olivia's delivery was pretty good, but I was very doped up, couldn't drive, couldn't pick up anything heavier than my newborn, couldn't sleep, and was generally just recovering from major abdominal surgery. This time around, I will have help of course, but I need to be able to care for Olivia. I can't imagine recovering like I did last time, with a 2 year old running around! I really just want to avoid all of that!

So are there risks? Yes, as with any birth. The main risk for VBAC is uterine rupture from the scar of the previous section. Here is a journal article illustrating the real risks of this, and the chances. Long story short, the chances aren't any greater than they are for any other vaginal birth, marginally. It's still in the back of most people's minds though.

The greatest thing about my doctor is that she isn't treating this pregnancy any differently than any other. A lot of people attempting VBACs have to jump through flaming hoops and fall under a lot of "conditions" to be able to even try.  Dr Crowe will let me go to 42 weeks (with bi-weekly monitoring of Ava and I), she will not induce (which you don't want to with a VBAC, Pitocin can raise the chances significantly of uterine rupture, since the contractions are so much harder than they would naturally be), she still encourages me to stay home as long as possible, giving me no regulations on when is the "right time". When I mentioned that it would be a dream come true to literally walk into the hospital and be ready to push, she smiled and said "You would be so happy if that happened, and you would more than likely get the birth you want if you do that!" Or something to that affect.

I won't go on and on. But people ask me a lot about my decision, and I thought I would try to explain why we have decided to go this route.

Prayers appreciated! We can't wait to meet Ava, regardless of how she gets here. I know you can't either!! Let me know if you have any questions, and I would be happy to answer.


  1. I'm thrilled for you to have a Dr. who supports this decision b/c I know those doctors are getting harder and harder to find. I wish you the best in your labor and delivery and hope it happens exactly how you've envisioned it! :)

  2. Corinne,
    You and Ava are in my prayers. I think you're making a brave and wonderful decision to have a VBAC. You can do it girl!