Thursday, June 07, 2007

the great VBAC debate

Did you know that a human gestation is actually 10 months?

It's true.

There are 40 weeks in a pregnancy. And since there are 4 weeks in a month, 40/4 = 10.

Currently, I'm 36 weeks pregnant, or 9 months.

With the exception of my edema, I've been doing really well. Infact, up until a month ago, I was taking the kids to the park everyday, carrying children around on my shoulders, grocery shopping, skipping, jumping and shaving my legs.

I have slowed down considerably in the past couple of weeks because taking care of three toddlers, all by myself, was damn-near impossible. And shaving? Forget about it. Although there's really not a whole lot to shave, considering my legs are swelling up faster then the hair is growing. I suspect that following the birth and administration of a diuretic, I'll resemble a chia pet.

As I've grown larger and less capable of doing everyday things, the reality of this new baby is starting to hit. And well, I'm not entirely ready. Ten months may seem like a long time to get yourself physically and mentally prepared for a new addition - but it's not.

Why, it seems like just yesterday I was looking at the two little lines on a pregnancy test and thinking "This thing has to be broken."

With the birth imminent - I've been pondering how I am going to deliver this baby. When I met with my doctor a few months ago, I was told that a VBAC was an option ... provided I went in to labor on my own. If I ran past my due date, they would not induce me, because the risk of uterine rupture following a c-section is too great. If, however, I wanted to have a c-section, they would schedule it a week before I am due.

In the past couple days, I've been contacted by a few of my girlfriends who have been there/done that and told me that I might really, really want to reconsider having a VBAC. One of my friends told me that four years after she delivered her almost 10-pound son vaginally, she still wets her pants every time she sneezes.

Talk about the gift that keeps on giving.

When you add that bonus on to the hemorroids ... and the tearing ... and the numbness ... and the potential of a uterine rupture, internal bleeding and death ... and the two additional weeks of medical leave that you get with a c-section, I'm wondering why in the world would I want to try and squeeze a baby out??!!

I can't come up with any good reasons, except that I will have an extra week to get ready. If I do opt for a c-section, that only gives me 20 days ... from now ... to finish our hardwood floor installation, paint our bathroom, move all of the furniture back in to the house, hang up our pictures, pick out a name, buy a carseat - swing - bouncy chair - and clothes, transition our triplets in to "big" beds and potty train everyone.

Maybe it's a pipe dream, but I'm thinking I could do all of those things in 27 days.

I'm not so sure about 20...


  1. Actually, you missed something... there are 4 weeks and 2 days in a month. While that doesn't sound significant, 2 days a month over nine months give you an additional 2 weeks (which is almost half a month). So it's really just under nine and a half months, not ten.

    Other than that...good luck!!!

  2. My friend could not get over having had a c-section - you know the type, fertile myrtle, easy pg, thought she'd drop that baby and sally forth from the hospital all atwitter with good feelings.


    THen she got pg again, and her doc insisted on a VBAC> Curiously my friend wanted no part of that...but due to a precipitously fast labor, there was no time for arguments (or for her doctor to get to the hospital) - her 2nd child did indeed come via VBAC (unmedicated too) - and she says now she would have just as soon have had a c-section again.

  3. I guess you have to trust your Doc and see how you are feeling. Anyhow, I am packing and you know I will help you and it will be fine. Enjoy each day and don't sweat the small stuff as you always say.
    Love you,

  4. Just tell Charlie to do as Gator did and ask for the epidural to go...he wanted one available at all times so as to ease his future verbal abuse and hand pain that would come to pass during labor! And after 28 hours of labor, an epidural and two boosts later, Kyle arrived and Gator asked if I was ready to have another....while the doctor was waiting on the placenta to be born. But you're a champ and all will go just will the construction, clean up, and preparing for your son's arrival! You always stay up stressing when you know all is in order.........RELAX and REST!

  5. For what it's worth I'd vote for a second c-section. I delivered our suprise baby #4 via c-section. I was nervous about the section because my recovery after the triplets birth was rough...but with Sophia it was competely was so easy I'd do it again in a heartbeat!!:) 20 days or 27 days...if your anything like me you won't be ready either way!! :) Good luck..can't wait to see the little guy! ~Jennifer

  6. Delurking here. I have had three children, one induced, one natural and one c-section in that order. I would go for the natural (with an epidural and a tear) any day over the c-section. I was home from the hospital within 24 hours and easily up and a round. The recover from the c-section was more difficult. But the most important part is a healthy mom and baby no matter how he comes!

    Good luck!

  7. ACHOOO... It is true! I can't laugh nor sneeze without that little gift! I know, TMI. Sorry!

  8. I'd opt for the c-section. Besides,if you stay up every night for awhile you can make up the 7 days... ;)

  9. Overall, the risk associated with VBAC appears to be lower than the risk associated with elective caesarean, and there are bonuses in terms of quicker recovery time, fewer difficulties with breastfeeding, and not having to spend six weeks avoiding heavy lifting. Obviously, this is a very individual thing, and you will meet women who hated their sections & found vaginal deliveries much easier, and women who found CS to be a breeze. looks as though it has some useful information on what's known about the relative risks. Also, if you know anyone who's technical enough to know how to access Usenet, check out a group called, as you'll get loads of useful advice & feedback if you ask on there (you can access & post at if you wish, although that isn't the easiest way of doing it). There's also a Yahoo! mailing list on VBACs. HTH.

  10. I had hoped to have a VBAC with my second delivery but, due to complications late in pregnancy, was unable to.
    My son was 2 years and 9 months old, and his little head reached exactly to my incision; so every time he wanted to hug me or be next to me, I was head butted in the staples. The restrictions on lifting and moving also made it difficult to function. You know all this, having had a c-section before. But I sure wished I'd had a VBAC because a) I wanted the experience, and b) I think it would have been easier to recover with a toddler and a newborn at home, had I been able to go the VBAC route.
    Best wishes. The happiest days are when babies arrive.

  11. I vote VBAC for a couple of reasons: 1)c-section is MAJOR surgery (why elect for it when you don't necessarily have to?) 2)recovery & restriction on VBAC will be minimal (especially with three toddlers climbing on you and wanting to be held)

    Good luck deciding!

  12. You will hear good and bad about a c-section and VBAC. I can't wait to hear what you decide (or what the baby decides to do, you never know).

    When you are only two weeks pregnant OBGYN/RE considers you 4 weeks. They don't go by the date of ovulation or embryo implantation. I never understood this.

    Tracy B

  13. my kids are 16 years apart. i have NO advice.
    my experience--2 csections, 1 myomectomy =i'm afraid to get preggo again, they might want to cut me again and i can vividly remember not being able to walk, laugh, or sneeze.
    LOL at twingles---you know the type, fertile myrtle, easy pg, thought she'd drop that baby and sally forth from the hospital all atwitter with good feelings.

    sally forth from the hospital. haha..

    do ppl actually sally forth after childbirth. ;)

    p.s. good luck!!!!!!!!!!!!!! cannot wait to meet you new bundle of joy. yes, that means i'm going to drive down and see you guys one day. you know when you sally forth from the hospital and all. i love it :)

  14. The most obvious benefit I can see for the VBAC is that it does NOT involve major abdominal surgery. Although some people may see a c/s as "only a c/s" the fact remains that it holds the potential for life-threatening complications. You can lose some function of the pelvic floor even if you never experience a vaginal birth. Pregnancy does that to you, not just childbirth. I've had a vaginal birth, then a c/s, and a VBAC with my twins. I'd never have another c/s unless my life depended on it. Longer recovery, more complications, increased risk for me and baby, complicates future pregnancies, can disrupt breastfeeding... It's really not just the routine procedure it's made out to be. Two women in NJ just died from complications related to their c-sections. It happens. You might want to check out and for info that might help you with your decision.

  15. Jen- I missed this post, but given the fact I've had triplets and then another spontaneous singleton, I think my opinion should count for at least five votes.

    I scheduled my c-section with Austin. I lined up help. I took a nice relaxing shower. Then I did all my hair and makeup for the video. We said good-bye to the kids and hugged our two helpers. We drove calmly over to the hospital. I got my epidural and an hour later I had Austin. It was all so civilized. I looked fabulous on the video.

    Except I was kind of mad that no one was paying attention to me and that I WAS GIVING BIRTH!! WHERE WERE ALL THE PEOPLE???? DIDN'T ANYONE CARE???

    I left the hospital 2 days later with my big fat baby that roomed in with me, except when I sent him to the nursery so I could catch a few Zzzzzzsss. It was no big deal. I was lifting the kids a week later.

    I've sneezed many times since Austin was born. I have yet to pee. 'Nuf said.

  16. Well I've only had a vaginal birth so I can't compare. But I had a wonderful experience. I did tear and I did have hemmroids, but I delivered my healthy 8 lb 10 oz babyb just fine. I healed and was back to normal in a couple months.

    That said... I would do what you think you need to do. But wouldn't it be cool to try for the vaginal birth since you have already had a c-section. Something different for your singleton baby!

    Good luck!!

  17. Here in the Bay Area VBACs are more and more becoming a thing of the past. Insurance companies are making it near impossible for doctors to allow patients to opt for them.
    That said? You already have the scarring and issues that might come with that. Why would you also opt for the stretching and new scarring that a VBAC would inevitably bring? (Then again, that might just be me rationalizing the fact that I don't get to choose...)

  18. Hi I have Aspergers Syndrome Pathalogical Demand Avoidance Syndrome, Servere Dyscalculia, Mild Dyslexia, Dyslexic Dysgraphia, Reactive Depreshion Traits of OCD, Epilepsy and Mild Developmental Delay (My Mental Age is Close to 19 Instead of 23).
    Just cause you are have a fourth baby on the way dosent mean you have to get the tiplets potty traind in 27 days, i dont think, with every thing else on your plate, that you should be worrying about potty training three toddlers when you only have 27 days to to do it in and are 36 weeks pregnant. Also i wouldent worry about wetting your pants after giving birth, alot of woman do that, some woman also wet during labour and some eaven poop during labour. its natural. Its just a form of stress incontinence. wetting your pants is not that comfortable as it goes cold very quickley but look on the bright side. You can use the opitunity to research why your toddlers may be reluctent to potty train when you do start potty training them. Labour can weaking the pelvic floor muscelse due to all that pushing, so if you unlucky enough to be struck by stress incontinence, just were an adult diaper, not only will it be much more comfortable then wetting your pants, but it also keeps it warm to. I actualy need to wear diapers myself so im speaking from experiance. You will also gain experiance on what it feels like to a toddler to use a diaper and why some toddlers when potty training are reluctent to use the potty and prefer there diapers rather then the toilet. So i think you should wait till after the Birth of your 4th child before you attempt potty training the triplets. as potty training them now may lead to sibling rivelrey , jealousy and potty training regression in the coming years.