Friday, July 8, 2011

36 Weeks: VBAC or Planned C Section?

Well we're down the last weeks of pregnancy!  We just had what will probably be our last full ultrasound, and the tech switched over to the 3D view for a bit so we could get a better view of his little face.  His hand and arm are over his mouth but you can see his nose and closed eyes.  I think he's going to end up getting my nose, just like ER. 
While my belly size doesn't look that different from 33 weeks, I sure feel a lot more uncomfortable...ALL the time!  I'm having a lot of Braxton Hicks and he's very active at night, making sleep difficult.  As I said last week, my blood pressure has gone up a bit and my medication was increased.  I'm a little disappointed that it hasn't come down as much as I'd like.  It's now slightly below borderline instead of slightly above, so hopefully it will at least maintain itself. 

Somehow, even though I am fitting in short periods of activity and watching what I eat, I still managed to gain two more pounds.  All this extra weight and the baby's growth is really making it hard for me to move about and just breathing is sometimes a challenge.  I feel like I'm panting all the time!  I'll be glad when he's born, but still trying to enjoy these last few weeks as a family of three.  I know we'll never have this time with ER back again.
Here's a 2D view of his side profile, which may look a lot more familiar to most of you.  His approximate weight is 5 lbs 14 oz and is at the 40% percentile.  We are still on track for a VBAC if we choose to go that route.  ER was born via scheduled C section because she was breach.  Knowing the risks of multiple C sections and the risk of tearing followed by emergency C section makes knowing what to do difficult.  At some point we might not really have a choice anyway.  If I do not start having contractions by 39 weeks, a C section will be scheduled as the doctor's won't let me go beyond 40 weeks because I'm diabetic. 

Have any of you had to decide between a VBAC and a C-section?  How did you come to your decision?


11 Friends Said:

Melissa @ Love Affair With My Brother said...

I had a C-section because my first (and only) was also breach. I have no advice to give other than do what is right for you and your family and not what other people want for you to do. I was deathly against a c-section because I have medication issues and controlling pain is near impossible with meds because I am allergic to all of them, but in the end it was right for me and my baby. Good luck coming to the decision that fits you and your family best!

Tiffany said...

Katie, if I could go back and I had the choice- I would have wanted no csections at all!! But I have had two now- not by choice either. I advice going VBAC if you can.

Jenny said...

I hope you get to have the VBAC! It's one of those things where you just do whatever it takes to have a healthy baby.

I'm really excited for you, happy 36 weeks!

Tara said...

I had Andrew vaginally so I don't have experience with a c-section but I agree with what is necessary for a healthy baby and mom. VBAC would be my first choice though but if not possible, I wouldn't beat myself up over another c-section either.

Ticia said...

The boys were emergency c-section because my water broke. I opted to do a scheduled-C with Princess.

The doctor explained the different risks of a V-back, and though they're small, less than 5%, I didn't want to risk it. Also, I was already familiar with a c-section and what the recovery is like. I've been told by friends who've had both that a C-section recovery is harder.

MaryAnne said...

My cousin's wife had an emergency C-section with her first. She has had two VBACs since, and is really happy with her decision. Part of her choice was that she wanted to have several (four, I think) children, and it's risky to have that many c-sections.

My SIL had an emergency C-section after 36(!) hours of labor with her first, and she has had three C-sections since. She is happy with her decision as well. Her doctor gave her some grief when she decided to go for baby #4 because a fourth c-section is risky, but it worked out fine - for her.

I've never had to have a c-section, and I don't know what I would have decided had I been put in that position. My guess is that the "right" decision here is probably different for each person - good luck deciding, and I hope either way that you have a birth you are happy with, most importantly with a healthy baby and mama at the end!

Katie said...

As you know Gabe was a scheduled c section, which was a disappointment to me. I told many people that I would never wish a c-section on anyone and don't understand why anyone would choose it if they had an option. It was harder on me emotionally, attaching to Gabe, and physically recovering while taking care of the others. I hope you are able to go VBAC, but most of all I continue to pray for a sweet healthy baby boy for you!!!

Christina said...

I'm early second trimester in my second pregnancy and hoping to end up with a VBAC. I did a lot of research before getting pregnant and the reasons for my decision were:
a) giving the baby as much lung-squeezing benefit from labour as possible
b) I got to 6 cm last time so I know I can cope with labour up to that point and I think it would be empowering to go through the whole process the "normal" way
c) in reading the risks of uterine rupture, it's only slightly elevated if you've had one c-section and it's not zero even with a repeat c-section
d) easier recovery seems like a major win when I'll have my son to run after too
e) just in case we decide we're not done with two kids, each c-section adds to the risk of placenta accreta and other complications, so I wanted to keep my options open.

But I agree that the decision is different for each person. I wish you a beautiful birth whichever way your baby arrives! He looks adorable from the ultrasound!

I found some of the birth stories here really helpful, in case they're useful to you too:

Sara said...

I'm 32 weeks and hoping for a VBAC this time. My son was breech and would not turn, so you know how that went down. I really wanted the chance to experience pushing...we know this is my last pregnancy, so it's now or never. Whatever you choose, good luck!

Jessica @ Sunny Tuesday said...

I recently had my first baby via c-section after 30 hours of labor (my baby was 9lb12.5oz - big!). I will admit I haven't researched it at all, but I think if there was a good chance I could have a successful VBAC, I would go for it, only if it were the safer choice and approved by my OB.

Nikki said...

My first was emergency c-section after pushing for 3 hours and failure to progress. Because I pushed for so long he stretched out my uterus and it thinned and now I can never have a natural birth, it would tear. So if we ever have another baby it will be a planned c-section. I am still glad I tried. But it was awful doing "it" both ways.

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