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Old 01-26-2013, 08:54 PM   #3
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shan1212
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Re: Weight of lo determining vbac success?

I don't believe my first c-section was necessary -- it was the result of a cascade of unnecessary interventions. Basically I was induced for no reason, baby was malpositioned, I was immobile due to the epidural, and my OB's shift was ending . . .

Anyway, when my DD was born, the OB said, "Whoa! She's huge!" and made a big deal about how it was a good thing we did a c/s with my baby's size, which was 8 lbs even.

Fastforward 2.5 years to the birth of my second child . . . I switched practices after my OB told me at 36 weeks that I was too narrow to have a VBAC. Well, she was wrong! I had a VBAC 4 weeks later, and she weighed half a pound more than my first daughter. But this time I went into labor naturally, and the midwife, nurse, and doula all helped me get the baby positioned correctly and didn't put me on a time table. Also, I was a lot better educated this time around, and had faith that my body was designed to do this.

I do have a weirdly shaped pelvis, that much is true. However, it's rare for a woman to grow a baby that her body can't deliver. My pelvis is oddly flat in the front, and it's narrow when I'm not ready to birth a baby, but by 40 weeks it was "cavernous" in the back, according to the midwife.

DH even ran into my old OB, and she asked specifically how much the baby weighed and seemed surprised I had vaginally delivered a bigger baby.

What you've got in your favor is that you won't have a fever when you deliver this baby (think positive!). I'm sure that contributed to fatigue, and not getting an epidural when you wanted one probably also contributed to your stress.

I have some resentment towards my doctor, but she was really great when I developed a chronic condition during my pregnancy. A lot of people go undiagnosed or misdiagnosed for a long time, and she pegged it right away and got me emergency care. I feel like I need to give her props for that. But I suspect that she does a lot of weighing of outcomes, deciding how much effort is worth getting her patients a vaginal delivery, and that in her opinion, if there are any indications for a c/s, then let's just do that.

So your doctor saying that if your next baby is bigger, we'll have to do a c/s . . . that's a measurable goal, right? Well, sort of, because you can't really measure a baby's size before it's born. But it gives her an out to say, oh, sorry, we wanted you to have a VBAC but this baby is measuring too big, sorry. I think she's laying the groundwork to make you get a c/s later, honestly.

Also, after I switched practices at 37 weeks, my new midwife told me to eat low carb to keep the baby from getting super big at the end, so maybe that's something to look into if you want to keep the next baby smaller.

When I was researching my choices, I came to the conclusion that my chances (low transverse scar, single c/s) of a successful vaginal delivery were basically the same as they were with my first pregnancy. And my chances of anything terrible happening from attempting a vaginal delivery were pretty much the same as with my first pregnancy. So that reassured me that I should go into my second L&D with as much confidence as the first time. I know how it can really psych you out to have had a c/s, and suddenly the prospect of popping a baby out of your lady parts seems super crazy. I was totally there. I still say to my husband, "Remember when Alice just popped out?" Ha. I wish it were that easy! But seriously, from what you've shared I can't see any reason why you should fear that a VBAC isn't a possibility for you.

And FWIW, I had an epidural with my VBAC. I was hoping to forgo it because I was worried it had contributed to my c/s, but I really needed it to relax and let my body do its thing. So maybe having that as an option this time will help you.

Good luck! I hope you find a practice that is supportive of your desires. That was the biggest thing for me. If I had stayed with my old doctor, I would have been on the defensive the whole time, trying to read between the lines of everything she said and did to see if it was in my best interest. By switching to a pro-VBAC practice, I had every confidence that if I wound up with a c/s, it was because it was medically necessary. So I had peace no matter what the outcome.
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Shannon, Mommy to Claire (10/09) and Alice (vbac 3/12)

Last edited by shan1212; 01-26-2013 at 08:55 PM.
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