I am now 32 weeks pregnant now and the birth planning has begun. From day one, I knew I wanted to attempt a VBAC. I had an emergency C-section with the Princess and I would be lying if I said it was an enjoyable experience. A botched epidural lead to an improper block which caused me to feel the doctors cut me open and ultimately being put under. It took hours to come out of the anaesthesia and I wasn’t able to hold my baby until she was over 5 hours old.
When I became pregnant with the Princess, I perhaps foolishly assumed that I would deliver naturally, no drugs and tough it out like many of the women in my family. My sister, who is a nurse, warned me not to become so rigid in my birth plans in case something were to happen and things didn’t turn out the way I planned. Those prophetic words still hang with me today. Needless to say, I was devastated by having a C-section. That isn’t to say that I’m not grateful for the Princess being born safely. It upset me that I had to stay in the hospital for 4 days, that I gave in and had an epidural, that I didn’t deliver my baby the way “nature intended.” I felt like a failure. And it’s not that anyone else made me feel that way, it was a pressure and expectation I put on myself. Somehow I had convinced myself that I was in control, that I would labour and deliver my baby.
Now that we near our due date, I am finding myself having those expectations again. And I am fully aware that my ability to deliver naturally is only 50/50. Not really great odds. Perhaps it is out of fear of another botched C-section (despite going to a different doctor and hospital) and the fact that this pregnancy has been a relative breeze compared to my pregnancy with the Princess that gives me the unrealistic hope that this time, this time I’ll do it. With a VBAC however, there is a chance of uterine rupture and often doctors will suggest an epidural in case a C-section is necessary. Also, if I have to be induced, like I was with the Princess, a C-section will be the only option. I can say with certainty I really really do not want a C-section. I’ve already spoken with my doctor and I have made it quite clear that if I do have to, I want to be out. He is aware of what happened last time and seems to be in agreement. At the same time, I have to weigh the possibility of uterine rupture (which is rare) and the consequences of that. My doctor seems confident that I am a good candidate for a VBAC and I may get my wish. I am trying my best not to get my hopes up and just take things as they come, but things are easier said than done.