knocked up

It’s TalkVaginasTuesday everybody! In honor, let’s talk about which exit sign will light up for Yoshi.

May 15, 2012

Let’s talk vaginas today. Why not? It’s Tuesday. Didn’t you know that’s TalkVaginaTuesdays? Sorry it’s so late in the day. You better get in as much vagina talk between now and midnight as POSSIBLE.

So in honor of TVT, we’re going to talk about birth. Many many many of you have asked me about Yoshi’s birth. Will I have another C-section? Will I attempt a VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean). I can tell you this: From the moment that pee stick turned double time, this has weighed heavily on my mind.

I really didn’t know anything about my situation or my options. For those who are new here, I had planned a natural birth the first time around with midwives and birth centers and singing fairies and ended up with an unwanted cesarean. You can read the birth story here, here and here. And then, you can talk about it with people in honor of TVT.

The one thing I knew right away was that I wanted a doula. Having a doula was the best decision I made since duel room DVR’s. Especially since B took THREE naps during labor. You heard me. A good friend of mine had recently become certified to be a doula and I knew she was the winner of the game. I am very comfortable with her and she’s my favorite hippie. She also cooked food for me for weeks while I couldn’t even look a piece of bread in the face without punching it and puking.

she gives me food in mason jars and wraps bread in cloth: quality hippie.

What I didn’t know was where I was going to have this baby and how. I researched VBAC’s. I read some stuff. I read more stuff. I talked to VBAC patients. I talked to doctors. I found out that the biggest risk with VBAC is uterine rupture. Which is definitely JUST as scary as it sounds. It can rupture from your scar and if the baby doesn’t come out within like minutes, the baby dies and you probably die too. DIE. But then I found out that the chance of this happening is .4%. Double lightening strikes is more likely.

What I also didn’t know was that risks involved in a 2nd and 3rd and future c-sections is WAY higher than anyone tells you. Cutting through scar tissue over and over is dangerous. Being in major surgery in general is dangerous. A friend of a friend had a 2nd C-section and after much complication had to have a hysterectomy. I know it’s not common, but the risks are there and are greater than .4%.

So I was cool with my VBAC decision. It makes sense. Surely finding a midwife or a doctor would be easy. WRONG SONG DONG. See, in the 90’s some science wad said that it was mandatory for the hospital of a VBAC patient to have anesthesia available immediately. This scared the shit out of doctors and they stopped supporting VBAC’s. One thing I know about doctors is that they do whatever it takes to protect themselves. And anything that lessens risk for them they are going to push on you. So no, I could not find a doctor for the life of me. I got very discouraged.

What I could find was a ton of midwives who would deliver Yoshi…AT HOME. Woah. Home birth? I mean I did always want a water birth like I see on a Baby Story. It would be nice to not be in a hospital having every last drug shoved down my throat. But I had to think…at what point am I doing this more for me and less for Yoshi? Now I don’t blame anyone for having a home birth. I think it’s a great option. But with a VBAC there is SOME risk involved. And being the mental patient headcase that I am, I’d be a nervous wreck. So I was determined to find a hospital and a doctor or midwife who would support me.

See? this totally could have been me.

In the entire Philadelphia area (and I’m talking entire area) I found 3 places that I could go to. A midwife who delivers at a hospital (my first choice), a traditional OBGYN practice that delivers at a hospital and a practice of midwives that delivers at UPENN (which is sort of far for us). I’m meeting with the midwife next week and I have all of my fingers crossed.

Now, I’ll say all of this:

1) Please PLEASE do not leave me comments with your horror story VBAC. Please also do not email me. I have already received emails and I understand that you had a bad experience, but I’m trying to stay positive.

2) Although I’m really pushing for a vagina birth, I’m not totally sure I’m going to be able to have a natural birth. Trust, I would love to. But I’ve been through labor before and it’s damn hard. I’m going to take classes and educate the shit out of myself this time so when some nurse says “I’m going to stick this in your vagina now”, I know the risks and benefits for myself.

3) Yes, the most important thing is Yoshi’s health. And if there was any risk or chance that a vaginal birth would hurt Yoshi, I would have another c section. However I really do believe that a vaginal birth is not only healthier for me and the baby, it’s less risk than another c-section.

And with that, I give you TVT. Please really take the time to enjoy the rest of TalkVaginaTuesday. It only comes once a week.


And in a totally unrelated note: To advertisers and those who have contacted me about advertising. I will get back to you. I’m still trying to get back into the swing of things after being sick. I’m still not 100% but I promise we’ll get things going again. To current advertisers: I’ve given you like a billion weeks free as a thank you for my lack of being a human lately.




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  • Sarah May 15, 2012 at 8:28 pm

    You might check out a documentary called Pregnant in America. (Available on Netflix) Warnings: it might scare Yoshi right out of you (but is enlightening, scary, and beautiful all together). And Netflix will bombard you with other hippie natural baby movies to watch.

  • Erika May 15, 2012 at 8:31 pm

    Good luck girl! Everything will work out in the end whatever you decide. Stay strong and thank you for TVT =)

  • Katie E. May 15, 2012 at 8:31 pm

    Good luck duck! I agree, the important thing is Yoshi is healthy and comes out of the oven.

  • Christine F. May 15, 2012 at 8:36 pm

    Modg, you can totally rock Yoshi’s birth vagina style. One of my besties and fellow hippy tree hugger had not one but 2 VBAC births. Mom and both babes were all happy and healthy. She’s a really crazy hippy so she had both of her VBACs at home in a birthing pool. I have no experience w/ VBAC myself but I have two successful non medicated natural vaginal births so I know you can do it too. Good luck and keep us posted on what you find out at the appointments.

  • Baby B's Mom May 15, 2012 at 8:39 pm

    Good for you for educating yourself and researching all options! I think whatever a mom chooses whether it’s home birth to planned c-section is the perfect choice for her as long as she’s educated about it. Good luck at your midwife appointment!

  • Sarah RDH May 15, 2012 at 8:41 pm

    first of all, congrats on the pregnancy!! I am having my 3rd, a scheduled c/s, on May 30th! eek! Good luck with your vbac! My 1st c/s was an emergency as well, my 2nd I had chosen but had to anyway due to placenta accreta, which was fine with me…so yeah 3rd will be as well. I will say, my 2nd c/s was actually easier than my 1st, I think bc I *didn’t* go through labor that time, it was just easier on my body. But both of mine were great really, and I wish you the best of luck in your next delivery, no mater which way it turns out for you! :)

    • Marjorie May 16, 2012 at 9:02 am

      I’m prepping for my 3rd c-section too, and my experience was very similar. My 2nd was SOOO much easier than my first. 17 hours of labor followed by a c-section was super rough on my body and the recovery was a bitch! The 2nd was scheduled and a piece of cake. I literally hopped out of bed the next day for my shower. No problems whatsoever. I was off the pain meds before we even left the hospital. I’m a little nervous about a third, but I absolutely LOVE my doctor and trust him completely and if he thinks it will be fine, then I’m all for it. Whatever you decide on will be fine, because it’s what’s right for you.

  • Bethany May 15, 2012 at 8:41 pm

    my first was an emergency c-section. it’s a horrific story involving hospital negligence and it’s too long to share here. for my second, I got doulas and a midwife who would deliver in a hospital and all kinds of supportive people to help me. the labor was long and intense, but my team was awesome, especially my husband. I was in active labor for nearly 24 hours, and was pushing for another hour and a half before the doctor and midwife finally agreed that my daughter’s ginormous head would not fit past my cervix and I would need a second c-section (I knew this was a risk, as I have a very narrow pubic arch and my vagina bottlenecks right below my cervix.) while it was disappointing to have another section, I am still glad that I went through the labor, because labor is so important to the baby’s health. and there was no danger, no rupture, not trauma, she just wouldn’t fit. so even if you find during labor that you can’t have a vaginal birth, going through natural labor with doulas and midwives and no drugs before a section is still so much healthier for the baby than a planned section. I believe you’re making the right decision. good luck, and here’s hoping everything works out for you!

  • Sara May 15, 2012 at 8:42 pm

    I have seen the word VBAC a million times, and never knew what it meant. I figured it was just like Vagina Baby And Crap, standard business. Good luck, dude! I would talk about vaginas, but I’m 25 weeks with a ridiculous belly and haven’t seen my vag in forever. (Miss you, buddy).

    • melissa May 16, 2012 at 5:46 pm

      “(Miss you, buddy)”

      Ha, that’s great!

    • Brooke May 18, 2012 at 2:34 pm

      I always thought it was some sort of acronym for a vacuum type procedure doctor’s used to suck babies out after there had been a prior C-section. I think because of the V, it just made me think of vacuums. Good to see I was wrong!

      • Sara May 21, 2012 at 4:59 pm

        Can we talk about how pissed I would be if the doc cut me open, then was too lazy to lift a baby out and used a Dyson instead?

  • Heidi_Australia May 15, 2012 at 8:43 pm

    Modg, as a genuine midwife and mother of one, I would like to encourage you in your attempt to VBAC. Here in Australia we actively encourage mothers who’ve had a caesarean (just one not multiple) to try VBAC And there is a huge success rate! Yay!! However if your head is not in the vag birth game it will reduce your chances. Your psyche is the most important thing in labour. If you dont think that you can do it, or are too scared that bad things will happen, how can your body possibly strive forward?? Your best bet is to do your research, psych yourself into in, and remind yourself that it might end in a caesar but you are going to try your hardest dammit! You’ve been through Caesar, you know that you did well, it’s at least a known quantity.
    We wait with baited breath to see which exit Yoshi makes.
    Living vicariously whilst biding my time for number 2 child… You go first please!

  • Leyna May 15, 2012 at 8:43 pm

    I hear ya on the VBAC decision. There really is no easy choice, is there? Do you know about They put new moms with great birth stories in touch with pregnant “buddies” to help spread positivity and increase knowledge. Maybe you could find a VBAC buddy!

  • Elizabeth May 15, 2012 at 8:45 pm

    Card carrying member of the VBAC club here. First daughter born after three days of labor and 4 hours of active pushing via c-section. Due to hubbies upcoming deployment to Iraq we ignored orders to wait for another baby and I had baby girl #2 one year and two weeks later. Hubs made it home for the birth *yeah* but was gone for the next 9 months *boo*.
    First VBAC was dare I say easy? Besides the scary forms and annoying nurses cheering me on it was great. Then we got pregnant again 4 months after hubby returned from his 4th deployment with our third baby girl and had another successful VBAC.
    I offer no wise words that will ease your heart but offer a few stats: all personal and no I’m not a freaking doctor so chill…
    All my babies were almost 9 pounds, husband is 6’7″
    We gave birth in military hospitals that were wonderful despite other opinions
    I have three baby girls under three-my body is never gonna be the same but mention it and I’ll cut a bitch
    I stayed home and went through labor for on average two days per kiddo so when I got to the hospital it was go time

    Best of luck and just stay strong and calm!

  • Amber May 15, 2012 at 8:49 pm

    Good luck! I don’t have experience with a VBAC, but I had two vag (with lots of drugs) and one c-section. Vag all the way. I felt so much better so much sooner. Plus, my doctor prescribed sitz baths because of my episiotomy. It’s great to say “husband, take the baby. The doctor says I have to sit in the tub every two hours.”

  • KT May 15, 2012 at 8:49 pm

    I think it’s so great that you’re doing what’s best for you and Yoshi, even if you don’t know what that is yet! I know you referenced “Business of Being Born” your first pregnancy, but have you seen “More Business of Being Born”? I haven’t, mostly because I’m not planning on children for a while and I don’t want to pay for it, but I did read that it’s in four parts, and you can just watch one part at a time downloaded from the website, and part 4 is all about VBAC and your options. You’ve probably already seen it–if so, you should review it!

    Good luck with your midwife meeting!

  • ES May 15, 2012 at 8:49 pm

    I am eager to hear about your VBAC journey! I had a c-section as well and have spent a lot of time debating VBAC vs. C-section No. 2 in my head. Honestly, neither thrills me. But honestly, I just couldn’t imagine going through ALL that labor again just to have another c-section for the same reason (he just wasn’t coming out with my pushing!) I always say the worst part of my labor wasn’t the pain, but the exhaustion. I kind of like the idea of being “well-rested” for the second birth (well, as rested as you can be with a 2-3 year old).

    Good luck Modg. Can’t wait to hear more!

  • jess May 15, 2012 at 8:50 pm

    Praying for a VBAC myself in about 8 weeks. Also, interested in hippie bread recipe.

    • Brandy May 16, 2012 at 8:05 am

      Interested in ALL the hippie recipes.

  • S May 15, 2012 at 8:56 pm

    I’m in no time soon having a baby yet, but I’m curious to see where you choose, if you share of corse. I understand if you don’t. I live in your area (I work in Philly) and I’m curious to see who you go with!

  • Lluvia May 15, 2012 at 8:58 pm

    I think it’s great! I hope this time around you get to have your second baby the way you want to! :-)

  • Mallory May 15, 2012 at 9:01 pm

    I am really interested on what information you find out and for what you decide works best for you and baby (should you decide to share it in your blog). I also had a c-section when I had hoped for natural childbirth. My son flipped to breech position at 38.5 weeks. I am hoping that I have the opportunity to try for a VBAC with my next pregnancy, but I had no idea about the regulations and how few doctors will allow it. As always – thanks for sharing this info. Good to know. Best of luck with finding a midwife or doctor that works for yours and baby’s needs!

  • Sarah May 15, 2012 at 9:05 pm

    I attempted a Home VBAC with my second and although I didn’t deliver vaginally I wouldn’t have traded it for anything! I am a VBAC supporter and will attempt a VBA2C when I get pregnant again. The risks of a csection to me far outweigh the risk the rupture. Did you know the risks of a csection from small infection to death is around 28%!! That’s way too high for my liking. Good luck!

  • JULI C May 15, 2012 at 9:06 pm

    No VBAC horror stories here but my friend had 4 c-sections and is having her 5th at the end of this May.

    In the end it is up to you and what you have to do for baby Yoshi.
    Good luck in your quest of finding that DR!
    I myself have had 2 c-sections. That was enough.

  • Heather May 15, 2012 at 9:07 pm

    Okay, I have to share this link with you because I read it yesterday and I straight up almost e-mailed you. Then I decided that I don’t know you and e-mailing strangers is kind of weird. Anyhow, it’s totally hippy friendly…I think…because a Hypno Babies friend of mine posted it to FB. And I also just want to say that, from the perspective of a baby-free-non-hippy, you’ve really made me think about all of this stuff and I’m finding myself surprisingly coming down on the natural side of things.

    • Elizabeth May 16, 2012 at 11:04 pm

      What an awesome article! Thanks so much for sharing.

  • Shana May 15, 2012 at 9:08 pm

    I’m pregnant with my second as well, and I’m definitely hoping for a VBAC. I’m all for it, and much like you said: if there is absolute need for another CSection for the wee one’s health, then yeah, I’ll do it. But I’d like to give the lady cave another shot. This made me feel better to read regarding that decision. :)

  • Tia May 15, 2012 at 9:09 pm

    Good for you for going the VBAC route! I’m in the same boat as you, as most docs look at you like you have 4 heads if you mention VBAC. But, I think the potential for good far outweighs anything else. And 2 of the 3 doctors that could potentially deliver my baby are super on board with my VBAC decision, with one of the doctors appearing agreeable (he’s a man, so maybe he just doesn’t get it). I’m due in 12 days…so we shall soon find out if my hopes of a natural birth are successful. No matter the way it happens, I’ll be ecstatic to have my little girl in my arms sometime soon.

  • ABC May 15, 2012 at 9:10 pm

    Good for you! My fingers are crossed for you for a successful VBAC.

  • Lauren @ Turquoise & Gold May 15, 2012 at 9:14 pm

    MODG, I’m so happy to hear that you’re attempting a VBAC! I assume that you know way more about the internet than I do, but if you haven’t already been to, go and check out their videos on VBACs. There are women on there that have like homebirth VBA2Cs with twins. You can totally do this, and I wish you good luck with finding a great practice that supports you in all of this!

  • Beth May 15, 2012 at 9:22 pm

    Hey I am in south jersey and there is a midwife group here with a 92% success rate with vbacs. I believe they deliver in Princeton. I stashed their names for my next baby, gotta find it again, let me know if you want it!

  • brittany May 15, 2012 at 9:23 pm

    My mother had an emergency C-section with me, then vaginal and drug-free births with both of my siblings. No complications for her and all healthy babies! Best of luck with whatever you decide/works for you!

  • melissa May 15, 2012 at 9:26 pm

    In the same boat as you. When they told me, advised, recommended, or whatever bullshit you want to call it, that I deliver my first via CS. I was like, okay, just give me my baby. No one EVER mentioned that this decision would mean ALL future delivery options would be taken away from me and I would HAVE to deliver repeat C-section. Get this, my doctor says I have no option, like it is not up to me. But then, shoves a paper in my face at my 30 week appointment, asking me to sign the line that I want a repeat C-section, that line is right below the one that says, “I want a VBAC”. If you are not giving me a choice, don’t make me sign some shitty ass piece of paper making it look like I had a choice. KWIM?

    • melissa May 15, 2012 at 11:39 pm

      just a teeny bit bitter…

  • Kelly @ turned up to eleven {formerly dare to be domestic} May 15, 2012 at 9:26 pm

    Thank you for posting this, not only to answer questions everyone has about your personal experience and choices but to spread information about different options. They are finally trying to pass the laws for home birth here in Alabama and I’ve thought about it. I’m not pregnant yet but I like to plan way ahead, even if plans don’t always workout.

    Glad you’re feeling better, we missed you! :)

  • Sabrina May 15, 2012 at 9:27 pm

    I delivered at UPENN, and while I have no clue about VBACS I will say they were EXTREMELY supportive of natural birth. They assigned a nurse just for me and gave me a room with a tub. They also supported intermittent fetal monitoring. So even though it’s far for you if the midwife at your hospital doesn’t work out hopefully UPENN will.

    Best of luck in making this decision.

  • Karen May 15, 2012 at 9:27 pm

    I had two vbacs, each one better than the last and both times I felt amazing afterward. I had some pinching around the edge of my scar area during my 2nd vbac but nothing bad happened. I loved the whole experience of having my boys the old fashioned way and would do it again in a heartbeat!

  • Postmodern Rachel May 15, 2012 at 9:31 pm

    Congrats on your pregnancy! It’s awesome you are going for a VBAC. There are lots of positive stories out there, and great resources. Your doula will be able to help navigate. Hope you love the midwife and all goes well.

  • Postmodern Rachel May 15, 2012 at 9:31 pm

    PS Those photos are awesomely beautiful and hilarious, respectively.

  • Laura C May 15, 2012 at 9:32 pm

    Modg you can totally pull off a vbac. And if the cards don’t fall that way, you have SENSE and you are NOT a baby-endangering crazy. I feel compelled to comment because I think it’s pretty ugly that so many women face this choice after their first baby. With a c-rate of 1/3, this is just…shitty. So, seriously, you can do all of us future pregs some real good by keeping these choices in the light. That is all. Happy vbac-ing!

  • eileen marie May 15, 2012 at 9:34 pm

    So excited after the announcement of Yoshi. Good to strike when the iron’s hot -G has NO idea the shit that’s about to go down. I sadly have no birth story to share, horror-inducing or otherwise, but if it’s ever the former, I’ll keep it to myself and a few hundred facebook friends. Best of luck in with your birth -vaginal or c-section. You know we’re all rooting for you!

  • Jenny May 15, 2012 at 9:36 pm

    Oh Modg, don’t be afraid. My sweet momma had a horror-story c-section when I was born (I try to make up for it every Mother’s Day, Christmas, and birthday, but she’s still bitter about it) and then had three children after me – all out her vaj. She found very supportive doctor, read a lot about VBACs, and was in general very stubborn about it all. My little boy was born via emergency c-section in March, so once the horror of all that wears off and I am crazy enough to want another, she’ll definitely be my go-to. Be informed. Be stubborn. Find people who are as informed and stubborn as you are to back you up.

  • Angela May 15, 2012 at 9:36 pm

    Congrats on the new baby! I just wanted to let you know that I had a natural delivery at UPenn last November and wouldn’t change a thing about it. I know it’s far though and I remember hating every minute of that drive to the hospital and I was pretty close. Good luck making this super tough decision and hopefully you like the midwife you’re meeting with so you can deliver closer to home!!

  • Meagan {Green Motherhood} May 15, 2012 at 9:37 pm

    Girl, you can do it. I haven’t read your birth story, so I don’t know all the gory details, but I’m a true believer now, after my own unmedicated 40 hour birth in a hospital with nurses who kept telling me I should get some pain management but then went back to playing their solitaire games when I said, no thank you, that there really is something to working with your body in labor instead of against it. As in, relaxing (as much as possible) and letting it all happen instead of fighting it and holding the baby back. It’s a mental game.
    And when people say, “don’t be a hero, no one gets a medal after it”, I say, “Hell yeah I got a medal!” I’ve never felt more powerful in my whole life. Did it hurt like hell? Yes. But, it was worth it.
    If you want it, go for it. I’m rooting for you. :) no matter what.

  • Meaghan @ BambinoMom May 15, 2012 at 9:38 pm

    When I was 38 weeks pregnant, I read your birth story. And I told myself, ok that’s almost as opposite from my ideal situation as it can get. But it probably won’t be like that because no body’s story is the same. Right? Wrong. Minus the attempt at self-inducing, I didn’t know it at the time, but I was reading what would turn out to be my birth story. To include the husband that took frequent naps while I was freaking the f out. So, I’m pulling for you, here. Since I’ve had my son, I’ve thought once or twice about that whole VBAC vs. C-section thing. Just never contemplated it too deeply. So, as usual, you’re going first on this one. And I expect to learn a lot. Whatever happens, I’m pulling for you.

  • Tia May 15, 2012 at 9:41 pm

    Yay for VBAC’s! I think it’s a great decision, despite the fact that it’s obviously not popular in the “modern” medical world. I’m planning a VBAC for my second, who is due in 12 days (or less…please, please less). Anyway, I’ve gone through my fair share of doctor struggles and personal mental struggles with the whole thing. You’re not alone there. My first best plan is VBAC, but if I have to have another c-section, I will. I’m just anxious and excited at the fact that I’ll have a brand new baby girl in a few more days.

    P.S. You already sound super informed, but you might find a couple of documentaries interesting. “The Business of Being Born” and “Pregnant in America.” Both can be streamed on Netflix.

  • Jess M. May 15, 2012 at 9:43 pm

    I was lucky enough to find a midwifery here in Denver that is connected with the University hospital. My son’s birth was everything I wanted, except for him facing the wrong way. I attempted a water birth but since he was face up, I was in back labor and ended laboring in the bed. I really liked being in control of the birth with the midwives and I did it all without taking any meds. I really do think that you can have the birth you want if you find the right people. And if your baby is being obedient.

  • Melissa May 15, 2012 at 9:45 pm

    On a positive note my good friend just had a very smooth and successful VBAC last month. Sending you lots of vagina dust.

  • Samantha May 15, 2012 at 9:47 pm

    Look up Birth Without Fear on Facebook and also look up Banned from Baby Showers. Both are extremely helpful with a ton of useful information supporting all kinds of different births. I had my daughter in February and it didn’t go anything like I planned either but having these other resources has really helped me!

  • TC May 15, 2012 at 9:47 pm

    Kudos to you! You are doing EXACTLY the right thing by educating yourself whilst being focused on “I’ll do whatever is best for the baby and I on the day”. Hiring a doula is DEFINITELY a good idea. I had one for my first birth. I wish you tonnes of luck and a beautiful birth! :)

  • Jessica May 15, 2012 at 9:53 pm

    Good luck with whatever you choose! I have a non-scary VBAC story and I totally took into consideration all of the things you talked about. I even had scary thoughts right before everything went down and thought maybe my body was about to explode from the inside. Didn’t happen. It worked out and I had the natural birth the second time that I had hoped for the first time. It was hard and hurt like hell, but totally worth it. And now I have a cool story to brag about and people ooooo and awwww, “Whooooa, you did it like, without drugs? I didn’t even know people did that anymore…” Yup, I did.

  • lbterp May 15, 2012 at 9:56 pm

    Good luck with all the research! I’m sure you will make the best call for you and your baby. And you will have a ton of readers supporting you. And the chicken/egg picture made my night. Thanks for always making me smile!

  • rachel May 15, 2012 at 10:03 pm

    More power to you girl! You know whats right for you and yoshi and thats what youll do. I love reading about your experience because im trying to talk my husband into baby #3 (and hes trying to talk me into insurance with a $10,000 deductable!). And on a completely different note, i was part of the first wana update. Were there anymore? Is wana still on going? Things are better for us and id like to pass it on with the little i could do. Plus i loved hearing about the good that came from it.
    sparkles, danny tanner hearts and baby friendly vaginas :)

  • Olivia May 15, 2012 at 10:04 pm

    Good for you! You’ve educated yourself about the issues, you’re seeking professional opinions, and you’re making the choice that fits your family best. No one else can tell you how to do that, so don’t listen to all those emails.

  • christine, mom of 4 May 15, 2012 at 10:12 pm

    I delivered my first via c-section (she was breech) but have had three awesome VBACS since then, including one induced with a bit of pitocin and my last one which was with no drugs at all. They were all wonderful experiences. All were delivered at a hospital and attended by an OB who acted like the decision was a no-brainer…why opt for another section when you can do a VBAC? I agree! Good luck finding the right baby-catcher.

    • Autumn May 16, 2012 at 4:38 pm

      I had the same experience. First baby (now 25) was breech, thus a (nightmare-ish) c-section. I did the same reading up on VBACs, saw the same .4% rupture rate, and insisted to my very unwilling OB that I was having a VBAC. Had to be strapped to a monitor, very invasive labor with baby #2 (now 22) , but was a drug-free birth. For babies #3 & 4 (20 and 18 now) I found a much more laid-back doctor (she had 6! kids of her own) who let me do my thing my way. Baby #4 was pitocin induced, but all in all, 3 relatively easy natural VBACs. It can be done, but it helps to insist that this is your body, your baby, and therefore your decision.

  • Stevie May 15, 2012 at 10:13 pm

    Do you read Lemon Gloria?

    She just had her second baby and had a VBAC. She had a great delivery with no complications. She’s in the DC area and had a difficult time finding people that would support her decision as well.

    She would probably be a great resource for you!

  • Suzanne May 15, 2012 at 10:14 pm

    I had a friend who had an incredibly successful VBAC. You can do it! Thinking of you all :)

  • Jesica May 15, 2012 at 10:20 pm

    Good luck with the VBAC! Hope you can make it happen!

  • jaymi fillier May 15, 2012 at 10:26 pm

    I was in your shoes last year. i had a csection with my daughter in december 2009 and was expecting another little one in June 2011. After a lot of research we decided on a vbac attempt with a midwife at our local hospital. I am so happy with my decision. Labor was hard but with my wonderful mw and husband by my side i was able to successfully deliver my 9lb4oz (not so) little girl.
    Im not going to lie, i was scared of what could happen, but like you i knew that the risks involved in a vbac were less than a repeat section. I would have loved to have a home birth but being at the hospital just in case really helped to put my mind at ease.
    Just remember, when it comes to birth there is no right or wrong way, whatever choice you. make is the right choice for you. I wish you all the luck in the world.

  • Stefanie May 15, 2012 at 10:31 pm

    I am a labor and delivery RN, I am amazed that not many hospitals accept VBAC’s, do you live in a smaller community? I know small town hospitals do not often have in house anesthesia, which is definitely a huge safety factor when delivering TOLAC (trial of labor after Cesarean). I live in Mpls, so there are many larger hospitals that accept TOLAC’s (and my hospital often has patients from smaller, community hospitals that do not have anesthesia in-house. Believe me, you would want that). Anywho, I always say babies always decide when and how they come out. We have our plan of care for plan A, but be prepared for plan B. Best of luck with whatever you decide. Educate yourself, then choose the best path for you and baby (whatever you feel that may be). Congrats on your pregnancy.

  • Laura May 15, 2012 at 10:35 pm

    I think it’s awesome you’re considering a VBAC! I took Bradley Method classes during my pregnancy and it helped A LOT to know what was “normal”, what to expect, and what kind of crap doctors try to pull to speed things up and take things into their own hands. My instructor was also a labor and delivery RN so she knew just about everything and we could ask her everything and she actually know the answers! It was great! So, there’s my advice–Bradley Method! It’s pricey and time consuming (12 weeks) but soooo worth it!

  • Olivia May 15, 2012 at 11:11 pm

    My mom had a VBAC (s) after having me as a C, and my five younger brothers are fine and so is she. Yeah, we are the definition of hippies, I know. But you’re a rockstar and whatever happens, all will be well. No stressing please, you and only you know what is right for you and your baby. The end

  • Sugar May 15, 2012 at 11:18 pm

    I normally don’t leave comments but since no one else had, I sort of felt sorry for you (HA) and thought I’d drop by and say hi. First, super happy about Yoshi! And I totally loved your video when B found out about her. Totally jerked a tear on that one. Just wanted to say I’m glad you’re keeping your options open about Yoshi’s birth and only you can make the right decision. Glad you’re feeling better. Hope the nausea passes soon!

  • Chrissy May 15, 2012 at 11:20 pm

    I totally resonate with your post today. I too, had a c-section after I had my midwife/birth center birth all planned out… and although I am not pregnant with #2 yet, the idea of my options being limited in having the type of birth I’d like is very discouraging. I’ll be crossing my fingers for you that your time with the midwife goes well and that you will feel confident and assured with whatever you choose for you and your Yoshi. :)

  • Meghann May 15, 2012 at 11:34 pm

    I also had a planned natural birth that ended in an unexpected c/s…after 3 days – yes DAYS of labor, so I can literally feel your labor pains. I’m hoping one day to have my vag birth, but until that time – I’ll be living vicariously through you mama.

  • Michelle May 15, 2012 at 11:37 pm

    Okay, so weird that you posted about this. I’m pregnant with baby #2 (due in October), had an emergency/unwanted c-section with #1 and am planning a VBAC. My OB suggested and encouraged a VBAC – same Dr who did my c-section. I didn’t do any research (glad I didn’t after reading this!) – just decided VBAC was best JUST IN CASE we go for #3. (Don’t tell my husband that thought has even crossed my mind.)

    I’m so sorry you’re having such a tough time finding VBAC support in your area. That’s awful. Come to Scottsdale. We have amazing spas, fantastic weather and progressive OB’s.

  • Skooks May 15, 2012 at 11:39 pm

    Modg – – I just want to encourage you here. I had a non-planned section with my first (no real drama, just no progress after very long labor and 2 hours of pushing where baby girl was just not moving down the pathway there). I was induced b.c she was over 2 weeks late (NOT something I wanted to do, but the doc scared me into it) . . . anyway. Whatever. She was born healthy and the recovery was craptastical, but it is what it is. When I was pregnant with baby #2, I was determined to do VBAC . . . my doc even helped me find a practice that was more supportive and would work with me. So happy to say that it was a total success, all natural (in hospital) birth . . . it was intense, but wonderful. And the recovery is like NIGHT AND DAY. Just over a week ago I gave birth to VBAC baby #3. :) No one can see into the future and know what will happen, but I am such a believer in VBAC (obviously based on my own experience with it . . . twice!) . . . I really hope that it works out for you. Getting care providers that support it is half the battle right there. Also – – I had babies that were a tad on the large side as well (all around the 9# mark) . . . with big heads. TMI? But I’m saying, 2 VBACS!! This can be done. Good luck. I am hoping for the best possible outcome for both you and Yoshi.

  • Adelita May 16, 2012 at 12:05 am

    Thank you for writing this. My daughter was born c-section because she was breech and everyone and their mother keeps giving me input on how I should deliver #2 (and I am not even pregnant!) “VBAC is so dangerous.” “You can only have 2 c-sections and then you can’t have anymore.” blah blah blah blah blah. This is very insightful and I am sure my mind will be racing through every single possible scenario when the time comes. Again, thank you for your honesty and congrats on baby #2!

  • erinisabel May 16, 2012 at 12:41 am

    You got this girl. I too had a shittastic first birth experience very similar to yours, and I often think about what I’d do next time. You took the thoughts right out of my head. Hi-five!, and I really super duper hope that everything goes smooth like butter for you and Yoshi.

  • JK May 16, 2012 at 1:16 am

    I had a shitty “birth” experience first time round due to severe pre-eclampsia which meant my little darling was delivered by section in a bit of a rush in order to save both of our lives. Sections serve a purpose and as much as I wanted the happy hippy water bath experience, I got an operating theatre and the chance to live to tell the tale.
    As for VBAC, here in the UK the NHS is very supportive of it. In fact one of the first things I was told in post-op recovery was that the section went well and there was no reason to think I couldn’t have a VBAC next time. Due to my previous experience I think I’ll have another section, in a hospital with a shit-hot neonatal unit. A healthy baby comes first and you are doing the right thing by aiming for a VBAC but making sure little Yoshi is the priority.

  • Erin May 16, 2012 at 1:18 am

    I’m a partial hippy (I homebirthed and clothe diaper and make my own organic babyfood…. but I only breastfed until 11 weeks, did CIO, and I’m a scientist, so I vaccinate…).

    But as a half-hippy, my favorite pre-birth thing I did was surround myself with positive birth talk and visualize my healthy, happy, birth every night. I used two books (linked below) that are full of well-written, short, positive birth stories (including VBACs) that happened everywhere from hospitals to next to trees (there are mega hippies in the book too!). Each night I’d read one positive birth story, turn off the lights, visualize the birth of my baby, and fall asleep smiling. I just rolled my eyes, but that’s what I did.

    Here are the books:
    Journey Into Motherhood (my fave)-
    Adventures in Natural Childbirth –

    Also – lots of factors go into how births go, and they are NOT all MOM factors. So cut yourself some slack. You’re a good mom.

    (ps – anecdotal, not scientific, but I ended up with a super short, super easy, no tear, 5ish hours home birth of a 9 pound baby – and I weighed 118 before preg… I’m just bragging now, but I do think visualization played a role. Or I have the world’s largest vagina.)

  • K May 16, 2012 at 2:04 am

    I had a vbac and it was wonderful, euphoric, and among the greatest joys of my life. I hope you get in with the midwife, babe. I’m cheering you on.

  • Lin May 16, 2012 at 4:13 am

    Good luck! I had a c-section with my son last summer and I am still contemplating about what I will do the next go around. I’m hoping for vbac but I also realize that it might be a long shot for me because of health issues. I hope you get to experience childbirth naturally. Glad you are starting to feel a little better! I’m rooting for you!

  • Ofjonesfame May 16, 2012 at 4:37 am

    I was in a mom group when I had my crumbsnatcher. Another mom (as well as I) had a c-section. On her second child she had a home water birth with a midwife and everything was a-okay. Actually she had a third one at home in a pot of water too. All of them are still alive, breathing, and snatching crumbs. Word. Get your water on MODG! If I were to have more kids I’d totally have them at home (but im not having more kids, I hate kids) I totally believe the doctors are the reason I needed a c-section and that they were complete lazy idiots that didn’t want to stay up to late. The bastard even said to me, “hi-ya my name dr. chow, you want me to tie-a yah tube while I in there?” WTF I was 22? whateve-

  • Andrea May 16, 2012 at 5:36 am

    MODG….as an OB nurse in a hospital that practices VBAC’s I think you are 100% making the right decision….especially if you are thinking about having more kids! I also think you are VERY VERY smart for having your baby in a hospital. I am pro home birth and think it is a good option if you are a good canidate! I would not consider a VBAC a good canidate! The most important thing is that mom and baby Yoshi make it through the process safely. Good luck…I’m sure you’ll do great!

  • Kiera May 16, 2012 at 8:09 am

    I am going through the same thing right now. I’m personally planning to use Abington Memorial Hospital (about 40 minutes from my house) because I can do my VBAC there. What a pain in the ass. Everything I have been reading has said, yes you have the rupturing uti to worry about, but like you said, the worry is slim to none… and VBAC is “the way to go” according to ACOG.

    So why is it so damn hard to find a doctor to help with this?!!?!?!

  • Brandy May 16, 2012 at 8:19 am

    I’m surprised that you are having trouble finding a VBAC-friendly provider, living near a larger metropolitan area. I live in middle-of-nowhere Ohio/West Virginia and I know of at least 3 OBs around who are VBAC-supportive. Sadly, though, we don’t have such awesome things as midwives and birth centers around here.

    I had a terrible C-section experience with my first too. And, whenever I get pregnant again, I’m hoping for a VBAC too. I’ll be watching and waiting and crossing my fingers for you. From what I hear, VBACs have a very high success rate (75%-ish?)!!

    I think you’ll rock it. The doula is imperative (I think). I stupidly didn’t have one with my first…never. again. I need to start saving up now.

  • Lisa May 16, 2012 at 8:49 am

    Just throwing out there. I’ve never had a C but I’ve heard tons of good things about ICAN. You can do it!

  • Karen May 16, 2012 at 9:31 am

    Hi MODG, I would encourage you to try the VBAC My first child was en emergency c-section because I had Toxemia and I couldnt even be awake for it, they gave me anesthesia and when I woke up I had a baby in the nursery. I had spent most of my pregnancy watching Baby Story on TLC and felt like I was robbed of the whole labor/birthing experience. My second pregnancy, they scheduled a c-section because I was a week over due. The day before the scheduled c-section, I went into labor. At the hospital the intern told me I could attempt a vaginal birth if I wanted to, but to just be aware that if anything went wrong they would have to intervene and do a c-section. They couldnt give me the full dose of epidural because I had to be able to feel if any pain felt different than labor pains that would signal something going on with my uterus. Everything went wonderful, I was in labor for about 10 hours and pushed for about an hour and had a very successful vaginal birth. And the difference I felt after the vaginal as opposed to the c-section was fantastic. Giving birth is such a personal experience for every woman, I would not even attempt to tell any woman what is best for them. But if you would like to experience a vaginal birth, I think you should try as long as there are no problems. I would only suggest that you do so in a hospital where there is immediate medical care available should any intervention be needed. The most important outcome is a healthy mom and baby. I know you will make the best choice for you and your family.

  • april May 16, 2012 at 9:33 am

    Sounds like you are doing your best at making an educated decision for you and Yoshi. I’m not even pregnant yet with # 2, but I am also heavily researching VBAC. I had a horrendous c-section recovery and would give anything to avoid that ever again. One good study to read is on ACOG (American College of OB/GYN). If you google VBAC you can see the study performed there. Aside from uterine rupture, one important fact to know is that there is greater risk to the baby when you have a failed Trial of Labor and end up in emergency section. I do not want to scare you and not sure if you may have read about that already. I know there are lots of mamas scared about rupture (which is expected, as I am scared as well) but some do not realize the risk with failed TOL. I think it is great that you are researching and willing to give it a try, but also keeping Yoshi’s health a priority. There is always someone with an opinion about this sort of thing but you just know what is best for you and your baby. I hope you are able to find supportive medical staff who help you every step of the way, whether you end up with a VBAC or a c-section. I am excited to follow along on your journey and am so thrilled you are adding to your already awesome family!!!

  • Jeannie Miernik May 16, 2012 at 9:57 am

    Do do doula!

    Though the birth of my daughter went OK, my biggest regret is not having a doula. My mom friends who had doulas reported that they were invaluable in their comfort, encouragement, and advocacy. They block a whole lot of the unnecessary worry and BS that can go along with childbirth, which we sure don’t want to deal with while we’re in labor. And while my husband was a super great support coach, he couldn’t keep that OH GOD ARE YOU GOING TO DIE look off of his face.

    My biggest wish is that we moms someday don’t have to choose between the comforting and calm environment of a birth center or home and the lifesaving technologies available at hospitals for the births that don’t go quite as planned. But a doula in a hospital seems the best compromise to me–as another mom who isn’t in a position to gamble on a 100% intervention-free birth.

    Yay doulas! Especially ones who put homemade food in mason jars and cloths!

  • sarah May 16, 2012 at 10:06 am

    educating yourself about your options is always #1, so you’re already doing an awesome job :) i’m completely confident that things will work out for the best for both of you, no matter what happens. for what it’s worth, i have multiple friends who did vbacs for their 2nd babies, and everyone i know who had one did great–nothing scary happened.

  • Natalie May 16, 2012 at 10:07 am

    Well hi! I was one of those 80’s 2nd babies. My mom had to have an emergency C-section with my brother and the docs wouldn’t let her do a VBAC with me. I think it is awesome that you are staying positive and going for it. Obviously Yoshi is your first concern, so I don’t think anyone will perceive you as being willing to take unnecessary risk.
    Home births are definitely awesome (my birthing method of choice), but I agree with your feeling that with additional risk you want to be in a hospital. Whatever is going to help you relax and stay confident is what you need to do. Finger’s crossed for you that this midwife kicks major VBAC-conquering ass!

  • Kellee May 16, 2012 at 10:40 am

    Truth? I don’t really have an opinion on your choice of birth method – I think whatever you think is right is the right choice for you. I mostly came to say that I think you are crazy brave for putting yourself out there the way you do, for making your choices and sticking to them despite the nut jobs who try to talk you out of it. To sum up: you rock, thanks for your unfailing honesty, and best of luck with your pregnancy and Yoshi’s arrival. That is all.

  • Lynsey May 16, 2012 at 10:55 am

    My friend was forced to schedule a repeat c section this week, but baby had a mind of her own. Norah was born last night via vbac and mama couldn’t be happier. I hope everything works out for you as well!

  • Megan May 16, 2012 at 11:05 am

    Hi MODG! My first daughter was a planned c-section (stubborn girl decided to be breech and stay breech even when the OB tried to turn her from the outside — that was fun). So there was no pushing or any stress on anything down there. I really wanted a VBAC when I was pregnant with my second daughter, and even though she was 8 days late and almost 9 lbs, I did it!!! And you can too. I delivered in a hospital with a VBAC-friendly OB because we were scared too of the very small risks. I think having a doula would up the chance for a successful VBAC too. Good luck — you’ll be awesome!

  • Jessica May 16, 2012 at 11:09 am

    Hi MODG, I have to thank you for the photo – I nearly died laughing. (Not uterine rupture died, just figuratively died.) I also want to say that you are smart and great and I think your approach is terrific. It illustrates what so many moms are struggling with and your willingness to talk about it helps everyone. However it works out will be great because you are doing your best. That is what really matters. Thank God for modern medicine AND for the ability to educate and advocate for ourselves. (side note my husband is afraid to impregnate me again b/c he suspects I will want a homebirth LOL).

  • leslie May 16, 2012 at 11:34 am

    I want to punch in the face the person that would email you horror stories. :) you guys will do great! good luck with the midwife… and I’m glad you’re back and feeling (sorta) better.

  • Sam May 16, 2012 at 11:40 am

    Look up Birth Without Fear on Facebook. There’s a wealth of information. My daughter was born in February and her birth wasn’t like I had planned either, but I’m glad I had that resource. Also, Ina Mays Guide to Childbirth is something to look into, also!

  • Jess May 16, 2012 at 12:47 pm

    I don’t think that there is a bad choice. I think the only bad thing is people that completely close themselves off to all options – and it does NOT sound like you are doing that at all!
    You’ve been through it and know how things go – so take that day as it comes and make the best decisions for you and Yoshi as things present themselves. I do think it’s smart to be at a hospital so that you can be prepared for any possible outcome.
    Sending positive thoughts your way!

  • Harbormom May 16, 2012 at 1:30 pm

    Whatever you (and B, to the extent that he wants/needs/has any input) decide, it will be the right choice. A healthy Yoshi (and successful delivery – whatever the orifice – for you) are the goal. Thank you for sharing your journey with all of us. Looking forward to it.

  • Ness May 16, 2012 at 1:38 pm

    I will be kind of in the same boat the next time I get pregnant. I had a surprise c-section (at the time I had been hoping to go that route anyway – vaginal birth scared me more than c-sections did), and I thought I would be okay with having another. My section was nothing, didn’t bother me much and I healed quickly and easily. But now that it’s only 8 months later, my scar is starting to bother me mentally. It creeps me out, and the thought of a having another scar creeps me out more. But I dont WANT a VBAC. I went through labor (but not pushing) for hours, and that was more than enough of the labor experience for me. These decisions are way too big. At least I still (hopefully) have lots of time before I need to actually decide.

  • Karin Meares May 16, 2012 at 1:45 pm

    i totally have faith in you and your vagine! but, if things get weird through the tummy will get it done too. good luck!

  • Mina May 16, 2012 at 2:46 pm

    You’ll rock that VBAC – dont even worry ’bout that!

    Have you heard of the Bradley Method – it rocks – makes medicated birth do-able. 86% (give or take some) unmediated vaginal births. You may watch a lot of crowning videos (seriously – one crowning video is all you need) but your vagina will thank you from all the strengthening exercises they teach you.

  • Veralynn May 16, 2012 at 3:15 pm

    Even if Yoshi’s birth doesn’t turn out the way you planned, you can’t beat yourself up about how she (hopeful for you!) arrives as long as you two are healthy and happy. I remember reading when you were pregnant with G and your words stuck with me when I was going through labor with my son in December. Labor is no joke, and I wasn’t prepared with a doula (I will be next time!). I went to my limit before getting an epidural and even though, to me, my birth was so beautiful and I was on cloud nine afterward, I had a woman tell me that my birth is a failure, that I personally failed to bring him into this world “the right way”. You just can’t think that way- your babies are lucky to have you as a mother and you’re doing everything you can. At the end of the day, that’s what matters.

    PS- Skip straight past “Pregnant in America” and watch “Orgasmic Birth”. Nothing like a good comedy to take your mind off things!

  • Stef May 16, 2012 at 3:26 pm

    my only recommendation:
    purchase a birthing gown (or two) from Birth.Day.Suit Maternitiy like I did. Seriously I was like 4 minutes pregnant and clicked on your ad and purchased two of them. They’re awesome (the gowns and the people)!

    Also – good luck with your vagina birth – I know, I’m like 12 hours late to the vagina talk but you’re smart and know what’s best for you and Yoshi – everything will be stars and unicorns.

  • Margie May 16, 2012 at 3:26 pm

    Wow! We are in the same boat. You are a few weeks ahead of me (I’m still vomiting my brains out while throwing a ball to get my toddler to leave the bathroom like she’s a dog. She usually falls for it) I will be interested to hear your birth story because I am contemplating the same thing. I feel like even though it may not be successful, I will be glad I tried. I have yet to find a real person who has been thru a VBAC. So odd. Thanks for discussing! I’ll be stalking this blog for updates. Off to read your 1st birth story…….

  • Sarah B May 16, 2012 at 5:32 pm

    My sis in law had a VBAC water birth at a birthing center with midwives here in Idaho and it went great for her! More and more docs out in the Pacific NW are encouraging vbacs so just tell those docs to get with the program :) It’s the cool thing to do.

  • Jessica May 16, 2012 at 8:38 pm

    Hey girl!! I’m a labor and delivery RN in Virginia outside D.C. and just had TWO successful VBAC’s!!! Just know when you go in that your nurses are really rooting for you! :) And, I’ve found a lot of success with my natural childbirth patients when they do Hypnobabies (podcast on itunes) Good luck!!

  • Suburban Snapshots May 16, 2012 at 9:10 pm

    I don’t know why people share horror stories. I don’t know. It’s not helpful.
    A sweet, lovely friend of mine (hippie, vegan) had a VBAC at home after an emergency C for her first baby. She wrote about the whole thing (then deleted her blog, GAR), but if you want the edit: her second birth at home in her own tub with her husband and doula there, went very, very well. It was peaceful, she was happy, and it helped ease the disappointment she harbored over her 1st experience. I wish you the very best.

  • Theresa May 17, 2012 at 1:27 am

    Hey A,
    I have kept quiet about our similar geographic locations as to not freak you out and make you think you have a stalker. Because let’s be real: I did not choose where you live, and so it’s not stalkerish. But I do live near you. And I did have a midwife. In a hospital. Twice. I’m pretty sure you may be referring to the same practice I went with for my pregnancies.
    So if you are looking into D********* Midwifery in that snobbish and expensive town not-so-far-away, then I can dish for you. Both of my girls were born there, with midwives from that practice. I’m not going to be all OMGTHISISTHEBESTTHINGTHATEVERHAPPENEDTOME, but seriously, I have very few complaints, and overall had GREAT birth experiences both times. There were things I would have done differently, but I think I just wasn’t ballsy enough to speak up. Over all, my birth stories were incredible. Anyway, for details, email me. And good luck! Finding the right fit is tough! Take your time. Love to you and Yoshi (and baby G of course!)

    Glitter and Hippie Dust,

  • Rebekah May 17, 2012 at 7:33 am

    I had a VBAC at home and my baby was 11 lb 9 oz. I’m a pretty granola hippy. Would be worse but no soy what or dairy limits me too.

  • Kim May 17, 2012 at 8:06 am

    Here’s story about how I’m a pretty princess of straightening irons and 6 inch heels and told everyone I would nevereverever let anyone handle my boobies other than boys and that I would like someone to knock me out and cut the baby out instead of going through labor… and then I totally had a natural birth. If natural birth interests you, anyone can do it! Even pretty princesses can. It hurts (surprise!), but literally as soon as that beebs was out I was high as a kite on endorphines and walking around and felt great physically.

  • Katie R-G May 17, 2012 at 9:13 am

    So I just had my first appointment yesterday with a midwife practice in South Jersey, and the wonderful midwife I met told me that I am a viable candidate for vag birth, and I’ve had TWO c-sections! My first was an emergency because my obgyn from Philly didn’t allow me to try to push in any other position than on my back, so my kid got stuck. The second was scheduled because I didn’t really know better. So right now we’re just going to wait and see, but the idea of being with a practice who fully supports my want to at least TRY, is really encouraging. I know it’s way too far a drive for you, but for any of your other readers in my area, Kennedy Hospital in Washington Township, NJ does support VBAC!

  • Bitchin Sisters May 17, 2012 at 9:20 am

    You can totes do a VBAC. You ate your own placenta. You can do anything.

    • ashlee May 17, 2012 at 11:01 pm


  • kristin May 17, 2012 at 2:05 pm

    i know 3 people who had VBAC and they were giddy once it was said and done (and i’m so envious b/c i got preclampsia for the 1st two kids, and so had to have the c-sections for all four).

    you are smart, informed, and slightly practiced. you’ll be fine. the goal: get baby out healthy and keep momma able to walk within a week (and we know you’ll be grand!)

  • Jen @ Ginger Guide May 17, 2012 at 9:49 pm

    I really hope you get to have Yoshi’s birth your way. You are educated and positive and that’s all you can do. I was not physically able to have a vag delivery so it was c section all the way. It’s crazy how much judging I got for that but I wanted a healthy baby and a healthy mama so it was the only way. Best of luck!

  • Lisa May 18, 2012 at 1:35 pm

    I am a L&D RN, and I had a VBAC last year. I knew going into it that VBAC was statistically safer than a RCS, but reading this article really solidified it for me. Bookmark it and re-read it throughout your pregnancy when the fears about the “what-ifs” resurface.

    The best thing I did for myself while preparing for my VBAC was to hire a very supportive care provider (for me, this meant a homebirth midwife). Not just the type that “let you try labor” but the kind that say “Yes! a VBAC is a very safe choice for you, I know you can do it! Here’s how I will help…” The second best thing I did was to make sure my husband was as educated about VBACs as I was so that he’d be firmly on my side and without unnecessary fear. The third best thing I did was hire a wonderful doula who was a calming presence to both my husband and me.

    Bookmark to refer to later in your pregnancy. Doing what you can to ensure that this babe is in an optimal position for birth will really help your birth go smoothly.

    I know you said you feel unsure about the idea of birthing at home. If you’re open to considering it, there are lots of resources that support HBAC (home birth after C/S). Where I lived, the birth climate was not friendly at all toward VBAC’s. The routine procedures they would do just because I was a VBAC patient were, IMO, putting me and my baby at more risk than necessary. I chose an HBAC with a very experienced midwife who I trusted to recognize the early signs of a problem developing. Most uterine ruptures offer very subtle “cues” that an experienced care provider will pick up on with more than enough time to get whatever additional care is necessary. And, about 99.85% of non-induced VBACs will NOT rupture. Out of the .15% that do, the great majority of them are very small ruptures, NOT the scary catastrophic ones everyone pictures.

    Congratulations on the new bean. I was sick sick sick with my second one, too. It sucks. Hope you feel better soon!

    • Melissa May 20, 2012 at 10:35 am

      Can you tell me where you got the last stat about 99.85? Thanks!

  • Lisa May 18, 2012 at 1:37 pm

    I am a L&D RN, and I had a VBAC last year. I knew going into it that VBAC was statistically safer than a RCS, but reading this article really solidified it for me. Bookmark it and re-read it throughout your pregnancy when the fears about the “what-ifs” resurface.

    The best thing I did for myself while preparing for my VBAC was to hire a very supportive care provider (for me, this meant a homebirth midwife). Not just the type that “let you try labor” but the kind that say “Yes! a VBAC is a very safe choice for you, I know you can do it! Here’s how I will help…” The second best thing I did was to make sure my husband was as educated about VBACs as I was so that he’d be firmly on my side and without unnecessary fear. The third best thing I did was hire a wonderful doula who was a calming presence to both my husband and me.

    Bookmark to refer to later in your pregnancy. Doing what you can to ensure that this babe is in an optimal position for birth will really help your birth go smoothly.

    I know you said you feel unsure about the idea of birthing at home. If you’re open to considering it, there are lots of resources that support HBAC (home birth after C/S). Where I lived, the birth climate was not friendly at all toward VBAC’s. The routine procedures they would do just because I was a VBAC patient were, IMO, putting me and my baby at more risk than necessary. I chose an HBAC with a very experienced midwife who I trusted to recognize the early signs of a problem developing. Most uterine ruptures offer very subtle “cues” that an experienced care provider will pick up on with more than enough time to get whatever additional care is necessary. And, about 99.85% of non-induced VBACs will NOT rupture. Out of the .15% that do, the great majority of them are very small ruptures, NOT the scary catastrophic ones everyone pictures.

    The risk of rupture is much higher in a first time mom having an induction. No one goes apeshit when they hear about someone’s planned induction, though. Our culture is conditioned to fear a natural VBAC more than an elective induction. It’s unfortunate.

    Congratulations on the new bean. I was sick sick sick with my second one, too. It sucks. Hope you feel better soon!

  • Maggie May 18, 2012 at 1:49 pm

    I just had a VBAC six weeks ago and it was amazing. you can do it!

  • Erma May 18, 2012 at 10:59 pm

    I have a vagina story. Recently I had a conversation with an old man about plays that were performed at the theatre he works at. He told me they put on a production of The Vagina Monologues, except he pronounced vagina like… “VAH-gina” with an emphasis on the first syllable and with a slight Boston accent. Like, “My CAH is PAHrcked in the VAHgina.” You know it’s so difficult typing it out; I just want to call you up and say it.

  • katie @ mommy brain blog May 19, 2012 at 3:52 pm

    I hope you get to deliver Yoshi the way you’d like to! Thanks for such an informative post.

  • Lolo May 19, 2012 at 9:04 pm

    Rupture IS rare..with one csection. It’s like get struck by lightning while being run over a bus rare. I know this because I had THREE csections. Because doctors SUCK. Make sure you ask them in what situation they decide to no longer allow you to continue with VBAC. On my second, they let me get to 9cm after hours of pain and then told me the hospital had some arbitrary time limit and I had passed it…and that I had already consented to the procedure when I filled out the VBAC consent form while in the middle of painful labor. Yeah. So…csection number two. And I implore you to avoid that. Rupture is not so rare when it’s already been done twice. I know. It happened to me….at 32weeks wih my third pregnancy. Definitely something to be avoided. Two surgeries later and 33 days staring at my son in a NICU bubble was enough for me to tell EVERYONE…avoid a second csection at all costs.

  • Stacy B May 20, 2012 at 3:20 am

    Okay, I’ve been reading your blog on and off since a fab breastfeeding post and I laughed myself silly. I just read you are considering a VBAC and must comment in support. Here in Vancouver (very hippie) British Columbia, Canada, VBACs are highly recommended (if you are a good candidate: see below) and supported. Maybe it’s because C-sections are costly on our medical system so if a surgery can be avoided, it’s good for all of us. Also, people don’t sue everyone’s ass off all the time so perhaps doctors are more confident recommending them where appropriate. My first baby was a C-section because she was breech so I had no option and had to have surgery. When I was pregnant with my son, my doc said I was a good candidate for a VBAC because my reason for a C-section had nothing to do with me or my body (i.e. baby too big, failure to dilate, my hips too small, etc.) and there had been enough time between pregnancies (my 1st daughter is 27 months older than my son). So I also read about all the ‘risks’ associated with a VBAC and could not come up with a decision. My doc was so supportive and once I found out my babe was head down, I decided to try the VBAC. It was GREAT (aside from the fact that I didn’t take any drugs and that sucked ass). A few years later, my third child was on the way and so I did another VBAC, this time with an epidural (what a dream) which not so conveniently wore off once it was time to push (not so dreamy). My point is – do what is best for you and your family. Both births have their risks, pros, and cons. Yes, you are up and around faster after a vaginal birth, and it’s cool to say you’ve experienced it, but it’s still a recovery…just different. Regardless of what you do, remember that it seems like a big deal now, but a birth is still a birth. It’s all amazing and when you have your babe in your arms, it won’t matter how s/he came out…or how many stitches you had…or if you were in a pool with everyone in your family cheering for you. No one will ask Yoshi at graduation or a first date if they were delivered by c-section or vaginally. Just do what you feel comfortable with and all will work out. Best of luck…xo

  • Ash-a-lee May 20, 2012 at 11:19 am

    You will do great :) my midwife is totally pro vbac and said your risk of cesarean is only slightly higher the 2nd time around. Good hippie vibes to you!

  • SoftCrunchyMom May 21, 2012 at 8:35 am

    Good Luck MODG!! I know before my son’s water birth I stopped listening, watching or reading any negative birth stories and focused on really positive ones. Ina May Gaskin, although super crunchy, has some truly beautiful birth stories with some great quotes that I know I used throughout my labor.

  • TJ May 22, 2012 at 8:37 am

    I don’t know if anyone else mentioned this (my little munchkin only gives me so much internet time) but Bradley childbirth classes are great, very extensive, generally taught by hippies, and give you tons of great info about pregnancy, birth, and your options throughout the whole ordeal.The classes last 12 weeks, so it’s a big time commitment, but I took it and am so glad I did. I learned so, so much that none of my other birthing friends have. Regardless of how Yoshi makes her entrance into the world, you will feel much more knowledgeable, and with a doula there you will be in a great position to be able to make all the decisions you need to. Congratulations and good luck! :)

  • Sarah May 22, 2012 at 3:31 pm

    I am in exactly the same boat MODG. Except that I live in Canada, where Doctors pretty much do what we want (LUCKY I know). I am 28 weeks, and the *dum dum dum dum* Big Decision Day is like, yesterday. My Doc needs to refer me to an OBGYN if I choose another cesarean birth. And I haven’t made up my mind yet. I look and reflect over the reason’s for my first cesarean, i.e. after 43 weeks gestation (yes, I kid you not) I never went into natural labour, didn’t progress past 3 cms after 20 hours of inducement, had Gigantor Baby (10lb. 10oz, 23″ long, etc etc). And I wonder, will the second baby miraculously come on time, in a normal size and will my cervix magically expand? Or do I go through another inducement, labour for hours and end up with a cesarean again. And then I think, if I plan it, I’ll never know if my body can actually push a living thing out my vag. But then, that’s a selfish reason etc etc. And so the pendulum continues to swing back and forth, pros and cons. omg I wish someone could just tell me what to do, and I’ll do it. And by someone I mean a totally legit physic who can go into the future 14 weeks and then tell me how it all went. It’s a tough call, it truly is.

  • Kelsey May 22, 2012 at 10:17 pm

    I, too, am a labor and deliery nurse in a hospital and work with wonderful doctors, midwives, nurses, and staff that supported me through an amazing, successful VBAC. It was absolutely life changing, empowering, and perfect for our family. I think it’s important for us as women to support eachother–whether you choose to have a repeat Cesarean section or attempt a VBAC. All positive vibes are sent your way. Good luck! :)

  • Lori May 24, 2012 at 10:26 am

    I’m late in commenting on this, but my first was a vaginal birth and 2nd was a C-section. If I was having a third (but i’m not cause I got my tubes tied) i would TOTALLY do/try/make a VBAC happen. And I’m like the LEAST hippie person in the universe.

    C-sections suck. They suck BAD. And I can say that cause I’ve had both experiences. For the record, I had an epidural with my first and loved every second of it. I was up walking around and showering like it was no big thing about an hour after she was born. Go MODG and get your VBAC on!

  • Vicki May 25, 2012 at 9:50 pm

    I had a C-section and my midwife (she was in the OR with me, while the surgeon sliced me up, she stayed with me and then took photos of everything, even my open, naked body) said I could totally have a VBAC next time.
    I’m in Reading, PA, which is near-ish to Philly, and, as my husband says, it is a hotbed of midwifery. I don’t know how far away you are, or I’d say you should go to my midwives (they are a team of 4) at the Reading Birth and Women’s Center, but maybe you could call them for a referral in the Philly area? I bet they know people.
    Good luck! Babies rule!

  • Jessica May 26, 2012 at 9:13 pm

    Hi! Love your blog, I’m sure you have done your research but I’m a labor and delivery nurse at Bryn Mawr hospital and I am a young mom who has delivered 2 boys there recently (2.5yr and 9 mo) vaginally and without any drugs and if you need any insight, recommendations or have any questions you can email me! Good luck to you and congrats!

  • Jessica May 26, 2012 at 10:20 pm

    Hi! Love your blog, I’m sure that you have done all the research but I’m a labor and delivery nurse at Bryn Mawr hospital and a young mom who has recently delivered 2 boys there (2.5yrs and 9mo) vaginally and without drugs (kinda wanted the birth center feel but in the safety of a hospital)…if you have any questions or want advice feel free to email me, good luck and congrats to you and your family!

  • Michelle June 7, 2012 at 11:25 pm

    sooooo i’m going for a VBAC too!!! I’m due in two months, so I’ll let you know how it goes!!!

  • Meredith June 12, 2012 at 12:45 pm

    I had an emergency C-section with my first, and so when I was ready for number 2, did a lot of the same research you did. I find it shocking that no one talks about the risks to future pregnancies of each c-section when they are “comparing” the risks of c-section and VBAC. Long story short, I’ve had 2 wonderful VBAC’s. My primary concern was the safety of ALL of my children, including the potential future ones. I am not comfortable with a homebirth VBAC, because there *is* the risk, not only of uterine rupture, but all the other normal risks that accompany any pregnancy, and if anything were to come up, I was just more comfortable already being in a hospital with access to life-saving technology, experience, capability, etc.

    I’m now 37 weeks with number 4, and planning another “TOLAC” (the doctors like to call it a Trial of Labor because they’re pessimists, and it isn’t a VBAC until it is successful…I just call it a VBAC in my head when they do that because I believe in the power of positive thinking).

    You can do eet!