VBAC's have been on my mind a lot lately. (VBAC= vaginal delivery after c-section) There are quite a few women on my UR (Uterine Rupture) support group who suffered a rupture during a VBAC attempt. I have very strong feelings about VBAC's, mostly because of the stories I have heard from those women. The danger in carrying a baby after a rupture isn't really the pregnancy, it's the labor. Contractions put so much pressure on the scar area that it sometimes ruptures. A spontaneous rupture (like I had) is extremely rare. Almost everyone in our group (and it's a rather large group) had a previous surgery on their uterus that lead to their rupture. Most of those surgeries were c-sections. I think it's safe to say that half of the women who suffered a rupture in our group lost their baby. Some of the babies who survived have serious, life long complications.
I've never talked about the decisions my husband had to make the night of my rupture. I've never told you what he had to decide. When I went into surgery thinking the baby would be fine and that I would come out of surgery without my appendix. My doctors weren't even prepared for what they discovered when they opened me up. It was quite obvious that my uterus had ruptured and I was bleeding to death. The only way to repair my uterus was to remove my baby. They could not end her life without getting permission from my husband. My OB went out and told him the situation. "We're loosing her" he said. "I don't do abortions. I don't do them. If there is anyway to save your baby I would". My husband had to sign knowing full well that he was giving permission to deliver our daughter and she had no shot at survival. I've never thought about how horrible that must have been for him. He said he bawled the entire time. My OB told me that he could actually see through my uterus, and as soon as he made an incision Brenna's heart stopped beating. I take comfort in the fact that she did not struggle for breath, and that her last moments were not moments of suffering. That is not always the case.
Please, please, please remember that the most important thing when delivering a baby is that he or she gets here safetly. It is a personal decision that each woman has to make, but please make an informed decision. There is no shame in having a c-section and there is no badge of honor in having a drug-free birth. All that matters is that your little one, and you, come home.