Saturday, April 4, 2009


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.


JenJen said...

Wow, I'm completely moved by this post, Holli. I have tears in my eyes thinking about how hard that must have been for your hubby. That would certainly explain his hestitation about having more babies.

My rupture was also spontaneous, and they had no idea that I had even ruptured prior to going into surgery. Lily had already died the night before, but I did sign for a hysterectomy prior to going into the OR...thankfully, it didn't come to that.

Thank you for your post, and I hope it will persuade some women to not do a VBAC. My sister had a VBAC with her second child, and if I had known what I know now, I would have never encouraged her to have one...just because she wanted the experience of a natural delivery, and once again...thankfully, everything turned out okay. Unfornately, you and I know more about ruptures than any women should have to know....

((hugs)) to you my friend and to your incredible hubby~

Amy, queen of the world. said...

Wow...scary!! And such a sad decision for your husband to have to make. Nobody should be put in that position, and I'm deeply sorry that you and your husband went through such a terrible ordeal. I'm glad to read this post, though, because I had an emergency c-section (child's head was GINORMOUS and stuck on my pelvis.) I struggled for several months after his birth with the fact that here in Oklahoma, I would never have the chance to vaginally deliver a baby again, as Oklahoma doctors' insurance refuses to cover VBACs. I was all up-in-arms about my "rights" and how I should get another chance, etc. But when it comes down to it, you're exactly right. The important thing is getting the baby out safely. Thanks for reminding me of what's important.

Mrs. Mother said...

I'm in tears, too. Your poor, poor hubby having to make that decision.

I agree in that if I had ever had a c-section, I wouldn't be able to take the risk of a VBAC. It's just not worth it.

CLC said...

Your poor husband and you! I can't imagine having to sign papers like that.

And I agree with your sentiments on VBACs. I didn't want to risk a rupture myself so that's why I had the repeat c-section. The scenarios were too horrendous to consider, no matter what the odds.

tiger said...