I am part of the 13% of women who have gone on to experience a VBAC after having a c-section.
One of the most popular questions I get asked on here is…. “WHAT IS A VBAC?”
VBAC stands for “vaginal birth after cesarean” – which means a woman has a successful vaginal delivery after experiencing a c-section with a prior birth. That’s me!
I had a c-section with my first daughter and a vaginal delivery with the second.
Here are few reasons why trying for a VBAC was important to me the second time:
*I really wanted to experience a vaginal birth!
*I really did NOT want to experience the recovery after a c-section again.
*I wanted to see what my body could do. I never labored the first time around.
Now, a VBAC may not be for everyone. Some women opt for a repeat c-section (medically necessary or not) and that of course is perfect too! If that is your choice I am would not want to try and change your mind. You know what is best for you! However you birth you are a superwoman + amazing mom.
But I have experienced birth both ways and I wanted to share my thoughts because maybe this could be helpful for someone debating a VBAC or a first-time planned c-section. This is MY experience and my OPINION. Always seek medical advice from your doc! 😉
I found that I was able to get up and get moving MUCH FASTER after my VBAC. The recovery of the c-section was hard in comparison. I mean, you are basically sliced open, stitched back together and then sent home with a newborn to care for while you care for yourself.
A c-section is a surgery- so you are in an operating room and have less “control” over the experience. With a vaginal delivery you can have certain things with you- like music, oils, a specific birthing gown or bra. I also found there were far less people in the room while I was giving birth vaginally vs. while I was in the operating room.
After my vaginal birth I was sitting up, showering and feeling really great the next day. My c-section recovery was basically me laying down for a week. Everything hurt. And I had gas trapped in my chest from the surgery which was more painful than the incision. Eventually I did feel better- but it took longer! On the flip side, once my incision healed that was pretty much it! But I had a tear during my VBAC and I still sometimes feel some pressure, and it’s been almost 4 months.
Having the experience of vaginal birth was so beautiful and special to me. But here is the thing- it was painful. More painful than the c-section WHILE I was going through it. But once I pushed my baby out the pain and pressure pretty much went away instantly. You can read my full VBAC birth story here!
With my section as soon as the spinal block wore off I was in pain for a much longer time afterwards. So it is a trade off- you experience the pain DURING or AFTER. I don’t believe one was easier over the other. But I do think the recovery for me was faster with a VBAC.
I will never tell someone what I think they should do. Remember this is MY experience. Everyone is different! Some women will need a c-section because it is medically necessary. Some will opt for one because they feel that is the best option for them. Others will experience only a vaginal birth. There was good + bad in both! If given the choice I would opt for another VBAC in the future.
I hope that if you are unsure about VBAC or c-section or just wanted to know the difference, this was helpful!
How did you birth to your babies? I’d love to know your experience!