Saturday, March 15, 2014

32 Weeks…C-section or VBAC

I have to thank ALL of you who have been voting and sharing to help us win Dakota a bike!!! I was so humbled to see how far and wide this has gone and how many votes our sweet little Dakota has been getting! It means SO much to us that people care enough to want to help!! So thank you, thank you!!!
Unfortunately this has been a lot tougher race then I ever imagined!!! Dakota right now has 6,770 votes…that is a TON!!! He was in the lead yesterday for first place but today he is sitting in third by 600 votes!!! Holy smokes!! This is going to be a tough battle! ;) So…if you haven’t voted or shared with your family and friends please do! We honestly need EVERY vote we can get!!! The contest goes until the 26th so there is still a lot of time to share and vote and keep making a dent!! I shared the link on my facebook and instagram so if you are on either of those and want to share from there that would be awesome too!!! Here is the link once again to vote and share!!

Of course we would LOVE to win this but we will be so happy for whatever kid wins! ;) I kinda felt like my niece and nephew did when my sister showed them the website and all the kids…they said, “I want to vote for all the kids because I want all of them to get a bike!” As I have looked at the pictures of all of the kids in the running I want them all to have a bike too! They are all such angels and so darn cute!! ;)
Anyways…thank you for ALL of your love and support in this!! We can do this!! I won’t give up until it is over!!! ;) You all are the best!!!

So holy smokes this pregnancy is flying by!!!! I don’t know where the time is going because it doesn’t seem to be on my side! I feel completely unprepared for a baby to come in 6-8 weeks! What?! I feel that Navy is much more safe and easier to take care of in my belly so I think she should stay there for awhile longer! ;)

 2014-02-28 18.15.54
30 week pic!

I am beginning to enter into the big and awkward stage! Where every morning when you go to get dressed your like…what in the world am I gonna squeeze into today?!

Snuggling, holding, and carrying Dakota is more and more harder and awkward but still manageable. I just can’t hold him standing up for quite as long. My mom bought me one of those pregnancy support belts…which totally makes me feel like an old lady when I where it but I love it! I think it helps a lot!!!

I am still working out and running although I would call my running more of a fast paced walking speed. I am SOOO slow!!! It kinda drives me insane but I just keep reminding myself I’m carrying a lot more weight it’s ok! ;) I quite bringing my watch cuz I don’t even wanna see how slow I am anymore! ;) The hardest part about running is the feeling of having to pee every half mile!! By the end I’m taking small steps just to keep from peeing my pants!! Then when I finally go to the bathroom hardly anything comes out…it’s just the pressure of this little girl in there!! ;) Good times!!

We just had my our 32 week appointment with the doctor and finally talked to her about the pros and cons of doing a VBAC or C-section.. (A VBAC is just having a vaginal delivery after a c-section…it is kind of complicated) I have been pretty set on wanting to do a VBAC for several reasons. 1. Dakota’s was an emergency c-section due to his high heart rate, not due to me not progressing with labor which means we probably could have had a normal delivery. 2. I want to experience a normal delivery. I want to know what it’s like to have a baby the “right” way. 3. Probably most important to me is the recovery. I actually didn’t mind the recovery after my c-section that much but this time around is much different. I now have a 36 lb 5 year old boy that needs my attention and care and if I had a c-section I wouldn’t be able to lift or carry him for 3 whole weeks instead of 1. Now I know my family will be all over to help and that I won’t have to worry about it but it’s more my desire to want to lift and carry him. Our whole world is going to change when this baby comes and I don’t want him to feel like I don’t want to hold him anymore or anything like that. I’m still his mom and I want to be there for him!!!

So going into the appointment I was all for the VBAC. After talking to my doctor about the pros and cons and risks I am starting to question myself. The risk of the VBAC is that the scar where your c-section is can rupture during labor and tear the placenta. There is only a 4% chance of this happening but of this 4%, if this happens there is a 2% chance that your baby could die or have brain damage. As soon as I heard the words brain damage come out of her mouth my heart sank and that is when I began to doubt. Before Dakota’s accident I probably wouldn’t have batted an eye to those chances but now really knowing what brain damage really is…I look at those percentages A LOT different. They may sound slim to none to most people…but pretty much everything that has happened to our little family the chances of those were probably slim to none. We usually fall on the bad percentage side of things! So I just don’t know if that is a risk I can afford to take!!

Of course there are risks to a c-section too. It is a surgery so any time you do a surgery there are risks. But all of those risks are more to the mother and not the baby and that sounds a lot better to me. Zach on the other hand…doesn’t want any risks on me so he is more for the VBAC but I feel more comfortable with taking the risks then the baby!

It is such a tough decision…one we will obviously be praying a lot about before we decide. But I would LOVE to hear any feedback from any of you if you have any!!! Any good/bad experiences with either?? What you would recommend?? Or maybe what your doctors have told you?!


  1. Have you ever watch "the business of being born". It's a great documentary of child birth. There is also 2nd documentary called "more buisness of being born". One of the sections or episodes in that one is all about VBACs. I would highly reccomend wtching it. They are on netflix. Wish you and your family the best!

  2. Tessie, when I was planning my VBAC I couldn't find anyone who had done one recently. That really freaked me out, but my babies were so close together I didn't want to not be able to put Robbie in his crib, high chair, changing table, car seat, etc. I was told that the healing process was closer to 6 weeks before I could carry my little man around. That was just too much for me. Also there are some major risk for lung problems with c-sections. In the end I just felt like having my child the way the Lord intended sound safer for him. I stressed about it a LOT, and in the end I realized all I could really do was try and have faith in my doctor and the peace I had felt in my blessings and at the temple that attempting a VBAC was ok. I never felt like it was POSSIBLE, but that it was a worthy thing to try. The stats your doctor gave you sound high, I have heard 2% at the most, so I would look into some research on your own and maybe try and talk to some other OBs to see if that is accurate. I know when I met with your doctor at 34 weeks (right before I actually had Liam) she put a lot of doubt into my mind and made me feel like a neglectful mother for desiring a VBAC, when my whole purpose was to be a better mother. I talked to my doctor about it and he didn't agree with her stance, but respected her opinion. He felt it was safe to try and I was a good candidate for a VBAC, as long as Liam didn't get too big. Call me, I would love to chat, but in the end I would really make it a focus of your temple attendance and prayer... I remember getting a lot of blessings from Brandon and having him fast often about our decision. Whatever you choose you are an AMAZING mother and both of your children will know that!

  3. You don't know me but I work as a RN in L&D. I can't imagine having to make this decision. I have asked myself what I would do in this situation. If it was me, I would do a repeat c/s. The only reason is that I have seen a uterine rupture (only one in 12 years, and thank heavens everything turned out OK), but it was scary. I don't think I would take the risk. However that being said, I have seen many many successful VBAC's. If you came in in active labor, dilated to a 4 or more, I think you have a great shot at doing it. I would not be induced and attempt to VBAC. Who is your OB again? Is it Johansson? Also I think if you do VBAC, that at the first sign of distress with the babies heart rate, you should have a c/s. I hope I am not discouraging you from a VBAC, I am just telling you what I have seen. Anyways, small world but I know Jen, Zack's sister and have been following your blog forever. Good luck in your decision, let me know if you have any questions.

  4. I have had 4 pregnancies. My first delivery was a posterior vaginal difficult birth. My 2nd was an emergency C section. My baby and I were both lucky to survive. My husband insisted on the 3rd baby being a C section because he was afraid. I really wanted to have a VBAC for my fourth pregnancy. My OB was very supportive ( she was a woman) and so we decided to try it. She wanted it to be monitored so at 37 weeks I went to the hospital. The nurses refused to start the IV/Pitocin as they were afraid of rupture. My OB came to the hospital started my IV herself and stayed in the hospital the entire time I labored. I had a wonderful delivery!! Very easy recovery - I am also a RN so I had done a lot of research. I would not have changed my decision

  5. Hi from Ontario, Canada!
    I tried to vote but it won't let me, just wondering if this is an issue with my computer (I tried different browsers) or an issue with the webpage.

  6. I was right where you are with my second child. We decided to go with a VBAC because I also wanted to experience natural childbirth. My VBAC was unsuccessful due to the cord being wrapped around his stomach, up under his armpits...much like a bungi cord keeping him from entering the birth canal. With that being said, I know so many friends/family members who have had successful ones. But as far as recoup time after a 2nd c-section...NIGHT AND DAY DIFFERENCE! The recovery after my first was at least 6 weeks and very painful. My second was more like 2-3 weeks and I was off meds within a week . By the time I had my fourth c-section, it was about a week. Picture yourself after your first section when they want you to sit up and dangle your legs off the bed for the first time. I swear it felt like my insides were going to bust open! I dreaded that the most after my 2nd one and I about died when I sat up and even stood with hardly any pain. I turned to my nurse and asked if I was on stronger meds than last which she replied, "Your body is an amazing creation and adapts very quickly." Her words are very true. You will adapt and be strong, which ever decision you make. I still don't regret trying the VBAC. It was something as a mother, I wanted to experience. Am I sad I never got to experience it? Yes, of course but me and my babies safety are more important than how they are delivered out of our bodies. With my 3rd and 4th, my surgeon and nurse anesthetist took down the blue drape once the incision was done and I watched both of my babies be delivered. I saw them at the exact time everyone else did, watched them cut the cord and then they wrapped them and handed them to my husband who held them close to my face. It was perfect. Maybe you can talk with your doctor about that option? It is very common over in Europe and a more "like natural" experience for those of us who end up with c-sections. I posted pics of my daughter and her delivery if you want to see them. I later had the opportunity to witness my nephew being born naturally, which was SO AMAZING!! It's a tough decision, but it's yours and you have lots of people you don't even know praying on your behalf!

  7. My sister in law just had a vbac 14 months after having a c section with twins. She was in labor for 27 hours and pushed for 3 and everything was just fine no rupturing or excessive bleeding. Also my sister lives in Logan and she has had a c section, then two vbacs, another c section, then another vbac in that order and each and everyone was just fine. I have personally only had a vaginals delivery and it was wonderful I understand you stress and being anxious is to be expected but I really think you would enjoy a VBAC. Good luck with which ever you choose and navy will be darling!

  8. I have had three c-sections. With my first after 16 hours my son wasn't dropping and had increased heart rate so the doctor made me do a c-section. I always wondered if he just wanted to go home that night so made me do a c-section. The recovery was horrible. I always felt inferior to others that were able to have a vaginal birth. With my second the doctor recommended a c-section so I went with it. I had the c-section a week early and never went into labor. My baby was born with amniotic fluid in his lungs and was in the NICU for a few days (that is common with c-section babies). My recovery was a breeze and honestly did not hurt hardly at all. With my third I went into labor and was in labor again for almost 16 hours. I wasn't progressing so I had another c-section. The recovery was a lot harder than the last one and I think it was because I was in labor for so long before the c-section. My baby was also born with the cord around his neck but thankfully he was ok. I was grateful I had the c-section. After all three of the births I feel like my body was not capable of having a vaginal birth and I no longer feel bad about having to have c-sections. The most important thing is that the baby and mom are safe. C-sections are so hard but I think the second is easier just because you know what to expect. Obviously your situation is different and I can see why you want to have a VBAC. Good luck in whatever you choose!

  9. I also had to make a decision on c-section or VBAC. My first was also an emergency c-section, due to my baby having a decressed heart rate (turned out she had the cord around her neck 3 times), but I had my other 2 VBAC, and it was wonderful! The recovery was so much better. I was very comfortable doing VBAC. Good luck on your decision, I know you'll make the right one.

  10. Tess--al three of my babies are healthy c-section babies. With Demps, I wanted a vaginal delivery SO, SO much! I prayed and prayed (and cried--a lot)--and even went to the temple about it. I felt like I wasn't a "real mom" if I didn't go with a VBAC. In my heart, I felt a VBAC just wasn't right, so I went with another c-section. When I was on the operating table, we discovered my scarring was horrible, my bladder was fused to my uterus (because of scarring) and my uterus was see-through! (It was basically my first OB's fault. THE WORST EXPERIENCE WITH HIM!) So--I definitely would have ruptured. I knew right then Heavenly Father answered my pleas to know which direction to go. (After that, I lost my choice of VBAC or cesarean, of course...) I know you're faithful and aren't making a selfish decision. You'll know what to do! Heavenly Father has your back! xo

  11. You are wise and perceptive. You will know what to do so that everyone will be well and healthy. Can't wait to hear all about it!

  12. Hi Tessie, Jon Heslops wife here. Your title drew me in, because I have such a large opinion on this subject. Our first baby was also an emergency c-section because her heart rate was dropping off. Turned out she had a hole in her lung and was struggling. It was resolved with a nitrogen wash in the NICU after 24 hrs. So anyway I felt like that first c-section wasn't too bad. I know everyone's bodies are different but my second c-section was rough! The small town hospital I went to didn't offer VBACs so I figured it would be fine and I would have a quick recovery again. Our second baby was breech, so I would have had a c-section anyway, but he was actually bottom first and the doctors dug around for half an hour before they pulled him out. I needed help for a month and pulled an abdominal muscle during that first month. Which made it difficult to pick up my 6lb 8oz baby in the middle of the night. I don't really know what I would do in your shoes, but maybe consider planning to do a VBAC and let whatever is going to happen take its course. I didn't get to exercise as well as my first pregnancy so maybe in that sense your body will handle a second c-section better than mine did. Good luck, prayer is always the best way to find answers.

  13. Hi! I had two c-sections, 13 months apart, exactly. I made sure that I got up and walked around as soon as the nurses would let me. I think that getting up and moving really helped me to heal. Grant you, my son was a lot smaller than yours when I came home and I did have my husband, MIL and aunt helping those first two-weeks. After that, I went back to work (as desk job) and was careful about lifting for awhile after that. For my second c-section, I knew what to expect and felt a lot less fear. I was prepared and had a small pillow with me to hold against my incision when I sneezed or coughed and that helped. I also got to schedule the day my daughter was born. If I would have another child, I would elect to have a c-section if I could choose between that and a VBAC. Honestly, you are someone's mom regardless of a vaginal birth, c-section or even adoption. Praying for you and your family. : )

  14. Hi Tessie,
    You might not remember me but we rodeoed together back when I was Cassandra Howell. I have been reading your blog after hearing about your family from my mom.
    I'm so inspired by you and your perseverance through life struggles. I wish I had half of your drive. I have had two c-sections the first harder then the second but still a c-section . I begged to have our second VBAC it was a girl and I was sure I could have her. Flagstaff didn't offer VBAC'S at the time but now do. If I had the choice I would have tried it, just because we both know how long the recovery time is. Whatever you decide I hope it goes smoothly for you and your precious family. Our prayers are with you and I would love to keep in touch.

  15. Tessie...I've never commented on your blog, but I've read it from time to time. We used to live in you husbands ward when he was young and did "Joy school" with him and Vickie. You are both amazing people and have done so great in your trials.

    Regarding VBAC, I had my first child via C-section and then 4 VBAC's afterward. All was well and that was through a time when it was encouraged. More recently they have tightened the guidelines and require an OB in-house when a VBAC mom is in labor, so many OB's discourage the practice a bit because it can put a "cramp" in their schedules. The risk is very small, and as long as you are in a hospital that can do a C-section quickly if you get into trouble you should be good. I also have a niece who has VBAC 3 children recently and she had to shop around each time to find an OB who was willing to support her. (They move quite often with her husbands work).
    The old school was that if you had a midline incision in the uterus (doesn't always correlate with what is on the outside), then a VBAC was more dangerous, but that is rarely done now and they are all low incisions. I am a Nurse Practioner now and have been an RN for 30+ years prior to that, and many years in surgery, so I've seen the guidelines change many times through those years. Ultimately the decision is yours, but I would vote for trying the VBAC. The recovery is much easier.

  16. I am not sure whether or not I have commented before, I believe I found your blog a long time ago from the Sullenger's blog. Anyway, my first (my son) was delivered via c-section. I still to the day and not convinced I needed it, but that is a whole other story, A safe VBAC definitely depends on the circumstances of your c-section and only you and your Dr can determine that. That being said, my daughter was delivered via VBAC. And given the choice again, I would choose a VBAC. From the discussions I had with my Dr (who is very supportive of VBAC) the risks of a repeat surgery are higher than that of a VBAC. I do have a friend who is a nurse and has seen a uterine rupture, but it is rare. As for the recovery, I had a really hard time with the c-section. With the VBAC, I was up and walking about an hour after my daughter was born (though it was uncomfortable (Dr didn't make it to the delivery, so there was no episiotomy and lots of tearing, sorry if that is TMI), it was do-able). Overall, the recovery was much quicker and I felt like I was more available to my son, who was 3 at the time. My husband and I have talked many times about how we were so much happier with my delivery/recovery experience with our daughter (VBAC). It seems like very few Dr's are even willing to let a women try for a VBAC (which I believe is for their own personal & not medical reasons), so if your Dr is willing to try, I say go for it! Hopefully reading mine and others experiences will make you more comfortable with whatever decision you make! Wishing you a quick & safe labor/delivery!