I had a similar but totally different situation when my twins were born. Their birth mother began having problems with premature labor at 28 weeks, and I went to stay with her, 500 miles from my home, because she had no other help to speak of. When the babies made their arrival a month later (2 months premature), I stayed there throughout their NICU time (just over 3 weeks).
When my youngest (our "bonus baby") was born just under a year later, I was fortunate to have a wonderful doctor and hospital just minutes from our house.
So, from that experience, here are a few thoughts to consider...
Is driving to the city in which you'll deliver an option (and then have your husband fly in for the birth and drive home with you)? I took our truck with me, my husband flew back and forth, and then we did the 500-mile trip home together after the twins were released from the NICU. I'd pick that over trying to fly with 2 kids any day -- it's longer, sure, but so easy to just pull off at a rest stop, or even on the side of the road, to feed, change, or soothe a fussy baby. We timed things to not have to stop overnight, but we had that as a backup if things got really bad.
On the flip side, also consider the risk of you and/or babe having complications of some kind and being that far from your home, husband, and support system. The time before my babies were born was difficult for a variety of reasons (and I wasn't even pregnant). The weeks that they were in the NICU was a long, lonely time for me, without family or friends nearby, sleeping in a strange bed, etc.
Sorry I can't offer more help on the VBAC issue. I did have a chat with my doc (who does VBAC, and is very natural-birth and low-intervention friendly, and who spends as long with his patients as they want or need, and does his own ultrasounds... and he's a *gasp* regular OB/GYN, and a man at that! :-) about it on behalf of a couple of friends, and he did say that of the women he sees who initially want to do VBAC, very few actually end up doing it -- not because of any complications, but because they opt for another c-section in the end (since induction is not an option)!
if there was any way to drive i don't think i would feel so stuck. but driving is kind of out of the question since it will be dead winter and i live in alaska in juneau with no roads in or out :)
i have considered the need for a support system which is why i would choose the city my family lives in, albeit much farther away.
That's tough. I ended up with a c-section, and there was never another choice for me for reasons to do with my own physiology and the babies positions. I knew that going in, so it was easy for me to focus past that.
I guess what I would do is scour the larger city for a doula or midwife who is willing to fly or drive to where you are, and work on a homebirth with you, with the possibility (that always exists) of going to a hospital if things don't progress or get critical.
I know of a lot of successful vbacs in my area, but that's because I live in the vicinity of Dr. Joseph Tate (in Atlanta), who is basically the leading doctor in the US doing vbacs. I mean, he's done triplet vbacs. The man is a pioneer. So, the experiences surrounding me aren't really typical...
the problem is the only hospital in town is not equipped in case of an emergency. thus i would have to go somewhere else for the vbac. the midwife and doctor i have/had for the first child are very supportive and will help with the transition to a new location when/if that is my final decision. thankfully my caregivers are really mellow and pretty much pro natural birth if possible.
Do you mean that your hospital cannot perform any emergency c-sections? Or rather, they do not follow the ACOG guidelines about anesthesia being immediately available for VBAC women?
it's a personal experience. i too, had 36 hours of labor and never passed 5 cm. my doctor encouraged me to do a repeat c-section (which is what i wanted) but he went on to explain that it's a healthier choice for the baby. they can't predict the likelyhood that it won't happen again, and we all know that long labors (especially if your water breaks) could possibly put your baby in distress and at risk for infection. but then again, they can't say that your body won't just wake up and do it's job.
if it were me (and i'm not judging), i'd go for the repeat c. i have a three year old (wow, are we the same person? lol) and it was SO easy knowing what day, what time the baby would come. i was able to plan daycare and have my family take the day off work. no labor. and recovery was about the same as the first (actually a little easier because i hadn't been in labor for 36 hours before).
so for what it's worth, you may want to consider a repeat c. just my two cents. it is your baby and your family :)
we must be kindred spirits...any chance you live in a community with no roads in or out like me. hahaha.
i've always heard that c-sections were easier on the doctor not necessarily the child. what was your doctor's reasoning....i'm curious.
the physical healing wasn't too bad, although i don't think i've ever fully come to terms with the psychological let down of not being able to deliver.
in the olden days...i would've simply labored until i died. so i am thankful for modern medicine, just bummed that it went the way it did.
We might be, i mean how creepy that we're in such similar lives (although i live in suburbia). I too felt that let down after my first (my son). I thought I did something wrong or that I wasn't woman enough. It lasted a while. Then I kinda found that women would hear my story and think I worked extra hard and put in more dues. It boils down to 36 hours of labor - for nothing!
My doctor basically said that it was more risky to try for a VBAC in case my body didn't respond again. It's just not worth the stress a long labor puts on the baby - or the seriousness of having to possibly do an emergency c-section.
I came to terms with it and I feel sorta lucky that I got to opt out of labor with my daughter. There was no pain, only fear and joy. And I got to have my whole family there - nobody had to rush to get there. And the bags were packed, car loaded and house clean. (just some perks)
I think about the olden times too.... can't imagine. I would've died, my son would've been poisoned by meconium. Thank god i'm not laura ingalls!!
my first pregnancy was twins, the first baby came out vag, the second c-section. Fast forward 7 years and I decided I wanted a vag with this one. The doctor didn't recommend it, and the hospital made me sign a waiver that said I understood all the problems with it.
But... I didn't go into labor and a c-section was scheduled. And then the morning of the day I was scheduled for the section, I went into labor. I labored normally, had an epidural, and had the baby that evening.
It's not selfish - you have your baby whatever way you want it.
I've had one vag birth and one c/s, and honestly? I would walk for days to get to a place where I had at least a small chance of a VBAC. I hated my c/s. When I think about the difference postpartum between my first child (vag) and second (c/s), it's a no-brainer. Honestly, I would do anything I could to avoid a second c/s.
But that's my personal feeling, and I'm not actually facing the situation you are.
having not had a vaginal birth i can only image, but the c-section was not what i wanted at all. so i can see why you feel the way you do.
Do you know about ICAN? http://www.ican-online.org/
You may want to check with them to see what your options are and find some support for pursuing VBAC. There may even be a chapter near you where you can go talk with other women. They also have great facebook group, if you're on there, where you can get more or less live support, information, etc. The Unnecessarean also has great info, and a wonderful and supportive FB group. http://www.theunnecesarean.com/
My first daughter was born as a Csection for "failure to progress"... I'd fully dialated with an Epidural BUT she'd engaged and at angle... and since I was incapacitated with that epidural, I couldn't move around to help her move. I didn't want to put the next baby or myself through that, in our case, the Epidural messed with her ability to regulate her temperature and her sugar levels, they kept her in an isolette in the nursery for 5 hours after she was born.
I called around and couldn't find a doctor willing to do a VBAC. I finally settled on a set of Midwives as a hospital that is 35 minutes from our place when there is no traffic... I live in the Los Angeles area... there's ALWAYS traffic, in this case, it can easily take up to 2.5 hours to get there (this is a key detail).
I hired a Doula and spent my pregnancy doing a lot of pelvic rocks and sitting on a yoga ball to try and ensure "optimum position" since a lot of midwives have noted that babies that aren't in optimum position (facing your back, with their head tucked in) tend to go post dates and have much longer labors and difficulties.
Fast forward to the day I went into labor: I woke up at 7am with contractions, but they were bearable, went to a 10am Midwife appointment which took us an hour and a half to get to. They checked me, I was -2 station and 60% effaced. I was having regular contractions (15 minutes apart) but they were still bearable. I was declared in "early labor" and the Midwife sent me along saying she expected to see me in the next few days. That was at 10:30am... we drive home, get to our area at 12 noon and I had to do some shopping so my partner stayed home from work to help me get ready. By 1pm I was having to concentrate and breathe through contractions... by 1:45pm I was having a hard time sitting in the truck through contractions, by 2pm we were driving back to the hospital. At 3pm we hadn't gone more than 5 miles because traffic was completely backed up, we got onto side streets, that wasn't much better. We got into a fender bender at 3:45pm for following someone who was going through a yellow light and changed her mind 1/2 way through the intersection. By that point, my water had broken and my body was spontaneously pushing (go optimum position).
We didn't know it at the time but our Truck has a "kill switch" that has to be reset if you have a fender bender before it will start again... so there we are, me pushing without wanting to, and we call 911. Within 10 minutes we were being transported to the closest hospital. I was in labor, in the delivery room they rushed me into and she was crowing, but taking a bit to come out and I actually HEARD THEM ordering a surgical suite be prepared... my baby was born on her own within 5 minutes of that... I didn't do anything special, just went with my body... She was born inside of 30 minuts after we arrived at the hospital.
Moral of my story: Had Doula who didn't make it in time due to change of hospitals, had Midwives I didn't get to, birthed in a hospital that WOULD HAVE sectioned me if I'd gotten there sooner but they didn't have a chance... VBAC'ed anyway. :)
So some options: As above posters have pointed out, if something goes wrong, being that far from help or your hospital (either way) doesn't really work. Having had a toddler when my second baby was born, being by yourself and having to manage a toddler while in hard labor... doesn't work either. If you have a relative you could stay with or a good friend, that would work. Otherwise, you go with the mellowest doctor you can find at the hospital you didn't care for... you then do everything you can to be healthy and get that baby in the right position... and then.. you wait until the LAST POSSIBLE MOMENT to go to said hospital... once your body is doing it's own pushing... there's not a hell of a lot they can do to mess with you... they can try, but if baby is showing up on his or her own...they pretty much are catching at that point.
All that said, if a homebirth is an option, definately go that route.
thanks for your story. i was even contemplating doing what you talked about...unfortunately the hospital doesn't have a trauma ward and it there were some kind of crazy complication...whatever those might be, those have yet to be discussed, there is nothing they could do. the closest hospitals equipped for some sort of labor delivery are a minimum of a 3 hour jet ride away.
i wish it was as easy as holding out...that i could do, no problem!
I'm going to be really frank with you. Easy decision is stop researching now and go repeat Csection. Don't research any more, don't talk about it any more. Follow your doctor, and just go with the "the doctor said it was the best option" because as you can see above, it's a really comfortable place to be.
If that doesn't sit well with you, research... and then be ready to possibly have to make peace with the fact that things didn't go the way you wanted them to or really felt would have been healthier.
I find it disturbing that we have hospitals that will force people into major surgery, but not be able to handle complications... so sad. :(