This is re: a woman i know, who wondered out loud the other day about birth options for the future. She's not as clear on the details as i would be, but here is what i know.
#1 was a smallish boy (6.5lbs), spontaneous labour, she had an epidural and he "got stuck" during the 2nd stage. She had a forceps delivery with a large episiotomy and some tearing, and said she remembers that as the ob was pulling with the forceps she was physically dragged several inches down the bed (she was completely numbed and in lithotomy). After the delivery she was ok overnight but the next day was in immense pain. The hospital midwives kept telling her it was to be expected after the forceps but at some point she began to bleed massively and collapsed. She had developed a large haematoma inside her vagina. Over the next 3 days she had surgery 3 times on that haemotoma, which kept recurring, and had 15 units of blood in total in the 4 days following birth. Her milk never came in and she was too ill t hold her son for almost a week. It was 2 months before she could put her legs together normally and 4 or 5 months before she could stand for more than a few moments without throbbing dragging aching in her pelvic region.
#2 was a fair sized (7lbs - mum is 110lbs at a normal weight and is small but a normally proportioned woman) girl, born at 39 weeks by planned c-section. I balk at saying "elective" because when she went to talk about a vaginal birth with her Ob he picked up her notes from #1 and counted the blood transfusions aloud until she shut up.
So she has since talked about a VBAC. But her concern is whether or not her vagina is still capable of the stretching necessary. She is very badly scarred inside (she can feel the scarring) and still has pain against the scar now (#1 is 3 next month) from tampons and sometimes during sex.
She asked me and i didn't know what to tell her except that VBAC wasn't as risky as a repeat c-section statistically. BUt then i don't know to what extent the Ob is trying to cover his own butt since her forceps-ob obviously did a real number on her vagina. She was in such terrible pain for such a long time that she would rather have the section if the likelihood is that she's going to have to go through that again. She told me after her c-section that the recovery was so much better, she finally understood why women got excited about birth - this after abdominal surgery and coming home to care for a newborn and a toddler - so the first experience must really have been horrific.
So, i know you can't see/feel her, but any experiences/wisdom to share?