There were loads of things about pregnancy and babies that I didn't realise when I had my first two children and one of them was that giving birth naturally after a caesarean can be trickier.
I remained blissfully ignorant about the awful phrase "trial by labour" and while I knew vaguely about uterine scars rupturing I still thought I would give birth naturally.
And I did. Four times.
So, if you've had one c-section and would really like to give birth vaginally next time, I'm here to tell you it is possible.I didn't have the Internet to hand when I was pregnant for the second time, and I'm quite glad. I can see why some women decide to elect for a caesarean instead of a 'trial of labour', which is the term given to trying for a natural delivery.
I didn't have the stress of worrying about "what ifs" or fretting about things I couldn't change. Instead my energy went into positive thinking.
But I did know that although the risk of a uterine rupture was rare, it got even smaller the more vaginal births after caesareans (VBAC) you had.
I also knew that being induced could lead to a rupture or another c-section so I tried my best to prevent that happening. If I did go overdue I had a sweep, went for long walks, had sex and curries. They seemed to do the trick and, apart from my first birth, I was never induced.
Although a previous c-section might not affect you giving birth naturally next time, it may affect where. I was told I now had a "black mark" and would not be able to give birth in the lovely, local midwife unit. It also meant the baby was continuously monitored which, although uncomfortable, did not restrict my movement too much.
There are obviously risks with associated with a VBAC and, like everything, each person must make up their own mind. The book Vaginal Birth After C-Section: The VBAC Handbook contains useful information.
Of course, there's nothing wrong with having another caesarean if that's what you want. For me the risks of that as well as the longer recovery meant that I wanted to have a natural labour if possible. And if that's what you want, it can sometimes help to know that other people, in similar circumstances, have achieved it.
Are you electing for a caesarean or do you want to give birth naturally after one? How are you preparing for this?