I am still thinking about this and doing research. The answer is beginning to seem clear, but I still want to talk to my perinatalogist and some more to my regular ob/gyn. Luckily I don't have to have an answer for a couple months yet.
First of all, let me acknowledge that whatever I may choose, life may make other decisions for me. In other words, I may want to have a VBAC and prepare for one, but circumstances may dictate a c-section after all. That's ok - the number 1 priority is my bringing home a healthy baby within a few days of delivery.
Current research says that the chance of a uterine rupture in a VBAC is 0.6% - about 1/2 of 1 percent. Overall, a VBAC is SAFER for mother and baby than a repeat c-section (RCS).
Birth is a natural process. It's only in the last 100 years that it has become a medical condition. Granted, many women used to die in childbirth and medicalizing the process has improved those stats immeasurably. And I'm all for that. However, why should I choose major surgery over a natural experience? Women have been giving birth for either thousands or millions of years, depending on how fundamentalist your beliefs are.
I am honoring my body by believing that I am capable of giving birth to my child, and doing so. Having a c-section did not feel like giving birth to me - it felt like being opened up and having something removed.
I am honoring my child and the birth process to allow my body and the baby's body to notify me when he/she is ready to be born. Scheduling the birth to better fit my doctor's and my schedule seems just plain wrong.
Yes, the logistics, particularly with my 3-year old, are much more complicated. But again, having major surgery as a matter of "convenience" doesn't seem right.
This desire for a VBAC is very deeply rooted. I almost want to call it genetic memory. Every woman in my line from Lucy until my grandmother has waited for the baby to arrive, has experienced labor pains and delivered a baby. I don't know if that has any bearing or not, all I know is that the urge to deliver naturally is very strong and I think have the c-section with my son has made it even stronger.
Let me clarify something else - when I say deliver naturally, I really mean vaginally - I am not ruling out drugs, as a matter of fact I'm kind of counting on them. Better living through chemistry! The fewer interventions the better, but if the baby needs monitoring or I need an episiotomy - fine.
A friend of mine was telling me another theory. Birth is a battle for mother and child, it's not easy and it starts the child out as a fighter. I think we can all agree that the sooner a child realize that life's not always easy, the better.
Da Kane seems to be supportive now - meaning that he will not try to talk me out of a VBAC and he will be with me for the delivery, whichever route it takes.
My pro-RCS points seem rather lame at this point. More thought, research and discussions ahead.