It sounds from your story like the scar gave way entirely even
though it didn’t do any harm to you or the baby. In such
cases, it is recommended that the woman plan a repeat cesarean. I
am not aware of any research on this point. I doubt that there
would be enough cases where women with scar rupture in a previous
labor after c/sec would be allowed to labor again to produce any.
Even so, it does seem just common sense that if the scar gave way
in one labor, it is likely to do so again. It should be your right
to refuse surgery under any circumstances, although that right is
being flouted in this country when it comes to women and repeat
cesarean surgery, but would it be wise for you to do so?
If you want to learn more about VBAC vs repeat c/sec, you cannot do
VBAC or repeat cesarean?
. Among other things, you will find
information on planning for a safer cesarean and a positive
cesarean birth experience.
Speaking of safer cesareans, scheduling a c/sec at 38 weeks
increases the chance of the baby having respiratory problems severe
enough to require admission to intensive care. At the very least,
you should wait until 39 wks, although even then, there is still an
increase in the rate of respiratory complications. But were I you,
I would want some evidence of increased risk of scar problems in
the final weeks of pregnancy before scheduling surgery at all
before your due date. Not every baby is “done”
according to the calendar. The onset of labor is still the best way
of determining this. It is possible, of course, to have the scar
open during pregnancy, but it is extremely rare and I don’t
know if there is any association with week of pregnancy. If the
concern is labor starting in the middle of the night, I suggest you
plan to have your baby in a hospital where there is no problem
setting up for a c/sec any time of the day or night. In fact, if
your ob calls ahead, they can be set up for you when you get
As a side note, you are correct in your understanding of
“stargazing.” It means the baby’s head is tipped
back so that the baby is looking up. The problem can occur in
breech babies—babies who are head up instead of head
down—in which case they would be looking at the sky.
By: Henci Goer