Once upon a time I was a clueless woman, pregnant with my first child. Sitting in my childbirth class only half listening to the teacher talk about cesarean section. I thought, “They have to cut through FOUR layers to get to the baby? Yuk! At least I don’t have to worry about that.” And continued daydreaming about my first born’s birth. Out of my vagina. Just like that. Sitting in my obstetrician’s office at 36 weeks pregnant, as we both looked at the familiar beautiful skeleton on the ultrasound he casually said, “Yep, looks like he’s still breech. We’ll schedule your c-section for 39 weeks”. Again, just like that. I could almost hear the sound of screeching breaks in my head. I was not going down without (what I thought was) a fight. I asked, “Can’t I birth him this way?” He explained that it was monumentally dangerous, and in fact none of the 14 OB’s in rotation would do it. I was told I had no other option. None. Basically I felt like my vagina would suddenly explode all over the delivery room if I wanted to deliver a breech baby. I asked if I could wait until I went into labor on my own, then come in for the section. What if my son needed to gestate to 42 weeks? No, again. Pretty much all my power was stripped from me and I was made to feel that this was my only option. I asked no additional questions. I was beyond devastated, confused, didn’t know who to talk to and was terrified. I had never even had a cavity filled, never a bone broken. And yet I was about to have major abdominal surgery to remove my child from me. I didn’t get to give birth like my mother had 3 times, like my grandmother had 11 times. No stories of moaning, pushing, sweating, baby being put on my chest to nurse right away as I wept with joy. Nope. The next day, my water broke.
My son was born 4 hours later via cesarean section. A great OB was on staff and the rest of the staff was nice as well. Did that make it great? No. For almost two years I held it all in. People would inquire about my son’s birth, I would tell them and embellish about how wonderful it was because GOD FORBID I say anything was wrong with my view of his birth! I had a healthy baby, and that’s all that matters....
When my son was 15 months old I got pregnant with our second child. I was hell-bent on having a vaginal birth (VBAC). It was somewhat of a battle (the journey is here), but I hired a doula, educated myself about birth and VBAC. The more I researched and the more I talked to people about birth, I kept hearing, “Well, it doesn’t matter how you deliver. A healthy baby is all that matters”. And I found myself starting to say this mantra too. But, deep inside, I was screaming. Screaming in emotional pain from my son’s birth. Screaming that I felt it was a violent and unnatural way for him to come into the world. Cursing myself for not being more educated and knowing my options. But, I kept my trap shut. I didn’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings that had a decent experience with their c-section, or anyone else for that matter that felt they needed to give me their 2 cents. And by the way, I know that c-section saves lives. I don’t need to be reminded. After all, we’re all mothers doing the best we can. And at the end of the day, a healthy baby is. All. That. Matters.
The day came and I successfully birthed my daughter and proudly wore the badge: VBAC. (click here for her birth story). Four days later at home, a particular female family member (who will remain nameless) called and I began telling her my daughters birth story. (This family member is a labor and delivery nurse for over 20 years. She told me once when I was about 5 months pregnant (and I didn’t ask) that she thought it would be best if I have a repeat c-section and not endanger my daughter by having a VBAC). So, I began telling her my story and she suddenly interrupts me, “I read your blog. The one about Colton’s birth. I think your story is an insult to my profession!”
Oh. No. She. Just. Didn’t.
But, wait, she wasn’t done: “You have two healthy babies! DO YOU KNOW HOW LUCKY YOU ARE?!?!?”
And that’s what pushed me over the edge.
I was tired of accepting the “Who-gives-a-shit-about-your-feelings-you’re-just-the-incubator-anyway” attitude. I was tired of the “Is it selfish?” question about VBAC. I’m not going to get into the facts about the safety of VBAC or the risks of multiple c-section, but rather the misinformation, the lack of education is what really pisses me off. When you don’t know what you don’t know, ignorance is bliss. Like me when I was ignorant and pregnant with my first. It’s what I see over and over again. Most mothers trust their medical staff, their obstetricians. They listen to horror stories at baby showers and watch crap shows like “A Baby Story” and “Birthday” on TLC (And they call themselves The Learning Channel. What a joke!). They fear birth and let doctors induce, allowing a cascade of interventions, usually ending in cesarean section. CONT
Answer by karamille at 10:27 PM on Feb. 5, 2011
Answer by layh41407 at 10:30 PM on Feb. 5, 2011
Answer by treynlisa at 10:32 PM on Feb. 5, 2011
Answer by layh41407 at 10:33 PM on Feb. 5, 2011
Answer by Bobbysgurl at 10:33 PM on Feb. 5, 2011