So, a question I get asked a LOT is “VBAC, do I or don’t I?” – there really is no right answer as its so personal to each and every person so I can only discuss this from my own experience.
For me, the idea of having a vaginal birth was a big deal. It really meant something to me to be able to have that experience and whether that
If you’re new here, for reference my son Rory was born via Emergency Ceasarian. My daughter Elin was my VBAC birth.
No Two Births are the same:
A lot of the time I hear people are nervous about history repeating themselves. No two births are the same and your birth is unique to your baby and your circumstances.
Take this one from me. My birth stories are Ying and Yang. Rory was early. Elin was overdue. With
The only similarities with my labours are that I needed assistance with both of them to get my babies out. Rory was in a malposition and belived to be back to back (hence the slower and more painful labour) which resulted in a ceasarian as I couldn’t get him low enough into the birth canal myself for the doctor to winch him out.
Elin also got stuck but because the umbilical cord was around her neck which was essentially acting like a bungee cord and pulling her back every time I pushed her down. I did, however, manage to get her down far enough that they got her out with a forceps delivery and allowing me to achieve
I cannot stress enough how history
For me – my VBAC – although traumatic on paper, was absolutely everything and more. It was all that I wanted from a birth story. Well, a water birth would have been nice but I messed that up myself by being stubborn and not going to the hospital quick enough.
A big reason that I resented my ceasarian was because I didn’t get this magical “one born every minute” moment that you always see on TV.
For 9 months I had dreamed of this big howling hairless alien being pulled from me and plonked straight on my chest for some magical skin to skin, where we would all cry and I’d experience this huge rush of love. So you can imagine my dissapointment when Rory was shielded by a big blue screen, whisked away for a check, and was brought to me for my first look at him wrapped in a blanket, with a hat and a nappy on.
After a long labour and a lot of drugs I just felt pretty out of it and didn’t feel a lot about his birth at all. I just remember thinking how exceptionally beautiful he was.
So in hindsight. “The birth moment” and I just
So if the driver for a VBAC is for those emotions, they may not be guaranteed. I think we put a lot of emotion onto ‘that moment’ anyway and
The recovery was a real novelty – especially in the first 24 hours! When I was wheeled to the recovery ward I almost went into patient mode and was making sure I had my buzzer close to me as it triggered being unable to move after Rorys birth and then I kept remembering “oh yeah I can just get up!”. I also really enjoyed being able to sit in the back of the car for the drive home and not having to panic for every bump and turn in the road.
However – labour IS labour – there is still a recovery process. I think this shocked me the most. I was expecting to hop, skip and jump out of the hospital but the next day I felt like I’d done a few rounds with Mike Tyson. All of my muscles ached so badly, especially my abdoment (from pushing), my arms (from gripping anything I could as tightly as I could) and my jaw (from biting down when pushing).
I had an episiotomy and stitches which was still a painful recovery but not as painful as a cesarian recovery. I felt more able and mobile and obviously being able to walk about and lift your toddler up is amazing. I don’t know how we would have managed if I couldn’t lift Rory actually. But you still don’t get off scot-free which I have no idea why just really shocked me!
Was it worth it?
For me personally – 100% yes. If I were to have another baby I would opt for a vaginal birth again. I really struggle to word this due to the fear of upsetting or triggering someone, but it just meant a huge amount to be to have the experience of
If you have a fear of birth/gore etc or your found labour/pains stressful then again, I would possibly consider an elective ceasarian. My birth with Elin was amazing in my opinion, but on paper it was kind of traumatic. It was incredibly high stress (not so much for me as I was in the zone, but for Rich) and it was gorey. He has 4 kids and Elins birth was one of his most stressful but for me it was perfect – I hope this makes sense?
Click here to read Elins full labour story.
Click here to read some other VBAC birth stories.