Birth Story: One Woman's VBAC

Trying for a VBAC

So I hopped aboard the VBAC train, and it wasn't for safety reasons. What could be safer than scheduling a second c-section and pulling that bun out of the oven before anything bad could happen? Avoid hours of pushing, the birth canal, episiotomies. At work, colleagues of mine, who had scheduled their second c-sections conveniently after business meetings, were incredulous that I hadn't, in fact, already scheduled my c-section. As every pregnant woman can attest to, they then went on to tell me the most horrifying stories that no one in their right mind should ever tell a pregnant woman. "Thank God I had a c-section the second time around," Pam (some names have been changed to protect the guilty) told me, "because it turns out his cord was wrapped around his neck and if I hadn't scheduled the c-section he would have died!" She then looked at me -- me, the bad mom who nevertheless continued to want to have a VBAC -- as if I had something to prove, even if it were at the expense of my unborn child.

Nope, it wasn't safety concerns, but having a 2-year-old who wouldn't understand the concept of "post-op recovery" that was the clincher for me. Another friend had her two kids rather close together (she said the way her husband found out she was pregnant the second time around was after she took a test, he heard her yell, "You've got to be kidding me!"). For her second child, she had to have a c-section. "Have you ever tried telling a 16-month-old that you can't pick him up for six weeks?" she asked me. Turns out her older child kicked her stitches out. Ouch!

I decided to try for a VBAC the way I tried for anything else I thought was unattainable. When I first started running, I couldn't run more than three miles. But eventually I finished the New York City marathon. (Yes, I walked along the way and finished with the octogenarians, but I did finish.) That's how I approached my VBAC. I probably wouldn't cross the finish line, but I wanted to at least give it a try and see what all the fuss was about.

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