Let me immediately preface this with the fact that I had an EMERGENCY C Section and not a planned C Section. I am well aware that many people have to have C Sections for a number of reasons and that not everyone gets to choose how they will deliver their baby for a number of reasons. This is MY experience and MY opinion based upon an Emergency C Section and a Vaginal Birth After Cesarean Section.
With that being said, I’m just gonna go right out there and tell you that why on earth anyone would choose to have a C Section is beyond me. I get that if you’ve been through an Emergency C Section you may just feel comfortable with that option because you recovered from it, you are reading this after all, and enough time has passed that you probably don’t remember the pain and recovery period. Also, it’s nice to get to pick your delivery date and plan around that for help with your older child, work, life, etc. You may have been told the recovery is easier. Maybe you don’t have a choice for medical reasons.
With Reeve, it took me a good year before I could even say the words “I gave birth…..” because I really just didn’t feel like I had. I felt more like I should say, and DID say, “he was born on” because that felt closer to my truth. In my mind (and this is not to say it’s true) being able to say “I gave birth” were words reserved for moms who endured the pains of contractions and pushing.
I know now, having experienced both, that I was wrong and however your baby is born is okay. Read that again….HOWEVER YOUR BABY IS BORN IS OKAY.
I’m a little disappointed in myself that it took me delivering via VBAC to feel comfortable with that as MY truth, but I’m just being honest.
What I can tell you is that FOR ME I wanted the experience of a vaginal birth as a means of closure on the experience and trauma of Reeve’s birth. I needed to PROVE that my body was capable of doing what it was created to do. I have ZERO regrets about my C section (looking back, I could’ve fought harder to have a Vaginal Birth) and am just eternally grateful Reeve was born healthy, that’s really all that matters in the end.
When I found out I was pregnant with Lowe, before even, I knew my next pregnancy would be an attempt for a VBAC. Being the person I am who LIKES to be told “NO” just so that I can do something, it became a goal and a challenge for me. I would tell people and get about 90% “why not just have a planned C Section” and about 10% support! I intentionally chose a new practice with a HUGE success rate and that was very supportive.
I walk around saying to Kirk and Reeve often “I can do ANYTHING” and this became my mantra. You’ve seen the pictures of me at the gym busting my ass as I have gotten bigger and more swollen and my belly was huge. Not once while there did I NOT think about my goal. I trained my body for those 9 months as if having a VBAC were a marathon. A lot of you thought it was vanity or to “get back in shape after the baby was born” and you couldn’t have been more wrong. Though, i will also tell you that my body bounced back into shape SO much faster with a VBAC. I assume this is b/c I was up and moving within the hour and not laid up with an incision and pain for weeks.
MY ENTIRE GOAL WITH EACH WORKOUT WAS TO MAKE MY BODY STRONG FOR THAT DELIVERY!
Now, let me tell you, about 17 hours out, I can tell you that as prepared as my body and mind were….NOTHING on this Earth really prepares you for the intensity of the pain or the roller coaster of emotions you will experience with a vaginal delivery.
Holy Cow…I’m only 17 hours out! (note: i finished this post 11 days after starting it, so you will notice some back and forth with my timeline)
AND I FEEL AWESOME!
My vagina isn’t swollen despite tearing and needing stitches. It doesn’t hurt to pee AT ALL. I was walking within 10 minutes of pushing him out. I can bend over, laugh, cough, shower, drive and have taken nothing more than Motrin. I slept on my stomach for the first time in months last night and my milk came in within 8 hours!
What’s most noticeable about recovering from a Vaginal Birth vs a C Section is how quickly I was able to resume ALL normal activity. I remember with Reeve being about 3 weeks out and I STILL couldn’t walk all the way through Target without having pain, discomfort and dizziness. I literally drove myself to Target 2 days after Lowe was born and walked the whole store and then came home and was able to sit outside talking to my neighbors.
I never had to clean any incisions or avoid baths. I was able to resume light exercise within 10 days and am still, somehow, responsible for all the cooking, cleaning, laundry and housework around here. People, I sent Kirk back to work THREE days after Lowe was born b/c I was ready to be on my own!!!
My body is incredible. YOUR body is incredible. Our bodies do incredible things.
Kirk has asked me since last night if I’m glad I had a VBAC (even though I was scared and yelled/cussed at him a little during labor) and the answer is HELL YEAH!
I’m going to forever be emotional when I talk about Lowe’s birth. I . GAVE. BIRTH!
and now that I think about, I can yell it that I GAVE BIRTH…TWICE.
While the VBAC gave me closure on what I missed out on with Reeve’s birth, it also gave me permission to release any feelings that I hadn’t earned the right to say those words.
My hope for any mama is that she will have the labor/birth for her children that she wishes. Sometimes it doesn’t work that way, but that’s the whole point of children….they teach us the truth about things we already think we know.
For me, this labor and delivery was scary as hell, but I hold my head up high today not because I had a VBAC but because I delivered two healthy and beautiful boys..and because I conquered a goal….and because I challenged my body to a task that it feared and came out so much better for it.
and…b/c no post is complete without Lowe pictures, here are several that have nothing to do with C Sections or VBACs
Lowe styling in his camp pants, white tee and a Winnie the Pooh blankie
Swaddled and so yummyBird Legs…look how skinny his legs are in these Newborn pants