Sunday, October 30, 2011

Comments on Comments: VBAC

So.  I messed up.  Not the first time and it won't be the last.

After the first not so positive comment down to the latest almost brought tears to my eyes comment, I am fully aware that my VBAC post did not fly over so well.

I still stand by my facts.  As a natural childbirth advocate and a friend to many women who have experienced cesarean sections and a friend to many women who have fought for the support of a caring provider to stand by their side during a trial of labor after a cesarean, I have seen many sides of vaginal birth after a cesarean section.  I know the risk factors and I know the benefits.

But, having had two successful vaginal births, I am obviously not the best person to speak on the emotional side of a cesarean or a VBAC.

If you were offended, I am sorry.  I am a person of strong convictions and it oftentimes takes an equally strong opposing opinion to make me realize my way is not the only way.

The past two days of reflection on these comments reminds me of something Birth Without Fear posted on her Facebook page not too long ago about how she has come to realize that a mama's satisfaction with her birth experience has nothing to do with the way her child enters the world but everything to do with how she feels about her birth experience.  And, I realize now I should have made a similar disclaimer on my VBAC (now aptly title "10 Reasons to Avoid an Elective Cesarean thanks to an anonymous commenter) post.

And, because Mrs. BWF is much wiser about birth than me......


"There is no guarantee a VBAC will be successful." True. There is also no guarantee that a cesarean section or induction will be successful. There are no 100% guarantees in life. That is why birth 'is as safe as life gets'. This is why informed choice is important. Choose what you feel is best and find a supportive and competent care provider and have an empowering birth! ~Mrs. BWF

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

I hope I didn't come across offensive to anyone else, but I just wanted to make sure you weren't forgetting about the ones who just aren't capable of having a vaginal birth at all because of a medical condition. So, I commend you for recognizing that it might have not been the best way to express your opinion regarding the whole issue (even though it is your blog......but, you do seem like the person that likes to be tested :)) Sometimes it just takes other people standing up and voicing their opinion and being able to actually hear what they are saying. Thank you for recognizing this. :)

Bech and Marley Evans said...

Thanks for this post. I read the last one and got so upset that I almost started crying. I would have loved to have had a vaginal birth. And I gave birth in a hospital in Vermont, which is much different than a hospital in Mississippi. They waiting til I was a week and a half overdue to induce me. They let me labor for 30 hours even though I wasn't progressing well at all. They let me push for an hour. And during the c-section, they found out that Jack was completely twisted, and there was no way that he was going to come out on his own.
I may never be able to have a VBAC, and that is really sad to me. I still get upset about my birth experience at least once a week. And I totally agree with a lot of the points you put out there, but they are not always true and they are not true under every circumstances. Please be a little more considerate next time of the many women who had to have c-sections, but didn't want them at all!

Robyn said...

I have had two VBACs. It has been my personal experience that the risks associated with cesarean sections are often glossed over by the medical community while the risks of VBAC are stressed. With my second VBAC, I was forced to drive an hour while in labor to deliver my baby because the 4 closer hospitals in Massachusetts ban VBACs.

I am confused as to why you are being found so offensive here. You are not insulting anyone for needing or choosing to have a c-section. You are offering reasons to seek an alternative for women who may not realize that VBAC is often a safe option.

Laura @ our messy messy life. said...

Anon, thank you. I'll admit your comment was not what I expected to read on the original post....

Marley, I'm sorry if I upset you. I hope you find closure soon.

Robyn, so glad at least one person realized my original intent! You hit the nail on the head with your entire comment. 1. Risks of repeat c/s are often glossed over while the risks of vbac are reinforced. 2. Some women don't even consider a vbac because the same ob that was so quick to jump to a c/s is often the same ob that quickly deems vbac "dangerous". Thank you!

Aspiring Earth Mama said...

Laura - I went back and read the first post as well as this one and I think it is very commendable for you to be so apologetic when you were only educating women. Maybe the backlash had something to do w/ the original post title?? I never saw it. As someone who is notorious for offending people and has made extreme efforts not to do so anymore, I saw nothing in your post that would upset people. I think so many people think that as a NCB advocate, we are just pushing our opinions on people b/c we think we're better than them, when in actuality, our only intention is to help and possibly prevent a catastrophic complication. You can't please everyone, so remember that even if you helped just one woman re-think her stance on elective c-section, your post was worth the backlash. :)

AKD said...

I have to admit, your first post hurt me, although I understand your intentions. I had one natural, unmedicated birth - to my baby who had passed away in the womb. I had to have a permanent cerclage placed for my rainbow, so I will never NOT have a C-section. This is certainly not what I would have chosen.

Anonymous said...

I had an emergency c-section with my first child, and had an elective repeat c-section with my second. My doctor tried to discuss a VBAC with me, and I stopped him. I had made up my mind while being wheeled into the OR with my first pregnancy that I was not going to push again for hours just to end up with another emergency c-section. With that being said, I was not offened by anything that you wrote in your first post, and think that anyone who feels that strongly that you offended them, they should just not read your blog. This is your blog and clearly your opinion, which you backed up with links to further educate everyone. I don’t know if you want back and changed anything in the original post, but it clearly states “MOST” women...not “ALL”, so I am really not sure why everyone was so offended. I agreed with all of your points, with my first pregnancy I had PIH and was induced. I know that if I didn’t have the high blood pressure things would have ended up differently and I probably would have ended up with an un-medicated natural childbirth (which was what I planned, until I was thrown the curveball). But for whatever reason that’s just not the way it happened and I am ok with that, I still ended up with that healthy baby and healthy mamma. I know I am going to piss people off with this comment but I personally think the people that are so offended by your post, are the ones that are jealous that they couldn’t have the natural birth that you had and they may have wanted and instead of realizing that they were thrown a curveball and had to do things a little different. Just my 2 cents!

Laura @ our messy messy life. said...

Elizabeth, thanks! Like I already knew, we think a lot alike :) Oh, and, the original title was "10 Reasons to Have a VBAC" .....nothing crazy......

ADK, I know your story and I certainly wasn't thinking about women with similar stories when I wrote that post. But, I know as a gentle mama, you don't think immediately jumping to a c/s is the best thing for baby or for mama. Thank you for reading.

Anon, your story sounds like a true case of informed consent. You have the information and you choose your path with your doctor's guidance. You aren't bitter at me for choosing a different path and you are obviously comfortable with your decision.

*Readers*, I am still very much standing by my first post :) But, I have been firmly reminded that not every CAN or WANTS TO choose a VBAC. And, for those women, I'm glad we have medical technology to help your babies safely arrive earthside.

princess granola said...

I had a VBAC. My first baby was a footling breech. We didn't find out until I was almost full-term and the midwives I was seeing were not allowed to continue my care once they were aware of the baby in that position. And in my area there were zero OBs trained in delivering a footling breech baby. So last minute I found an OB and had a scheduled c-section. It was a great experience. We had fun in the operating room and I got to hold my baby really fast. Recovery was long but I got to lay around and hold my baby all day. But I also knew I didn't want to have to go through that again.

Fast forward two years to baby #2... Midwives in my state are not allowed to assist in VBACs- only 2VBACs or higher. So I had to find an OB that would take me..only four in my area. I found an office that also had midwives. They were nervous but mildly encouraging. I had to agree to breaking my water by 7cms and internal fetal monitoring..yes I could have signed an AMA and not done those things but I was already under a watchful eye and tried not to piss anyone off so I agreed. My baby came out sideways after lots of pushing along with my midwife's hand that was still inside me trying to twist the baby. The OB was there too. I had fourth degree tearing and couldn't hold my baby for 3 hours while they stitched me up. And even with that the physical recovery was easier than the c-section. But the post-partum depression I faced the second time around made wish at times that I had elected for another section and not dealt with a frustrating birth experience.

There is so much emotional middle ground on this issue. If I got pregnant again I would try for a 2VBAC but I am terrified about it..it's not an easy thing to think about.

I think your first post was fine. You mentioned some good facts. And people should read it for what it is. It would be hard for you to understand the emotion of a VBAC choice without having gone through it. I appreciate your acceptance of conversation about this issue and suggest that next time you invite it before it comes unexpectedly. :)