When Angela was 2 months pregnant she sent me an email that read like this.
Angela wrote: “I started to list the main fears that I have when thinking of a VBAC. While I read it back I thought “OMG I have so many fears, am I sure I want a vaginal delivery?” Therefore I decided to make a list of fears related to C-section as well. I concluded from these lists “Oh YES, I do want a vaginal delivery!!”
I have never experienced a vaginal delivery, unfortunately. But I truly wanted to give vaginal birth to my son. Back then, I felt really confident that I could bear any pain needed to give birth. I kept saying, “Pain is only pain, it goes away when it stops while the baby stays”. This time I am not so confident. My fear is that, because I want my vbac so badly, I might not listen to pain that does not correspond to a regular contraction (which, by the way, I have no idea how it should feel… which, by the way, I am very angry about ) but is instead a sign of a uterine rupture. What if I cannot distinguish rupture from contractions? What if I carry on, ignoring a more serious pain?
Of course. Yes, I know the percentage is like 0,8 but what if I am the lucky one? I will probably feel better than last time anyway because “at least I tried” Or will I feel like a stupid selfish woman that for her personal fulfillment put herself and her baby at risk? This trauma could then be much more difficult to deal with than the last one if me and the baby are fine after all.
My argument to fight this fear: There are also very scary risks related to a C-section. The probability to die while driving a car is higher than the one for my uterus to rupture; yet I go out with the car continuously… I don’t give birth that often! If that happens, I was just not lucky; I don’t need to feel guilty or stupid…right?
I never believed that when they said it about my first son. I would remember all the tiny Italian aunts and great aunts who gave birth to 4.5 kg babies, at home without epidural, and happily became mothers (They still complain a lot about the pain, but hey, they did it!). Despite my beliefs, I do think sometimes: ”What if the gynecologist (the bad witch of my story) was right? What if instead of depriving me from the so wanted vaginal birth, she did save my son’s life and/or mine? [Well, forcing an induction at 39 weeks, for an hypothesis of sugar, never proved by any test, feels wrong anyway, so I keep calling her a witch (especially because she was against chocolate, which is unbelievable!!) 😀 What if I stayed home with a baby stuck in my pelvis who would go into distress? I plan on staying home as long as possible comfortably helping labor to progress, but what if that’s too dangerous and we find out too late?
My argument to fight this fear: Joyce, my midwife, will visit me and feel if this baby is too big. I don’t really believe we make babies that don’t fit us, I mean we make them! (although nature is not always pro-human…) If labor does not progress we will know and act accordingly. The hospital is really close by. We can always go for a C-section if we really fear that (this would still be really disappointing, but less traumatic I guess).
Once I knew I was going to be induced I tried anything I could to enter spontaneously into labor (It was great, finally a medical indication to oblige my husband to have sex and giving me massages “ha ha ha!” evil laugh, just joking J, poor husband, I really love him). My lovely husband made me so much raspberry leaf thee and attended acupuncture sessions with me, he also truly believed in our natural delivery. The time pressure did not help and anyway, I believe that if the baby is not ready, any input and prayer from our side is forcing something which is not meant to happen. I was told that with a prior C-section a woman cannot go over 41 weeks. I cannot imagine the time pressure I will experience once I pass my due date. What would happen if by the 41st week I would still feel no one symptom of labor?
Tomorrow: read the rest of the email in which Angela goes through her list of fears of a repeat c-section.
“In general, a C-section seems to me a weird way of giving birth. A woman is about to experience one of the strongest transitions in her life and we add to this, a major abdominal surgery, which is per sé a difficult operation to go through.”
Great resource if you are considering a VBAC: http://vbacfacts.com/
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