VBACs and C-Sections: My Ultimate Truth

vbac vs planned c section

I’ve come to a conclusion about the whole VBAC thing. You’ll be pleased to know. Bloody good job, really, as the baby could be here at any minute, surprising me before my elective section! This post is going to be a bit over-honest, I’m taking myself well out of my comfort zone in a sort of pseudo-pyschotherapy session, but I think that what I’m going to say needs to be said. Because despite all of the pros and cons I came up with in my head for elective c-sections and VBACs (vaginal birth after c-section), it all boiled down to one thing (brace yourselves):

I felt as though I would be copping out if I don’t try for a VBAC.

There, I’ve said it. I can go through all of the pros and cons in the world, and they can all be completely valid (and actually, very wise, because who wants to risk their life or their baby’s life just because they don’t want to feel as though they’re copping out?!) but when it comes down to the nitty gritty, the thing that was playing on my mind from the very start of the whole VBAC/section dilemma was that – somehow – if I asked for an elective section, I was taking the easy way out. Being a wimp. Not giving things “a good go”.

So untrue, of course, because you’ll know if you’ve had a caesarean that it’s no walk in the park, but nevertheless the “copping out” idea was what – after a bit of frank soul-searching – was holding up my decision. Good God, I would have decided on a section on day one had I not had to attend the VBAC class and be told that a section was risky and I’d be fine birthing naturally and that I’d recover better from a VBAC and “nonsense! women only grow the size of baby they can deliver!”…

Read my VBAC class post…

And I clung onto various reprieves – first of all that the baby would be breech, and I’d have to have a section, and then that the baby would be big, too big to come out, and I’d have to have a section (turns out my instincts were good on this one – not on the coming out part, because who knows what can come out of the Tunnel of Great Stretchiness when it’s put under duress, but the “big baby” part). But really, I just wanted a section. I didn’t want a “trial of labour” when I only had a 50% chance of success (my hospital stats); neither did I want a trial of labour when I’m potentially carrying the Hulk Hogan of all babies. Why I couldn’t have just put my foot down (as I would have been entitled to do) at the start and saved myself months of anxiety, I have no idea.

Well, I do: as I’ve said, I didn’t want to feel as though I was copping out. I wanted to be a Warrior Princess of Birthing, I wanted to be how I thought I would be with Angelica’s birth – breathing the baby out, empowered, the staff in awe of my amazing babe-delivering capabilities. But birth isn’t like that, not for everyone. And I’m not a Warrior Princess – I’m just a normal, slightly frightened woman who has had her confidence knocked once before, has been petrified before, and can’t bear the thought of going through it again.

To VBAC or not to VBAC…

So there. I’ve said it. And I’m by no means saying that anyone else who opts for a c-section is copping out – I’m talking about me here, just me. To make it clear, I also don’t think that I’m copping out – I’m done with that hang-up. You get your baby out the safest and least traumatic way possible and, on professional advice and my own counsel, a c-section, for me, is that way. (Now with the whole maybe/maybe not-gestational diabetes complication too, I’m adamant.) I admire any woman who goes for a VBAC and I equally admire any woman who decides that an elective section is best – nobody takes any of this birthing business lightly. It’s a difficult decision to make but the pros and cons are, I think, different for all of us and nobody can make the decision for you. Nobody should make the decision for you.

I hope that this helps if you’re dithering over what to do when it comes to VBAC – not to push you in either direction, but to sit down and be truly honest with yourself as to why you’re struggling with your decision. Ultimately, I worried about what other people would think of me and I also worried about not “achieving” something I felt I should be able to achieve – and what utterly irrelevant nonsense. Think about recovery time, think about chances of success, think about safety, think about how you would like your birth to go, but never think that you’ll be letting anyone down. Not least yourself.

*© 2017 The Uphill®: *Outbound links are affiliate links, which means that I receive a very small percentage of any sale made. This does not affect my content in any way and does not cost you anything, but you are most welcome to Google the products on a new page if you prefer. All opinions are my own and any sponsored or paid posts will always be clearly marked as an AD in the title. I accept press samples and receive product and services to review as part of my job. "The Uphill" and "Ruth Crilly" are registered trademarks.

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53 Comments

  1. Alexandra
    February 1, 2017 / 4:50 pm

    Glad you were able to come to a decision you feel happiest with. I myself am carrying a large baby but that is due to her having a condition called beckwith-wiedemann syndrome and have been told I will most likely need a c section due to her size and me being rather small. I’m so nervous and also feel like it means I won’t get to experience a real birth but reading all your posts are really helping. Good luck for your up coming birth and I look forward to seeing updates once your baby is here 🙂

  2. Kari
    February 1, 2017 / 5:20 pm

    You’ve got this, Mama! I had a traumatic first birth ending in an even more traumatic csection, and for my second baby I was determined to have a vbac. For the same reasons as you, but also because of legit PTSD with the csection. On December 8th, I did it! It was such a rewarding and healing experience! I wish you the best of luck and will be rooting for you!

  3. Georgie
    February 1, 2017 / 6:01 pm

    Well done on your decision Ruth, with my second section I agreed to wait until the 42 week mark ‘to give it a good chance’ (I knew I wouldn’t go into labour naturally I hadn’t at nearly 43 weeks on my first ) at 9st and my first baby being 9lb 4oz(!!) I just couldn’t face what it would do to my fanny. However ridiculous that sounds it’s the truth

  4. February 1, 2017 / 6:04 pm

    Hi Ruth, I think a whole lot of pregnant ladies and women with kids will be nodding along with this. I certainly have been. I am pregnant with my first and second kids – identical twin boys – and was told right from the outset from my hospital and fetal medical centre (at Kings incidentally – one of the best FMCs in Europe so they probably know what they are talking about!) that the aim with identicals is to get to 36 weeks and then have a c-section as it’s safest for the babies. If I have a vaginal birth there is a risk that one will be born and the other will essentially be flooded with blood from the placenta if they don’t get out quickly enough, causing all kinds of issues. Or one could be born and the other may not be able to make his way out and I’d have to have a vaginal birth for Twin 1 and then a c-section for Twin 2. Or if I wait for labour then the placenta they share could stop functioning correctly under the strain. Only 40% of all twins are born vaginally, and that includes non-identicals that have separate placentas, unlike my two little lads.

    I had the option to insist on trying for a vaginal birth but why would I risk putting my babies in danger? I have no judgement for women who choose to go this route and I understand that some women see it as a rite of passage or whatever… I’m just not one of them. I am prepared for the more difficult recovery and everything that goes with a c-section.

    AND YET. Since we started telling people about the twins I have faced no end if criticism about why I wouldn’t want to try for a vaginal birth. I have been told that c-sections aren’t the easy way out, I’ve been told that it’s better for the babies if they are born vaginally, and asked if I will feel like less of a woman if I don’t give birth in ‘the normal way’. Obviously none of these comments come from people withing the medical community but from friends, neighbours etc

    So, is it really any wonder that we can feel like we are copping out if we get a c-section, or like we aren’t as good as other women if we are happy to say yes to a c-section and don’t want the potential trauma of vaginal birth?

    At the end of the day it’s really nobody else’s business anyway, and there’s nothing quite like intuition. I hope you feel like a weight has been lifted now that you have made your choice. Sorry for the massively long comment – I guess I needed some therapy too!!!

    • Karen
      February 2, 2017 / 12:27 am

      I’m with you Joy, I had twins and decided from the beginning, due to statistics of problems occurring I was going to opt for a c section. I saw it as the least traumatic path for me AND my babies. As Ruth mentioned, a C section is not a walk in the park, but it was definitely the right decision for me and my babies. I only had a few friends tell me to try vaginal birth, and interestingly they were all ladies who had had a c section themselves, so maybe this was more about them than me and my decision.

    • Alex
      February 2, 2017 / 12:45 pm

      Your post really pisses me off. Not due to your ultimate decision to have a c-section, but the fact that people had the gall to comment on your choice and attempted to make you feel bad for it. As someone who also had an elective c-section due to complications, I can say 100% that a major surgery like that isn’t a walk in the park and by no means the easy option. What I don’t understand is when other WOMEN try to guilt trip me for my decision. Isn’t motherhood hard enough without us trying to make our fellow mums like feel like less of a woman because they didn’t have the “natural experience”? Sorry, did you get a trophy that we didn’t receive because the baby happened to come out of your vagina?

  5. Susanamantha
    February 1, 2017 / 6:11 pm

    Ruth, your candor is appreciated. Although not pregnant, I have followed your major dilemma intently as you have informed us of your leanings, first one way, then the other, then….

    Although my opinion is worth what you paid for it, (ha!) I am glad you have made the decision that I believe I would have made. Now you can take a deep breath, smile, kiss Angelica and Mr. AMR, and go forth to greet your new precious babe. We are all with you, even though you have no idea who or how many we are, and we’re eager to hear about it all and see another sweet AMR enter the world. Bless you, Ruth.

  6. Emma
    February 1, 2017 / 6:29 pm

    Hi Ruth. I appreciated this post as it resonated with me. I’m 14 weeks pregnant with my first but I had abdominal surgery last July and have essentially the same incision as a c section. My consultant has recommended that I have a c section rather than a VB due to this.

    I’ve been feeling like somehow I’m copping out or missing out on the ‘wonders’ of labour or that I won’t bond with my baby in the same way if I don’t try and have a natural delivery. The constant questioning by midwifes about why I’m ‘choosing’ a section isn’t helping either – I feel like they’re judging me for not considering a VB.

    Anyway thank you so much for being so honest – you’ve made me feel much more comfortable in my decision. Good luck with the section, looking forward to hearing all about your new arrival.

  7. Anne
    February 1, 2017 / 6:47 pm

    Ruth, this sounds eminently sensible and I think anyone who has been following you would agree. Good for you for being pragmatic and autonomous and not being swayed by judgemental voices (imaginary or real). Wishing you the best of luck and looking forward to new baby updates! X

  8. February 1, 2017 / 6:52 pm

    As a layman I say this pressure on pregnant women / mums by other pregnant women/mum is just utter bollocks. The way you give birth, the way you feed your baby, how long you breastfeed, etc – will always be criticized, no matter what you do. And I just dont get it.
    We should be all so freaking happy for the immense advancement in healthcare and childbirth that allows us to give birth/raise children safely and the way we prefer.

  9. Gina
    February 1, 2017 / 7:09 pm

    What a wonderful, wonderful post. It expresses a lot of my own thoughts about giving birth perfectly. For my first, I felt bad that I’d had an epidural but for my second I decided I wanted all the drugs in the world ever and only had time for a couple of paracetamol. Every birth is different and every woman is different and there’s enough shitty guilt in store for mothers in the world without us feeling guilty for how our baby makes it out of our womb!

  10. Katherine
    February 1, 2017 / 7:25 pm

    Pregnancy and childbirth is such a personal thing and such a wildly different experience from woman to woman. I think you hit the nail on the head, do what YOU feel comfortable with for You and your baby x
    I think second time round knowing why to expect etc it will be an easier experience both mentally and physically !

  11. Louise
    February 1, 2017 / 7:50 pm

    This is EXACTLY how I felt with my second (after a v birth first time but very complicated, so they offered me c sec if I wanted it). I knew deep down I wanted a section from the start but agonised for months because I felt people would think I was copping out. Despite a risk of danger to both the baby and me if I opted for vaginal! The things we women torment ourselves with! In the end I opted for section and it was perfect. Good luck with it all!

  12. February 1, 2017 / 8:04 pm

    Oh Ruth, I am glad you’ve decided and I hope you have a great experience with Baby 2.

    I went through this same dilemma with Baby 2. I waited till nearly 42 weeks for him to come ‘naturally’ then I was so scared of going through an induction again, I went in for the elective C-section. I took it as his sign that he wanted to come through the sun roof.

    Like you I went through months of back and forthing, I did endless pros and cons lists but I tell ya, no one could (and no one should) tell me what to do although I so wanted someone to take charge for me.

    In the end I realised; for some mums, the vaginal birth experience is something they badly want for whatever reason and the v-bac after a c-section is a no brainer. But I was not one of them, otherwise I would’ve asked the hospital to put the theatre diary away and resolutely waited for natural labour.

    And yet I never felt 100% about a C-section either. I realise there was that feeling of the ‘copping out’ you mentioned – the fact people think that you are now one of those people who (quote a relative) ‘Just pop in for a c-sec’. I was scared. I shook on the day of my c-section, I look so scared in the photos, and my recovery was so tough. I feel like maybe if my heart was in it fully from the start, the process would’ve been less agonising (even on the table I was thinking…maybe if I just wait one more day…..).

    In the end I think I went for the c-section because there were so many ‘ifs’. The chance a vbac could fail…what if this, what if that happened. Not that c-sections are risk free but if something happened because of the natural birth, the one I decided on, then I would inconsolable. I also knew I would have a big team around me for a c-section during the birth and recovery, not so with a natural birth. You just have to weigh it up. For me, the most important thing is healthy baby, healthy mum, hospital toast. What more do you need!?!?!?

  13. Kerry
    February 1, 2017 / 8:13 pm

    Hi Ruth, I asked my consultant for advice before deciding on a birth plan although my decision was also influenced by low placenta, my age and breech baby both times. I asked what was the safest option: he said ‘for baby, c section, but it’s riskier for you’. A safe arrival for baby was a good enough answer for me and 2 c sections later I have two wonderful wee girls, both of whom arrived very safely and calmly.
    Best wishes to you, Mr AMR and Angelica for the new arrival x

  14. Anna
    February 1, 2017 / 8:15 pm

    Hi Ruth

    Such a brilliant blog post! You’ve put into words exactly how I felt last year during my second pregnancy, and it’s so great to read this and also all the other comments from amazing women who have felt like this.

    I had a very similar experience to you in that I went into labour with my first daughter only to discover on arrival at the hospital that she was breech…. so had an emergency c-sec, and then I agonised for months over whether to VBAC with my second baby or not. My immediate gut instinct was for a c-sec and despite being put under a lot of pressure to go for a VBAC (not least from a consultant at a VBAC clinic after which I burst into (very hormonal) tears on the way home after being made to feel I was being silly opting for a c-sec (as you say, “copping out”) and possibly putting my baby at higher risk. Both totally untrue). A lovely lovely midwife saw me on my second appointment and reassured me that it was MY choice and all that mattered was the safe delivery of my baby. And if I felt safest and more in control by opting for a c-sec that would be best for me. (I cried after that appointment too!)

    My son was delivered by elective c-section in April and once he was in my arms it really and truely didn’t matter how he got there. He was safe and I was fine and I was discharged 26 hours later. I just wish I’d had more support when trying to reach a decision about his delivery, and not been bamboozled by all the negativity about sections (both from consultants trying to reduce their spending, and friends/mother in laws who constantly make “jokes” about it being the easy option)

    Wishing you so so much luck with your c-section and hope that you feel like a weight has been lifted now that your decision has been made.

  15. Ilona
    February 1, 2017 / 9:11 pm

    Dear Ladies,
    I am reading the comments and it terrifies me. How is that possible that other people are commenting/judging on such a personal decision that only you can make. Blows my mind. It is between you and your healthcare professional (which should present you the facts, not judge) how do you prefer to deliver your baby. None of these ways is easy or without risk of complications. Don’t people realize that? I agree with Gina, just stop making mothers feeling quilty.
    That is fantastic post Ruth. It is great that you have made the decision and I am sure that baby and you will be fine.

  16. Susan
    February 1, 2017 / 10:08 pm

    Good for you! I’m glad you got all that sorted out and can just worry about all the stuff that comes AFTER the birth! i.e. breastfeeding, getting enough rest with TWO wee ones, getting your figure back, etc. Fingers crossed for you for a healthy, chunky baby. You better not have a little worm after suffering such a giant abdomen! LOL

  17. Mo
    February 1, 2017 / 10:23 pm

    Thanks Ruth glad you came to a decision with honesty. My tuppence for what its worth: assisted (c-section) versus non-assisted delivery – its not a pissing competition. Anyone who makes you feel inferior by choosing assisted (imho and experience), tend to make self-absorbed, neurotic and overly competitive mothers. No one needs friends like that because if you feel that judgment before birth, let me tell you that those women just get worse once they have birthed their superior offspring in the most superior way! They will be better than you at everything. Of course. Do yourself a favor and find like minded ladies instead to share the child-raising journey with. I regret not having kicked one or 2 to the kerb much earlier (after the superior birthing remarks came of course, the ‘your baby will have a much stronger bond with you if you breastfeed’ etc etc !! All twaddle I am glad to say now in hindsight. Thanks again for your honesty and well done!

  18. Sarah
    February 1, 2017 / 10:49 pm

    This post was so well-timed for me. I’m 34 weeks and starting to have nightmares about delivery, namely having to go through C-section. My latest dream was waking up in a hospital with a Frankenstein scar across my abdomen and discovering hubby had allowed dr to put me under and give C Section without my consent. But I digress.

    The biggest fear I have is pretty much all of it. Having a traumatic birth, going too quickly and not getting drugs, going too long and having complications, getting an epidural and “missing out” (totally insane), and having a C-section. The latter is something I DO NOT WANT for a million reasons and I would be a BIG FAT LIAR if I said a big one wasn’t because I think somehow is be missing out and copping out.

    I’ve been trying to find where to point the finger when I get all of this mucking up my head space. Women love to frighten other women (my sister has volunteered on several occasions about how she almost- literally, no exaggeration- DIED in childbirth, here in an American hospital); doctors breed insecurity; nurses/midwives feeding half-science quackery (mothers don’t make babies who don’t fit???? What does maternal death rates in developing countries tell you??)- there’s enough of the blame to spread around. But the stigma starts at home with how we perceive ourselves as women and agents of our own bodies. The cruelest stigma is the one we place on how we birth a baby, something that actually has very little to do with what we want.

    In the end, I’ve taken all I know and decided that my baby, in conjunction with science and my instinct, will determine what course of action we take. So if come 39 weeks the science says my baby is Hulk-Smashing its way out of the womb feet first, you betcha I’ll be on that table ready to get sliced and diced any which way. Because in the end, all that really matters is that I become a mother with a beautiful baby in my arms. Your posts help remind me that, especially when I wake in the dead of night terrified of my body being cut to shreds.

    • Diana
      February 1, 2017 / 11:24 pm

      I hope you’re ok Sarah.

      Ruth- if it’s right for you it’s right. Xx

    • berit
      February 4, 2017 / 6:41 pm

      Hi Sarah, I’m sorry to read you are so afraid of giving birth.

      I had been anxious as well mostly because it was a situation I could neither plan nor did I have any experience in it. I decided to just trust my body and the beautiful nurses and doctors at my hospital and it all went well. Apart from the fact that I DID opt for epidural which however had no effect as it was set too late. So, for the next time *I* would opt out of that one, as it gave me some headache the days afterwards.

      But honestly, however you chose, it’s your birth, your body, your baby. The both of you deserve to be as comfortable as possible and I hope you will have a good birth.

  19. Simona
    February 1, 2017 / 10:54 pm

    There is no virtue in not taking the easy way out. People should choose to take the easy way out more often and leave this backward philosophy behind and live life and move on.

  20. Kate
    February 1, 2017 / 11:28 pm

    I had a section with my first son and 18 months later gave birth (VBAC) to my second son, they’re now 9 & 8 years old. If I was to have another baby now and I was able to choose I would go c-section all the way! Good luck with everything xxx

  21. Natalie
    February 1, 2017 / 11:45 pm

    I really hope that the stigma attached to women having C-Sections disappears one day soon as it’s such a physically and emotionally draining procedure that unless you’ve had cannot possibly understand just how scary it is! All Mums want the same thing and that’s for their baby to arrive safely! All the best of luck in the world for your second section Ruth (you’ll do great) xxx

  22. Kathryn
    February 2, 2017 / 12:37 am

    Congratulations on coming to a decision that you’re happy with! I had the same “am I copping out” dilemma when I had to choose between breastfeeding and taking mental health medication. It’s certainly a mind fucker. Such a relief to make a firm decision and come out the other side. Best wishes for the delivery of your little one xx

  23. Catherine
    February 2, 2017 / 12:44 am

    Good on you, Ruth. Really. I think this sentiment is more common than we realise, especially in modern first world society where we have all the medical options available to protect us and our babies. Oh the irony. There’s an interesting Distillations podcast about this, it’s called ‘(Natural) Childbirth’, published last October (it’s on SoundCloud). Not that you have time for that!! I had the same feeling, albeit fleeting, when the obstetrician on duty during my birth turned off my hormone drip because baby’s heartbeat was not recovering between my contractions, and a decision was made to have a c-section to avoid putting baby through a long labour as he was already showing signs of distress. The look on my partners face, honestly: he was visibly disappointed. And then I felt like I had failed and was, as you put it, copping out. As it turned out, by the time we got to the OR, I was 10cm and there was no option but to push. Only with a topped up epidural I couldn’t feel anything in the ‘Tunnel of Great Stretchiness’! I ended up with a whopping big episiotomy and my baby with a nasty hematoma from the ventouse. But oh how virtuous we felt that we had a “natural” birth. What nonsense. Why do we put ourselves through these guilt trips when it is, and should be, simply about what is the safest and most sensible option to get baby out?

  24. Nic
    February 2, 2017 / 12:47 am

    Had my little boy 4 months ago by emergency c-section. Not a horrific traumatic experience really. The syntocin induced labour from hell before hand was a bit unpleasant. The 3 day stay in hospital and breastfeeding f***ING nightmare was just beyond words. But the actual csection was fine and I have no guilt or copping out feeling. I am a bloody warrior! For my next baby I already know I want an elective. No question! My mother and I have narrow hips and her body was ripped apart by 3 traumatic labours. No thank you! Beautiful baby and intact vagina. Win win! Lots of love to your family at this amazing time xxxx

  25. Claire L
    February 2, 2017 / 2:20 am

    I fully agree with you Ruth. What is all this fuss about persuading women to have VBACs?! Vaginal births vary so much in their outcomes that if you have any doubt that you’ll have a straightforward birth, just go for the C-section. Not that a C-section’s a walk in the park either but it’s more of a controlled environment and the risks are less when you have a C-section for a complicated birth. And why do people not mention complications from vaginal births? They do vary hugely as well, some women don’t tear, some do, sometimes leaving permanent damage, pain and disfiguring down there. But hey, giving birth naturally at any cost is worth it! *rolls eyes*

    Anyway, wishing you all the best for your upcoming C-section and the birth of your baby! Xx

  26. Erin
    February 2, 2017 / 2:46 am

    A c-section is not the easy way out and is certainly not copping out—and I say this having had an emergency section and a VBAC. Everyone’s situation (body/baby/pregnancy) is different and the judgement from what feels like every corner is so unhelpful, particularly when you are doubting yourself. Good for you for choosing what you are comfortable with and what seems safest for you and baby. Best of luck!

  27. FloJo
    February 2, 2017 / 9:36 am

    Ruth I think you’re amazing! Will be keeping everything crossed that you get the birth you want. Big hugs, F x

  28. Samantha
    February 2, 2017 / 9:37 am

    Oh what a brilliant read Ruth! Thank you for posting this.

    I have been feeling the same. I admitted it to my husband a couple of weeks ago (the thought I’m coping out by having a c section) and then I saw a lovely midwife who 100% thought it was the right choice for me and was very supportive and put any thoughts of “coping out” out if my head!
    (My only concern is now what if he comes early!!) I’m booked for a c section in 11 days…

    Wishing you the very best xx

  29. Sharon
    February 2, 2017 / 9:45 am

    Interesting post! i think all mothers have an instinct (which you have clearly had from the start) about their births….I’ve had a natural waterbirth, a breech birth and a c-section. I did have a fantastic sense of achievement with the natural births which is worth the pain you go through. The breech birth was risky though its quite right that they usually do caesareans. with the last c section i didn’t even want to try having him normally I instinctively knew it wasn’t the best thing for him and he just needed to be born as quickly as possible…. follow your instincts definitely.Its the same after you have your child somehow you instinctively know when they are really ill…. the whole birthing thing is full of guilt and judgement which it needn’t be but essentially it is still a life and death business and the ultimate aim is a safely delivered healthy baby. well done for writing this!

  30. Natalie
    February 2, 2017 / 12:40 pm

    I am only 21 and nowhere near having a child, but for some reason I love this blog (I guess it’s because I love Ruth?). Anyway, there seems to be no right or wrong answer to trialling a VBAC or opting for a C section. Ruth – you’re choosing the safest way to deliver your child, that’s great! No need to feel ashamed at all. Good luck!

  31. February 2, 2017 / 2:09 pm

    The pressure on women about the “right” way to give birth is ridiculous, and it is ridiculous how much of the pressure comes from ourselves. I had both kids natural, but with an epidural, and even the epidural was reason for a few people to tell me that I hadnt even tried for the “right” way. Which is utter b*llshit. But when you are hormonal and insecure, like most of us are before giving birth, you take these things to heart.

  32. Nadia
    February 2, 2017 / 2:38 pm

    My heart aches for women who feel “less” because of the circumstances of their child’s birth. A c-section is not a “cop-out” or the “easy way.” It’s the way that works best for your individual circumstance, for your health and your child’s potential survival. No other woman has the right to comment or judge. I’ve had 3 c-sections myself and have never felt anything other than peace and pride in the choices I made. You’re not a wimp or chicken, you are a mother. Congratulations!

  33. Magda
    February 2, 2017 / 2:42 pm

    Giving birth is so different for every women and it’s almost never what we expect it to be. Before I was pregnant I always thought I would like a c-section because why to make myself suffer some kind of pain which we cannot compare to anything as it is unknown for us. During pregnacy being about 20 weeks pregnant I started to read and read about all of my options and because I knew most likely I would be on my own (husband working abroad) during giving birth I wanted c- section, but knowing I would be on my own just after giving birth I wanted to give birth naturally so I could hold my baby and bath and so on because I was told I would heal better after natural birth. So I decided I “want” a natural birth, asked a friend to be with me until the very end and so on. But of course life is not happening the way we plan it :)) When I was 33 weeks pregnant I needed to go to hospital because my stomache was hard all the time which could make baby come to soon. And even I was on drugs to not let that happen I gave birth after a few days in hospital. Even haven’t have clothes for the baby ready at home. Husband abroad. But my point is you need to trust doctors and make what’s the best for the baby and you of course. Because in the end you really just don’t care about anything else, just about safety of the baby!

  34. Jen
    February 2, 2017 / 2:45 pm

    I had my 3 boys naturally, and my SIL had 2 sections. Personally I feel that having a section is most definitely not coping out at all. The recovery from a section is so hard in comparison. At the end of the day you do what you have to to get baby put safely…… End of X Best of luck x

  35. littlemissnaughty
    February 2, 2017 / 3:35 pm

    I’m so happy you’ve come to a decision. Honestly, and I think I even commented along those lines a few months ago, it always seemed like you wanted a c-section simply because you had such a difficult time with Angelica but were beating yourself up about it for some reason. Of course, it makes no sense and at the same time, it actually makes perfect sense. As in, this is the message. As women, this is what nature intended for us to go through so do it proudly. I don’t care. Nature invented some pretty awful things but somehow childbirth, as dangerous and painful as it can be, has been turned into this miracle we should look forward to. And then wear it like a badge of honor. Ridiculous. It may be like that for some but man, the stories I’ve hear. Not so magical.

    The pressures society puts on us and the pressures we put on ourselves … it needs to stop. It’s so unhealthy and useless. People really need to BACK OFF mums, whether it’s about pregnancy, birth, or raising the child. I don’t plan on having children but I’ve seen friends have them and the sheer gall of people! The things they think they’re entitled to comment on. I have told my closest girlfriends and my sister than if anyone ever dares to talk to them in a condescending or disrespectful manner about their health care choices, I will be very very unpleasant about it.

  36. Gio
    February 2, 2017 / 5:27 pm

    Ruth, thanks for your being so open and honest about that. It’s just so refreshing; we girls are under so much scrutiny when we should be listened to and supported. I wish I had known your blog when I gave birth to my daughter, 15 months ago. You’re just great! I wish you, Mr AMR, Angelica and the new sweetie all the best! Can’t wait for the big news!

  37. Gisela Spencer
    February 2, 2017 / 6:26 pm

    Dear Ruth,
    This is such a beautiful and honest post, So pleased you reached the conclusion that whats best for you and baby is all that matters. There is no easy way. As you stated. But the considerations of doing the best thing for you both and also the health is all that matters. There should be no judgement, its all good and its the perfect choice because its your choice.
    I am sure its any day now but thanks for writing this.
    its beautiful, you are an amazing and beautiful person inside and out.
    xx

  38. February 2, 2017 / 6:55 pm

    I’d like to preface this post by saying however a woman births her baby is her own bloody (pun intended!) business.

    However, I’d also like to mention that scaremongering statistics are precisely that+should be no reason to deter a woman to opt for the birth of her preference. Let’s not forget that hospitals+medicine are in the business of medical intervention and it’s often to fulfill their
    own agenda that they coerce women into medically managed births. Typically because it enables more babies to be delivered in a conveyor belt-like manner in hospitals with limited resources.

    As someone who fought to give birth naturally despite having a substantial DVT (blood clot) in my leg at the time, I’d just like to point out, in the interest of balance, that consultants are not always right and interventions are not always necessary despite them saying so.

    I managed to give birth naturally twice with lovely (or as lovely as they can be) labours both times despite medics insisting I needed induced C-sections. This is by no means me gloating but just a testimony that you should always go with your gut when it comes to birthing your baby, in whatever manner that means for you.

    Best of luck Ruth

  39. Lisa
    February 2, 2017 / 10:53 pm

    Major surgery is not copping out by any means. At the end of the day, the way the extraction method doesn’t matter. Mom and baby’s health and Mom’s sanity does!
    All the best to the AMR family.

  40. April
    February 2, 2017 / 10:54 pm

    Have a safe and happy birth. Best wishes. Nice post

  41. Lina
    February 3, 2017 / 10:38 am

    Hi Ruth, I’m very glad that you made a decision that you are happy with. I’m very passionate abt this topic! I had my first baby 3 years ago via an elective c, I was just too scared to try for a natural birth knowing that all women in my family had incredibly difficult deliveries that mostly ended with emergency c sections.
    My doc was very supportive, he said keep an open mind but if u don’t think you can do it then there’s no point of me trying to convince u! Other doctors, midwives, even friends and work people I hardly knew were not that supportive. They thought I was being too posh to push! Someone even said to me that I’m less of a mother for not wanting to go thru the pain! I wonder if having endless sleepless nights carring for a sick toddler and raising them makes me less of a mother cause I chose a x section!
    I just can’t believe that we live in the 21st century and still judge women for their choice of delivery. Why not make use of medical advancement? Why not choose epidural if that’s what we want? Why do we praise and cheer on women who have had a natural birth and put other women down for choosing epidural? Why not do enough research to learn the pros and cons of each procedure?
    I’ve had friends who have had natural long complicated births that took longer to recover than I did.
    Then the judgement continues if we choose to breastfeed, what we feed our kids and how we raise them.
    It’s sad really!
    I think as one of the ladies mentioned above, we have instincts we should stick to. Mums really do know best.
    Lots of love to you Ruth. Can’t wait to c some baby photos.

  42. Claire
    February 3, 2017 / 3:37 pm

    As someone who has suffered the heartache of recurrent miscarriage, I don’t think that I would care how a baby arrived in my arms….. Just one with a heartbeat is all I pray for. Good luck with your birth Ruth, however the baby arrives I am sure that it will be just perfect xx
    PS. I probably should avoid reading the uphill but I find you really amusing and you make me smile!

  43. February 3, 2017 / 8:45 pm

    Its your body and your baby Ruth. I’m sick of the stigma attached to how women birth babies.
    Oh you had pain meds? Well that was the easy way then!
    Oh you went totally natural? Eco mother with something to prove then?
    Oh an epidural? Too posh to push then?
    A C section? Well you didn’t really give birth did you then?
    Only gas and air? What you weren’t good enough to go full eco mother then?
    SERIOUSLY!
    It p*sses me off so much.
    Enjoy your babies birth Ruth, cannot wait to meet them if/when your ready to share xx

  44. Leanne
    February 4, 2017 / 3:31 am

    I could of written this myself! After a traumatic labour ending in an emergency c-section with my first (that took me a long to time to get over emotionally), I was so indecisive all throughout my second pregnancy about whether to go with a VBAC or not. Looking back now my main reason was exactly the same as yours, I felt like I’d be judged by others if I chose an elective section without trying a VBAC. I booked an elective section for 39 weeks, but was still in two minds. I ended up going into spontaneous labour at 36 weeks and only then realised I was absolutely terrified of being in labour in case the same thing happened again. Even then I had midwives trying to convince me to go for a vbac. I was in such a panic that I was going to have to do it naturally that I was getting myself so worked up with the contractions. I ended up demanding that they do a section because it wasn’t until that moment that I realised how traumatised by my previous birth I actually was. I could have definitely physically had a VBAC with my second as my labour was progressing VERY quickly, but emotionally it was a definite no!

  45. Catherine Parr
    February 4, 2017 / 6:10 pm

    What a great post! I had just the same decisions to make as you. I was advised by my obstetrician to have a section with my first baby as the predicted birth weight was 11lb!! I felt like I was copping out but I had the best experience and my daughter was a whopping 10lb so I know it was the right decision. I then decided to go for a VBAC second time around as again I felt like I was copping out! It was a disaster and I wish I’d just gone straight for the section. I was in labour for 24 hrs, barely dilated, the baby was back to back, so incredibly painful! I ended up with a section anyway but had laboured and had no sleep whatsoever so my recovery was worse. I then had another section with my 3rd baby, this was meant to be planned but turned into an emergency as she came 5 weeks early. Out of all three births, my planned section was by far the best. I’d had a good nights sleep before and the baby came out fit and well. I recovered quickly and only spent 2 nights in hospital. Good Luck for your forthcoming section.

  46. Isabel
    February 4, 2017 / 7:08 pm

    Thank you for the post, Ruth! I had an unplanned c-section after a failed induction with my first baby. Now that we are trying for our second baby, I realized I have the same hang-up that you did and it’s so encouraging to read how you dealt with it and made your decision. Wish you the best of luck!

  47. Lena
    February 5, 2017 / 3:52 am

    I could not have read this post at a better time! I am 4 days away from my c-section with my second baby after a very similar first delivery. Hours of labor that ended in a c-section, and for months I have debated between VBAC and section. It’s so nice to know that I’m not alone in these thoughts. Thank you for your honesty and God bless you and the new baby!!!

  48. Helen
    March 4, 2017 / 5:23 am

    Great post – I had a c-section for my son but I beat myself up for months that I wanted to go this way. I just didn’t feel like I would cope with a VBAC, I am squeamish and not great in hospitals and with pain. I was so hard on myself that I was copping out, I worried that have a c-section would somehow damage my relationship with my husband and that he “deserved” to be present at a “real birth” for his child. It was all bullocks, all of it, you do what you need to do for yourself and your baby. Well done you for acknowledging that and going with what you really want.

  49. Jodi
    March 31, 2017 / 11:52 am

    Love this post – It’s as though you took the words from my brain!

    I have been in limbo too but after reading this post I’ve made my mind up elective section it is – the ONLY reasons I wanted to try VBAC was 1) I worry what others will think & 2) I worry I’m copping out and not doing it properly – but that’s BS.

    Thanks so much!

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