After the fog of having a C-section with my first baby lifted, I was quickly fueled with the determination to get pregnant and have a VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarian). If, of course, I was able to get pregnant again.
You see, I felt like I was bullied into having a C-section. When my obstetrician announced that I'd be heading into the operating room, my baby and I were both doing fine—there was no scary urgency for my baby to be born surgically. They diagnosed me with "failure to progress," without even giving me the time to do so.
Later, at my post-op appointment, I looked at the paperwork to see that he had checked that box as the reason for my C-section.
"You're going to want to have a C-section for your next delivery," he said. "Your body just won't progress."
He took my birth experience and placed it into a tiny box to check. Sitting there, I felt like I had my birth plan taken from me. I was powerless and devastated—for months. So, when I was able to get pregnant again, I tried my hardest to grab that power back and strive for a VBAC. And I am happy to say that I succeeded.
But this in no way means that I would ever judge you, mama, for your C-section. Giving birth to a tiny, beautiful human should be done however the woman wants it to be done (as long as the baby and mother are healthy, of course, and not in any danger).
As women, we should feel confident in making our own birth decisions, we should trust the whispers within ourselves and then give our bodies the right to birth however they want. This is the strength that comes with being an empowered woman.
And with the birth of your babies, comes the birth of motherhood.
During my C-section, a man (my doctor) told me how to deliver my baby. And after getting pregnant again and switching doctors, I purposely avoided telling certain people about my decision to strive for a VBAC because I refused to have my mind persuaded.
It was my mind. My body. My baby. It was my motherhood journey that I was fighting for. I felt empowered to attempt the climb up VBAC Mountain. And' you have that choice, too. Maybe your mountain is different than mine. But it doesn't mean its not a worthy climb.
The best piece of advice I could give is this: do your thing, mama. It's your body, your motherhood journey. Maybe you want to avoid all medical interventions, maybe you want a C-section, maybe you want to deliver your sweet baby in a birthing tub in your family room, maybe you want to utilize an epidural, maybe you feel more comfortable giving birth in a hospital. No matter what you choose I know that you've got this.
I've had too many friends try to defend their birth plan to me—especially those who have had elected C-sections.
"I pushed for three hours and nothing happened."
"My baby's heart went into distress and I just can't go through that again."
"My doctor said that my body won't allow for a VBAC."
Look. It boils down to one thing—and one thing only. You must dig deep within yourself and trust your gut. Try to tune out the outside noise. Ignore the opinions of others. Sit with the silence within yourself and trust your inner voice.
Your body knows. You know what is best for the birth of your baby. You have spent months growing this perfect human inside of you. You and your body did that.
So if your choice is to have an C-section—good for you for trusting your intuition. My birth experiences may have looked different than your birth experiences—but I would never judge you.
Our climb up Motherhood Mountain is one that we all hike together—and it can be a challenging one. So, we must hold hands and lift each other up in the decisions we make when it comes to how we deliver our babies—and in everything else that comes afterward.