Vaginal vs C-Section Deliveryby Danielle Capers
Try a vaginal delivery this time, they said. Recovery will be easier and faster, they said. You’ll bounce back quicker, they said. Well…. They lied!
That was all I heard when we announced we were pregnant with our second baby. The moment someone finds out you’re pregnant, the well-meaning but unsolicited advice comes rolling in no matter which number baby it is. When I mentioned I would be having a repeat c-section everyone frowned their faces not understanding how I could consider such a thing.
As you have probably guessed, I delivered my first baby via c-section. Let's take a walk down memory lane for a bit so you can have an idea of what and why things happened the way they did.
Like so many other new moms, I was planning the perfect birth. I had scoured the internet for what to include in my birth plan, the paper it should be printed on and when to have it done by. Being a first-time mom then, I wanted to do everything naturally. Still can’t figure out why considering my pain tolerance is somewhere in the negative range. Yet, I planned to have this beautiful water birth, created a playlist, picked out my cute updo hairstyle and watched tons of videos on how to cope with the pain. Successful water birth here I come!
Naturally, none of that happened. Shit just couldn’t go my way.
Instead, I went in for one of my last sonograms and was told my baby girl was breeched. Still determined to have my perfect birth I went in for an external cephalic version which in simple terms is to try to get the baby turned into the correct head-down position. That procedure hurt like all hell and on top of that had the nerve to fail! Come on now, really?
At that point, I realized I’d have to schedule a c-section. Ok fine, I still got this, just breathe. I will schedule it and have time to research and mentally prepare myself right? Wrong.
Turns out my baby girl did not like the stress of being turned and decided to stop moving. So instead my perfect water birth became an emergency c-section. The upside is the universe had my back knowing full well I couldn’t handle a natural water birth. I handled all things c-section pretty damn amazingly. The process was quick and didn’t feel a thing outside of some slight tugging and a little anxiety because I had my dad in the room with me saying he hoped they put everything back in the right place. Thanks for that Dad.
Recovery was painful but I managed well and started feeling better with barely needing to take the pain meds prescribed. Go me!
Let’s fast forward to my second baby.
From the moment I walked into my first prenatal visit I just knew I would be having another c-section. Doctors were fine with it, hubby not so much but he’d live and I was happy to have me a stress-free and planned birth.
Did things go my way? Of course not. That’s just not my life.
I went into labor before my scheduled c-section. Of course, my hubby was at work hours away from our delivery hospital. I mentioned before that I already have a daughter and my dad was in the delivery room but what I haven’t told you guys is that we are a blended family. My second baby is his first biological child so he never experienced welcoming his baby into the world. The one thing he wished was that he could’ve been there from the beginning and the last thing I wanted to do is deny him that. It was extremely important for the both of us to have him present. So what did I do? I tried to stall and decided to attempt a vaginal delivery, hoping it would give him time to get there.
Never again! I never felt a contraction with my daughter, so when they hit with my son I thought I was dying. That pushing was exhausting. But honestly, the labor isn’t the reason I will never attempt vaginal delivery again. I was one of the “lucky” ones. Once I got to the hospital my labor and delivery took about 4 hrs tops. I had to be stuck twice for my epidural but once it hit I was on cloud nine. Pushing was horrible because it was exhausting but I only pushed for 30 minutes moreless. So why am I refusing to do another vaginal delivery? It’s quite simple. Recovery was a bitch.
I was tricked, hoodwinked and bamboozled. I think my hubby planned to take his sweet time knowing I’d try vaginal for him, but don’t tell him I said that. Everyone who told me I’d heal faster lied. Thinking back on it now, none of them have actually recovered from a cesarean.
Don’t get me wrong c-section recovery has its fair share of pain but the more I moved the better I felt. Hell, I got in trouble because I was overdoing it. The more I moved after delivering vaginally the worst I felt. I thought my vagina was about to fall out. I was at the point where I wanted to tell my hubby to just go ahead and leave me now because my vagina will never work again. Sitting was painful, walking was painful and my entire body was sore from pushing. I tried everything! Ice maxi pads, peri bottles, popping Tylenol like it was candy, if it was on google, I tried it. Advice from family and friends, my doctor, strangers, I welcomed it all and gave it a try. Nothing but pain.
Finding out I was pregnant again at 2 months postpartum (don’t judge me, it’s a story for another time), I once again am opting for a c-section. Hopefully, my baby girl cooperates and hubby is present but if not, sorry babe.
Now I’m not telling you to run away from delivering naturally. Our bodies were made for this, we are phenomenal and will overcome anything for our babies. Never forget that everyone is
different, people tolerate pain differently in different places, so my experience may not be yours. But vaginal delivery is not for me. Fuck that. My poor vagina isn’t with it!
You will constantly get people’s opinions on what is right for you. I admit I went back and forth on whether or not to have a VBAC (vaginal delivery after cesarean) because of people in my ear from family, friends and even nurses. That is my one regret. Had I stayed firm in my decision my scheduled c-section would have been earlier and maybe just maybe things would have been different.
If you are scheduled for a c-section don’t be afraid. While there are slightly more risks in having a major surgery than a vaginal birth, there will be risks regardless. Trust and believe in you and your baby being ok. In the end, no matter how much I complain I am grateful that I was able to have that experience. I am also extremely thankful for having delivered a beautiful healthy baby boy. Whether I get the birth I want or not if the end results in my healthy baby I will do whatever it takes.