Pregnancy

I Will Always Be Sad I Did Not Have A Vaginal Birth

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I am the kind of person where I usually believe that the end result is what matters. If I get what I came for in the end, then I am usually not too concerned with how I got there as long as it was legal and moral, of course. When I had my first child, I had to have a c-section for reasons completely out of my control. It was discovered over the course of my pregnancy that I had a problem ovary. It grew such huge cysts that my doctors determined it needed to come out when I had my baby. I accepted it and decided a healthy baby was all that mattered.

I had to fight to be awake for her to be born because their original proposal was to put me under for the entire procedure but enough crying and begging from a nine months pregnant woman and they relented.  My daughter was born, I saw her for a few seconds, and then drugs were added to my IV and I drifted off for the rest of the surgery. When I woke in recovery, I learned that four hours had passed and by the time I saw my baby, she was five hours old and I was a foggy mess. To say that it was not the ideal circumstance is an understatement.

I got pregnant again when my daughter was a year old and right away, I began to read up on VBAC (vaginal birth after caesarean section). From what I was learning, it would seem I was a good candidate. I was young and healthy, my first birth was not an emergency c-section and had nothing to do with a failure to progress or anything going wrong. I spoke with my doctor about it and we agreed I could attempt but we set up a few “rules” going in. He did not want me going past my due date and he did not want to induce me. If I went into labor on my own he would let me try. I agreed, deferring to his expertise. I hit my due date and had not made a single bit of progress so, in for another c-section I went. I was ok with it and prepared because I had already gone through it before and knew what to expect. For what it was, the experience was actually quite pleasant. My son was out quickly and all went according to plan. I was nursing him in recovery before the numbness in my lower half had even worn off. In the end, I had what I came for- a healthy son to bring home to our family.

That was five years ago and 95% of the time, I am perfectly fine with how it all went down. I have perspective- I know that having a healthy baby was truly the most important thing- but I still have nagging feelings sometimes like I didn’t do it “right”. I know this is irrational and most of the time, I can roll my eyes at myself knowing that is not the case at all. But some days, I feel sad that I never got to experience labor and get my own child out of my body without a scalpel and a host of medical personnel. I did initially set out to have a natural childbirth with my first baby and obviously, that plan went down the tubes but I still have that urge and that feeling in me to do it. I know a lot of women probably feel this way- like their c-section birth was somehow not as meaningful. That it was artificial. In my saner moments, I know this is ridiculous but sometimes, I do long to feel what it is like to give birth vaginally. To have my husband see me bringing our child into the world myself instead of being surrounded by nurses and doctors on an operating table.

I know I am not alone in these feelings and I also know that I handle it pretty well and that some women become truly consumed by the fact that they could not have a vaginal birth. I know others might look at these women and say they need to just clam up and be grateful for their healthy baby but I am here to say- I will always understand you. I may not be quite as worked up about it but I do completely understand and sympathize. You are definitely not alone in your feelings for being sad you did not have a vaginal birth.

(Image: TwonixStudio/Shutterstock)