Some thoughts on my VBAC

11 09 2013

After going through a successful VBAC (you can read about it here) my thoughts are these:

  • I worked hard in preparing myself for this. I do not think I could have gone through physiological birth otherwise.
  • It is very doable. In no moment I felt it was impossible or beyond me. I never thought or felt I needed pain relief. If you think you can live with the pain during the recovery after giving birth, you can totally cope with the contractions!
  • If you feel comfortable and safe, labor as much as possible at home, one doctor praised us for this saying it had been the key to a successful and fast labor. Heck, if you have a good knowledgeable team *and* you feel safe about it, have a home labor! I did not want to deal with it really, the risk of a uterine rupture, the cats, the cleaning up, etc.  It was tempting once I was in labor, but then, I had not prepared for it.
  • The doctors and nurses were impressed and all had words of praise about me not using drugs, so know that they will respect you for that. I just wish they were more outgoing and supportive of it before and during labor, though.
  • I did not feel pain during active labor, which is the longest stage. Even when I did feel pain later, there is pain at the peak of the contraction and then you have resting periods in between, the total time of pain is very little. I fell asleep several times between contractions, giving me much needed rest.
  • In fact, I loved active labor, it is kind of trippy and it was a wonderful bonding moment with my husband.
  • Marissa, my doula, says physiological labor is addictive. I wouldn’t say I am addicted to it, but surely enough I would love to experience it again!
  • I hated pushing, but you might like it, in fact many women have told me it was their favourite stage… go figure! They say it gives them relief.
My sweet little boy.

My sweet little boy.

  • If you think you can raise a toddler and a newborn, you can totally tackle a VBAC! It’s a piece of cake compared to what comes next!
  • You will hear mothers tell you “I was in labor for SIX hours!!!!” with a horror expression and as if that was super long. My labor was about 10 hours, and it is still below the average of 12 hours or so. It really did not feel long, let your body lead and you lose sense of time, and remember it is not 10 hours of sustained pain, most of labor is “time between contractions”, so it is very manageable.
  • The birth was not “all I ever envisioned”. I tried to keep my expectations reasonable, I tried not to focus too much in details and I tried to define what things were important for me. I wanted no drugs so my baby would be born with no drugs in his system. I wanted to be ready to go home to my oldest child as soon as possible, therefore I wanted to avoid a C-section at all costs. With these things in mind I was ready to stand my ground about some things, and to negotiate and even yield others.
  • I hold myself responsible for everything that did not go as I wanted, even that asshole resident doctor hurting me during his examination. After all, I could have always refused treatment and done it my way, but I didn’t. I was aware, I was in full possession of my faculties, but I did not refuse certain things, nobody forced me to do anything.

How is your perception of your labor? Did you enjoy it? Would you do anything different?