Thursday, August 1, 2013

Ain't Nothin' but a C Thing



I'm awesome at titles. I know this. I started watching More Business of Being Born today and was struck with the need to say something I've probably said before but that bears repeating: how you give birth is a personal decision AND a practical one.

A lot of people feel pressured to go natural or even have a home birth because they've been told that's best now. The same number of people feel pressured to go to the hospital because it's safer. Ultimately, your circumstances may completely dictate your path. It did for me. If you've been reading for awhile, you know that my son was born by emergency c-section because I had HELP syndrome, which was discovered when I stopped in at the hospital with Braxton Hicks contractions. By the next morning, I had been Careflighted to another hospital and my son was being cut out.

My mother had me by c-section and my sister as a VBAC. Would I go that route? Truthfully? Um, no. I wouldn't even want to. See, I know I'm in the minority of women, but if it had been on the table, I would have chosen a c-section as my primary birthing option. I wanted one. And, yes, a lot of that has to do with sheer terror on my part. Don't worry, it isn't for lack of being informed or aware. I get that my body is literally made to heal from certain injuries and all that. I just also know that if I'm going to have stitches one place or the other, I'm choosing my stomach.

So if we decided to have another kiddo, I'd be happily scheduling a c-section or going in for one when I went into labor or whatnot... but I don't think I'd be given a choice, and I confess to being bothered by that. While VBAC is not something that interests me, it's a big deal for a lot of people. Complications like mine may have forced it the first time, but that doesn't mean they don't deserve another option. Before this descends into a long, rambling dissertation on what is wrong with birthing and maternity care in the United States, I'll stop myself. But to all the moms and dads and friends and relatives out there who know someone who's going to be looking down the barrel of having a kiddo down the road, just remember before you start putting pressure on them to use one method or another (even if it was the PERFECT one for you) that things won't work out how you plan no matter what your plan is. The chaos of birth is an apt introduction to the chaos of having children... and it's worth fighting through whatever is thrown down in front of you and whatever the downsides of your chosen (or not chosen) method is to meet the new arrival. Stop stressing about the how, and worry about the after. That's the part that really counts.