When I was pregnant with my first, I had a very specific birth plan. I wanted a vaginal birth with minimal drugs.
I wanted my gynecologist to deliver my baby. I wanted my husband to hold my hand the whole time. I wanted tons of pictures and videos to capture her first day of life.
I wanted all my friends and family to visit me at the hospital.
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My water broke on Wednesday evening; 33 hours of pain and contractions later, I was barely four centimetres dilated and my baby’s heart rate was showing distress.
It was a nightmare, to say the least.
My daughter was born via an emergency C-section early Friday morning. With the exception of my husband holding my hand, everything did not go according to plan.
For months, I blamed myself and my body for not being able to give birth vaginally. I felt like I had failed the first step to giving my child the best chance at a healthy life. Combined with difficulties breastfeeding and the adjustment to becoming a new mum, I took a while to treat myself with compassion and accept what had happened. What really helped was seeing my daughter grow into a happy and healthy little girl.
I didn’t think much about her birth until a few years later when I got pregnant with my son; my doctor discussed with me the option to do a VBAC (vaginal birth after caesarean).
While thinking about my decision, it brought me back to those traumatic hours spent on a hospital bed and the disappointment I felt afterwards.
I knew in my heart I wanted things to be different. So I decided to go with a scheduled C-section.
One night as we were having dinner with my parents, my mum asks me if women can give birth vaginally after getting a C-section.
I’m slightly irritated, anticipating her annoying questions to follow, but I respond, "Yes, they can. It’s called VBAC."