Guilt after VBAC — The Bump

Guilt after VBAC

I was thrilled beyond words about my VBAC a year ago, it was the best and most fantastic day of my life.  But as I sat down and wrote a letter to my son for his first birthday, I am feeling really guilty about my feelings about his birth vs his older sister's.  I was so traumatized by the c-section and so emotionally wrecked, I know you all can understand, that even though I love her to death and it was so wonderful to have her, it's hard to look at that day as one filled with joy as I compare it to my VBAC.  Obviously, I don't have to discuss it with her now, but I feel bad about the feelings I have about her actual birth and the depression that followed when compared to how I felt about my VBAC and the time that followed.  Of course, there was overwhelming joy when I first finally held her, and I loved her instantly and everything that goes along with a new baby.  I don't really know what I am asking, anyone else feel the same?  How do you reconcile those feelings?  
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Re: Guilt after VBAC

  • I struggled after my c-section and haven't had a vbac yet (though I hope to).  My actual c-section experience wasn't bad, but it wasn't planned, so I had a really hard time connecting that this little baby came from me.  I was expecting all sorts of labor and pain and effort to bring him into the world, and instead, he just got cut out of me and there he was.  I think the thing to focus on is the joy you felt when you finally got to hold your LO, not how she came into the world.  Sure, c-section wasn't choice #1 (I can only assume, since you said it was a traumatic experience), but it was her way to get to you.  It was her birth story and it is special, even if it is in a totally different way.
  • A kid's birth is one day in their life, it doesn't affect how you feel about them.

    Yes, I hated my first son's birth, and have no happy memories about it (he was also unexpectedly hospitalized, which really colored my memories of it). Looking back, it is what it is, and I don't dwell on it anymore. Having a VBAC really helped me let go of my first son's birth, and view it with much less emotion. It's also part of what made my VBAC so great and happy, in all honesty.

    Don't know if any of this helps. It's crazy how birth can mess with emotions so much!
    DS1 - Feb 2008

    DS2 - Oct 2010 (my VBAC baby!)

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  • I can understand, although I am sort of in the opposite boat (had a csection then a vbac, felt somewhat traumatized by the vbac). It can be hard to share that story without associating the feelings that went along with it, but try to focus on the part that is your daughter's story. I don't know if her csection was urgent or not, but focusing on things like "I am so thankful we live in a place where medical help is available when needed" when telling the story to her might be a way to wrap it up. When I discuss my son's csection with him, we make a sort of joke about it that he was so comfortable in my belly that he just didn't want to come out but it was time because my belly couldn't grow anymore. Thankfully the doctors were available to help him out and we gave him extra love when he was born to help him adjust. When I discuss the vbac with my older son (the vbac baby is too young to discuss) I again focus on the part that is his story, that baby was so eager to come out into the world and meet his family face to face that he made it a race. I try not to let my feelings enter either birth story until I get to the part that we were so happy to hold our baby.
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