Does anyone ever feel guilty for wanting a VBAC? — The Bump
VBAC

Does anyone ever feel guilty for wanting a VBAC?

I found out two weeks ago that my provider won't be able to attend my labor & birth at my current hospital, and it's raised some more emotional issues again and brought on a lot of questioning which I thought I'd gotten through mostly.  Part of me has actually started to feel guilty about wanting a VBAC.  I have many reasons for wanting one - some more selfish than others (wanting to experience vaginal birth, wanting an empowering birth experience rather than feeling like it was something that I was a spectator for, etc) and sometimes I feel guilty over this being so important, about me investing so much time and effort into, so much emotional stress (which DH and DS do feel the after effects of), etc.  I start listening to all the "well, all you really want is a healthy baby", etc, which I'm fairly sure I'd get if I had another c/s. 

I feel so frustrated that I feel like I need to micromanage this birth due to all the restrictions placed on VBACs and my need to feel like I have some control over what is going to happen.  Sometimes I feel like I'm taking the focus off of the new baby and putting it on to trying to get the VBAC and it does make me feel some guilt. 

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Re: Does anyone ever feel guilty for wanting a VBAC?

  • Sometimes I do.  But then I remind myself that while VBAC has a risk for the baby, c/s has many risks for me.  And since I am the mother, both this baby and the child I already have would be profoundly affected if anything serious went wrong during an ERCS.  So I don't think choosing VBAC is selfish--it's taking a holistic view of the family where the children's well-being is inherently linked to the mother's well-being.  Does that make sense?
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  • Not really, but I do kind of feel like I'm focusing more on the VBAC than the baby at this point.  Although my non-VBAC friends feel the same way with their subsequent pregnancies b/c we're all so busy with our LOs.

    I actually feel that the VBAC attempt is bigger than me if that makes sense.  I want the healthiest baby/mama and right now a VBAC is the way to do that unless something else arises.  VBACs are not that easy to get in our state so I hope that each successful one can help women and babies down the road. 

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  • Vaginal birth can also be better for baby-don't forget that!  I can also tell you from my own experience that the mamma/baby bond was different with my vaginal birth vs. c/s.  Of course I loved both of my children right away, but I felt like it took longer for me to bond with my son following my c/s which I was actually asleep for.  The emotional impact on mom and baby is also important.  Don't feel guilty at all!
  • As usual, Iris has said it better than I ever could.  The one OB in my practice said "RCS is safer for the baby; VBAC is safer for the mom."  If I didn't already have a child to consider, then I don't think I'd be as interested in the VBAC as I am.  But I feel it is in the best interest of my family, as I have more than just one baby to worry about now.

    As for feeling guilty, I think even if you weren't focused on the VBAC, you wouldn't be as focused on the new baby as you were with your first, and guilt would stem from that as well.  I honestly have to remind myself sometimes that there will be a new baby to care for again at the end of this process.  And it seems more surreal as my due date is getting closer and closer.

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  • I totally understand your feelings. I struggled with the same thoughts too sometimes. In the end, I realized that it was ok to have some "selfish" reasons for wanting a vaginal birth - the selfless ones are there too!

    As far as the taking focus off of the baby thing - honestly, I think that is just part of being pregnant the second time. A lot of moms with 2+ say that the way they thought about #2 before he/she arrived was really different. Baby will have its time to shine when its here, and it is alright for you to be thinking about yourself now :) 

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  • imagepapagena:

    I found out two weeks ago that my provider won't be able to attend my labor & birth at my current hospital, and it's raised some more emotional issues again and brought on a lot of questioning which I thought I'd gotten through mostly.  Part of me has actually started to feel guilty about wanting a VBAC.   

    My sister was pg the same time I was with DS2, and she was also planning a VBAC (an HBAC, actually). Anyhoo, she had her baby about two months before I had mine, and she had a successful VBAC. I was really happy for her, but it seriously messed me up for a few weeks about my own VBAC - lots of dark thoughts of how it just wasn't going to happen for me, I was dumb planning a hospital birth, etc. LIke what you're saying above - you think you've worked through everything, and then something comes up that messes with you all over again. Maybe the guilt is coming from losing your focus because of the things happening with your OB?

    At any rate, don't feel guilty about it, there's a ton of reasons why VBACs are important to moms and their babies and their families, and you aren't taking some sort of crazy risk for planning one, you're doing what is best for you and your family.

    Hang in there, okay? DS2's pg was so freaking long for me, emotionally-wise, it's not funny. Nine long months of straight-up stress (but an absolute relief when it was over)!

    DS1 - Feb 2008

    DS2 - Oct 2010 (my VBAC baby!)

  • honestly, I don't. not ever. VBAC is the safer choice for both of us. Sometimes I feel a little guilty that HOW my birth goes is so important to me, though. But then I look back at #1, and I know that I thought it was important and wasn't strong enough to stand up for what I believed in, and now I will forever pay for it. KWIM? It just makes it that much more important.

     I don't think you are trying to micromanage, I think it is a natural response to a situation where last time you felt out of control. Your child was DELIVERED by someone else and not actively by you. I hope you find peace in this.

    I have had a rough week with the whole MW thing and it has been helped a lot by talking it out and by using my hypnobabies. Although I don't think I will need it in labor, I'm pretty sure I couldn't survive the stress of this pregnancy without being forced to relax and say positive things.

    My favorite it that "this birth and this baby is unique unto itself" This is NOT last time.  

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  • I feel guilty for having a failed VBAC that ended up sending my DS to NICU for 2 weeks.  Even though the incident that happened was mostly the residents' fault- it would have never happened if I just did the scheduled c-section.

    I honestly tried for a VBAC for selfish reasons, I wanted to prove to everyone that I could do it, I wanted to be a "real" woman and birth a child the "right" way, I wanted to feel what is was like and have that experience in mind.

    At the same time, if my VBAC would've been a success and not harmed my baby and I, I would have a completely different story and would be trying it again for baby #3.

    Sometimes I still catch myself thinking about how wonderful a VBA2C would be- how awesome and great, but at the same time, I don't want to risk another failed VBAC attempt- and I just feel totally selfish if I were to even TRY it again given what happened last time.   

  • imageiris427:
    Sometimes I do.  But then I remind myself that while VBAC has a risk for the baby, c/s has many risks for me.  And since I am the mother, both this baby and the child I already have would be profoundly affected if anything serious went wrong during an ERCS.  So I don't think choosing VBAC is selfish--it's taking a holistic view of the family where the children's well-being is inherently linked to the mother's well-being.  Does that make sense?

    I completely agree, although I sometimes think that others consider it selfish to consider my own health. If they didn't, why would people say things like "only a healthy baby matters". Did they forget me? I feel that my choice (homebirth VBAC) is a relatively safe one for baby and myself, but what if I was forced to choose? Should I really be willing to make that sacrifice when I already have a family who needs me? I have more fear of death than I did last time, and it's more about having a child already than having a VBAC or a homebirth.

  • imageLittleEgypt:

    imageiris427:
    Sometimes I do.  But then I remind myself that while VBAC has a risk for the baby, c/s has many risks for me.  And since I am the mother, both this baby and the child I already have would be profoundly affected if anything serious went wrong during an ERCS.  So I don't think choosing VBAC is selfish--it's taking a holistic view of the family where the children's well-being is inherently linked to the mother's well-being.  Does that make sense?

    I completely agree, although I sometimes think that others consider it selfish to consider my own health. If they didn't, why would people say things like "only a healthy baby matters". Did they forget me? I feel that my choice (homebirth VBAC) is a relatively safe one for baby and myself, but what if I was forced to choose? Should I really be willing to make that sacrifice when I already have a family who needs me? I have more fear of death than I did last time, and it's more about having a child already than having a VBAC or a homebirth.

    Ugh yes.  It's not only the baby's health that matters.  Mothers matter.

    image

    Big sister {September 2008} Sweet boy {April 2011} Fuzzy Bundle {ETA July 2014}

    Pregnancy Ticker
  • Thanks, gals. 
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