Children & babies · General parenting · Home and Family

The Glory of the VBAC

The day i joined the VBAC club everybody knew about it. I may as well have been flying the banner and wearing the t-shirt. Well why not? It did rank up there amongst my greatest achievements ever. To declare myself a VBAC glory-hunter is perhaps a bit O.T.T. But then again, why am I writing this blog?

After the birth of my first daughter by caesarean section, I felt robbed of the primordial call to nature that women experience during childbirth the “old-fashioned” way. I mean, what had I actually done to deserve the precious, ready-to-go baby that was handed to me by blue sanitised gloves from behind a curtain? For all the hours of practice breathing and psychological workouts, I didn’t even break a sweat. The stork may as well have brought her for all I did. Apparently this is insanely normal.

Meet-a-mum coffee mornings were a sufferance. How many hours did you labour, how hideous was your pain, how amazing did you feel after your birth. Albeit life-changing, my not-labour-intensive experience had denied me entry to biggest club in the world. Even though I’d “produced” a baby, the child-bearing hips were just a red-herring. I wasn’t a real woman. There was no convincing me otherwise. Apparently this is depressingly normal.

So nearly four years on, I find myself answering that very call to nature. There`s no going back now. Uterine rupture? Phah! Show the mildest inclination towards VBAC and it’s a done deal. Signed sealed and (baby) delivered before you’ve had chance to wince. It’s ok to be sceptical. Apparently this is most normal.

Chill out! unsuspecting well-wishing dads from work assure me [you can´t clock up sympathy points second time round]. It’s going to be just fine. Been there done that. Second babies always come quick. Apparently this is quite normal.

Amen to that! But don’t you understand, I profess time and time again, it’s NOT my second time. I haven’t laboured before. [Blank faces all round] I’m a VBAC conscript. [Nothing] I’m having a VBAC. [Silence] You know? [Nervous shuffles] Shoot, do I really need to spell this out, you’re not going to like this….

V.A.G.I.N.A.L B.I.R.T.H A.F.T.E.R C.A.E.S.A.R.E.A.N I whisper. Sssh someone might hear.

But too late. One mention of the V word and I’ve instilled the fear of Gd into the entire male workforce. Contorted faces. I can see these guys just can’t look at me in the same way again ever – never mind nine months of home-building, mummy-making maternity time off work. Waves of panic ripple across their faces, giving rise to deeply buried memories of their wives, legs ackimbo, howling like beasts, blood washed floors and the never-ending car park meter. Why didn’t I listen to her when she told me to pack plenty of loose change? Men don’t listen to highly-charged, hormonally-challenged pregnant women. Apparently this is all too normal.

It´s written all over their faces. Ít´s going to be a long one you mad cow. Fancy opting into a torturous, drawn-out process of pain! Given the choice, these fellows would be co-signing on the dotted line and donning blue gowns before even getting to the t´s & c´s. This fat cow is clearly a tree-hugging, eco-mum and martyr to the controlled-breathing, hypno-birthing brigade. 37 weeks and losing the plot. Apparently this is rather normal.

And for a split second, I wonder what the hell I am doing. At this moment, if anyone remotely clinical-looking were to offer up a medical reason why it would be wiser to have a normal birth, I would unquestioningly be wheeling myself down to theatre and handing over the scissors, real time. Mentally my bags are packed, the slot is booked. Gd help me! Do I really want this? Indecision [not one of my stronger points] is not helpful at a time like this but apparently this is oh so normal.

Thank Goodness my girls take after their mother – punctual at the worst, early at the best. 38 weeks, second bite at the cherry and I´m facing fear of a very real and unknown kind for the first time. Strapped in, legs up. There’s no time to deliberate the why’s and where fore’s. Out she pops in less than 3 hours. 2 hours 50 minutes to be precise [it sounds better]. How do I feel? Amazing. Apparently this is incredibly normal.

The day i joined the VBAC club everybody knew about it. I may as well have been flying the banner and wearing the t-shirt. Well why not? It did rank up there amongst my greatest achievements ever. To declare myself a VBAC glory hunter was a momentary wonder. Two beautiful girls delivered however which way is the true miracle. I feel blessed. There´s no apparently about it. This is most definitely normal.

Does my scale of normality mean anything to you?

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