Don't Tell Me I Should Have Had a VBAC

One of the strangest questions I had to field during my second pregnancy was the question of whether or not I was planning on having a VBAC. Strange because it seemed like such an oddly intimate question—"So ... gonna make a stab at the old vaginal exit route? Hmmmmm?"—but also strange because no one really seemed satisfied with my answer, which was "No."

I'm talking mostly about comments made via the Internet, a communications method that often seems to strip away a person's normal sense of decency decorum, but it seemed quite unacceptable to simply state that no, I was having another C-section. One person angrily told me to "do my research" on VBACs; another wrote that it was too bad I was planning to put my baby at risk.

Let me advocate a little for anyone facing similar Birth Criticism (oh, this is so TOTALLY a thing), and tell you why you should never, ever say that kind of crap—no matter how informed you think you are on the subject. 


See, I had done my research. I'd discussed the matter quite thoroughly with my doctor, and the reason why I chose to have another C-section was that there were risk factors specific to my health situation that were significantly lowered by having a surgical birth.

It was infuriating to hear from near-strangers who apparently had such a strong Vagina Agenda (also totally a thing) that they felt compelled to dole out medical advice when it was both uncalled for and wholly misinformed. I actually had people tell me it was safer to have a vaginal birth, which, in my case, was an outright lie.

I'm fairly certain there will be at least one person in the comment section on this article who will be angry that I'm advising against VBACs, but I hope most of you understand that's not what I'm saying at all. I'm saying that not everyone can have one, and it's profoundly ignorant to insist that they can. It's a rude, intrusive, downright shitty thing to say.

It's ridiculous how often I hear the sentiment that only mothers who didn't try hard enough end up with C-sections, and that everyone should trust their own instincts rather than giving in to those female-power-hating, surgery-loving obstetricians. I don't know, call me crazy, but I wasn't willing to risk my baby's health for the sake of the delivery method I personally thought it was important to experience.

I definitely didn't get my ideal, picture-perfect birth with either of my children, but I got two healthy babies. Which as far as I'm concerned is the whole point—however they made it into the world.

Do you have experience with unwanted VBAC advice (one way or the other)? How did you deal with it?

Image via Linda Sharps

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