Tuesday, July 19, 2016


 I've been meaning to write more about my birth experiences lately since I'm fully recovered from Bennett's birth.  Comparing is hard because every birth is so different.  And what happened for me obviously can't be duplicated.  But I write for me and because I want to remember.
I feel like both of my births were pretty classic textbook births.  Helena was a planned c-section.  Check into hospital go to room for surgery get baby.  Bennett was induced on his due date.  Start pitocin, contractions start, break water, get to 10 centimeters, push baby out.  Truly that's about it.  Of course there are a LOT more details, but that's the condensed version.
My main motivation for deciding on a VBAC was to have that instant skin on skin and to not have the struggles with breastfeeding that I did with my first.  With a c-section your milk is delayed and I didn't want that.  There were of course other reasons, but those were the two big main ones.
I feel like the big thing that isn't talked about at ALL is the recovery from a vaginal birth.  I had the idea that it would be easy.  There is a lot of talk about the hard recovery from a cs because it is a major abdominal surgery, but nobody talks about the hard recovery from a vaginal birth.  You hear about women tearing; having a 2nd degree tear all the way to a 4th degree tear.  But what does that mean post baby?!  It's weird that with a cs all the talk is about healing and your scar healing, well with a vaginal birth you birthed your baby out of your vagina!  Simply put, no the recovery is not any less.  I was "lucky" I only had a 2nd degree tear inside (supposedly those heal easier than an external tear).  I still bleed for 5 weeks and couldn't pee like normal until about 6 weeks.  For about the first 3 weeks by the end of the day I was in tears going to the bathroom.  I desperately wanted to just go to the bathroom like normal.  After about a week I found laying on my side in the afternoons helped tremendously.  The other big difference is not really having the ability to "hold it" now that I've had a baby vaginally.  I loved having that immediate skin to skin connect with Bennett.  And being present with him the whole time and having my arms to myself.  I was able to hold him and talk to him right away.  I hated being separated from Helena while I got stitched back up.  I definitely liked that my recovery from my VBAC was quicker than my CS, but I gotta be honest, I liked the predictability aspect of a scheduled CS.  I think if I were to have a third baby (no more baby plans, FYI) I would go for another VBAC.  For me there was something super powerful about delivering Bennett.  Now that it is over talking about Bennett's birth is something I love to talk about and share.  And I love to hear other versions as well.  During one of our post-partum meetings I asked my doula to share her version of Bennett's birth story.  And I probably ask Chris to share his version every few weeks or so.


Summer said...

You had an epidural, right? I thought my epidural vag delivery was so much harder, but there could also be something to it being your first, you know?

I didn't tear because they gave me episiotomies (sp?) both times. It sucked but they cut towards the back so I just had to lean foreward enough when I peed that I was ok. I felt like I couldn't complain about my recoveries because hey, at least I didn't have to have a c-section. Going to the bathroom is the worst though. I cried too. Now that Eli is one I can almost hold it in again, so there's hope!

Loved all the blog posts.

Meghan said...

It always amazes me how different each birth is.
I don't know how much the epidural plays into it because I didn't have one with either of my girls, but recovery was super easy for me. (Pregnancy, however, was miserable all the way through.)I was up and walking about an hour after they were born. Peeing hurt for a few days and I had to be careful about how I sat, but that was pretty much it.
(Unless you have stitches in your Hoo and you have the bright idea to squat down and take the laundry out of the dryer on day 4... I might have developed a severe case of Tourettes and then cried on the floor for a few minutes.)

Anyways- I'm so glad that you got your VBAC. I know it was really important to you so I'm glad you finally got to experience it with Bennett. ❤