Scars remind us where we've been. They don't have to dictate where we're going

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Filters aren't just for coffeemakers

One amazing thing that has come out of my birth experiences has been the opportunity to be connected to so many like-minded women who I otherwise would not have come into contact with.  I literally have friends all over the world who have similar views on birth (and beyond)!  This means that I am going to have such amazing support even outside of my husband and wonderful birthing team when it is our time again.

Unfortunately, the internet is also a place where people feel at liberty to say anything in any way, without consideration for other people's feelings. Case in point--yesterday, a question was posed on an internet forum: When would you consent to an elective c/s as opposed to a VBA2C? Right up my alley, right?! So, of course, I responded that the only thing that would stop me from trying for my HBA2C would be a condition that would preclude a vaginal birth under any circumstances.  A ton of amazing women, including women with "special scars" (like inverted "T" incisions), who have had successful VBAMC responded.  How wonderful!!! Why, then, do women who have never even had a cesarean feel that it is appropriate or acceptable to come into the discussion and make comments like "I don't know if I would have more children if I had 2 cesareans." Or the ever present person who knows someone who COMPLETELY RUPTURED just recently during a TOL after a cesarean.  W.O.W.  Really?!?  It is these kind of comments that can really get into a cesarean mother's head, even one who is otherwise confident and comfortable in her decision, niggle at her, creating doubts and fears and interfering with her peace going into her birth.  I know because comments like this really stick in my head, despite my best efforts to keep them out.  That is another reason I am so glad I am blogging--I can come here and spill about how that kind of stuff really affects me.

Look, I know the internet is a crazy, crazy place where you can't control what other people say or do--to some extent, it is a macrocosm of real life. In real life, you have the occasional person who will make comments like that to your face, but that is more the exception than the rule.  On the internet, people tend to be a little more bold and less considerate--and perhaps they don't understand that what they are saying could be hurtful. But, if you're reading this and you have never had a cesarean and are considering commenting on whether or not you would have more children after one or more cesareans, do me a favor and don't, unless what you have to say is 100% supportive and related with empathy and compassion.  We have enough people telling us we can't, trust me.  We certainly don't need you to add your voice to the hundreds of others.  

And, for the record, I am sure our third child will be very happy we decided to have him or her even though I have had 2 cesareans.


  1. I don't know you but want to encourage you in your quest for a vbac. I also had two c-sections and then went on to have 3 vbac's. The last two naturally. They were the best experiences of my life. My best friend and my sister in law also had vbac's. Both with ginormous babies. You can do it!

  2. Wow, thank you so much for commenting and congratulations on your VBA2Cs!!! I hope to one day join the ranks, obviously :)

    I appreciate the encouragement more than you know...actually, as a VBA2C mom that's probably not true, I am sure you know how much it means to have people believe in you :) I assume your first VBA2C was in the hospital, since you didn't say it was natural. Were your last 2 in a hospital as well or at home? :) Care to share your stories? :)

  3. I had 2 home births after a c section.

    I highly recommend the book, Silent Knife: Cesarean Prevention and Vaginal Birth after Cesarean (VBAC)

    Note there are some used copies available or you could get on the wait list at

    If you don't want to afford to buy a copy, be sure to borrow a copy from the library. You will be glad you did! :)

  4. Sarah, thank you for commenting and congratulations to you too!!! :) I am so glad you found this blog.

    I was actually reading Silent Knife at the beginning of my pregnancy with E, but thought it was a little too heavy for a time when I really wanted to be focused on gestating in peace. I have definitely considered picking it back up now before we are pregnant again because it was a really powerful book. I just may move it up to the top of my "to read" list :)