Monday, April 26, 2010

Choosing an experience: My journey to VBAC

Check out my latest blog over at Andrea Owen's site:

It has always troubled me that VBAC moms are criticized for choosing a "birth experience." Frankly, women who choose RCS are choosing an experience, too, albeit a very different one. I know there are a million reasons women choose RCS, I know OBs offer scare tactics, I know women who've been "fired" as patients when they refuse to schedule a cesarean. Some women truly don't have a choice, but others- most of us- do. It used to make me incredibly uncomfortable to say I wanted to VBAC because I wanted to experience vaginal birth. I felt like I had to justify my decision, defend it and prove that I wasn't some crazy VBAC lady who would sacrifice her baby in the name of a vaginal birth. That was never the point, after all. The point was being a healthy mom, delivering a healthy baby, by way of my vagina. As the weight of evidence continues to build, and VBAC continues to be shown as safe as, if not safer than, RCS, I hope more women become comfortable speaking about the experience of vaginal birth. We won't all value it the same, obviously, but those of us who do place great value on it shouldn't be afraid to talk about it!

And so I'll say it, one more time, for posterity:

The single biggest reason I wanted a VBAC was because I wanted to experience a vaginal birth.

Now go visit Andrea's wonderful blog and read the whole post! :-)


  1. thanks Pam! I owe you a million times over for guest blogging for me :)

  2. You're welcome, Andrea! It was truly a pleasure.

  3. I know I'm shouting into the wind, here, but your blog header is offensive.

    Natural birth for NORMAL women? Great. Effing great. Nice to know that because I needed a c-section to save my damned life (you name the complication, I had it), I'm also ABNORMAL.


    I actually completely agree with your ideals, which is another reason that it's so hurtful when people use loaded language about c-sections.

    Basically, you're preaching to the choir and still somehow LOSING YOUR AUDIENCE.

  4. @ anonymous- I'm sorry you find the title offensive and I'm not quite sure why you think I am calling you, or anyone else who had a c-section (necessary, elective, or anything inbetween) abnormal. My blog title has nothing to do with c-sections. At all.

    I actually posted back in January about why I chose this title; it stemmed from my own frustration with the birth community. I have always felt like women who want to birth in the hospital, or want an epidural, or even women who choose c-sections, are immediately dismissed and marginalized and can't find support or information about how to make their births good experiences. At the same time, there is a perception that doing your own research and being fully informed about your options means you're a "birth nazi" (even if you, like me, give birth in the hospital, with OBs, and don't think epidurals are an immediate path to the operating room). My point in calling this blog "Natural Birth for Normal Women" is that we are ALL normal, and we ALL deserve respect and full information when we are making decisions about our births.

  5. I think anonymous is reading the title of the blog WAAAAAYYYYY out of context. Sounds to me like she's a bit bitter and defensive about ending up with a c-section.

    I had a c-section, and in no way do I feel 'abnormal' nor do I think that's the intent of the title of this blog. To me, the title of the blog indicates that natural birth is NORMAL and that normal, everyday women can achieve, that it's not something only certain women can or should strive for.

  6. I was caught of guard when I first read the title of your blog. But because I read your posts and read about who you are and want you want for so many women, and I know a bit of what you are about with the VBAC community on BBC, I understand now what it is about. Sometimes people are just out to take offense. Sadly, not everyone can be pleased. :)