"The unfortunate politics of VBAC"

This comment was left anonymously on Andrea’s post, So I got an epidural for my VBAC. Get over it.


Thanks so much for sharing your story. We’re currently trying to conceive our second child and even though I’m not even pregnant I’m already debating the VBAC or RCS question.  This should be a decision that is made by DH and me but for some reason I have this idea that if I was a “real” woman and a “real” mother I would try for a VBAC.  Like pushing a baby out of my vagina would somehow undo my c-section failure.  Intellectually I know it’s totally silly.  I’m a real woman and a real mother regardless of how my daughter was delivered.  But I think that deep down the NCB rhetoric has influenced me.  My daughter’s birth wasn’t “normal.”

Unfortunately I feel like my decision about whether my next birth should be a VBAC or a repeat c-section isn’t personal.  That my decision has ramifications for other women.  I also feel like the people who are advising me aren’t motivated by what is best for me but instead by what promotes VBAC access. 

I feel like if I decide to do the repeat c-section that people will be disappointed in me.  I feel like those same people will pity me or think it’s because I’m too afraid or something.  And that totally annoys me.  I’m a grown woman and am capable of making decisions for me and my family. 

That’s the unfortunate politics of VBAC.  On one side the doctors and hospitals see every VBAC patient as a potential lawsuit and want to encourage us to schedule repeat c-sections.  (I know I’m speaking very generally here and that some doctors are very pro-VBAC.)  On the other hand, the VBACactivists want all of us who have had prior c-sections to VBAC to advance the cause.  And then there’s a subset of that group that wants us to VBAC “correctly” which either means no epidural or a homebirth. 

But again thanks for sharing your story and I’m sorry that you felt judged for your decision to have an epidural.  It’s unfortunate that we women do this to each other.