I won't go so far as some people did and say "get over it." I can't put myself in her shoes, and honestly, on one hand I can see how it would be easier emotionally if we didn't find it as important as we do. But on the other hand, as one person interviewed for The Business of Being Born put it (God help me, I can't remember her name, but it was familiar) to some a c-section is as routine as clipping your fingernails. I couldn't agree more.
I would never willingly make someone feel inadequate because of her choices on birth. But it's such a fine line. I guess in my passionate "birth Nazism" (how I hate that term) I only think women should make those decisions not based on one five-minute, one-sided conversation with their doctors, but some dedicated research to the topic. But I can't force someone to read books about it, nor can I force them to care as much as I do about it.
Hatch goes on to say that:
it's even A-OK with me if you want to pop a squat in the forest and have your kid while someone braids your hair and sings "Kumbaya."*Sigh*. There it is again: the perception that moms who insist or are passionate about vaginal birth are hippies, somehow freakish in nature. Someone else in the comments section also made a reference to this, too.
Since I can't keep my big mouth shut, I had to chime in. (I've decided that I don't really need coffee in the morning, because reading some of these birth forums would get the job done just as easily.) I offered this:
Now see, you're insulted by the 'you're less of a woman if you had a c-section' vibe that you get from certain people. Most of us who are very passionate about vaginal birth are equally annoyed with the "squatting in the woods while singing kumbaya and having your hair braided" references. Why is it that women who feel a vaginal birth is important, not to mention without an epidural, are treated as freaks?One woman said that "VBACs carry risks." As if to say that c-sections do not? Are you kidding? And on another forum, I actually heard this: "No VBAC for me! I love my baby!" As if to imply that those of us who choose a VBAC don't love our children? WTH?!
I think by and large that a lot of OBs practice "fear-based obstetrics" not only to save their own butts, but to discourage us from making them go out of their way to "allow" us to birth in the manner of our choosing. Sometimes yes, squatting is effective in order to better position the baby, but many doctors see it as offensive to get down on our level to help us deliver. And what did your doctor tell you about the risks of c-section when you were planning your second? Did he discuss VBAC? Like mine, probably for two seconds, if only to make it sound like the most dangerous thing I'd ever do and only carried risks. Which is crap. And then, we as women who like to talk to our friends about "girl stuff" like pregnancy and birth, perpetuate the myth that our bodies are broken, deficient and incapable of giving birth. That women who don't want interventions or drugs during labor are stupid, crazy or 'think they're getting a medal.'
I think perhaps the debate stems from people realizing that maybe things didn't have to be the way they were? I don't know. I continually realize that it has to be a kick to the gut to suddenly be told "you should have known better," or "could have made better decisions if only you had known the facts." That's great, thanks for telling me now. I know my VBAC could have been "better" (no amniotomy, for instance, or insisting on changing positions, no Nubain, etc) but it was my VBAC, and I own that experience. There is no going back and changing what happened, but, if you're lucky, you can try to prevent it from happening again, should you have more children. And even then, there are no guarantees. In the meantime, I have chosen to be an advocate for women who are having more children, even if I myself never have another one.
Ironically, I have never met a woman who made me feel inadequate or questioned me for having two sections. I pray that I don't make others feel that way, either.