Did you feel differently about your VBAC baby? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 30 Old 09-12-2010, 10:45 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm just curious if you *feel* differently about your VBAC baby than you did about your c/s babies? Did you bond differently?

I had an AWESOME UHBA3C (I wasn't planning it to be a UC, but that's how it worked) a couple of weeks ago. Please don't get me wrong...I love my 3 older boys, but I feel differently about my UBAC baby. I just feel so much more protective of this baby, I feel so much more bonded to him. I'm trying to decide if it's because he's still so new (I remember kind of feeling this way about the others but it seems like it took much longer) or if it's because he was a HBAC baby.

Does anyone know if there is research about bonding and mother/child (or even parent/child or parent/parent) relationships with VBAC vs C/S births?

Wife to a wonderful husband, mom to 5 amazing boys, 2 m/c and Knox Cornelius our 5th son born at 15weeks 12/3/2011, Lillian Faith our 1st daughter, born at 14 weeks May 19, 2012 (Turner Syndrome). 

 
           
 
 
 
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#2 of 30 Old 09-13-2010, 10:48 AM
 
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I do. I am much more bonded to my VBAC baby. I love my son and we are very bonded but it took time. he was also very colicky and cranky and I really didn't enjoy the first few months very much. I also had some PPD and a rough recovery from my c/s. That said, with my daughter, the bond was immediate. I only had to hold her to have afterpains because of all the natural oxytocin flowing. It seems like our bond is so much more intense and it happened very quickly. At first I felt really bad that my son missed out on all of hat and I still do but I also realize that it is what it is and he and I have our very special own thing going on so I make sure that he gets enough so he never feels like he's missing out.

Amy, Army wife living in S. Korea, mama to my inverted t c/s baby 04.05.08 and my VBAC with inverted t baby 07.24.10
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#3 of 30 Old 09-13-2010, 12:22 PM
 
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I know I did at first, feel more bonded with my VBAC baby. But, like you said, I'm not sure if it was exclusively because she was so new, or if it had to do with the VBAC success and being so darn proud of myself, my body, and my determination!

The other thing that I wonder if when I was a first time mom, I knew I'd love my baby to pieces and I did...but, it was a love that I had never felt before, so it grew daily. Started huge, but also grew daily. So, I think with my VBAC baby, I already knew what it felt like to love a child so I think the love started greater because I had experience that love and knew the pure joy of being a mother and I knew what I was going to get to experience again.

Since I didn't have a c/s baby that was not my first baby, I can't say that I can REALLY tell the difference of c/s and first baby vs VBAC and second baby. But, I do think I bonded faster with my second/vbac baby.

Then maybe it changed to being equal when she became a "difficult" baby! LOL!

Me (30), DH (31), DS (3.5 yrs - 5/07), DD (1.5 yr - 2/09) via VBAC!!! DS (newborn - 11/10) via natural VBAC! 2 angel babies - 06/06 & 04/08
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#4 of 30 Old 09-13-2010, 01:39 PM
 
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I bonded faster with my c/s babies and my vbac baby was a much more difficult baby than the other 2.

Kara mommy to Jason 9/27/04 ribboncesarean.gif, Jacob 6/1/06 vbac.gif, Nathan 11/13/08 ribboncesarean.gif, and twin boys Isaac and Caleb born 1/10/11 vbac.gif
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#5 of 30 Old 09-14-2010, 02:27 AM
 
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#6 of 30 Old 09-14-2010, 10:28 AM
 
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I think I bonded with them the same but it was nice that with my HBAC I didn't feel such sadness and cry every time I thought about his birth like I did after my c-section.

Canadian mom of Myron born in Japan, March 2007. Our second son born at home, wonderful HBAC in July 2010. I am a jeweller, I love creating things!

1***5****10****15****20****25****30****35**coolshine.gif*40****45, Due June 10th, 2014

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#7 of 30 Old 09-14-2010, 11:43 AM
 
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Nope, not at all. My first 2 were c/s, my second had serious health problems and I didn't even get to hold her until she was 5 days old, but I immediately had a very strong bond with her. I felt better physically after my vba2c, but didn't feel any different towards the baby.
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#8 of 30 Old 09-14-2010, 03:02 PM
 
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Yes, definitely. Over time I bonded with my oldest, but almost more like a friend. While this one is very much MY baby and he gets lots of love and kisses and I do all the things first time moms supposedly do (which I never did with the first).

Amy, wife of Ben and mommy of Paul (4/9/07), (7/09) and Charlie (5/13/10)
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#9 of 30 Old 09-14-2010, 06:30 PM
 
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I was just trying to explain this to my husband last night!

I don’t remember feeling this happy at 4 ½ months with my son. His c-section was emotionally devastating and I was very down for many months. We also had quite the struggle with nusing at the beginning. On top of all that we moved when he was 6 weeks old, so I was in a strange town, with no friends or family and my hubby was working a LOT. So, unfortunately, the first 6 months of DS’s life were pretty dark for me. I clung to him and needed him, and loved him, but I just don’t remember the JOY I feel when I look at my daughter. I feel sad about that, but he’s healthy and happy and doesn’t remember!

~Becca
Wife to DH 8/2003; Momma to DS 5/2007ribboncesarean.gif ; DD 5/1/2010 hbac.gifwaterbirth.jpg !
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#10 of 30 Old 09-14-2010, 06:34 PM
 
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Part of it could be that you got to experience the full hormonal bliss this time, and you were deprived of a lot of that with the cesarean births. There is a huge hormonal interplay throughout labor and birth and you circumvent that and halt it when you have a cesarean. Of course we're all thrilled that we can have babies by cesarean, but it is different, physically and hormonally.

Sarah Buckley's book Gentle Birth Gentle Mothering goes into this some.

April :
Mom, Wife, Doula, CBE
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#11 of 30 Old 09-14-2010, 06:40 PM
 
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I didn't feel any different, but perhaps I didn't have the heartbreak over the csection. I was just pleased to have my baby at the end lol!

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#12 of 30 Old 09-15-2010, 12:28 AM
 
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I didn't feel any differently, but my c-section was scheduled for breech so I was able to make peace with it before it happened (for the most part). My surgery and recovery went well. I had breastfeeding difficulties, but we made it through.

I had the protective instinct immediately both times, but felt I needed to get to know them. I thought it would be different with my VBAC baby, but it wasn't. I had a very easy VBAC, but I didn't cry and feel overwhelmingly bonded right away. I felt good and positive both times, but not like some people talk about. Over the next few weeks after birth, I had post-partum elation. Breastfeeding was much easier with my VBAC baby, but the emotions and bonding were the same except for VBAC happiness and breastfeeding ease. Neither effected my feelings towards the baby either time, though.

I do still think about her birth a lot and that is special. My c/s baby was my first and that is special.
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#13 of 30 Old 09-15-2010, 12:45 AM
 
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Haven't had #2 yet, but bear in mind that maybe the adjustment to being a new parent might make the bonding process less easy? It's all so new and there's so much to figure out, it can be stressful. Whereas with subsequent kids, you've BTDT, so you might feel the bond more quickly?
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#14 of 30 Old 09-16-2010, 12:01 PM
 
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Nope. I have two VBAC babies, I am just as bonded to their siblings (two natural births then a CS). The VBAC birth is obviously more special than the CS, but my relationship with the kids is not different.
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#15 of 30 Old 09-16-2010, 05:01 PM
 
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Interesting - I've actually been worried that there's no way I can feel as bonded and in love with #2 as I did and do with #1 (logically I know I can and probably will, but right now, emotionally, I was more connected to the 1st pg - as I didn't have any c/s vs. VBAC fears and I didn't have a toddler to while away the hours I used to spent thinking of how fabulous pregnancy was, etc).

I do know that the c/s does often mess with the hormonal/euphoric bond that new moms get with their babies. I very possibly haven't felt that initial surge, but I very fortunately had no issues bonding with DS, and my sadness over my c/s, well, I was able to keep that separate from him. He was also a pretty easy baby, which probably helped!
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#16 of 30 Old 09-16-2010, 05:04 PM
 
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Nope. It was the same. The VBAC did make me better able to appreciate DS C-section birth. In retrospect I could finally see that his birth was the way it had to be and now I just feel blessed that I got to experience both.
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#17 of 30 Old 09-16-2010, 08:16 PM
 
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Nope. It was the same. The VBAC did make me better able to appreciate DS C-section birth. In retrospect I could finally see that his birth was the way it had to be and now I just feel blessed that I got to experience both.
Exactly the way I feel!

Jessica
Mommy to Oliver (06/06) and Pearl (09/10)
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#18 of 30 Old 09-17-2010, 12:52 AM
 
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No, I love all my kids equally. However, my VBACs and UBACs have changed what kind f person I am but they did not effect how much I love my children.
In fact, my ONLY Homebirth was with a surrogate baby! It was my UBAC and the single most incredible moment of my life. I will cherish it always. But that baby, while still 1/2 my flesh and blood is not any more meaningful to me.
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#19 of 30 Old 09-17-2010, 08:08 AM
 
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This is something I hear about, from my vbac mamas...not that they love their csec babies any less, or their vag birth babies more...it's more about that birth bliss, and the surge of hormones that is satisfied in it's reason for being upon giving birth, I think. That mother-love occurs so much more instantaneously and deeply for most moms after normal birth. Versus dealing with the possible disappointment (or worse) of having had a csec, that is--with the recovery time involved, and especially having the baby unavailable right after birth when those natural bonding hormones are at a peak.

Interesting that many of the csec mamas here who say it was never any different, are also mamas who felt their csections were needed (or at least, appreciated under the circumstances of that birth--bringing baby to their arms at last), and/or had time to integrate the idea of a csec and prepare for it ahead of time.

Also, as some have said, it's not just about hormones toward bonding--its also that sense of empowerment, being more alive and whole after natural birth compared to csection. Our hormones can give us that, too--not just bonding with babies--another benefit of normal birth for sure. And one that is needed, IMO, because it helps boost us emotionally/spiritually into parenting (or our next stage of parenting)...which requires emotional strength, and confidence in ourselves to be up to the hard work of parenting.

Of course, most csec mamas accomplish bonding, joy, empowerment in all kinds of ways in their lives. Not saying that these hormones of birth are the 'only way' toward these important things....but I am saying, those hormones and all else involved with normal birth are needed, very helpful parts of birth's design. Not just to 'get babies out'--but to get mamas ready for the baby in many ways.
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#20 of 30 Old 09-17-2010, 10:27 PM
 
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I had my 1st child by c-section, and when he was handed to me, I felt like he wasn't even mine. I didn't feel I bonded with him right away, it took a few months actually.

I thought if I had a VBAC I would bond after the birth, and feel all those warm an fuzzy feelings...

No. I had my 2nd child at home, and still took a few months to feel that bond.

Tired mommy to a 2, 4, and 6 year old!
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#21 of 30 Old 09-17-2010, 10:30 PM
 
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This is something I hear about, from my vbac mamas...not that they love their csec babies any less, or their vag birth babies more...it's more about that birth bliss, and the surge of hormones that is satisfied in it's reason for being upon giving birth, I think.
I never had a "birth high" after my HBAC. I was expecting it, as everyone gushes about it, but it never came.

Tired mommy to a 2, 4, and 6 year old!
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#22 of 30 Old 09-18-2010, 12:08 AM
 
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No...I felt the same about both babies, even though it took about two weeks to really accept DS as mine. We still bonded. I also never had a birth high, with either one of my children. I didn't turn into mama-bear right after birth that would kill for their child right away. It took some time.

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#23 of 30 Old 09-18-2010, 12:16 AM
 
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I felt differently, I suppose. With my c-section baby, I felt intensely protective of her. I felt like I had failed in my first act as a mother but not giving her a gentle birth. I adored her, but I felt guilty and sad. I remember rocking her as a baby, crying, telling her how sorry I was.

With my VBAC baby, I was able to just love him not feel so scared for him. I was able to enjoy his babyhood more.

I wouldn't say I bonded more or that it was quicker, but the experiences were different.
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#24 of 30 Old 09-18-2010, 09:13 AM
 
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I never had a "birth high" after my HBAC. I was expecting it, as everyone gushes about it, but it never came.
Not everyone does...I'm sure that there are many individual variations, given people's different personalities and such. It's something that does occur for many--but not all--women...lots of variation on normal
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#25 of 30 Old 09-18-2010, 05:01 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Amynf1 View Post
I do. I am much more bonded to my VBAC baby. I love my son and we are very bonded but it took time. he was also very colicky and cranky and I really didn't enjoy the first few months very much. I also had some PPD and a rough recovery from my c/s. That said, with my daughter, the bond was immediate. I only had to hold her to have afterpains because of all the natural oxytocin flowing. It seems like our bond is so much more intense and it happened very quickly. At first I felt really bad that my son missed out on all of hat and I still do but I also realize that it is what it is and he and I have our very special own thing going on so I make sure that he gets enough so he never feels like he's missing out.


My experience exactly!
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#26 of 30 Old 09-26-2010, 02:38 PM
 
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Babycatcher 12, this is exactly my thesis research. I am looking at the differences in mother's feelings towards their infants based on method of delivery, c-secton and vaginal birth. There is research out there that demonstrates that in some cases there are marked differences. What I hope to do, is hear the stories of women in their own words about any differences they may have experienced. I think that you are very brave for saying how you feel!
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#27 of 30 Old 09-27-2010, 10:46 AM
 
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Mudlotus, I'm very curious about your thesis. How do you control for things like societal expectations? For example, mothers who spend a great deal of time in an environment like MDC might be more upset about an unnatural intervention like csection than those who are surrounded by and accept that csections are the norm.

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#28 of 30 Old 09-27-2010, 10:09 PM
 
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I was worried about that I would love my vba2c baby more, but I can honestly say that I love her the same amount. However, I do think that I bonded with her faster. The physical recovery was much easier, and I didn't have to deal with the emotional disapointment of a section.

My first section I didn't realize at the time how unnecessary it was and bonded well with ds. The second section was much harder because it was a failed vbac that was again unnecessary that I was bullied into. So there was a lot of anger and disapointment. I did bond with dd, but it took longer because of the emotional devastation. I still feel sad about that.

Now almost a year after my vba2c baby, I can't say that I love any one of them more than the other.
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#29 of 30 Old 09-28-2010, 03:06 AM
 
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Multimomma, that is a great question. I am not controlling for societal factors. I am doing a qualitative narrative inquiry. So, I am asking for women who have had both experiences and feel differently towards their babies. So, in a way the participants are self selecting. My goal is to find out how women perceived their babies differently, what their birth experiences were like and how they made sense of their experiences. My hope is that my paper will provide a resource for mental health professionals who have clients who come to them saying, "I felt instantly bonded with my VBAC baby (for example), but with my c-section baby I feel like something is missing, or I don't recognize them as my own, or I felt disconnected or I even felt hostile..." whatever the case may be. This phenomenon has been documented in the literature and I am very curious about what commonalities the women who have these experiences have. I do of course, have to take into account my own bias towards physiological birth but my interview questions are semi structured, so I ask my participant a broad question about their birth and then prompt along the way as necessary without (hopefully) leading in any way. I will then analyse the material and code for themes. I hope that the outcome will be valuable and that the women that particpate will feel like their pain may come to some good in helping someone else be better understood. ))
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#30 of 30 Old 09-29-2010, 10:29 AM
 
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nope-not at all. but i had a positive c section with dd1 & a decent recovery. i was also just soooo excited to be a 1st time mama & to get the little girl (and healthy, perfect one) i had wanted.

my vbac was an amazing, AMAZING birth experience & i felt empowered by it...but connection to dd2 was the same. again, i felt empowered & was really proud etc. and as a pp mentioned, it made me appreciate all i had gone through having a c section with dd1. but i bonded right away with both babes.

off topic-the one thing i couldn't get over & talked about a great deal was the difference in how my body felt the week or 2 after. i probably should have rested more but compared to a c section recovery, this felt like no recovery at all...not having the incision to deal with was unbelievable. i said many times that "it changed the whole ball game".

Stephanie~hippie.gifwife to Dov, mama to Ella Irie (9/24/07) & Kaya Raine (2/1/10)~our vbac.gifbaby, born 45 hours after PROM!!!
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