"You're lucky you never had to give birth" and other insensitive remarks - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 43 Old 09-11-2006, 12:06 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Who else here has had insensitive remarks coming from other moms who have been fortunate to have a vaginal birth and never a c/s?
I've actually had people tell me:
how "lucky" I am that I "didn't have to give birth."
"A vaginal birth is SO much worse than a c/s. You have no idea."
"I wish I could just have a cesarean this time around, it would be so much easer."
"you're lucky your vagina isn't all stretched out." (well what about my huge bumpy incisions that go through my whole abdomen and uterus? TWICE? How is that better?)
"A c/s is great because you get to choose the due date."
"Next time I have a kid I think I'll just have a c/s, so that I can have a tummy tuck too."
And in response to my telling family members I am doing all I can to have a natural VBA2C this time, my SIL said:
"Natural birth is overrated." and went on to tell me how terrible natural birth is, and how she had wanted to die.

Not to mention me feeling like I can't join in when I hear other mamas talking about their birth stories. Whenever I try to join in about my experiences, no one ever seems interested and reply with various comments like the ones I gave above.

I can't tell you how sick of insensitive comments I am! Not to mention how little support and understanding I get from people about my desperately wanting to VBAC.

I can't wait to have my VBAC so that I can tell them all that I have given birth both ways, and I know firsthand which I'd rather do!

Thanks for letting me vent. . .
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#2 of 43 Old 09-11-2006, 12:42 PM
 
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My first was taken via emergeny c/s for fetal distress. I never experienced labor other than a few contractions brought on by stress. When we became pregnant with #2 I was adamant I wanted a VBAC and my husband was fully on board with it. My SIL who was pregnant with #5 at the time told me they were overrated and c/s were so much better (to be fair her births were #1--c/s after stalled labor, #2 and #3--vbac, #4 and #5 ERC). I find it interesting now that I went onto have a successful non-medicated VBAC she is discussing how perhaps she should have a VBAC with #6. I also had male coworkers tell me to just have the ER that labor looked horrible and their wives said they enjoyed the ERC so much better than their first labors that ended up in c/s. I know they all meant well and I do truely believe my first was delivered in the manner that was best for him (breech presentation with low fluid and signs of distress) but it made me so angry when people would tell me how "lucky" I was to have had a c/s without labor and not understand that that was NOT the birth I wanted for my child.

I'm very happy I attempted and was successful with my VBAC and don't regret one minute of the experience. It was much more pleasant than my c/s and I would do it again if we have a third.
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#3 of 43 Old 09-11-2006, 01:01 PM
 
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I know I thought I was getting the easy way out when I found out dd would be born by c-section. I was very uneducated but got educated quickly!

I had a vbac last year and can tell you its worth trying for! It has to have been the single most powerful and amazing time in my life.

Mom of a 7 yr old, 4 yr old, and 1 yr old. Wow. How did that happen?
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#4 of 43 Old 09-11-2006, 01:14 PM
 
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Comments like that are obviously made by the ignorant and uninformed. Its very frustrating to me how high the population of women is that think that surgical birth and high intervention is just as good or better than trying to be as natural as possible. The misinformation regarding birth is rampant and unfortunately, with medicalized birth being the majority for the last 50-75 years, we are loosing our mentoring mamas who have "been there done that" and can share their strength and wisdom. My only consolation is that perhaps this is the next step in evolution, and while the women proliferating these blatant lies and misconceptions may have the upper hand now, a few hundred years from now they and their offspring will be absolutely unable to reproduce, while those who have been keeping the connection to natural birth will be fine.
Harsh, I know, but sometimes it just has to vent out like that. I know that there are judgemental women in the natural birth movement, but they are by far the minority, and when medicalized birth advocates make condescending statements like "whats wrong with you?" or "you're obviously some sort of radical" it really pushes my buttons. Its like their defensive of their choices, so they have to go on the offense.

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#5 of 43 Old 09-11-2006, 01:22 PM - Thread Starter
 
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kathan12904~ I agree with what you are saying. And part of what makes it so hurtful is that these comments usually come from other MOTHERS who it feels to me should be understanding and supportive.
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#6 of 43 Old 09-11-2006, 01:39 PM
 
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I have had both, & even an easy recovery from a c-birth is WAY harder than a v-birth. People are dumb.

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#7 of 43 Old 09-11-2006, 02:11 PM
 
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Well, I'm a HBA2C, so I'll comment on my own experiences.
My first birth was planned natural, in hospital, had no idea what I was getting myself into. I didn't want to have a hospital birth, but the option for underground midwives was not something I knew about then. I ended up with a c/s after 28 hours of labor on PITOCIN! It was sheer **** and healing took MONTHS - 10 months PP and I still was having all kinds of problems, some from nurses who ripped my anus while I was pushing(apparently they thought it was necessary to remove poop from my butt: ) and some from the c/s scar and some from the UTI I developed after 4 caths!!! And adverse reactions to the drugs they gave me. The pain was incredibly difficult to handle. To this day I have problems with urinating.
My 2nd was a sch c/s and it was by far the easiest recovery from birth. Recovery was fast, less than 1 week to feeling like I could get out of bed unassisted, nursing was rough. And the pain was more tolerable once home. The IV was the worse part it imploded and left a scar on my hand.
My 3rd was a HBA2C was a long labor, long pushing with long term consequences. I bruised deep, I have pain when sitting on the toilet or squatting 2 plus years later. My perinium is loaded with scar tissue, yet I never tore there, but obviously the tremendous stretching was enough to damage the area. I ripped my cit skin - yes ouch, very painful when it happened. I did have a near 3rd degree vaginal tear when her shoulders dropped. My bottom side was sore for MONTHS, 14 mo PP I went to see a CNM to discuss all of this b/c I had not gotten any better since maybe 5 mo PP. I will say getting out of bed was a breeze, nursing was a breeze and it was nice to just be home in my bed to recover. I was instructed to be in bed for 2wks, at 2wks my mw said 1 more week while you still have help. I had a UTI as well.
Now, I'm pregnant again and I'm planning a hb. WHY? I'm hoping I won't have as hard a time at it. I'm hoping I won't rip to pieces. I've had a few very split second thoughts of another c/s -- but honestly, I hate needles, blood draws, doctors and hospitals more than the discomfort of recovery from natural birthing in my own bed, nursing without disruptions of hospital noise or drug adverse reactions.
I would never tell a woman that natural child birth is not worth it, but there are pros and cons to both sides. And the decision is ultimately up to the mother which risk she is willing to live with. I think ignorant comments while inferiating, should be ignored. Where I live mode of delivery amoung aquaintances is not discussed much, a few know I had a hb last time and have asked me if I'm doing that again -- but generally I keep to myself about my plans. It keeps me sane.
Best wishes on your vba2c. Regardless of my difficult birth, the emotional high was worth it!
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#8 of 43 Old 09-11-2006, 02:43 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kathan12904
:snip: The misinformation regarding birth is rampant and unfortunately, with medicalized birth being the majority for the last 50-75 years, we are loosing our mentoring mamas who have "been there done that" and can share their strength and wisdom. My only consolation is that perhaps this is the next step in evolution, and while the women proliferating these blatant lies and misconceptions may have the upper hand now, a few hundred years from now they and their offspring will be absolutely unable to reproduce, while those who have been keeping the connection to natural birth will be fine. :snip:
:

I also get sick of having to defend why I think my c/s was unneccessary like when people say "you actually think your c/s was unneccessary?" I mean, how could I, so obviously not a doctor, second guess my doctor?

Rest assured MamatoE&O - you are not alone. If anything all of the sentiments expressed here should be further motivation for all of us to do whatever we can to help shift the tide!
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#9 of 43 Old 09-11-2006, 02:43 PM
 
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Mine have been:

"You're lucky you didn't have to push out a 10-pounder" (after fighting my doctors for a VBA2C for most of my pregnancy, and caving in to a threat from the OB).

"Ten and a half pounds? It's a good thing it was a section, then".

"Oh - you cheated." (Closest I've ever come to decking a near-stranger)

"At least the baby has a nice round head" (?????)

"It must be great being able to have sex again right away" (from someone who got back to an active sex life weeks earlier than I did with every one of her vaginal births)


I was also told flat-out that I was pathetic....11.5 years ago, and sometimes it still bothers me.

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#10 of 43 Old 09-11-2006, 03:23 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Storm Bride
Mine have been:




I was also told flat-out that I was pathetic....11.5 years ago, and sometimes it still bothers me.
I'm so sorry. I don't understand why people say things like that.

To the original poster, I had a c/s then HBAC (unmedicated obviously) and I am not one of those who was over the moon by the VBAC-- it was hard and all, I had a tear and there were some scary moments b/c of decelerations (which bothers me more than any discomfort) and I didn't feel at one with everything at the end of it, if you know what I mean (just tired and not wanting to do it over for a while at least ). I was eating, and not sick, and out of bed a lot faster, although I hurt for two weeks in the nether regions if I stood for more than an hour or two. I had a reasonably easy c/s recovery although I threw up a lot and felt a lot worse total body wise for longer, even if the scar pain wasn't necessarily worse than the vaginal pain from the VBAC. However, I would never consider lying back up on that table again unless it was truly necessary. For me, even if I experience more stinging/burning pain per se from vaginal birth, I much prefer that to being cut open.

Of course, none of this is considering what long term risks surgery poses, which is a totally different response to what those people are saying.
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#11 of 43 Old 09-11-2006, 04:07 PM
 
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StornBride - what that person said was absolutely inexcusable! Sometimes I wish that folks would just keep their mouths shut or at least think one teensy tiny moment before saying things like that! :

Quote:
Of course, none of this is considering what long term risks surgery poses, which is a totally different response to what those people are saying.
Absolutely! Like the future of potentially life threatening bowel obstructions 10-20 or even more years down the road. Like this mother.

Certainly a good idea, aprilushka to better educate people.
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#12 of 43 Old 09-11-2006, 04:13 PM
 
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It's so hard when you are reaching out to other people and they totally discount you with comments like that. My physical recovery from the c/s was probably pretty easy considering what a brutal surgery it is, but there are days when I wonder if I will every spiritually, emotionally, and psychologically recover. They ended up knocking me out despite me continually asking them to stop for a "Non-emergency, elective" c/s per my hospital records. I was terrified, I was alone, people were talking about what they had for dinner in the OR while I was begging them to stop and afterward people say "Hey, at least you have a healthy baby." It really makes you start to wonder about whether you have any value or not. I bet none of the research considers this kind of emotional hell as a serious complication, but I do.
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#13 of 43 Old 09-11-2006, 05:06 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pamered_mom
StornBride - what that person said was absolutely inexcusable! Sometimes I wish that folks would just keep their mouths shut or at least think one teensy tiny moment before saying things like that! :
It's not the first or last time this particular person has said something inexcusable and unbelievable to me...but I think it was probably the worst. You know what makes it even worse for me? She spent half her labour begging for a c-section, but the OB said it wasn't necessary...then when she did birth vaginally, she came out with something like that.

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#14 of 43 Old 09-12-2006, 12:47 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TexasGirl96
They ended up knocking me out despite me continually asking them to stop for a "Non-emergency, elective" c/s per my hospital records. I was terrified, I was alone, people were talking about what they had for dinner in the OR while I was begging them to stop and afterward people say "Hey, at least you have a healthy baby." It really makes you start to wonder about whether you have any value or not. I bet none of the research considers this kind of emotional hell as a serious complication, but I do.
: It just irks me everytime I hear about things like this. What I can't understand is why so many OBs seem to think that performing a c/s is anything like a watercooler discussion in a typical office setting! I mean, seriously people, ever heard of professionalism? That's a REAL, LIVE person you are operating on!

Just as bad as the tale Ina May Gaskin tells in "Spiritual Midwifery" about the OB who took the partially sewn up opening on a mom, put both hands on each side, and made the opening move like a mouth to say "hi" to the resident who was assisting him on the other side of the table.

I think the behavior of some OBs is clearly an indication of their thoughts on the pregnant women they are supposed to be "caring" for.

Quote:
Originally Posted by StormBride
You know what makes it even worse for me? She spent half her labour begging for a c-section, but the OB said it wasn't necssary...then when she did birth vaginally, she came out with something like that.
See...now if anyone was going to call anyone "pathetic" you'd think that she'd see it would really be the other way around (not that I'd ever advocate doing that). I know telling you to "chalk it up to ignorance" isn't going to change things or make it better. I wish that it could.

You are not pathetic, not one bit. You are one strong woman!!
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#15 of 43 Old 09-12-2006, 08:17 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Stormbride~ I'm sorry you've had such hurtful comments. : How can anyone be that cruel? And misinformed?!
As for the sex thing~ It can be pretty scary to get into normal life routine- including sex- after major abdominal surgery as well. At least it was for me.
Pamered_mom~ I know that part in [U]Spiritual Midwifery[U] that you are talking about. That sickened me as well.
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#16 of 43 Old 09-12-2006, 09:22 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pamered_mom
StornBride - what that person said was absolutely inexcusable! Sometimes I wish that folks would just keep their mouths shut or at least think one teensy tiny moment before saying things like that! :



Absolutely! Like the future of potentially life threatening bowel obstructions 10-20 or even more years down the road. Like this mother.

Certainly a good idea, aprilushka to better educate people.
Maybe a response along the lines of, "You're so lucky you didn't have to be cut open, have your uterus removed from your body, undertake a 2-4 times greater risk of dying, and being left permanently with significantly increased risk for uterine rupture, life-threatening placental problems and life threatening bowel problems!"
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#17 of 43 Old 09-12-2006, 09:37 AM
 
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wow.
I think a nice kiss my a$$ would work wonders here.

I cannot imagine somene being so incredibly insensitive. Hugs mamas.
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#18 of 43 Old 09-12-2006, 11:39 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aprilushka
Maybe a response along the lines of, "You're so lucky you didn't have to be cut open, have your uterus removed from your body, undertake a 2-4 times greater risk of dying, and being left permanently with significantly increased risk for uterine rupture, life-threatening placental problems and life threatening bowel problems!"
Seriously, perfect!
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#19 of 43 Old 09-12-2006, 12:57 PM
 
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The last time I got the "you're lucky you didn't have to push out a 10-pounder", I just told the woman that I'd sell my soul to know, one way or the other. She got a really weird look on her face, and dropped it - completely. She'd made the comment about four times in the six preceeding months, and i haven't heard it since. I think she really was just clueless about what to say, but....wow...

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#20 of 43 Old 09-12-2006, 07:25 PM
 
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Oh, I can't stand people who say things like that. I've had so many people tell me "Oh just have the c/s" when they find out I am going for a VBAC this time around. I totally think they are just insane.

My first birth was vaginal and he was 8lbs 11 oz, thank you. Perfectly round head despite a difficult pushing phase. And I will take the 2nd degree tear I sustained over my c/s incision that I ended up with my 2nd pregnancy. I consider my vaginal birth to be a total cake walk compared to recovering from a c/s with an incision that got infected and didn't want to heal properly. Plus all the fun of just trying to get out of bed and take care of a toddler and a newborn!! And sex, hah...forget it for months afterward.

I was overjoyed at my appointment with my new OB when she asked "so what's the plan for this pregnancy?" I said "VBAC" and she said "Oh good, I can't understand those women that come in and just want another c/s."
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#21 of 43 Old 09-13-2006, 02:38 AM
 
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Atleast you can sit up!! Im guessing the reference was made towards hemroids
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#22 of 43 Old 09-13-2006, 08:25 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Maybe you can "sit" after a c/s- but only if you sit there without moving and everyone does everything for you! What about trying to get into a standing position from sitting? It feels like you may rip in half!
And what about lying down with baby who is whimpering and who needs to nurse? Getting into a comfortable nursing position is almost impossible. I had to be lying flat on my back with baby lying across me so that if he had to nurse he was already there.
I'll never forgot how excrutiating it was to sit up and then stand up the first time after my first c/s. I could not believe the searing pain I felt.
After my first c/s I was in such pain and having such a hard time I didn't even change my own daughter's diaper for about a week. Luckily I had DH there 100% helping me and doing everything.
ndakkitten~I am glad you've got a good, informed OB!
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#23 of 43 Old 09-13-2006, 08:40 AM
 
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Originally Posted by mooandme
Atleast you can sit up!! Im guessing the reference was made towards hemroids
Maybe, but after my last birth, my entire vaginal area was swollen to the point it felt like a grapefruit and I could not sit. I also tore internally and refused stitches so I was ordered to lie down for 2 wks. No Hemoroids here, just one very bruised and swollen yoni!
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#24 of 43 Old 09-13-2006, 10:04 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mama2E&O

Not to mention me feeling like I can't join in when I hear other mamas talking about their birth stories. Whenever I try to join in about my experiences, no one ever seems interested and reply with various comments like the ones I gave above.
Well I'm interested for sure!

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#25 of 43 Old 09-13-2006, 12:48 PM
 
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I view it as an opportunity to educate. A lot of people just don't realize that its major surgery, with its own risks. Different people have different experiences, my experience is that my c-sec was harder to recover from than my VBAC

It seems we are asked inappropriate ?s our whole lives, doesn't it? "Why aren't you dating anybody?", "Why aren't you married?", "When are you going to have kids?", "When are you going to have more?", "Why don't you stop already!"!!!!
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#26 of 43 Old 09-13-2006, 12:59 PM
 
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And the ever so popular --
"You know how 'they' happen don't you?"
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#27 of 43 Old 09-13-2006, 01:06 PM
 
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Originally Posted by KiwiZ
A lot of people just don't realize that its major surgery, with its own risks.
This is what I don't get, though. How can they not realize it?? Someone is cutting a whole baby out of our bodies!

A guy I used to work with knew I'd had a c-section. No big deal, right? He watched a cesarean on the Operation on tv one day, and came in the next day looking a bit...flustered. He starts telling me how they cut this woman open, and this and that, then says, "that's not what they did to you, was it?". I'm like..."yeah". He just couldn't wrap his brain around it. I pointed out that they did take a baby out, so they had to make a fairly large cut. Then, I said, "Dennis - what did you think a c-section was?" He just stared at me...

I don't get it.

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#28 of 43 Old 09-13-2006, 03:19 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I guess some people just don't actually do any real thinking about what actually goes on during a c/s.
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#29 of 43 Old 09-13-2006, 03:42 PM
 
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The 1st thing to come to mind was after my failed VBAC, I was just taken to my room meeting my new nurse & she made the coment that it's a shame to go through all that labor (52 hours) just to end up w/a c-sec. I was a wreck physically & emotionally & I couldn't even hold back the tears until she left. To her credit, she really was sweet & just didn't know (she appologized).

The 2nd thing is when people find out I had 9 lb babies & how "they were born c-sec, right?" It makes me angry & feel like a failure at the same time!

Not that this is anyones fault, but it stings when I hear, "when I gave birth." It's funny how that little phrase can stir so many emotions in me, since I don't feel like I "gave birth" - my babies were cut from me.

Rachel~wife to Keith since 5/01~mother to Georgia since 4/04~Bishop since 1/06~Zoe since 11/07 (my HBA2C!)~EDD 2/14/10 w/Baby surprise #4
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#30 of 43 Old 09-13-2006, 04:01 PM
 
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I'm sorry you didn't get the vbac, that is horrible. I can't imagine... I think failure is what kept me from trying a vbac for my 2nd child, so bravo to you for giving it your all.

I've had 9pounders too. 2 by c/s and 1 vaginal. I had a "friend" welcome me to the 9 pounder club after my vaginal birth (like my other 2 didn't count???). I really did get the feeling that other woman I know simply were keeping things from me and not sharing their stories b/c I'd had c/s. It hurt.
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