My TiVo Suggests Tylenol PM
Bringin' SexyVBAC

The Baddest Mommy on the Block

I had my first official prenatal visit this morning, during which I came about 30 seconds from getting a THIRD ultrasound, except that my doctor happened to flip back a page in my chart while the machine was warming up. "Oh!" he said, "We saw the heartbeat already, so we don't need another one just yet."

Dammit. I got a pap smear instead.

So, I really do like my doctor, although I also occasionally want to stab him in the ears with a fork, or maybe one of the handy Ortho-Tri-Cyclen pens he keeps in a cup on his desk. Like today, when he asked me how I was feeling. Which, you know, BAD. AWFUL. Like, I-have-only-told-the-Internet-half-of-it bad and awful. The migraines, the insomnia, the fact that I made my two-year-old cry yesterday (twice) simply through the power of my drained-of-patience angry-mommy voice.

(I'm not counting the time I simply screamed at him to STOP CRYING! STOP CRYING RIGHT NOW! because...come on. He was ALREADY crying. I'm sure I didn't help the situation but HE TOTALLY STARTED IT.)

(Don't let the sarcasm fool you, of course. I could totally die from the guilt right now, especially since I yelled at him AGAIN in public today when he wouldn't get on the elevator we'd been waiting 10 minutes for and I believe something along the lines of "you are going to GET IT" came out of my mouth and oh yes, I should just go ahead and have five more children. I'm the BEST AT THIS EVER.)

Anyway. Where was I? Oh. Right. The doctor's office. I was toddler-free and everybody was finally asking me how I was feeling, like I was a person who mattered, and I broke down and told my doctor how terrible I feel and how I can't get out of bed during the headaches and I'm throwing up in the shower and I can't sleep at night and...dear Lord in heaven, please tell me you can write a prescription for SOMETHING, ANYTHING, PLEASE DON'T TELL ME TO EAT SMALL MEALS AND TAKE SOME TYLENOL AND...

"Good! Feeling bad is good! That means everything is healthy and great! You might want to try eating more small meals during the day!"

Needless to say, I did not walk out of there with a prescription for anything. I did get an offer from a nurse to walk me back to my car, because I looked so very positively green.

And yes, I finally had the conversation with my doctor that so many people have been inordinately curious about: VBAC or scheduled c-section. (Seriously. The pee had barely dried on the test stick and suddenly everybody wanted to know whether I'd made my "decision" yet.) I hesitate to even bring this topic up, because yes, I've seen that website. Yes, that one too. And probably that other one as well. I find much of the information from both sides of the debate to be horribly biased, and both arguments tend to rely heavily on scare tactics instead of real data and OH YEAH, it's just not that big of a fucking deal to me either way.

Before I had Noah, I thought his manner of birth was terribly important. This led to a series of blog postings that I am now terribly embarrassed about, because I let people work me into such a STATE about it. Scheduled c-sections are awesome! Emergency c-sections are hell! All c-sections are unnecessary! And around and around my naive little head went.

A recap for anyone just joining us: My doctor suspected that Noah was on the big side, and knew for a fact that he was not in the ideal position. (He was facing forward, or sunny-side up.) He suspected that I might need a section, but he is overall very anti-intervention. So I wasn't induced or scheduled and went into labor on my own. And it was pretty awesome, actually, and I felt powerful and damn impressed with myself during it. And then the complications started piling up -- nothing particularly major, but enough. Meconium. Fetal distress. Irregular heartbeat. I pushed and pushed and Noah didn't budge past my pubic bone. His heart rate became more and more worrisome with each contraction. So I had an emergency c-section, which revealed that the umbilical cord had been wrapped tightly around the neck of my 9 pound, 15 ounce baby who had little marks on his head from pressing against my freaking bones.

I know that doctors in this country are awfully trigger-happy with pitocin and c-sections. I have no doubt that many sections could be avoided and I will never, ever understand celebrities who opt for completely unnecessary MAJOR ABDOMINAL SURGERY because they're afraid of an episiotomy or whatever. (Ladies! Slicing open your gut really fucking hurts too! Imagine that!)

But in my case, I think the decision and the timing of that decision were appropriate. I have no regrets over my c-section. I was nursing within 10 minutes of delivery. My recovery was a breeze. I was up and about in no time and my scar is small and smooth and practically invisible. (Seriously. I tried to show a curious friend recently and it took me five minutes to FIND the stupid thing.)

I'm extremely happy that I got to experience labor and pushing and if I had managed to deliver vaginally, I would probably attempt an even lower intervention birth this time -- probably with a midwife and a birthing center and no epidural. I know I could do it.

But..I won't.

Of all of our (minor, run-of-the-mill) complications, the only one that's likely to repeat is the high birth weight. And even that isn't a sure thing. Then again, an ultrasound from just days before Noah was born put him in the eight-pound range, a full two pounds under his actual weight. And he never measured particularly "big" at any point in my pregnancy. So no matter how many measurements I get, I know there's no guarantee that I won't end up with another linebacker baby who is just not gonna come out that exit, sorry, at least not without a significant risk for us both.  So even if I do attempt a VBAC, I would choose to do it at a hospital, with an epidural (to avoid being put under in case of an emergency).

My doctor droned on and on about the benefits of a scheduled c-section. Benefits that frankly, I couldn't give two shits less about. Convenient for childcare! (Right, because it's not like we have two sets of grandparents so chomping at the bit for this baby they'd gladly move in now and stay through 2009.) You won't have to go through labor! (Right, except that I thought being in labor was kind of awesome, in a way, and am totally not scared of doing it again.) Your recovery will be faster! (Right, except that I am apparently half cyborg and recovered really damn fast last time.)

We all have our things that we care deeply about. Our secret little judgey list of The Way Things Should Be Done. I've got them too! Serving wine at the correct temperature, for example. Drives me batty, all this overwarm red wine. But birth plans? No. At least not anymore. I look at Noah, at all the little moments where I can either be a great mother or mess it up completely, at all the things that are worth worry and guilt and stress, and the manner in which he exited my body isn't anywhere on that list. It's like this old, weird worry from another dimension, or a past life.

I will probably schedule a c-section. I will probably schedule it on the later side, leaving the possibility of letting labor happen if it's meant to happen, provided we keep on top of the measurements and provided I give even the smallest slice of piping hot rat's ass about any of this by October.

Now if you'll excuse me, I think my emergency c-section child needs me to go wipe his butt. God, this is ALL THE EPIDURAL'S FAULT.

I'm leaving comments open (eyes the room suspiciously), but...let's all remain calm, okay? I have really and truly seen the websites you're itching to link to, I've done my homework and so help me, if anyone mentions anything about dead babies I will close comments, ban your ass and snatch you bald headed. Thank you. I love you. Mwa.



I adore your site Amalah! You write with such fury and passion, every time I feel like I am having a mile -a-minute gossip session with one of my best friends! I have very little opinion on these issues, I am far from having children - although currently working on a master's thesis about pregnancy advice books, hense my addiction to "mommy blogs". Anyway, thanks so much for posting regularly here and on advice smackdown. You rock!


I think all birth sounds too insanely scary to even think about... And you went through it once, and are fine. So in my book, you have The Authority when it comes to Babies- as does anyone else whose been through childbirth, in anyway.
My admiration, it is not hard to come by. :)


I think all birth sounds too insanely scary to even think about... And you went through it once, and are fine. So in my book, you have The Authority when it comes to Babies- as does anyone else whose been through childbirth, in anyway.
My admiration, it is not hard to come by. :)


So admittedly, my comment is on a mere 3 words of your beautiful post, but I lack children and have no assvice to offer except - OMG over-warm red wine is the bane of my existence! Especially at a good restaurant! I think that whatever decision you make on the birth of YOUR baby is YOUR decision :)

Nothing But Bonfires

ALL of my mother's kids (all four of us) were C-sections, and we all turned out just smashing. And presumably we would have done so if we'd been born...uh...the other way as well. What was my point again? Oh yeah, vigorous head nodding at "the manner in which he exited my body isn't anywhere on that list." Man, this baby could probably come out of your big toe, and (s)he'd be just as super awesome.


Lovely post Amalah! No judgment here, you do what is best for you and screw those who decide to judge your preferred birthing method. Happy pushing, slicing or whatever method you choose to get your healthy baby into this crazy world.


You know what...schedule your heart away if you want. I'm extremely hormonal today so I say who fuckin cares. Do it your own way. Because you asked (ha ha) i will tell you my story...Boy child 1 I was all, "yay for natural childbirth. I am woman! Eff the epidural." Yeah, I ended up being induced because my water broke and I did not go into labor. Ended up with c-section.

Girl child (who will be 6 months in 2 days sniff sniff)- Attempted a homebirth VBAC, I am woman!, screw the hospitals, blah blah blah....19 hours later I had another c-section because she would not come down.

Apparently I can make 'em, I just can't birth 'em.

Now to be serious, my only concern about my c-section with my son was that it was emergency and he had a lack of O2 and his heart seriously dropped. Today he has a sensory processing disorder dx and he has epilepsy. I get scared that the problems from the labor caused his sensory issues and epilepsy. Who knows if it does, but I always wonder.

Whatever you choose, have peace about. It's not about how they get here, but what we do after.


"Good! Feeling bad is good! That means everything is healthy and great! You might want to try eating more small meals during the day!"

Well, that's REALLY helpful. God, I'd want to push Mr. Sympathy down the stairs.

As for whither c-section or no, whatever is right for you is right for you. End of story.

Kimberly C

No judging here either. I had my chunk baby 'naturally' which is to say epidural- just exited out of the crotch area- and I just don't care how she got here, so long as she did... safely, with as few minor heart attacks as possible. I was all no drugs! Then I got in there and back labor= yuck. Your baby, your choice. Hell, this is your space! Happy 2nd baby!


2 c-sections here. Didn't really want them, tried for vbac the second time but it didn't work out. Eh, whatever. The important thing is that everyone got here fine and we're all happy. Well, mostly. Don't ask me about the light that got smashed in the bedroom yesterday that required hours of cleanup and caused me to dispose of way too much bedding. Yeah. Don't ask.


I did have a harder time recovering from the 2nd surgery, but other than that everything was great. Do what's best for you and baby when you get there.

Anna S.

I was GUNG HO natural birth all the way, and even hired a doula. I would have planned a home birth if my husband had been on board. In the end, my daughter was high and breech. I walked into a planned c-section, and I was a total wreck about it. I started planning my VBAC beforehand. Turned out she was being held in place by masses of fibroids that my doc had not seen. Now, I have my beautiful healthy six month old daughter, and I believe everything happens for a reason. Recovery was a breeze, and it made coping with loosing that vaginal birth experience easier. The Zoloft helps, too. I see where you are coming from, sort of, and I'd totally schedule a C for the next one with no regrets.


I want a C-section but my husband is dead set against it. Maybe when I am finally pregnant, we can talk? I say it is your body and you do what you want, how you want, when you want. There.

I would also have begged and kicked and screamed for some kind of prescription! The doctor is evil. Pure evil.

Feel better soon!

Vaguely Urban

bummer you didn't get your bomus ultraound. that would have been sweet.


Hi Amy, I love your site! I don't have any children, but seem to be addicted to mommy blogs, none-the-less. I say, do what you want and screw what anyone else thinks! It's your baby and your decision.

Vaguely Urban

i typed bomus instead of bonus because i'm typing one handed as i eat my sandwich. sorry!

Jamie AZ

Wow, a nearly 10 pound baby... I'd vote for non-vaginal with that size baby, if the estimates of size before birth were more accurate. Whatever you choose to do with this baby will be the best choice for you to make at the time. To hell with what everyone else says! :)


ya know, Ive never given a rats ass if a baby coems out its mothers vagina, belly or her freaking nose, to me, (and everyone else) all that should matter is that the baby comes out healthy.

Only the momma, the doctor and the baby should be involved in that particular discussion!

Pee ess: Prolly been mentioned already, but trust me, you are not the first pregnant (or non pregnant momma) to lose patience and yell STOP CRYING!


I agree. With everything. Even though I do not drink wine, warm or otherwise. Don't hate me for THAT. Or direct me to wine websites. And, hey, Ethel Kennedy had 11 c-sections.


Pregnancy Hormones + Already Born Children = YEEHAW! With a side of, "OMG, STOPIT! STOPIT NOW!" and a lot of crying.

There is nothing worse than someone *telling* you what to do with your body during a very personal moment. You do what's best for you and the baby, period. There is no one right way. It's whatever works. And for me? Having had two, one with epidural, one without...give me all the numbing drugs you can legally dole out.


My first c-section was an emergency, the second scheduled for the due date, because we suspected that I wasn't going to go into labor with that one either. First kid was 8 lbs. 4 oz. and over 3 weeks post-mature. His sister came in at 9 lbs. 4 oz. and was born within 2 days of her due date. Yeah, not a good candidate for VBAC anyway. Schedule it for the due date and if the kid has other plans you can fall back and punt at the time. And if you think you don't give two shits about how Noah entered the world now, wait 25 years and this topic will seem completely hilarious.

Katie Kat

I guess I'm not sure what all the fuss is about? Web sites and dead babies? Srsly? What-ev.

I was all in a tither when I had B... I was SO EMPHATIC that I wanted to have her vaginally - NO C-SECTION, NO WAY (but bring on the epidural). I knew I was only doing the "kid thing" ONE time, and as a woman, I felt I deserved the right to experience the whole she-bang full on. Well, the Universe had much different plans, and after a pregnancy full of lovely bad things like gestational diabetes and WAYYYYYYYYYYYYY too much amniotic fluid, etc., etc., my doc scheduled me to be induced. I was still okay with that, but fate wasn't finished.

I ended up having a placental abruption of over 50% (where the placenta pulls away from the uterus, thereby leaving the baby stranded with no oxygen or a way out). So, I was rushed off to the OR for an emergency c-section. B's first apgar score was 3... her second was 2. We are very lucky we didn't lose both of us! (But she's all fine and a normal annoying 2-year old now!)

Anyway, I guess my point is that you do what you have to do. You try and let nature take its course, and if that doesn't work, you go with Plan B. You have a great doc and good instincts. It really will all go according to the Universal plan of "You Don't Get to Make the Rules When it Comes to Parenting."

Go with your (very distended and barf causing) gut on this one. SMOOCHIES!


Thank you. THANK YOU. Fucking hell, I hate the snobbery of pro-VBAC people, as if having a repeat C makes you a quaking-in-fear weak ass doctor-lover. I had an emergency C, too, and a terrible recovery (seriously, google ""seroma" and "VAC" if you want a spanking good time), and if I want to do it all over again, that is my own freaking business. Ricky Lake can kiss my overhanging belly. Jennifer Block can lick my big ass scar. As my husband put it, placing his hand lovingly over my scar: "This is how our son got here." Period. Full stop. Controversy over.


I yelled STOP CRYING at my toddler on no less than three separate occasions yesterday, then went and cried about it, then yelled at him when he asked me 35838 times in a row what was wrong. So I totally have you beat in the Best Mom Ever competition.

Also, not that you asked for our little personal stories on the subject, but my scheduled c-section was so routine and uneventful (well, except for the whole BABY part) it sort of erased--or at least minimized-- any less-than-pleasant lingering memories I had of the first unplanned c-section. Totally positive experience, for major surgery anyway.


Either way, the important part is that the baby is healthy and safe! Godspeed woman, it sounds like you need a good rest! Best wishes!


Gah, it is like you are over there living MY LIFE or something! Today, OB appointment #1, PAP smear and all that fun. (We did get to *hear* the heartbeat at least, which was okay since we've done 2 ultrasounds already. There has to be some perk to infertility treatments, right?) Also with the C-section vs VBAC discussion.

We had a c-section the first time because Abby was breech, and I am probably most likely going to try for a VBAC this time just to avoid the "recovering from major surgery with a toddler who likes to climb on me" issue. On the other hand, if it goes the other way and a c-section is the right thing to do, that's fine too, as long as I walk in the door at home with a healthy baby when all is said and done.


I may or may not have actually sort-of screamed at my perfect angel the other day...something like "WHAT YOUR MAJOR MALFUNCTION?? FOR GOD'S SAKE SHUT UP SHUT UP SHUT UP!!" and then laid down on the floor and cried with her.

And then she patted my head and rubbed my hair and said "I make you better, Mama. I sorry. I hep you no cry now." Could anything make me feel guiltier? Not a chance.


I totally don't have any advice about VBAC or not, since my hips have been baby-ready since I was about 13 and my kids got progressively *smaller* instead of bigger the way they're "supposed" to.

But I did want to comment that all my worst parenting moments have occurred while I was pregnant and the bathroom became my best parenting tool because I could lock myself in and prevent myself from adding to the (I'm sure staggering in length) Therapy Moments List. So you're not alone and you totally should have five. If you really want that many. Though not all at once probably. Maybe I should lock myself in the bathroom to prevent myself from commenting on strangers' blogs.


I had planned on a natural, no-intervention birth, though in the hospital. Irregular contractions, failure to progress, nearing the 24-hour mark after my waters broke led to pitocin and then an epidural since it looked like I was headed towards an emergency C-section. Finally reached 10 cm at the last possible check before I went into the OR. Not at all the birth I wanted or expected, but it doesn't matter since my son is here now.

I will start by trying for natural again next time (if I can get that far). I expect I have about a 50% chance of ending up with a C-section next time and I'm OK with that.


Hope you are feeling better! And, not that you asked, but...As I was signing the papers absolving the hospital of all wrongdoing prior to my twins' birth via c-section, my OB put her hand on my shoulder and said, "Now, I want you to know, there is absolutely no reason why you couldn't have a vaginal birth in the future." Ummm...let's just get these out of me and see how it goes, okay?


Speaking from an OB nurse point of view, I don't know why anyone would even attempt a home birth, you can have natural childbirth in a controlled setting, I've seen way to many babies in distress that I wouldn't even want to think what would have happened if the mothers had been at home. All you people need to stop watching 'A Baby Story' Why do you think so many babies died 100 years ago, un-educated people and little medical knowledge. Ok, I'm done! Thanks


Any decision you make will be great--you can't go wrong. Do what feels right to you and your doctor. Enjoy being pregnant--oh yeah, well maybe not right now, but hopefully soon! I wish I had a magic cure for all the sickness. Hopefully it passes at week 13.


i had a VBAC. you know what i think you should do? whatever the hell you want. your body, your baby. you're not a moron and you can figure out what's best for you without so much as a penny for my thoughts on the matter. piss on anyone who considers pressuring you either way.


Your attitude about ye olde C-sec is so sensible it will no doubt baffle and enrage thousands. I think you're cool, and hope you are relieved of the nausea post haste.


I've had 2 c-sections, the first one emergency and the second one scheduled. Both of my boys were breach, soI didn't really have a choice in the matter. Never had any labor or anything and I can say with utmost confidence that I don't feel "cheated" out of anything because I am rewarded by them every day. Who cares how they get here as long as they are here!


Don't really have a comment just commenting for comments sake and to say as if my internet person opinion really mattered " You have my support You have to do what is best for you and your family no matter what!!!


I am sorry that the doctor is leaving you med free when it comes to morning sickness. Mine has been so bad (12 1/2 weeks along now) that I ended up getting put on Zofran, which was a life saver (mmmmm, life savers sound super good right now). I also was throwing up about 25-30 times a day though, and getting IV's was getting really old, really fast.

Love your site, can't believe I have never commented before in the years I have read you!


This is one argument that I just don't GET. Abortion? Politics? Totally get it, no matter what my position. But to honestly give a rip (a pun!) about WHERE someone's BABY comes out of -- which involve VERY PRIVATE PARTS -- is mystifying to me.

What is not mystifying is your wine temperature pet peeve, because: ME TOO. Why do people think that the right temperature for red wine is 80 degrees? The vague general rule of thumb (VAGUE) is SIXTY FIVE DEGREES. And dude, that's downright COOL, and is approximately ten degrees cooler than your average room.


I know everyone has already said this, but honestly!! Just do what works for you. I had a very intense labor and delivery with my first son - we were THISCLOSE to an emergency c-section. We had those run of the mill complications too. Yes, I had an episiotomy from hell - but I managed to get him out before things got really bad. And it was totally a "I am woman, hear me roar!" moment. My second one came far easier, thank goodness, and was just as big - both were just about 9 pounds. It's easy to say this now, on the other side of the whole thing, but just do what works for you and what works for the baby. Do it in a hospital in a controlled setting (thank God for them - between the delivery complications with my first one, and post-delivery complications with my second one, I can't fathom why anyone would give birth at home!) and all will be as it should be! Best of luck to you. Oh, and yelling at your first while pregnant with your second is just part of the game. Cut yourself some slack :)


Don't care how the baby is born, long as it gets here. Mostly, very very glad I read the comments, and see how many pregnant moms are like me and I'm not a horrid mommy to my toddler.


I have too yelled the "stop crying or you're going to get it!" and sometimes immediately afterwards cajolingly offered crying child a fruit snack. Let's give him mixed signals AND sugar, sweet!

Congrats on feeling like s@#t. It really is a good sign, even though it is a hellish period. I hope that soon you will be blissfully chowing down on a massive burger with extra fries with gusto.

Mama T

So, there's a mum here who, on her third birth, was told it was a regular sized child and delivered a 12 pound+ boy vaginally. When she told me, over the phone, that it was 12 pounds, I responded with "please, tell me you had a c-section" and when she said no, I had to sit down for her. So I think you be wise to schedule away because #2 could be as big as #1 and you don't want a repeat performance, do you? This mum couldn't get out of bed for a number of days because of the trauma. Oh, the trauma. I don't even want my brain to imagine it.


I got nothing in the way advice. I birthed both my babies the way I wanted to and you should do the same. And all that about it not being important - Totally Right!


Honestly, I've never really understood the stridency on any aspect of the birth experience, 'cause I'm a wimp. A wimp who ended up with a non-functional epidural needle inserted in her spine! Woo hoo! The phrase "birth plan" makes me snicker, because the more determined you are to stick to a specific plan, the more disappointment you are setting yourself up for.


Do what you want.

But I thought you were changing today's appointment? What happened?

(just in case the grandparents can't make it in time to get Noah, I'd take him.)


I planned on going all natural and giving birth at a birth center. Totally into that whole thing. Then I had a big baby, in a bad position, and an emergency c-section. I'm 99.9% sure that I won't be pregnant again, but if I were to be, I don't know that I would try for a VBAC, either, even coming from my background of "all natural all the way." We all make the decisions that are right for us. Sounds like you've made yours!




i totally wouldn't try to tell you HOW to have your baby-sheesh-who does your reading audience think THEY ARE??? Good luck to you, no matter how you have your baby. :)


I was a beast with my pregnancies. I doubt Noah will remember any of it. And it too shall pass once everything else settles down.

imagine community

Birth. It's a miracle to be able to bring a new life into the world. Yes, there are probably too many c-sections done for the convenience of doctors and families. But birth technologies also keep many, many babies and mothers alive. One way or another, that baby comes out into the world. And bottom line: it's a miracle that it can happen.

Suzy Q

Did someone mention wine? I can has wine, plz?


No pro-C-section websites? No anti-C-section websites? What about just plain anti-having-kids-in-general websites? Because I know some good ones.


Just have a healthy baby and come home safely. Who cares how you get to that point.



I've given birth three times, and none of the deliveries were normal, or planned even. Ryan was an emergency c-section because he was almost 9 pounds and labor wasn't progressing. I went into labor 2 1/2 weeks early with Nathan and still had the planned c-section, although I wish I had at least tried labor first. Kaitlyn was a c-section because my blood pressure was scary-high.

My point is, you just never know what is going to happen, whether you choose the VBAC or plan a c-section or whatever. You just take care of yourself, and do not feel bad about the yelling-I've SO been there.


my first was born via non-emergency, but unplanned c-section and we opted for a scheduled section for baby #2. i didn't even consider vbac because the conditions that led to the first section (huge baby, bad pusher) were likely to repeat. i don't regret it at all. the end result is the same no matter how you get there: a bundle of pure joy.

i also have to say that i am enjoying the early days with second baby SO much more than my first. i was too stressed out as a first time mom to really appreciate those first few weeks and months. this time, i know how fast it will all pass by... into crazy toddlerhood!


I know you probably know this and have done all kinds of research on ways to feel better, but I just feel so sorry for you and cannot resist asking if you've tried Unisom? Worked for me, my sister, my friends....saved me and the lives of the children and husband that had to put up with me and my pukey self during each of my pregnancies. I too had a doctor that said, "Sick is good!" and even though my babies were all very healthy - "Sick totally sucks!"


Ii occurred to me, when I was fully dilated and pushing, and my water hadn't broken, and my baby didn't seem to be budging, that this thing IS coming out. It's funny, I hadn't really thought about it in such simple terms until that point... when I literally felt like I would split in two, that this thing HAD to come out, there was no going back. And really that's all that matters, getting baby out into your arms, safe and healthy, and you safe and healthy too. Sometime in the labor fog after my epiphany, my midwife casually commented that the placenta was making it hard for the baby to come out, what with it's being made of kevlar and not breaking, and that she could... if I wanted break the water. And what would happen then I asked.... and she said casually that the baby would come right out. Tricky midwife, so I told her to do it... and in about 5 minutes out came my one month early, perfect healthy little boy. As someone who did the drug free natural birth thing... it was great to have it over with and no recovery etc. But 3 years later it's the little kid that matters, not how he got here. Labor and birth are different for everyone, as long as you're informed and make the choices right for you, you'll be happy whatever kind of birth you have.


You are made of win.

When I was pregnant, I scoured the internet and pregnancy-related communities and saw the Evil Doctor tirades and C-Sections Are Unnecessary essays and the Detailed Birth Plans that covered music and lighting and NO DRUGS and, and, and....

Don't misunderstand, I don't mean to insult those who use midwives or birthing centers, or had a birthing plan, or who are adamantly against C-Sections. The point is that I was overwhelmed and scared by what I read.

I finally reached a point of peace and realized that yes, I trusted my doctor. She wasn't infallible and I knew that, but I felt safe in her hands. In the last 8 weeks of my pregnancy, I had complications that led to modified bedrest and worries of going into labor early. Thankfully, I didn't, but I did end up induced on my due date because the doctor's visit the day before brought about still more concerns. I labored for 16 hours and didn't dilate past 3 centimeters, and with every contraction, my daughter's heartrate dropped. I had a C-Section and it sucked. When they got in there they found that because of the way my body is built, it's unlikely I'd have been able to deliver her vaginally anyway. My recovery was long and sucky. I hated it. But on my doctor's recommendation, I *will* have a C-Section next time because I'm confident that it's right for *me*.

Reluctant Housewife

With my second baby, I was about a week overdue and so, because I'd had a previous emergency c-section, my doctor scheduled me for a c-section 1st thing the following Monday morning. On Sunday night at 11pm I went into labour naturally and had the baby VBAC about 12 hours after the c-section was supposed to have happened.


I just spent $110 on Philosophy product. I feel pretty great - does that help with "morning sickness" as well?


HA! 'Snatch you bald headed' just made me pee a little...


I also make 'em fine, have a hard time getting 'em out.

My babies tolerated labor really well. (If they had dropped heartrates or whatever, I'd have different birth stories, I'm sure.) Like I was in labor for 3+ fucking days with each and wound up with a C-sections each time. My VBAC attempt ended with a baby stuck at minus 1--on my pubic bone--who came out with a heartbreaking purple bruise on his adorable head. But I pushed the "scheduled date" off, went into labor on my own, and made my best effort, so absolutely no regrets.

Second recovery was easier because I was up and moving my sorry ass around the second they took the catheter out instead of lying there moaning. And I remembered that the painkiller combo that worked for me was 1/2 a percocet and 3 advil every four seconds. Whoops! Every four hours.

Amalah, I wish you a safe and healthy birth--any way that it happens!


I too had a section because my babies head was too big to pass under my pubic bone. I didn't have a birth plan there and if I ever get pregnant again (we've been trying, but to no avail) I will do whatever I feel like again. I, like you, would like the chance to labor again and see if I can do things myself. But I definitely wouldn't do it without the epidural.


Whichever way you choose, I am going to be jealous. So, you know, do what you will.

That said... uh, I don't really have anything else, because you're a grown woman who is doing a fabulous job with Noah (that was not sarcasm, despite today's post), can read, and has a brain. You're gonna do just fine with that second baby OF WHICH I AM BITTERLY ENVIOUS, and I am going to be here reading the whole time.

(Did that sound vaguely threatening? Crap. I mean, GOOD.)


I'm not a mommy but I was a baby once, and I have to say, go for whatever birth method's right for you, and screw the snobby people.

I was baby #1, and my mom was all, "Natural birth's the best! Yeah!" And then she was in labor with me for thirty six full hours. Finally, emergency c-section, turns out I was a giant-headed fatty baby which, like Noah, had marks on its head from pressing against its mother's bones.

Then my little sister happened, and there was a scheduled c-section, and everyone was gung-ho for another giant-headed baby having to be removed with surgery like a giant baby tumor. But my mom's water broke first and after an hour in the hospital a sneaky nurse came in, took a peak at the situation, and said, "Hey quick, before the doctor gets back, let's try pushing with the next contraction." And thusly did my sister sneak into the world behind the doctor's back.


I approached my recent (11 weeks ago) labor the same way you did - open minded, blah blah blah, and ended up with water broken - meconium - no labor - and a C-Section. I was also totally know-it-all about it, but now? It SO DOESN'T matter how he exited my body. I totally agree with you on that! I mean, not having the birth I thought I wanted versus, getting him here safely and in good health? It's a no brainer.

And also, for the morning sickness, I know you hate assvice, so I'm afraid I'll be banned for saying it ... but, I've heard about some new thing, is it gum? is it a pill ? I don't know, B-Natal it's call. I've seen ads. Good Luck and Congratulations!


I hesitate to comment because of I'm scared of the other commenters, but which sites are you referring to with the VBAC vs non-VBAC stuff?
I ask because I am interested in trying one and oddly I've not found any helpful VBAC-y info on the internet...
And also? I think you are probably half-cyborg - I remember how quickly you seemed to recover. I say -- good on you though! Recovering from a C Section sucks.


I'm totally jealous. I had three c-sections and my scar is monstrous. MONSTROUS. It scares my children.


Your baby. Your decision.

That's all.


Oh, and my recoveries were all a complete breeze too. But I was completely ticked off at myself for letting on. I should have milked it for all it was worth.


Doc didn't give you anything for the nausea?? I am appalled! (Of course, am also Italian and appalled at anything that keeps anyone from eating 'till they're stuffed!) Can't I sneak you some Compazine in a box of saltines or something? My ob/gyn handed 'em over pronto when I told her i was too nauseous to eat, and I weighed 211 lbs at the time! I probably could've lived off my fat stores through the 2nd trimester at the very least. But it made me feel SO much better, and eat better, too! I know there are contraindications for pregnancy but my doc said pregnant women have taken it for years without problems. Plus, eating better is better for both of you! Rant rant rant, your doc is obviously male! Feel better soon =)


I thought that last sentence said "ban your snatch" when I first read it.

What? It went along with the post.


I was perfect cantidate for VBAC because #1 was breech and only 7 pounds. I spent 9 months planning my VBAC and then #2 still hadn't show up 10 days past due date. You can't be induced for VBAC so keep that in mind. Ended up with a second c-section and a 9 pounder. Your docs office will keep hounding you about this decision because you have to sign paper work if you decide to try VBAC. Just remember, with either kind of delivery it is hard to poop after and you have to take stool softners so its really all the same!


Ooh.. More morning sickness assvice!

So from someone who was Really sick both times...

Over the counter Unisom (original formula, the blue tablets) plus vitamin B6 together. Take one at night (yeah, it will make you groggy to say the least). If you're desperate, 1/2 dose during the day. It takes the edge off (it did for me).

High powered drug: Zofran. It can be amazing!! Expensive though. And I turned out to be allergic to it. But the nausea relief is incredible for most folks.

There are other antihistamines that my ob tried on me first. Point being, There ARE drugs out there you can try, if you can find a sympathetic doctor.

Good luck!


Yeah...I have no opinion. I'm 19.

However, I was a scheduled c-section. My sister was an emergency c-section. Her doctor was an idiot, and she came out purple. My mother was never meant for childbirth. My sister's development was riddled with problems and my mom's body was seriously hurting. The doctor told her she shouldn't have another child, but she didn't listen and then there was me and her body paid the price and the doctor made her get her tubes tied because,

"Lady, if you get pregnant again you are GOING TO FREAKING DIE, DO YOU GET IT?! No more babies!"

Not sure why I felt compelled to share that, but there it is.


My oldest brother was delivered with a FORCEPS, I was a straight-up natural baby, and my husband was an emergency C-section. We're all fine. What's best for you is what's best for you! As long as it's not overwarm red wine (blech!).

And congratulations!

Stephanie D.

OK - my two cents (and sorry so long). I too had HUGE babies, both boys, one 9 lbs and one 10 lbs. OUCH!! First time, regular labor, horrible delivery, 18 hour labor (pushed for over 4 hours). We did have a healthy baby - but only by the grace of God as he too had the umbilical cord wrapped around his neck THREE times. Unfortunately, due to all the damage to me, I had reconstructive survery 9 months later. I wish to GOD my Dr had suggested a c-section. Second time, better, smarter doctor who induced labor. Approx. 30 minutes of pushing and a lovely easy delivery of a 10 lb punk. MY's your what you think best and no worries about what anyone else thinks (or says). Good luck with the rest of the pregnancy. I feel for you since my 1st pregnancy mimics yours fricking sorry about that. ;) Oh and don't worry about being a witch to Noah, I guarantee he won't first son doesn't remember any of the abuse I piled on him......when I was pregnant with his brother. Hang in there GF! :)


call your dr. and ask for phenergan, it helped the morning sickness and REALLY helped the insomnia.


I think everyone should just get off their high horses about it either way. I had a C-section with my son because he was also large (10 lbs 12 oz!) and hadn't dropped through the pelvic bone a week past his due date. I'm pretty sure I'll do a C-section again next time too so everyone can just LAY OFF.


remain calm? how can i remain calm when you have me crying?

i don't know how i continue to be awed by the way you can use words so well...the way you can so perfectly describe the most intricate of emotions...

but i am.

and you already know that you can write well, right? just like you know that you can trust yourself to make the best choices for you and quasimobryo?

hopefully you totally know all that already.


I too had big babies. My first was 10 pounds 3 ounces. I was in labor for hours and he went in distress as well and I had a c-section. He had meconium and was in the special care nursery for 4 days, but otherwise healthy. When I was pregnant for baby #2 he measured small, the pregnancy was easier and they estimated him at 8 pounds. I did plan the c-section, but thought if I went into labor beforehand I would try the VBAC. My son came out 9 pounds 11 ounces and they told me that if I had tried labor it would have been catastrophic because my uterus was stretched so thin. I am so grateful that both of my children are healthy. Don't worry what people think of the decision you make, it's your choice, no one else's.


I totally support your decision, because, you know, it's your body and your baby. I got a lot of heat about VBAC with baby #2 too. I wish women would spend less time making each other question our decisions and more time supporting each other. Starting with me: I got your back. I hope the symptoms get better soon. PS I got crabby as hell with my 1st daughter too when preggo. She still loves me (most of the time).


I think the birthing process is totally up to you and your doctor. Who cares what everyone else is doing or thinks. No one gives you an award for having a baby naturally. Seriously, they don't sound an alarm at the hospital when a woman gives birth w/out an epidural.
The way you give birth is not important, and it's not the most exciting thing that happens in pregnancy. The baby is what we all want and whatever means that happens in is fine with me. Just give me the baby, already.
I too, thought labor was pretty good, and I'm OK with going through it again. In fact, trying to remember the worse part is difficult, but I can't get seeing my baby for the first time out of my head. That is my greatest memory.


I'll never understand why any woman cares how another woman gives birth to her own children. I mean, we all just want a healthy baby, right?

I'm kind of relieved that VBAC isn't even an option for me; so if it makes the Judgy McJudgersons feel good to look down their noses at me for scheduling a c-section, that's fine with me!


Oh yeah, I yelled stop crying at my 16 month old son and I made it worse and I felt horrible afterwards. Why does pregnancy make us do that? It's not fair.
I'm sure my son thinks I'm crazy, since he has seen me do all kinds of stuff related to the pregnancy.
My favorite thing he has copied is leaning over the toilet bowl. Yeah, I know you'd think I would be embarrassed by that or something, but I thought it was kind of cute when he did it. He hasn't done it since I stopped puking. So that's a very good thing.


I had an emergency c-section with my first child (similar to your circumstances in some ways); planned a c-section with my second child, only to go into labor and have an emergency c-section at 36 weeks; planned a c-section with the third child, only to go into labor 4 days before the scheduled date and had my THIRD emergency c-section. Who has THREE emergency c-sections? And I labored with all 3 of them. So even if you plan a c-section, there is no guarantee you won't spontaneously go into labor on your own (and be forced by your evil doctor to endure many hours of labor before the actual c-section because you had the misfortune of going into labor at 10 pm for the second 2. Hang in there -- life has a way of happening in ways other than how you planned.


Seems like a great decision to me to plan a late-as-possible scheduled repeat c-section. Here's my story: First child: Induced at 37 weeks b/c of cholestasis, led to emergency c-section. Second child: Planned a VBAC, non-medicated birth which was approved by OB and high risk doctors (high risk doc said I was ideal candidate for VBAC). Week 36 came, baby was growing slowly, high-risk doc STRONGLY recommended repeat c-section no later than 38-39 weeks. I was devastated. Got the OB to agree to wait as late as possible (39) weeks for scheduled c-section. It was beautiful - I was able to employ a lot of my natural birthing "ideas" into the c-section (i.e., singing to baby as they pulled her out).

Congrats on making a decision - now make the C your own!


Way to hide that baby!! With all three (yeah, apparently we're not as good with the birth control as we thought) of my kids, I got the "Oh, this one will be small..." comments. My son came in at almost 9 lbs and 21 inches. He was expected to be 7 1/2 lbs.

My two-week-old daughter was expected to be 7 lbs, was measuring a week small, and less than 50th percentile on her ultrasounds. At almost 2 weeks early, she was over 8 lbs and almost 21 inches.

Even my OB was all "she just kept coming and coming...."

Apparently, some of us are really good at tucking those babies away, and can fool even the most advanced technology into thinking there's a petite bebe in there.

But 9lbs, 15ozs? I bow down. That's a big boy....


Oh, gosh, I could have written this post. I was so into the natural birth with no intervention at the birthing center that my doctor's office conveniently had right behind their offices. After all, I was built just like my mom and she birthed eight (!) babies without a c section in the bunch.

Right. My son had other plans. I was induced at two weeks past due date. While I was down in radiology having a biophysical profile, the midwife was telling my hubby "we're going to follow what Suzanne wants, but we already know we're going to have to do a c section." Four hours of back labor, enough pitocin for an elephant and all I had to show for the effort was ONE stinking centimeter!

It makes you feel like crap when you don't have the baby the way you wanted, but heck, at 9lbs 11oz, I don't think he would have come out without some sort of damage!

Number two came along, and I was diagnosed high risk and put on blood thinners. Long story short, I thought VBAC was my only option, but we went with the scheduled C. I recovered so much easier and gosh, without all that pitocin, this guy did soooo much better from the get go.

No two deliveries will go the same way. I'm going to go into more detail on the 24th for Sarcastic Mom's birth story extravaganza. Much like this pregnancy is different from Noah's, the birth will be, too.

Keep an open mind, tell anyone offering their assvice that "you'll consider it", but do what's right for you, Jason, Noah and that precious baby.

(Oh, and when you see Noah for the first time after delivering this one, you won't believe how HUGE he got in a few hour's time!)


well, my doctor didn't say it directly, but apparently my pelvis is as wide as the state of Pennsylvania. I am 5'1" and about 105 lbs soaking wet, yet I delivered an 8lb 14oz boy with a ginormous head (really, it was like 14 cm or something monstrous). Of course had a 3rd degree tear, but thank God for epidurals, right? My second was induced at 39 weeks to potentially save my crotch from the same amount of trauma. This time I popped out an 8lb 3oz Stay-Puff fatty marshmallow baby with an even larger head and a tear that only required 1 stitch (yep, the old girl gets stretchier with age or big babies or something). My doctor actually pronounced me "made to have babies" (which caused Justin to go into cardiac arrest). Both were induced since apparently I can't figure out how to go into labor on my own...first was born 9-1/2 hours after starting pitocin; the other was 7 hour after tapping the vein. Both are great and healthy.
Of course I would love to hear about how a VBAC goes for you (because I am nosey and I know you would write about it so interestingly), but obviously if you and/or the doc decide that a c-section is best for you and the baby, that's what matters.

Mother Of Beans

Right on! I had an emergency c-section with my first, and I wanted a VBAC so badly for my second. It wasn't in the cards. She came via emergency c-section, a week before her due date, weighing all of 4 pounds. It's good to make a stand for what you want, but let's be cheesey for a second and just say... as long as the outcome is a healthy baby, and a healthy Mom, who cares how the fetus made it's exit?!

Dr turkelton

I love you and I LOVE youre blog!!
Do what you feel is right, because you know what is best for your body and mother always knows best :)
P.S. Noah is the most beautiful little boy in the world


I am so sorry that your OB didn't give you anything good for the nausea. I am also due in Oct and have a toddler and have been flattened in all of the ways you have described by the nausea/headaches/vomiting. In case you want to try againw with your OB, Reglan is working pretty well for me, as is phenergan (at bedtime). Unisom is over the counter and helps knock me out at night and helped with nausea as well.Sometimes hard to remember this is going to turn into a BABY and not a chronic disease!


Best mom ever contest? I get home from work at 2:30AM and routinely ask the 4 year old to "please, please for the love of god watch TV and don't wake mom up until after Super Why."

Follow that up with some "Seriously, it's only 8AM!! WATCH CARTOONS!"

Then I feel like a complete shit when he comes to me all cute and bed headded and in his jammies at the breakfast table and says "Are you happy Mommy? I let you sleep." Shit. I've recently decided that I'll just sleep when he gets to a year and a half. Yelling at the kid at the elevator.....nothing to feel bad about. Cut yourself some slack.


There are a lot of reasons my mother has given me to go to therapy, but none of them have ever included the fact that I was born via emergency c-section.

I'm sure you'll make the best decision for you and your family.


I think you summed it all up perfectly. I also had an emergency c-section for my first baby and then had an amazing and empowering (home) VBAC with my second and it was everything I hoped it would be. If you want to do it, go for it. My only advice is to tune out all the scare tactics and the people from whom they come. Full of shit they are. Good luck with everything... particularly the nausea!


I Love you! that is pretty much how I feel when I get done reading your's a little stalkerish I know, but I can't help myself and I apologize sincerely.

midlife mommy

Ahem. I was inquiring about C-sections before I was even pregnant. And I don't regret it for a moment. But yet, I read posts that implied that women like me weren't fit to be mothers. To that, I say b*te me. It's whatever works for you, because the end result is all that counts.

Dad Gone Mad

Have you ever seen a baby being born vaginally, Aim? Just so you know, there's poop. From you. And it's all different kinds of nasty. Personally, I haven't been able to look at a Play-Doh Fun Factory since.

Dawn B

Okay, here's how I feel about the whole thing... you are already doing the right thing by going with the flow of it all. As long as the baby gets outta your body just fine and you're just fine then that's the best thing.
'Nuff said.

Mrs. Flinger

You will always make the best decisions because you make them out of love. The end. :-)

The comments to this entry are closed.