Hi, I'm Tricia.

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Kate

I've actually done it both ways and for anyone that "has to" have a c-section and is feeling really bitter about it (hmmm - like me when knew I had to have a planned c-section with my twins?) - be aware that the "old fashioned way" of birth can have its own very painful recovery process. My first son was over 9 lbs and I think it just caused a lot of trauma "down there". I experienced an incredibly unusual amount of pain in the first week after labor, and didn't realize until it was almost not even worth it anymore that I could have asked for painkillers. Even after that, I was so terrified of surgery, that I would have done it all again, but as it turns out (as Tricia noted) the recovery of strength and mobility after a c-section was unexpectedly quick. The biggest drawback for me was that I wasn't able to pick up my gigantic 18 month old who really needed that attention and reassurance from mommy. That was harder than any abdominal pain! But when asked which was better, I'd have to say that neither was my favorite. So for anyone anticipating labor and delivery for the first time, know that whatever method you choose or are told you have to embrace will be fine and ultimately what is best for everyone's safety. And of course within a short period of time you'll nostalgically page through photo albums reminiscing about that magical moment when you saw your baby for the first time and everything else will be a vague memory.

Jessi

I too have given birth both by C-section and also vaginal. (My C was first, then 3 VBAC's). I felt crushed when I found out I had to have the section - like it wasn't "really" giving birth or something! (Obviously I was wrong, and had some unrealistic ideals). (My daughter was breach and totally stuck in my pelvis, so it was scheduled, not emergency). Having done both I have a great appreciation for the fact that everyone's birth story is unique and equally valuable and momentus. And of course, the safe arrival of my precious children was the ultimate goal anyway! The VBAC's were my choice, which I had to fight a bit for my dr's to agree to, but I was glad I did. That's a very personal choice for every woman, and definitely needs to have the risks weighed. I was a good candidate in that the reason for my original C-section was sort of a 'fluke' thing in that she was breach for a while before her due date; the others were all positioned correctly. At the time of my 2nd and 3rd deliveries my doc office allowed the woman the choice of VBAC or not; by the time of my 4th they had pretty much disallowed VBAC's except if you had already had a successful one.

I've often said that neither way is a picnic, but totally worth whatever we go through when you hold that little bundle at the end!

Thanks for sharing your story Tricia!

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