What VBAC meant to me
April 12, 2002
The recent news that Aspen Valley Hospital will refuse to offer VBACs disturbs me. May I tell you what my VBAC meant to me?
My pregnancy with my first-born son was uneventful. At 42 weeks gestation, however, he was in a precarious position, and after 11 hours of induced labor and pushing, we headed for the operating room. Soon after my son was born, I experienced post-partum depression.
Although I was thankful for the life-saving procedure, I was disappointed that my son had to be cut out of me. I felt robbed of the experience of “giving birth,” of holding my vernix-covered son in my arms, of nursing him in his first few minutes outside the womb, of sharing the tears of joy with my husband.
Instead, my child was whisked away by Daddy while they completed the surgery. I had to wait in the recovery room, wondering what my son felt like. I had to wait until my shaking subsided to hold him and nurse him.
And then, it would be months before I regained my strength and energy. I prayed that I could have a vaginal delivery the next time.
The next time came on New Year’s Day, 2002. I went into labor on my own five days before my due date. Labor progressed well and after 2 1/2 hours of pushing, our second son was born vaginally with a vacuum assist. Surgery was unnecessary.
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I was overcome with emotion. The experience was what I had wanted it to be – completely joyful. I saw my son come into this world, I held him; I looked into his precious eyes; I nursed him; I kissed him. I watched the nurses take care of him: my husband and I laughed at his burly arms and skinny legs.
I thanked our doctor and told her she couldn’t know how much this meant to me. The rest of our hospital stay was pure bliss. I could sit up in bed and hold my son. I could get up to take care of him. My recovery was so much swifter and easier. My attitude and energy levels were higher. I had the strength to care for my newborn and my 2-year-old.
I am so thankful to Dr. Nagle and the staff at AVH for their commitment to women’s health, both emotional and physical. I thank them for the time they sacrifice to be available at a VBAC delivery. I hope that AVH will again offer VBACs on an individual basis for women with uncomplicated pregnancies. It made all the difference in the world for me and for my family.
And seriously, is a valley resident really supposed to ride all the way to Grand Junction while in labor?