VBAC: I consent to let this baby come out

I was just going through some papers sitting on our kitchen counter for the past two months (ok, who am I kidding– six months) and came across a packet of documents we brought home from the hospital. Within the many papers of useless information is a form that I apparently signed during labor. It is called Information and Consent for Vaginal Birth After Cesarean.

So get this. You show up at the hospital after nine months of pregnancy. You are in labor. You are presented with a piece of paper that says that “a successful, uncomplicated vaginal birth after cesarean section carries the lowest risk to both mother and baby”, LOWER THAN A REPEAT C-SECTION, this form says, but that you still must sign the form saying you want one.

I just can’t believe I had to consent to something that was going to happen whether I wanted it to or not. What if I did nothing? What if I just looked at them, pretended to be mute, let the contractions continue to ravage my body, and eventually, within hours, given birth, (even without signing something!)? Would I have broken some rule? Hospital Policy #2501: Do not let babies come out of your vagina without first double opting in via form #47.a Information and Consent for Vaginal Birth After Cesarean.

And, more: this form? It also has a checkbox for “I prefer Elective Repeat Cesarean Section.” So that’s good, right?

We all have choices and many of us will choose C-Section the second time. However… again with the form. The form implies that here you are, at 2 am, three days before your due date, and you might be making the wrong choice. Really, if the baby comes out, how can it be the wrong choice? Hmph.

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RookieMoms.com co-founder Whitney lives with her husband, son, and daughter in the San Francisco Bay Area where she writes about parenting, crafts, and activities that moms can do with babies in tow. She and Heather also publish 510Families.com, a site for East Bay parents and are the authors of The Rookie Mom's Handbook and Stuff Every Mom Should Know.