Graphic Images Make VBAC Delivery a Little Scary

I’d been thinking about attempting a VBAC delivery. Actually, no, we’d decided that a VBAC delivery was going to happen. I was torn between having a repeat c-section to avoid the trauma of birth (my first childbirth was just horrible) and going for VBAC delivery to avoid the healing time of major abdominal surgery. My husband’s desire to see his child come into the world instead of being behind a screen while a surgeon lifted our child out of my womb was the thing that put me in favor of trying a vaginal birth after c-section.

I’ve been reading Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth. It’s supposed to be a wonderful book that’s empowering, educational, and encourages women to make their own birthing decisions rather than be bullied by medical establishment into doing things that are not necessarily in our best interests. (I mean, really, it would be nice if all doctors made decisions based on the welfare of the patient rather than concern about malpractice suits. But they don’t always, and I can’t blame them for wanting to protect themselves in an overly litigious society while they try to help someone else.)

There’s one thing that I wasn’t anticipating: pictures.

I don’t want to see exits. I really don’t. I know, childbirth is supposed to be beautiful, blah blah blah. But the biggest concern that I’d had about natural childbirth (or even a VBAC, for that matter) is my husband being anywhere below the waistline. I’m just not certain that him watching that closely when our kid exits would be favorable to our sex life in the future.

I mean, really, I don’t want us to be spending some, uh, “quality time” together only to have the mood ruined because he flashes back to our kid’s face looking at him as the exit is made.

Finally, I couldn’t take it anymore. I flipped through the book, found a photo of a baby being born sunny side up, and handed it to him. And then I told him that this was why I wanted him to stay above the waistline. And then he saw my point and realized why I was rather concerned about that.

Now I think he might be swinging back to being perfectly happy with a repeat cesarean. There’s no danger of him seeing more than he should that way. Either way, he finally understood what I’d been getting at when I told him I didn’t want him to be able to catch. And he’s thinking about things.

Did you have a vaginal birth? Where was your partner standing?

About Suzi

Suzi is an American ex-pat living in British Columbia. She's a cloth diaper addict, wife, mom of three, and President of the Prince George chapter of Cloth for a Cause.


  1. I read that book. I’m still scarred with the images. My husband shudders a bit when he thinks about birth, but he’s still glad he saw what he did. Even if it did make him a little green around the gills.

  2. A friend of mine just had her first baby. At first her husband said that he would never watch his daughter being born. However, he ended up watching and said the whole experience was beautiful and amazing. He was glad he watched.

  3. My husband nearly caught his youngest brother when he was 10 years old b/c his dad was helping his mom breathe and the midwife wasn’t there yet. She literally walked in the room and caught my BIL. Soooo, my hubby, not too bothered by all of that. I’m going to be attempting a VBA2C with our next baby and he’ll be up by my head helping me focus, but he’ll probably look as our little one comes out, at least I guess he will…I plan on sitting up and having a mirror, so it’ll be hard for him not to see!

  4. My husband watched my VBAC and it has not been an issue for us sexually at all, believe me! Of course he also packed and irrigated my wound for me post-cesarean, which was far grosser IMO, but either way he’s a good guy and seems to appreciate my body when we have sex.

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