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Vaginal vs. C-Section {what each was like for me}

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I don’t have many scary things that happen in my life–I’m like the most vanilla person ever. Excitement for me is just fun stuff, never frightening. Until I was on the verge of bringing a baby into the world. My entire pregnancy experience (both times) was a horrible roller coaster. But the worst, the climax of my horror story? The actual birth. Because, you know, I don’t know nothin’ about birthing no babies. And I totally ended-up having two very different experiences. Here’s what each was like for me in the ultimate birthin’ battle: Vaginal vs. C-Section.

vaginal birth or c-section

Vaginal vs. C-Section {what each was like for me}

Here’s how the options sounded in my mind: Pushing out a watermelon vs. Being cut open to have a watermelon removed. Neither sounds particularly fun, even now.

However, I would like to point out that I was laughing (yes, LAUGHING) throughout each experience. I’m a nut that way. That didn’t lessen my pain or trauma, though.

Vaginal Birth {Pushing out a watermelon}

I was induced and had a ballon up my hooha to open my cervix. That part took all night and it sucked–that was honestly the most painful part of the process. Then, on top of that, I was having blood pressure issues, which is why I was being induced. So, with the blood pressure problems, I wasn’t allowed to walk around or be in the shower or anything to naturally relieve the pain of contractions.

Therefore, I opted for an epidural, so that I didn’t have to lay in agony–that would have been the opposite of awesome. I thought my epidural had worn-off at one point and I started to really hurt in an achey, uncomfortable way. Turns-out that’s when the baby’s head was coming out.


Just 21 minutes later, with lots of laughter and pushing hard, I had my squalling baby girl in arms. It hurt, but I was up and walking within just 6 hours. I was walking down to the NICU to see my daughter by myself within 12 hours. I felt like I was 100% within two weeks. Good experience. I’d do it again.

C-Section {Being cut open to have a watermelon removed}

I was not ready to have my second baby.

Total denial was the name of my game that week. Blood pressure issues got me again, though, and the doctor was pretty insistent that I go ahead and have that baby right then. Since baby was sitting sideways (GAH!) there was no option–I was having a c-section whether I wanted to or not. It became very real when the anesthesiologist came to talk to me about her role. I freaked, cried a little, and then put my big-girl panties on along with a smile.

They rolled me into that room and I laughed. Then I had a panic attack. Yup. I wigged-out and begged the anesthesiologist not to let me die. She gave me something that made me feel better, but I still thought I was dying. It was horrible. But mostly because of the panic. The actual surgery was fine, didn’t hurt and, in the end, my little watermelon was awesome. It took me two days to be up and walking without agony–even with meds.

My legs shook and the pain wasn’t manageable at all for a week. But I persevered because that’s what best. It took nearly a month before I felt like my old self.

So, What’s Better? A Vaginal Birth or a C-Section?

Well, I think it is important to point out that BOTH ways were winners, because I have happy, healthy babies.

But, if I wasn’t being quite as diplomatic as that, I would say… I would never ever do a c-section if I didn’t have to. It was terrible in comparison. I had a way easier time with the vaginal. Nope, no c-sections for me unless required.

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  1. My first was an unplanned C-section.
    I was unfortunate enough to have a crappy midwife, but lucky enough to be at a well-equipped hospital for the birth. So when 19 hours of labour (also induced by the way) did nothing to open my cervix wider than 2 fingers, the obstetrician on night duty got me off the hook by alerting us that I needed an emergency C-section. It was the best news of my life.
    Why was she a crappy midwife? At 18.5 hour, that woman insisted that I kept trying and ‘put a bit more effort’ into the contractions. Seriously. Is that not the most idiotic thing you’ve ever heard? The obstetrician came 5 minutes later when he started his shift and announced the C-section. Hopefully my future second one will be All Natural!

  2. I have to totally agree with you. I had 2 natural births and my last was a big c-section because she was sitting like an indian and 8 lbs with her head up in my ribs. C-sections suck! You’re in hospital too long and it takes too long to bounce back. But on the upside of my c-section they did my tubaligation right there and then instead of waiting so you can say I killed 2 birds with one stone. GO ALL NATURAL!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. Nope. It my experience. I have three different births. An enduced vaginal, labor ending in a c section 20hrs later and a planned c section. I by far would do the planned c section again over any of the other options. It was the easiest on my body and their was no 26 hr or 20hr labor so my body was not physically exhausted and trying to recoop for weeks. I was hearing from surgery, but that was way way easier than recovering from a day long labor with no food or drinks!

  4. My first waa c section because my doctor preffered c sections – even though he told me the reason for my c section was because I was 40 weeks and baby had not yet engaged. Anyway, baby was born weighing 3.67kg. My next i was determined for natural because my c section was traumatic and painful. I felt like i had been butchered and only felt ok again after 6 weeks. I had my amazing home birth after a cs in June to a 4.62kg baby who also only engaged during labour, who was posterior but turned during labour and was born brow presentation. I got up out of the water right after he was born and within two weeks I was totally normal and i had minimal pain for those 2 weeks. I had 2 labial tears and 13 stitches so it was just uncomfortable mostly. But I would do it again any day.

  5. Thanks for sharing this. I’ve always wondered about women who’ve been through both. I had a 3rd degree tear (induction and vacuum assisted birth) and struggled with the healing process down there (still having issues 10 months out). I could barely hold my baby for weeks. Since it was a vaginal birth and not major surgery like a C-section, I felt medical professionals and even family and friends kind of dismissed my birth injury since I wasn’t cut open (just tore open). Even, though you were being diplomatic, I appreciate you saying that both deliveries were winners because you have two healthy babies. It helps to keep perspective!

  6. I had a C-section with both of mine, so can’t compare but was very happy with the outcome.
    My son was well over 4kg so it was advised and treated as an emergency. The worst was the numbing injection they used at the site of the spinal. But was up and about less than 12hrs later and had little to no pain
    With my daughter I knew the procedure (so was “comfortable”) and also there was a very small time gap between the two children so again advised to have a C-section. Again I had very little pain and was up and about very quickly.
    Strongly feel that at the end of the day so long as the baby… and mom are happy and healthy it really doesn’t matter how birth happens!!

    1. I had that spinal injection ten years ago, and I can still feel the little dot where they did it. It’s so weird!

  7. I had to have a c section when my daughter broke my water six weeks early. I was fine with it, although a little upset at missing the opportunity to have a “normal” birth. She was breech and facing my spine so c section was mandatory. She was born at 9:17 am I was out of bed and being wheeled to nicu by supper. Got up and walked down the next morning on my own. Didn’t take hardly any of my pain meds cuz they made me sleepy and I didn’t wanna sleep too long because I was pumping and also because I didn’t wanna miss time going down to see her. So I only took my pain meds when I over did it the first couple days. She was in nicu for twelve days and I stayed at the hospital the whole time so I had my staples out before we even came home. I was feeling pretty well back to normal by the time we got to come home. I would totally do it again seems much less stressful on the baby too in my opinion although the experts are mixed on that.

  8. I can’t speak for a vaginal birth as I’ve only had one child via c-section at this point; however I found my c-section to be quite simple. I was up walking within 4 hours after delivering and walked without assistance 8 hours after. I left the hospital after 48 hours and didn’t even require Tylenol to cope once I was home. I think that deliveries are so dependent on our bodies and on the physician delivering within the given circumstance–we can really only speak from our experiences, but it’s important to emphasize that everyone will deliver and heal differently. The most important thing, as you said, is that we have happy healthy babies and mamas when it’s all said and done 🙂

  9. I had both a vaginal and c-section delivery, and I completely agree with you!

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