I see this a lot on anti-homebirth boards and anti- natural childbirth boards. As I am pregnant right now with my sixth baby I am pretty easily agitated and this statement has gotten on my last nerve.
Let me explain a few things about myself personally. My first birth experience from labor to release out of the hospital was a complete and total nightmare. I was mistreated by nurses. I was horribly ill. And my son was also very sick. It was not a good experience for either of us.
My second birth experience was equally as bad if not worse. I was again mistreated by staff. I was ignored when I begged for them to check my daughter's blood type since my son had been so sick. I did everything in my power to avoid a NICU stay and blood transfusion for her ( you know because I care about my kids). I was ignored. Not only did she have to get the procedure done but she got a staph infection as well. Something completely avoidable. So my daughter spent the first 2 weeks of her life pumped with antibiotics. I spent nearly three weeks away from my other child who was still a baby himself.
So yeah by the time I got to the third baby I was dead set on not allowing a repeat of the first two events. Neither of which were good for MY BABIES. I planned a VBA2C not because of just myself but also because of my baby. I wanted to be able to move after birth. I wanted to be in a position to advocate for my baby. I wanted to be able to protect my baby from unnecessary procedures. There were a million reasons why I chose VBA2C other than for myself. I couldn't get my doctor to be supportive so I found someone who would. Yea going through 36 hours of pain without meds was totally all about me. Like getting pain meds the minute you are able is so not about you at all it's about the baby right? Please spare me the lecture on choosing an experience over my child's well-being. If anything I sacrificed my own comfort to ensure that my baby had what they needed. Yes my third ended in a loss. Yes it was devastating. Yes I wish he was here. Yes it is painfully empty where he should be. But I do not have any regrets about my choices. I was at the birth. I was at every prenatal. I was there and what happened was not predictable by anyone.
My last two babies were planned homebirths in which I transferred for hospital VBA2Cs. Yea I totally chose myself over the baby there too. Being harassed and bullied and having CPS called on me is exactly what I wanted out of the experience. I transferred by choice because I knew it was better to. I was bullied the first time. And probably even worse the second time. So yes I totally thought about myself only as I fought back the pressure for a repeat c-section based solely on "recommendation" not because I actually needed it. This notion is so completely ridiculous. There are plenty of studies that show the baby benefits more from a vaginal birth than it does a c-section birth. There are also a lot of risk factors for the baby or any future babies the more c-sections I have so instead of taking the "easy" way out I chose to do the hard work of labor even if it took 52 hours. Yes I am totally selfish to endure the pains of childbirth so that my baby has a gentle natural entrance into the world.
I am also totally selfish in the sense that I would like to be alive to be there for my children and I know that c-sections have a much higher death rate than vaginal birth. Yup totally selfish for trying to choose the healthiest option for me so my kids aren't motherless.
Stop telling me I am selfish. Stop telling me I don't care about my children. Stop telling me I am choosing a birth experience over the life of my children. And if you want to go there with me then don't be offended when I bring up the stories of all the women who beg to be induced at 39 weeks because they are "tired of being pregnant" or the ones who don't even attempt to have a natural birth because *they* don't want to be in pain. Your argument is weak. Find a new one because that one is growing old.