Thanks for this measured piece. I follow these matters with great interest.
I had an unplanned, kind of grey area c-section following long stalled labor and unreassuring fetal tracings during my first birth (on good terms with that dr, who I still see for gynecological exams). It probably wasn’t strictly *necessary* (as in, baby and I would have lived) but everyone was pretty unhappy with how things were going and I recovered just fine.
Paid more than a few thousands of dollars to go to out-of-network, high-risk OBs for a VBAC 2 years later. Got the same stalled labor, but baby held up fine, and quickly pushed her out with no one worse for the wear 40 hours later.
VBAC recovery was easier, but not THAT much easier. C-section sucked, but not so much. I’m pregnant with my third and last child and planning another VBAC, but I probably would have been fine having 3 C-sections too. All of this nuance gets lost in these conversations most of the time, unfortunately.