Why I am Proud of my C-Section

by - Wednesday, April 15, 2015


Why I am Proud of my C-Section

In the last week, another blog has been circulating around facebook about umbilical cords being used as a scapegoat to enable doctors to put pregos on the fast, easy, and surgical train to mommyhood. These bloggers, who I am sure have some sort of medical degree in being nasty to other women, are all over the internet, and as infuriating as I sometimes find them, the suggestion that moms should be ashamed of their c-section (or epidural or circumcision or not having their child naked in the woods with Disney animals putting flowers in their hair) is pervasive beyond the interwebs. After my birth, family members were afraid to ask me what happened. After hearing I had a c-section, a friendly stranger took the opportunity to tell me a beautiful story of a woman who pushed through a wrapped umbilical cord to have a tense but profound vaginal birth and a healthy baby.

Well, good for that lady, but what does that have to do with me?

Nothing makes me angrier than women intentionally trying to make other women feel bad for their choices. Whatever you have chosen for yourself is great for you, but that doesn't mean it is right for the woman next to you. I am sure this woman had good intentions (I am not convinced that's true for some of these mommy bloggers), but the not-so-hidden message is that there is a "right way" to deliver and if it didn't work out that way, I have failed. You have failed. Any of us who aren't out naked in the woods have failed. Our child and our bodies are unnatural,

My honest opinion is that your baby's birth and raising is a lot like the connection between a wedding day and a marriage; you can have the world's best shindig and get divorced the next year, or you can be that bride who fell off a dock and still smile when you see your partner 50 years later. There is no correlation, and if you spend too much time focusing on the start, you miss wherever you are today, which is also pretty great. Naturalness is just as much a social-construct as tradition, and it isn't helping anybody.  I mostly didn't want to write about my birth because I generally don't find those kinds of stories all that interesting or to be anyone's business. I don't tell you about how I got pregnant either, but if you tried to make me feel ashamed about it, I might (don't test me),

But the truth is that even beyond my petulant annoyance that women do these things to each other, when I look back on those days in the hospital (25 hours of which were spent getting this goober out of me), I smile and I feel genuinely glad that it went so well. Here's why:

Because BBG teaches me a daily lesson that things don't go the way I want them to, and more often than not, that's great. Before labor, I told my doctor I had nearly no expectations; I wanted a healthy baby and no c-section (because more kids were in the plan, so it seemed like it would cause more problems in the future). As the due date grew near, everything got wider but my hips, and my mother started to wisely warn me my two goals may not be realistic. My water broke, and that set the wheels in motion to change everything. Basically, the birth I expected to have chipped away, but so far, life since then has gone the same way, and I am not complaining. I don't see any value in mourning a plan when the reality is better.

Because it does take strength and a hell of a lot of courage. Five months later, I feel kind of shocked that I went through what I went through. Mostly, I feel like I was a real badass, I think back on myself, laying completely naked on a metal table, making jokes with the anesthesiologist who was sure I wasn't medicated enough, and I wonder who that person was, because I would like her to get me some Mardi gras beads. I feel proud that I got through it, and that I impressed this dude who thought I couldn't handle the intense pain.

The underlying narrative to almost any conversation about labor is that the more intervention you get, the weaker you are.

That's crazy. It is scary to get rolled into surgery, or to feel someone cutting you open and pulling things out.  You feel every bit of it, and it takes focus to work through that pain and that fear. I did 6 hours of labor with no drugs. Then 4+ hours with just petocin. I did 24 hours of the vaginal delivery path before getting rerouted. Basically, I got to try every type of labor. It's all hard. It's all scary or painful in different ways. If you have had a baby, you are strong. You are brave. You have felt pain. Anyone who tries to tell you different is a jerk.

Because I am lucky to have a healthy baby. I believe in medical interventions when you need them. I feel glad that the little grey/purple baby who came out of me is now a very fat and happy bruiser of an infant. After 24 hours, we were both showing signs of an infection. His heart rate was dipping and not coming back This is only one of about a million perfectly legitimate reasons why a mother might choose to have a c-section. Maybe it would have turned out fine either way, but I will never have to sit asking myself if I could have done more, and for that, I am grateful.

Because so many things that day matter more to me than whether he took the side exit. Women can have so many fond memories from the disgusting miracle of birth, and the actual exit moment is only one of them. I laughed that day. I watched a Pirates of the Carribean sequel that I swear lasted the whole labor. Both of BBG's grandmas met him on his birthday. My mom stood by us the whole time, making us laugh and giving me strength. Each person gets to decide what memories are most valuable to them, and honestly, I feel good about the whole shebang.

Because who doesn't love a smiley face scar. At first, I struggled with having a scar, but it really looks beautiful to me now. My body will never look the same again, but I won't ever be the same again, so the change feels appropriate, A c-section scar is way more out there than other birth scars, but it's a daily reminder of what my body can do. Like a tattoo reminder. I think it is beautiful on other women, and it looks cuter to me each day.

Because it was my choice, and I made an informed and supported decision. I had supportive and open doctors and nurses who were behind my goals even past what we expected (they stuck through hours of potential infection and pirate movie, because that's what I wanted). Not everyone gets this, and this is worth getting riled up about. So rather than being antagonistic against people not making the same choice as you do, I wish people would get more riled up that not every gets the same range of choices they do.One of my girlfriends was laughed out of the doctor's office when she explained her drug-free water birth plans. This is equally ridiculous (she went on to have 2 great homebirths).

My choices were afforded to me from my privileges and insurance, and everyone should have the right to make their own choices, no matter what.That's a real problem, and I think the energy we have about births is misdirected at each other. I just want to make it clear I didn't get a c-section because I was uninformed, or pressured, or unsupported. None of these were true for me, and it shouldn't have to be true for anyone.

Because there is no "easy way" of giving birth. Damn Eve! That fruit better have been delicious. I had a challenging, but overwhelmingly positive, experience.  I look back at it fondly, but it certainly was no walk in the park. There is only one person who can give birth easily, and that is my mother-in-law. For the rest of us, it is some sort of tough. This was mine, and I am proud of it.

So to everyone from well-meaning friends to internet randos, I reject your shame, You're right- I could have made different decisions, and they would have most certainly elicited differing results, but that doesn't mean they would have been better. I may not have been around to be a mom for this tiny pooping machine who is currently telling our furniture something very important. He may not have been here to weirdly stick his fingers in my mouth while he eats. So weird.

I hope this empowers other women to stop apologizing for their births as well. You did it right. However you need to feel about it is right for you. Your baby doesn't care how they got out; you gave them a gift, no matter how it happened.

So you may never know why the woman across from you made a different choice than you, and truly, it is none of your business, so the correct response is to just to congratulate her. And done. No suggestions needed. Let's use this as another opportunity to all be a little kinder to each other.

Why I am Proud of my C-Section


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5 comments

  1. Wow!nice article and containing allot of information about the c section well done.

    Born c-section baby

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  2. Great post!! If women built each other up instead of tearing one another down imagine what we could do!!

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  3. You should be proud! I had a c section with my first because it was the choice that was best for us. The recovery is nowhere near easy. Be proud!

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  4. I didn't have a C Section and always looked at it something to be terrified of. I love your perspective on it here!

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  5. Beautifully written post. Babies are magical, aren't they?

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