I had my third c-section last week.
I had a spinal to insert anesthesia.
I was nervous and afraid and worried that all would not go well.
I was cut open in my uterus. I have another scar.
I delivered a healthy baby boy.
I took heavy duty medications, bled a lot, and struggled to walk at first.
I am super strong because of it.
And I'm wanting you to think you, too, are strong because of your c-section. No shame, guilt or disappointment, c-section mommas.
Too many women are disappointed and guilt-ridden when they are told they need to deliver by c-section. So many women I know talk about feeling sad, like they are somehow not as strong or womanly as those who deliver vaginally.
I've never understood this entirely. Why are we any less than because we had major surgery to deliver our babies? Who or what makes women feel this way? I understand the feeling of being cheated out of an experience of labor. I felt that way when told I needed to have my first c-section after having previous uterine surgeries. I felt weird that I wouldn't know what real labor was like. I didn't like that a doctor's secretary and myself chose the birth date over the phone one day, based on whatever worked well for scheduling. I wanted the baby to choose his own birthday. I wanted nature to take its course because that's what was "supposed" to happen.
But the moment I walked into the c-section surgery room, with its bright lights, almost blinding, and the many, many doctors and nurses (at least 10) preparing to guide my baby into this world through surgical means, I knew. I knew there was nothing to be sad or disappointed about. There was nothing to feel bad about or less than about in this situation. I knew immediately that we who go through c-section births are strong, warriors, courageous.
There is no shame or guilt associated with c-section births. Or there should not be. We need to let this go. We need to realize that all births are sacred in their own rights, that we should be proud no matter how we bring our babies into the world.
We create and then carry life inside our bodies. And then some of us push that life outside through our bodies, and others of us are helped by doctors to do the same thing. In the end, we have babies who take their first breaths, because of our bodies, our strength, bravery and determination. We are all warriors. We should all be proud of what we have done.
For me, c-sections are incredible things. I'm fortunate to have had three successful surgeries, where I and my baby were both healthy. I thank my doctors for all that they did to support me.
There is nothing simple about any birth, and certainly not about c-section deliveries. It's the scariest feeling in the world walking into a surgical room, alone, without my husband, and sitting on the edge of the operating table, as they put a needle into my back for a spinal. It's terrifying as they lift up the drape to cover what they are cutting into on the other side of it. It's frightening when they put the oxygen mask over my face and I feel like I can't breathe for a moment, as the anesthesia hits me in my upper body. It's scary hearing that I may need to have full anesthesia. It's alarming to know that so many things could go wrong. It's difficult hearing the doctor say this is "major surgery." The word "major" signifying so many scary things to me.
So I'm proud of my way of delivering my babies. I don't feel cheated out of an experience. I had my own type of birthing experience. I'm proud that I survived these surgeries, that I survived the recovery period of 8 weeks of bleeding, barely walking, incision pain and care, medication, etc. I'm proud that I have a scar where I will forever know how my babies entered this world.
So to you, mom who feels guilty or sad having a c-section, please stop to realize what you have gone through, what you did, how you helped your baby safely enter this world. You may not have had a choice in the matter. Probably it was not how you wanted to do it, not how you pictured things. But you did it. And your baby is here, or it will be, because of you, your body, your strength. There is nothing shameful about that.
Be proud, warrior of birth. Be proud.
Love, a fellow c-section mom