Friday, May 2, 2014

Taking Back C-Sections

Sometimes I read articles floating around in the blogging world about c-sections and I cry a little inside. I cry for any woman reading them that might end up having a c-section or has already had one. I cry for the women who have friends who delivered via c-section. I cry for myself because those articles make me feel like a big, fat, loser.

I'm a c-section mama.

I didn't spend my pregnancy eating brownie sundaes for breakfast and living on the couch. I spent my pregnancy choking down kale smoothies and plopping my fat cankles down on the treadmill every night.

I didn't spend my doctor's appointments asking what sort of unnecessary medical interventions we could perform so that I could increase my chance of having a c-section. I spent my doctor's appointments discussing the best options for my baby's health.

I didn't spend my delivery day "trying to take the easy way out." I spent my delivery day in 15 hours of labor, 2 hours of pushing, and then undergoing major abdominal surgery while awake and terrified.

I am a c-section mama and I gave birth to a beautiful baby.

Every woman deserves to feel like a powerful warrior after she gives birth, whether that's vaginally, surgically, or in a kiddie pool in your living room.

So let's talk about some ways we can celebrate our births, c-section style:

Birth photography:
A c-section birth story is still a birth story. It's beautiful, magical and powerful, and deserves to be documented. You might not be able to take pictures in the actual operating room but you can get plenty of beautiful shots of your new baby. Plus if you're having a scheduled c-section, how easy is it going to be to schedule a photographer?

Birth plan:
Birth plans aren't just for vaginal births. Believe it or not there are certain choices you can make about your c-section. *Most will depend on your particular hospital so be sure to research their individual rules. Some hospitals will let you have music playing as you give birth.  Some hospitals will let you use your hands to assist your baby out. You can write down that you'd like immediate chest to chest contact with your baby if possible. And you can ask the medical staff to keep personal conversation during the birth to a minimum. There are lots of choices you can make to make your c section feel more like a birth and less like a surgery and having them written down in a birth plan will help you communicate your needs.

Talk about your birth story:
So maybe your water didn't break in the middle of the grocery store and maybe you didn't give birth in the back of your minivan on the way to the hospital. Your birth story is still exciting. Tell it, share it, write about it, celebrate it, love it.

Having a c section doesn't mean you are less strong, less of a woman, less healthy, less capable, less anything. You are a mother and you brought a baby into the world. So next time you read an article that says c-sections are only for women who ate one too many cookies while they were pregnant, know that that's not true. Be proud of your c-section, it is a gift that gave you your baby, and maybe little by little that pride can help change some of the stigma out there.


Jill said...

This makes me want to write a thank-you note to the friend who talked me through her awesome C-section before I had my own breech baby C-section. It turns out that a C-section birth can be freaking awesome! The best day of your life! I have zero regrets. My Bean wasn't going to turn no matter how long I laid upside-down or stuck an ice pack on his head, so we did what we had to do. I know not everyone who has a C-section feels good about it afterward, but I at least want women to know that a C-section doesn't mean that you have to have regrets. It can be the best day of your life no matter what.

~Love Lis said...

I just barely had an emergency C-section because my baby was too big. But it's true, I didn't over eat. In fact, I'm almost back to my pre-birth weight and my baby is not even a month old yet. In many ways, I wish I didn't have to have a C-section because I'm still in a lot of pain and hated the fact that we ended up spending five days in the hospital. At the same time, he came out healthy and that's what mattered.

Lindsey said...

Amen! i'm all for the natural birth movement. I think it can be very empowering to women and there's so much truth in the idea that we are in tune with our bodies and can give birth in a miraculous way. But if you don't do it that way then it's not even called giving birth! It's called 'having a c-section'. When I had my unplanned c-section {my birth plan was completely natural, i studied hypnobreathing my entire pregnancy} I felt so completely removed from the entire process. I felt like i couldn't even say I had birthed this beautiful baby boy because technically i didn't push him out. And that's unfair to me, to ALL mamas who carry babies and give them life. No matter how it happens, you gave birth. Birthing literature has gone so far in favor of natural birth {which, like i said, i'm a big fan of} that it can be excluding and harsh to those who have c-sections. Like your birth was short of a miracle or something. EVERY BIRTH IS A MIRACLE.