Nothing bothers me more when I hear someone say something suggesting that having a cesarean section is the quick, easy “way out” or it isn’t a big deal or especially I wish I had a csection! This actually came up this past week. A good friend of mine messaged me on Facebook asking for advice and told me about a conversation she had with an acquaintance who had just had a baby. Of course, the birth came up and the new mother said how bad she tore and that it took such a long time for her to push baby out, then getting stitched up after she tore. My friend, who is also a cesarean mother, mentioned that she can understand the pain and having to wait an hour or longer to be stitched up after her cesarean. Her friend replied, “I would have much rather had a csection”. Now why am I writing a whole post about one simple statement? Well because this is something that as a cesarean mother, who felt that her csection was unnecessary, this really gets under my skin. I also know these type of statements bother many other cesarean mothers.
In the society we live in today, there is still this belief that a csection is just a quick, routine surgery. That it is so convenient some Hollywood actresses have been known for scheduling their child’s birth around their busy schedule full of appearances, photo shoots and vacations. Yet many are still blind to the fact that a cesarean section is a major abdominal surgery. It requires anesthesia, a surgeon (OB) and a team of many nurses assisting. They carry risk of hysterectomy, blood transfusion, blood clots, infection to name a few. Not to mention, the pain that can last upwards of a month or more and the 4-6 inch scar the woman will have the rest of her life. In fact, I dare you to ask any mother who has had an unnecessary, traumatic or emergency cesarean or complications from a cesarean, if it was easy.
Now I am not saying that a woman who has had a vaginal birth can’t have trauma or complications or pain that lasts months. Just like I know there are women who enjoyed their cesarean deliveries. All I am saying is we need to change the way we talk to women about their births, even mother to mother. We need to come together and support each other, not make each other feel like one birth is any easier than the other. Because quite frankly, birth is not easy. Our bodies go through so much to birth our babies. First off, our body nourishes our unborn baby for 9-10 months. Our organs get squished making us have to pee every 10 minutes one month, then feeling like we are constantly out of breath the next. We get baby feet stuck in our ribs and elbows pressed in our sides. We feel things that no man, and some women, will ever feel when labor starts. Our body produces all sorts of hormones and adrenaline. Some woman labor for days or hours. And with a cesarean, a woman will have her stomach and uterus cut open all while laying there strapped to an operating table, wide awake in most cases. In extreme cases, a mother won’t even be able to witness her child’s birth or hear those first cries due to being put under for an emergency csection. We, as mothers, all go through and give up so much for this tiny human being we have never touched, held, smelled or even seen face to face.
So for all those mothers who had an unplanned cesarean, made to feel like your body failed you, you are anything but a failure. You are strong and courageous.
For those mothers who had a peaceful vaginal birth, you are goddesses.
To the mother who had a traumatic, painful vaginal birth. You are amazing and a fighter.
No matter how you feel about your baby’s entrance into this world, if you are happy, sad, disappointed, feel regret, anger or any other emotion. Know that it is okay to feel that way. No one should ever make you feel like your feelings are not validated. No one should ever make you feel like you took the easy way out. Because birth isn’t easy any way it comes. And unfortunately, I know many women, including myself who have felt all these emotions about their child(s) births, before being made to feel like their cesarean is no big deal.
So the next time a mother wants to confide in you or you decide to ask her about her birth experience. Let her do the talking. Many women just want to talk and get their emotions out without feeling like they shouldn’t feel a certain way or feeling judged. Let her know it is ok to feel how she feels and she is supported instead of comparing births because even if you don’t agree with how she feels, EVERY BIRTH IS A BIG DEAL.
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