Friday, November 16, 2012

Ode to a C.

Saw Chloe for 30 seconds. The next time I saw her, she was 2 days old. 
I am having my third c-section on December 11, if all goes as planned.

My prior two pregnancies have not gone as planned.  I had two emergency c-sections. Two c-sections saved my life and the lives of my daughters.

It seems c-sections are misunderstood and debated: just like every other aspect of motherhood. Here are MY c-section facts; not the ones you read on the internet or Google. But, my own facts--the facts that led me to look forward to delivery, via c-section versus dread it.

I remember when a good friend was about to have a c-section. Lily was a year old and I was still fresh from my mother and other loved ones assuming that I felt left out of a normal vaginal delivery. It was an insult: the delivery was not the problem; my daughter being born at 29 weeks was the real concern.

I told my good friend and I tell everyone: never, ever let anyone bully you or make you feel bad about your c-section. Or pressure you into a different choice. How you birth your child is a decision you make in consultation with your medical provider. The rest is all noise. C-sections are not some evil tool that takes away the joy of childbirth. Instead, they are quite the opposite: they are a vehicle that gives you the joy of a child.

Without further adieu; Ode to a C, according to me.

Fact 1: C-sections have saved my life. 

If I was forced to be induced and deliver Lily vaginally, I would have most definitely seized and entered into a state of eclampsia. I was so sick. My system was not stable. It is a miracle I survived. I could have had brain damage. Lily could have died. I could have died. Same deal, three years later with Chloe. You don't mess around with preeclampsia: you try to cure it and the only cure is delivery.

Fact 2: I absolutely do not feel I missed out on the experience of labor.

I know some women who have had to have c-sections do feel they missed out: but I don't. I am not sure why I do not; but maybe it is because I am happy with the outcome, a baby. Or maybe it is all the HORRIFIC birth stories I've heard with tearing, ripping, pushing, pooping and hysteria. My c-sections have been peaceful. And all trauma of being in the OR; you forget it when you lay your eyes on your baby. The euphoria is love: it has nothing to do with your vagina.

Fact 3: I do feel I missed out on being able to hold my baby on their birthday.

But this left-outedness has nothing to do with the c-section and everything to do with the disease that necessitated it.  Preeclampsia robbed me of holding my daughters on the day they were born.

Fact 4: I labor. I am a mother. I gave birth. And husband held my hand through it all. 

To suggest any less or to make light  of delivery via surgery, is an insult. Sure, if things worked out that first time around, that would have been super. But, I am a c-section mother: who carried her babies, who kept her body strong and healthy in spite of a disease I had no control over and who had a husband who shared in their birth. It is my body: no matter how my children came out of it. Motherhood was the result. And I worked damn hard for that honor.

Fact 5: I have no interest in contractions

Contractions are not my thing. I don't care: I've been through enough pain and angst for ten lifetimes. Happy to avoid contractions. I'll take post-op pain. It is the devil I know.

Fact 6: My OB is NOT railroading me into a c-section

Yes, I've read all the miraculous stories of VBAC after eight c-sections. Good for that lady. I  have no interest and that is a good thing: the risk of me developing high blood pressure and preeclampsia while laboring is high. There is every medical reason to perform a c-section. And in my experience, while many will lead you to believe that c-sections are handed out like Halloween candy, that is a lie. The statistics and c-section rate research I've read are yet to provide any definite proof as to WHY c-section rates are high. I have theories: more plural pregnancies, advanced maternal age, an increase in preeclampsia and other medical trends induced by older mother and the use of fertility drugs.

Fact 7: I am so happy that I get to plan for my baby.

I've never had the opportunity to plan for delivery. The scheduled date feels me with joy. It is like counting down to our wedding day--I am so blessed to have some control--even just a smidgen.



6 comments:

  1. I was prepared to have a C-section if it was necessary (based on the fact I had a 'High Risk' pregnancy) - I totally agree, it doesn't matter the method of delivery, the end result is a baby! :)

    Can you maybe think about moving up your date by 2 days? December 9th is a great day - and my birthday...heh! :)

    Can't wait to read about your newest addition - will keep you in my thoughts and prayers for a safe delivery!


    Aloha: Making Plans to Shop Small

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  2. I've never had a c-section, but it amazes me that people would ever try to make you feel less because you didn't push...they're crazy! Good luck with #3 :) My birthday is December 5th, so feel free to have him that day too!

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  3. I have had both. My son born at 35 weeks was induced and labor lasted 48 hours because of the mag and induction drug .. no thank you I will pass on that again. My 2nd like you was emergency c - I was not awake and need 4 transfusion I had Helphs Syndrome (the really bad they don't want preeclampsia to turn into), my daughter was 28 weeks. See I like that fact that I am there for my kids and did not die on that table. Personally I think the recovery was easier with a c sections (Granted my baby was still in the hospitalize) Every one has a different birth experience how you get the kids does not matter.. the fact you love and care for them and keep them safe does. If having a C-section keeps my babies safe I will have one every time. I am not missing out I have a baby.

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  4. C-sections get a bad rap but I think when they are handled and planned properly the decision shouldn't questioned.

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  5. I'm with you about c-sections. I had one, as well as went into hard labor for 15 hours, with my water breaking early into the labor. I made the decision to have a c-section because I might have had to had one anyway-an emergency one, and it was early enough that the anesthesiologist was available. I feel I made the right decision-my daughter was 8 pounds 12 ounces, and have never regretted it or looked back. Moms need to feel validated for whatever choices they make, and not get recriminations by friends, family or society.
    Estelle

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  6. Best of luck with the delivery!! Sending good vibes your way for all to be well.

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