|Saw Chloe for 30 seconds. The next time I saw her, she was 2 days old.|
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.