We all have a vision, whether we’re willing to admit it, about how we will bring our children into this world. Home birth, water birth, unmedicated or medicated with minimal intervention: Some of us are able to bring that vision to fruition — and some of us have Cesarean section births.
There are many reasons why someone would have a C-section birth. We hope that it’s in the best interest of the mother and baby — not the hospital or medical professionals.
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Due to a fibroid removal surgery eight months before I became pregnant for the first time, I knew I’d have to have a C-section to deliver my babies. I wouldn’t even be able to go into labor due to the extreme risk it posed not only to the baby, but to me also.
Many women have told me I’m “not missing much,” but those statements are invalidating and don’t acknowledge the truth that I’m missing out on a fairly universal motherhood experience. I know I’m not alone in grieving certain aspects of childbirth that I will never get to experience. As I prepare for the birth of my third and final child, here are a few sentiments that are helping me make peace with my planned C-section births.
Letting Go of Control
Because I had no choice but to deliver my babies via C-section, it was an early lesson in the loss of control that seems inherent to motherhood. For many mothers, having a C-section birth implies some loss of control in the process. It may be the loss of a dream or what we thought it would look like to bring a child into the world.
For me, learning to make peace with my C-sections (and having no choice therein) paved the way to learning to accept some of the loss of control that comes with motherhood. Much like I couldn’t control birth, I could not (and still cannot) control how much they slept, ate and enjoyed.
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Birth Stories Fade
Much like how we choose to feed our infants, after a time, how we birth will not be at the forefront of our minds. When you are fresh off childbirth, how it went down is still so fresh and raw. But after time (and any emotional healing that needs to happen), it can become less painful and something you don’t think about. I rarely hear mothers of elementary school children discuss childbirth. There are other issues at the forefront that will demand your time and attention. C-sections and vaginal birth (likely) will not.
Choosing (or obeying the choice of) a C-section birth was not “the easy way out.” It was and is the safest way to get my baby out — and that is all that matters. There are no badges or trophies in motherhood for anything. Much like choosing to breast or bottle feed, to work or stay home, we can never know all the details of another woman’s circumstances — nor should we!
Birth is one of the most vulnerable things we experience as women. C-sections are different from vaginal birth, yes. But they are hardly easier. We all suffer from childbirth in some way. When we women are the first to throw stones rather than support, we are diminishing the sisterhood of motherhood.