Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Thoughts on Cesarean Delivery

Tomorrow will mark six weeks since I gave birth to my son, Cullen.  It is weird for me to say that "I gave birth" because I did not push him out of my body the natural way.  But the truth is, I did give birth to him.  Vaginal deliveries are hard, yes, but so are c-sections.  I feel that so many people try to diminish a woman's birth experience if she had a c-section.  It would be nice if every baby could be delivered safely by vaginal birth, but that is not the way life is.  There are actually people out there on documentaries saying that mothers who give birth by c-section do not have the correct cocktail of hormones in their body to love their baby.  What makes it even worse is I have spoken to people who actually believe it.

Yes, I do feel betrayed by my body because I had to have a surgical birth and I am working through the process of forgiving myself... but that is not the end of the story.  I love my baby, I LOVE my baby, I LOVE MY BABY!  I loved my baby before he was born.  I loved my baby before he was conceived.  I love him so much that when my doctor told me that it was possible for him to be hurt or killed in delivery, I allowed myself to be cut open in a very unnatural way to deliver him.

In my heart of hearts, I believe that my doctor and I acted in my baby's best interest.  It was not a delivery of convenience.  I am not "too posh to push" as they put it in the documentary The Business of Being Born.  Who in their right mind would choose to have major abdominal surgery on the day they get a baby?

I am sick of trying to prove to others that my c-section was the right choice.  I have a healthy baby who survived the birth with no broken bones because I of the decision that I made.  I survived the delivery because of my decision.  I set my "fantasy birth" aside to ensure that me and my baby were safe.


C-sections are hard on your body and your mind. You can have a healthy baby and still be upset about the delivery and recovery process. I think the emotional recovery from my c-section would have been easier had I known what to expect. I spent hours online and in childbirthing class learning about the delivery and recovery process of a vaginal birth, but only a few minutes learning about c-sections. I don't want it to be like that for my friends and family who have a c-section. Below are a couple of helpful articles to read after, or before if possible, a c-section.

Recovering From a Cesarean Delivery

Emotional Recovery From a Cesarean

C-Section Recovery is another helpful resource

To my friends and family,
Please call me if you find out that you will be having a cesarean birth.  I will talk to you about what happened to me and how I felt about it.  Some of my friends have recently shared their experiences with me and it made me feel so much better.


aggiejos said...

Thank you so much for sharing! I will be visiting these sites as I prepare for this baby. I am in the same situation you were in - making a decision to protect my child. I wish I had know what happened to Alex was going to happen. I would have had a c-section with him in a heartbeat to avoid his injury. We were lucky his wasn't worse. I don't want one this time around, but I could never live with myself if this child was born with an injury that could have been avoided with a c-section. God gave you and your doctor the information you needed to know what was best for you and your baby. You and your baby are safe and healthy and that is what matters. I hope you will forgive yourself soon and know that for every person who believe the B.S. in that documentary, there plenty of others who do not!

Beth said...

I am appalled that you should have to defend your c-section. I am glad you had a safe and un-eventful delivery, and got a beautiful, and most importantly, HEALTHY baby boy as a result. I pray you come to grips with the delivery soon, and let go of the guilt. Your decision was a wise one, and you should be proud. :)

aggiejos said...

I forgot to put that even though I had a vaginal birth with Alex, I struggled with guilt since he was injured. I felt guilty that he was to big for my body and that my pelvis has a flat spot that also contributed to him getting slightly stuck. You should be proud of your decision to protect you and your baby. I can't believe the way some people think! It bothers me so much that you have to hear those horrible things!

myra said...

Everyone has an opinion about everything you do as a mom. Vaginal birth vs. C-Section, no drugs vs. epidural, breast vs. bottle, spanking vs. time-out. If we let ourselves be defined by what other people think is "best" we will spend our motherhood in guilt and anxiety and stress.

I feel really fortunate to have both experiences (a vaginal delivery and a C-Section). I don't consider one better than the other. They were different and the result was the same. I had two amazing kids who I loved with my entire heart since I knew they were in my womb.

I hope that you know that you are the BEST mom for Cullen. God designed you to be that for him and your decisions will reflect that no matter what "they" say. *Hugs*

Jessica said...

I am also sooo surprised that you had to defend against your c section!!!! I feel if you and the baby are safer because of it then it is the best thing you could do for your baby and family!!!! I don't think you have any reason to feel guilty. Yes, you were expecting a different birthing story,but God took care of everything, he never makes mistakes, and you did this because you needed to. Congratulations on being such a great mother so far and please don't worry about something like this. Everyone gets the I know best syndrome,but they need to think about how they would feel if they had to make the same choices as you. I feel it was a very selfless decision! Good luck, and I hope you find peace.

Melissa P said...

I cannot believe you were getting a hard time by doing the right thing for you and the baby. Thanks for the articles. I'll be reading them soon to make sure I'm prepared for whatever comes my way.

Carrie said...

I had C-sections for both my kiddos and I struggled with some feelings of failure but I realized that it is
the out come, two healthy babies, that is most important. How you give birth is not a badge that you achieve or a race that you win.

Alot of this get easier as your child gets older you realize that kids are a marathon and you have to pace yourself. Also people are not as free with their "advice"

Glad you are doing well

Amanda said...

Thanks for your support, girls!