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The big question. Is a healthy baby all that matters? I for one, don't think so- C-section awarness!

Once upon a time I was a clueless woman, pregnant with my first child. Sitting in my childbirth class only half listening to the teacher talk about cesarean section. I thought, “They have to cut through FOUR layers to get to the baby? Yuk! At least I don’t have to worry about that.” And continued daydreaming about my first born’s birth. Out of my vagina. Just like that. Sitting in my obstetrician’s office at 36 weeks pregnant, as we both looked at the familiar beautiful skeleton on the ultrasound he casually said, “Yep, looks like he’s still breech. We’ll schedule your c-section for 39 weeks”. Again, just like that. I could almost hear the sound of screeching breaks in my head. I was not going down without (what I thought was) a fight. I asked, “Can’t I birth him this way?” He explained that it was monumentally dangerous, and in fact none of the 14 OB’s in rotation would do it. I was told I had no other option. None. Basically I felt like my vagina would suddenly explode all over the delivery room if I wanted to deliver a breech baby. I asked if I could wait until I went into labor on my own, then come in for the section. What if my son needed to gestate to 42 weeks? No, again. Pretty much all my power was stripped from me and I was made to feel that this was my only option. I asked no additional questions. I was beyond devastated, confused, didn’t know who to talk to and was terrified. I had never even had a cavity filled, never a bone broken. And yet I was about to have major abdominal surgery to remove my child from me. I didn’t get to give birth like my mother had 3 times, like my grandmother had 11 times. No stories of moaning, pushing, sweating, baby being put on my chest to nurse right away as I wept with joy. Nope. The next day, my water broke.
My son was born 4 hours later via cesarean section. A great OB was on staff and the rest of the staff was nice as well. Did that make it great? No. For almost two years I held it all in. People would inquire about my son’s birth, I would tell them and embellish about how wonderful it was because GOD FORBID I say anything was wrong with my view of his birth! I had a healthy baby, and that’s all that matters....
When my son was 15 months old I got pregnant with our second child. I was hell-bent on having a vaginal birth (VBAC). It was somewhat of a battle (the journey is here), but I hired a doula, educated myself about birth and VBAC. The more I researched and the more I talked to people about birth, I kept hearing, “Well, it doesn’t matter how you deliver. A healthy baby is all that matters”. And I found myself starting to say this mantra too. But, deep inside, I was screaming. Screaming in emotional pain from my son’s birth. Screaming that I felt it was a violent and unnatural way for him to come into the world. Cursing myself for not being more educated and knowing my options. But, I kept my trap shut. I didn’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings that had a decent experience with their c-section, or anyone else for that matter that felt they needed to give me their 2 cents. And by the way, I know that c-section saves lives. I don’t need to be reminded. After all, we’re all mothers doing the best we can. And at the end of the day, a healthy baby is. All. That. Matters.
The day came and I successfully birthed my daughter and proudly wore the badge: VBAC. (click here for her birth story). Four days later at home, a particular female family member (who will remain nameless) called and I began telling her my daughters birth story. (This family member is a labor and delivery nurse for over 20 years. She told me once when I was about 5 months pregnant (and I didn’t ask) that she thought it would be best if I have a repeat c-section and not endanger my daughter by having a VBAC). So, I began telling her my story and she suddenly interrupts me, “I read your blog. The one about Colton’s birth. I think your story is an insult to my profession!”

Oh. No. She. Just. Didn’t.
But, wait, she wasn’t done: “You have two healthy babies! DO YOU KNOW HOW LUCKY YOU ARE?!?!?”
And that’s what pushed me over the edge.
I was tired of accepting the “Who-gives-a-shit-about-your-feelings-you’re-just-the-incubator-anyway” attitude. I was tired of the “Is it selfish?” question about VBAC. I’m not going to get into the facts about the safety of VBAC or the risks of multiple c-section, but rather the misinformation, the lack of education is what really pisses me off. When you don’t know what you don’t know, ignorance is bliss. Like me when I was ignorant and pregnant with my first. It’s what I see over and over again. Most mothers trust their medical staff, their obstetricians. They listen to horror stories at baby showers and watch crap shows like “A Baby Story” and “Birthday” on TLC (And they call themselves The Learning Channel. What a joke!). They fear birth and let doctors induce, allowing a cascade of interventions, usually ending in cesarean section. CONT

Answer Question

Asked by JnCV at 10:23 PM on Feb. 5, 2011 in Pregnancy

Level 13 (1,061 Credits)
Answers (43)
  • They give up control of their bodies, their babies, their birth. So, what happens over and over again are cesarean sections that are difficult (at best) for the mother. But, she’s pushed aside to lick her wounds herself. Hushed. Coupled with the fact that many times the husband sees a healthy baby and physically healthy mother. All is good in his eyes. Time passes and she says nothing.

    Comment by JnCV (original poster) at 10:24 PM on Feb. 5, 2011

  • I cannot watch a cesarean being performed on TV without having a physical reaction. I cry, not happy tears one usually cries when seeing a baby born, but tears of remembering my own traumatic experience. The curtain. The mom strapped down, flat on her back. The staff and husband in head to toe scrubs. The huge surgery light above. The baby is pulled out, tended to, wrapped up and showed to the mother. If she’s lucky she can lift her head just enough to give her newborn babe a kiss. I mean, she’ll have the rest of her life with him, that's enough isn’t it? Isn’t it???

    Comment by JnCV (original poster) at 10:26 PM on Feb. 5, 2011

  • It hurts my heart. It hurts my stomach. I’m not ashamed or embarrassed to say I have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder from my cesarean. I don't blame my OB. it is what it is. Lots of women have feelings about their traumatic birth, cesarean or even vaginal, and are afraid to voice them. It’s time to talk about it. It won’t get better on it’s own, bottled up.

    Comment by JnCV (original poster) at 10:27 PM on Feb. 5, 2011

  • And whats the question? This should be a journal post. :)

    Answer by karamille at 10:27 PM on Feb. 5, 2011

  • There’s always someone that has it worse than me or you. I know there are women that can’t get pregnant. Or that have miscarriage after miscarriage. I personally know women like this. My heart breaks for them. But that doesn’t mean that my feelings about my son’s birth or your feelings about your child’s birth are any less legitimate or valid. Whether you chose to talk about them to your therapist, mom, husband or spew your feelings on a blog, TALK about them. Because what matters, is your mental and emotional health. THAT’S what matters! It matters to you, your family and to the health of your baby.


    Comment by JnCV (original poster) at 10:27 PM on Feb. 5, 2011

  • My question is- Do u feel That a healthy baby is all that matters? what are your takes on the mothers that feel this way? Selfish, or valid?

    Comment by JnCV (original poster) at 10:29 PM on Feb. 5, 2011

  • My sister's child was dying inside of her. She was rushed in for an emergency C section.

    I'm sorry if you think that her child dying may have been better than a c section, but quite frankly, I am glad that I have my beautiful 16 year old neice around.

    Answer by layh41407 at 10:30 PM on Feb. 5, 2011

  • Sorry, but at the end of delivery if my baby and myself are healthy and alive THAT IS ALL THAT MATTERS. I do not believe in having a c-section for convenience but for health reasons I do. BTW I had 4 vaginal births, but would have had a c-section if NEEDED.

    Answer by treynlisa at 10:32 PM on Feb. 5, 2011

  • Oh, and as I also know a child that suffered birth trauma because the mother insisted on giving birth naturally to a child that was too big for her to give birth that way. I think if that mother had to do it over again,she'd pick a Csection as well instead of having a disabled child.

    Answer by layh41407 at 10:33 PM on Feb. 5, 2011

  • I respect your line of view, in my personal life history, i was prepared for a C section not a vaginal delivery. My mother had all C sections and I just got used to the idea, i dont know why i just did. Then i went into labor with my child, my first and right now my only, and i found out soon enough i was giving birth vaginally. I was petrified. Im five foot tall, 123 pounds soaking wet and you want me to push that baby out of where?!?! LOL, well after an hour i did it, but it wasnt as beautiful as you described. It took only one hour and 15 minutes to labor and deliver, with the hospital staff yelling at me for the one hour saying i wasnt giving birth yet, that first time mothers never push a baby out in that short a time and i was hypochondriac. Nope they were wrong and apologized. i almost bled out on the table too. My cousins baby got stuck in the canal and was left brain damaged cuz the doctors didnt want a C section....

    Answer by Bobbysgurl at 10:33 PM on Feb. 5, 2011

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