Every pregnant woman I know is petrified of a c-section. The Mommy boards and blogs and broads will all tell you the horror stories. The lack of bond you will have. The horrendous recovery you will make. They will brainwash you to believe that natural is best, if you don’t breastfeed you are a failure, and you should really consider a pool in your living room.
They are wrong.
You need to do what is best for you and for your baby. Because ultimately, you want everyone to be safe and healthy.
I had two c-sections. Both of which I was put completely to sleep. Because of some medical issues, I couldn’t have a baby naturally and I couldn’t have an epidural which meant I had to be put to sleep for a c-section. I had to have major surgery. I didn’t hear them cry for the first time. I didn’t see them emerge from my body. I didn’t hold them first.
And my girls are healthy. Happy. And totally attached to me. Our bond is strong. Our family is intact. Despite what some Mommy-shamers would have me believe, I am not reckless. I did what I had to do to get my girls here safe. At great risk to myself but because it was the safest way to get my girls here – any other way would be too great a risk.
Is it painful? Yes. It’s surgery.
Is there a scar? Yes. It’s surgery.
Does it take time to heal? Yes. It’s surgery.
And though my stay in the hospital was extended a few days, my ability to drive impaired for a week, I couldn’t lift my kid in her carrier for a little while, I healed. The scar faded. The pain went away. It took time. Just like a recovery after a vaginal birth. And it’s different for everyone. I know ladies who have a natural birth and a week later are training for a 5K. I know women who take months to build back the energy (or courage) to exercise after childbirth.
And I will say, the recovery for the second one was much easier than for the first. Perhaps it was because I had my hands full or I knew what to expect or I was in a better place mentally. But it was easier.
I don’t think you should elect to have a c-section because you just want one. I do think there has to be a medical need. But I also think there are some benefits that are often overlooked.
First, you get a few extra days in the hospital with professionals monitoring your newborn while you adjust to your new life. Second, typically, you know exactly when your baby is going to be born and you can have (some) control over the birthing process. And finally, the anxiety of childbirth is taken out of your hands. Sure, there is a different type of anxiety, but you don’t have to worry about the laboring and monitoring for hours.
Childbirth – natural or via c-section – is not easy. It was never meant to be. But it does need to be a decision of the parents with the help of medical professionals on what is best for the mother and the baby.
Anyone who makes you feel inadequate for bringing your baby into the world in the safest manner possible should be ashamed.