The Other C Word

April is C section awareness month. I fully support there being a month dedicated to C section mamas because first of all, women are maternal goddesses, but also because there is such a negative stigma surrounding this method of child birth.

We are primed to believe that having a c section means you failed to deliver your baby the “natural” way. Because having your vagina expand to the size of a small cantaloupe and practically shitting out a human is totally natural, right? Although our bodies are designed to bare children and deliver them, nothing about child birth is freaking natural. You hear the term “natural birth” like it’s something we do everyday.

C sections are life saving for both millions of babies and mothers which is why it’s a shame that there is so much negativity surrounding this method of delivery. From the very beginning we are setting mothers up to believe that a c section should be an absolute last resort. In the maternity ward, C section is practically the other “C” word.

I was in labor with Beau for over 36 hours. I pushed for nearly 4 hours and his head didn’t even graze the gaping hole that was my vagina. (I’m telling you child birth is not natural). I could tell that my team of nurses as well as my family were becoming discouraged. We should of been making more progress. Beau’s heart rate was mimicking signs of distress and although it wasn’t anything that was deemed an emergency, I could tell that a decision needed to be made. With tears in my eyes, I reluctantly asked my doctor to do a C section. I wasn’t pressured into it and there wasn’t an apparent medical emergency. I just knew that I had done everything I could do deliver my son vaginally and it wasn’t happening. My doctor seemed relieved when I surrendered my idea of a “perfect, natural birth” and submitted to the C section.

The OR was bright and cold. My husband could not go in with me for the initial prep and my preconceived fears of having a C section were starting to invade my thoughts. My entire pregnancy I was led to believe that if you end up with a C section it means you failed at labor and delivery or that there was a significant emergency and you and your baby were in danger. What a terrible mentality to have when you’re about to undergo major surgery, never mind on what is supposed to be one of the happiest days of your life. My son wasn’t even born yet and I had already felt like I was crumbling beneath society’s standards of what constitutes the perfect mother. I felt defeated and like a failure as a woman and a mom.

The moment Beau was born I was transformed into a state of complete ecstasy. Nothing mattered more than Brandon, myself and our beautiful creation. My body began to shake uncontrollably as it suddenly no longer served as a precious vessel. I was shaking on the OR table for what felt like 20 minutes. It was a complete rush. I had just given birth and hormones were rapidly surging through my body as they navigated from a prenatal to postnatal state. Beau was delivered by means of a six inch incision on my lower abdomen, but he was born and I gave birth.

Just hours after delivery, my doctor came in the room and told us that the umbilical cord had been wrapped around Beau’s neck several times and that if I had continued to push, it would only have increased the chance of major complications. Of course this is something they can’t see while you are actively in labor, but I think my mind and body were sending me all the signals to go forward with a C section despite my reluctance. I saved my baby’s life by opting to do a C section. The whole time I was in the OR feeling like a complete failure, I was actually being the best mom I could be.

Please stop tip toeing around C sections like they actually are the “C word.” There is no shame in how you deliver your baby. You have a lifetime of mistakes and mom fails ahead of you, don’t let the happiest day of your life be anything less than that. Here’s to all my C section mama’s who heard their baby’s first cry in an operating room over the sound of monitors. Here’s to the moms who didn’t get to look at their baby’s face until it appeared from the other side of a sheet. Here’s to the moms who started their motherhood journey feeling like less of a mother because of how they delivered their baby. We are strong, we are brave and we have an awesome scar that we can one day tell our kids we carried them around like a kangaroo.

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