April is c section awareness month. I never knew this until last April, months after my first c section. Before I had one, I thought that c sections were only needed because of an emergency situation or someone who just didn’t want to go into labor. I know that sounds naive and it is. So when my doctor told me that I needed to have a c section because my baby was severely breeched, I cried and asked was there another way. When I say breeched, Olivia’s butt was sitting on my hip and I was having trouble walking the last month of pregnancy-it was bad. My doctor looked at me and said that there was no shame in having a c section and this is normal for this situation. Again more tears. I didn’t want to be different, I wanted to have my baby like everyone else. I still remember that day as I walked to my car. I felt ashamed, embarrassed, and scared out of my mind.
Ashamed because I had heard people talk about c sections and they said that it was unnatural and scary. Embarrassed because everyone else around me had their child the “normal way” and I had to go a different way. Scared out of my mind because I knew not only was I only to be cut open and heal, I had to care for a my first child. Tears well up in my eyes thinking back to that 10 minute elevator ride and walk to my car.
I called my mom in tears. We called my in laws in tears. I whispered to Myke all night, I don’t want to do this. The next day I got a call from my mom, Anne was going to call me. Why in the world would one of my mom’s closest friends give me call? Turns out, she had a c section and she would walk me through the entire process. I’m one of those people that if I know what I’m getting into, my brain can relax. In little while later, I got a call from my mom again. Turns out she had 3 separate friends all have one or more c sections. To be honest, I was floored. I didn’t know I knew so many people went through what I was about to go through. I started to calm down and I felt less ashamed and fearful as the days went on.
I had so many people talk about giving birth was the best thing they ever did. I wasn’t going to have that experience to share with my daughter or in general. After I had my c section and Olivia was in the NICU a nurse told me that this was a common result after a c section. So my embarrassment feeling went all the way into postpartum. I’ll be honest, the embarrassment didn’t go away until a few months after Olivia was home.
I don’t know what this article will do or be, but I needed to get my feelings out there. I would hope that people would be more aware of the process. Women have different experiences to bring a new life into the world. What matters is that the baby is healthy and the moms get the proper care and treatment. I don’t regret my surgeries, they brought me two beautiful and healthy daughters. I can’t wait to tell them their birth stories.