A Love Letter to C-Section Moms (That Everyone Should Read)


heart in bookIf I were a DJ, I would be shouting "This one is for the c-section mommies!" And then all the moms who have had cesareans would cheer "Wooooooo!" We need that. Women who have had c-sections for reasons beyond their control need to feel the love that moms who got to have the natural birth they wanted are allowed to feel. Moms who have had c-sections need and deserve respect and love for the way they birthed. We need to honor all ways of birth, even the ones that didn't go as we planned. Because it is still the way some children are brought into our lives. Hear me out. This isn't about being pro-cesarean. This is about being pro-mom.

You see, some people seem to think there are two kinds of moms -- those who have c-sections and those who do not. This 'battle' divides us, and makes one side feel like a mother who didn't do the right thing.

I had a c-section. I didn't schedule it so I could preserve my vagina, nor did I pick the date because it was convenient. It was necessary and needed. And I really shouldn't have to explain more than that because well, do we go into detail on how there was sexy lingerie, lots of foreplay, and a glass of wine involved in the conception of your baby? No. Birth is (to some) a private and deeply emotional event in a woman's life. Being judged for having a c-section without knowing the details is ... well ... wrong. Many moms like me had to have a c-section in order to be a mother. It's as simple as that. Life or death. A choice that has to be made quickly given the circumstance. Many times the moms who had an emergency c-section or are still having a difficult time processing their birth or were made to believe they needed one despite their parental instincts are the ones who are often silent, and who are silently hurt. This love letter, this awareness I hope to instill in people, this is for you.

We are still mothers. We just had our babies through what I like to call a little kangaroo kind of pouch. 

There may always be questions. Should I have trusted the doctors? Did I do all I could have? And that's okay. C-section moms bear the scar where our babies were born, and we shouldn't continue to be hurt by the insensitive words that many say without realizing that not all c-sections are frivolous choices. We love our babies just as much. Some of us are just as "crunchy" as homebirthers, we are attachment parents, we love our children and have amazing bonds with them.

Our vulnerability comes from feeling unsupported, and words hurt. I fear that some of my own articles on the topic could have even hurt women just like me, but I have always tried to choose my words carefully. I am a natural birth advocate, but am a c-section mommy. I can be both. I am proudly both. It's true that when you have pain or deep hurt because of something, sometimes anything on the topic is tough to read. You feel defensive; you feel the words are directed at you as if you did something wrong. Any woman (or man) who has been through something difficult can relate to that. And the subject of birth or how we birth is the same, perhaps even more challenging to process and work through. This is why we need even more compassion and understanding, These battles that are created -- the c-section moms versus everyone else -- should stop. Generalizing this isn't helpful for women to process they way they birthed if it didn't go according to plan.

Not everything in life goes according to plan.

One of my friends told me that her c-section was the best and worst experience of her life. And that's exactly it for me. It was the best because it enabled me to have my twins healthy after being diagnosed with HELLP syndrome, and the worst because it was frightening and not the way I wanted to birth. It took a long time, but I have come to terms with the way I birthed.

Sometimes the opposite of what we think is best ... is what is really best. Just like how this mom wanted to exclusively breastfeed but found that supplementing with formula helped save her from going into a depression and helped her baby thrive. We cannot judge unless we know the full and complete story, every angle, all the background, and I realize that's not really something we could ever completely know. I don't want the c-section rates to rise because I do want women to have the births they want to have. But I also don't want the women whose births were difficult and resulted in surgery to be made to feel like they did something wrong.

Maybe we can all be a little more kind in the words we choose, remembering those who are challenged with the very topic being discussed. Remembering that many women have guilt or sadness because they absolutely had to have a c-section. I know how hard the recovery is even a year or two after. But we deserve to find peace in the way we had our children. Our path to motherhood may not be the same, but it's our path, something we need to find the beauty in, because all moms deserve that. You deserve that.

Did your birth result in an unwanted but necessary c-section? Are you still processing and coming to terms with your birth?


Image via katerha/Flickr

childbirth, c-sections, time for mom


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pezch... pezcharlotte

As a mom who ended up needing to have a c-section at the last minute, thank you for writing this. 

nonmember avatar WLMommy

I love this. I had been in labor (induced) for 24 hours and was 8 cm dialated when my baby's umbilical chord came out, which cut her oxygen and blood flow. Not 5 Minutes after it happened she was literally ripped from my body and had to be resuscitated and I nearly bled to death. It was not how I had pictured becoming a mother but I would do it over again in order to see her happy, healthy face smiling up at me everyday. The birth was hard and the recovery was harder. I don't see how anyone would choose to have a c-section as an easy alternative (though I've known people that did), I had major issues with my incision. And I don't think that the moms who had one to save their babies lives should be looked down at...Its the bravest thing we've ever had to do!

Danie... Danielle17T

I had a c/s& I gave it a GOOD try I was at the hospital for 30hrs b4 I had an emergency c/s I think we all r the same we're all mom's! I do wish I could know what it's like to have a child natural but the shape of my hips probably won't let that happen!

Caela... CaelanOceanamom

My plan was to do the natural birth; I wasn't saying no to meds, just wanted to see if I could. Then we found out she was breech. Head firmly wedged under my ribs, feet kicking away in my lower abdomen. It took a few weeks for me to let go of the thought of going into labor and doing it the way my husband and I wanted to. But she was 100% breech, never even made attempt to flip over. The c-section was the safest thing for my daughter and myself. Not. One. Regret.

doubl... doubledsmommy

I really don't get the bickering that goes on over C sections vs. Vaginal births. I mean, you are either scarred from the section, or your vagina is never the same. Either way, an amazing life was brought into the world. I had 2 vaginal births and honestly if either had ended up in a C section, I wouldn't have thought twice about it.

Cafe... Cafe Suzanne

amen, sistah. so many don't realize how difficult the emotional and physical recovery from an unwanted c-section can be.

nonmember avatar Christina

I'm expecting my first baby in August. When asked by my doctor what my birth plan was, I said I have no birth plan other than to have my baby in whatever manner is best for both of us. If I deliver naturally, great. If I have a c-section, great. As long as my baby is safe, I don't care and refuse to be disappointed if circumstances are beyond my control. Becoming a mother for the first time will be hard enough and I plan on being proud of my child's birth, no matter what happens!

butte... butterflyfreak

My C-section was scheduled as my daughter had been diagnosed in utero with a multi-cystic kidney which caused her abdomen to be larger than her head in the final weeks of my pregnancy. My ob was concerned that my daughter would get "stuck" and pulling her out could rupture the cysts and result in serious problems. Though my surgery was scheduled, my daughter still came at her own time. I still laugh about it sometimes because my C-section had been scheduled for the 2nd of August. I had some wicked spicy tacos the night of July 31st and woke up just after midnight with contractions. I got up and changed positions several times for half an hour and, once I realized the contractions were not going away, called my ob's office and let the on-call ob know that I was having contractions and was supposed to have a C-section. They told me to come on in, so I woke up my husband (haha) and we were off to the hospital. I'm really glad we got her out when we did as the medical staff told me that there was meconium (pre-birth stools, if you didn't know) in the amniotic fluid, which could have cause serious distress had we not gotten her out when we did.

nonmember avatar Jade

I'm okay with having had a c-section now... I was a little upset about it right afterward, that I didn't have a choice. I had a c-section at 27 weeks due to severe HELLP. I still am having trouble with the whole scar issue. Scars don't usually bother me, but I feel a little gypped... that most of the time, women can hide their c-section scars in their underwear, but mine is vertical and doesn't even hide behind my blue jeans LOL. My goal is one day to be able to be okay with it all, it's just a scar, it shouldn't be a big deal to me. Of course, nothing else matters than the health of my son, who is now a year old. After all, it's only been a year, and if I never become "okay" with it, I have to remember that it's just a scar and I never liked 2-piece swim suits anyway. :) After all, that scar saved my life and that of my son. I owe a lot to it and to the doctor who created it.

hutch... hutchfam2007

We cannot judge unless we know the full and complete story, every angle, all the background, and I realize that's not really something we could ever completely know.

The complete story isnt really even our business, and we have no right to judge Regardless of any details, background, etc. Support!!! Not Judgement!!! EVERY mother is entitled to their own decisions regarding every aspect of life, including childbirth, and how they decide to raise their children. Mommy-wars be Damned!!!

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