C-Section Mom Blasts Women Who Think They Deserve a 'Trophy' for Vaginal Births

Mom and newborn baby
chontelduncan/Instagram
No matter how you give birth, it most likely involved some pain, fear, blood, and the goal of bringing a healthy human being into the world. Whether you opted for medicine or had a natural delivery, gave birth vaginally or had a C-section, or planned your delivery in a hospital or at home, all ways that women give birth are incredible. However, some women wear their birth stories as a badge of honor -- and use the way they labored to try to shame other moms. After recently having her second baby, one frustrated mom is proving just how wrong that thinking is.

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After giving birth to her second baby boy via C-section, personal trainer Chontel Duncan -- whose baby belly comparison photo went viral last year -- is slamming the notion that being cut open and having a baby removed from your abdomen is taking the easy way out -- despite what many judgmental people assume. "There's nothing easy about a cesarean either ... the tugging, the pushing, the sounds, the smells, the feeling of no control, the fear of something going wrong, the recovery, it all terrifies me," she wrote on Instagram. "But I would do it all again in a heartbeat."

Baby's first bath
chontelduncan/Instagram

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Chontel tells CafeMom that her two deliveries were drastically different, but both ended in C-sections -- and there was nothing "easy" about either one. When this mom from Australia gave birth to her first baby boy, she labored until she reached nine centimeters but then had to be rushed to emergency surgery due to complications.

"The first cesarean was by far the scariest; I had labored for over a day and was extremely exhausted," she says. "Having to care for a newborn after such a traumatic experience was challenging, but the excitement overrides those feelings and emotions. The second cesarean was booked in due to the positioning of the baby, therefore I walked myself into hospital feeling energized and fresh."

Chontel, who has 605,000 followers on Instagram, has been candid about her journey to motherhood on social media; she has also received flak from the public, saying she took the easy way out for not "at least attempting" to deliver Swayde vaginally before deciding on the second C-section. "I feel those comments [are] extremely offensive; I also believe this has become almost a trophy situation to some, where if you don't push your baby out your vagina and use no drugs, you didn't complete the job correctly," she says.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 32 percent of women give birth via C-sections, and yet many moms are left feeling ashamed, disappointed, or judged for their birth stories. "I shared my photos because I know I am not alone and the way those comments offended me, I could only imagine how it was making other women feel," Chontel says. "Cesareans are lifesavers -- so many lives would have been lost if it wasn't for this incredible technique in safely delivering babies. Therefore I wanted to be the voice for other women feeling the same, to provide a platform for women to show their support, and to connect with my community on a topic I was so passionate about."

mom in labor
chontelduncan/Instagram

More from CafeMom: This Baby 'Pop Out' of Mom's Belly During a Gentle C-Section

To prove how raw yet beautiful C-sections are, Chontel shared three shots from Swayde's delivery. "The top photo captures me at my weakest point and my husband incredibly helpless, the middle photo captures the sound of Swayde's cry, and [the] bottom photo captured the most incredible feeling of all, two parents falling in love at first sight," Chontel wrote on Instagram. "No matter how we birth or how our babies come into our lives, we all experience fear, excitement and fall in love. Natural, Cesarean, surrogate, adoption, whatever the situation, we all go through the journey in some way, shape or form & we all should be damn proud of ourselves."

Even though having two C-sections wasn't what Chontel envisioned when she first thought about what her labor experiences would be like, she hopes that other moms remain open-minded, especially when it comes to things you can't control. "The second I knew my baby was in danger and required an emergency cesarean I was 100 percent committed to doing what I had to, to ensure my baby wasn't hurting," she says. "Your motherly instincts kick in and you honestly don't care.

Mom and newborn baby
chontelduncan/Instagram

For moms who had a C-section but weren't planning on it and feel ashamed or disappointed, there's a universal mom "mantra" that Chontel hopes they keep close to heart: "to do all means possible at the birth to protect their babies."

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