The other day I was sitting with two new friends, and the topic of our children's birth stories came up. They talked about their water breaking, natural births, and a host of things I never experienced since I had two c-sections.
It's been 4 1/2 years since my youngest daughter was born, and I was surprised how emotional I still became thinking of all I missed. I had no choice, as my son was delivered by emergency c-section at 27 weeks when I developed severe preeclampsia. Neither of us would probably be alive had I not had a c-section. When it came to my daughter, doctors didn't seem to think a VBAC was a viable option for me. So I know that I did what was necessary, but it doesn't mean it's not still a sensitive subject, especially with all the anti-Cesarean sentiment in this country.
More from The Stir: 10 Things NOT to Say to a New Mom
I know there are reports about celebrities electing for c-sections because they're "too posh to push" and other unnecessary c-sections, but for the most part, I don't think any mom ever really wants a c-section. So when people say certain things to those of us that have them, it can hurt. Here are six things no one should say to a mom who had a c-section.
1. "You took the easy way out."
There's no easy way out when it comes to birth, and the recovery from a c-section can be brutal. Also, many of us had no choice and would have given anything to prevent a c-section if we could have.
2. "Are you sure you needed a c-section?"
While it's true there are too many unnecessary c-sections performed in this country, there's no use bringing it up after the fact. What's done is done, and while we may have regrets and remorse about what happened, bringing it up can be painful.
3. "Don't you regret not experiencing birth?"
First of all, we did experience birth, just in a different way. And yes, we probably do feel like we missed out on something, but you bringing it up doesn't help.
4. "I could never have a c-section, I believe in natural birth."
Many c-section moms also believe natural birth is best, but for whatever reason, we couldn't have one. No matter how solid one's birth plan, there are no guarantees.
5. "Maybe you wouldn't have needed one if you hadn't had an epidural/used a midwife/stood on your head, etc."
Some of us have regrets about decisions we made, but you bringing up woulda, shoulda, coulda does not help. And for many of us, nothing we did would have changed things.
6. "I'm sorry."
While we may feel sadness about the way our birth story played out, we need understanding, not condolences. Regardless of how our babies entered the world, they are here, and we love them just the same.
Did you have a c-section? What hurtful things have people said to you?
Image via Nyaya Health/Flickr