When it comes to pregnancy, c-section is a scary word to a lot of moms-to-be. I've heard too many women to count say that they would refuse one even if their doctor suggested it. Some even swear it's just a ploy to rack up labor and delivery costs. So I know I am an anomaly for the way I feel about it. Why? Because I LOVED having a cesarean section. In fact, I was relieved when I found out I would have to undergo one.
I was terrorized by the thought of a vaginal delivery from the moment that little plus sign appeared on a pregnancy test. I would practically have panic attacks thinking about pushing a baby out. What if I was in labor for hours days? What if I don't make it to the hospital on time? What if I needed an episiotomy? A process other moms-to-be thought beautiful, I called brutal. But despite my fears, I was willing to do it, of course. The most important thing was to get our baby here in the safest way possible. Though, as my pregnancy grew more problematic (I had both gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, and I always felt ill), the probability of a c-section became higher.
My doctor thought I was going to be upset with the news. Quite the contrary, I was happy. I certainly was scared about having a preemie. No mother wants her baby born early. But knowing that I would most likely have to have a cesarean brought a little relief to an incredibly tense situation. That's not to say I took the procedure lightly. It's major surgery, after all. But to me, there was less fear of the unknown. There was no water breaking on the subway train or being stuck in the infamous NYC traffic while in labor or, worse, actually not being able to find a cab while in labor.
After the doctors decided it would be best to take him out, I had a scheduled time to arrive to the hospital and I knew approximately how long it would be before we met our son. I was nervous but took my mind off things reading an Elle magazine before I was prepped for surgery. The only excitement leading up to it was the nurse who came to shave me -- which was more embarrassing than anything (pregnant woman aren't known for their excessive grooming below the belt in the last months). Then came the epidural. A little while later, I was wheeled into the operating room. I couldn't see or feel much, but 20 minutes later, I heard my baby screaming. It was pretty great.
Soon after, I was taken to my hospital room. Recovery wasn't exactly a piece of cake. I greedily took those pain meds. Though I didn't have to worry about temporary incontinence, painful urination, or difficulty sitting (common after-effects of a natural delivery). I would go as far as to say that I kind of enjoyed my c-section. And thanks to my amazing OB/GYN, who did a plastic surgery rotation, you can't even see my scar.
I admit, I get a lot of strange looks when I tell other moms how I feel about the subject. To some, having your baby this way robs you of the experience of giving birth. A few even say it's not technically giving birth. To that, I say horse crap. Just because I didn't push him out doesn't make the experience any less profound or real. I would even do it again if given a choice.
What was your c-section like? For moms who've had both kinds of deliveries, which was the better experience?
Image via Simon Jaratt/Corbis