"All I know is that I love you so..." - Coldplay
It was a hot, summer day in June. She wanted more than anything to give birth at the birth center, but when her due date came and went and then went beyond the day to deliver at the center - we made the transfer. After 29 hours of labor of a failed induction at 42-weeks, she looked at me and said, "If you were me, what would you do?"
Nobody can determine the outcome of your birth, and I mean the way you give birth. Today, there are many options and how you choose to birth is up to you. The land of informed choice. But sometimes, most times, the way you give birth chooses you.
We use c-section delivery when a mother has uterine fibroids and the uterine muscle can't contract appropriately and with coordination. We use c-sections when a woman's pelvis is shaped like a mans and literally the passageway is not set up to birth babies. We use c-sections after a 29-hour, failed induction when your body isn't ready; And, the only place you were going to want to give birth is in an OR because your placenta was attached in a way that would have made you bleed to death anywhere else. We use c-sections to save lives, both a mom and a baby.
If you are one of the one in three women in the U.S. who are c-sections mommas - this post is for you, because:
1. It's your birth story; and it matters.
I've traveled around the world, and the minute I tell someone I'm a Midwife I get their birth story. All 2 - 45 minutes of it. Why do I stop and listen? Because every time, my heart is blown right open at how amazing every woman's story is and how it's impacted her life. Your birth story is a story you will never, ever forget, and it's one to be cherished and shared whether you had a mystical water birth or an emergency c-section. It's your birth. That's all that counts.
2. Your c-section made you a mom.
There are few thresholds we'll cross in this lifetime as surreal and mind-blowing as birthing your children and becoming a mother. This crossing is imprinted in you, and you will have an opinion about how you became a mom until you're gray and your babies are becoming mothers and fathers. Trust me...you will. Rites of passage are timeless experiences, ones where we never get to be who we were before the event. After your birth, finding your way back to yourself takes time, patience, energy and healing. Nonetheless, your experience made you a mom. A person, and title you'll never give up.
3. You lived through major surgery.
Period. That's huge. You have to celebrate this reality a little today, please. Rock on!
When your birth chooses you, and it's a birth that gets a lot of negativity in the media, I believe there's room for insight. Insight that opens you up to what's possible for how your story will develop; and how you will take care of yourself during your physical recovery. Insight, that you are just like every other woman giving birth - empowered, strong, healthy, alive and uncontrollably grateful for the baby you brought into this world. I hope you feel that way about your c-section, I really do.
Remember, there is no right or wrong way to give birth. All those articles out there saying negative shit, ignore them, and write your own! The most important thing, as stereotypical as this is about to sound, is a healthy mother and baby at the end of each birth. We are all born in our own way, and that to me is magic.
Your turn now. In the comments below, please tell us about your c-section and how it's helped you grow.
When she asked me what I'd do, after a solid 30-minute conversation of risks and benefits, I looked her and said, "I'd get the c-section." It wasn't an easy answer, but it's what I would have done if I was her.
Please, share your thoughts on your c-section in the comments below. Also, pass this onto a friend if you know she needs it.
Sending lots of love, and I hope you have a good week!