Ten Worst Things to Say to Someone who has had a C-Section

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I’ve had five c-sections. Only one of them was “planned.” Yes, I  labored four times for too many hours, pushed for too many more, and still ended up in the OR having my babies by scalpel. I had three different doctors, two midwives, and delivered at three different hospitals. At one point in this journey,  I joined a rather violent, anti-c-section, online group. I left after someone posted that they would rather their baby had died than have been born via surgery. I suggested therapy. She suggested I was insensitive and should leave the group.

I did.

It was a moment of clarity for me. It was when I backed off the birthing train, looked at my children, and was able to just say, “Thank you.” This past week though, someone posted the following on an online forum:

“A woman that has a c-section did not educate herself before labor.”

I didn’t throw my hat into the fray (it was on a cooking forum, which is completely insane by itself), because I knew it was no doubt spoken by someone with zero experience. But as someone who went through so many surgeries, did the research, tried all the herbs, the positions, the midwives, the doctors, the doulas, the breathing, the hypnosis, the castor-oil labor inductions – I think I am in a position to give some words of advice to those of you who never had the same experience but continue to offer advice to those of us on the other side. I’m all for VBACs and natural births, mind you. But there has to be some pragmatism at play which, for some reason, disappears whenever this topic comes up.

So here you go. Your friend just had a baby and it was delivered by c-section. When you go and visit her in the hospital, keep the following in mind. These are things you should never say to a woman who has given birth by c-section. These were all said to me at one point, by the way, and at the time, I died a little. But now, older and wiser, I can roll my eyes and confidently say, “You are a moron,” even to the most educated of my friends.

1. “Oh, you are so lucky! I wish I could have a c-section!” Yeah, so you’re pretty much ignorant and stupid. I know all you are thinking about is the convenience of scheduling a birth, and maybe missing the hours of labor, but seriously, no one in their right mind would ever wish for major abdominal surgery just days before having a newborn placed into her care. While you can’t walk. Or turn over. Or, sometimes, breathe.

2. “Have you considered a homebirth for the next one?” Thanks! I’ll look into that. Home birth! Great idea. Yes. I did. But once you have a  c-section that saves both your life and the life of your baby, you tend to want to focus on surviving more than the experiential aspect of the whole thing. This is a comment that is always made by someone who does not care what went into the decisions prior to the c-section. They just care that you had one. Don’t assume that the surgery was frivolous. It isn’t always. And suggesting a home-birth for someone who could be high risk is just unwise.

3. “I heard you had an epidural. Once you start down that path, you’re pretty much guaranteed a c-section.” I loved this one. You can swap out epidural for any sort of pain medication, by the way. It’s the martyr line. The one that implies that if you would have just held out a little longer…

*sigh*

Here’s what I learned: every labor is different. And your 4 hour labor is not the same as my 26 hour labor. And for the record, the main side effect of an epidural is not a c-section, it’s pain relief. It can also, as in my case, make the labor speed up. So take your “I didn’t have an epidural!” badge, mix it with your granola and wheat germ, and kindly shove it up your ass.

4. “Did you try a different position?” I got this gem after I had given birth to my son. I pushed for close to three hours. Though a lot of it is fuzzy, I think at a certain point I was hanging from the ceiling. The assumption is always that if I had just tried one more position, the baby would have just flown right out. It isn’t always the case.

5. “I am so sorry for you!” Why? Because I just gave birth to a beautiful, healthy baby?  The correct greeting should really be, “Congratulations!” It’s a happy event, not a death. It’s true, it didn’t go as I planned, but give that time. Parenting doesn’t go as planned either. Not much in life does. In fact, there is something to be said about learning that you can’t control everything when it comes to your kids. I just learned it on the labor floor. It’ll hit you when your kid turns three.

6. “Babies born by c-section have all sorts of issues later on. Like learning disabilities. And allergies.”  This was brought to my attention by a well-meaning friend who wanted to warn me that I should look for those signs later on in my child’s development. Ironically, years later, her kids were pretty much allergic to air and struggling in school. Go figure.

7. “You live in a state with a high c-section rate.” Yes, that’s true. Your point? Should I move? Or again, are you assuming that it was needless? Don’t go there. Yes, there are high rates of c-sections, but there are also low rates of infant and mother mortality. Keep that in mind when you visit your friend.

8. “It’s such a violent way for your child to come into the world.” Hmm…. Yes that’s true. Giving birth underwater, humming to Enya, surrounded by scented candles – sounds lovely. It’s kind of the same vision I had about breastfeeding. I imagined sitting under a tree, wind in my hair, nourishing my baby. The truth? It’s painful. It’s not “simple.” And more often than not, it is almost savage. Childbirth turns the weakest women into Amazonian war-lords. I don’t think there is one species on the planet that gives birth in peace. (Maybe whales, but even then, it’s a WHALE.) Birth is a natural part of life, but don’t kid yourself, it’s called “labor” for a reason. My c-section is no more violent than the woman whose baby is born breech, or after hours of labor, or even falling out with seconds to spare.

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9.“Why do you want your child born in a hospital?” So, first off, see #2 above. Then, consider this: I’d like my kid born in a hospital because there are DOCTORS there. And pain killers. And specialists. So yes, I choose to err on the side of caution. It’s why I also vaccinate my kids. Do you want to have that conversation as well?

10. “You should read this book about childbirth in America.” Someone actually handed me “Silent Knife” a day after my c-section. It was a great read and put me in touch with a whole crew of people who preyed on my feelings of inadequacy in my failure to have a baby the “natural” way. It educated me, but ultimately, I probably would have been happier with some lighter, positive reading. Like Stephen King.

So much planning  goes into childbirth and when those plans go awry, it’s difficult to recover. I struggled with it for years before ultimately seeing the big picture – that childbirth is not about expectations. It is about the baby. It is about a healthy mom. Stop judging women for how they have their babies and stop making it something much more than it is. My oldest kid is 17 and those few seconds when she came into this world do not hold a candle to the years that followed. They do not define her. And they do not define me.

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72 replies

  1. Adina, you’re amazing. I *love* your writing style! My favorite in this one? Definitely #3!

  2. please, oh please tell me I didn’t say any of this stuff to you after you had your babies!

    • Not sure who this is, but if it’s who I think it is, I will always remember what you said to me when you came to visit. You brought me a Starbucks Frap, gave me a hug, and said, “I am so proud of you.” I still remember that. 🙂 Of course, if that wasn’t you, then, who knows? 🙂

  3. Adina, I just want to hug you after all that!! Omg! People can be so insensitive. And women are so hard on each other! Argh! Well said points with a great sarcastic humor. Much love.

  4. This is my favorite post you’ve written! AWESOME.

  5. Well said. I have never had a c-section (two kids) but like my sister who did, I would have, if the need had arisen. The point of it all is to bring a baby into the world not to have a spiritual experience. A baby is a baby no matter how it gets here. People are stupid

  6. I just loved this. Well said!

  7. I didn’t have a c-section but I did beat myself up for too long about my inability to breastfeed. I also had the fantasy view and it was heartbreaking when it didnt happen for me. As it turns out, not one ear infection ever among my three kids. Women can be really harsh to one another and on themselves, even for circumstances beyond our control and that, as you point out, simply don’t matter when all is said and done. Great piece!

    • I hear that. I breastfed solely out of guilt – nothing more – and I also expected this highly, spiritual experience which never came. But yeah, it’s not worth it to aggravate yourself over these things. Whatever we do for our kids is the best we do, and they grow up in spite of it all. 🙂

  8. I have labored with all three of my children and ended up with c sections after each one as well. The most recent hurtful comment was said to me by someone who had vaginal births and later c-sections. “Well, it is just your way to give birth.” It hurt because she has no idea what it feels like to never have had a vaginal birth and feel inadequate or broken. But since she had c-sections as well she thought she can tell me to relax and get over the fact that I can only have c’s if I have any more children. My last birth we tried everything under the sun and pushed for 3 hours it just wasn’t happening, my doctor was excellent and I have finally come to terms with the fact that I can only birth by c-section. But it still stings when someone who has had a vaginal birth tries to tell me to simply “get over it.”

    Another species of “what not to say to a woman after her c-section” is this string of words that spilled out of my husband’s mouth when I was two days after surgery “Next time we can…”

  9. Excellent article. Well written and so true. I had both of my children via c-section. Was it the plan? No. Was it ultimately the best choice for my children and my health (and possibly my life)? Absolutely. I hate when women who have had ‘the perfect birth’ make me feel less of a mother for having my baby pulled out rather than being pushed out. Although I am sad that I missed that experience, I am so grateful to have two beautiful children that I was able to conceive and carry naturally. Plus, its a lot easier to explain a c-section than a vaginal birth to my kids!

  10. Fantastic. You’re awesome!

  11. I love that you have a healthy baby. I love that had a healthy birth and at the end of the day, the best way for a baby to be welcomed into this world is the way that the mother is most comfortable. That will make for the safest birth. It is a grave shame that birth in America has become so medical and there’s an assumption that you need a doctor nearby, but at the end of the day, all that matters is that mama and baby are healthy.

  12. yeah well U can add another horrible thing to say which was said to me after I came out of the recovery room. ” Oie… I knew u were going to have a c section because you are overweight” I thought I was literall going to jump at her throat. Or someone else said to me ” how active were u during pregnancy.” F off literally. Im still praying for a Vbac because my C s did NOT go well, 1 year in bed with multiple infections but only G-d knows and ultimately I know it will be for the best.

    • OMG!! That’s insane. It never ceases to amaze me how clueless people are. Sorry you had such a terrible experience. Hope the next one goes smoother. And get some new friends!! 🙂

      Thanks for stopping by!

  13. AmaZing. I too had 4 sections and tried everything humanly possible to try a VBAC. People simply believe its dicots easy way out to section you and forget to focus on the baby and/or mom that could have die had we not had the emergency section rift then and there. 5 minutes after my blood pressured spiked and Debra ( my now 17 year old) heart rate plummeted, she was in my arms breathing and looking prefect. Disaster averted. I would have liked to experience childbirth without surgery, but as long as my 4 miracles are happy, healthy and safe, i simply don’t care how they got here.

    Loved reading this. You’re awesome!

  14. Thank you! your article is right on point. With my son, because of my medical history, I knew from my first appt I would have to have a c-section. now with my 2nd pregnancy, my date is already scheduled. So, I would add to your list this question: Did you get a 2nd opinion if the c-section is necessary? – I was high risk from 3 months and had appts every two weeks… just shut the F up.

    • I think we should put that on a T-Shirt: “I had a C-Section. Kindly shut the F up.” Maybe they can give it out with the same bag that has all those formula samples.

      Thanks for stopping by!

  15. What a great article!! People are so insensitive sometimes it’s really crazy. I have never had a c-section but i feel better prepared how to talk to friends after they have one! I never realized all of this… but obviously people don’t CHOOSE c-sections – it’s just emergencies to save babies and moms of course! i don’t get why people wouldn’t realize that

    • Well, there is a small group of people who prefer c-sections and choose to have them. More than likely, those are people who don’t really do much taking care of the actual baby. And, just to be fair, there are a lot of knife-happy docs out there.

      • Hi! This is a the first time I’ve read your blog and I just had to reply to this comment. It seems as though you have faced a lot of judgement for your birth experiences and so you know how judgemental women can be. I am sure you are also aware that many women today are struggling to gain acceptance and respect for their birthing choices from both society and healthcare professionals. In light of these facts, I find the comment above offensive and misinformed. I am someone who will choose a c-section when I get pregnant and I know many wonderful women who have made the same choice. We are not celebrities, we are regular women. And the doctors who perform cesareans on request are not knife-happy docs, but simply doctors who respect patient autonomy and a woman’s right to make decisions about her own body. You’ll also be surprised to hear that there actually aren’t so many of these doctors out there. In fact, women who want to make an informed choice to have a c-section often have to fight very hard to have this choice respected. We all have individual reasons for making these choices. Some women I know have a condition called “tokophobia” which is a pathological fear of vaginal birth. It can often be caused by sexual abuse or PTSD and isn’t always cured by therapy. There are also women who have given birth vaginally and ended up with severe physical problems such as prolapse, incontinence, severe tearing that took months to heal or even fistulas. These women don’t want to risk further damage and hence choose c-sections. Then there are women who do their own research and decide that based on their medical history or based on the family size they are aiming for or just based on their personal preferences, they want a c-section. These are all adult women making informed choices about their own bodies and their own life. I see so much being said about a woman’s reproductive choices and her right to bodily autonomy. It’s really sad that this doesn’t extend to childbirth and even when it does, it is limited to the right to choose home births and VBACs. While I appreciate the importance of those rights, I resent the fact that women like myself who would choose c-sections are not included in the debate and our rights are not considered worth fighting for.

        I would also like to take this opportunity to address the notion that planned and emergency c-sections are all the same and should only be done in emergencies. Planned c-sections are vastly different from emergency c-section which are performed on contracting muscles and often after hours and hours of labour. Which is why planned c-sections usually have comparatively faster and easier recoveries. Planned c-sections at 39-40 weeks of gestation have also been found by NICE in the UK to have the lowest maternal and perinatal mortality rates, and also much lower rates of post-partum haemorrhage. They certainly are a major surgery and they certainly have risks, but so do vaginal births.

        And trust me, women who have cesareans by choice DO take care of their own babies 😉 You had 4 emergency c-sections which are far harder to recover from. If you managed to take care of your own kids, why would you assume differently for women who have cesareans by choice? I assure you the surgery doesn’t change simply because the reason isn’t medical!

      • I am with JayBee on this – how can you be so judgemental of women who choose cesarean? I am also one of those women – and frankly am rather disgusted by the attitude that women who choose cesarean are somehow deserving of such derision. I was responsible for taking care of the actual baby – as are most women who choose cesarean, don’t give the child up for adoption or have a platoon of hired help for the child.

        I also concur with the sentiment that if you happen to be a woman who prefers cesarean that finding a compassionate care provider and hospital can be a challenge – just as much of a challenge as finding a VBAC friendly doctor and hospital and in some areas more so.

        Further – ever stop to think that it might be traumatic to women who prefer cesarean to be forced to undergo vaginal delivery? Perhaps just as traumatic (or more so) as women who are forced to undergo cesarean when they’d prefer a vaginal delivery…

      • Interesting points! I’ll have to think about that. Thanks for stopping by!

  16. I had 2 c’s and someone told me u crazy u had a c section, its major surgery (duh) why didnt u wanna try a vaginal birth dont know the feeling of giving birth naturally omg r u serious ppl r insane….

  17. Well said!!!! Being a mother who under went an emergency c-section that saved both mine and my sons life I am only grateful. Though I won’t lie I definitely was left with serious trauma from the whole process (I’m sure just about any labor and mother is traumatized a little bit). I really hope that my future deliveries will not be a c-section only because the healing process is brutal. If it does end up being, this will be forwarded to every person, along with a please do not disturb I’m finally asleep!

    • Glad you enjoyed! Hopefully you won’t have to share and your later births will go smoothly. But, in case they don’t, feel free to tape these suggestions to your hospital door. People can be pretty moronic. 🙂

  18. I love you for writing this.
    I have had two c-sections. My babies were 10 pounds, 14 ounces, and 9 pounds, 12 ounces, so there was not a chance in hell I pushing them out. My girls today are beautiful, happy, funny, healthy and smart. I’m currently pregnant with my third (a boy) and I already have another c-section planned. Maybe I’ll ask my OB to pipe some Enya into the OR. 🙂

  19. I’ve got 5 children, brought into the world 4 different ways. In order: the first was “aided” by pitocin (no epidural – now THAT is a brutal way of bringing a baby to the world!), one “natural” in a birthing center (birthed on a ball – no kidding!), one with epidural “average american” style :), and 2 c-sections that were (of course) life-saving. I can definitely say that the c-sections were the MOST peaceful birthings of all!

  20. this is a wonderful article. I’m glad you dodged a bullet with the natural childbirth people, I didn’t 😦

    • Medical interventions when needed safe lives.

      C Sections save lives, but in rare cases, they cause injury to the infant. Epidurals relieve pain, and in some cases cause irreversible paralysis. Birth does not NEED to be a medical procedure – and natural childbirth is not a bullet you dodge. If you think it is, you have been mis-educated, or your natural birth may not have been correctly supported.

      The bullets start to fly when unnecessary interventions (not the life saving, necessary interventions) are put in the way.

      We’ve done the hospital birth and the birth center birth – and no – I’m not a tree-hugging, enya-singing hippy.

      • ” Birth does not NEED to be a medical procedure – and natural childbirth is not a bullet you dodge. If you think it is, you have been mis-educated, or your natural birth may not have been correctly supported.”

        Or you were convinced that natural, non-medicalized childbirth was totally safe, and lost a child as the result. Before you refer to someone calling natural childbirth a bullet “mis-educated” (which is totally condescending, BTW), you should probably first find out whether they were educated by burying a baby.

      • Uh you should go read my blog about my birth experience before you try to explain it to me. I was abused during my birth by a midwife, and there has been no real accountability for her because the natural birth community is more concerned about protecting their own people than patient rights. I learned that the hard way. I was educated about natural childbirth- I took a doula training class from the Midwives College of Utah’s president, read all the books, etc. I don’t care if someone wants to have a childbirth without drugs, that’s fine- whats not okay with me is direct entry midwives doing whatever they please with no accountability and spreading misinformation about birth.

        I also have the stories of other women abused at the same birth center on my blog, in case you think that my case is an isolated incident.

      • No one should suffer the loss of a child, no one should ever have to bury their baby — that is exactly when medical interventions are necessary. That is exactly when one should be hospitalized and managed with doctors and medicine. Caregivers need to be educated enough to know when it is time to change direction. Unfortunately, the default has become to assume risks will happen, not to respond to them when they do.

        Shameonbetterbirth, I would love to read your birth story, please share a link. It is a travesty that you feel that there is no accountability in the natural birth community. In our region, midwifes, doulas and care givers are held accountable. I know of cases where midwives has lost their jobs and licenses as a result of their abuse. We all know this can happen in a hospital too though. Again, this is not the fault of natural birth.

        I am fully supportive of necessary medical intervention at the time of birth. These interventions can save lives. I fear that there is a misconception that a medical birth is without risk.

      • The problem is “When needed” has been skewed badly by people who don’t understand it. It was never meant to mean only when life or limb are on the line but also to prevent damage or the emergency from happening in the first place.

        With reducing the number of c-sections where do you start and what happens when your wrong? Maybe the breech babies and then deal with a significant risk of head entrapment, or in the cases of fetal distress we could wait around to be really sure since we’re only risking brain cells.

        Maybe what they’ve been doing where I am which is trying to push and guilt women who want a repeat c-section into VBACing to the point of delaying the surgery while they show you that you really can do it.

        I sincerely wish I had never met the natural childbirth kooks who work as nurses at my local hospital or the rabid NCB crazies who when I finally gave them the very personal information that I’d been sexually abused as a child just to get them off my case about my bottle feeding proceeded to ask how I managed to have the sex to get pregnant in the first place.

        It’s not being for NCB that’s the problem, it’s the shoving it in other people’s faces to the point of abuse when they say they aren’t interested.

      • An argument can be made that no doctor has a crystal ball and sometimes there is no way to be 100% sure which intervention is necessary and which isn’t. I would rather end up with an intervention that might be potentially unnecessary than end up with a dead or disabled baby.

      • …and that’s the only endgame everyone wants in the baby business, no? Shame that so many people lose sight of that.

  21. אחרי 3 לידות בניתוח קייסרי , אני מבינה על מה את מדברת

    רק שיהיו בריאים !

  22. Thank you amanda. I was lucky enough to not lose my baby, but I do have post traumatic stress disorder, which is permanent. I just ended up very hurt because before the birth all I heard was how women should be in control of their bodies and decisions, then after I went into labor it was nothing but force and coercion and denying responsibility for any wrongdoing.

  23. yosef I don’t want my comment to get stuck in the spam filter. Just click on my name and at the top there is a link labeled ‘my story’ with all the information.

  24. Adina I loved every word of this!! Had 3 csecs! I doubt u remember …but i gave birth to jessie in nyc (after 1 billion hrs labor/pushing/vaccums/foreceps etc) & someone put me in touch w u. You had just gone thru a similar birth. I never thought i would survive those first few weeks & was in shock that i had to have a csec. You actually talked me thru it as i was freaking & crying! I have always remembered that! Yup I have 3 healthy great kids & have thank Gd never felt like i missed out on something from having to have 3 csecs . The dr couldve taken em out anyway anyhow just as long as they were out & fine!

  25. I really like what you had to say. I did not have a c-section when I gave birth to my kids. But the nurse said I was going to need one with my second and I was terrified. So even though I never had one I understand about not wanting major surgery if you can help it. My doctor told me to bottle feed. I went through months of guilt when buying formula as strangers pitied me for not being able to breast feed. Not to mention all of the recommendations to Laleche. To learn how. It is best not to give unsolicited advice to pregnant and new mothers. Like every child is unique so is every pregnancy.

  26. Great article! I had a 30 hour labor with my first son, most of it at home using the Bradley method with a doula, that ended in C-section after multiple hours of pushing. My feelings of failure were compounded when he wouldn’t breastfeed, and I couldn’t produce enough milk no matter what I did.

    I tried for a VBAC with my second son, and he ended up with a birth injury from lack of oxygen due to cord compression, even with an emergency C-section. And if I hadn’t had a C-section that time, they wouldn’t have noted that my uterus couldn’t support any more children and there is a good chance that I could die if I had another kid. So likely, he would have died, and if I’d tried for another, I would have died.

    Ironically, my second kid breastfed like a champ – boob? bottle? Didn’t matter to him. That taught me that planning and education were good things to have, but ultimately, babies are people who will have their own innate abilities and preferences, and a lot of good parenting is about yielding to that.

    Outcomes for my kids? My first – the one who wouldn’t breast feed – is spooky smart, bilingual at age 7 and already doing multiplication, and never had an ear infection. My second – the one who wouldn’t STOP breast feeding – is autistic, has had 2 serious ear infections, and there isn’t a day that I don’t wonder what would have happened if I’d just scheduled a C-section for him. But then I remind myself that I’m not a god, and I’m not ultimately in control, and therefore can’t foresee every outcome. I’m just glad that these amazing kids are alive.

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  32. Wow, I just stumbled across this post. As a dude with no kids, I just want to say that I’m completely in awe that there is shaming of c-sections like it is somehow inferior.

    I am glad you realized otherwise and you shared that. Thank you.

  33. I’ve never been pregnant or given birth, but even I know better than to utter comments like any of those above. Some people just need a good slap. Then again, I doubt that would be sufficient to cure the level of ignorance displayed. However, it might have made YOU feel better. 😉

  34. Fantastic. Soooooo well written. Need to share this with all the shallow minded women of the world with such perfectly sheltered lives…

    Maybe your next one could be “what not to say to a pregnant woman”… I had severe gestational diabetes and my nasty bitchy boss had the nerve to tell me that her friend had a stillborn 2 days before due date and was a result of probs with Gestational Diabetes. Even though I knew she was trying to bait me I desperately wanted my baby out and safe. The anxiety was soo overwhelming for me ince she said this. She’s since gone on to have 2 kids – surprises – c-sections… I was tempted believe me lol!!!

  35. I have had three c-sections over a 15 year period, and have struggled with all sorts of feelings of inadequacy and guilt. Everyone else in my family sneezes their babies out, even twins! My guilt probably run deeper than most because of my particular history.
    C-section #1: I was 21 and pretty much had visions of fairytales with pain medication of course! My husband would be in awe of my capabilities to bring forth his son into this world and my mom would be there too. What actually happened was I almost died. At 24 weeks I went into the hospital with HELLP syndrome and spent the next 3 days buying time and getting loaded up with steroids to mature his lungs and barely made it. I had a very risky and traumatic c-section. No one was allowed in the OR. They made the skin incision with no anesthesia; just a paralytic and then put me to sleep. I had a 15 oz baby so sick that he was transferred across town and I never got to see him before he left. Everyone else in my family met my baby before me. I first saw him 36 hours later when they released me because they were afraid he would die. I was in no shape to be at home. It was a month before I held him, 3 months before he came home, and I never got to breastfeed. He is overall healthy now at 16, but has some challenges particularly with eyesight and bed wetting. Huge guilt factor that not only did I have a c-section but my body failed to give him a decent start.
    C-section #2: I had hopes of a VBAC since they said I had a good chance. I clung to this hope but at just shy of 32 weeks I started getting preeclampsia. I was crushed. It wasn’t as scary. I had the spinal/epidural so hubby got to go in. She weighed 3 lb 1 oz and was perfect in every way. No oxygen or anything. Just needed to grow. She came home in 25 days. It took me 3 months but she finally was able to breastfeed and did so until she was 1. Thought we were done with kids after that but God had other plans.
    C-section #3: 11 years after my second, I found out I was pregnant at almost 36. This time, the high risk doc did DNA testing and found a clotting mutation believed to be associated with HELLP and preeclampsia. Heparin/lovenox just might do the trick and give me a fat baby. I still had hopes of a VBAC after reading that it is now accepted by American obstetrics association. I picked a new D.O. Hoping that she could give me the birth I had never had. In San Antonio, there is no chance. Not one of the hospitals would even allow it. I’m not going to lie. I had serious fantasies of laboring at home and going in just a smidge too late. It was not to be. With the heparin/lovenox they made me have a repeat at 37 weeks. I actually was starting to labor at that time, but not soon enough. I literally cried the whole night before I went in. The fear and dread are very real to me and I am sure I have PTSD surrounding c-sections. The first was just too traumatic. Again, I had I have had three c-sections over a 15 year period, and have struggled with all sorts of feelings of inadequacy and guilt. Everyone else in my family sneezes their babies out, even twins! My guilt probably run deeper than most because of my particular history.
    C-section #1: I was 21 and pretty much had visions of fairytales with pain medication of course! My husband would be in awe of my capabilities to bring forth his son into this world and my mom would be there too. What actually happened was I almost died. At 24 weeks I went into the hospital with HELLP syndrome and spent the next 3 days buying time and getting loaded up with steroids to mature his lungs and barely made it. I had a very risky and traumatic c-section. No one was allowed in the OR. They made the skin incision with no anesthesia; just a paralytic and then put me to sleep. I had a 15 oz baby so sick that he was transferred across town and I never got to see him before he left. Everyone else in my family met my baby before me. I first saw him 36 hours later when they released me because they were afraid he would die. I was in no shape to be at home. It was a month before I held him, 3 months before he came home, and I never got to breastfeed. He is overall healthy now at 16, but has some challenges particularly with eyesight and bed wetting. Huge guilt factor that not only did I have a c-section but my body failed to give him a decent start.
    C-section #2: I had hopes of a VBAC since they said I had a good chance. I clung to this hope but at just shy of 32 weeks I started getting preeclampsia. I was crushed. It wasn’t as scary. I had the spinal/epidural so hubby got to go in. She weighed 3 lb 1 oz and was perfect in every way. No oxygen or anything. Just needed to grow. She came home in 25 days. It took me 3 months but she finally was able to breastfeed and did so until she was 1. Thought we were done with kids after that but God had other plans.
    C-section #3: 11 years after my second, I found out I was pregnant at almost 36. This time, the high risk doc did DNA testing and found a clotting mutation believed to be associated with HELLP and preeclampsia. Heparin/lovenox just might do the trick and give me a fat baby. I still had hopes of a VBAC after reading that it is now accepted by American obstetrics association. I picked a new D.O. Hoping that she could give me the birth I had never had. In San Antonio, there is no chance. Not one of the hospitals would even allow it. I’m not going to lie. I had serious fantasies of laboring at home and going in just a smidge too late. It was not to be. With the heparin/lovenox they made me have a repeat at 37 weeks. I actually was starting to labor at that time, but not soon enough. I literally cried the whole night before I went in. The fear and dread are very real to me and I am sure I have PTSD surrounding c-sections. The first was just too traumatic. Again, I had the epidural/spinal and my husband AND my mother got to go in. I had a 7lb 1oz baby girl and was able to breastfeed from the start. She is still nursing at 12 months. from the start. She is still nursing at 12 months.
    I still feel inadequate. I don’t think my husband thinks less of me; I just don’t feel like he feels more of me. Does that make sense? He says my scar doesn’t bother him, but it bothers me. It is hideous after this last one, the permanent pooch that remains even though I am fit. I try never to look at it or let him see it. Lights off during sexy time is a must. This annoys the hell out of him, but I don’t care. It’s better than tears. This last section hurts the most because I truly feel like if I had been allowed to try my body would have done it easily. People don’t understand and act as though I’m not grateful for my kids, with a biting little dose of inferiority shining through in their humor. “You got the easy way out!” Seriously! After hearing my history, to have the nerve to say I had it easy! I wasn’t even allowed ANY pain medication at all after my first c-section and had no morphine that they would use in an epidural. Not even a damn Tylenol because my liver was so sick. Then 3 months of NICU many weeks not knowing if he would even survive. I would like to see what a hard delivery would be like.
    I know this is an old post but it needed to come out! I feel better now.

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  1. In Praise of C-Sections | Worse for the Fishes

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