Have you seen that screenshot making the rounds on social media? A photographer refusing to take photos of a baby because the mother had a caesarean section. Each to their own, whatever, but saying a c-section isn’t birth? Really? It made me angry, as a mother that birthed my daughter through c-section. This is my response.
I recently read how you view a c-section mother. I’m sure you’re just another one of those internet trolls begging for viral fame and attention (congratulations, by the way) but I couldn’t let what you said slide.
I couldn’t just say nothing.
Birth is birth. It doesn’t matter how that baby comes out, vaginal, Caesarian, ventouse, forceps, natural, epidural, surrogate whatever. Birth is birth.
Birth is the shortest stage of pregnancy, and the day that you finally, hopefully get to hold someone that you have grown to absolutely worship for nine long, hard months. Birth is the hardest part of pregnancy, it’s also absolutely terrifying. It’s hard work. It doesn’t matter if you’re breathing through the contractions or being prepped for major abdominal surgery.
You do realise that’s what a Caesarian is don’t you? It’s not just a quick nip, it is major. It is a twelve week recovery process. It is a blade that cuts through stomach, muscle, womb…it takes around forty odd minutes to stitch each of those layers back up. 40 minutes before you can really hold your baby.
My c-section was terrifying. Because my c-section was life dependant. My c-section saved my daughters life. I’ve already felt like I failed because I didn’t push her out but oh gosh I tried. I pushed and pushed for two hours despite not having slept for three days and not feeling the contractions probably from my epidural. And I had a fever. I remember then saying I was burning to the touch but I couldn’t stop shaking and I was so so cold. I felt freezing. And I couldn’t push. And I didn’t know what to do. And then many, many faces ran in my room. Forms were pushed in my face, signing away my consent for a c-section that I desperately didn’t want. I didn’t ask for surgery. I didn’t ask to cut the corners you believe us section mothers have. I was frightened for my life, my babies and I was oh so tired.
Then my daughter was born. And eventually I got to hold her. After the stitches. After insisting I felt like I was going to throw up and being given an egg carton to do it in.
When I came home I couldn’t do anything. I couldn’t even get on my bed because it pulled. I couldn’t properly step into my bath for a shower because it pulled. I couldn’t walk for long miles because it pulled. I couldn’t sit in the car for long because it pulled.
Then after I thought everything was okay. I got a wound infection. I was terrified my scar would split open, that I would actually die. Possibly because of over exaggerated hormones and sleep deprivation but I still felt that fear.
Even now my scar twinges, still pulls. It’s there as a reminder of the day I safely brought my daughter into this world. It’s a reminder that I am and will always be a mother. It is how my daughter was born.
It was not easy. Birth is not easy, birth is trauma on the body. However it happens, no one takes the easy way out. No one cuts corners. No one gets a medal. Well, we get our beautiful babies. And that is worth more to me than any medal.
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