An Open Letter from a C-Section Mother

C-Section Mother Birth Story
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.
C-Section Mother Response to That Photographer

Originally posted on Facebook.

Dear Photographer,
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.
Sincerely,
A C-Section Mother
Baby After Birth, Open Letter from a C-Section Mother,  #pregnancy #birth #delivery #newborn #motherhood #birthisbirth #labour #csectionbirth

Comments 44

  1. What an awful thing to happen to that mother and congratulations on your successful birth we all give birth regardless of how the baby comes out #dreamteam

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  2. I saw this on Facebook. My blood went off the boil. I cannot bear the ignorance when it comes to c sections. Makes me so mad. Great post #bestandworst

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  3. I saw this on facebook too Kat and it really annoyed me at first. and then I felt sorry for the photographer. sorry for all the business they’ll probably lose over this! what a stupid stupid thing to come out and say. It’s no ones bloody business how a woman gives birth and no one should be judged. C-sections save lives and babies are born. end of. I feel sorry for people who seem to have such a narrow view of the world :/

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  4. I saw this too and was equally outraged. C sections are very rarely chosen as the easy way out as like you I know all too well that there is nothing easy about it and the lats thing we need is some ignorant so and so telling us that it means we aren’t real mothers. Bull to that as I for one am grateful to live in a world where c sections save so many of our lives xx

  5. Oh my god!!! Some people’s ignorance is astounding. I didn’t want a c-section but my son was breech with low fluid and I was told it was necessary or his life would be at risk. Second time round I wanted a vbac but had an irrational fear me or my baby would die so opted for an elective c-section. The aneasthetic didn’t work and I felt it all, there was also no time to wait for more to take effect as they discovered my previous scar had started to rupture. If I hadn’t had that elective on that exact day me and my daughter might not be here. They could have knocked me out, but I wanted to witness my little girls birth into this world, to hear that first cry, to know that she was safe and healthy, to hold her and kiss her head blood and all. I defy anyone to tell me I cut corners! And breathe. Can you tell that go my back up slightly?
    #Bestandworst

  6. I just fist pumped the air on reading this. Thank you for your open letter. That story has upset me all week and I’ve been so angry at the photographer.

    I too still don’t feel like I’ve given birth, but my son is safe and so am I. And that’s more important than pushing out my little sprog x great post #bestandworst

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      Ah I’m glad it helped you! It’s so frustrating reading things that others obviously have no knowledge or understanding about! Don’t let it get to you though, that photographer is an absolute arse.

  7. Great response! That post made me very cross too. But then I thought she had a lucky escape because you wouldn’t want someone so vile photographing your special experience anyway! Thank you for linking up to #ablogginggoodtime

  8. Well said! It’s crazy that people still have these opinions. Throughout my pregnancy, I worried how I would cope if the doctors ever had to say “You need a c-section”. The thought of being cut open was terrifying. It’s certainly not an easy option #ablogginggoodtime

  9. Hopefully this small minded individual can see the uproar in response. Being a Mother has nothing to do it birthing a baby, it’s to do with loving them. I had an emergency Caesar and think I’m pretty dam hardcore! #ablogginggoodtime

  10. Boy was I fuming when I read this on Facebook earlier in the week. Who the bjango int their right mind says that to a mother…? Clearly she’d insane. The tone and everything. My c-section terrified me. I still have shivers when I hear Adele singing Hello because it was on in the background during the surgery. I shook and shook. My my body was almost convulsing. Well said. This needed writing! #Coolmumclub

  11. I saw that screenshot and was horrified – birth is birth, regardless of how the baby comes out. I didn’t have a c-section myself, but I recognise that it’s a major surgery that in most cases is necessary in order to protect the health of the mother and/or child – and it’s wrong to act like it’s somehow less than a vaginal birth. #ablogginggoodtime

  12. I saw this on FB. It is so utterly ridiculous I actually thought it was possibly made up! I still can’t get over how rude some people can be. I’m not sure she should really be calling herself a ‘birth photographer’.
    #SharingTheBlogLove

  13. What a beautifully articulated response to that eejit. Seriously, what planet was that photographer from?!
    Thanks for linking to #coolmumclub

  14. I read the text exchange and wanted to cry! I had an emergency c-section with my first and planned c-sections with the twins and it was so hard to get my head round but this is PROGRESS. Without this option tragedies would happen. Thanks for writing the response post xx #ablogginggoodtime

  15. oh what??? That is ridiculous! How absolutely rude and cruel. As a mother of 3 who has given birth to my first 2 vaginally and my 3rd by c-section I can tell you that the C-section was so much harder for me both emotionally, painfully and recovery wise. I already felt I had let my son down (which I did not) without someone so pathetic making me feel worse. I am sure if this person was facing a child dying and potentially themselves dying too, or a C-section they would chose the C-section. And if they didn’t then they would be completely stupid and selfish. #SharingTheBlogLove

  16. Literally everything you have said is everything I want to say as a c-section mother – your birth sounds incredibly similar to mine and it was hell but we survived it! I hope this “birth” photographer never has to go through the ordeal of a c-section and experience what it actually means to have your choice of birth taken away from you! #coolmumclub

  17. I saw this on facebook earlier this week (and in fact I commented on your post the other day too, but it looks like it didn’t go through!). I’m so shocked that someone would have that attitude, but even more shocked at the massively patronising tone. In my view, birth is birth, however it happens and we’re lucky to live in an age where a c-section is available if you need it. But even if they didn’t want to photograph it, there was no need for that kind of rudeness. It’s resulted in a huge amount of negative publicity though, so I’m sure they won’t be winning any new business off the back of this! Thanks for joining us at #SharingtheBlogLove

  18. What!!!!! I totally did not see this on Facebook. I am actually speechless that someone actually thinks like this. It doesn’t matter how you become a mum and that includes adoption and step mum’s. You are still a mum! It’s so rude and I’m sure they are regretting it now. Thank you for joining us at #SharingtheBlogLove

  19. So glad you wrote this Kat, and I am crossing my fingers that the photographer sees your post. I cannot believe that anyone could be so cruel. No matter how baby comes out, mums should not have to justify or explain the type of birth they are going to have/or have had to anyone. Especially not to a jumped up photographer who was going to be given a very precious occasion to document and probably for a pretty large sum too. I would not want that type of person at my little ones birth, I can’t imagine ANYONE trusting that photographer with their photos now. Thanks so much for sharing this post with the #DreamTeam x

  20. I’m with you totally. Officially I wasn’t in labour because I didn’t get past 3cm ( my waters broke and going into hospital to be monitored I was at 1cm, and was then on a drip for 13 hours before we had to have a cs because I couldn’t stay on the drip indefinitely), but I’ve never doubted that I’ve given birth, the same as any other birth method. If the baby is coming from your body it’s birth, whatever way it comes. Without cs there would be a lot fewer mums and babies around. I suppose it’s that photographer’s choice, but she should have just said she was booked up, or she only caters for home births, rather than being hurtful towards a prospective mother

  21. I missed this, but it would have made me really mad too. C-sections are not the easy option. I had one with Miss. D and my wound also got infected. It was very unpleasant and very debilitating. I had a ‘normal’ birth with Miss. L and for me that was the easier option. I was back on my feet in no time. This photographer really needs a dose of reality and perhaps a little kindness of heart.

  22. #MarvMondays as a momma of 2 C-section babies, one emergency and one planned. One that resulted in bringing my baby home, the other sadly not – i couldn’t give a frick who has, who hasn’t, who pushed and who prayed…we are blessed with medical skills that can save lives. This is all that matters – healthy humans. Sad that people want medals and make naive comments. Thank you for reacting 🙂

  23. I’m so glad someone chose this as their #blogcrush for this week – it’s such an important message. C-section is NOT an easy option – it’s a completely terrifying option that can bring complications and a long recovery along with it. Well done for speaking out.

    #blogcrush

  24. Omg I cannot believe what that photographer said. As a c-section mummy it made me feel sick to my stomach to read his comments. Thank you for your open letter. We all have our reasons for having a c-section but that doesn’t make us any less of a mother. Having a c-section saved my daughters life and I will never apologise or feel ashamed of having one. #marvmondays

  25. I’ve read that the person who originally posted that screenshot has now come out and said they faked it up to get attention and create a media storm. However, the fact is that people do genuinely have the attitude that c-sections aren’t proper births! If you ask me, every type of birth is a ‘proper birth’. We do everything we can do get our babies out safely! #marvmondays

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      Yeah I’ve read that it was faked too. But even for that person to fake it they probably have that attitude to c-section births and it’s just all a bit silly isn’t it?!

  26. Great letter, I did see the post doing the rounds and I was shocked, I really can’t believe that some narrow minded people would think like that. Thanks for linking up lovely #bestandworst

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  28. Well said!! Poor you sounds like a horrible experience. Birth is birth and you did a fantastic job to bring your daughter here safely. THAT IS ALL THAT MATTERS. I’d have one in a hear beat if I was in your situation. xx #coolmumclub

  29. I had a similar experience with my first. Two days in and out of hospital followed by two days in hospital in active labor. Eventually I had an emergency C-section because a knot in the cord was causing stress. Not the easy option and the recovery is tough! #sharingthebloglove

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