I was one of those women who went into Labor without a birth plan, sure I had thought about a birth plan but didn't really feel like it was for me. It seemed pretty pointless since things never seem to go according to plan and as a health care professional I know there are plenty of things that could have happened to throw said birth plan out the window in seconds. So into labor I went, blissfully unaware of what was about to go down.
I knew for certain that I did not want a cesarean section, but I think even without a birth plan no woman wants a section, we all want to do it as natural as possible give or take some drugs. However knowing that one in three women have a c-section, I knew it was a strong possibility for me. In fact, it was always kind of in the back of my mind, I had this feeling that I was going to deliver my baby via surgical intervention. I don't know if this was me preparing for the worst or just really good intuition, but the moment the doctor stated that we needed to 'make a decision' on the next step after two hours of pushing the tears started uncontrollably streaming down my face and all I could think was, "I knew it". I'm not going to go into detail about Scarlett's birth but if you would like to read about it you can find my birth story here.
When I was given the 'choice', and I use that word lightly because when presented with my options the only logical choice pointed toward a c-section. At that point I just wanted to meet my baby, I was tired, I was exhausted and I didn't have any more strength in me to continue pushing.
I will be the first to admit, c-sections are NOT pleasant. You're lying there, awake, arms strapped down to a table with nothing but a blue sheet to shield you from what you already know they are doing to your body. I have to say, the surgery is relatively quick but you can feel everything a lot of pressure and as someone who deals with anxiety that part was not nice at all. The actual surgery was not the hardest part for me though.
I was able to hold Scarlett for about 5-10 minutes while the doctor's stitched me up, probably because I was the most neurotic patient and they knew it would shut me up. I was so thankful for those few short minutes before they whisked her and my husband away to the NICU while I recovered from my surgery. This was, by far the hardest part. My birth was not like in the movies, I didn't get to bond with my baby, she was simply taken away minutes after I brought her into this world. All I wanted to do was hold her, to look at her, to smell her and get to know the little person she was. I worried about establishing breastfeeding due to our time apart. But to my surprise (after a couple of hours of being separated) she latched on perfectly and all of my fears subsided. I did have a little trouble sharing her though, for those first few weeks I really didn't want anyone holding her. I guess I felt a little robbed of my bonding experience in the beginning and felt that she wouldn't recognize me as her Mama if other's were holding her. Seems silly to me now, but I'm sure it's just human nature to have those feelings... and hormones (haha).
Besides being separated from my baby though, I never once felt robbed of childbirth. Modern medicine is a beautiful thing and I am so thankful for it. God only knows where I would be without it. I've never felt less of a woman because I didn't deliver in the traditional way and I most definitely do not feel like less of a mother. Will I have a c-section the next time? Heck yes. I am not one to tempt fate and knowing the life threatening risks of a VBAC is a huge deterrent for me. I will never deliver a baby vaginally and I am more than OK with that.
I have this beautiful scar that sits just low enough so no one will ever see it. I love my scar, it is a beautiful reminder of what it has given me and I feel proud to have carried my baby for a whole nine months only to bring her into this world as a healthy, strong and thriving baby girl.
Did you have a c-section? Did you ever feel robbed of the traditional birthing experience?
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