Why I'm Not Disappointed in My C-Section For years I had planned a natural birth, but as the day approached a dramatic change of events challenged my hopes.

033 Parenting: Why I’m Not Disappointed In My C-Section

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I have a six inch scar across my lower abdomen that reminds me of a special day that happened nearly a year ago. Every time I shower or change clothes, I have memories of that day. I walked into a prenatal visit at my OB/GYN’s office and walked out of the hospital four days later.

Although that day was a bit scary for me, I know that along with our medical team, we did the right thing. For years, I had planned on having a natural childbirth.

In fact, I thought it my best option after experiencing some medical trauma years earlier. I felt that the least amount of medical intervention the better.

I’m not disappointed in my c-section even though I spent 12 weeks in a Bradley Natural Childbirth Class that met two hours per week. That’s a lot of prep work. That’s one of the reasons why my baby and I came out of this situation for the better.

It was not wasted time. My husband and I left that class with a better understanding of childbirth. It helped us when my condition and the baby’s deteriorated.

History of PTSD

Even though I have a history of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder associated with gynecological situations, my c-section experience did not revive those old demons. Don’t get me wrong. I was frightened.

I shook like a leaf, no, more like an entire tree, while my upper body was affixed to the operating table. It was part nerves and part narcotics.

Although I’m not disappointed in my c-section, I know others are disappointed in their own. For many like me, dreams were dashed the day that natural childbirth was trumped by surgical intervention.

Some women labor for hours and feel that they’ve come a tenth of a mile shy of the entire marathon when a c-section intervenes. It is a grieving process for many women. To not honor that is to keep a woman shackled to a secret pain.

National C-Section Awareness Month

That’s why it’s important we talk about National C-Section Awareness month. April is National C-Section Awareness Month. Cesarean Awareness Month is sponsored by the International Cesarean Awareness Network. ICAN is a non profit whose mission is “to improve maternal-child health by preventing unnecessary cesareans through education, providing support for cesarean recovery, and promoting Vaginal Birth After Cesarean (VBAC).”

C-section moms all have their own individual stories. It’s good to talk them out, to process them. Unfortunately, many women feel discouraged from doing this because of judgment.

Judgment that they “didn’t really give birth” that they “took the easy way out” is furthest from the truth. C-section is really the only major surgery where the patient is expected to care for someone else after the surgery.

Unlike other surgeries where the patient is considered the patient and is cared for after the fact, a c-section results in a new life that has to be cared for by the patient. I was very blessed to have many helpful helpers after my c-section. I realize that for some women this is not the case.

As the c-section rate climbs to 1 in 3 births, remember that many women are left traumatized by their experience. Dismissals such as “just be glad you have a healthy baby” do nothing to encourage healing. This means that even women who have positive c-section experiences need to be empathetic to those who have not.

Why I'm Not Disappointed in My C-Section. For years I had planned a natural birth, but as the day approached a dramatic change of events challenged my hopes.
Why I’m Not Disappointed in My C-Section. For years I had planned a natural birth, but as the day approached a dramatic change of events challenged my hopes.

Published by

Vincent & Laura Ketchie

Vincent Ketchie, LPC and Laura Ketchie, LPC are the hosts of Relationship Helpers, a podcast where they discuss family issues and interview relationship experts. Vincent and Laura are licensed marriage counselors.

5 thoughts on “033 Parenting: Why I’m Not Disappointed In My C-Section”

  1. Hi. I had an emergency c-section 13 years ago with our first son. If the intervention had not happened early the outcome of a healthy and live mom and baby could have been much worse. After this I contracted a serious infection in my surgery wound that took 6 weeks of daily nurse visits to contain. Despite this I do not regret the decision to deliver our son this way, in fact, 4 years later I elected to have a caesarean to deliver our second son as we lived very remotely and I wasn’t prepared to put ‘yield and my husband through the terror of making a split second decision when we lived 3 hours from maternity services. Today we have two very healthy, happy, fit and strong boys and I whole heartedly believe that we made the best decision to intervene when we did. I thank you for your story and I believe that no new mom should feel ashamed to have not delivered naturally if that is the best decision for the health of mother and baby. We are lucky to live in a time after hundreds of years of medical research that allows us to experience childbirth in a mostly safe fashion.

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