There is something about the internet that makes people feel free to say the strangest things, to declare expert status on topics without bothering to find out the information. All it takes is one seemingly innocent comment on one mutual friend’s FB page and let the shaming begin!
Well, internet, I reject your shame.
I will be having a scheduled c-section with this baby, like I did with my first, and guess what? I am still a good mom. Some women have scheduled c-sections just because, and honestly though the c-section rate is indeed high and we could do a better job of supporting mothers to deliver vaginally, it’s none of your business why they schedule them.
I don’t know their stories, but I do know mine. Perhaps it will help you understand.
With my first, we presented a birth plan to my OB at our 35 week appointment. It involved walking around the hospital, warm showers and as little intervention as possible. My OB was totally on board until the ultrasound showed that my son, Max, was not just breach but “jacknifed” his small butt stuck by my left hip, his head up near my right ribs and his feet both stuck over his head. There was no way he was coming out. I tried everything. Lay on an ironing board off the couch and hang with your head near the floor and your legs in the air with a pack of frozen peas on his head, the idea being that the cold and the change in direction would encourage him to move. Did it. Poor guy was stuck. He wasn’t able to move, even if he had wanted too.
I will never forget how quiet and still she was during that ultrasound, concern on her face as after what seemed like forever she said “I don’t think you’re going to get the birth you hope for, we will need to do a c-section.” Zach and I breathed a sigh of relief after she assured us that baby was fine, just stuck, and our immediate response was “Oh, is THAT all?”
That c-section can only be likened to the final scenes of Braveheart. Two nurses climbed on the table and pushed and wiggled as I was cut farther and farther open in order to finagle one very stuck baby boy out of me.
Yet, you judge, internet.
You don’t know that when you toss that out, and accuse my doctor of wanting an easy way out, what a struggle that surgery was. You don’t know that when Zach asked Dr. K when it was all over what would have happened to Max and I back in the pioneer days and she said very quietly “they both would have died in labor.” All you hear is scheduled C-section and you make assumptions.
I went into labor with Huck, my second, at 29 weeks, the exact same gestational age as I am right now with this baby. We were in and out of the hospital, on bedrest, on contraction stopping drugs and when my water broke at 36 weeks my entire team supported my decision to try for a VBAC.
Yet, you come on FB and say “Don’t let your doctor talk you into a c-section! You are a PERFECT candidate for a VBAC! You could deliver the right way!”
You don’t know what the doctors did support me. In the end, after the baby started showing signs of stress, my OB suggested a c-section and I agreed.
I knew then that if I had another baby it would be a direct ticket to the O.R. and I am at peace with that. I have had two c-sections. One with a swiss cut and one with a singular cut. To risk tearing and bleeding out is silly in my opinion. I have two sweet boys who want their mommy around. I have a baby girl in my womb who is hoping to be born and loved. I don’t think she cares how she gets out. Just that she does.
So, internet, I reject your shame. You can keep it.
I wouldn’t even be here to be a mother to my baby if it weren’t for a scheduled c-section; scheduled in the nick of time as it turned out, as my contractions were two minutes apart when they checked me in with Max.
We can never know anyone’s reason for having a c-section and it isn’t any of our business. The only proper thing to say is ”all that matters is mommy and baby are happy and here at the end of the day.” Then smile at the mama and congratulate her.