Mom's C-Section Story Reminds Us When It Comes To Birth, You Can't Plan Everything

by Megan Zander
Originally Published: 

Mom shares photo of c-section scar to encourage others to see the beauty in all births

Raquel Renteria had an specific birth plan in mind for welcoming her second child into the world. While the birth of her first “wasn’t a horror story,” she definitely knew she wanted some things to be different. The second time around she was more educated about the birthing experience and her options. “I knew what I wanted, I knew I had choices and that this birth could be an experience my husband and I could enjoy together,” she told Scary Mommy. But life had other plans.

At 32 weeks pregnant she learned the baby was breach. By 37 weeks, when Renteria went into labor, the baby still hadn’t changed positions. “It’s illegal in California for midwives to deliver breech babies out of hospital and unfortunately there aren’t any doctors in my area that will deliver a breech baby,” Renteria said. She reluctantly decided to have a c-section.

“I was terrified of this surgery,” she wrote, in an Instagram post that’s since gone viral. “I was afraid of this scar and the long term effects it would have on [my] body and my mind. I was worried I would feel inadequate, like I didn’t give birth to her.”

But Renteria found that even though she didn’t have the natural birth she was originally hoping for, in the end she still managed to get everything she wanted from her birth experience. “This surgery was not an easy decision for me. It pushed me to educate myself, to open my mind, to let go of my perfect expectations. I had everything I wanted during my birth. We had skin to skin in the OR, we saw our daughter being birthed (actually have the video of it), my husband cut the umbilical cord, they delayed cord clamping and most importantly, our baby was safe and beautiful and my doctor respected every decision we made.”

“This scar proves that I am indeed a #badassmama!” Renteria writes, but it’s not undergoing surgery itself that makes her feel that way. “I don’t think I’m more badass because I had a c-section over vaginal delivery,” she said. “I just think I’m a badass because of all I had to overcome in making peace with my birth and letting go of my expectations. I wanted a natural birth and it didn’t go that way. And I found my peace with that and in the end embraced my birth.”

There have been times that I’ve struggled with feelings that my own c-section was ‘less than’: mine came when my preemie twins were in distress after three hours of pushing. But I’m done with the “what ifs” and “if onlys.” It’s time to embrace both my scar and the birth experience I had, and be thankful for the healthy boys that came from it.

Renteria agrees. “Women should help each other to see the beauty in all births. No one birth is better than the other. They are all their own unique experience, all of which should be celebrated.”

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