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No Regrets Over C-Section Delivery

I'm Not Ashamed of My 2 C-Sections, So Don't Try to Make Me Feel Bad

I gave birth to two healthy baby boys, and I never felt a single contraction. No, I'm not a '50s-style mom who was happily knocked out for her delivery and awoke to find a burrito-wrapped baby in my arms. I'm a double C-section mom, and I'm not ashamed to say that both surgeries were scheduled in advance.

I write this as I sit here looking at a photo of my two happy boys goofing around on the beach. At 8 and 5 years old, I'm well past the stage of sharing birth stories on a regular basis. But when you meet new parents, that's often where the conversation turns. They usually share their story first and then ask you to share yours. This is how the conversation usually goes once I say I had a C-section.

"How long were you in labor before they took you in?"

"I wasn't. I never felt a contraction. My baby was breech, and the doctor said this was the safest option."

"You didn't even try?"

"No, it wasn't a question of trying. It had more to do with the doctor trying to keep both the baby and me safe."

"You must have been disappointed."

(Muffled words) "Uh, yeah. Sure."

The truth is, no, I wasn't, and I'm still not disappointed. Not for one second.

At 39-and-a-half weeks pregnant, I went in for my weekly checkup. I had felt a lot of movement earlier in the week, but a phone call to the doctor assured me that it was normal. When I walked in the door, the first thing the doctor said was that I still hadn't "dropped." I was still carrying this baby up by my boobs. He began the exam and told me I wasn't effaced, and there wasn't even a hint that this baby was coming any time soon. He went on to do a sonogram and determined that all of that crazy movement I had felt was the baby actually flipping. My first-born-to-be was no longer head-down facing backward. He was butt-down, facing forward with his legs in a V position, known as a Frank breech position. Given that I was past the 37th week of pregnancy and that the baby was measuring large, my doctor wanted to do a C-section before I went into labor and became an emergency. I immediately burst into tears — not because I wouldn't experience the birth plan I had in my head (I really didn't have one), but because I wasn't prepared to have a baby that day. I figured if I had gone into labor, I'd at least have a few hours to mentally prepare. At this rate, I would have a baby in my arms within the hour.

My doc was nice enough to give me a 20-hour reprieve and arranged for me to meet him at the hospital early the next morning. A few hours later, I was on the operating table, and a few minutes after that, my husband and I saw our baby for the first time. Within seconds I was holding him, and within the hour I was attempting to nurse my son. He was healthy, I was healthy, and the whole process was easy. No, I never felt a contraction, and no, I don't have a pushing and crowning story, but I do have a birth story, and I'm proud to tell it.

A few years later, when I was halfway through my second pregnancy, my doctor and I began discussing VBACs, and as my due date drew near, we decided it wasn't the safest option for me. So this time I scheduled my surgery ahead of time, made plans for my older son, and walked to the hospital (we only lived two blocks away) with my C-section plan in mind.

But for some reason, even though a third of all US babies are born via surgery these days, there's still a stigma attached to it. Some women's C-sections are emergencies, occurring after hours (sometimes days) of labor. Some are planned well in advance, and some, like my first, just happen. Yes, we are a litigious country, and the high C-section rate is often blamed on doctors who are afraid of malpractice suits. But for whatever the reason, can't we agree that if you have a healthy baby in your arms, you didn't do anything wrong and you don't have anything to apologize for? I shouldn't have to wear a scarlet letter — and neither should my kids — for giving birth to a healthy child. Because when our kids are on the playground together, can you look at them and distinguish how each was born?

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KarmaClark KarmaClark 1 year

Thank you for sharing this! I myself had 3 c sections. All because my first was breech as well and my ob and myself decided it was the safest for me and the second 2 to have them c section. I've actually had people say they think I'm missing out by not having them naturally or that I'm chicken. I'm not, and it was just as special to "give birth" to them via c section as it would have been vaginally. It doesn't matter how you give birth to them, all that matters is that they are healthy! :)

KimberleeBaxter1383484628 KimberleeBaxter1383484628 1 year

I was in Christian Science and was all about natural child birth at the time when I was about to deliver my daughter! But at nearly 40 years of age, my doctor told me that he would not let me go past 42 weeks! At 42 weeks, I was induced and given Petocine! I then labored for hours on a birthing ball with nothing but small rubber balls to squeeze in the palms of my hands when the pain got so intense! But guess what? I labored in vain, because she wasn't coming down the birth canal, or effacing! I had wondered if I had done damage to my pelvic area years prior to that when I had suffered a fall! I also wondered secretly what I had done wrong as to why I couldn't seem to deliver her now naturally! The doctor told me that her head might be turned kind of funny and might be a little big! After having prayed earnestly about it, I felt a strong conviction that I would hurt her if I insisted on being stubborn and doing things "my way", so I agreed to have a C-section! After the surgery, I wasn't prepared for the pain I was experiencing from being cut open (please watch a video on what all is involved in doing a C-section before doing one); I found it very difficult to sit up and hold my baby and get her to latch on! Also, she kept screaming, because she wasn't getting any milk (the milk can take a few days to come down on its own, because the whole process is not natural)! I became seriously sleep deprived, because the religious hospital where I was staying at had forced me to wake up every two hours and Breast feed even though I had no milk, yet! I remember feeling such terrible guilt that I had failed to have her naturally and had to have medical intervention to deliver her! I also felt the stigma of failure, especially, on a spiritual level, because in Christian Science, an individual's faith in God is paramount, and no (or very little) medical treatment should, therefore, be needed! Soon after the birth of my beautiful little girl named Ellee, my husband and I left that church for another one where I didn't feel as though I were judged or a "failure" somehow! Instead, I and my child were welcome with open and loving arms, as we should be...without the judgement! So, when you say that when someone's expectations aren't realistic and can cause them and potentially the baby as well (if carried to the extreme), can bear a resemblance to a "cult-like" experience, I would have to agree, because I have experienced it firsthand!

ChelseaMickelson ChelseaMickelson 1 year

I believe we (women) shouldn't worry so much about if we or other women feel guilty about breast feeding vs formula feeding or natural birth vs c- section. The problem with both "controversies" is more about society saying it supports women and mothers when clearly that support is sub-standard. When medicine/healthcare, employment laws/leave and more men offered real support which value motherhood I believe things would be very different. Let's not fall into the trap of being led to fight amongst ourselves instead of leading the fight for societal reform and positive change.

AnnastasiaRichard AnnastasiaRichard 1 year

I had all 4 yes I said 4 of my children by c-section and proud of it the first one not planned but the other 3 were and all 4 are healthy and happy ranging from 12 months old to going on 10 years old

BelindaKonz BelindaKonz 1 year

I'm curious why a lot of posts are implying c-sections are painless? My emergency c-section was very painful afterwards. It is major surgery which I don't think anyone would do simply to have a painless birth.

martasmith40996 martasmith40996 1 year

Congrats! I think it's great. Just think a hundred years ago the birth position of your son would have meant days of labor and possible bad outcome for both of you even with a skilled physician. It's wonderful how much safer it is now for moms and babies. I had 3 of my boys natural and one (my youngest) by c-section. If I had it to do all over again I would pick the c-section every time. So much quicker- and less pain. I was in labor for hours before the c-section and I would have avoided that with a planned c-section. I say whatever works best for mother and baby is all that's important!

JaynePerkins38931 JaynePerkins38931 1 year

Hi I had all four of my children by C Section as there was compilations with my first then I went on to have twins and my third child had to have C Section with but all was great x

Casey15061655 Casey15061655 1 year

And how is a section not painful? Mine surely was.

Casey15061655 Casey15061655 1 year

I was 7 in the mid 80's. I would beat my grandmother at Tic Tac Dough daily during the summer, in a bowling league, carry around various letters of the encyclopedia (U was my favorite for a long time), was in OM already and in 2 choirs and just so happened to love my mothers medical books. Also was in love with my she-ra dolls and MTV.

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