I had a C-section. Not by choice, but because after four hours and counting of pushing, the baby was stuck. I took a break and tried again. Five hours later? Still no baby. So I had a C-section. It felt extremely weird lying there in a cross position. As a half-Jewish girl, I sort of felt like I was lying on a crucifix as they did the operation. The sensation of my organs being moved around was absolutely freaky, and afterwards, on my very first night in the hospital, I almost pooped myself because I couldn't get up and my former husband was sleeping in the hospital visitor bed next to me. He couldn't hear me trying to wake him to help me, but thankfully, a lovely nurse came and I didn't make a show of myself. Poop crisis averted, only to lead to many poop crises brought to the world by my breastfeeding daughter. Oh, C-section! You were an interesting experience.
There are a few things, though, that as a woman who had a C-section, I would rather not hear from someone ever again.
At Least Your Vagina Turned Out OK
Apparently the token prize for having major surgery rather than natural labor is that my vagina got to stay purty.
"At least your vagina didn't, you know, get messed up!"
This is mostly whispered by women who aren't parents.
You know, we moms postbirth whip out our vaginas and talk about their appearance and feel.
All us C-section mothers proudly display our vaginas for all to witness their glories.
Um, no. That never happens.
You Could Have Had a Natural Birth
Sure, some people could have had a natural birth, and we are all pretty aware of the huge C-section rates state by state in this country, but unless I vacuumed out my kid, which I was told was a huge risk and the ob-gyn refused to do because of the potential injuries to the baby, I didn't have a choice.
Back in 1938, my mother was born, and her twin brother, unfortunately, was stillborn. My mom was a large baby (weight and height), and her mother was a very petite woman. My grandmother had a horrific labor, and afterwards, she needed postlabor surgery. She is one example of someone who should have had a C-section, but it didn't happen.
Sometimes, although not as often as it actually occurs, a C-section is necessary.
I would have loved to have pushed my baby out, but I didn't, not after a long labor and push try. My token prize* is my beautiful vagina. See point above.
Now You Can Never Have a Natural Delivery
Wrong-o. Not true. Not every provider will go for a VBAC, but there are women who have successful VBACs. Don't tell us we cannot try for a different way if that's what we would like the next time around unless you're our ob-gyn or midwife, OK?
Sorry, not sorry.
We Took the Easy Way Out
Ha, ha. Major surgery is not the easy way. Having your organs moved around like someone's playing shuffleboard inside of your body is not easy. Walking around like you're an 80-year-old woman while trying to hold a 50-million-pound car seat is not easy. Almost crapping yourself because you can't move and your former husband is snoozing away happily is not the easy way out.
Trying not to bump your incision with the Boppy pillow while your baby is nursing is not the easy way out.
If I could have pushed that kid out and felt the ring of fire you ladies pontificate about rather than feeling like I was a dissected amphibian, that would have been sweet, but it didn't happen for me.
Yet you know what? It's all OK. I wouldn't change a thing. She's here, I'm here, and wouldn't you know it? The kids are all right. (That's including me.)