Today as I was drying off from my shower I caught sight of my c-section scar. I don't pay much attention to it usually...it's just become sort of a part of me. I was reminded of the night Sammy was born, with all the drama and miracles that surrounded it, and was filled with a sort of odd gratitude for the scar and what it meant for my sweet baby: a healthy, problem-free birth.
From time to time I talk with other moms about our birth stories. It's sort of how I picture soldiers must converse when they return from war. We all have had something happen during the extraction of our children from our wombs that makes for great story telling. Whenever I get in one of these conversations I mention, of course, that Sammy was a c-section. It's odd to see people's reactions. Most always give some sort of small condolence or shake their heads at the 'tragedy' that has become a Cesarean nowadays.
In such situations I immediately correct any feigned or sincere apologies. I remind them that Sammy would have lost his arm, and I may have died, had we not be in a hospital and privy to excellent and immediate medical attention. Sammy came out happy and healthy...that was the only part of any sort of 'birth plan' I was adamant about.
I think it's odd we have become a society where things like c-sections and 'medical intervention' have become taboo when it comes to child birth. I am so grateful for my midwife who recognized immediately Sammy was presenting arm-first and for a doctor who was able to get him out within 10 minutes of this discovery. Had I opted for no 'intervention' the outcome would have been much much worse.
C-sections may not be the ideal way to pull a baby out of his or her aquatic habitat but if it saves a life, or two, then there is absolutely nothing wrong with it. There should be no stigma attached, and no apologies given, to a birth that happens surgically rather than vaginally. I feel sometimes like we're losing focus on what is the essential part of a birth; getting a baby out of the mother in a healthy and logical way. If you want to sit on a ball and sing sea-chanties so be it, but don't begrudge me of my 'intervention' birth...I am so eternally grateful I was in a hospital when Sammy was born and that the medical team around me was able to make educated and thoughtful decisions on behalf of me and my family.
I read a quote in my birth book (written BTW by a CNM). She said, "Remember no matter how it's done you are still 'giving birth'". C-sections save lives and should not be marginalized...especially by those who have never had to hear those life changing words "we have an emergency here...we need to rush you into surgery".
***In case you didn't catch the post on Sammy's birth here's the second half here.