Part 1 of 3
Dear Unplanned, Unexpected C-Section Mom,
I know things didn't go the way you planned. I know you worked hard to have a healthy pregnancy. I know you worked hard to set yourself up for a beautiful birth. You learned. You asked questions. You did things "right." I know that things went askew ended up with a birth you didn't anticipate. Your emotions are raw and your body is healing. You heart has some healing too...
I've seen the stigma that is sometimes tossed your way... that a surgical birth is somehow less. I have seen you fight for validation of your birth and struggle with acceptance of lost plans. I've seen your bravery. Your isolation. Your pure love for your baby that was put to the test by birthing in a way that left you weak, with a road of recovery ahead while managing new motherhood.
I want to tell you something today. I haven't been in your position, but I have seen you and I want to tell you that absolutely, without a doubt, that your birth mattered. It didn't matter because you got a healthy baby in exchange. While that certainly holds so much merit, it is just a piece of the puzzle. Your birth mattered because it takes bravery to undergo a major surgery for the sake of your baby. It takes bravery to swallow your birth plan and forge ahead. It takes bravery to wake up each morning, while recovering, and reach for your tiny helpless baby with a smile on your face. It takes so much bravery to say that, if you had to do a section again for the sake of your baby, you would in a heartbeat. Your birth was sacrificial and so very real.
You took the path less traveled. You took a path that you didn't want to take. You gave up your vision of the perfect birth and bravely took a path that meant more pain, more courage, and more recovery. I have also seen beautiful vaginal births, but you deserve the pedestal, my friend. You deserve the praise. You likely didn't feel triumphant when your baby emerged, but scared. However, your baby's birth was valid, real, raw, and beautiful and here is why...
First and foremost, birth is birth. Regardless of how your baby came into the world, you became a mother, therefore, you gave birth to your child. Period. Secondly, there is beauty in dying to self for the sake of the greater good and you did just that. I applaud you and I admire you. That is not easy. You will always carry the scar. It's your battle wound; your sign of sacrifice and commitment and love. You will always remember your story and those memories will always be inscribed in your heart. Time will pass and all types of scars can slowly heal. In the future, you may not have more children. You may decide to have repeat C-sections. You may decide to walk the path to a VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean). Regardless of how many children you have and what each birth looks like, I wanted to write this for one reason, in this precise moment:
I want to say thank you. Thank you for your birth and bravery. Thank you for your recovery, handled with grace as you learned to mother your new baby. Thank you for being a part of the motherhood tribe. Thank you for your deep sacrifice for your child before you ever looked into your child's eyes. Undergoing a C-section and healing from one is not easy.
I respect you and I admire you.
A doula with a dose of perspective
Part 2: Dear Mom Whose Birth Wasn't Rainbows and Butterflies
Part 3: Journey to a VBAC
Baby Love Blog
Here lies a stream of consciousness regarding, pregnancy, birth, babies, and my doula business...