I’ve been pretty open with friends and family about why I chose elective c-sections, but a little wary about posting online because online judgement is strong! Choosing a c-section is very much against the norm and if you’re reading this and your blood is already starting to boil, please stop reading.
I’m not a doctor or encouraging all women to do this, I’m sharing my personal reasons for opting for a c-section. There’s been a feeling pressing me to share because I see so many women on social media talk about their emergency c-sections and how they struggled with feelings of failure, that they somehow are less of a mother because they didn’t give birth naturally. Some women have struggled with depression due to their sorrow at needing a c-section. This BAFFLES me!
There’s also some judgement. I have a friend who’s had women tell her she “skipped” having a baby. Are you KIDDING me?!?!? (It was an emergency one too, by the way.) I’ve heard people call it the easy way out. Hello! The recovery from a c-section is a lot longer! There’s nothing easy about it.
Are women who adopt less of mothers? How on earth can how your baby comes outs cause so much turmoil? But somehow it does.
Since I have a thicker skin, I’m going to publicly share why I chose elective c-sections. I’ll preface it with this; I am a fantastic mother and I am doing a great job. If your opinion doesn’t align with mine, that’s fine, but there’s no need for you to tell me I’m wrong. It’s done. They’re out. There’s no changing my mind now.
1.It’s how I was raised to think babies were born
My mother had 5 c-sections. FIVE! This was in the 80s/90s where she was put under and cut from hip to hip. She initially had to because I was a footling breech with the cord wrapped around my neck. If it wasn’t for modern medicine and this procedure, she and I would both be dead.
I remember when I found out where babies usually come from, I was horrified! Why?! Cutting them out seemed so much better. Ha ha!
2. A lower chance of long-term health issues
As I said, my mom had five c-sections. She’s part of a religion where women tend to have large families and she was grateful for her c-sections because she didn’t suffer from the long term health affects her fellow church members did.
Uterine prolapse, pelvic floor damage, tears healing improperly, rectal prolapse. Yes, you read that right. One of my friends went to a pelvic floor physiotherapist and discovered she had a small rectal prolapse from child birth. THAT’S A THING!
Most moms I know deal with pelvic floor issues such as peeing when exercising, sneezing, or jumping on the trampoline. My mom is 58 and does tuck jump burpees in her workout classes. Tuck. jump. burpees. I’m fairly certain if she had five kids naturally that would not be the case.
Things can go wrong in c-sections, I’m not saying they’re 100% safe. I wanted to avoid these health issues if I could. Along those lines…
3. It felt safer
Most women who have c-sections, have emergency ones. They’ve laboured for hours and are physically and mentally exhausted. Maybe they have different drugs in them that don’t mix well. When it’s an emergency, you have a higher chance of needing general anaesthesia instead of a spinal tap which takes a lot longer to come out of.
Also with emergency c-sections, the baby could be in distress which makes getting them out super important. A friend said her planned c-section felt so much better than her emergency. She asked a nurse why that was and was told the doctors don’t have the luxury of taking it easy during the procedure. They can’t be slow and careful as they can with a planned one.
TURNS OUT I NEEDED ONE!
And it turns out, I needed a c-section no matter what with my first. He was a breech with his feet up at his head and we didn’t know it. When my doctor got in there she said “Oh- this is his bum! He’s a breech! Guess you would have needed this surgery no matter what.”
I’m not knocking anyone who’s done this- but imagine if I had tried to do a home water birth? How many hours would I have suffered before being rushed to the hospital? It’s scary to think about.
Personally, this felt safer to me than natural childbirth. (Again, this is my opinion- you don’t need to tell me how wrong I am ok?)
4. I Didn’t Want to Experience the Pain of Labour
This is the one reason that I didn’t get. I used to laugh about how I was going to do elective c-sections and never know labour pain, but both times it didn’t work.
I went into labour before my scheduled c-section with both babies. Seriously, what are the odds of that? With both, I got to the hospital in plenty of time and still had my c-sections.
I thought after three hours of labour with Tynan that I knew the pain of labour and I could commiserate with my fellow mamas. Oh no! Let me tell you, my contractions with him were nothing. Why? He was a breech! I remember my contractions feeling like my uterus was squeezing him into a little jelly bean.
When I was experiencing labour with Logan, the pain shot through my vagina and it felt like my tailbone was trying to shoot out of my body and stick out like an actual tail. The nurse said it was because I actually had a properly placed baby who was trying to push out.
I can’t say it enough ladies- we do not get enough credit! I feel like women downplay it because they feel they should focus on the good which is having the baby. How many women do you know say “My labour was horrendous but it was SO worth it because I got my baby.”
Of course, the ending is great but don’t be afraid to be honest about the full story. Labour is awful. I’ve never been physically tortured, but it felt like I was. Don’t down play it ladies. You man owes you for life for the pain you endured to give him children.
5. I knew I had help
The final reason why I chose elective c-sections is because I knew my mom would stay with me through my recovery. Many women don’t have the luxury of help like this, but my mom stayed for two weeks after each baby to cook, clean, and take care of me. It made electing a longer recovery easier knowing I would have that help.
GIVING BIRTH IS GIVING BIRTH
In conclusion, giving birth is giving birth. There is no “easy” way to do it.
We women are so judgemental of each other but it’s okay to be different! If we all thought the same thing and did everything the same way, what a boring world we would live in.
Being a mother is being a mother. PERIOD. How you become a mother doesn’t make you superior or inferior.
I’m hoping that by being vocal about why I chose elective c-sections will help all these mamas struggling with guilt afterward. We have enough to deal with as mothers, who cares how your babe comes out?
And if you’re the mom who did a tub birth with no drugs- kudos to you! I chose a different route and that doesn’t make one of us better than the other, we’re all moms doing the best we can.