It wasn’t long ago that I came across an article online that pointed out cesarean section (otherwise known as c-section) shaming exists. I initially was sad and shocked, but than after I showed my husband the article (who wasn’t shocked at all), it quickly sank in that people are shamed for almost everything nowadays. But why!? I came across this article soon after our son was delivered via c-section, so I was taken aback by what I read. He was in a breech position and I agreed to doctors attempting to flip him around, but unfortunately it was unsuccessful. It was after this unsuccessful attempt that I was booked for a c-section. All the risks involved with a c-section began to run through my head.
C-sections are considered major surgery and can be recommended by doctors for a variety of reasons. Some are planned, as certain conditions can exist from an earlier gestation onwards, and a c-section can be the safest for both mom and baby. Some can also be emergent. In my case, neither of the above applied. I didn’t find out our baby was breech until between 36 and 37 weeks along. I had had a healthy pregnancy thus far, and since our daughter was born vaginally, the thought of a c-section just didn’t cross my mind.
My most recent nursing job in a hospital setting, was in the operating room. I loved that job, but this was very anxiety provoking- being the patient in the OR, rather than the nurse. I was scared of so many things. Some of these things were even irrelevant! But, as nurses, our minds wander, we can know too much, we jump to worst case scenarios. With our daughter, I didn’t truly know what to expect. As a nurse, I have helped women in labour. I expected labour to be painful, but I didn’t know how painful it would be. It was something I had to experience to find out. For me, I felt better off left in the dark on this one. For some reason, I didn’t feel like I knew too much in this situation and I could be like any other woman coming into the hospital in labour. I felt like I was more in-control with a vaginal delivery. With a c-section, I worried because everything seemed so out of my control. I was relying on a doctor to perform major surgery on me as carefully as possible, without complications. I was actually less afraid of a vaginal delivery than a c-section- something my husband could not wrap his head around! A c-section just wasn’t something that I would choose and I am sure this applies to so many Mamas out there, as well.
I was upset to find out that c-section shaming exists, but it is something that doesn’t have to any longer. It was in the cards for me to become a Mama via both vaginal birth and a c-section. Some Mamas only experience one or the other. Some women become Mamas via adoption or require fertility treatments. Does it really matter how any of us got to the end result? We all need to be there to support one another. Everyone’s story is different and unique to them. Being a Mama is hard enough work. The added stress of unnecessary shaming is just that- unnecessary. Be kind Mamas. We are all on this rollercoaster ride (and journey) of motherhood together.
Thankfully, my c-section went smoothly with no complications. The doctor did a wonderful job delivering our son and my husband and I became parents for the second time. I thought my worries would be over, but it turns out they were only beginning. You never quit worrying as a parent, right?