Birth bravery

JR was born after 22 hours of intense back labor caused by him being in the posterior position. Over 14 of those hours involved absolutely no pain medication, paired with the occasional dosage of Pitocin (for those of you who have ever experience Pitocin on its own…well, to say it’s “of the devil” is not too much of an exaggeration). After all that work, and all that pain, and all those episodes of his heart rate dropping dramatically with each strong contraction, my doctor and I decided to do a C-section. A few minutes later I was rolled into the OR, shifted over to the operating table, and was awake (though thankfully numb) as I was cut open to have my 10-pound child safely removed from my body.

I think that’s pretty badass.

That’s not to say that women who push their children into this world aren’t badass. Obviously they are. I mean, have you seen the size of a newborn baby (more specifically, the HEAD of a newborn baby)? How that physically happens is beyond me. But I still (STILL) get comments every now and then from people who seem to imply that I somehow wussed out by having a C-section. That I didn’t work hard enough or educate myself enough on my options about labor and delivery. Because getting cut in half and having your insides shifted all over the place and not being able to be the first person to hold your child after carrying him for almost 10 months and laboring for him for almost an entire day is CLEARLY the goal here (I hope you can sense my sarcasm). Like all mothers, I did what I had to do to make sure my kid was safe. And he is. He’s here, I’m here, all is well. THAT is the goal, at least in my approach to this whole mothering thing.

(Sorry for the rantish talk. When people who are essentially strangers imply that they have more knowledge of the state of my uterus, my vagina (hi, Dad!), and my relationship with my doctor than I do, it gets a bit tiresome after a while.)

Back in January, Mama Vee over at There Are No Ordinary Moments wrote a post that is such important reading for mothers who brought their babies into this world via C-section…or for anyone really.

Read it here: Cesarean Courage

All births require bravery — whether they happen at home, in the hospital, naturally with minimal intervention, with an epidural, via C-section, what have you. We need to remember that.

10 thoughts on “Birth bravery

  1. I too opted for a C-Section. But not before laboring at home without drugs for 24 hours. Laboring in a hospital bed for another 5 before I let the nurse break my water. Giving it another 3 before I left them introduce pitocin and an epidural. Another few more and I let them flip my bed into a Trendelenburg position ( legs elevated over my head for 30 minutes on each side.) Then more pitocin until my dilation efforts began to reverse themselves and my cervix began to swell. At 40 hours I begged for mercy, cried with my husband and headed to the OR. Thanks for sharing your story. It inspired me to share a little of mine.

  2. It’s okay to fistfight anyone who judges your birth experience. I planned to and was able to have a drug-free birth, but when I was super pregnant and had 100 lbs of pressure against my ribcage, I could understand why women chose to not experience labor as it is intended. My actual labor had a lot of kinks in it & didn’t go as planned, but baby got born and everyone was fine, which is the goal no matter what you want to happen. So tell me who’s giving you guff and I will throw my stroller at his/her car.

    I could also go on for hours about how frustrating the support system is for new mothers. It’s so preachy about the best methods for the baby, but the best options aren’t absolutes, and in the meantime the Plan B’s have been demonized and then we have to beat ourselves up if baby gets formula or something like that. We make ourselves feel bad about these things, but it doesn’t seem like the babies care.

  3. Oh man, I really can’t imagine 14 hours of back labor + pitocin! Truly, truly my friend, that is intense and you better plan to tell JR what you did for him one day :)

  4. you rock, val! and you are uber badass. natural birth is a beautiful thing…but thank God for c-sections! that was how JR and countless other little babies needed to be born.

    don’t let women on their natural birth high horses get you down. like you said, you know your body, you educated yourself, and you did what was right for your family.


  5. You RULE lady! You had a beautiful healthy boy and you did what you needed to do. NEVER feel bad about the way things turned out!!!!

  6. Pingback: A Few of My Favorite C-Section Stories

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