I chose a C-section.
And it wasn’t the worst thing. It was the best thing. It potentially saved mine and Sawyer’s life.
I hear a lot of talk about birth plans. For some reason, women seem to be deathly afraid of C-sections. They want to avoid them at all costs, it is their worst case scenario.
I understand wanting to have a natural birth. It’s such a beautiful, special experience and our bodies were built to do it. I deeply hope I am able to experience it one day. But just because your body was built to do it, does not mean you are invincible. I’m here to tell all of you that C-sections are something to be immensely grateful for. Do you know how lucky we are that, in the state of medical emergency, C-section is even an option? It keeps mothers and babies from dying. I understand that getting a C-section means something went wrong during delivery, and yes, that’s devastating. But it’s so, so amazing that despite something going wrong, you and baby are here and healthy.
C-section was never in my “birth plan.” For some reason, throughout my pregnancy, I was always oddly at peace with the idea of a C-section. I wanted a natural birth but my thinking was that if anything went wrong, anything at all, if they lost the heartbeat, if the baby went into distress, if he passed meconium and asphyxiated on it, just get him out safely. No matter what the cost to me.
Unfortunately, in my family, there have been multiple cases of child loss at birth. And so, I was terrified. I knew what could potentially go wrong, and so in my birth plan I decided I just wanted Sawyer out safely. If that meant a C-section, a vacuum assisted delivery, an episiotomy, whatever was needed! Just get him out safely. I had an overwhelming sense of peace when it came to these things.
I know now that this thinking was The Lord preparing me for my own C-section.
When I was first admitted to the hospital, and they realized we were going to have to deliver right away for my safety, Sawyer was breech. So, they gave us two options. To try to turn him and then induce me, or have a C-section.
Our doctors talked to us extensively about both options, then gave Kurtis and I a few hours to talk and think it over. There are many risks with turning a baby. If you do it, there is a 50% chance it won’t even work. There is also a 50% chance that if it does work, they baby will just flip back within 24 hours. There are also risks that it will severely elevate the baby’s heart rate, or even cause it to drop. There’s also a chance the chord could wrap around it’s neck if it hasn’t already.
I have nothing against turning a baby. My little sister was breech, my mom had her turned, and they both turned out fine and healthy. After talking to the doctors about the pros and cons of both options, and talking it over ourselves, we decided C-section was the better option for us. We didn’t want to take all the risks of turning him, when there was such a high chance it wouldn’t even work or he would flip back, and then I would just need a C-section anyway. We felt that, turning him posed more risk to him, and a C-section posed more risk. to me. I was willing to take those risks with myself, but not with my baby.
(Disclaimer: I am aware that C-section still poses risks to baby. This was just our opinion.)
We didn’t choose this because I didn’t want to deal with a painful and/or long delivery. We didn’t choose it because we felt it was the easy way out. We chose it because we felt it was best for our son. My recovery was awful. So much worse than I thought it would be. Recovering from abdominal surgery and recovering from a vaginal delivery are very different. Believe me when I say it was not the easy way out. Being able to get him out quickly and safely potentially saved our lives. Preeclampsia is no joke.
It makes me so sad when I talk to women or I read online how turned off they are by C-section. I even came across a hateful group on Facebook that claims that those who have had a C-section have not really given birth and are not truly mothers. It broke my heart.
So, to all your expecting mamas working on your birth plan, please don’t be so afraid, and please do not be closed minded when it comes to birth. We all want that natural, beautiful birth experience everyone talks about, but nothing ever goes according to plan. Mine sure didn’t. It is not the worst thing. Something happening to you or your baby is the worst thing. And a C-section can help prevent that. I am so thankful for modern medicine and it’s advances, that a life saving surgery such as this one, is available to us if needed!