A while back I had a conversation with a mother who shared with me that she was disappointed she would be having a repeat c section. She said “I know you’re all about birth is birth but…” and went on to share her feelings of grief.
I thought long and hard after that conversation because yes, I believe that BIRTH IS BIRTH! And a c section mom should feel that she gave birth just as much as a vaginal birth mom.
But was I allowing enough space for the shock, disappointment, grief, and even trauma that can come along with a cesarean birth?
It’s important to acknowledge c section as a birth AND as a surgery.
Because it is both.
If someone was hospitalized with a medical condition that required abdominal surgery to repair, we would expect that person to take plenty of time to heal and recover.
Yet when a mother requires a c section in order to safely birth her child, society often expects her to return to her life as normal – caring for her child AND healing form major surgery – as if nothing ever happened.
Are we allowing c section moms the space to grieve their birthing experience? Are we supporting them physically so that they can heal properly?
Facing My Own Birth Disappointment
After my first c section I was so shocked I didn’t know what to think. It took me years to finally acknowledge that I was sad about how I birthed my first baby.
I was grieving that I would never have the chance to re-do that birth. And it wasn’t until I grieved that birth that I was able to move forward and process my second c section.
Grieving your c section and moving forward
Hear me today- if you are sad and grieving because of your birthing experience it’s ok. If you are disappointed because you had a c section it’s ok.
Grieving your c section does not make you a bad mom.
Grieving over your birthing experience does not mean you are not grateful for your baby. Those feelings are not mutually exclusive.
Can a c section be a positive birthing experience? Heck yes! My second c section was very positive and healing, in some ways even more so than my VBA2C.
Birth is birth, yes. But informed birth matters. Positive birthing experiences matter. And finding the space to experience birth disappointment is important.
Have you experienced birth disappointment?
Updated Summer 2020 – The C Section Recovery Timeline
the complete guide to easing the pain of c section recovery