“I had a c section (aka a cesarean childbirth), I took the easy way out!”
I’ll never forget the day I uttered those words out loud to my friends. We were lounging around having lunch, I can’t remember how we got on the topic of childbirth, but we did.
We were laughing and I – always looking for a bigger laugh – finished up the conversation with this:
“Well I had a c- section so I took the easy way out!” I started to laugh but my friend’s face fell.
“You don’t really believe that do you?”
“Of course I don’t” I replied quickly and then changed the topic.
But the truth is I did believe it. And that was the first time I realized – nearly one year after my first cesarean childbirth – that I didn’t identify my c section as birth.
I called it a surgery, a c section, how my baby came out of me, but never birth.
In fact, at that time if someone had asked me if I had her given birth I would have said no.
In my mind “birth” was a term that was reserved for women who had pushed their babies out the “normal” way. Not for me. I had failed to do that and needed medical intervention.
I believe that I had failed, that my body had failed, and therefor I did not believe that I deserved the honor of saying “I gave birth.”
Years later I was trying to explain this feeling to another group of friends.
“It’s like having a great season, making it all the way to the Super Bowl, and then winning that great big trophy because the other team just refused to come out of the locker room.
Sure, you technically still won the game. But also, did you really win?”
For years, that’s how I looked at my cesarean childbirth, as a second rate version of what “should have” happened.
It wasn’t until after the birth of my third child – which was a VBA2C (vaginal birth after 2 c sections) that I realized I had done this before.
I had given birth before. I knew the drill, I knew what it felt like to brith a baby, because I had done it before! And for the first time I began to acknowledge and process both of my c sections as birth.
Yes, c section is major surgery, that part is still true, but a cesarean childbirth is still birth!
And quite frankly, it’s a pretty bad-ass and hard core way to give birth if you ask me.
If you are a mother who is recovering from a cesarean childbirth, or has had a c section, YOU GAVE BRITH!
You did not fail your child.
Your body is not broken.
You did not “win the game” by default.
You carried that child for nine months and birthed him.
A C SECTION IS A BIRTH!
I know the emotions that can surround a cesarean childbirth, especially around an emergency birth, but please know- no matter where you’re at in your recovery process, you gave birth.
And today I want you to celebrate your incredible body for GIVING BIRTH to that beautiful baby.
Because, Mama, birth isn’t easy. Postpartum isn’t easy. Being a mom isn’t easy, but you’re doing it! You did NOT take the easy way out.
CESAREAN CHILDBIRTH IS BIRTH.