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Why I didn't love my C-sections

by Janelle Larson (follow)
I recently read an article that made my stomach churn for multiple reasons. Why I loved my C-section. Okay... so somebody loved her C-sections. That's lovely. I'm glad.

And then I clicked. A tsunami of rage and sadness damn near swallows me whole every time I see women digging so deep to justify what happened to them. You'll find the article here: http://happyhomefairy.com/2013/08/04/why-i-loved-my-c-section/

So this is my response. I'll be using the exact same points as happyhomefairy for the sake of continuity.

Why I didn't love my C-sections.

Reason 11- You have a plan.
Because knowing exactly when I'll be sliced open is so convenient. Kind of ignorant, to assume that if I don't have a c/s booked, then I don't have a plan. I had a plan. It was to VBAC. Next?

Reason 10- You can look gorgeous for photos.
SERIOUSLY? Doesn't even register on the richter scale over here. I can see how adhering to the strict code of female attractiveness is important whilst you're undergoing surgery or labouring. Oh. No wait....

I actually hired a birth photographer, but due to the unpredictable nature of birth, she was unable to attend on the day I went into labour. I didn't hire her because I wanted to channel Heidi Klum and strut and pose my way through labour. I hired her so that I would have memories of a beautiful time in my life......... I did not look fabulous. The point of the pictures was not for vanity- but posterity. You know what though? Sans hair and makeup- those pictures still would have been beautiful. I don't need to fit into a certain criteria to have my photo taken. Thanks.

women in frocks, riding horses
If I can't look pretty while I do it, I can't do it.

Reason 9- You don't poop yourself on the delivery table.
Again, not even registering on the scale of shit that matters AT. ALL. I don't find having my organs passed around by masked strangers all that dignified either, no. Defecating whilst birthing a baby is hardly going to scar me for life. I'd rather not trade that experience for an ugly and painful scar on my body, if I can help it.

And let's not forget about that lovely little pain relief suppository doodad they shove INTO YOUR ANUS in theatre. Oh, you didn't know about that? Yeah, they don't ask.

Reason 8- You get to pick your child's birthday
Because that's way more important than allowing my child to initiate labour at a time when they are ready to be born. Wouldn't want baby to finish developing or anything. My schedule is that important.

Waiting for labour is hard. I waited for what felt like an eternity. When my waters finally broke at 42 weeks, I cried with relief. Not because I was afraid of birth, but afraid of what kind of force would be exerted against me if I continued to defy hospital policy with my pesky 'wait as long as we're healthy' deal-e-yo.

Reason 7- You are guaranteed no pain during the event.
Except when epidurals fail. Or are insufficient. Define pain, anyway. It was pretty painful being splayed out on that cold hard table, and even more gut-wrenching knowing what they were doing to my poor body. I felt plenty of pain. I also enjoyed paralyzed bowels, which came with uncontrollable vomiting and made caring for my newborn impossible. So we were separated for days.

Nothing in birth is guaranteed. I realize that sometimes there are long-lasting issues after a vaginal birth, too. But that's not a reason (on its own) to interfere with the force of nature.

Reason 6- The scar turns your whole upper body into a giant smiley face.
No, it turns your obstetric future into a battlefield. I don't see a smile. I see a wound that wouldn't be there if I wasn't forced into an induction just so they could tick all the boxes.

Reason 5- You have a really easy explanation of where babies come from without getting into the birds and the bees with your toddler
Pretty sure it's relatively easy to say "Baby came out of my vagina." It's not like my sons have never seen one. They're very little. We bathe and dress together. If they can see my scar, they can see my vagina. They're right next door to eachother, afterall. My eldest has asked about my tummy. He asked if it was sore, pointing to my scar. "Only sometimes.." I said. "That's where you came out!" Then he points to my vagina. "And that's a vagina. Babies also come out of there, too." He nodded.

Yeah, it was a tough conversation. He's definitely traumatized.

Reason 4- Your baby's head won't look like a football
I really struggle with this one. Are there honestly women out there who care so much about such superficial things, that they'd willingly have their abdomen sliced open just to avoid it? Really?

So lame I don't even have a response for that, except outrage!

Reason 3- You have an awesome reason to get a good wax job
Why can't I get a wax before a vaginal birth? I can see how subjecting myself to having my pubic hairs ripped out prior to receiving the slice 'n' dice is important. Labour pain? HELL NO. Rip out my pubic hairs with hot wax? Sure! How on earth would I fit the criteria of 'acceptable woman' if I didn't?! I mean, I really should make sure my vagina looks as aesthetically pleasing as possible, since I'm not allowed to use it for its primary function.

an odd manouvre
Lucky this guy is here, between my legs, to tell me how to correctly use my vagina.

Reason 2- You don't have to worry about urinary incontinence
Well I don't know why I sometimes wet my pants then. I must be imagining all of that. I'm fairly certain that carrying a couple of bowling balls around for 9 months each would've had an impact on my pelvic floor.

She's right though. I don't worry about it, per se! I don't really see it as a huge deal. Not a huge enough deal to have surgery in the hopes of avoiding it, anyway.

Reason 1- Your Happy Hubby is thankful for the preservation of your lady parts! Wink wink!
Wait, what? What does the winking mean? 'wink wink- your husband is a jerk?' or.... 'you're just a pawn of the patriarchal machine?' I don't get it.

If my partner doesn't want me to push a baby out of my vagina, he probably should avoid putting one in my belly. My vagina was so horribly swollen after both of my c/s anyway. And the rash. I was shaven within an inch of my life the first time. I had a terribly sore rash all over for a couple of months postpartum. If only I got that wax, huh? I would've been so much happier. Or maybe, I could've received adequate support and solid advice. That also might have done the trick. But what do I know....?

I hardly think it's my responsibility to make sure my body remains in perfect pleasure-giving status at a time like that. I don't see men fretting about the timing of their vasectomy just in case their wives are upset by not being able to...... hmm.

That's not how we roll.

So that's all I have. Writing this has given me a headache. The mind just boggles at the superficial, fluffiness of it all. Now is probably a good time for the standard disclaimer. I support all types of birth. Even caesarean. Which (for myself) I hate.

What matters to me is that women aren't led down the path of surgery under the guise of proper care. Before I wrote this response, I dug a bit deeper. This lady was recommended to have a c/s because she wasn't dialated on her due date.

Okaaay...... I read a bit more. And *gasp* an ultrasound (which are notoriously inaccurate) revealed a big baby. *more gasps* Her OB was obviously unskilled and unsupportive of physiological birth, so recommended a c/s so she could spare herself the pain and suffering of an emergency c/s.

Um wait, I thought that's what surgery was for. Emergencies. Or do we just go around willy-nilly having bits cut open or cut off. Am I doing this all wrong?

I feel sad because she truly believes that having a c/s was her only option, and that she had to surrender her needs and wishes because somehow, the voice of God is delivered from the mouths of doctors.

I'm all for positive c/s experiences and stories. I have no issue with a woman saying 'hey, I don't want to birth vaginally, I want a c/s'. No matter how much I DON'T want that for myself, or I might find her reasons superficial, that is her right and I will support it.

The horrible lack of informed consent is alarming. The lack of quality counselling in regards to risks, benefits and alternatives is sickening. Like lambs to the slaughter, we are. Still, if a woman knows the stats, and still chooses surgery- I can swallow my personal discomfort and offer her a high-five. Because she deserves it.

This is why I DIDN'T love my c/sections. And I don't have to.
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