My C-Section Story

I was going to write a different post. I just deleted about 300 words on my c-section. About our trip to the hospital, about the hell that is Pitocin, about my doubts and fears and worries. It was a way for me to justify my c-section to all of you.

Which is bullshit.

My c-section came from a decision made by my doctor, Adam and myself. It was the right decision for me. When we have another child it will be by c-section. Not because my doctor won't support a VBAC, but because I don't want one.

That's right.

I want to have another c-section. There are so, SO many things that I cannot control about pregnancy and motherhood. This is a decision that I get to make and I have made it. I am not a victim and I am not ill-informed.

I am supported and listened to and I have chosen a c-section. I also want to have a Doula present. I do not want to watch the procedure, but I do want skin to skin contact with my baby in the operating room while I am being closed up and family time before I am moved to recovery.

I understand that there are doctors who use c-sections to avoid long labors and that there are doctors who use them when they are not medically necessary and that there are doctors who use them without the consent of the mother or without offering other options. The depths of my anger at these doctors can only be surpassed by the anger of the women they have committed malpractice on. I understand that the numbers of c-sections performed in this country are extremely worrying and that the number of doctors who flatly refuse to consider VBAC is absolutely ridiculous. There are so many things that need to change and I will do my best to help change them.

But can we all stop talking about how horrible c-section is? Because it isn't. The c-section, in and of itself, is not a horrible thing. It is a surgery designed to bring life into the world. It is a tool, and like any tool it can be misused. It can be horribly misused.

Your c-section experience may have been awful. I know women, women I love, who had doctors I would like to gut punch for the way their c-sections happened. That does not invalidate my experience or my choice. It does not make c-section horrible.

Your c-section recovery may have been awful. That does not make c-section awful. Your c-section may have been unnecessary, that does not make c-section unnecessary.

I am not going to explain to you why I had my first c-section or why I would choose to have another. I will not explain to you why I would co-sleep or not, or in what form. I will not explain to you why I will breastfeed or bottle feed or pump or any mixture of all three. These are choices that I have and will make. They have medical consequences for myself, my baby and my family. I will consider them and then I get to choose. That is how it should work.

Most days I am unsure of what I have learned or am learning by being on this mothering journey. Today there is one thing that I know for certain - I will not judge you. I will not judge your life, your choices, your pain, your joy. I will and have and do stand for the rights of all mothers to make informed choices about what is best for their bodies and their babies.

I would ask that you all do the same. Not every c-section was coerced, wrong, unnecessary or preceded by a terrifying medical saga. Some were simply the right choice for the mother and child. Some were good. Some were joyous.

My prayer is that every child can come into this world in the best way for that family. That every mother can make decisions with and for her family without being judged. That we can all stand by and for each other as we demand better pre and post natal care for every woman in America.

Graeme Seabrook