I was standing in the checkout line at the grocery store. My 2 year old was asleep in my arms and I was apologizing to the cashier because I could not help her bag my groceries.
“Don’t worry! You’ve got your hands full! You also look like you’re about to burst! How far along are you?”
I laughed and felt grateful that she recognized I was pregnant and not just buying 10 bars of chocolate for no reason. Can we say cravings?
“I’m 34 weeks and I can’t wait for our C-Section in 4 weeks! This little lady needs to get out.”
She stopped bagging and looked up at me, hesitating.
“So you know you’re having a C-section? Is it for a reason. Or……” her voice drifted off and she blushed.
I smiled at her to let her know that I was not offended.
“Yup, we had to schedule it because I have a high risk of preeclampsia. It’s not recommended or safe for me to go through labor. This little one,” I gestured to Madi in my arms, “was also a C-section for the same reason.”
She smiled and looked relieved that I wasn’t upset or glaring at her. We chatted a little more before I headed out of the store pushing my cart with one hand and eyeing my chocolate greedily.
I don’t know when C-sections became such a taboo subject.
There are articles on the web that discuss how elective C-sections are on the rise and more doctors are recommending C-sections for reasons like scheduling, ease, holidays, etc. I understand that these issues may frustrate moms who want to do natural birth or would prefer labor over a C-section. I’m right there with you. Before finding out that I had all the markers for preeclampsia with my first I was preparing myself for an unmedicated birth.
I was researching the best birth positions, breathing techniques, looking at creating the perfect playlist to get me through the contractions, and working on making my husband the best coach possible. I told everyone and anyone what my plans were and how I was going to be one of those amazing women who pushed their baby from their bodies and then cradled them close.
Yeah, the second my doctor told me my blood pressure, headaches, and swelling were becoming dangerous for myself and my baby that all went out the window.
I mourned a little, as most women do, but I told myself to get over it. The entire point of getting pregnant, of carrying around this life for 9 months, and of dealing with all the medical issues I had was to bring a happy and healthy as possible baby into this world. That was my primary focus and everything else needed to fade into the background.
Whether your C-section is planned or not, at the end your hope is to have your baby(ies) in your arms and ready to face the world with you.
Just like some mommas decide to have unmedicated births others decide to have surgery. Then there are the mommas who don’t get to choose, they are told it’s going to happen because it’s medically necessary.
All that matters at the end is that both mom and baby are healthy and together. So don’t be afraid to ask me about my C-section. Don’t be afraid to talk to me about why my belly was cut from one side to another and why I have to have this done again. I won’t be ashamed or upset. I won’t be angry or feel embarrassed that I didn’t ‘give birth’ to my children because I did.
Now if you try to ask me why I felt the need to buy 10 bars of chocolate, my response is going to be,
“None of your darn business.”