Cesarean Awareness Month
It is almost the end of April and it also happens to be Cesarean Awareness month. A month where I want to celebrate and show appreciation to all the mamas who are brave women. Those who have a scar to show for it. What many need to know is this surgery is by no means the easy way out of childbirth. We are just as much of a mother as the next woman. All too often I hear birth shaming comments about c sections like the “easy option” or not the “proper way” to give birth and the most shameful “not woman enough.”
Deep down it hurts and kills me to be seen as this woman who failed to give birth the “normal” way. Because I also grew and carried healthy babies like any other mother out there. I felt those contractions. I had the first skin to skin. I had the chance to breastfeed my baby an hour after. That deep intense love for them will still be there.
No one tells you how painful the process can be. These are the truths about what cesarean moms go through.
C- Section Moms are Strong
I fought hard with my first child to have a natural birth. I went hours without epidural because I thought that was what I was suppose to do, the natural “strong” way to birth a child. The ideal birth plan I had in my head was out the window. When I finally gave birth twenty four hours later via emergency c section it was a big blur at first. One thing for sure, it was not what I had planned and not what I expected as a first time mom.
People failed to forget that this is a major abdominal surgery, it takes around 12 weeks to recover and some of the effects can last a lifetime. Perhaps we don’t take in consideration how terrifying this surgery can be and what comes to follow. C-Section moms are strong because they come to a realization in understanding that birth is not going to come easily or naturally, in spite of their best efforts. Because it is simply just out of our control.
Recovery is not easy
Imagine yourself trying to learn how to walk all over again. As silly as that sounds, that’s exactly what happens. Your legs have been numb for so long. Getting up for the first time will require some assistance. I remember crying the first time as my nurse helped me get up from the bed. I was shaking and moving very slowly. My lower stomach muscles felt every inch of pain. I tried my best to lean on the sides of the hospital bed for support because I just could not do it. It is a slow and intimidating process.
You don’t know how much you use your stomach muscles until you have a cesarean. It hurts just to laugh, sit up, and can make breastfeeding hard when trying to hold your baby if you lean him/or her too close to your stomach for support. It is painful adding pressure to your muscles after they have been cut open. Holding on to your abdomen to protect your incision scar is always helpful for some small comfort whenever I felt the need to cough or sneeze. Just remember your body needs time to fully heal. It takes a longer time for us cesarean moms.
Birth is Beautiful
Looking back I am proud of how I gave birth. One via emergency c section under general anesthesia and one via a scheduled c section and my last one was unexpected as my water broke days before my plan cesarean. Although I was in active natural labor on my own and a few centimeters dilated I also ended having to deliver via c section again to avoid complications. It took me a while to come to terms with it. But I did what I had to do to bring my babies into the world safely. Women should not be judged for doing that. If anything a woman bringing life to this world is amazing. That itself should be celebrated.
Each birth story is beautiful, unique, and special.
Embrace your scar
See it as a the reminder of what you went through to create and bring life to this world. Not as a failure but a symbol of the ultimate accomplishment woman can do.
You can read more on Luke’s birth story here