How "Lucky" I Was to Have A C-Section
When you first find out you are pregnant, especially for the first time, you immediately start fantasizing about the day you meet your baby. You imagine them being born, and being placed on your stomach. You imagine the tears of joy, and pictures of that beautiful moment. You imagine your partner next to you embracing the two of you. Your baby holds your finger as you begin your bond.
I felt my dream of that birthing experience being ripped from me when I found out that I had Placenta Previa, and would need a C-Section at 37 weeks. My first thought was not about me or my emotions. I was concerned about my baby and I being healthy.
Of course, I was nervous about the actual procedure, and felt bummed about not being able to have the birth I wanted, but I accepted it and moved on. As long as my baby and I were healthy, that was all that mattered. I still feel this way today, but I wanted to write this blog because of the things I have been told or have read since having my C-section. The one comment that gets me the most, "You are so lucky! At least you didn't have to go through labor." Let me explain just how lucky I was.
You get to the hospital nervous as hell. Not only are you about to have a baby, but you are also about to have major surgery. When it is time to go back, you have to get wheeled away from your partner to this cold operating room. You see all this equipment that just immediately raises your anxiety. You get the epidural, and are laid back with your arms stretched out like you are being crucified. Your partner is allowed to come in the room, and the baby is pulled from you. The baby is lifted high enough over the curtain so that you can see the top of their head for 3 seconds, and then is taken to the warmer to be wiped off and wrapped. Your partner can walk over there and cut the cord. You don't get to see any of this. The baby is then wrapped and your partner brings the baby to you for you to touch their face with one hand. Times up. The baby and your partner have to leave you now. You stay behind to get your organs placed back in their normal position, liquid removed, and sewn up. All while awake, scared, and already grieving for your baby.
IF your baby is healthy, they will be in the room waiting for you. If they have to go to NICU, that is a completely different situation. If your baby is in the room, they are wanting to nurse by now. You are wheeled back in, and a nurse immediately takes your breast and places the baby on it. There is no time to actually meet this little human first. I won't even get into how wonderful it feels to have your stomach pressed on or how wonderful it is to get up and have to go to the bathroom. I could probably make a part two for that one...
I did not write this blog for you to feel sorry for me. I am completely ok with having a C-Section now. Did the experience suck? Yes. Do I wish I could have had a natural birth? Yes. Am I bitter about this life saving surgery to keep my baby and I healthy? Absolutely not.
We have had our time to bond, but I will always feel as though I missed out on a beautiful moment.
In the end, all births are different. This was my story, and the only experience that I know. I know some moms have vaginal births and still do not get to hold their baby right away because their baby has to go to NICU. Some moms have babies that are born sleeping. It still amazes me what some people think is ok to tell moms. All I ask, is that you stop saying I was "Lucky".