I was planning on writing another post on my c-section about a week ago because it was bothering me again. Then, randomly, I got quite a few comments from doctors and nurses on my “C-Section Thoughts and Advice” post that was written as part of my birth story. They all came on the same day and I’m not sure how… but it made for one hell of a day for me. I cried all day long, and probably most of the next day too. It brought everything back… and the comments were about how the c-section was MY fault… I couldn’t handle it. Where did these people come from?!
I realize I write my life on here to be exposed to everyone. I expected negative comments on my posts about vaccines, circumcision, epidurals, etc. But I never imagined in a million years that I could be attacked because I was complaining about my unnecessary c-section. Call me naive.
But I can see how people in the medical field would get defensive… especially if they’re one of the few good doctors who would never do such a thing as my OB did to me. They must get tired of being bashed stereotypically all the time. For them, I apologize.
BUT… 1 in 3 women end up with a cesarean. What percentage of c-sections are actually NEEDED? 3%. Three percent. Yet some 33% are given and that number is climbing. It’s SICK. And I just found out that 1 in 3 women experience fertility issues after having a cesarean. When I asked my doctor about the risks of this surgery, WHY didn’t she mention that? 1 in 3 in HUGE. That could either be infertility, miscarriages, or just difficulty becoming pregnant. Either way, I will forever blame myself if I’m part of this 1 in 3.
On to the title of my post… someone I know (in real life) had a c-section about a month after me. But it was elective… she asked for it. She recently wrote to me about how Ryan being here is all that matters and that me being upset about my c-section was upsetting her because cesareans don’t make you any less of a woman. I totally get that… and I don’t want anyone else to feel bad about their surgeries just because I do. Every experience is different. She chose hers, I did not. I feel like I failed, she should not. So I guess this is just a huge, general apology to anyone I may have offended. It is hard to talk with people about this who don’t understand how I’m feeling. I don’t know how to describe it to them to make them feel what I feel. Anyway… I wanted to paste what I replied to this girl… and I have a feeling this blog will become, in the future, a place where I post articles and facts about cesareans and VBACs. There needs to be more awareness. And let me just say, phew it feels good to get this out. I need to write it down every once in awhile. Thanks for bearing with me… because each of my “c-section rant” posts will probably sound the exact same, haha.
Here is my response to her:
Just because I’m upset about MY c-section and I think I’m a failure, doesn’t mean I think the same about others who’ve had c-sections. You chose to have one and had 9 months to mentally prepare. I had less than 2 minutes. A cesarean is major surgery and I wasn’t prepared at all. I didn’t think there was even a slight chance I’d end up with one–and having a natural birth was SO important to me. So yea, I’m a bit traumatized. People describe it as post-traumatic stress syndrome and many women go through post-partum depression because of it. So on that note, I think I’m dealing fairly well. But it’s still really hard and I still cry nearly every day about it.
Yes, having a beautiful and healthy baby boy certainly matters. But it’s not all that matters. Of course I’m extremely happy to have him, but at the same time, I can be extremely sad and upset over my birth. It’s not that I think I’m less of a woman, it’s that I missed out on the natural birth I wanted. On the magical, amazing, possibly once-in-a-lifetime event. And it’s that it wasn’t necessary. If I had NEEDED the c-section, it’d be a different story. I don’t know if you read the birth story on my blog, but Ryan wasn’t in distress, there was absolutely nothing wrong… I was just progressing too slowly and the OB apparently got tired of waiting around. I was at 8 cm.. I was SO close. But she took advantage of the fact that I was new at this (& had no idea what was going on), I was exhausted, I was in pain, and I trusted her. She took advantage of my trust in the medical system (which is pretty much down to zero now). She was not doing what was best for us, as there was nothing wrong at the moment. And she didn’t even say that as a reason for needing the csection. She said she thought he was too big to fit. But I was at +1 station which I later found out means the largest part of Ryan’s head was past the smallest part of my pelvic bone. Meaning he was on his way out and he was not too big to fit. Being an OB, she obviously knew that, but she lied to my face. And when I started sobbing about having a c-section, she just stared at me stone-faced and didn’t say a word. I was feared into it and I was forced into it. And to think about it and replay it (everyday in my mind), makes me shake. Makes me cry. Makes me pissed as all hell.
To some women, it doesn’t matter. But to me, it did. And when people say to me “a healthy baby is all that matters” or “all that matters is he’s here” – it makes me feel worse because I wonder what IS wrong with me that I can’t get past this?! Ryan should be all that matters. But that’s not fair. I didn’t NEED my c-section, I missed out on my birth experience, and I am mourning that, as crazy as that sounds to some people. I can’t help it.
What pisses me off more is that I asked my OB what the risks were of a c-section and she basically blew off my question. And I just found out now that 1 in 3 women have fertility issues after a c-section. If I can’t get pregnant again or I miscarry, I will blame myself all over again… it will all be my fault… because I wasn’t strong enough to say no ONE more time, I didn’t try hard enough, I caved.
I don’t mean to upset you (or others) who’ve also had c-sections. They are wonderful for people who need or want them. That’s just not the way I feel about mine. And no one but Steve and my mom really know what was done to me in that hospital and how the doctors took advantage of us. I’m not sure if your message was supposed to be a kind attempt to make me feel better? or if you just wanted to let me know that I should get over it (“who gives a fuck”) and that I was upsetting you. Either way… it’s not that easy for me. It’s going to take a lot of time. And I wish I could explain it in some way that could make people realize what I feel.