Like most expectant mothers, when I found out I was pregnant with Cash I was exhilarated and so excited to give birth. I wasn’t afraid of the pain, I wasn’t worried about induction statistics, and I fully trusted my OB. I was looking forward to getting my epidural and pushing a gorgeous baby out of my tiny area. However, like most birth stories go, nothing went according to plan. I was induced at 41 weeks and after 24 hrs of cervadil, 24 hrs of pitocin, and 12 hours of pushing, my baby boy came to us via c-section.
I felt awful. Why wasn’t I good enough? Couldn’t I have tried harder? Couldn’t I have been more active in facilitating labor so that I wouldn’t have had to be induced in the first place? There had to have been something I COULD have done where the end result didn’t put me on an operating table and rob me of that bloody/gooey, legit fresh-out-the-womb, skin-to-skin interaction with my child. I had failed as a mother in the very first task I was given.
When I found out I was pregnant this time around, I knew things would be totally different. I stayed on top of my eating habits, exercised daily, and I’ve had a super healthy pregnancy thus far. Around 14 weeks gestation was when my doctor informed me that because the practice recently had a lethal uterine rupture, they no longer offered their services for VBAC. I was so disappointed. I was faced with two options: find a midwife who would work with limited OB doctor oversight to facilitate a natural delivery, or continue with my very trusted, well-known OB and schedule a c-section for this child.
I weighed my options and I did do my research. Any facts, statistics, etc, that you want to tell me I ALREADY KNOW. Here’s the thing: I’m most comfortable sticking with my doctor. I’m most comfortable not taking the risk of uterine rupture. I know it’s extremely rare, yes. I know it’s highly unlikely, and I know that there is also a risk associated going under the knife. I know that no matter how hard I try no matter what, any decision I make about this pregnancy has the potential for an unsavory outcome, and THIS is what I feel best about.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m totally disappointed that I will never give birth. I’ll never push a baby through my vaginal opening, and I’ll never know what it’s like to labor and immediately have my child in my arms. That is a very disappointing fact for me and I’ve had to deal with it and process this in my own way. But I’ve made the decision that I feel is best for me and my baby, and I’m so tired of other people weighing in negatively as if I’m taking the easy road and not trying hard enough.
Just like I wouldn’t say “OH NO! You’re doing a TUB BIRTH? Aren’t you worried about hemorrhaging” “Natural birth with a midwife? Let me just tell you how fabulous my OB & Anesthesiologist are and give you their contact info, just in case you change your mind.” I expect that when I tell people my son will be born on a specific date, they will be respectful of the decision that I made. They will respect that I am doing what’s right for me, my body, and my family. Being pregnant is a crazy emotional time, there are so many things to freak out and stress about, being judged by another mom is not going to be one of them for me this time.
Everyone has a different birth story and no one’s birth is “more brave” or “more meaningful” than another’s because at the end of the day every Mama did just what she knew was right for her and her baby. Every Mama has sacrificed her body for a period of time, lost sleep, been miserably uncomfortable, and has been scared out of her mind that something was going to go wrong at some point. We’re all doing exactly what we’re supposed to for OUR OWN families, and I think it’s high time we start respecting our differences as opposed to forcing our opinions of what’s right on each other.
I’m having a c-section. I’ll never give birth. And after countless hours of Google searches, baby boards, videos, and blog reading, I’m confident in my choice. I’m not only okay with it, but I’m now actually excited about getting to know the date ahead of time. I’m excited I don’t have to wait for labor. I’m excited that I’ll get to check in to the hospital and have a baby in my arms in just a couple hours, as opposed to having to send out mass updates every few hours. I refuse to feel bad any longer, be judged as if I’m taking the “easy way out”, or live with any remnants of guilt. This is my decision and I’m happy with it.