Monday, May 7, 2012

C-section -- the "easy" birth

The last few days I have been overwhelmed with blogs, facebook posts, or people just saying to me that they either wished they had a C-section birth, C-sections are easier, or that I am lucky because I had a C-section. This makes me want to scream!

 I envy those who were able to give birth vaginally. I honestly feel like I failed myself because I was not able to give birth vaginally. My anger has many parts to it. First of all, a C-section is not easy and painless, C-sections SHOULD be emergency only, and the miracle of vaginally birthing your child is how God intended and therefore should be everyone's desire.

To begin with, I can promise you that C-sections are not easy, and definitely not painless. Now I realize that I have one child, born via C-section, so I can only first hand speak of the pain and suffering I went through and not what those who have birthed vaginally go through. During the C-section my body was cut open, and the doctor said I would feel "a little pressure". Well, let me tell you, that "little pressure" hurt like my insides were being torn out (and they kinda were). If that wasn't enough, I was unable to get up and move around for 24 hours, my legs were strapped in these things to pump blood through them so I did not get blood clots. My incision hurt so bad that I could not have a bowel movement without crying for 4-5 weeks. I could not cough without wincing for weeks. I could not get out of bed to get my baby and feed him easily and without pain for 3 weeks. I could not lay comfortably in bed because of my incision also for nearly 3 weeks. My incision still has a numbing feeling to it (my little guy is 3 1/2 months old). Not to mention that for the rest of my life I have a scar that constantly reminds me that I could not birth my child naturally, and I had to have a doctor cut him out of me. It was not physically easy on me. It hurt. It still hurts. And I am only speaking of physical pain.

Also, C-sections should never be a choice "just because". C-sections are major abdonimal surgery. And to have one because you are scared of labor, or because the doctor is lazy, or because YOU are lazy, is a ridiculous idea. You are willing to submit yourself to major surgery because you didn't think about the consquences of having sex COULD end in pregnancy, and if so, WOULD end in labor. You are afraid of pain, and don't think you can handle it? That is not an excuse. And neither is a "big baby". Women have been giving birth naturally for centuries. Women have been giving birth to 9+ (even 10 or 11) pound babies without drugs for a very long time. (Yes, even now, with modern medicine, some women choose to give birth naturally, and give birth to a big baby). Elective C-sections make me so angry. More could go wrong having a doctor cut you open, then giving birth vaginally. And why would you take that chance with a new baby (once again, I am speaking only about elective c-sections).

Lastly, I have cried over the fact that the birth of my son turned out the way it did. I was looking forward to giving birth to him naturally. I was not afraid of the pain, I looked forward to feeling my body do what it was made to do. I wanted to feel that. I did not want to be numbed up. God made me (and every women) with the ability and the strength to give birth naturally, and I strive to live up to what God made me to be/do.

I think that the worse part of me having to have a C-section is that it will be difficult for me to convince a lot of doctors to allow me to have a vaginal birth in the future. Now trust me when I say, it is not impossible, and as long as my body healed correctly I will be doing it. But there is false information that is being put out (by people in the medical community) that if you have a C-section, that you can never safely have a vaginal birth in the future. This is not true. It will be harder on me though, for example, my home town in Michigan has two hospitals in it, neither will allow women to have a VBAC (Vaginal birth after cesearen).

I think women need to step up and if they decide to have a baby, to be prepared for what that means. That means pushing a baby out of your body. That means taking one day of your life and being in as much pain as it takes to give your child the start that he/she deserves. That means sacraficing you. And if you are not willing to do the work, maybe you should think twice about forever changing your life and getting pregnant in the first place.

Now to finish this off, I know that the people who think that C-sections are the "easy way" are not the majority. But I have heard it enough to be angry. Also, realize that any reference to drugs during childbirth is my opinion, and I strive not to force my thoughts about this on others. If you believe that pitocin, epidural, etc is right for you, I beg you to do your research as to what that means for your child, and make an informed decision that is best for your family. And do not judge my family for the informed decisions we make.


Amanda said...

I agree with you completely. I have had 3 C-Sections. I too heard all the " you got it easy" and the " I wish I could have just done the C-Sections because vaginally was the WORST pain ever". Now I believe that it hurts like heck to have a child naturally, but when it comes to C-Sections I feel it hurts more. I would have much rather had a couple days at most to feel the pain opposed to weeks of. It. I too still have no feeling around my incision sight and my last baby is almost 4 (years)! I applaud you for speaking your mind and getting the cons about C-Sections and how un-natural they really are.

Kari Hache said...

Thanks Amanda for commenting. I appreciate you confirming my . To often people believe that a C-section is easy. I'm glad I'm not the only one with these feelings.

charlotte said...

my comment didnt post and it was to long to re type but i will shorten it in this one . i agree with you for the most part kari i had a natural birth and am glad i did because my next birth i will not be allowed to have one due to all the complications i had with Athena i tore 3 times and had two sets of stitches because the first set broke down and an additional surgery,i still at this point a month later am having some complications BUT i agree with you on the selective c-section every mother who has the chance to give birth naturally should try

Erin B. said...

2 babies, I was lucky with both (and by that I do NOT mean that I got a scheduled table time). C-sections terrify me! No thank you - you are so brave. And I'm so sorry things didn't go like you wanted, but as we know, they rarely do! Still, I can't imagine why people want them. I think it's that last little ounce of control. But hey - somethings are just "primal" as my OBGYN told me. And you can't script primal.

To go a little Seussish..."I would not could not with a knife, I would not could not for my life. I do not like cesarean. It is not part of my birth plan." :-)

Amanda said...

Kari, I could not have said it better myself. I wanted so badly to have the natural birth. Due to health concerns as soon as I was admitted labor was induced and an epidural was started right away to help lower my b/p, well that made me crash and I spent the next 24 hours completley out of it laying in a bed. After having my water broken for over 12 hours and no progressing we came to the heartbreaking choice to have a c-section, it was getting to the point where my health and Angelyna's health would be in danger and I did not want any of that. I remember sitting in the hospital trying to have a bm finally and crying in pain and my husband feeling so helpless cause there was nothing he could do for me and the first night I could not even get up to change my daughters diaper. I slept on our couch for about 3 weeks after surgery because I could not lay flat on a bed. I ended up with a c-section with my son as well and I wanted so badly to have a vbac but it was not in the cards to do so, I have to say it was an easier recovery but I think that has something to do with the fact that I was more prepared. I have a sister in law that still belittles me that I had a c-section and she delivered 2 with no drugs and within 30 min of getting to the hospital. Yes I had cesections but I did not take the easy way. And due to scarring and never ending pain I ended up with a hysterectomy at the age of 28. If I could have had the natural birth I would have but God had other plans and I have 2 beautifl healthy children. I am just now starting to get over the feeling that I was a failure when I couldn't naturally deliver Angelyna, but I was pre-eclamptic, my b/p was thru the roof and I would not dialate.

Kari Hache said...

Amanda, that just breaks my heart. No one should be belittled because of how her birth ended up. I have gotten alot of people saying things like "i knew you wouldn't be able to handle the pain" (speaking of the epidural I got) and others saying things like "the doctors convinced you it was necessary" (speaking of the c-section). Its just plain silly. I came into this birth/labor fully aware of what to expect, and I knew what I wanted and I knew what the pros and cons of EVERY aspect was. How dare you ignorant person who has no clue about anything with birth belittle me or tell me I couldn't handle it.